Positives

Good battery life
GPS, NFC are welcome improvements
Crisp OLED screen

Negatives

Laggy performance
Crown is hard to use

Bottom Line
Vapor 2
by Misfit

Unless you really like the Vapor 2's design, it's safe to say you can pass on this watch. Unfortunately the poorly timed launch means other, more powerful watches are now coming to market with the new Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset. If you need a sporty Wear OS watch, we'd suggest checking out the Fossil Sport.

Misfit is no stranger to Wear OS. It launched its first smartwatch — the Misfit Vapor — back at CES 2017, which actually drummed up a lot of buzz (until it was delayed, anyway). It was very much a you-get-what-you-pay-for smartwatch, lacking NFC and a built-in GPS. The design was somewhere in the middle of classy and sporty. Basically, it was one of the better affordable smartwatches back then.

Now Misfit is back with another take on the Vapor line, the Misfit Vapor 2. It adds many of the extra features missing from the original, like GPS and NFC, and bumps up the price just $50. It’s also unfortunately powered by Qualcomm’s older chipset, which is a dealbreaker for some.

Let’s find out if the Misfit Vapor 2 worth your $250.

Misfit Vapor 2 review notes: I’ve been using the Misfit Vapor 2 for roughly two weeks, running Wear OS version 2.1 with build number OWDN.180822.001 on the August 5, 2018 security patch. It’s been paired with my Google Pixel 3 for the duration of this review.
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Design and display

The Misfit Vapor 2 doesn’t stray too far away from the original Vapor’s design, and I think that’s great. It still features a rounded aluminum minimalist case that isn’t overly flashy. All Vapor 2 models come with a silicone strap that’s durable enough for the gym and nice enough to wear with dressier clothes. It won’t appeal to everyone, but I certainly dig it.

The Vapor 2 comes in two models this year: 46mm with a 1.39-inch AMOLED screen and 41mm with a 1.19-inch AMOLED screen. I’m reviewing the 46mm model, and it seems almost too big for my slightly larger than average wrists. I’d recommend going for the smaller model if you have smaller wrists.

The display on the 46mm model is great. It gets very bright and dim, and the auto-brightness is usually very accurate.

A rotatable crown sits on the right side of the watch case. It’s nice having an extra way to navigate around Wear OS, though the crown can be difficult to rotate. It just requires more effort than other watches I’ve used.

Performance and software

Let’s address the elephant in the room: The Misfit Vapor 2 runs on the years-old Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset, despite the Snapdragon 3100 already being available.

The Vapor 2 struggles trying to switch between multiple apps — or even closing one app and trying to open another. Launching the Play Store or using a Google Assistant voice command slows the watch down quite a bit, too. Even archiving an email can make the watch unresponsive for a few seconds. It’s not as bad as my Skagen Falster 2 nightmares, but it’s not good.

Related

Quick aside: I have no idea why Misfit launched this watch when it did. Even though the addition of GPS and NFC are welcome, it seems like the company could’ve waited a couple months longer to include the newer chip.

I can’t help but think that would have alleviated some of the performance issues I’ve been experiencing. What’s even more confusing, Misfit is owned by Fossil, the company that just released a 3100-powered Wear OS watch that almost completely cannibalizes the Vapor 2.

Poorly timed launch aside, there are some nice new features under the hood. Misfit included a built-in GPS monitor this time around, which is a nice upgrade from the phone-tethering GPS on the first Vapor. You can also use the watch to pay for things with Google Pay, unlike the first Vapor.

On the software front, the Vapor 2 is running the latest version of Wear OS, version 2.1. I quite like the new user interface — it’s easy to navigate, and I’ve been enjoying the new Google Fit experience as well.  Unfortunately I haven’t been able to test out the new Wear OS “H” update yet, which should bring even more battery improvements when it becomes available.

Also read: The best smartwatches you can buy | The best fitness trackers

Elsewhere, the Vapor 2 has proved to be quite the convenient fitness companion. There’s a 3ATM water resistance rating here, so it should be protected from sweat and the occasional dunk in water. My daily step counts have been pretty accurate, too.

I recently reviewed the Skagen Falster 2 and struggled to make it a full day without that battery dying. Thus, I didn’t go into this Vapor 2 review with much optimism. Surprisingly, the Vapor 2 lasted more than a full day on a single charge in my experience — even with a 45-minute treadmill workout and a GPS-enabled walk that lasted about 25 minutes. Oftentimes I end the day with about 20-30 percent, even with heart rate monitoring turned on.

Remember though, I’m using the bigger 46mm watch; I can’t speak to battery performance of the 41mm model.

 Misfit Vapor 2
Display41mm: 1.19-inch full-round AMOLED
328ppi

46mm: 1.39-inch full-round AMOLED
328ppi
SoCSnapdragon Wear 2100
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.1 Low Energy
SensorsGPS
Heart rate
NFC
Water resistance3ATM
CompatibilityAndroid OS 4.4+, iPhone 5/ iOS 9+
SoftwareWear OS
SizeCase thickness:
41mm model: 11mm
46mm model: 11.2mm
ColorsJet black with black sport strap
Rose tone with rose beige sport strap
Rose tone with indigo textured sport strap
Stainless steel with indigo textured sport strap
Jet black with walnut textured sport strap
Stainless steel with stainless steel bracket
Rose tone with rose tone stainless steel bracket
Jet black with jet black stainless steel bracket

Pricing and final thoughts

For all the improvements Misfit made this year, I still can’t think of a good reason for someone to spend $250 on this watch. It’s quite basic in functionality, and I struggle to find a standout feature not already available on other Wear OS watches.

Plus, Misfit’s launch schedule is confusing — if the Vapor 2 came out last year, I’d likely recommend it. Right now, more powerful watches are coming to market with cooler features, so I just don’t think now is the right time to invest in a watch with dated hardware.

If you’re looking for something a bit more unique, the Samsung Galaxy Watch and TicWatch Pro might be better worth your money. If you want something sportier, check out the Fossil Sport.

Unless you really love the design, I’d say you can pass on the Misfit Vapor 2.