Misfit Shine activity tracker review

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The Misfit Shine is the latest device in a string of pedometer / activity trackers that I’ve had the opportunity to put through their paces – see what I did there? ;) The Shine was a successful crowdfunded Indiegogo project last year that has since started selling to the general public. It’s a uniquely styled device that looks more like a piece of futuristic jewelry than a gadget that tracks your steps and sleep. I’ve been wearing the Misfit Shine on my wrist and in my pocket for the last couple of weeks. Let’s see if it has what it takes to become my new favorite activity tracking gadget.

Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.

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Package Contents

Misfit Shine activity tracker
2 CR2032 coin cell batteries
Opening tool
Magnetic clasp
Sports band wrist strap

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The Shine is made of aerospace grade aluminum, which fits right in with the fact that it looks like a miniature flying saucer right down to the ring of lights around the edge. 1,560 laser-drilled holes allow light to shine through while keeping water out. The Shine is water-resistant for swimming and showering, but isn’t waterproof.

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The tracker runs on a standard CR2032 coin cell battery which lasts about 4 months.  That in itself is a huge thumbs up because remembering to charge an activity tracker every other day or so can be a huge pain. Misfit even includes an extra battery so you won’t be caught without a spare the first time you need a replacement.

Opening the Shine is easy with the included tool. Just put the little wedge blade in the slot on the device and pop it open.

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Inside you’ll find… well nothing really. I think the Shine runs on unicorn breath or something equally mysterious.

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The coin cell battery fits in the “lid” and is held there with a magnet. Snap the two pieces back together and you’re ready to get active.

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You can put the Shine in your pocket or attach one of the two included holders which feature a rubber loop that fits in the groove around the edge of the tracker.

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During my review of the Shine, I either carried the tracker in my pocket or I used the included sports band.

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I usually find sports bands to be uncomfortable, but I had zero issues with the one included with the Shine. Even sleeping with it caused no discomfort at all. If you don’t like the rubber sports band, there’s a leather band option and even a necklace that you can buy separately for $79.95 each.

Using the device is very easy. Basically you put it on and that’s it. To see your progress you just tap the top of the tracker with your finger. When you do, the ring of LEDs will light up. The more LEDs that illuminate, the farther you’ve progressed towards your daily goal. After the Shine shows your progress, it then displays the time of day by first shining the LED at the 12 o’clock position, then the current hour position and finally the current minute position, which blinks for a few seconds before the LEDs fade off.

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The Shine uses a high precision 3-axis accelerometer to track your activities including walking, running, sleeping, swimming and cycling. To set your daily goal, you’ll need to use the iOS application. I was bummed to find out that there isn’t an Android app for the Shine yet.

Goals are based on points, with the default set to 1000. Basically for every 100 steps you walk, you earn 10 points, so the default goal is 10,000 steps per day. You can change this to be as low as 100 points which would be 10 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running or 5 minutes of swimming.  The highest goal that can be set is 9900 points, which would require you to walk 16.5 hours, run 5.5 hours or swim for 7.5 hours. I’m exhausted just thinking about that, so I stick with the default of 1000 points which means if I fulfill the daily goal, I end up walking for 2 hours.

To sync your info from the Shine to the app, you don’t have to use Bluetooth, WiFi, a cable or press any buttons. All you do is place the tracker on the screen and wait a few seconds till it’s done transferring the data. It couldn’t be easier.

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The app allows you to view the stats in a simple format. By default it shows you your points earned for the day, which translates to steps when you tap the circle.  The app also shows your burned calories and distance walked.

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When you swipe up on the screen you’re presented with a graph that displays your active times throughout the day. Tiles can be tapped to drill down to even more info about the active times.

In addition to activities like walking and running, the Misfit Shine can also track your sleep. All you have to do is wear it to bed and triple tap the device before you go to sleep and do the same thing in the morning. The sleep data it provides isn’t as detailed as some of the other trackers I’ve tried, but it’s still useful to help you see trends.

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Speaking of trends, you can view a breakdown of your activity for the week as well.

Let’s watch a little demo that shows the syncing feature, tapping to see current goal status, the clock feature and putting it in sleep tracking mode…

The Misfit Shine has a very cool vibe, from its physical design to the way you interact with it. I really like it, but being the Android person that I am, it isn’t the ideal tracker for me at this time due to the lack of an Android app. Also the lack of a heart rate monitor and a full display that shows my actual steps causes me to stick to my current favorite tracker – the Withings Pulse. I will be keeping an eye on the Misfit Shine though as I am curious how they will improve it as time goes by. What is your current favorite activity tracker and why?

 

Product Information

Price:$119.95
Manufacturer:Misfit Wearables
Requirements:
  • iOS device
Pros:
  • Small
  • Easy to use
  • Tracks activity and sleep
  • Battery lasts for 4 months
Cons:
  • Syncing application only available for iOS at this time
Posted in: Health, Fitness, Sports, Reviews

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Nilay Shah September 28, 2013, 9:37 am

    I had the Shine for a couple weeks and then lost it. Sadly, it kept popping out of the wrist band :( I went back to my FitBit. Also, at only $60, it was easy to convince a number of friends to also buy the fitbit. The social aspect (“competition”) of watching each other’s activity through the app or website make the Fitbit more useful for me.

  • Xfader September 29, 2013, 8:14 pm

    I use my iPod nano with a Hex metal watch band.The Shine looks nice,but as
    @Nilay Shine said,it’s easy to lose.

  • Betty Widerski September 30, 2013, 8:11 am

    I have one of the Kickstarter Shines, but I haven’t used it much due to a couple of things:

    1. The reported calories used is off by a factor of 8-10x (e.g., so far in 3 hrs this morning it reports I’ve taken 1400 steps, which is about right, but that I have expended 1402 calories, which is ridiculous).

    2. I’ve had a Nike Fuelband since their pre-release and I’m much happier with its instant digital display of time and steps. Although that complexity comes with a price: I’m now waiting for my 2nd replacement as over the weekend it suddenly displayed a “plug me in” icon, which then told me it had an “801 error” so I must exchange it for a new one. Thus at the moment I’m wearing my Shine again!

  • Julie Strietelmeier September 30, 2013, 8:17 am

    @Betty the calorie expenditure might me right if you are wearing 50 lb shoes ;)
    I’m back to just wearing my el’junko Cummins Healthspan pedometer. No buttons to press and no batteries to charge. I can look down at anytime and see the number of steps I’ve walked on it’s mono LCD.

  • Phyllis January 9, 2014, 4:52 pm

    My teenage son lost his tracker disk after just 5 days (while he was sleeping at a friend’s) and it has never been found. It apparently popped out of his wristband, which indicates that this is a BAD DESIGN, no matter how “smart and stylish” it looks. If it can’t stay on during sleep, how is it supposed to stay on during activities? I am thoroughly disappointed in the product and the company, since my two e-mails to them have not been answered. I DO NOT recommend it. T

  • Scott February 5, 2014, 9:41 am

    Had mine 2 weeks and lost it.

  • Chris October 22, 2014, 10:46 pm

    Highly anticipated purchase but pot design. My son also just wore it for 2 weeks and lost during sleep over after it popped out. Terrible and very disappointed.

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