Taking a page out of its rivals' playbooks, Misfit has announced the Phase Hybrid Smartwatch – a classic timepiece hiding the company's fitness tracking functionality below the surface.
In the world of fitness wearables, it seems 'subtlety' is the biggest trend. Everyone is releasing fitness trackers that on the surface don't look like fitness trackers at all. Arguably, Withings beat many to the punch with its Activité range, which it's now following up with the soon to be released Withings Steel HR. Then there was the Skagen Hagen Connected I saw at IFA as well. Let's not ignore the Garmin Vivomove before that. All of these smartwatches hide activity tracking under the facade of a traditional analogue timepiece.
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Misfit, a company famed for its more standard activity trackers, is now making a play in the hybrid smartwatch space with its Phase. The first product of its kind it has released. Like competing devices, it first and foremost resembles a standard watch, which is great for anyone who favours a more discreet design. Not everyone wants to have a clear piece of technology on their wrist after all. On its launch, Misfit's General Manager, Preston Moxcev said, "Watches are the fashion-credible predecessor of wearable technology, and Misfit Phase showcases both the evolution of the wearable technology space and its convergence with the world of fashion accessories."
Beyond the standard Misfit step, distance and sleep tracking, which uses a 3-axis accelerometer, you can also get basic smartwatch functionality. Misfit says you can view activity, alarm and notification data through different combinations of the watch hands, a small colour window and vibration alerts. It's a similar smartwatch integration to what is included with the Skagen Hagen Connected.
The Skagen Hagen Connected's notifications could potentially be easier to interpret thanks to its additional sub-dial, though. The Withings Steel HR also benefits from not only a sub-dial for activity progress, but a digital sub-dial used for its notifications.
Like many other Misfit wearables, you can also use the Phase to control certain aspects of your connected smartphone, too. You're able to remotely take photos and control your music playback from the watch.
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Misfit says the Phase is made from polished stainless steel for the body, secured by a satin aluminium shroud. You're able to customise the straps with any 20mm field-band and there will be six colourways available. The Phase is also water resistant to 50 metres, which rivals the Apple Watch Series 2 for depth. You can also expect six month battery life, much like Misfit's other trackers.
The Misfit Phase will be available mid-November for £165. Check back for a full review as soon as we can get one around our wrists.
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