This subtle little tracker will provide you with all of the day-to-day information you’re looking for while sitting quietly on your wrist or in your pocket.
This understated tracker comes in a variety of colors and can be worn several ways so it transitions seamlessly from gym, to work, to night on the town without ever making you feel like it’s screaming “My owner is a workout junkie!” In addition to the sport band, which you wear like a watch, the Shine 2 comes with a clasp that you can fasten to your shoe, pocket, keychain, or clothing.
The tracker is powered by a long-lasting battery, so it never needs to be plugged in to be charged. To see when you should replace the battery, log into the Misfit app to view an estimate of how much life your battery has left.
The Shine 2 is water resistant, “suitable for dish-washing, splashing, and swimming in shallow waters,” so the only time you need to take it off, according to the manufacturer, is if you go snorkeling or diving.
As with other Misfit products, the Shine 2 communicates your data with vibrations and colored lights on the device face. The lights and vibes communicate how close you are to meeting your daily goal, time to wake up, whether you should check your phone for notifications, when it’s time to move, and other information.
Although the design of the tracker itself accommodates being worn in either a wrist strap or a clip-on, it seems to pop out of the holder, particularly the rather flimsy wrist strap, all too easily. What amounts to a glorified rubber band and a couple of rubber tabs are all that secure the disc to the wristband. On more than one occasion, I nearly lost the device because it had popped out of one side and was ready to fall out. I also found it difficult to secure the wrist strap so it was snug, but that’s not critical since there isn’t a heart-rate monitor (devices with these monitors need to fit snugly in order to measure your heart rate correctly).
The overall design of this device is simple and elegant. There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles to fiddle with, and the idea that you can glean the information you need by simply tapping the surface is a good one — no need to memorize how to navigate through numerous screens or remember which button does what. It’s a great concept in theory, but it didn’t work for me. It’s too simple. I need more visual cues about what the thing is trying to tell me when the lights start flashing. I’m sure that given more time I’ll remember, but I found it confusing.
On the upside, I really appreciated the straightforward presentation of my data in the app (see Software ease of use, below).
Of all the fitness trackers I’ve tried, I thought the Shine 2 was the most attractive. The device and band come in a variety of color combinations, all featuring a brushed anodized aluminum disc that holds the guts of the tracker. It isn’t immediately obvious this is a fitness tracker because it doesn’t feature many of the hallmarks — for example, a watch face or other display, general bulkiness, or thick band. The Shine 2 could easily pass as a piece of jewelry. Many accessories are also available to customize the look of the band or to hold the tracker in a subtle clip or even a necklace.
The Shine 2 connects with many third-party apps to add functionality to what the device tracks automatically. MyFitnessPal, Apple Health, MapMyFitness, Evernote, RunKeeper, and Lose It! are a few of the usual suspects. You can also link to consumer apps like Nest Thermostat and Walgreens.
A nice feature is when you link apps like MapMyFitness, the data is incorporated with the rest of the data tracked by the Shine 2 in Misfit app on your phone — everything’s in one place. Other fitness tracker apps push the data out, requiring you to view your data in separate places.
Email and notifications
The Shine 2 vibrates to notify you of incoming calls and texts. You can’t see what’s coming in, but if you’re expecting something you’ll at least have an alert that there’s something that needs your attention.
You can also set an alarm. When it goes off, the device vibrates to wake you up. The device also vibrates at adjustable intervals to get you moving if you’ve been idle too long.
If you take advantage of all of the notifications, the result is a lot of vibrating. Often, I wasn’t sure what the device was telling me.
There are many opportunities to be a social Misfit. You can invite friends and create communities from within the app, on the typical social networks such as Facebook, and from within the various apps you connect to your Misfit account, for example Strava or MapMyFitness.
The replaceable battery lasts up to six months, so you never need to plug in to recharge the Shine 2.
The limitations of the Shine 2’s actual fitness tracking capabilities are what some would consider a drawback, but if you’re someone who’s just trying to meet the recommended weekly minimums the options are likely to be adequate. The tracker recognizes when you are active and logs the duration. You can then go into the app, find the activity, and tag it with one of a number of pre-set activity types: basketball, tennis, swimming, soccer, cycling, running, walking, yoga, or dancing. Alternatively, you can choose an activity type and direct the tracker to log it before you start. There is also an option to adjust the intensity of a recorded workout — mild, moderate, or intense.
The Shine 2 holds up to 30 days of activity data, but you’ll want to sync it more often so you can see the breakdown of your efforts in the Misfit app.
Misfit uses points as a way to keep you motivated and moving. Points measure physical activity but not just from steps. You also are awarded badges for accomplishments like “personal best” that show up in your feed to give you a way to measure how you are progressing (or not) from day to day.
Software ease of use
The Misfit app is straightforward and intuitive and offers the option to view the displays in either bar graphs or circular charts. Switch between sleep, which shows minutes spent awake or in light or restful sleep, and activity data, which displays steps, miles, and calories burned. There’s also the option to edit the entries to ensure what’s recorded is accurate. For example, if you forgot to wear the device while you performed an activity, you can go back and add it later.
You can download an additional app, Misfit Link, to your phone, enabling the Shine 2 to perform additional tasks like taking pictures and controlling your music.
If you’re an average fitness enthusiast looking for a versatile tracker that does a little bit of everything for under $100, the Shine 2 may be just the right fit.
December 27, 2016