Misfit announces the Phase smartwatch hybrid
There is definitely a market for people who like the idea of a smartwatch, but – not unreasonably – don’t enjoy having a miniature smartphone strapped to their wrist. Withings was the first out of the door with its brand of fitness trackers that don’t look like fitness trackers, and today Misfit has announced it is following suit with the Phase hybrid smartwatch.
Like the Withings Activite Pop, the Phase doesn’t look like a smartwatch – with its polished stainless-steel body and minimalist looks, it looks closer to a classic timepiece than a piece of tech.
The device promises to show notifications too – albeit in a quite limited way, given its six-month battery life. I’m told that while you won’t get the contents of a text message, say, the disc at the bottom of the watch face can turn a different colour to alert you to a message’s arrival. You can also allocate a contact’s phone number to a specific number on the watch face, meaning that when they ring, the hands of the clock will point to that person’s allocated digit.
So not as useful as Android Wear’s notifications, but then there is always going to be a compromise between utility, battery life and style. And there are other elements that suggest this will be a wearable to watch: you’ll be able to control your music remotely, take photos with your phone or advance slides in a presentation, all with a touch of the wrist, suggesting this is more than just a pedometer with a clock. And as you’d expect from a company that comes from the fitness tracker end of wearables, the Misfit Phase will also track steps, distance and sleep patterns. It even promises water resistance of up to 50 metres.
It all sounds very promising indeed. It launches mid-November, priced at £165 – we hope to have a full review of it as soon as we can.