Misfit Introduces Shine 2

Misfit Introduces Shine 2

Oct 20, 2015

When it comes to fitness and health with a mobile component, Misfit is a well known commodity. Putting an emphasis on subtle style, the company helped make activity tracking sexy with the Shine.

The New One is here.

Misfit just introduced the Shine 2, the latest iteration of the uniquely adaptable fitness tracker.

From the blogpost:

We’re so excited to unveil Shine 2, the next generation of our award-winning Shine Fitness and Sleep Monitor.

Shine 2 tracks activity and sleep more accurately with a 3-axis accelerometer and newly added 3-axis magnetometer. Now you can see easily see progress and tell time in a halo of rainbow-colored lights, which provide a platform for nuanced feedback. By popular demand, you can now get motivated with Misfit Move, a feature that encourages you to be active with a vibrational nudge. Text and call notifications and a silent vibe alarm are also new with Shine 2—so you’ll never miss a call again.

Shine 2 incorporates more advanced hardware and firmware—which means improved touch responsiveness, faster syncing, and extended Bluetooth range. Its 12 lights display over 16 million colors and are bright enough so you can see them in direct sunlight.

We loved the original Shine, and especially loved the EKOCYCLE edition; the new Shine 2 is available for $99.99 from the Misfit website.


[via Misfit Blog]

Acer Releases Liquid Leap+ Fitness Tracker in the US

Acer Releases Liquid Leap+ Fitness Tracker in the US

Jul 20, 2015

Acer has just unleashed the Liquid Leap+ in the US; this is the first tracker Acer has brought to the American market.

The device is compatible with Android OS (plus Windows and iOS), is water-proof, and expectantly packs in a bunch of health-conscious fitness tracking functionality. It pairs with compatible devices via Bluetooth 4.0 LE. It also has a built-in battery that can last up to 7 days.

Acer America’s Smart Products Business Group Vice President Hugo Hernandez talks about its design and functionality. “The Acer Liquid Leap+ was designed to inspire and improve the daily lives of active technology enthusiasts,” he says. “It’s incredibly easy to use for tracking important aspects of health, while it provides additional useful features. In addition, the sleek and stylish design and interchangeable bands look great with a range of styles.”

The Acer Liquid Leap+ can be incorporated with bands that come in multiple colors (black, green and pink) as well. It is available now via Acer’s website for $79.99.


Another look at the Misfit Shine — now with EKOCYCLE Field Strap

Another look at the Misfit Shine — now with EKOCYCLE Field Strap

Jun 16, 2015

Misfit blazed on the scene with an interesting concept: ultra useful fitness trackers that dare to look snazzy. Since then, we’ve seen other products and accessories land on the market.

It’s latest endeavor underscores the company’s commitment to the health of the planet in addition to individual people; as we noted a short while go, the special edition EKOCYCLE set is one borne out of a recycling-minded collaboration with will.I.am and the Coca-Cola company, and brings a unique wrist strap to go with a limited edition black Shine tracker.

Misfit gave us an opportunity to check the new set out, and this also gave us a chance to formally see how the health tracking system had progressed as a whole since we first reviewed it.

The retail box contains the goodies: black Shine, black strap, optional black clasp, battery, opening tool and documentation; the special Shine is fairly similar in size to the original grey piece, and incorporated the same series of LED lights to communicate visual information to the user. The black color does give it a pretty sleek look, and the finish remains outstanding.


The strap is a simple piece; it’s construction hardly shows it’s partially made from recycled materials. It too is stark black, with firm stitching and a perfect circular cradle to house the Shine. Altogether, it fits well together and looks pretty seamless, much like a regular time piece. The new strap does do one thing that my vanity requires: it gives a more defined wrist presence. The original sports version is almost too flimsy. Overall, I admit that I really like the dark version, and hope it isn’t too limited of a offering.

From a functionality standpoint, the companion app has gotten better; I still think the sync process could be a bit more self-aware, but the feature set is still there, and the unit works great as a timepiece. There’s more social connectivity built into the app, but I’d give my kingdom for some interoperability with some other fitness/health services for cross-matched data.

Value-wise, this limited edition set does run a bit more ($149 via Misfit.com), so it might not be worth upgrading or even getting as an extra for personal use, especially since using two units concurrently isn’t an option since the app like to sync to only one at a time. What it does do is bring awareness to an important ideal while reaffirming Misfit’s dedication to style.

