I like a gadget. Whilst I am only too aware of my dependency on tech, often to my detriment, I still can’t resist a gadget. I love the fact that it seems there is a piece of tech to do everything now. Except bread makers. I really like kneading dough, but I digress.
I was recently sent a MISFIT Vapor Smartwatch for review. I had previously tested out the MISFIT Flash and hated it. It looked like a prison tag and didn’t work, so I never considered MISFIT products again. However, I was interested in the features offered by the Vapor and it looked pretty, so I said yes.
Despite my penchant for gadgets, I don’t wear a watch. I go through spells of wearing a fitness tracker, but the bottom line is that I just don’t really like wearing things around my wrist except for special occasions or when exercising. However, I was impressed by the simple yet stylish design of the Vapor and have been happily wearing it. I opted for the navy blue and rose gold combination, but a neutral black is available and the straps can be changed. I love the fact that it looks like a stylish watch, whilst feeling robust and functioning as a fitness tracker.
I use an Android phone and connecting it to the Vapor was a simple process and I installed both the Misfit and Android Wear (now known as Google Wear) apps on my phone. I chose to use the Misfit app mostly to see what I’d been up to that day. The Vapor is charged by resting it on a magnetic docking station, which plugs into the USB drive on a computer. Be very careful not to knock it as the slightest bump can knock it off charge.
There’s quite a few bits to like about the fitness tracking aspect of the watch. It is fitted with a sensor to track heart rate and can be used for running, cycling, walking and swimming. I’ve used it to track my swimming and running, however it’s worth noting that you will need to have location switched on to your phone to get a proper GPS reading. So if you’re planning on going out for a 5k, make sure you take your phone with you, or accept that you’ll be tracking your time only and not your speed and distance. The swim tracker was easy to set up, enabling the user to specify the lap length before beginning. However, the screen is sensitive and it took me a few attempts to get the workout started once in the water. It also randomly stopped one of my swims halfway through, presumably due to the screen sensitivity. I have been using the Misfit app to track my workouts rather than Google Fit – this is largely because it is easier to start and I can see what I’ve done in the app later. Improvements would be if I could easily access workout history via the watch and being able to see things like splits.
In terms of Google Fit, I like the challenges that are built-in and I’m currently on day 11 of the Squat Challenge. Yay me.
It should be noted that the battery life of the watch isn’t brilliant and if you’re using it as a GPS connected to your phone, this will also decrease your phone battery. I would be unlikely to use this watch for any distance beyond a 10k, certainly a half marathon would be about the limit I think.
For me, the watch really comes into its own as a communication and organisation device. I’m a Twitter addict, I’m always on the go and being able to receive my notifications straight to my wrist is brilliant. I can quickly see at a glance if I need to deal with something, or if I can swipe and ignore it until later. It is saving a lot of scrabbling about in my handbag for my phone and the screen quality is so good.
Would I recommend it?
MISFIT Vapor retails for £185 from Currys, pricing it towards the lower end of available smart watches. It could be improved with in-built GPS, a longer battery life and it would be helpful if the screen wasn’t quite so sensitive. However, this is my first introduction to smartwatches and I’ve enjoyed testing the features and using it as an all-round tool, rather than as a dedicated fitness tracker and MISFIT have definitely come a long way from their prison tag style tracker.
Buy this if you want communication at your fingertips (wrist?) with the bonus of being able to track your runs and workouts. If you want a dedicated fitness tracker, look towards Garmin or Polar.