How many fancy fitness watches can the market take?
Integrating the basics of fitness tracking into everyday watches has been happening for several years. The Withings Activite, Garmin Vivomove, and some of Fossils watches already do this, and other high-end watches come in the same game.
Misfit announced the phase, its latest fitness tracker, and it's about the same idea. A round watch with a size of approx. 42 mm and analog hands has automatic step and sleep tracking (but without heart rate). The watch is water resistant to 50 meters and uses a replaceable coin battery for a lifespan of six months. It is automatically synchronized with your Android phone or iPhone via Bluetooth. The watch straps snap out from behind and can be replaced by any 20 mm NATO style field strap.
To check the status of the fitness target, use one of the two buttons on the case to turn the hands to show your percentage (other, competing watches often use a second, smaller dial). Another button triggers Misfit's smart button control for connected devices, just like the other trackers.
The phase vibrates and there is also a kind of notification indicator: a small cutout hole that takes on different colors. Called a "color window", it is not an LED light. It is literally a mechanical part that exchanges color discs. Strange, yes? Ultimately, these can be adjusted in the Misfit app so that they correspond to different sources. When one of three contacts calls, the minute hands turn to one of three places and the colored eye assumes a certain color. It's like something out of a strange 1960s spy film.
The phase will cost $ 175 when it debuts in November. The problem is, however, that there have been so many watch-like fitness trackers released recently – including some from Fossil that bought Misfit – that you are better off if you are not enthusiastic about a particular design. The phase has a clear design and a thick but nicely built watch case. But it's also more expensive than many alternatives like Withings Activite Steel and Garmin Vivomove. We'll check one when we get one later in the fall.