Nixon The Mission Android Wear guide

Everything you need to know about the rugged new Android Wear smartwatch

Nixon's first ever Android Wear Watch, The Mission (yes, that's what it's called) was officially unveiled at Baselworld. The US watch brand joined the Google party with a super-water resistant and GPS rocking smartwatch and you can pre-order now from $400.

It's an adventurers' best friend that's instantly going to get compared to Casio's rugged Android Wear watch.

Essential reading: Nixon The Mission review

Here are all the nitty gritty details you need to know about the newest member of the Android Wear family.

Nixon The Mission: Design

Nixon Android Wear

If you were hoping for something slim to wear around the wrist, then much like Casio's Android Wear number, that's not what you're going to get with The Mission. There's a 48mm polycarbonate watch case with Gorilla Glass adding an extra layer of durability.

On a more positive note, the full colour AMOLED screen, is in fact a full circle. No flat black tyre at the bottom of the screen to see here folks. There's also a raised stainless steel bezel in tow to protect the touchscreen from damage.

To add to its rugged prowess, Nixon's Wear watch is military grade dust and shock resistant. It's also slapped with a 10 ATM water resistance rating so it can be submerged up to 100m. That's 50 more metres than the Casio Android Wear watch can manage in the watery depths in case you were wondering.

While it's a serious piece of smartwatch, buyers will also be able to customise Nixon's The Mission look with a selection of clip on coloured casings, and a selection of watch faces mirror the company's line up of analogue watches is available on the digital display, which is a nice touch. There's also over 20 silicon watch straps and over 15 different bezels to choose from including gunmetal and gold options.

In fact, Nixon claims there are 44,000 possible combinations when it comes to your chosen style.

Nixon The Mission: The sensors

Nixon The Mission guide

One thing The Mission is not short of is sensors. For starters, it capitalises on the Casio's lack of GPS, which can be used for surfing, skiing and will work with any Android Wear app, meaning you can hook it up with your favourite running or cycling tracker.

But there's more. You also get a altimeter, barometer, thermometer, compass, gyrometer, accelerometer and humidity sensors. It's well equipped for monitoring your terrain and are all accessible by Android Wear apps.

Nixon The Mission: Android Wear

Speaking of Android Wear, The Mission will support Google smartwatch optimised platform including giving you access to download and install apps from the Google Play Store.

Nixon is also bundling a couple of its own bespoke apps to take full advantage of the onboard sensors. The Nixon Mission app will deliver real time surf and snow conditions while the Trace app will let you attach a puck to surf or snowboard to track speed, distance and time spent.

Powering Android Wear will be Qualcomm's brand new Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor. We've already covered in a bit more detail the benefits of the new Wear chipset. Ultimately, it should improve battery performance and sensor performance.

Nixon The Mission: The extras

Another nifty feature is the voice mic, which sits behind a plastic clip on the left of the case to maintain that 10 ATM rating. The company told us that the mic is designed so you don't have to take your phone out when you're skiing, risking dropping it, or having the battery annihilated by the cold temperatures.

Nixon has also teamed up with GoreTex to create a water resistant membrane to keep the mic splashproof when you're using the built-in mic.

"All of our watches have to meet a high standard of durability and water resistance and for many of these participants, a fragile smartwatch is useless," said Tyson White, vice president of product at Nixon.

Nixon The Mission: Battery life

Battery life is where the Nixon really falls down, as we found in our review. Conservatively, you're looking at a day and a half, and maybe two days if you're using it less intensively.

We found that GPS had a big bearing on the battery too. Unfortunately this thing won't last a day of hiking in the hills.

Nixon The Mission: Price and release date

The Mission is available right now on Amazon and Nixon's site, costing from ‚ā¨400, which undercuts the Casio by a solid $100.

What do you think?

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  • yogibimbi·

    Missed opportunity indeed. No GPS, no outdoor cred.

    • yogibimbi·

      But good to see the competition is heating up. Casio being the only game in town would have been detrimental to tough watches, as Casio and Suunto seem to have had the market to themselves for the last 200 years or so, with innovation coming mostly in baby steps or, in the case of Casio, homeopathic doses.

      • mkdotam·

        What about Garmin? 

        • yogibimbi·

          I was talking about the last 20 years. Garmin's outdoor watches have been around for, what?, 2 years?

    • Pablo·

      it does have standalone GPS

    • yogibimbi·

      also, in all fairness, this watch focuses on surf and downhill, and when was the last time you needed GPS while surfing or downhill? The kind of disorientation you may suffer while partaking in those two activities can most probably not be remedied by GPS...

      • SurfingSamurai·

        True, although I've been using the Garmin Fenix 3 for tracking my surfing and snowboarding and having the ability to map my tracks (both in the water and on the mountain) is a really great feature. Enables me to analyse the drift I experience from currents or pinpoint locations of rips that can either be useful (to take me out back) or dangerous (sweep me out to sea). 

  • Pw1·

    Nice is this the first smartwatch to use the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100, let's hope Non rugged androidwear Smartwatches from motorola,  Sony & Huawei uses the new chip & a few mm thinner.

    • Dlon·

      The new Fossil smartwatches utilise the Snapdragon 2100 and are more geared towards fashion than sports

  • Gadgety·

    Not particularly attrative looks but 10ATM and temperature sensor are attractive. Since it'll be used in water I'd much prefer wireless charging.

    • Gadgety·

      And yes no GPS seems very odd.

      • Pablo·

        it does have GPS - I checked the Nixon official press release.  The Wareable article is wrong....

        • s.charara·

          hi, we have seen the phrase "GPS maps and navigation" in the video but no confirmation in a release yet. We're seeing Nixon today at Baselworld so we'll check and update this story. 

