Technology

Misfit Vapor X vs Fossil Gen 5: Which Smartwatch Is Better?

Misfit Vapor X vs Fossil Gen 5
Image source: Fossil / YouTube video (screenshot)

Just days after launching the Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch, Fossil Group has launched a brand new Misfit Vapor X. Yes, the Misfit brand is owned by Fossil. Both the Fossil Gen 5 and Misfit Vapor X fix major shortcomings of their respective predecessors. The new Gen 5 brings a longer battery life, a built-in speaker, better memory, improved performance, and better integration with iPhones. The Vapor X has a stylish design, a lower price tag, and an improved battery life. Let’s check out how they stack up.

Software

Both the new smartwatches run Google’s Wear OS, meaning they are among only a handful of wearable devices that natively support most of Google’s services. They get all the Google apps including Google Assistant, Google Fit, Google Translate, and YouTube. Both devices are compatible with Android and iOS.

Both the Gen 5 and Vapor X come with some popular apps pre-installed. They include Spotify music streaming service, Noonlight personal safety app, and Strava. The smartwatches also get the Cardiogram app, which monitors how your heart rate changes throughout the day to look for “signs of undiagnosed diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, and atrial fibrillation.”

Fossil Gen 5 has something that is missing from Vapor X. It gets the ability to answer calls for iPhones. Previously, Fossil’s watches allowed users to take calls only on Android devices. Now the iPhone owners will also be able to take calls on their wrist. Fossil said it would enable this feature in the coming months via a software update.

Design

The Misfit Vapor X has a sporty, casual and lightweight design. It’s available in only one size, which is 42mm. It sports a 1.19-inch circular AMOLED display with 328ppi of pixel density. The Vapor X has an aluminum alloy case, which makes the watch amazingly lightweight at just 43g. It’s Misfit’s lightest smartwatch ever. The device has a rotating crown and two customizable buttons on the side.

The Vapor X gets new Sport Strap Plus silicone straps, which have breathable ridges for improved comfort. It is available in five different color options. There is a black case with a black strap, a gunmetal case with a green strap, a stainless gray case with a navy strap, and a champagne case with a lavender strap.

The Vapor X watch has a microphone, but it lacks a built-in speaker. Just like Fossil Gen 5, it is swim-proof up to a depth of 30 meters. The Gen 5 features a swim-proof microphone and a speaker for interacting with Google Assistant and taking calls on the wrist.

The Gen 5 is available in two different variants called Carlyle HR and Juliana HR. Both of them have the same 44mm size with 12mm thickness. They both feature a relatively larger 1.28-inch AMOLED display with 328ppi of pixel density. Both versions have a round, premium design with a stainless steel case. The Gen 5 watches also have two customizable buttons on the side for navigation.

The Carlyle HR style comes in Black, Smoke, and Dark Brown colors. The Juliana HR version has stones around the bezel. It is available in Rose Gold Blush, Rose Gold Black, and Rose Gold colors.

Features and specs

Both Fossil Gen 5 and Misfit Vapor X run the same Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. The new Snapdragon Wear chipset improves efficiency and battery life. It also brings advanced ambient modes and better fitness tracking. Both smartwatches offer activity tracking and sleep tracking.

It’s not mere coincidence that the Gen 5 and Vapor X have the same sensors such as NFC for contactless payments via Google Pay, built-in GPS, Bluetooth, accelerometer, WiFi, altimeter, gyroscope, and a heart-rate sensor. Both of them would be an excellent workout companion.

Where they differ is the amount of RAM and storage. The Misfit Vapor X packs only 512MB RAM and 4GB of internal storage. That might not be sufficient to run everything smoothly because the Wear OS is not as refined as users want it to be. The Gen 5 packs a higher 1GB RAM with 8GB storage to ensure that you never experience the lag. The additional storage allows you to store more media on the device.

Battery life

Misfit claims the Vapor X offers more than a full day of battery life with normal usage. The device packs a 330mAh battery. Using the device in battery saving mode, which disables most of the features, could extend the battery life to up to three days. It charges up to 80% in just 50 minutes via a magnetic charger.

The Fossil Gen 5 has received a major upgrade in terms of battery life. It comes with ‘Smart Battery Modes’ to let users find a balance between battery life and functionality. It includes four different modes: Daily, Extended, Custom, and Time-Only. The Daily mode offers the standard experience with all the features turned on.

The Extended mode disables many features including WiFi, NFC, location, and always-on display to extend the battery life to several days. The Custom mode gives users the freedom to decide what features they want to disable. The Time-Only mode turns it into a “dumb” watch that does nothing more than showing you time. It is turned on automatically when the watch is running low on battery.

Pricing

The Misfit Vapor X is currently available at an introductory price of $200 directly on the company’s website. The price will eventually go up to $280. If you are interested in buying it, grab it at the introductory price rather than paying an additional $80 later.

The Fossil Gen 5 has a price tag of $295, making it more expensive than the Vapor X. If you can afford it, it’s worth the extra money. But it’s not the device for people interested in a sporty smartwatch. The Fossil Gen 5 has more RAM, higher storage, ability to take iPhone calls, a bigger display, and a longer battery life.