Published on September 20th, 2013 | by Greg0
Sleek, Stylish, But A Bit Too Minimal: The Misfit Shine
See if you can connect the dots: Nike FuelBand, FitBit, Striiv. All of them are fitness trackers, and the category is rapidly expanding, with plenty of room for a new company to make a splash. We’ve tried out plenty of these devices before, and other “connected wearables”, but today’s model offers something markedly different. It puts aesthetics in front and center, and attempts to create a new interface that is simple and elegant.
The Misfit Shine is, in a word, gorgeous, like a sci-fi movie prop from a Minority Report future. It’s clear that many people want to exercise and look good at the same time- witness high-end yoga pants and other accessories. But most folks are resigned to a dongle, a hunk of plastic or an unappealing watch, because they are simple and effective and easy to understand. The disc-shaped Shine upends these conventions, and is certainly the most stylish activity monitor that we’ve seen.
About the size of a couple of stacked quarters, there are plenty of ways to wear the Shine. You’re not confined to using it on your wrist via the included wristband, but can attach it via a lapel with the clip, stick it on your belt or shit. And there are plenty of other accessories for this, um, accessory as well. The quantified self was never sexier. We loved that it was waterproof, so you can shower or swim with it.
But using the Shine is another matter. While most fitness trackers offer background syncing and rechargeable batteries, for this one you will need to manually tap the device to your phone and also replace the battery every few months. It’s not too bad, and the batteries are easy to find and swap, plus you won’t have to worry about charging it. The freely available app is straightforward and as sleek as the hardware, and you set goals in “Shine points”. As you can see, there’s no screen on the device itself, though the twelve lights on the face serve as indicators once you learn how to read them. Interacting with the Shine itself is done with tapping, and can be frustrating, but allows you to view your daily profess as well as check the time.
Most annoying of all, though, is the fact that the Shine seemed inaccurate in our tests, primarily during non-active moments. There’s no altimeter, which might bug some users, and for some types of activity, like swimming or cycling, you’ll need to manually let the device know so it tracks appropriately. We were impressed by the cycling mode, which some units can have trouble with, and for running and jogging, the results seemed in line with other devices. Sleep tracking is weaker here than with some other models, and there is no heart-rate monitor, GPS, mapping, or other integration with different devices.
Versatile, lovely to look at, and fairly simple, the Misfit Shine offers a compelling alternative. If fashion fitness is important to you, we’d encourage you to try out the Shine. It’s definitely not aimed at professional athletes, nor specialist runners or bikers, but a general audience that just wants a simple goal and fewer worries about batteries or durability. Available now, it’s also well-priced at $120.