Nixon Mission is the chunkiest, most rugged smartwatch yet

All the usual Android Wear goodness in enormous, extreme sports-friendly casing from a proper watch brand

Watch Glastonbury Baselworld 2016 kicks off today, and new smartwatches are thin on the ground. But keeping the torch burning for "Android Wear watches made by 'proper' watch brands" is the Nixon Mission. And it's huge!

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With a 48mm casing, the Nixon Mission is not just big width-wise, it's also got a LOT of girth. It's tough as nails and, as you can see here, both waterproof to 100m AND bouyant. The face is one of a choice of four Nixon-exclusive designs at your disposal.

We're talking G-Shock degrees of chunkiness and toughness. Nay, we're talking Ross Kemp on Gangs level hardness. This smartwatch is TUFF. And X-Treme.

As well as the usual Android Wear notifications and activity/fitness tracking there's a touchscreen that can be used with wet fingers.

The sensor array is a litte larger than usual as well, with the standard GPS, compass, gyrometer and accelometer being joined by humidity sensors,thermometer, altimeter, and barometer. That should also make it a more than competent running watch, though there's no pulse monitor here.

Interestingly, Nixon has not been stingy with the rest of the spec. The 1.4-inch AMOLED screen is market leading, thanks to a 200x200 resolution. That's better than TAG-Heuer's Connected Watch. Will it be market leading by the time it goes on sale in October? Almost certainly not, but at least Nixon is trying.

A Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 powers the Mission on its mission, with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. Connectivity isBluetooth 4.1/Low Energy andN Wi-Fi at 2.4GHz only.

The 400MmAh battery should give "more than a day" of battery life. But you probably will need to charge it nightly, because of course you will.

We only got to look at this subliminally briefly yesterday, at the pre-show, but should have a proper hands on today. Initial impressions are that if you favour the chunkier timepiece, this is the best Android Wear device to date. Of course, if you want something dressier, or you have tiny, stick-like wrists, it's a complete non-starter.

At any rate, it's good to see Android Wear appearing in new looks, for new settings; it was in danger of settling into a holding pattern of pleasant-enough, non-descript, mid-sized watches.

Pricing is TBC but we reckon it'll be about £300-£350 when it launches 'at Nixon stores'. Whether that turns out to be an exclusive arrangement remains to be seen.

Duncan Bell

Duncan is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."