The Misfit Shine is a svelte, powder-coated aluminum disc that resembles a miniature macaroon – this makes it extremely durable, it’s designed to survive knocks. Smaller and lighter than a two-pound coin, its face is orbited by a circular array of twinkling LED dots, which double as watch hands. I found it to be a pretty versatile activity tracker with the smart, built-in ability to detect your sporting activity and record it all. Oh, and a seemingly inexhaustible 6-month battery life. All fabulous in theory, but how does it stack up in the field? Here’s how I tackled the week:
Today I did a gruelling 15 minutes of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) runs up and down Primrose Hill, followed by a kettle bell fuelled leg session (lunges, squats, swings). Design-wise, I’m a big fan. In a landscape of chunky and unwieldy cuffs, I have found it is masterfully discrete and elegant. It’s versatile too; you can clip it to a belt, fasten it around an ankle, or even ‘bling it’ as a necklace should I want to keep my wrists unencumbered.
Breakfast - A bowl of my home made ‘Uber Muesli’ for breakfast with chia seeds, toasted almond flakes and dried blueberries.
Lunch - Grilled tuna steak with quinoa and spinach for lunch.
Snacks - Grazed on almonds through the day. I polished off a 2-litre bottle of Evian.
Dinner – Quorn bolognese with gluten-free brown pasta followed by one square of 90% chocolate.
This morning I started with a hot bikram yoga session, I am giving my body a rest day from weights. The band was so unobtrusive and felt invisible on my wrist, even in the heat. I find that as the wristband is super-slim, I can wear it subtly under my jumper or jacket on the way to the studio without interfering with how my outfit sits. The Shine itself is almost a watch, but without a digital data display, you don’t get the ‘live’ information hit you crave, nor any “good job” or “keep it up” encouragement.
Breakfast - Salmon, poached eggs and 2 slices of wholegrain toast with a skinny latte.
Lunch - Grilled cod with lemon juice, kale and black quinoa.
Snacks – Grazed on cashews through the day. 2-litre bottle of water. One square of 90% chocolate after dinner.
Dinner - Thai fish cakes.
Today is a shoulder and back day, I’m looking forward to doing weights in the gym again.
At a basic level, I can log steps taken, laps run, lengths swum, hoops shot, sleep reclaimed… but recording my activity isn’t as easy as it should be. My gym workout refuses to be added to Shine’s historic log, which is frustrating to learn in the post-workout state! I triple-tap the device’s face to select ‘activity logging mode’, but the response is so unreliable I question whether my activity has been recorded or not. My motivation, however, is increased by the 12 LED lights that dance around the Shine’s face and correspond to the amount of activity you have carried out throughout the day, if you have met half your daily goal which is measures in “Shine points” half the LEDs will light up. Seeing myself getting closer to 100 per cent is compelling!
Breakfast - Fresh fruit salad with yoghurt and honey for breakfast.
Lunch - Five-bean salad for lunch.
Dinner – Prawn ramen with whole grain noodles.
Snacks - Grazed on Brazil nuts through the day. 2-litre bottle of water. One square of 90% chocolate after dinner.
When I wake up, I find with sleep monitoring, tapping is required, as I don’t wholly trust the ‘Auto Sleep Tracking’ mode. When it does work, it registers data as total time, amount of REM sleep or graphical representations. It’s interesting to see, but I had hoped for something more illuminating, perhaps something like sound recording upon motion. Running this morning – 40 minutes from the Maida Vale canal up to the inner circle of Regent’s Park and back again.
Breakfast – My uber muesli with a skinny latte.
Lunch – Chilli con carne with sweet potato crisps for lunch.
Snacks - Grazed on walnuts through the day. 2-litre bottle of water. One square of 90% chocolate after dinner.
Dinner - Grilled tuna niçoise.
Today I went to the gym and did weight training on my chest and arms. I find that syncing my Shine with my smartphone involves physically resting the wristband on my phone’s screen so that the data can be downloaded to the Misfit app. But when the device is worn on my wrist, the sync becomes physically awkward as my arm blocks the screen. I am struggling with the device’s ‘points’ system. I burn calories, I exert watts, I take steps, and I dispatch repetitions…but I don’t ‘earn points’. But the Shine’s data amounts to exactly that – random points which are arbitrarily allocated. It’s hard to intuitively understand that, even for someone who works in fitness every day!
Breakfast - Fresh fruit salad and yoghurt with honey for breakfast.
Lunch - Pear, goats cheese, walnut and rocket salad.
Snacks - Grazed on almonds through the day. 2-litre bottle of water. One square of 90% chocolate after dinner.
Dinner - Grilled salmon, lentils, quinoa and avocado.
Fit for a fashionista
As beautiful as the Shine is, it’s still slightly awkward and unreliable – somewhat of a ‘misfit’. To win in my eyes, I want it to use all available technology that smartphones can access. I also want it to be more reliable and work every time, with intuitive ease, not just some of the time. The lack of a heart-rate monitor deals a pretty testing blow to its ‘data’ credibility, but the delicious aesthetic appeal means it will continue to enjoy a legitimate position in a competitive market. All in all, it looks far more appealing than the others, almost like a piece of jewellery which makes you want to wear it, but it doesn’t do as much, and it doesn’t do it reliably enough. For that reason, it’s not for the tech-hungry fitness enthusiast; it is better suited for the normal gym-goer who’s looking to improve upon his or her fitness with style!