Activity monitors have come a long way in the last two years alone. They’re now available in all the colors of the rainbow (a la the iMac) But, frankly, most look a bit childish … almost too playful. And many still are loaded with features the average user doesn’t need or want to pay for.
Which is why Misfit Wearables is looking to take things back to basics with their Shine wearable activity monitor.
So … what is it? In MW’s own words:
- World’s only water-resistant (50 Meters) activity monitor can be worn virtually anywhere using a clip, leather band, sport band or necklace
- Wear It, Move It, Sync It: Clip on, walk/cycle/swim/sleep, set goals and see stats and trends via the Shine app
- Connects with your iPhone and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) to gather all relevant details from your daily activities
- Once Shine is tapped two times, halo of LED lights indicate how close you are to reaching your goals for the day
- Machined aluminum exterior for an elegant look and strong build, engineered to last a lifetime
- Intelligently designed to be slightly larger than a quarter for maximum portability
- Coin cell battery delivers approximately 4 months of usage time; no cables or chargers necessary
The Traveler’s Take
Straight out of the box, the Shine’s design is striking – simple, elegant and minimal. It looks like a watch circa 2120 AD or something Batman would wear to monitor his vitals.
“Assembly” is a matter of popping off the back with the included tool and securing the battery (also included) to get its juice flowing. Depending on how you intend to wear the Shine, you can either use the included magnetic clip to affix it to your wasteband or shoes OR choose one of the optional accessories such as the necklace or wriststrap to wear it like a watch (we choose the latter option).
After three weeks of full-time use, we’re happy to report that the Shine can take a beating. Given its almost Apple-esque design, we were worried that it wouldn’t stand up to the rigors of daily travel. However, we wore it daily in the shower and also took it snorkeling, paddleboarding and on one of the most intense jet ski runs we’ve ever experienced (akin to spending two hours in a washing machine). No leaks and no sign of malfunction – it hasn’t missed a beat.
You can even wear it breakdancing. Sadly, we didn’t.
The face of the Shine features a series of twelve simple LED lights, similar to a clock face. There’s no power switch nor any other adornment of any kind. This is because all user interaction is handled via the free smartphone app.
This level of simplicity makes it extremely easy to use, however it may not be granular enough for “power” users or those truly obsessed with checking their activity levels multiple times throughout the day. Overall, we liked it as a “set it and forget it” device.
Since we received our review unit, the “tap to engage” feature of the unit seems to work about 1/3 of the time. It’s never stopped working entirely, but it appears almost to not be sensitive enough to our touch.
As someone who wakes up frequently in the night, I was equally as interested in the sleep tracking functionality of the Shine as I was the activity monitoring. Without checking the user’s pulse/heartrate, I’m curious as to how accurate this sleep tracking is. In my own personal tests, it seemed to do quite well. However, because it works off the built-in accelermoter, it can only guess at whether and how much you’re sleeping based on your (lack of) movement. So, if you’re lying in bed awake but relatively still for an hour or two, it will log this as being in “light sleep”.
Pricing + Availability
Available now for around $120 (USD) from premium online outlets, including Amazon (aff).
The Bottom Line
A minimal design offers ease of use and no-nonsense function. Waterproof construction makes it particularly useful to protect against sweat damage for very active users and outdoor-loving travelers. While it may prove too minimal for some users, we love the simplicity of the Shine overall.
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