The first smartwatch from Misfit, the Shine, is a shining example of wearable tech that does not look like tech at all.
Headquartered in California’s Silicon Valley, Misfit is a small startup company that was founded in 2011 to produce wearables in the form of fitness trackers. The first concept, Misfit Shine, is a multifunctional smartwatch that can also be worn as a clip on your belt.
How does the Misfit Shine look?
The Misfit Shine is a futuristic looking wearable the size of a large coin. It looks more like a fashion accessory than a tracking device, even with the 27.5 X 3.3 mm LED display. Made from anodised aircraft-grade aluminium, the wearable is a mere 9 grams in weight. You can choose from a rainbow of ten colours, including:
- Jet black
- Sea glass
- Coca-Cola red
- Victoria’s Secret Shine in Pink
You don’t have to wear the Misfit Shine like a watch. Like Pebble Watch, the Misfit Shine can be taken out of the band and worn on the belt, pocket or even around the neck. The band is made using durable silicon, and is secured using a strong magnet.
What devices are compatible with Misfit Shine?
Using Bluetooth 4.0, you are able to sync Misfit Shine with iPhone 4s and above, iPod touch 5, and iPad mini, 3 or higher. It can also be used with Android devices including the Samsung Galaxy S4 and 5, Samsung Note 3, and Google Nexus. Android 4.3, Jelly Bean, devices can share data with the Misfit Shine.
What can the Misfit Shine do?
As a fitness tracker, the Misfit Shine works like an advanced pedometer. It measures your steps throughout the day, the number of calories you burn, and the distance you travelled. It is even measuring your sleep quality and duration.
From your connected mobile phone you can view the total fitness points gained using the Misfit app. Progress is tracked in order to keep you up to date on your fitness goals and to interact with other users for some friendly competition. The interface is user-friendly and easy to read and understand.
Added features of the Misfit Shine smartwatch
For wearable tech, the Misfit Shine is relatively inexpensive at $129 AUD. This low price is in part due the smartwatch not being rechargeable. Instead, it works off a replaceable battery which is reported to last from four to six months. Its tapping mechanism, where you must touch the watch face in order to illuminate it, helps in conserving that battery life.
The Misfit Shine activity tracker is waterproof to up to 50 metres, making it wearable in both the shower and the pool, so you’ll be able to measure your swimming activities.
What the Misfit Shine is missing
Like other similar devices, there is no tracking for activity at the gym, unless it is simulating walking. This makes the activity tracker useless for those who get most of their exercise from lifting weights. It is also not able to recognise what type of sport you are engaging in, although it claims to. Instead, you must choose from a list shown on the app.
The tapping to activate does not always work the way you would want it to, and will sometimes not record any activity at all. There are no motivational programs that let you know when you have been still for a long period time, or that give you a “thumbs up” when you achieve a goal. This type of encouragement is seen on the app, but without any advice on how to set a new goal.
The unique look of the Misfit Shine, and not having to charge it every night, are compelling reasons to look into the wearable. If you are a casual athlete who is not interested in much more than how many kilometres you walked today, this could be the inexpensive fitness tracker that you have been holding out for.