Misfit Shine and Misfit Flash: Stylish, Waterproof Fitness Trackers

By Andli T. Arks

Among wearable activity trackers, the Misfit Shine and lower-priced offshoot Misfit Flash deliver a couple of pluses that may attract fitness-minded consumers to the compact gadgets. The personal activity and sleep monitors combine good looks (more like stylish jewelry than utilitarian wrist wrap) and a waterproof case. (Shine can survive depths of up to 50 meters — just over 164 feet — or an unintended dip in the washing machine; Flash can take a plunge to 30 meters.)

Available in a range of no-nonsense and bolder colors, the Misfit Shine makes a splash by fitting in fashionably at home, at the gym, in the workplace, and beyond. The anodized aluminum case is dotted with pinpoint holes and the face measures no bigger than a quarter. Manufacturer Misfit Wearables markets the device as functional when worn anywhere on the body, with accessories available to sport the Shine on the wrist or as a necklace. Shine comes with a wristband holder and a clip, to get you started.

What the Shine offers in tracker technology “elegance” could be enough to outshine other players in a marketplace flooded with fitness gear. Misfit enables users to measure steps taken and calories burned through the typical range of activities: walking, running, cycling, and working out, with the bonus of swimming.

The Shine’s three-motion accelerator marries up with inventive algorithms to deliver data in a readable form, based on activity calculations and the user’s height and weight. Misfit Shine wearers also can track span and quality of sleep time, by giving the disc a triple tap to launch its sleep monitor function.

Misfit Shine runs on a CR2032 coin cell battery, with life expectancy of up to six months before the battery requires replacement (recharge not an option). Misfit Wearable’s fitness tracker syncs with Bluetooth (4.0) Low Energy, and is compatible with a growing number of portable devices, including iPhone 4s and above, iPod touch 5, multiple iPad versions, Samsung Galaxy S 4 and 5, Samsung Note 3, and Google Nexus 4 and 5. Shine’s iOS app works with iOS 6.1.3 and above; Shine for Android requires Android 4.3 (otherwise known as Jelly Bean) or above. Both apps are compatible with Bluetooth 4.0.

If you’re keen on competition, you can use the smartphone app to display your Misfit-measured facts and figures to the world, which might motivate your friends to get moving with their own personal fitness tracking — to meet or beat your numbers.

For folks who want to keep tabs on their budgets, the trimmed-down Misfit Flash arrives just in time for 2014 holiday gift giving. Flash adds a circular lightshow to its polycarbonate face (softer feel than the Shine’s aluminum surface). The ring of flashing lights lets you know how far you’ve gone toward key daily goals — steps, miles, calories. (Heart rate and stair count aren’t part of the Flash programming. Other activities, including sleeping and swimming, do register among metrics measured.)

Like Misfit Shine, the Misfit Flash carries a coin cell battery that gets replaced, rather than recharged, a couple of times a year. Unlike Shine, Flash has neither web app nor computer sync capabilities.

Flash’s seven color options and petite face (although a tad bigger than Shine) continue Misfit Wearable’s flair for fashion. For fitness enthusiasts just getting started with activity tracking, the under-$50 price tag may be temptation enough to take the leap.