We’re a virtual company made up of tech experts from across the globe. Our favorite computers don’t just live in our pockets, they also live on our wrists. With years of experience with dozens of smartwatches, we’re here to offer you our picks for the best you can get today.
Samsung Galaxy Watch
- Fantastic display
- Great battery life
- Rotating bezel design is just plain cool
- Easy to swap watchbands
- Little on the thick side
- The watch doesn’t always wake fast enough
Samsung’s latest watch is an impressive evolution of its Smartwatch designs over the last couple of years, and with the LTE radio model, it’s almost a phone you wear on your wrist. Unfortunately, it’s a little on the larger side which isn’t great for everyone.
- Nearly edge-to-edge display
- Stylish design
- Virtual touch bezel is damn cool
- Mediocre battery life
- Single action button
Misfit has a history of making quality fitness trackers, but this is its first full smartwatch running Wear OS. This watch is big on looks, but if you want more than a day without reaching for the charger you need to look elsewhere.
Samsung and Misfit both have a long history of making several different kinds of wearables, but the standalone watch category is fairly new and each has some flaring drawbacks if you care about watch size or battery life.
Wrist computer showdown
When it comes to wearing a smartwatch, whether you want one over the other comes down to one of three things you care about more than anything else. Either the watch needs to be more thin jewelry than thick gadget on your wrist, have enough battery for you to go multiple days, or be deeply integrated with your phone. Each of these things is important, but they’re not equally important to everyone. In comparing the Galaxy Watch to the Misfit Vapor, you’re looking at a pair of watches built with different goals in mind.
Misfit didn’t just make an aesthetically appealing watch, it took some risks on the design and the hardware. At first glance, this watch is almost minimalist in design, with a single button and very few angled surfaces. The glass is flush with the bezel, and the watch straps hang off the body without a lot of emphases. However, under that simple, classic design is a special touch sensor that allows you to scroll up and down the UI without touching the glass. There’s no physically rotating component for this, the bezel around the watch is itself a touch surface, which is cool as hell and a lot of fun to use once you get used to it.
Samsung’s design is a great deal more masculine. It’s thicker, more angled, and has a big bezel that feels like it belongs on a classic outdoorsman watch. But this design is more practical than pretty — the whole bezel rotates to allow you to rotate through the UI instead of touching the glass. This larger rotating ring makes quickly moving through the software on the watch faster than any other implementation out there, but the trade-off is it’s kind of bulky as a result. If the watch were any thinner, the sacrifices would almost assuredly come from battery life. As a result, you get a capable watch that isn’t always easy to hide under a dress shirt and almost assuredly doesn’t look as though it belongs under one.
|Samsung Galaxy Watch||Misfit Vapor|
|Dimensions||46mm x 49mm x 13mm/41.9mm x 45.7mm x 12.7mm||44mm x 46.5mm x 13.5mm|
|Processor||Exynos 9110||Snapdragon 2100|
|Mobile Payment||Samsung Pay (NFC)||❌|
|Waterproofing||5ATM + IP68||50ft|
While Samsung’s Galaxy Watch comes in two different sizes, they exist on either side of the size of the Misfit Vapor. The larger Galaxy Watch has a noticeably larger battery than the Misfit Vapor, and when combined with the power saving modes in its Tizen OS, the Watch can get more than three days of battery life on a single charge. The same, even when in a power saving mode, can not be said of the Misfit Vapor. This watch struggles to get a full day if you’re an active user, especially if you use the GPS modes a lot for working out.
However, that larger Watch is, well, large. If you have a smaller wrist, or if you wear well-fitting dress clothes, the larger watch will quickly become uncomfortable. This isn’t a dealbreaker for everyone, but it is for enough people to point it out. A much bigger deal is the total list of features. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch is more resistant to water and dust ingress than the Vapor, and it offers NFC payments through Samsung Pay. Misfit didn’t include NFC at all on the Vapor, and while its waterproofing claims you can go down to 50ft, it’s very unclear how long your watch is safe at that depth.
Despite the size, the Samsung Galaxy Watch is our pick
Samsung has done an impressive job with this smartwatch. With an LTE radio model, you get what is essentially a phone attached to your wrist. It boasts better battery life than the Vapor and is more resistant to water and dust, meaning you’ll be getting more use out of it.
Samsung Galaxy Watch
When you want the best of everything — unless you care about size.
Samsung has crammed every possible thing it could think of into this watch, including an LTE radio in the larger version so you can use it everywhere without your phone.
The Misfit Vapor might be good for you
We’re not going to discount the Vapor completely. Misfit has made a sleek, well-designed watch that works better for people with smaller wrists, or who wear tighter-fitting shirts. It doesn’t have as many internal features as the Samsung, but for $200 you get a decent, beautiful-looking watch.
So Very Pretty
A fantastic design and reasonable price tag.
Misfit has grown beyond fitness trackers and made a proper watch, but I’d wait for Version 2 if I were you.
September 20, 2018 at 07:34AM