Misfit, a maker of low-power, jewelry-like wearables that was acquired by The Fossil Group a year ago, has just unveiled a new touchscreen smartwatch.
Called Vapor — not to be confused with vaporware — the smartwatch has a 1.4-inch full AMOLED touchscreen display, built-in GPS, optical heart rate sensors, and a two-day battery life claim. It’s running on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor and also has four gigabytes of onboard storage, mostly for listening to music without a phone in tow. And it has something that Misfit is calling a touch bezel, which is thin strip of display around the face that can be used to control certain interactions on the watch like a touchwheel.
At first glance it really doesn’t look all that different (at all!) from other round-face smartwatches. It’s made of stainless steel and has interchangeable straps. Some of the interactions on the watch have a dissolving or vaporizing aesthetic (hence the name); when you tap on the time on the main screen, it dissolves into a “GOAL!” screen, to show activity levels. The display doesn’t have a “flat tire,” which is nice I suppose.
One aspect of the watch that Misfit hasn’t commented on is which operating system it will run on. Based on a brief demo of the watch, our best guess is that it’s a forked version of Android Wear, one that can be customized for the Chinese market, where Misfit sells a lot of its products. Misfit also emphasized that the version of the watch we saw wasn’t a final model.
Misfit has made a whole bunch of wearable since it first launched in 2012, but for the most part they’ve been sleek, inexpensive activity trackers, not watches. And the company has made other connected watches since it was acquired by Fossil, like the Phase wristwatch. But that watch — and many other Fossil connected watches — are analog-style watches, without touchscreens. They also tend to have much longer battery life than smartwatches that have bright displays and run apps.
The Vapor smartwatch is expected to ship in late 2017 and will cost $199.