Review: Misfit Shine

Misfit Wearables | Activity Tracker | $ 119.95

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With the introduction of the iPhone 5s, a M7 chip was shown to the audience.  The chip was said to be the end all of fitness trackers as it allowed the iPhone itself to become a fitness tracker.  That hasn’t stopped companies from coming out with new fitness trackers.  Misfit Wearables comes out with Shine, a crowdsourced activity tracker that hopes to be able to track your movements; even in areas where the iPhone can’t.  

In The Box

Misfit Wearables Shine
Battery
Battery Tray Opening Tool
Magnetic Clip
Wristband

InTheBox

Design

The design of the Shine is as simple as it gets.  It’s a curved, circular piece of anodized aluminum available in 4 colors: grey, black, topaz, and champagne; pictured is the grey colored Shine.  The anodized aluminum looks gorgeous and looks very premium, almost as if it were jewelry.  There are 12 LEDs around the edges equidistant from one another.

Design

On the rear of the Shine is a battery cover, also aluminum, as well as a 12 representing the top of the watch face.  This is the only part of the device that is plastic on the exterior, something tells me it doubles as an antenna as well.

Clip

The design of the Shine is actually quite gorgeous and matches the color and design of the iPhone very well.  When you have it on, it looks more like a decorative button (using the clip), or a piece of jewelry, like a bracelet.

Design: ★★★★

Features

What sets the Misfit apart from most other activity trackers is that there are multiple ways to wear the Shine.  The first way would be to clip it onto a piece of clothing you are wearing.  The Shine magnetically clips closed.  The magnet may be a little too strong for some applications though.

The second way you can wear it is by using the wristband.  The Shine comes with a sportband, but a leather watchband is also available for purchase separately.  The sportband isn’t damaged by water though, so it makes it more applicable for swimming.  Wearing it this way, the Shine feels like a slick watch design.

Watch

The automatic detection algorithms of the Shine are kind of limited overall.  It’ll detect motion of most types and do a relatively nice job doing it, but it does have its imperfections.  Misfit defines 1000 of its points as 1.5 hours of walking.  However, upon testing it, that didn’t quite ring true.  A 3 hour session of football, which consisted of 2.3 hours of “very active” activity only netted me 730 points.

Photo 1

Now, the Shine does have other modes it runs by, it can detect many things if you set them manually: cycling, swimming, tennis, basketball, and soccer are all activities it can track.  Depending on where you place the shine, your results will vary during these activities.  For example, if you are cycling, placing it on your wrist may have little use.  To tag an activity, you must set that activity in the Shine app then triple tap your shine and it’ll respond by setting off an array of lights upward.  This tagging also works for sleep tracking.

Photo 2

The last thing Shine can keep track of is your sleep.  This isn’t automatic unfortunately, and it would be nice if there was a way to make it automatic though.  It actually does a nice job keeping track of sleep for the most part.  Misfit has recently released an update to detect when you wake up better (later), but it still misses the mark at times.  Other times, you will have to manually tag sleep before you doze back off.

Photo 3

Now, the Shine also can function as a watch if you need it to.  Before or after you double tap the Shine, it’ll give you the time using a set of blinking lights.  It’ll light up 4 LEDs first to give you the basic watch face (12, 3, 6, and 9 are lit), then brightly light up the hour.  After that, the minutes hand will blink.  This timing mechanism takes a few seconds to start up to view the time.  Before or after you double tap the shine, it’ll also light up LEDs corresponding to your days progress. Whether the time comes first or second is a setting in the app.

The misfit shine does have a wide variety of features that it can adhere to.  Many of them the iPhone really wouldn’t suffice too well in.  Swimming, tennis, basketball, and soccer are all examples of this.  Personally, I wouldn’t have my iPhone on me while doing these activities.  With the shine, it feels more natural.  I personally don’t sleep with my iPhone, so the Shine functions as a better sleep tracker as well.

Although other activity trackers may have more activities and even be programmable.  Others will have more features in general.  The Shine does have a nice feature set.  At times, it may miss a tap or two which can be slightly frustrating.

Features: ★★★★½

Reuse

The Shine doesn’t come without any hiccups unfortunately.  For example, setting the activity before you do it might be difficult if you do more than one thing, or also want to track sleep as well as an activity.  It requires you to go into the app and switch what you’ll be tracking.  Then you’d have to triple tap to activate it.  The same thing would have to be done when you switch back.  If there was a way to tag a little easier, it would definitely be better.

Other than that, the watch face could be a little confusing to read at times.  If you glimpse up for a split second, you won’t catch the time and will have to re-double-tap and activate it.  The Shine may not always catch your taps either.

Despite these hiccups, the Shine does do what it was designed to do, track activity, pretty well.  On busy days, it tends to be no more than 10% off of the Pedometer app for the iPhone, that’s actually pretty good.  On non-busy days, it’ll read a little more than it should as any motion is detected and added to the daily total.  Overall though, I still feel that this product has good reuse value.

Reuse: ★★★★

Value

At nearly 120 dollars, the Shine isn’t the cheapest piece of hardware out there.  It does make for a great, minimalistic activity tracker though.  For a minimalist option that looks more like jewelry than it does an actual watch or clip, it’s a good option.  Like Apple, it makes compromises with form and function.  It’s not imperfect unfortunately and can be a bit of a hassle at times.  But if you’re looking to just keep track of your everyday movements without it being noticeable, this would be the direction to go.

Value: ★★★★½

Final Thoughts

Although the 5s has taken some of the pie from activity trackers, the trackers like the Shine have one key advantage over the 5s.  They can go where the 5s can’t.  This makes a huge difference.  Running in the rain, check.  Going into the pool, check.  Playing some ball, check.  The Shine is an activity tracker that incorporates form in for function.  It looks beautiful and is designed to work in a simplistic manner.

I’d like to thank Erin for the product sample.

Overall Score

★★★★½

Misfit Wearables Shine

 

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