With winter approaching rapidly I’ve been looking for some motivation to get my arse off of the cosy couch, so the Misfit Shine review could not have come at a better time.
But before we get into it, I feel I need to confess a couple of things. I am by no means a ‘wearable’ know-it-all. In fact, this has been my first experience with such a device. I’m also not going to win any marathons anytime soon. I’m just your average mom, trying to get rid of those last couple of kgs (and some) of baby belly. OK, now that’s off of my chest…
At its core the Shine is a circular disk, about the size of a R5 coin, made from Anodized Aircraft-grade Aluminum. If that means nothing to you, just know it’s tough. An indent runs around the outside of the device, which allows it to ‘clip’ into its various accessories. When in sleep mode, the Shine looks like it has no display at all, but a double tap on the ‘face’ reveals a ring of LEDs around the edge. These tell you where you are with your daily goal progress as well as the time of day. For a more thorough breakdown of your data, you open the App.
Off the bat I have to say this is a sexy little number in comparison to the other activity trackers that are out there. I read that John Scully, former Apple CEO, is the co-founder of Misfit wearables, and it definitely shows in the elegantly simple design.
Looking more like a piece of jewellery than a fitness gadget, the Shine can be worn almost anywhere on the body. In the box it comes with a silicone wristband and a tiny magnetic clasp, which means it can be slipped into your pocket, worn on your wrist or clipped to any item of clothing.
If you’re heading out on the town for an all too rare mammas’ night out and you’re worried your Shine won’t go with your ‘ensemble’, fear not, because these thoughtful peeps have even made a necklace accessory for the fashion conscious (sold separately obvs). That way you won’t miss out on collecting the massive moves you’re going to use to tear up the dance floor. Nice, hey?
I have too much going on in my brain to be diligent enough to charge my activity tracker’s battery every 5 to 10 days. And even if I did remember, I’d totally forget to put it back on. Somehow, I don’t think I’m alone. Fortunately, unlike other fitness devices, the Shine doesn’t require you to do this as it works off of a standard watch battery that can last up to 6 months. This, in itself, is a huge plus!
It’s also light enough to forget it’s even there, and waterproof, so when you have forgotten its there and you go to scrub your mud-caked toddler in the bath, it’s going to survive.
Another big plus is that it uses wireless Bluetooth to sync with the App on your phone. I’m sure I speak for moms the world over when I say one less cord in my house is a big benefit.
I’m a bit of a Mac fan so I used my MisFit with the iPhone App. There is a free Android App available too, but I have to admit I haven’t seen it.
I found the IOS App to be really simple to navigate. You start by telling the App where you’re wearing your Shine, and setting up your activity, sleep and weight loss goals. The App then suggests how you can achieve them daily.
The Shine basically ‘counts’ the steps you take and distance you cover in single day, and measures the calories you burn doing them. The data is recorded in a ‘highlights’ panel as well as a graph that displays what time you were at your most active, and gives you a weekly and monthly overview of your achievements.
It also has the ability to track specific activities, like walking, running, swimming, cycling etc. This is handy, but it requires you to tell the Shine which activity to track via the App if it isn’t running or walking. Once that is set, you just have to triple tap the face to begin tracking.
I have to say I wish there was a simpler way to switch between activities using the device. It’s a bit of a mission to have to reset the activity via the App whenever you want to change it.
Something that really impressed me was its ability to connect with my other fitness Apps, like MyFitnessPal and Run Keeper. You can almost forgive its few weaknesses, like it’s pretty average food tracking abilities, because it cleverly allows these other Apps to pick up its slack. Combined, the collated data gave me a real understanding of where I’m at, and what I need to do to get to where I want to be. Which is still a fair amount…
The Sleep Tracker
As a mom to a night-needy child, I found this element of the device really interesting. It basically monitors your restful and restless sleep, as well as your awake periods.
What I learnt is I don’t get up nearly as many times, or for as long as I had been imagining, which made me feel a whole lot better about life. I can image it may have the opposite effect if you thought you were getting plenty of sleep when actually you’re a walking zombie and you hadn’t realized it.
It also has a smart alarm that you can set to wake you up when you’re in your lightest sleep so you feel more refreshed when you rejoin the world. It’s a nifty feature, but one that is probably wasted on most moms who received a free alarm clock for life when they gave birth to their first child.
The Sleep Sound is also a nice touch. It’s kind of like having a Sleep Sheep on your phone, but with a whole lot more sounds to choose from. I use this function when I’ve had to get up for my little man, and find myself struggling to get back to sleep.
I really like this device. Its looks got it a lot of attention while I was wearing it, many people not actually believing it was a fitness tracker.
Discovering how active I actually am on an average day really motivated me to want to do even more.
I kind of wish it did a bit more on the motivation front though, like sending me push notifications to get up and go. Something like, “I’ve noticed you’ve been sitting idle for 2 hours now without so much as a wee break. How about you shimmy your arse on over to the bathroom and earn yourself some walking points?” or what ev’s.
Should you buy it?
For just over R1499, hell yeah, I think it’s worth it.
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Kate Royce is an advertising copywriter, co-founder of Mammas’ Meeting Place and adoring mother to little Ethan whom, she is convinced, is set to be the greatest adventurer and explorer the world has ever known. Her dad once described her as “having the ability to find beauty in the strangest places,” which she thinks is one of the nicest things anyone’s ever said about her.