For more information on EKOCYCLE, check out the video below:

Misfit Partners with will.i.am and Coca-Cola to Release New EKOCYCLE Accessory

Misfit Partners with will.i.am and Coca-Cola to Release New EKOCYCLE Accessory

May 19, 2015

Misfit, in a collaboration with The Coca-Cola and music superstar will.i.am, has just released a new accessory for its Shine activity monitor. Dubbed the EKOCYCLE Field Band, the new piece provides yet another way for Shine users to carry and use their pieces on the go; it is made of recycled materials, and is part of the EKOCYCLE initiative by the aforementioned will.i.am and Coca-Cola to encourage the use of recycled materials.

Additionally, there will a gift set that includes a special edition band and a black Shine with a special EKOCYCLE logo.

Excerpts from the press release:

Misfit is excited to partner with The Coca-Cola Company and will.i.am to release a very special exclusive accessory for Misfit Shine Fitness and Sleep Monitor, the EKOCYCLEâ„¢ Field Band.

Made just for your Misfit Shine, the rugged and sporty EKOCYCLEâ„¢ Field Bands are made in part from recycled PET plastic bottles and are designed for maximum comfort and wearability.

will.i.am and The Coca-Cola Company have joined efforts to launch to inspire new things made in part from recycled materials and we’re excited to share our own EKOCYCLE™ product. We’re also making an exclusive gift set available that includes a special edition EKOCYCLE™ Band and a Jet Black Misfit Shine emblazoned with the EKOCYCLE™ logo, available for a limited time on our website.

We had an opportunity to formally check out the Misfit Shine, and really liked it.

The new EKOCYCLE Band retails for $49.95; the gift set (black band plus special black Shine) costs $149.95 via the Misfit Store.


[Source: Misfit Blogpost] [Our Review]

Jabra Sport Wireless+ Headphones Hardware Review

Jabra Sport Wireless+ Headphones Hardware Review

Mar 26, 2015

As we like to say, being connected is a privilege, more and more aspects of our lives are becoming portions of IoT, and our smartphones are becoming the de facto hubs. This is so very obvious in the area of fitness and health, where accessories are quite the rage.

With Jabra’s Sports Wireless+ Bluetooth Headphones, we get to see a formidable option from an industry vet.

The review package Jabra sent was nicely boxed. The set is pretty light in hand, almost surprising so. The physical presentation basically consists of two three-quarter moon ear loops and a rubber-coated cable that connects the two in the behind the neck earphone style. The ear loops come in the main black-with-yellow accents that is synonymous with Jabra, The right piece houses the soft controls: a power button, volume buttons, FM button (hint, hint), microphone pinhole and covered micro-USB port. There’s even LED lights which help signify power and bluetooth status. Each ear loop measures in at 2.5 x 1.7 x 0.5 inches, and the whole set weighs 0.88 ounces. The retail box also contains a pack of ear gels, USB cable and a nifty carrying case.


After charging and powering on, pairing the 3.0 Bluetooth to an audio source is fairly easy; long-pressing the power button for several seconds puts the headphones in pairing mode, and they can then be discovered and connected to. That easily, I was able to start listening to music and podcasts from the trusty M8. Of special interest to me, obviously, is the fit. For a pair of sports phones, they work well, and the behind the neck styling is not too bothersome. yes, the loops did feel ever-present but not so much so that they were lingering distractions. They work well for running, and I wasn’t able to dislodge it by head-banging. the advertised military-grade specs (dust, durability and dust protection) definitely come into play, and the unit does feel durable.

This accessory boasts some decent extras beyond the core functionality. There is the built-in FM tuner, teased via soft buttons. Honestly, I was shocked at how well it worked. It didn’t catch every FM channel when compared head-to-head with a dedicated radio, but the ones it did catch sounded pretty good. It handles phone calls well, though I did get some feedback from talking in the microphone.

I also like the little things, like the fit adjust clip and the several ear gels that help in getting the most comfortable insertion.

One point that might irk some folks is that there isn’t any Android app; the app works well without it, bu if one wants the added on benefit available with some other Jabra products, they’ll have to forego it for now. Also, the range is fairly limited.

When it’s all said and done, it does well in it’s main job, and reasonably well in a few extra aspects at well. At just under $90 (on Amazon), it isn’t a prohibitive proposition.

