Gadgets misfit-shine

Published on September 20th, 2013 | by Greg


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.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Appleā€™s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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