        • j.stables·

          Spoken to Nixon out at Baselworld, and it does have fully fledged GPS, which is great news. The fact it wasn't mentioned in any of our materials made us suspicious it wasn't there. They really should be shouting about this great addition more. Anyway, story has been updated and thanks for pointing out the error.

  • Pablo·


    • j.stables·

      Yep, replied to your comment above...

  • yogibimbi·

    Now, with the GPS update and the microphone, I can feel a nerdgasm coming on. Where do I have to camp out to get one? And 400 USD? That's my girl!

  • GDawg·

    Unless I'm missing some holy grail watch somewhere, I'm still waiting for the smartwatch with the following:

    1. Decent Battery Life
    2. GPS
    3. Music
    4. Water Resistant

    The only thing that's come remotely close is the Moto 360 sport, or Sony SW3 and they still aren't perfect. WTF?

    • yogibimbi·

      You should re-read the article then. It's been updated and all your wishes have been heard. Plus, there is -meters. Lots of them.

    • surfbum1983·

      I have the gear s2 classic and put a metal band on it. At end of a day battery is at 50% or better it has a GPS but I leave turned off, It has a speaker and standalone music or music from phone. It is IP68 water and dust resistant. I do like this Nixon but mine with metal band is hard to beat.

      • Junkie·

        IP68 is not waterproof at all. There is just no comparison. I just wish the mission isn't using androidwear. I don't need the ability to install any other apps. I just need the battery to last a few days.

  • josess·

    por la imagen parece no traer pulsometro HR incorporado,¬Ņ alguien que nos diga que tiene el reloj?

    the image appears to not bring HR heart rate monitor built, someone has to tell us that the clock?

    i can¬īt believa that nixo forgot put a HEART RATE HR in the watch, PAINFUL,¬†

    Many people will buy other watch that have HR, it is priority today , and int the future, other watch have also UV SOLAR AND DREAM REMINDER

    • stellar-jay·

      Optical HR monitors on all smart watches are gimmicky at best and completely useless at worst. They do no provide an accurate resting HR and rarely work very well during activities, better to get a bluetooth connected HR sensor that you can wirelessly connect to the watch, use in an app, and strap in a better location to get better readings.

  • Valkat·

    Looks nice but also thick. 

    • harlizzle·

      that's what she said

      • Tsunos·

        OMg troll

  • Chris316·

    cool thing but since i want a smartwatch for fishing i guess i have to wait until casio releases the f10 in europe -.-

  • joose·

    A slight correction: 10 ATM or 100m water resistance does NOT mean the watch can stand being submerged to 100 meters in normal conditions. Because movement in water increases its pressure, 10 ATM basically means it should be fine to do non-competitive swimming (or surfing) with it. 20+ ATM is recommended for actual diving.

  • peagreen·

    Nice. Sign up for the newsletter and receive 10% discount code.

    Unfortunately the code expires 30 days after it's issued.

    This doesn't change the fact that this is the best smartwatch news I've read for years. Built-in GPS and suitable for swimming make this just what I've been looking for and it doesn't have that ridiculous "flat tyre" effect. LG proved this isn't necessary so why any company still produces watches that have it goes beyond my comprehension.

    Roll on October and I shall be wearing a new watch.

  • manny_calavera·

    It's slowly getting interesting.  The battery life is still too short though.  Come back when it's 2 weeks plus - this is something a Suunto or a Garmin watch can do without breaking a sweat (always on, full phone notifications, gps off).

  • Mrarmyant·

    does anyone know about pressure sensors for this? Would be awesome to have an app where this could double as a dive computer. 

    • stellar-jay·

      ATM10 is not suitable for diving, you could potentially reach 10ATM pressure just falling from a jetski. 20+ATM is recomended for scuba 

      • specialKay·

        my suunto d4i dive computer is ATM10 - and it is clearly intended for diving

  • Voolar·

    I was hoping to buy this for my wife... but she won't get on with the Silicon Band.  Does this watch take standard straps...?

  • AaHhff·

    Can I use alle kind of watchfaces or only the few predefined watchfaces?

  • Georgegarus·

    Ordered today .  I'm a big fan of rough watches ,  gshock,  luminox. I never jump to smart watch ,  because all looks girly (no water resistant? !  Just dust and some drops ? !  WTF) 

    I use bike for daily use to work and Enduro MTB,  some times very difficult to use smart phone to change music or see maps directions while biking or driving.  Let's see how this little toy works . 

    . . .this days  will be a long days. 

  • Chaseum·

    what do you lose with iPhone 7?

    • CLStech·

      surf & snow forecasts are not on the iPhone7 but Updates are in the works.

  • DKM67·

    Will this device receive texts in the water whilst surfing, or does it need to be in bluetooth range?

  • NixonFan·

    Could someone tell me how the live surf updates work? I know it is linked to Surfline. But does the watch need to be paired with your phone to connect to the internet and receive the weather and surf updates? For example, will I still be able to see real time surf conditions on my watch while I am out surfing but phone is at home?

  • mattb·

    I just got one of these watches and even though the sales blub states, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, compass, gyrometer, accelerometer and humidity sensors, I can't find any standard Nixon watch faces that show any of that data on screen, or available as an additional app. This is very disappointing.

    • salomon·

      Hi, I just can join the opinion. I bought this watch also for this reason and didn't find any way to see it.  

      • geogbo·


        I have the exact same problem. I thought ( wrongly it seems ) that if all those sensors are marketed they will be available in a Nixon face.
        Now I have spent 2 days looking for a way to see those values.

        Although I have partially managed to get readings those are in horrible faces and they are not complete, not to mention that they are not cheap.

        Anyone has managed to get some faces to see these sensors ?

  • Brianmontross·

    can I talk into it on a phone call

  • janvex·

    someone that explain to me, how can I put music in my nixon mission?