Not bad at all.

AR Health Series: Misfit Shine Review

AR Health Series: Misfit Shine Review

Mar 3, 2015

The Misfit Shine is hardly new, but it shouldn’t be a surprise that plenty of people still consider it a piece worth at least trying out.

We were eager to get the review unit Misfit sent us, the unit itself is tiny, barely bigger than a quarter in circumference; the unit contains a battery, and fits into a watch-like band. It’s quite light, almost slender on the wrist, but reasonably nondescript for something crafted from aircraft grade aluminum. It is waterproof, and grayish in color (there are other color choices), which mostly hides the incorporated series of LEDs when they are not lighted..

A big part of the solution is the Misfit app; the app is the portal with which the app records and translates accumulated data. The app has gotten better over time, with a clean interface and simple controls. The app has a sync button at the top right of the main screen, ad this allows the physical unit to offload data via Bluetooth. Additionally, the app also interfaces with several established Android fitness utilities, like Runkeeper and MapMyFitness. The unit does not need to be formally synced to the app-holding device, but the two do need to be reasonably close.

Now what it sets out to do is keep track of activity as well as sleep. It estimates such using a precision 3-axis accelerometer, and syncs to the app, which can then interprets said data for easy consumption. Tapping the unit twice reveals a clock function using the LEDs


The sync procedure can be frustrating at times; the tapping mechanism is great on paper, but finicky in practice, such that I felt like I had to do a quick sync periodically just to ensure that everything was working as it should. Also, having used it on both iOS and Android, the former is more fully featured, and some of the advertised third-party app compatibility was temperamental.

After extended use though, I am a huge fan of the overall premise of functionality. It’s an exceptionally simple device, but manages to convey a sense of sleekness that is not forced or overdone. The ability to use the main piece in several ways makes it even handier, and the ability to customize it further with bands and even necklace holders is an attractive extra. According to Misfit Inc, as it (the company) expands to home automation, one can expect the Shine to do even more.

As a passive health/sleep tracking accessory, it is a surprisingly elegant solution, and current prices (under $80 on Amazon) ensure that even this long after its initial debut, it is still a veritable option for the health conscious.

AR Health Series: Pear Sports System Hardware Review

AR Health Series: Pear Sports System Hardware Review

Dec 19, 2014

Being fit is gently moving on from being a pastime to being a habit of successful people. Of course, as the need to be healthy becomes more pervasive, it is natural to see more and more tools that have a mobile component. It makes sense… smartphones are the ubiquitous pocket companions.

The Pear System looks to bridge this gap, first by being a veritable heart rate measuring tool, and then by wirelessly connecting data via one’s Android device.

The review package Pear send to us highlights the system; the review packet contains the Pearl heart rate monitor, a chest strap, headphones and a carrying pouch. Most of th pieces are bathed or accented in bright blue. The HRM unit is diminutive, with the company logo tastefully stamped on the front. The back has two press-in buttons and the battery cover. The strap is black, with the press-in receptacles, and is adjustable and stretchy. The headphones look simple, but have interesting buds, and there is a button on the right ear. Finally, the carry pouch is light and zippered.

Setup is fairly easy; it involves getting the strap, and attaching the heart rate monitor onto it. The HRM has a bluetooth module, and this can be paired with Android devices via the associated Pear app. When working well, the headphones become an invaluable piece: they are quite comfortable, and transmit data over whatever sounds (like music) are going on the holding device. All together, it is a great idea; the strap is worn on the chest, headphones to ears, and the app records time of workouts, distance and calories.


In practice, I thought the HRM unit worked well, mostly in step with other measurement tools. For runners, it’s nice that the app interfaces with partner apps like MapMyFitness and MyFitnessPal.

My gripes center around said app. Subsequent pairings were finicky, and I did catch crashes periodically.. Also, the app serves as a conduit to procure better plans and coaching, there are not a lot of free ones. I do like the in-ear stats, and the web portal.

When it’s all said and done, I honestly feel the Pear System is a decent option, and at $80 (per Amazon), the combination is not too pricey. I think it’s best value is for the fitness adherent willing to invest in the advanced tools that the system provides.

AR Health Series: Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor Hardware Review

AR Health Series: Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor Hardware Review

Oct 30, 2014

I had the misfortune of having some serious health issues a short while ago, and, without getting overly conversational about it, it changed me. It made me take health more seriously, and one fringe benefit is that it allowed me to take a longer, more appreciative look at the burgeoning area of connected health devices.

