Android wear is a smart watch OS from Google released in 2014, it’s been used on smart watches from LG, Sony, Moto, Samsung and now it’s used by Armani, Kate Spade, Fossil, Louis Vuitton and many other premium fashion brands.
It’s used on so many smart watches that aren’t the Apple Watch, it’s a great little OS with some nice functions. I’m not going to go on about the pros and cons about smart watches here, I’m going to talk about one in particular right now from the Fossil owned fitness company called Misfit.
The Vapor is the first smart watch from Misfit running Android wear 2.0 with Oreo update on the way, It comes in at £185/$199 from the Misfit site but it’s possible to get it cheaper in other places if you shop about.
Looking at the specs quickly, it’s a 44″ stainless steel frame with an 1.3″ AMOLED display, 4GB memory, mic, heart rate sensor, Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor and a very cool feature called the virtual touch bezel.
No NFC or speaker so no calls or Android Pay on this one, not a huge deal breaker but would have been nice.
I like how this watch looks and feels on the wrist, its soft straps are comfortable and the stainless steel frame stands out. I just wish it was a little thinner but I’ll live, the screen is bright and very clear with some nice viewing angles.
The always on display is a nice feature which I miss out on with the Apple watch, the virtual touch bezel is a fantastic addition to the smart watches and this works great by swiping the black bezel around the screen to rotate or move items on the display.
I won’t go into the OS too much as it’s been reported enough over the last year but I do love the ability to change the watch face to almost anything and have complications, unlike the apple watch which forces watch faces on you with next to zero room for customisation except changing colours.
Battery life is where this falls a little short, it seems to burn through in under 20 hours and the charger it comes with is quite a pain in the arse to attach sometimes. For the price it’s a great starting point for anyone curious about smart watches but it’s also quite basic in functions compared to say the Huawei Watch models.
The fitness side of this is very good, you get the choice of using Google Fit or the Misfit activity tracker. Both are pretty good and offer up complications for the watch face so you can get a quick glance at your progress, it might be a little big for the smaller wrists when working out though.
Some functions aren’t available on iOS devices.
For best results use with an Android phone, I used the Vapor with a Google Pixel 2 and it worked flawlessly.
Finally, I have to say it’s probably one of the best Android wear watches out there right now for price and function, it sits alongside the Huawei watch 1 and 2, LG watch sport, Fossil Q and Tic Watch E.
It may lack a speaker and NFC but it makes up for it with a smart classic design and good price, Its smooth and fast on the OS side and the notification vibration is strong and noticeable.
The screen is very good for a smart watch and you can read all text very clearly, the weight and thickness are cons for me though and might be for many others.
You might prefer the Samsung Gear watches that run Tizen OS or if you own an iPhone, Apple Watch works best.
Now that the Apple Watch is the most popular smart watch around, it’s refreshing to see newcomers keep Android Wear going and give people more options.
Swipe Down score: 3.5/5