3 March 2014

REVIEW: Misfit Shine Activity Tracker

Anything but a miss.

How are your New Year resolutions going? If yours was to get fit and get in shape, did you manage further than 2nd January? If you are struggling to meet your exercise goals then don't listen to those motivational speakers or fitness gurus – just look to your wrist.

The Shine Activity Tracker from Misfit Wearables is a teeny tiny device that is packed with intelligence. By wearing it during a multitude of activities (including sleep) you can track your fitness progress, set yourself goals and work to beat them. And, you know, look really cool while you're at it.

We've had some experience with activity trackers before when we tested the WithingsPulse. However, the Shine seems to be a stripped down, more usable, more style-conscious alternative. The Shine itself is about the size of a coin (albeit a fat, bulbous one) that, once the battery is installed inside, is completely sealed and waterproof. The fact that the Shine takes an (included) button cell battery is a refreshing change from other USB charged gadgets. Because of this there is no open port to worry about and of course no charging time. Once the battery is dead, swap it and you're away.

Speaking of interface, the Shine has no buttons at all. To check your progress at your pre-programmed goal (set via the smartphone app) you simply tap the front face of the device and embedded low-level lights will... erm, 'shine.' Of course all this happens thanks to a bluetooth connection with your phone, and much like the Withings' tracker, you first have to sync and programme the Shine. Fortunately, thanks in no small way to the easy, user-friendly layout of the app, this is a breeze.

Once synced and set-up you are ready to attach the Shine to yourself and get out and about. The gadget itself comes with a wrist strap and also a magnetic fob, meaning you have a choice of wearing it from the offset. We found that the results for step-count were more accurate if the Shine was worn by the fob attached to our hips as it is a far better place to track footfalls. Wearing the Shine with the wrist strap was fine for sleep tracking, especially due to the device's low profile, size and weight. Once on our wrists and sleeping, we had no idea it was there at all.

The app is great as it really allows you to track what you've been up to, helping you to achieve your fitness goals. The data captured by your phone, after a sync with the Shine, is laid out nicely as a graph allowing you to clearly interpret what you've done.

All in all we were very impressed by the Misfit Shine Activity Tracker, mostly because of how simple it is. It may lack such features as a pulse measurer and LED display, but if anything that just adds to the device's charm. This is perfect for those that are doing lots of different activities and who don't want to have to worry too much about recording it all.


Available from www.johnlewis.com

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