“Burgeoning” is somewhat of an understatement; the category is exploding. As part of my personal fitness odyssey, I’ve had the privilege of trying out interesting connected gear. The Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is one of them.

Personal blood pressure monitors are not new; I have had a generic one for quite some time. While convenient, the one drawback is the collation tool is not self-contained. I used my smartphone to collect the data via my all-round app HanDBase, and while the solution worked, I’d like a more homogeneous fix.

The Withings Wireless BP Monitor isn’t new either, but it’s a product that has continued to improve and is still defining the product category years after its inception.


The review piece Withings sent us shows the hardware in its retail glory; it’s in the familiar white and green (with chrome-ish accents) finish that Withings is familiar for. It has a prominent pre-formed cuff capable of fitting arms ranging from 9″ – 17″ and has a velcroed end that helps corral the extra strap that is part of the monitor. There is also a prominent bar that runs the vertical length of the unit that houses the batteries and presumably the bluetooth module that the unit uses to connect to devices; on this bar is an on/pairing button with LED. The unit comes with batteries already installed; the box also continues documentation.

Using the device as one getting acquainted with the companion Withings Health Mate app. When connected to the device (via Bluetooth/Bluetooth LE), the device preps to take a reading for a user registered to the device (or, a guest), and tapping “Start” does it. The cuff automatically tightens, and the cuff takes a reading; it promises accuracy within 3 mmHG on either side of a measurement, and also notes WHO systolic grades.

The companion app also serves as a health hub, allowing users to connect other Withings devices to it (like the Withings scale, and consequently allowing for a better health portrait to be created.

One thing I think the monitor could do better is be more like the Scale in its ability to gather seamless readings; as it is, it can only be initiated from within the app, unlike the scale, which can take readings with auto-detect capabilities that can be confirmed later. Also, the connection can be stubborn at times. I also would appreciate the ability to share batches of data via the app rather than single readings.

All in all, it is still a relevant piece of hardware. It isn’t the cheapest investment ($129 on Amazon), but does have the benefit of being relatively well thought out.

AR Health Series: Ssmart Dynamo Activity Tracker Review

AR Health Series: Ssmart Dynamo Activity Tracker Review

Oct 29, 2014

As part of our ongoing health series, we explore connected health accessories with an Android connection. For an introduction to Android Rundown’s mobile health series, check out our editorial.

Health bands and smartwatches are all the rage now; there are several out in the wild, and, thankfully, several corresponding price points. Being healthy is becoming easier to incorporate in one’s lifestyle — in theory, at least. For a lot of folks, having a connected health tracker just makes sense… especially when it can be paired to a ubiquitous always-on device such as a smartphone.

Oregon Scientific is a tech company with good pedigree, and has made a name for itself in the area of personal and home electronics; it’s not too much of a stretch to see why it would throw its hat into the fitness tracker ring. the Ssmart Dynamo Activity Tracker is the fruit of this endeavor.

The Ssmart Dynamo isn’t exactly new, but the review unit shows that, at first glance, it still looks pretty relevant. Outside the box, it’s fairly sedate; the black unit is mostly constructed of hardy rubber, and looks somewhat like a faceless watch, with a logo-ed strap. The stated stats are 3.4 x 5.25 x 3.4 inches, and it weighs 0.8 ounces. It packs a built in battery, a bluetooth module and familiar sports clasp mechanism for securing it to one’s wrist. It has colored LEDs that are hidden when not in use, and there is also a button near the “top” of the device. It has a clean, deliberate feel to it, and almost begs to be put on. The review package also contains a nifty charging cable and documentation.


Prior to rocking it, the unit has to be charged. I liked the included USB cable; it does use a proprietary charging system, and its suggested that unit be charged for an hour. Then, the companion OS Dynamo App can be downloaded and paired to the unit via long-pressing the Dynamo until the requisite blue light appears. The app serves as the portal to view the collected data, and the way to track data is to do things.

The unit acts like a basic pedometer, and also measures other activities, including sleep. Measurements garnered seem a bit off, and I think this where specific modes (outside sleep) could be useful. The collated data has an on-device shelf-life of a fortnight. It’s comfortable when worn, oo.

