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.