Misfit Shine Review - Looks aren't everything

It doesn't look like your ordinary fitness tracker, but it sure fits the bill nicely

By Jared DiPane on 27 Feb 2014 04:19 pm
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From Indiegogo to Apple Retail Stores, the folks at Misfit Wearables have already had quite the success story. Over the course of the last year or so, the wearables space has grown big time and fitness trackers have flooded the market. Standing out is not easy, but there is something special about the Shine that makes it different — and it isn't just the design.

From tracking your run to swimming and everything in between, the Shine is great at what is does. But is the Shine the perfect fitness tracker for you? Let's take a full look at it to see how it performs.


Design

When I first laid eyes on the Shine I had no idea what the device was. It didn't have a display on the front and it just kind of looked like an oddly colored quarter. This immediately interested me as many of the other trackers on the market currently are either a clasp-on type device or a bracelet style piece that wraps around your wrist. Misfit Wearables understands that not everyone is going to use the device in the same way though and they showed that through their design thoughts.

The tracker itself is a standalone piece and they offer a whole line of accessories to insert the tracker into. On the front is a series of LED's that line the outside of the circle. These LED's are used to show you the time and your progress by simply double tapping on the front of the display.

When looking at the tracker from the side you will notice there is a ridge in the middle — this is how it is held in place in the accessories. Whether you want to use the wrist band, belt clasp, leather bracelet or even the necklace, the tracker easily slips in and out and stays secure no matter what activity you are doing that day.

On the bottom there is a small logo, but the back is actually removable. They have opted to make the back come off because unlike many other trackers on the market, this does not feature a rechargeable battery. Instead it runs off a small watch battery that lasts much longer. Personally I prefer having it set up this way as the tracker lasts around 3 months on a single battery, then a few dollars and you are set to go for another few months.

 

Features

Fitness trackers all have the same goal in mind on the surface — they collect information in hopes of motivating you to help achieve your goal. Unfortunately many trackers on the market do just an okay job of this, but not an excellent one because they are unable to track all types of activities. When it comes to the Shine however, I think they have the best range of activity tracking available and they do so in a fun way as well.

Much like the Nike Fuelband SE, the Shine is a point-based tracker where you set a goal for yourself that is more than just a number of steps. When setting up the tracker you will be asked to pick a goal and they give you a breakdown of what it would take to hit each goal for the day. Whether you are out walking, running, swimming, skiing or even dancing, the Shine will be able to monitor your activity level and let you know how the activity went.

In addition to monitoring your levels, the Shine also monitors the time when you are least active — your sleep. A quick triple tap on the top of the device will activate the sleep tracking mode and then when you wake up, another triple tap will end it. After syncing the tracker you will be able to see your total length of sleep as well as how much of it was spent in a deep sleep.

 

Mobile Application

The companion application for the Shine is great. From the design to the functionality, the folks at Misfit Wearables have nailed the application and given an amazing user experience. All of the information you want to see is presented as soon as you open the application, and a few taps can bring you back in time and show you even more info.

When first launching the application you will be presented with your progress for that day. At the top there is a large circle which will fill up with orange lines as you move closer to your goal. In the center of the circle is the number of points you have earned already for that day and, if you tap inside the circle, you will then be able to see how many steps you have taken, how many calories you burned as well as a total distance for the day. Beneath this is a graph of your activity, showing peaks for active times and smaller hills for less active time. If you scroll down beneath that you will see what time you woke up that day, when you started your active times, when you hit your goal, and when you went to sleep that evening.

On the top of the application are little icons for you to be able to access your friends tab to keep up with them and see how they are doing, as well as seeing how you compare to all users who have opted into the world feed.

Over to the left is the menu button which allows you to access and adjust your goal, view a few simple settings of your Shine as well as access account information. 

 

Go get active!

With so many activity trackers on the market it is hard to know which one is the best. For some they want to be able to wear it on their wrist, while others want it hidden so others don't know they are doing it. Some people will use it to track running while others will be swimming laps or tracking dance classes. There is no fitness tracker that is perfect for everyone but the Misfit Wearables Shine shows that it is a true contender.

Allowing you to pick and choose how you want to wear the device depending on the activity is a huge advantage. It can be worn as a necklace with your dress or clipped to your sock during soccer and it will still continue to properly track your activity. Available in a variety of colors and being powered by a replaceable battery that lasts for months at a time makes it extremely appealing.

Coming in priced at $99 keeps it competitive with the rest of the trackers out there and also makes it a great value. The accessories range in price from $20 to $50 depending on what you want, but the option of having different pieces to slip the tracker in is definitely priceless.

In a space that is really crowded, trying to stand out is hard but the folks at Misfit Wearables have done a great job and created an excellent product to help you on your fitness journey.

More info / Purchase Misfit Shine

Reader comments

Misfit Shine Review - Looks aren't everything

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Looks interesting but it doesn't have very good reviews on Amazon.

Posted via the Android Smartwatch Fans App!

It's nice, and I kind of like the look. I even considered getting one, as I'm looking for a nice fitness tracker. But the lack of a display and lack of support for WP pretty much killed it for me. At least for now.

Looks great. Thanks for the review. I'm glad that Smartwatch Fans is covering what I'm going to dub "smartwatch-adjacent wearables." I'm about a year into my Fitbit Flex, but it looks like the Shine could be a worthy competitor. I like the long-lasting battery. The thing might look weird on a wrist, but it's nice to know I don't have to wear it on my wrist.

I'd be a little concerned about the accuracy of a tracker that can be worn anywhere. Fitbit seems to have a pretty sophisticated algorithm for figuring out when I'm walking and when I'm just moving my arms around. In fact, in the Flex settings, I can even tell it whether I'm wearing it on my dominant or non-dominant wrist. I don't know if it actually does anything differently, but the idea that it might is kind of mind-blowing. (If you're curious, Flex is on my dominant wrist. The non-dominant wrist is occupied by Pebble.)

Another thing that will probably keep me with Fitbit (the Flex or a different device) is the network effect. I've got a small circle of eight to ten friends and family that I follow on Fitbit and interact with there, as well as a slightly larger group that are on MyFitnessPal, which pulls data from Fitbit.

Thanks for the review!