Misfit’s (The Smartwatch, not the TV Show) debut was focused on activity trackers although, Misfit was acquired by Fossil later on. Right after their acquisition they started expanding their portfolio which includes smartwatches.
The specific audience that they are targeting are already very familiar with “Wear OS Landscape” which is why they noticed the late releases from Misfit.
When they announced their first “Vapor” smartwatch it had gotten a lot of hype which unfortunately didn’t last long due to the delayed release of the device.
Their second attempt was the Vapor 2 which released just a year later after the first. This device addressed the missing NFC and GPS by including them this time around.
Although the Vapor 2 fell short because they used an older processor (Snapdragon Wear 2100). Misfit tries to rectify their mistake with the Vapor X that corrects the last mishap. Unfortunately, it still feels dated due to its old hardware (512MB of RAM).
This is the same as last year’s “Fossil Sport” compared to the Fossil’s next gen 5 watches which comes packed with 1GB of RAM. It’s quite disappointing that such a sleek looking smartwatch falls short in terms of hardware.
Now, why am I suddenly ranting on Smartwatches? Well, that’s because I’m gonna give you my own version of Misfit Vapor X review after using it for six months or so. This will include the features, benefits, positives, and blunt negatives about this Smartphone.
Stealthy Yet Sleek Design
Even though I do like black as a color I don’t really go for all black when it comes to watches. My mind soon changed after I had opened the box to find a sleek yet stylish looking watch that actually does a great job rocking that “All Black” look.
The minimalistic style makes it perfect for sporty and formal attire. Although, if you’re not very keen on a fully black watch there are three other variants that are just as appealing you can choose from.
A Compact, Solid Build
The top part consists of glass which has a 1.2 AMOLED display. The body of consists of lightweight aluminum material with a soft matte to finish. This makes the watch look good without sacrificing comfort.
There are three buttons on the side. The button in the middle works as a scroll wheel. While the buttons on the side are customizable. This option made it easy for me to use one of the two buttons to access my music and saves me the trouble of taking my phone out.
On the back is a sensor that monitors your heart rate which is in the middle as well as charging rings. I’m still rather new to smartwatches yet the charging process still felt easy to understand. Just align the charging pins with the charging ring regardless of the orientation and it’ll start charging.
Misfit made an effort with the Vapor X’s “Sport Strap”. It’s a 20mm strap mode of smooth flexible rubber which is durable at the same time. A quick-release strap that has ridges located under that help making it breathable in order to avoid sweat getting trapped and making it uncomfortable.
A small nub also prevents the free loops from getting loose. The buckle also has a quick-release pin. I have moderately sized wrists and the watch’s size (42mm) and weight doesn’t feel noticeable which makes it rather comfortable to wear through the day.
Features & Overall Performance
First off let’s address the software of the smartwatch. While it uses the Wear OS’s latest version which is the best update so far, it still falls short in some cases. In order to access things like quick settings, assistant, tiles, and notifications all you’ll need to do is a four-way swipe on the home screen.
Even though tiles are handy, there’s no actual support for third-party apps. This is why if I’d want to open something like Spotify, I’ll have to wait for it to load up each time rather than getting fast access like I do with the apps that are supported for the tiles feature.
Another thing that bugged me is, the weather app is stuck on Fahrenheit. It doesn’t matter what settings I choose on my phone or watch it stays the same. If you want to use the assistant feature, I’d recommend not doing it.
The assistant keeps shifting from smooth to laggy which feels rather frustrating. The crown which is for scrolling also feels awkward since you have to keep going back and forth from the display to the knob to tap and scroll.
This could’ve been so much better if you can tap or long press the crown for selecting and item and going back to a previous menu.
Apart from the negative aspects’ software wise, there are a few good ones that are worth mentioning. One of the positive aspects is you can customize the watchfaces, music controls, and notification management. It’s honestly fun to find new designs and switch between them daily.
Working at an office I like to keep my distractions to a minimal (Social media notifications to be exact). Which means keeping my phone silent and usually divert my notifications that are important to my smartwatch. This way I won’t have to keep taking my phone out constantly in order to check who’s trying to get in touch.
The “Wear OS” does a great job handling my notifications with its smart replies I can quickly send out messages without any issues. Compared other bands like Fitbit and such.
My primary issue where the device fell short to me is, they used the same hardware from “Fossil Sport” in Vapox X which is dated old hardware. Compared to the hardware on the Fossil Gen 5 watches which has current gen specs.
The old hardware meant the device had less ram, storage, and no speakers.
When I go through a day using the smartwatch, I face stuttering issues along with my apps loading slowly. Honestly these issues could’ve been solved if they opted for a bit more ram (1GB Ram).
While they did use the newer version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 3100, it gets overshadowed by Fossil’s lack of battery optimization. Misfit’s product page mentioned that the watch had “Multiple Battery Modes” which clearly was false.
I went into battery options from my quick settings to find “Battery Saver” as the only mode available which was obviously disappointed. You’re able to manually turn this mode on or wait till the battery drops to 9% when it’ll activate on its own.
If I’m using the watch only for the purpose of telling time it’ll lasts more than two days. Now, if I go about using this with all its features it’ll go about roughly for a day and half which isn’t that bad. I can boost it to two days if I turned off the ambient mode.
I think most of us (me included) decide on going for the Misfit brand for tracking capabilities related to sleeping, activity, swimming etc. Well, sad to say it lacks in that department as well. The watch includes only Google Fit. There’s no built-in sleep or swim tracking on the device.
The only way to look past this issue is relying on third-party software to fill in the gap. Considering the brand, they really should’ve spent more time for R&D then maybe we wouldn’t have ended up with what could’ve been a potentially great smartwatch.
Is it Worth Buying?
Honestly speaking the answer would be subjective. Among Misfits own products Vapor X is indeed improved compared to its predecessors. There’s GPS, a better processor, and a lightweight yet sleek design. It works well in terms of general use. But compared to other brand smartwatches in the market the Vapor X falls behind both in terms of specs and pricing.
If you’re looking for such an Android Smartwatch, buy it!
Regardless of the fact how good the watch looks it shouldn’t be on your “Top Smartwatches List” which you’d considering investing money on if you want an up-to-date hardware. This is considering if you add around $15 – $25 more you’d be able to get a Fossil Gen 5 which is way better than this.
On top of that there’s brands like Armani, Diesel, and Fossil which will be bringing out more smartwatches very soon with good specs (Snapdragon 3100/1GB Ram/8GB Storage). All these are capable of providing a much better experience when compared to the Vapor X.
When I went ahead and looked outside the “Wear OS” bubble there are a lot of great cheap alternatives that I found. One of them being the “Galaxy Watch Active” which is an excellent choice due to its battery life and UI. Along the lines there’s the “Active 2” from Galaxy which adds a touch sensitive bezel AND still manages to be priced around the same 280$ Vapor X.
Continuing on the topic of alternatives, there’s the Garmin’s new Vivoactive 4 and Amazfit’s Stratos 3 both of which have amazing battery life which will last roughly a week on a charge along with great activity tracking capabilities. If you want smartwatches for kids, just click the link and read the top candidates we reviewed for you!