Misfit Vapor 2 review

With style and feature upgrades, Misfit's next-generation Vapor 2 gets it right

The Misfit Vapor 2 packs its most important fitness features into a beautiful design that’s comfortable to wear.
The Misfit Vapor 2 packs its most important fitness features into a beautiful design that’s comfortable to wear.
The Misfit Vapor 2 packs its most important fitness features into a beautiful design that’s comfortable to wear.

Highs

  • Sharp and bright AMOLED display
  • Beautiful design
  • New Wear OS
  • Built-in GPS
  • Interchangeable watch straps

Lows

  • iOS capabilities are limited
  • No Wear 3100 processor
  • Less than a day’s battery life

After releasing its first touchscreen smartwatch, the Vapor, last year, Misfit is back at it with the next-generation Vapor 2. As with the original Vapor, the new smartwatch starts at an affordable $250, but there are a few new features to accompany the heart-rate monitor, including built-in GPS and an NFC chip for contactless payments. Unfortunately, it’s all powered by Qualcomm’s aging Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor.

While a heart-rate monitor and built-in GPS are features we want in a smartwatch, we’d also like for it to last for more than a day between charges. With a 300mAh battery in the Vapor 2, a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor would have been ideal, since it promises to deliver two days of battery life among other improvements. On the bright side, the Misfit Vapor 2 is one of first watches to include Google’s updated Wear OS interface, which makes the experience far more enjoyable. Let’s take a closer look.

Stunning, modern design

The Misfit Vapor 2 doesn’t look massively different from its predecessor, but there are minor design changes have a noticeable (and necessary) impact. For starters, there are now two sizes — 41mm and 46mm, to accommodate those with smaller wrists. We thought the original Vapor was too big for women’s wrists even though we appreciated the larger screen size to read alerts on.

Brenda Stolyar/Digital Trends

We tested the 41mm size with the rose gold aluminum case and rose beige sport strap, and it’s the perfect size for our small wrist. The design is a nice change from the bedazzled smartwatches that are usually aimed at women. It not only looks beautiful when paired with any outfit, but it’s lightweight enough that it feels comfortable to work out with as well.

The design is a nice change from bedazzled smartwatches

Other colors for the 41mm case include a black case with a black sport strap, a rose-tone case with a navy sport strap, a stainless steel case with a stainless steel bracelet, and a rose-tone case with a rose-tone stainless steel bracelet.

But the Misfit Vapor 2 has done away with the one feature that truly distinguished it from other smartwatches on the market — the touch-sensitive bezel. Rather than brushing your finger along the black edges to scroll through menus and notifications, there’s now a rotating crown. The touch sensitive bezel was a feature we don’t see often on smartwatches, and we preferred it to the crown because it feels more comfortable to use.

There are also plenty of pre-installed watch faces to choose from on the Vapor 2. They range from subtle to colorful and you can also customize them in terms of color and complication. We preferred the main “Misfit Vapor 2” option which we set to show our steps, heart-rate, and the weather.

Smooth performance, vibrant display

In terms of performance, there aren’t any major issues to be aware of, even with the two-year old Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset. For the most part, apps load quickly and we only experienced lag when accessing the Google Play Store on the smartwatch. There’s also 4GB of storage, so you can store music directly on the device.

misfit vapor 2 review spotify
Brenda Stolyar/Digital Trends

With 328 pixels-per-inch, the display resolution is sharp on the circular 1.2-inch AMOLED display — and we didn’t have trouble viewing content in direct sunlight. With the Misfit Vapor, we found the display scratched easily but thankfully we didn’t run into the same problem with the Vapor 2. Unfortunately, we did see a few scrapes on the case, though.

Track daily activity with built-in GPS

The original Vapor included a heart-rate sensor, but the Vapor 2 adds built-in GPS. We used Google Fit to track distance during our runs, but those who like to see a visual of their runs or bike rides will have to use their smartphones. For now, Google Fit on Wear OS only tracks how far you run and doesn’t show an actual map like it does on the app.

We found the heart-rate sensor to be extremely accurate.

We found the heart-rate sensor to be extremely accurate — our own results compared to the Misfit Vapor 2 were only off by about one beat per minute. In addition, the smartwatch will also track steps, calories burned, distance traveled, and heart-rate through Google Fit and Google Fit workout.

To track your heart-rate throughout the day, you’ll have to opt-in to the feature on the smartwatch. Your beats per minute will be updated every 20 minutes and tracked through the Google Fit app which you can refer to at any time to see your BPM during all hours of the day. To preserve battery life, you can choose to manually measure your heart-rate throughout the day instead.

There are also plenty of watch faces available to choose from that display your heart-rate. That way, you can simply view your BPM at a glance. But for those who like to keep the information private, there are plenty of designs to choose from that don’t list the metric for all to see.

In select countries, the Misfit Vapor 2 can also handle contactless payments. Thanks to the built-in NFC chip, you can make a payment by swiping down on the menu and tapping on the Google Pay tile.

