Misfit is known for its stylish fitness trackers that have minimalist designs and could easily be confused for jewelry. Today, the company is expanding its range with the Phase, an analog wristwatch that also offers fitness tracking and basic smartphone notifications.
The Phase is not a smartwatch in the sense of the Apple Watch or an Android Wear device. It occupies an increasingly crowded space that sits between fitness tracking bands and full-on smartwatches. As a result, it has an analog face, simple design, and a battery that lasts up to six months (and doesn’t get charged, you just replace it). It also doesn’t have apps.
The design of the Phase is in line with Misfit’s range of fitness trackers. It’s sleek and minimalist, with an aluminum finish and silicone or leather bands. The Phase will be available in a variety of colors and different straps. The 20mm strap bars can also accommodate nato-style straps if Misfit’s straps aren’t your style. On my wrist, the Phase is a little thicker than I prefer, though it sits comfortably and isn’t too heavy.
The Phase has all of the same fitness tracking features as the Shine and Ray, including swim tracking. But it doesn’t have a heart rate sensor or some of the other advanced fitness tracking functions other devices offer. The Phase also vibrate with alerts from your phone, which you can customize to include only select notifications. (The hands will rotate to a set position and small window at the six o’clock position will change color when a notification comes in.) And one of the buttons on the Phase can be customized for a variety of functions, including controlling music playback on your phone.
Misfit’s introduction of a proper wristwatch isn’t too surprising, as the company became part of the Fossil group in late 2015. Still, it is now competing not only with Fossil’s own brands, but a number of other wearable makers trying to make traditional watches smarter, including Garmin and Withings.
The Phase will be available in the US starting on November 6th for $175 with a silicone strap and $195 for a leather strap.