Misfit is announcing today that its fitness-focused Vapor smartwatch will run Android Wear 2.0 when it launches later this year. The Vapor was first announced at CES earlier this year and features a fully circular display, standalone GPS, a heart rate sensor, and a touch-sensitive ring around the screen. It will start at $199 and come in five colors when it hits shelves in late summer.
Preston Moxcey, Fossil’s general manager of Misfit, says that Android Wear makes the product more customizable and allows for support of more third-party services than the homegrown platform that was originally planned for the device. Moxcey says that Misfit will still have its own unique touches in the software, including custom watchfaces and micro apps on the watch. The Vapor’s unique touch-sensitive bezel will also be supported by Android Wear 2.0.
The rest of the Vapor’s hardware design and features are unchanged by the platform change, and the device will still have a 1.39-inch, fully circular AMOLED display, standalone GPS, and heart rate sensing. Its microphone will work with the Google Assistant embedded in Wear 2.0, as well.
Android Wear 2.0 has been off to a rocky start, with unimpressive hardware options that either compromise on battery life or design. Misfit claims that the Vapor will still get up to two days of battery life with Android Wear, and that its history of stylish design will put it ahead of the other watches available. It’s also aggressively priced: at $199, it will be significantly cheaper than other Android Wear watches we’ve seen thus far.
But late summer is a long way away, and there will likely be many other smartwatch options available by the time the Vapor is available for purchase. Our first impressions with the hardware were positive, however, and Android Wear is certainly a more flexible platform than the initial homegrown software Misfit had originally planned would have been, so we’re eager to see how the Vapor performs in a few months.