Misfit Shine 2 is here – if you can tell the difference
With a fanfare, Misfit today introduced the long-awaited Shine 2 – the follow-up to its hugely successful crowd-funded wearable that put the Californian start-up on the map a couple of years back.
In what’s perhaps the most sincere form of flattery, Misfit has shunned any bold new design with the introduction of its second-generation flagship model – which looks almost identical to the first generation.
There are some differences, of course – according to the latest publicity shots, the 12 lights around the circular face now light up in red, not white – but there’s still no OLED display, just the trusty 12 lights – because it’s the sync to your smartphone where the Misfit really, um, shines.
Shine 2 is now an “advanced” fitness and sleep monitor, although we’re not quite sure why it deserves this upgraded moniker, and it’s thinner.
At just 8mm it’s going to be less noticeable on your wrist (the first generation was hardly a burden although it did have tendency to pop out of its silicon strap during sports) and it’s stronger, built from “aircraft grade aluminum” and glass-reinforced poly-carbonate.
Again, this is probably to help improve on a common problem with the first-gen devices, where the pretty brushed aluminum surface was quickly scarred with unsightly scratches. Like the first model, it’s pretty much water resistant for everyday use – this one down to 50m.
Spot the difference
Since it’s playing “spot the difference” between the Shine and Shine 2 models, Misfit has dug deep into the dictionary of superlatives to try and put some distance between the new model and its predecessor.
The original Shine is still on sale, but has now undergone another price drop, to just $69.99 – making it a great entry-level device into the world of wearable fitness trackers.
However, the original Shine still isn’t the Misfit entry model – that’s the brightly-colored Flash, which is now $29.99 – giving cheap Chinese no-name knock-offs a run for their money.
Therefore, the LEDs are “vivid”, with “beautiful” multi-color animations (although telling the time from the readout is still not intuitive) , the device is “instantly responsive” to being tapped and Bluetooth 4.1 has been “enhanced”. The battery life, always a big bonus for the Shine, is now up to six months although your mileage will vary.
As well as the ubiquitous silicon strap, there are some more watch-like straps with a clasp as well as the belt or lapel clip.
A simple, no-fuss activity tracker
If you’re looking for a simple activity tracker that will log your movement and sleep, without the regular maintenance required of a power-hungry rival tracker that needs charging every few days, the Shine 2 is the perfect choice.
But once you’re ready to move on up and explore more, you’ll be leaving it behind to graduate to a more feature-packed device.
One thing we’d highly recommend Shine for is its sleep tracking – because your Apple Watch is on the nightstand overnight, charging up – and from there, it can’t tell whether you’re sleeping like a log or tossing and turning like a ship on the ocean.
You can also expect a wide variety of special editions – in the past, we’ve seen the Speedo Shine, the Swarovski model, the Coca Cola red model, and a variety of enticingly-named funky limited-edition colors, straps and clips.
Privately-held Misfit is one of the wearable industry success stories – founded by CEO Sonny Vu with a core focus just on making and selling smart wearable technology.
Late last year the firm announced that it had raised a further $40m in “Series C” funding (its third cash injection) from investors including the Chinese consumer electronics giant Xiaomi – which is largely still unknown outside China despite being the world’s 3rd biggest smartphone maker, behind only Samsung and Apple.
This doubtless gives Misfit a huge boost in selling into the Chinese market itself, although Misfit’s specialized app for the Chinese market is yet to appear.
Shine 2 is available immediately, from $99.99.