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Misfit Path

The Misfit Path is a stylish watch with fitness tracking and a few smarts built in. All of those smarts are hidden inside though, as this is a hybrid watch that outwardly looks like an analog watch. 

While many of the best smartwatches go smarter, they tend to go bigger as well. The Misfit Path stays svelte, and that size combined with its aesthetics are really what will sell this watch.

At $149.99 / £135 / AU$195.25, the Misfit Path is priced close to smarter competition like the $199.99 / £185 / AU$279.59 Misfit Vapor, which has a similar build but runs a full Wear OS smartwatch operating system. 

Meanwhile the equally priced Misfit Command goes with a slightly bigger but similar build, and has a more detailed watchface.

It’s looks and small-wrist-friendly build help carve out a place for for the Misfit Path on the wrists of shoppers looking for a snazzy watch that does a bit more. It manages to upstage basic watches without getting mired in all the features and specs of a more advanced smartwatch. But, shoppers looking for the most smarts for their money won’t find it here.

Design

The design is easily the best thing going for the Misfit Path. It has an elegant, minimalist look paired with precise construction that means it looks like it's well worth the money.

The main watch body is simple and circular, with thin metal hoops, extending from each side for the watchbands to loop through. The hoops fit a thin 16mm band, and our review model came with a black, silicone sport strap. 

Misfit offers a number of different color combinations, all sticking to just a few color tones. The Stainless Steel version we have sticks with a matte gray steel frame with glossy steel on the back (where a screw-on plate covers up the battery compartment), the two physical buttons, and a thin strip circling the watch face. 

The watch hands, time markers, and Misfit logo at 12 o’clock are also all that same glossy steel. Meanwhile the back of the watch face matches the matte steel of the body. The other color models similar match a few different tones for a simple but elegant look.

While the small size will be good for some, this is definitely not a watch for folks with large wrists. We can’t comfortably go tighter than the third notch. On the plus side, it feels light and low-profile compared to a lot of the other smartwatches we’ve tested.

The silicone strap has a nice smooth finish that doesn’t drag on the skin or tug arm hairs like some cheaper bands can. The clasp of the watch has a quick-release pin that we can’t quite make sense of and that unfortunately positions it to press uncomfortably into the underside of our wrist.

As a wearable, and a fitness-tracking one at that, Misfit has made sure the Path can stand up to what you might encounter. It’s rated for swimming to depths of 50 meters. 

The glass doesn’t shown any signs of wear after our testing, though also doesn’t appear to have any oleophobic coating. Our fingerprints quickly gather on the front of the watch.

The only other downside to the design is that it’s not so useful in the dark. Though the time markers are reflective and watch hands have white strips along them, we couldn’t see any glow, and there’s no built-in light.

The initial setup of the Misfit Path can take a little bit of time, but from there everything is fairly simple.

The accelerometer inside helps it track steps and activity, although you shouldn't expect it to automatically recognize different fitness activities. 

You can set up a long press of the Smart Button to tag a certain activity, like swimming or yoga, that you do regularly, or you can tag activities in the Misfit app. For some activities, it’s only keep track of the time you were active, though there is a paid, Speedo-branded add-on to the app for more advanced lap tracking. 

Checking your steps is as easy as pressing the top right button, which will then turn the watch hands to indicate your steps (measured as a percentage of the goal you’ve set in the app). 

The tracking is not particularly specialist like you'd get from a serious fitness tracker, but it works for those who want to track the odd bit of exercise. The Misfit Path can also give occasional reminders to get up and move, which it does by vibrating and flapping the minute and hour hands like bird wings.

The Misfit Path also offers basic sleep tracking. It will help you know how long you’ve slept, and it differentiates between deep and light sleep. Without more sensors, it’s not the most impressive sleep tracking, and we don’t think much of it. 

If you wake up feeling groggy and see you've tossed and turned all night in the app, the information could be somewhat helpful. On the plus side, you can track every night, since you don’t have to charge the Path daily.

The Smart Button is pretty much the Misfit Path’s only claim to being smart, as it gives the watch a number of extra ways to interact with your phone. It recognizes taps, double taps, triple taps, and long presses, giving you four options for what it can do. 

We find the Music Remote feature useful and reliable. The Activity Tracker mode oddly only assigns a function to the long press. There’s also a setting for controlling your smartphone camera shutter or controlling a slideshow presentation.

We find the custom setting to be most useful, as it allows a combination of existing controls, so we can assign activity tagging and media control at the same time. 

Adventurous users can even link it with the IFTTT app for fancy automation or Logitech’s Harmony smart home app. Or, you can set it up to help you find your phone. In those automation cases though, the smarts are really happening off the watch, with the Path only serving as a trigger.

One extra bit of smarts comes in the form of notifications. The Misfit Path can vibrate when you receive a notification on your phone. And, if you set it up, you can have it point to a specific time on the watch face to indicate which app or contact the notification is coming from. 

While some may find this handy, it is difficult to remember that the 9 o’clock notification means a phone call while 2 o’clock is Facebook Messenger and 3 o’clock is that spam caller we should never answer for. That said, you'll likely get used to this over time.

All told, the performance is nothing dazzling, but the watch works as a watch, and it goes a bit further with some handy extra features. Despite the limited performance, the Path earns bonus points for how long it can run on a single battery.

The Misfit Path uses a standard CR205 watch battery, and that’s estimated to last up to six months. We’ve had it running for close to two months, and it’s still ticking right along. 

Compared to the one-day wonders that are most full-blown smartwatches, the Misfit Path’s battery life is dazzling.

Verdict

The Misfit Path is not as smart as some other hybrid watches and not as capable as other fitness trackers, but it still has a niche where it can stand out. It’s small and beautifully crafted, and it looks just like a normal watch.

Anyone who just wants a good looking watch at a fair price has a good option in the Misfit Path, especially since it adds in the minor suite of smarts that make it more useful than any old watch and pairs that with a battery you’ll rarely have to think about.

Anyone who likes the design but really wants a smarter watch should look instead at the Misfit Vapor or the Skagen Falster 2. If you like everything you’ve heard about the Misfit Path but wish it came in a bigger size, you can always look at the Misfit Phase.

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