Kelly the Culinarian: Review: My Months with the Misfit Shine

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Review: My Months with the Misfit Shine

activity monitorThis is a post months in the making! The folks at Misfit Wearables sent me the Shine way back in November for my review. I'm just now getting to posting this for reasons I'll detail shortly. As always, the product may be free, but the thoughts are 100 percent mind, because my opinions cannot be bought. Or rented.


activity monitorThe Shine is a wearable activity monitor that's similar to the FitBits I bought my parents, except completely different in ascetics and functionality. First, the Shine is a coin-like device that runs off of a battery watch. You can put in your pocket, wear it like a lapel pin, add to a sports band or incorporate into any number of jewelry accessories the company sells. It's sleek and sophisticated; in fact, a woman once asked me the time and gestured to my wrist, thinking the Shine was some kind of new-age watch.

And it is! When you double tap the Shine (insert Zombieland reference here), the number of lights indicates how close to your activity goal you are for the day, then flashes over to the time. It takes a bit to learn how to read the time function, but it's a nice upgrade.

Another way the Shine is different than other trackers or a traditional pedometer is that it monitors all activity, which is very attractive to a multi-sport athlete like me. By default, it measures walking and running. The iPhone and newly released Android app are critical to using the Shine. When I first
got it from Misfit, it was only compatible with the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, which is one of the reasons this review took me for-ever.

In the app, you can select beta-testing features, which include monitoring swimming, cycling, softball and a number of other activities. When I get ready to spin on my trainer, for example, I triple tap the shine and wait for the lights to radiate, then attach it to my shoe. It does the rest, then syncs to my phone using bluetooth technology. It doesn't always sync the first time I try, but it works eventually. I do, however, have to toggle between functionality in the app when I go from cycling to swimming. This also means the Shine is waterproof, so I basically have not removed it since I got it in the mail.

Except for the time I lost it. The coin popped out of the wristband and I didn't notice. Misfit replaced it quickly and only asked for my feedback on how it happened so they could improve in the future.

This device won't replace a Garmin, however. It does measure your overall distance for the day, but not with a degree of accuracy a GPS-powered watch does. It also can't tell you speed - it just says "somewhat active," "active," or "very active."

The Shine also monitors your sleep automatically, and the app tells you hours of sleep and total deep sleep time you achieved each night. It charts this and your activity over time, telling you interesting things like how many marathons worth of miles you've logged and how many days in a row you achieved your activity goal. You can also compare your activity against your friends and average users. However, all of this stuff is only available on the app - there currently is not a desktop log in for the Shine where you could look at the info on a bigger screen. However, the app is constantly being improved. Just this week, Misfit introduced the ability to add pictures of your food to your daily log. While it doesn't track the nutrition yet, it does make me more cognizant of what I'm eating and when.

You get to choose your activity goals, which are based on a point system. I have mine set a notch above "very active," which means I fall woefully short on my rest days and usually rock that number on the remaining days. The app also has shown me how ridiculously sedentary I would be if it weren't for triathlon and marathon training. Let's face it, my job is hanging out on social media all day. My butt is in a chair for hours at a time.

I personally love the Shine because of its appearance and functionality. It looks pretty and encourages me to be mindful about my activity level and what I'm eating. It's not 100 percent accurate or seamless, but it does make being active pretty fun and plays upon my desire to get stuff done, like achieving my point goal for the day.

Misfit seems to be improving the app constantly and I look forward to seeing what they roll out next. Plus, it's fun to have a new gadget people haven't seen and strike up a conversation about it. I totally have my eye on the necklace holder for the Shine and plan to keep tracking through the app. If you want to get your sweetheart something that's good for their heart, use code LOVESHINE for 20 percent off until Friday.

1 comment:

Beth B said...

The Shine sounds really interesting! I have a Fitbit and I really like it, but some of the Shine features are really interesting, like being able to use it for different activities. (My Fitbit thinks I'm lazy when I'm at my vigorous yoga classes.) It's also really cool that it automatically tracks your sleep--I've forgotten to set my Fitbit a couple of times and I'm always bummed when I wake up if I've forgotten to set the sleep function.