Misfit Announces the Vapor X Smartwatch With Improved Hardware


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Google’s Wear OS platform has been lacking in compelling wearable hardware recently, but a new offering from Misfit might pique your curiosity. The Fossil sub-brand has just announced its third Android-powered smartwatch, the Misfit Vapor X. It compares very favorably with competing wearables, but it’s still hamstrung by Wear OS and the slow advances in wearable hardware. 

The original Misfit Vapor turned heads with its striking design. You might remember the original Moto 360 that launched in the early days of Wear OS (then Android Wear). That watch had a round display before that was common, a minimal metal bezel, and a “flat tire” cut-out at the bottom. The first Misfit from 2017 looked like a true successor to the Moto 360 with its full-circle display and sleek body. It followed that up with a similar Vapor 2 in 2018. However, both those watches ran the older Wear 2100 chip. The new watch steps up to the latest hardware. 

The Misfit Vapor X has a 1.19-inch round display and the same basic body style of past Misfit watches. It also comes with the standard 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage we’re used to seeing with Wear OS. There’s also a 300mAh battery that Misfit estimates at 24 hours of use in standard mode. 

Like the recently unveiled Fossil Gen 5 watches, the Vapor X has the newer Wear 3100 system-on-a-chip. It’s not much more powerful than the 2100, but a more efficient sensor processing platform helps ease the strain on the CPUs. It also supports additional low-power modes for better battery life. In battery saving mode, you should be able to get a few extra days of use between charges while still tracking your fitness stats and seeing notifications on the watch. 

The Vapor X still has Google Fit for tracking steps and exercise, but the app still lacks many of the features available from Fitbit, Apple, and even Samsung. Misfit hopes to sweeten the deal with support for the Fossil Cardiogram app. Announced along with the Gen 5 watches, Cardiogram allegedly watches for signs of sleep apnea, diabetes, hypertension, and atrial fibrillation. The mechanism by which it does with a basic heart rate sensor is unclear. 

Misfit is selling the new watch on its website right now, and it’s on sale for $200. That price is only good for a limited time, though. The watch will eventually retail for $279.99.

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Fossil Releases Gen 5 Smartwatches, Keeps Wear OS on Life Support


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Precious few consumer electronics brands are still making smartwatches with Google’s Wear OS, but Fossil is at the top of that meager heap. It makes smartwatches under brands like Diesel, Skagen, and more. Today, the company has announced new Wear OS watches under its flagship “Fossil” brand. The new Gen 5 watches have the latest hardware, and all the features you’d expect from a modern Android-powered smartwatch. There are even a few custom features exclusively for Fossil’s hardware. 

While Fossil’s new smartwatches are technically split up into several different styles to cater to both men and women, they’re all the same piece of hardware on the inside. There are basic silver and black watches with leather bands, more expensive metal link band versions, and even some rose gold watches covered in tiny crystals. The cases are all 44mm across as well. That makes them rather large on your wrist. 

These watches run the Snapdragon Wear 3100, a newer wearable processor that launched about a year ago. Despite its age, many Wear OS devices still launch with the older Wear 2100. The 3100 isn’t much more powerful, and it still leverages 28nm hardware, but it supports more hardware features and offers better battery life. Fossil also equipped its new platform with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, both about twice the usual allotment. They’ve also got NFC for Google Pay, a heart rate sensor, Wi-Fi, GPS, 30-meter water-proofing, and a speaker. The last-gen Fossil Sport lacked a speaker for some reason. 

Fossil will put that speaker to use, too. These new devices will be the first Wear OS watches that can take calls on the iPhone. Of course, that feature has always been available on the Android side, but Fossil is creating a custom app to enable that on iOS. However, that feature won’t be available at launch. Fossil says the iOS calling feature will arrive as an OTA update sometime this fall. 

The Gen 5 watches also focus on battery life improvements. Again, this is a custom feature on top of Wear OS. The extended battery mode will allow multi-day use while showing the time, getting notifications, and monitoring heart rate. Time-only mode exists if you want even more battery life and don’t mind losing all the smart features. But at that point, why not just get a regular watch? 

Fossil’s Gen 5 watches are on sale today, starting at $295 from Fossil’s online store. Amazon won’t ship them until early next month, but you can pre-order today.

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