Smart tracking with Misfit Shine

We review the sleek and stylish Misfit Shine to see how the activity tracker stacks up.

The Misfit Shine certainly meets the mark in terms of aesthetics, but how does it rate as an activity tracker –and most importantly, does it motivate you to move? Medibank member Kim road tested the flashy to see how it performed.

Set up:

Unpacking the Misfit Shine feels very iPhone-esque, with its clean design, compartmentalised packaging and nifty tool to help prise open the back cover. Once you pop the battery in and snap it shut, you have to download the app to load up the latest firmware and sync the activity tracker to your phone. To sync, place Shine on your phone’s screen where flashing lights on the device indicate it’s syncing – this is the same method you will use any time you want to transfer your activity data onto the app.

Enter goals:

When you first download the app, you need to set your goals based on points per day. The app indicates what sorts of activities will help you achieve your goals, e.g. 2000 points requires around 3.5 hours of walking, or 1 hour of running. I started with 1000 points just to get an idea of how quickly I could hit my target. You can also add sleep goals based on how many hours you want to achieve each night, and weight goals. The app has a feature where it sounds an alarm to wake you at the best window of your sleep cycle, and also tracks the number of restful sleep hours you’ve clocked up.

Get going:

Shine comes with a few different ways to wear it: as a watch, clipped on to your clothes or looped through a shoelace. I’ve mainly worn it as a watch, as this way you can wear it to sleep easily as well – the only downside is the clip digs into your wrist a little when you first fasten it. As you build up your activity through the day, you can check how you’re tracking by tapping Shine and seeing how many lights illuminate around its face. After it displays your activity, it also indicates the time. The battery in Shine lasts up to six months, which is a handy feature as it means you don’t have to charge the device every few days.

Did it make a difference?

Firstly, wearing Shine made a difference because I was able to track incidental exercise. I realised that by walking to and from the train station, taking two trains to work and general activity throughout the day at work, I could hit my 1000 points target easily without actually doing any specific exercise sessions. For me, this was positive as it reinforced I was already somewhat active in my day and all my little decisions to take stairs or power walk to work were contributing to a good amount of movement.

Seeing it on my wrist was a simple reminder to keep moving, and tapping it every so often for my activity tally was a fun way to keep motivated. I did find sometimes I had to tap it a few times for the lights to display. Once I was consistently hitting my goal, I upped it to 2000 points each day and have found it much more of a challenge to hit, but a motivating one. I’ve found it easier to hit the 2000 points on weekends, but am getting at least 3/4 of the goal done on weekdays.

Sleep:

Surprisingly, I’ve found the sleep tracker has had a big impact on my lifestyle. I’ve never really paid much attention to sleep but wearing Shine has made me want to hit my 8 hours goal each night, and get as much restful sleep as possible. It’s hard to know how accurate that latter feature of it is, but when I’ve woken up feeling tired, I found I often had less restful hours than at other times. While you don’t need an activity tracker to monitor your sleep – a simple sleep diary does the trick – anything that helps you become more aware of your sleep and the hours/quality you’re getting is a great thing.

Overall:

For a simple, unobtrusive way to monitor your daily activity, Shine is a solid offering. It’s extremely light, so you’re hardly aware you’re wearing it, and blends in well so you can wear it with work clothes as well as exercise clothes. While its functionality isn’t overly complex, if you’re after a device that will track your movements and help spur you on, it’s got it covered.

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