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Misfit’s latest fitness tracker is a touch-screen circle of serious smarts

And it looks pretty cool, too

Misfit – doesn’t it make that pretty Shine fitness tracker?

It does indeed, and we rather like it. Which is why we’re quite excited about the Vapor – it’s first attempt at a proper, fitness-focussed smartwatch.

So it’s just a Shine with a screen?

Not quite. While it’s kept the circular shape that made the Shine stand out from the crowd – as well as the striking red progress ring around the edge – almost everything else about the Vapor is different. Where previous Misfit models went for stylish simplicity, the Vapor is all about smarts.

Misfit makes a proper fitness smartwatch

What, so it’s an ugly genius?

Oh, no, it’s still a pretty thing to behold – it just also happens to have some seriously cool features. That dark grey ring around the touchscreen AMOLED display, for example, is a virtual bezel that works as a touch wheel. It’s properly reach-out-and-touch-it intuitive.

OK, so it’s fun to touch, but I’m more Bear Grylls than Jony Ive. Can I take it off-grid?

Absolutely: for all the Vapor’s clever input tech, it’s not shirking on substance. Water resistant to 50 metres, the Vapor packs phone-free GPS and a two-day battery life – not to mention its abilities as a standalone music player.

We’ll want to test that battery life in real-world conditions, but it does pitch the Vapor as a well-equipped rival to the likes of the Moto 360.

It’s a pretty cool ticker, then. What about my ticker?

It’ll measure that, too. An in-built heart rate monitor should add useful data to its sleep and activity tracking abilities – and, given the form of Misfit’s previous efforts, those should be pretty stellar indeed.

That’s all well and good – but why the funny name?

Supposedly it’s inspired by the notifications that appear on-screen and then dissolve away – such as when you hit your daily goal. Want one? It’s supposed to hit shelves later this year at the price of US$199 – with a UK price soon to be announced.