Review: Misfit Shine 2

A couple of months ago, I laid my eyes on a Misfit Flash. I loved the simplicity of the app. Unfortunately the plastic band that came with it broke two times, so it ended up collecting dust. When Misfit announced the Misfit Shine 2, I was eager to start using a Misfit again.

Misfit is a California-based wearable company. They have two main devices on the market: the Misfit Flash and the Misfit Shine. The Shine automatically tracks sleep and activity. It keeps you posted on your progress toward your daily goal through 12 LEDs.  The Misfit Shine 2 is an updated version of the Misfit Shine, but the technology differences between versions are unclear. The design looks more or less the same, but the 12 lights on the display now have several colors instead of white, and the band is a bit thinner and comes in new colors like rose gold—all fairly superficial differences. It’s on the market for $99.

Things I like about the Misfit Shine 2:

1. Battery life

Since the Misfit Shine 2 uses a coin cell battery, it can last up to 6 months. In a life full of devices, it’s nice to not have to worry about charging one of them.

However, it doesn’t seem possible to open the Misfit Shine to change the battery, which means that you have to replace the entire device after six months. In the end, racking up new Misfit Shines could get pricey and defeats the purpose of a cheaper wearable.

2. Adjustable goal setting with different activities

Most wearables focus on 10,000 steps as a daily goal to achieve. Misfit lets you set your own goal using a point system. When you move the slider and adjust your points, your Misfit tells you what the equivalent is for walking, running and swimming time. Finally a device that doesn’t only focus on steps.

Misfit app 4

3. Easy & attractive updates on your daily goal progress from your wrist

Once you’ve set your daily goal, you want a quick update throughout the day on your progress, right? The Misfit Shine 2 offers that with a quick glance on your wrist. When you tap the device, the colored LEDs give a quick and attractive update on how close you are to reaching your daily goal. When you meet your goal, the device lights up in all colors of the rainbow. I often caught myself staring at the bright lights. (Ooohh, shiny things.)

Another plus: Misfit Shine 2 shows you how much you’re going over your goal. So you know whether you’re at 150%, 200% or 250%. The previous Misfit Shine stopped at 100%.

4. Stunning & relaxing mobile app design

Just like the Xiaomi Mi Fit band, the Misfit app has one of the most stunning and easy to understand designs. You can easily navigate between your activities and sleep and between days and months, which makes it easy to see your progress.

5. Adapting/correcting activities

It’s always frustrating when a wearable automatically categorizes an activity in the wrong category and there is no way to correct it. With the Misfits Shine 2, you can easily correct the activity. You won’t be able to categorize your taekwondo work-out, because they don’t support all activity types, but they do support the most common ones like running, biking, swiming, tennis and soccer.

6. Waterproof

The Misfit Shine 2 is waterproof up to 50 meters or 160 feet and thus makes it a great companion in the swimming pool.

7. Silent alarm, inactive & text and call notifications

It’s a nice bonus that the Misfit Shine 2 vibrates and lights up when you need to wake up as well as when you have been sitting down for too long. It also pings you when you have texts and calls on your smartphone.

Things I don’t like about the Misfit Shine 2:

1. Poor design

My rose gold Misfit Shine 2 came with an elastic and flexible sport band. Although I liked the sleek rose gold inner piece, I didn’t understand why it comes with a black sports band. Total mismatch of colors and style.

Aesthetics aside, the biggest fail of the Misfit 2 design is the fact that the metal piece pops out of the flexible sports band fairly easily, and apparently not only if you have tiny wrists like I do. I was wearing  the sports band for 15 minutes when I noticed the first pop of the rose piece falling on the ground. Because I didn’t want to lose my Misfit Shine 2 on Day One, I switched to the clip-on option. However the clip-on comes with some downsides too…

2. Incorrect sleeping time

One evening I was lying on the couch as still as an alligator. Because I was using my clip-on on my pajama pants, my Misfit Shine 2 recorded that time as sleep. Another 1 hour and 30 minutes was added to my sleep time that night, which was a crucial fail.

If a clip-on is not going to give accurate sleeping results because your hips don’t move enough while laying down, it shouldn’t be offered.

3. Useless screen

Misfit Shine 2
If you’re wearing a round, chunky thing on your wrist, one would expect to get some value out of the screen. Unfortunately there is not much more to it than 12 blinking LEDs. There is more surface area that could be used in a smarter way. For example, if you want to read the time on your Misfit, you have to somehow figure it out via the blinking LEDs.

4. Weak bike tracking

When you’re using the clip-on in your pants pocket, bike rides are not recognized, which is a pity because the Misfit Shine 2 is marketed to bikers.

5. Finding your lost device

When you’re wearing the clip-on, you can easily lose track of the device when you wear the clip in the pocket of a pair of pants for example. One day I lost my device and I was hoping it had a noise function that I could trigger from my mobile app. Unfortunately you can only activate the vibration and light functions from your phone, which aren’t 100% helpful in finding your lost device.

Luckily I was able to find the device by moving pieces of clothing in and out of the Bluetooth synching zone so I could locate in which heap of clothes it was buried.

Would I recommend the Misfit Shine 2?

No, I would not recommend the Misfit Shine 2 because the design problems make it easy to lose the $99 wearable. Using the clip-on might solve the wearability problem, but it makes sleep tracking inaccurate. I reached out to Misfit and they assured me they were working on improving the sports band though. I’m looking forward to that!

 

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Community manager @Addapp. Fascinated by sleep tracking, healthy nutrition, technology, social media, sunny days and Addapp users.
Training to run the Half Marathon of San Francisco.

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1 Comment

  1. Good review. The most accurate I’ve seen for bike usage. I’ve had the Misfit Shine 2 for about 6 months now. I bought it for primarily for the biking aspects. When I wear it on my ankle (or the shoe clip-on), it works good… but tracks my activity as “Vigorous Activity”. That’s pretty accurate, but I assumed it would recognize the spinning action and rate of speed as Cycling – as it is marketed as being able to track cycling. If I edit that activity (nice to be able to), and change it to cycling… it lowers my points. Why it does that – I have no idea. And as you mentioned, if I happen to have it on my wrist or in my pocket… no points tracked at all. I really don’t want to edit every time I ride, or manually tell it every time I jump on a bike… I bought it because Misfit led me to believe it would do that for me.

    Other disappointments have been the lack of app support for biking, and lack of accessories for the Shine 2. Misfit has come out with a new biking app, but it only works on the much cheaper Shine models… not the Shine 2. And the extra bands they offer only fit the cheaper models too. So why did I pop $100 for the premium model? Good question. I’d advise to go with the cheaper ones until Misfit starts to throw support behind the Shine 2, if they ever do.

    Nick

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