Redesigned Wear OS

As with the Fossil Q Venture HR, the Misfit Vapor 2 comes with the redesigned Wear OS from Google — which was a much needed upgrade. Rather than having to memorize different gestures, simple swipes will bring you where you need to be. The interface not only looks nicer but is much more pleasant to use.

We’ve used it to check upcoming flight and hotel information for trips we’ve gone on.

To get to your settings, simply swipe down to access the different shortcut tiles like airplane mode, Google Pay, and battery saver. A swipe up brings you to your notifications which you can expand individually, and you can swipe left or right to clear each one. By swiping to the left, you’ll have access to Google Fit where you’re able to check on your Heart Points and Move Minutes throughout the day, along with your heart-rate and step count.

Swiping to the right brings you to the Google Assistant-powered feature which offers a personalized overview of your day, covering calendar appointments, traffic alerts, and more. We’ve used it to check upcoming flight and hotel information for trips we’ve gone on. There are also Smart Suggestions which help to make sure you’re taking advantage of all the features available, whether it’s checking your step count or the hourly forecast for the day.

misfit vapor 2 review suggestions
Brenda Stolyar/Digital Trends

It’s important to consider that Wear OS works best with Android phones. Those with an iPhone can still use the Misfit Vapor 2, but there are some limitations. With iOS, the Wear OS app always has to run in the background for the smartwatch to stay connected and receive notifications. If you’re using an iPhone, you also can’t interact with notifications and will only be able to accept or deny phone calls from the smartwatch.

Less than a day’s battery life

The Misfit Vapor 2 varies in battery size depending on the case size — the 41mm case has a 300mAh battery while the 46mm case houses a 330mAh battery. We managed to get about a full day’s worth of battery life out of the smartwatch. Despite the addition of built-in GPS, the Vapor 2 lasted us a little over twelve hours, even after tracking a workout.

After taking it off the charger at about 9 a.m., we were at 76 percent by 1:30 p.m. After our workout (where we used Google Fit to track the distance of our run) we were at 37 percent by 8:45 p.m. Before we went to bed at 11 p.m., the Vapor 2 was at 18 percent.

It’s important to note the percentage might dip lower for those using an Android device, since it’s capable of doing more. We paired it with an iPhone and we also didn’t use Spotify during our run, which is an option but might deplete the battery quicker.

The Misfit Vapor 2 also charges much faster than its predecessor. It still comes with a puck-shaped charger, but there are now magnetic pins attached that clip into the bottom of the smartwatch. As with the Fossil Q Venture HR, the new charger can power up your smartwatch to least 80 percent in an hour. After placing it on the charger at 16 percent around 8 a.m., it was already at 66 percent by 8:30 a.m.

Price, availability, and warranty information

Both the 41mm and 46mm versions of the Misfit Vapor 2 cost $250 each. If you opt for the stainless steel band on either case, it’ll cost a little bit more, coming in at $270. It’s available for purchase now from Misfit’s website.

Misfit offers a limited two-year warranty that covers manufacturing defects, but it doesn’t cover accidental damage to the case or watch strap.

Our Take

The Misfit Vapor 2 is a beautiful smartwatch that’s comfortable to wear during workouts. For $250, it packs heart-rate monitoring, GPS, and the redesigned Wear OS into a sleek looking case that can be worn both day and night.

Is there a better alternative?

Yes. If you’re looking for a more stylish smartwatch there’s the Fossil Q Venture HR with built-in heart-rate and GPS. As with the Misfit 2, it comes with a 1.2-inch AMOLED display and Google’s redesigned Wear OS. While it’s a little more expensive, starting at $255, the fourth-generation Fossil smartwatch comes with a lot more color options and styles to choose from.

For a little less, there’s the Fitbit Versa at $200. It features a sleek design, a heart-rate sensor, and can last up to five days on a single charge depending on usage. As Fitbit’s second smartwatch, it’s a little more refined, and it can receive all the same notifications as any other Wear OS watch.

If you’re willing to splurge a little more, there’s the Samsung Galaxy Watch for $330 which comes with a heart-rate sensor, built-in GPS, and tons of fitness tracking features. As with the Vapor 2, it comes in two different case sizes (42mm and 46mm) both of which have stunning designs. It also has impressive battery life — it lasted us between three to four full days even after tracking workouts and receiving notifications.

For iOS users, we recommend the Apple Watch Series 4, which starts at $400. That way, you can take advantage of all the features without having any limitations. The new version also comes with an electrocardiogram app that allows you to keep an eye out for an irregular heart rate.

How long will it last?

The Misfit Vapor 2 will most likely last you beyond the two-year limited warranty. But it’s important to note the battery will deplete over time, and it’s also unclear how long it will receive software updates for, especially since newer smartwatches are likely to include the upgraded Wear 3100 chipset.

While the Vapor 2 is swim-proof, we don’t recommend diving or going deeper than a few feet. You can, however, go for some laps in the pool or shower with it.

Should you buy it?

Yes. The Misfit Vapor 2 is a versatile smartwatch that’s comfortable enough to work out with and has a beautiful design that can be worn both day and night. It also tracks all the necessary health and fitness stats on a daily basis.

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