The wearable tracker market is booming and in my time I’ve seen great devices from Fitbit, Philips and Jawbone amongst others. But whilst there are differences between devices, I find a lot of it to be nuance – the most important feature of an activity tracker is simply wearing one as knowing you’re measuring your activity makes you more aware of just how much time you spend sitting around and hopefully compels you to change it. I know I’m certainly a bit more conscious about taking the stairs etc. Another problem wearable activity trackers face (aside from so many similar products on the market) is the iPhone 5S M7 co-processor. I can get a really decent idea of my general activity just through keeping my phone in my pocket and walking around. I know this won’t capture my swimming sessions or time pumping iron (especially as the latter is fictional) but for me activity trackers are great at capturing the moments of activity (or inactivity) that are less obvious and helping to adjust your lifestyle to improve these areas.
Despite the crowded marketplace, the Misfit Shine manages to stand out, primarily through being the best looking activity tracker I’ve ever seen. Hewn out of aircraft grade aluminium, the matte silver disc would be a stylish accessory even if it served no function at all. Whilst other trackers feel like something I “have” to wear, the Shine is something I “want” to wear. Which is not to say it’s an ostentatious device – at roughly the size of a 50 pence piece it’s quite discreet. I’ve been wearing mine like a watch but there’s a really cool magnetic loop that means you can attach the Shine pretty much any piece of clothing.
Oddly the Shine uses a coin battery instead of a USB charger. This means you can “set it and forget it” although it does feel weird having a gadget you don’t have to plug in to your laptop every couple of days. However, seeing as most of my rechargeable gadgets die after a couple of days this approach seems to work quite well.
A double tap on the device will give you an indication of how close to your daily target you are – there are lots of small lights around the edge that eventually join up if you hit your daily target. It also doubles up as a cool yet hard to read watch – the sort that you’d expect Tokyo Flash to come up with.
The Misfit Shine does more than track how often you walk to the shops and back and can capture time spent running, swimming and cycling. Unfortunately there is no altimeter so steps will not be factored into the equation. However the accompanying app does break down different types of activity during the day and can even track sleep cycles – although I didn’t find the sleep data captured to be as good as using the Sleep Cycle app. I also found syncing with the app to be slightly cumbersome. Whilst it should be syncing continuously it often took a couple of trips into the settings, or waiting a minute or time before the device caught up with me (and my busy lifestyle).
However, if you are in the market for an activity tracker, this is clearly one of the best looking devices on the market, with the best battery life and a super simple app. Definitely worth checking out.
The Misfit Shine is available from the beginning of November from John Lewis for £99.95. It comes with a magnetic clasp so it can easily be attached to clothing, shoes or swimwear and a one-size-fits-all sports wristband for wearing around the wrist or ankle. The Misfit Shine App is available for free in the iTunes App Store, with new builds coming every three weeks.
Check out Misfit Shine