Review: My experience with the Misfit Shine – by guest blogger Leon Jones
I didn’t believe the wearable trend in my family would ever infect me. Nor had I seen a device quite as different to the rest of the market as the Misfit Shine, compared with any other wearable technology.
Having laughed at my parents and others for wearing something that could measure sleep, steps and exercise, I didn’t think I needed something like that. I mean, of course there are many teenagers addicted to their PlayStation who don’t walk more than a kilometer a day. But since I was never granted such an extravagant “step killer” or any other exercise-reducing luxuries by my parents, and because I do lots of sports after school, I felt that 10,000 steps would easily be achieved.
Since getting a Shine, I have changed my opinion about wearables.
I see that it is indeed hard to stay focused and do those exhausting kilometers, having now tested a high-tech wristband. I have looked at quite a lot of these in the last year as there are a lot of wearables on the market, ranging from a few dozen to hundreds of dollars.
The Misfit Shine wristband really caught my attention. I really liked the way it looks stylish, a feature I have missed on many wristlets. Also I was quite impressed with its double tap feature for seeing the time and especially the many different ways to wear it.
After the Wearable Tech Show in London this March my dad, Simon Jones, who has allowed me to guest blog, came home with a Misfit Shine: which I of course volunteered to test.
What’s inside the package
Inside the packaging you get the sport band, a rubber wristband and the clasp, which is a small clip that you put on the Shine when you wear it in your pocket or on your belt. Also I got three pairs of Misfit socks, each left one with a little pouch on the inside to stuff in your device. Other extra cost accessories include a Misfit necklace and a leather armband which looks very neat. The Misfit itself is fitted with a long-life battery which is said to have three months of Misfitting in it before it goes flat.
The Misfit is very light and looks good on the wrist when worn with the sport band. I have not used the clasp a lot, as you can’t easily check the time if the Shine is sitting in your pocket, and because I don’t usually bother with a wristwatch, I also use Shine to check the time.
The same applies to the socks: Misfit took the “sports” in sport socks too seriously, since they are very tight. Or, it may just be that they are just sports socks for people with smaller feet than mine, which are on the bigger side of average.
Too small and shiny?
It was near the end of a football training session that I lost the Shine. It was getting dark as I noticed my Shine had made a desperate jump to freedom from its usual place on my wrist and I then had 20 unpleasant minutes walking up and down the pitch, looking for my escaped gadget. I found it by sheer luck in the end, having nearly given up on finding it that day.
To use all the features on the Shine itself you have to tap it, then 12 little lights show up showing your stats. Double-tap for time and activity and triple-tap for sleep mode. There must be some kind of resistance on the back of the Misfit or it won’t recognize your touch no matter how hard you tap. So if you have a wrist size which is right in between two sizes, it can get annoying as you have to move the band before you can tap it to show time or activity.
Keeping in sync
For the Misfit to link with your phone, you have to download the app. The Android version was pretty basic when I downloaded it but since then has become quite nice. At the start, all you could do was see daily steps and sleep, both shown for intensity in bars, for steps the higher the better, and for sleep the darker the deeper your sleep. The Shine is also able to track different kinds of movement, an attribute which hadn’t been accessible via the Android app until only a week ago.
Now you can tag your activity by triple tapping, a feature I haven’t managed to work perfectly yet, but at least you can see the exact times of walking or running. However, I’m in Germany and the app is one hour slow. I ran to the school bus stop this morning shortly after 8am (late as usual), but the app somehow told me I did my early morning workout at 9am.
The device connects to your phone via Bluetooth, a process which takes about one minute overall. Your phone has to be connected to mobile data or Wi-Fi for the sync to happen though. As you have to connect manually, I don’t think of syncing very often now, although I probably synced every five minutes when it was new for me.
The manual connection has some good things and some bad ones. Good is, that you can reduce the battery consumption via not syncing every hour and that the radiation, low as it already is with Bluetooth, is only there when you want it. Bad is that you may forget syncing and that it always takes time after you have opened the app to see your goals and results. I connect every three days or so, but an extra, like a push notification reminding you to connect definitely wouldn’t hurt. But no worries, I haven’t synced for a week and all the data was still there.
The app provides the possibility of checking your activity on previous days by swiping your finger to the right. You can also chose a date from a menu. You can individually choose your sleep and activity goal, my sleep goal is at approximately 8:30 hours as I’m a teenager and have to do lots of sleeping.
My step goal went up to 12,000 steps (1200 Activity points) immediately as then one dot is 10 percent and I don’t have to work it out when looking at activity, which is nice anytime, but especially when playing football or jogging. After two major software updates, which made the app nice to use and I didn’t feel as if I was using 2010 app technology anymore, there is an overview for days, weeks and months of activity points and sleep.
Shine as a fashion icon
At school, interest in wearable tech has definitely gone up, previously wearables apart from smartwatches were unknown. The Shine really looks good and attracts attention because it looks different and is not usual. But only up until recently. Without even noticing, my Shine scratched on the upper side, where the little lamps show time and activity. This is poor as the Shine stopped shining in my eyes and also isn’t easily reparable.
Things I would improve on Shine and the Misfit app: There is not much detailed information on sleep, like the exact time for deep sleep, for example from 3.40am to 4.56am and so on. These details should not be much work to add and will provide a lot of useful information for the user (maybe also for anybody stealing data). Also I would change the long-life battery into an average life rechargeable battery which is connected once a week like the Fitbit. The Sport band should also be somehow changed to fit more tightly, as if I had worn it for swimming in our local lake and it would have fallen off I probably would have lost it forever, and Misfit can’t expect people to wear socks when swimming to assure their Shine stays safely near their body.
The Shine: A pretty impressive package
Overall, I am pretty impressed by the Misfit Shine, especially with the updated app and wearing comfort, as I hardly notice it on my arm. If the app provides any more information, then I am going to be a happy boy. But, I’m not impressed with how the Shine lost its shiny Shine after a few weeks and how mine, after two months of use, has scratches which dent its appearance in my eyes.
I would like to thank my dad for allowing me to guest blog and Misfit boss Sonny Vu for sending me a Shine to test.