The system works as a decent guide, but I think the sync mechanism could be more seamless. To sync data, one has to press the button for a few seconds each time. The app could be a bit more user-friendly, too. The share functionality is useful, and I like the sleep measurements, even though it must be turned on prior to falling asleep.

All in all, the Dynamo might be a tenured product, but it still works in a crowded field. For the health conscious, it can be, at the very least, a great motivator.

From the Editor’s Desk: Android Health Trippin’

From the Editor’s Desk: Android Health Trippin’

Oct 27, 2014

Hey y’all!

So… it’s been a short while since I took over the reins here at Android Rundown. I’m still working to fill the big shoes left behind by CD; it has been an interesting process. My advice? Go give your boss a hug right now.

One thing that has been truly on my mind for personal reasons is connected health. Health living is all the rage now, and it becomes more achievable with the concept’s intersection with mobile technology. Health trackers, blood pressure and heart monitors, health apps, etc. They all have the potential to help folk meet their respective health goals.

With this in mind, we are taking a look at fitness tools with an Android component. In conjunction with ChurchMag, we’ll be reviewing a myriad of tools and apps as part of the Android Rundown Health Series. Plus we’ll see firsthand how they help a real life person reach goals. Best of all, we have an interesting guinea pig that has foolishly agreed to open themselves up while doing this project.

As far as tools go, the term “varied” comes to mind; companies like Withings, Adidas, Oregon Scientific, Under Armour, Misfit, Samsung, Arkon and Pear gave us some of their gear to try out. We will see how they work in the real world, especially when paired with their respective Android companion applications. We’ll look at unique apps that interface with several of these apps, like Runkeeper. And, we got some cool interviews from executives at Adidas and Withings.

For a taste of the AR Health Series, check out our opening review of the Withings Connected Weight Scale.

All in all, it is going to be a fun endeavor. I think. I hope. In the mean time, pray for me (yes, I’m the insane subject of this project.).

Something tells me I am going to need it.

AR Health Series: Withings Smart Body Analyzer Review

AR Health Series: Withings Smart Body Analyzer Review

Oct 15, 2014

Health tools with a mobile component are especially compelling, and as such, we jumped at an opportunity to check out the Withings Smart Body Connected Scale.

The black (white is an option) review unit Withings sent us is pretty much ready to go. At first glance, the first thing that comes to mind is that somehow, the product pictures do not do it justice. It looks like a chiseled dark colored slab. frankly, it look dashing, managing to be modern without being Jetson-silly. The full dark look is accented, and the silver center piece highlights the whole package. The expected display is digital in nature, and still manages to effect art. The battery compartment is at the bottom of the unit, and there is a tab preventing the batteries from cycling; beneath that are two buttons for syncing and selecting units. It looks like a “traditional” scale, but clearly wants people to know it has an extra trick or two up its sleeve. Officially, it comes in at 12.8 x 12.8 x 0.90 inches and 4.62 lbs

The review (retail) box also contained four optional carpet feet which help prop the unit off the floor/ground, and it comes with the four AAA batteries needed to power the unit, and documentation.


This thing begs to be used. Removing the tab allows the unit to get power, and this is confirmed by the welcome display. Getting on it gets it going, and it immediately starts measurements, but a big part of the health solution is the Withings Health Mate companion app; the app connects bluetooth-enabled Android devices seamlessly to compatible Withings products, and the Smart Body Analyzer is foremost on the list. Pairing (via Bluetooth) is done via the sync button on the bottom of the unit. The app prompts for readings and recordings; based off of profile information with1(like height and age), it measures weight and heart rate, computes BMI, gauges air quality, and otherwise tracks these metrics over time.

The app is the window to these results, and presents them in easy to understand formats, most notably graphs. Overall, the app is bright, with a nice design feel, allowing color to rebound off the white background. The app allows interface with other programs, like RunKeepr, BodyMedia and MyFitnessPal; it imports the stats from these apps. The app also collates data from other connected Withings products, and can be used for multiple people, and even can collect data in guest mode. Data can also be shared from the app, and with a Withings account, one can access data on the web.

I especially like the automatic user recognition, and the advertised four sensors are fantastic in practice.

It gets streaky fast, and that is almost to be expected with such a glossy finish. Data can only be sent singly; I would love the ability to send stuff in batches or ranges.

When it comes to accessories that enhance living, it’s hard to find better stuff on the market than this one. It works well, really partners with one health-wise and looks good doing it.