In my quest to get my health on track in 2015, I was looking for an activity tracker that better fit my needs. After doing some research, I discovered Misfit. They have several great products, but the Shine had several features that really appealed to me. I was provided with a Misfit Shine in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
The Shine includes the base unit, a battery, a magnetic clip, and a wristband. The instructions are pretty basic, but it really doesn’t take much to get set up. The basic process is to install the battery, install the app on your phone, sync the device to your phone, put the Shine on, and get moving.
The Misfit Shine is about the size of a quarter and surprisingly thin. The front is a smooth surface that can be tapped to reveal a series of lights that show you your progress for the day and the current time. The back looks like a standard watch back with a logo. The edge has an indent which is how the wristband and magnetic clip attaches. The device is also magnetized so it can be used in combination with the clip to attach to any thin fabric or around shoe laces. You can also purchase a necklace that displays the Shine as a pendant or additional watch bands. They even have a Swarovski line on pre-order that is just gorgeous!
I initially wore the device as a watch. For the most part, this is an effective way to wear it for activity where you are not moving your arms a lot without also moving the rest of your body. I use the band primarily when I go for walks, but not much else except sleep tracking. I found it a bit faulty when I was sitting down and knitting. I gained steps while sitting still because my arm was moving in a way that the device was tricked into thinking I was walking. It also picked up some “steps” when I typed. This isn’t a fault limited to the Misfit Shine… I’ve had the same issue with other wrist-based tracking devices. Luckily Misfit offers lots of options for wearing it!
For me it turned out to be best worn with the clip for most everyday activities. It’s clipped right on to my bra about 75% of the time. This is discreet and gives me great accuracy on step count. As someone who also sleeps with a bra on, I was just able to leave it in place when I went to bed and it tracked my sleep too. The magnet is very strong and I’ve had no issues with it falling off. Even with the clip, the device is tiny enough that you can’t even see I’m wearing it. I don’t know about you, but I’m actually not keen on displaying my activity tracker on my wrist or hip for everyone to see… though I’ll be the first to admit that this is one of the most stylish ones I’ve seen. When I use my bike or elliptical, I find it tracks best attached to my shoe (clipped around my laces) or on the cuff of my pants or shorts.
I haven’t had much chance to test it out in actual swimming type activities, because… well… I don’t swim… and the weather has been too inconsistent here yet for me to be wading about with my son in the kiddie pool and running through sprinklers. I have been quite sweaty at times and also washed my hands when I was wearing the wristband though, so I can say that the Shine holds up well even after getting wet.
One negative is something many find to be an advantage… and even I have found some advantage in it. Unlike many popular activity trackers, the Misfit Shine runs on a single cell battery like you’d find in a watch. I personally prefer rechargeable options when it comes to most battery-operated products. I find rechargeable less wasteful and generally more convenient. I have run into a few instances when I forgot to recharge other devices and lost valuable information, so I also see the ability to just swap out the batteries as a plus. You can always keep the Shine going.
Another negative was a minor feature I didn’t really use much. It took a bit of practice to master the tapping on the Shine to show your step progress and the watch feature. The progress halo is great once it works, but I found the watch annoying. The watch may be handy if you are regularly wearing the Misfit Shine with the wristband, but I used the app to turn this feature off. It was too complicated to read the time quickly. It doesn’t use actual numbers, but instead uses lit dots to indicate hours and minutes. You can see the tapping, progress, and clock in the video demo below.
The app could use a little work, but they do seem to update regularly. I found it didn’t always sync as well as I’d like and the points system instead of steps was kind of odd to me. On the positive side, it provided the step information in clear graphs. I also love that it syncs with Lose It so my exercise doesn’t need to be tracked manually. Lose It converts the points into extra calories that I can eat. The sleep display confused me a bit. It seemed like my sleep times were broken up and some of the data seemed really off… like saying I slept 12 hours one day. I think it is occasionally mistaking an occasional reading session as sleep.
Overall, even with a few faults, it’s my favorite activity tracker to date. The versatility in the number of ways to wear it and accessories available make it fun. They also offer the Shine in a lot of colors for when to want to show it off. I like that it does the basics that I need… activity and sleep… in a discreet device that I can wear and forget about. The ability to sync with weight loss sites also makes it even more convenient. It’s a solid device that I recommend you taking a closer look at in your quest for the tracker that suits you.
I struggled a bit with how to rate this one. If I did half-stars, I might have done a 3½ star rating but just a few minor improvements to the syncing of the app and the tapping response would make it a solid 4 stars. I opted to rate 4 today, because the app isn’t the device… though it does admittedly play an important role. For me, the battery-operated aspect takes away a star… but if you like the idea of not needing to recharge then you could consider this a very solid 4-5 star device.
Pros: Accurate activity and sleep tracking in a small package. Multiple accessories and can be worn just about anywhere from head to toe. Several stylish colors from basic black to bright cobalt.
Cons: Wrist wear may not be as accurate. Battery operated. App needs work.
Misfit invents and manufactures wearable and smart home products. Shine is the elegant activity and sleep tracker that inspires you to live an active life. Designed to give you motivation at a glance, Shine emits a halo of lights that show progress toward your daily activity goal. Find out how active you are everyday, and set goals to improve. Shine’s long-lasting battery and automatic wireless syncing mean you’ll spend less time plugging in and more time moving. ($99.99)