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 has been writing about tech for almost 15 years and fitness ever since he became middle aged and realised he could no longer rely solely on his boyish good looks. He 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."
Pre-lockdown Duncan was widely regarded as the best-dressed man ever to work for T3 – admittedly not saying much. Post-lockdown he is looking forward to wearing clothes other than shorts and hoodies again very soon, assuming he can still fit into them. He currently writes about cycling, fitness tech that isn’t too heavy, and all things kitchen and home related.