Definitely standing out from the pack, the Misfit Shine 2 looks distinctly different from the rest of the fitness trackers that we reviewed. The Misfit lacks a screen, replacing it with a modern take on a traditional analog watch. This product excelled at being easy to use once you got the hang of it, and was one of the more comfortable device to wear. Unfortunately, its performance wasn't quite up to par overall, and this model scored near the bottom of the pack.
Misfit Shine 2 Review
Pros: Waterproof, minimalistic, easy to use
Cons: Few features, no heart rate monitoring, sub par fitness tracking
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Our Analysis and Test Results
While immediately eye-catching, the Misfit's sleek, minimalistic design and superior waterproofing weren't quite enough to offset its lackluster performance in our highest weighted metrics. The Shine 2 had a below average score in fitness impact, and barely above average score in health impact, leading to an overall score of 59 out of 100, solidly keeping it out of the award-winning category. However, this is one of the least obtrusive models we reviewed, and may be something to consider for those particularly interested in swimming or other water-based activities, and want the smallest possible fitness tracker on their wrist.
Nothing particularly stood out as a notable feature on the Misfit with respect to fitness impact, with the exception of tracking a handful of atypical activities. First, we checked the accuracy of each one at counting steps, comparing the steps on the device to our manually counted steps on a mile walk, using a counting clicker. The Shine 2 was off by an average of 3.2% in our tests, or about 69 steps, though it was hit or miss at detecting false steps.
The Shine wasn't the greatest for cycling tracking, basically acting as a stopwatch. You would start a timer and select your intensity level in the app to initiate tracking. The same method applies for a cardio workout. This model does not calculate stairs climbed.
The Misfit Shine 2 did an above average job in our fitness impact test, earning a 6 out of 10. This model does not measure heart rate, immediately putting it at a slight disadvantage compared to the other trackers. However, the companion mobile device app has the ability to measure heart rate using your device's camera. This is a very rudimentary system, and as such, it only provides a rough estimate.
This particular tracker also wasn't the best when it came to improving your diet. You have to use a third-party app, MyFitnessPal, to track caloric input rather than the Misfit app. We also compared the resting Metabolic rate (rMr) calculated on the device to a generic rMr calculation for our tester, and found that the Shine 2 overestimated calories buy about 125%.
This model did earn point for helping improve your motivation to get up and be more active by having customizable alarms to notify you that you have been inactive for too long. These can be set by the user to trigger after 20-120 min of inactivity, at 20 min intervals.
This tracker will automatically track your sleep if worn at night, and has a graph to show sleep stages. It also can act as an alarm clock, vibrating to wake you.
Ease of Use
The Shine 2 did very well in this category, as it was exceptionally easy to use. It's merit lies in its simplicity, the lack of screen making it simple and convenient to use. This model has an exceptional battery life of up to 6 months on a single coin cell battery, breaking from the trend of a device that has to be placed on the charger every night. The Shine 2 also syncs your fitness data to your mobile device very rapidly, around 6-8 seconds.
You can sort your data on the app by day, week, or month and receive a little graph of your progress. The app is available on both iOS and Android devices, and appears to behave identically on both. Not having a screen, there aren't really any menus to navigate on the device itself, you simply press twice to see your current progress and then the time. The LED ring is simple enough to understand once you get the hang of it, but isn't immediately apparent as to its meaning.
This model was very easy to put on and tighten, especially after the first few times. We also liked that this model was waterproof up to 50m, making it perfect for swimming. This also alleviates any potential panic about wearing it in the rain or in the shower, unlike other devices.
The Shine 2 was one of the smallest trackers we tested, and combines with its low profile design caused it to score very well in our ergonomics test, earning a 7 out of 10.
This model essentially amounts to a large coin on your wrist, about even with your wrist bone in the case of our tester. It was definitely the easiest to put on a jacket or backpack with this model, and it was much less prone to getting caught on things. This minimalistic design also made it one of the most comfortable to wear, day or night. The only part of this tracker that received mixed reviews was it aesthetic appear, with users either loving it or hating it. However, there are plenty of other accessories to allow you to match your own style.
Lacking an actual screen, the Misfit did better than expected in this metric, earning a 5 out of 10. This model wasn't the most accurate when telling you the time, as the nature of its circular LED display forces you infer the time within about 5 minutes.
The lights on this model weren't the brightest, and can be difficult to see in bright light. This model didn't always immediately respond when we tried to wake it up, but it was about average when compared to its competitors. It will also light up and vibrate for a call or text message.
This bare-bones, minimalist fitness tracker is substantially less expensive than other models, but only has a fraction of the features and functionality. This can be a great value if you are looking for the bare minimum in one of these products, but you may be disappointed if you expect too much.
The Misfit 2 is a tiny, sleek fitness tracker that breaks the mold when compared to other brands out there, Ditching the screen and the rechargeable battery in favor of a circular LED display and a coin cell. This model didn't quite score well enough to merit an award with its lack of features, but what it does do, it does well — and has the added bonus of being waterproof for you swimmers and paddlers out there.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer