Watchmaker Fossil bought fitness tech company Misfit a year ago, but the company’s influence hasn’t yet been seen in Misfit’s products, which are super-basic activity trackers designed to look like jewelry. But Misfit’s latest product, the Phase, marries the company’s activity-tracking tech with design cues from Fossil’s analog watches in an activity tracker that just might be Misfit’s best ever.
The $175 Misfit Phase’s most obvious rival is the Withings Activité, which will soon come equipped with a heart rate sensor. While the Phase isn’t quite that advanced, it does use the analog-style watch face in ways that Withings doesn’t.
The Activité models have a smaller dial set within the larger timepiece to show your daily activity progress, but the Phase has an activity mode so you can toggle between the standard watch face and the activity one. This makes the Phase a less obvious fitness tracker. The Phase has a color-coded vibration alert for notifications, so when you receive calls, texts, emails, or notifications from apps on your phone, a small light will appear on the watch face. This may not be that useful, because you can’t take action on your wrist, but the notifications will alert you to check your phone.
Like the Activité, the Phase tracks step, sleep, and swims. Both have long-lasting replaceable batteries—the Phase lasts about six months.
One distinguishing feature in the Phase is its Smart Button mode, which Misfit is carrying over from its Flash Link device. With the press of a button, you can control your music, take selfies with your phone, or control your smart home devices. The Link functionality was customizable in a stand-alone app but those features will soon be moved into Misfit’s flagship app.
I haven’t tested out the Misfit Phase yet to see how it stacks up to other Misfit devices like the Ray, and to other analog-style fitness trackers like the Withings Activité. Stay tuned for a full review before the Phase goes on sale on Nov. 7.