Misfit Shine 2 review: A slim fitness tracker with loads of features

Fitness & Health / Fitness & Health Reviews / Reviews

Fitness trackers come in myriad shapes and sizes, though there are generally a few trade-offs with most designs.

The new year is upon us, and many will have resolutions to get into better shape. Some may want a fitness tracker to help them on that journey. The Misfit Shine 2 and Misfit Shine 2 Speedo Edition are available options to help you meet your fitness goals. In this full review I’ll talk about how the Shine trackers perform.

Specifications

The Misfit Shine 2 includes the following features and specifications:

  • Automatically tracks steps, distance, calories, and light and restful sleep
  • Vibration alerts for call and text notifications, movement reminders, and alarms
  • Smart button enabled to control connected household devices
  • Swimproof, anodized aluminum disc with multicolor LED progress display
  • Non-charging, replaceable batteries last up to 6 months
  • Misfit Shine 2 Material: Anodized Aircraft-grade Aluminum
  • Sport Band Material: TPU
  • Sport Band Action Clip Material: Nylon
  • Clasp Material: Nylon
  • Display: 12 Multicolor LEDs
  • Water Resistance: Up to 50 meters
  • Capacitive Touch-Sensor: Yes
  • Vibrating Feedback & Alarms: Yes
  • Watch Function (Clock): Yes
  • Smart Button Function: Yes, using the Link App
  • Sensor: 3-axis accelerometer and magnetometer
  • Measures: Steps, Calories Burned, Distance, Activity Types, Sleep Quality and Duration
  • Charging: None
  • Battery: Panasonic CR2032 coin cell
  • Battery Life: Up to 6 months
  • Sync Method: Bluetooth 4.1
  • Dimensions of Misfit Shine 2 device: 30.5 mm Diameter, 8 mm Height
  • Weight of Misfit Shine 2 device: 8.5 g (with battery installed)

What’s in the Box

  • Misfit Shine 2
  • Newly Re-engineered Sport Band
  • Clasp
  • Battery Door Tool
  • Battery
  • Quick Start Guide

Note: This is the old version of the band. You do not want this band. All other images include the newer band.

Design

Fitness trackers come in myriad shapes and sizes, though there are generally a few trade-offs with most designs. If the tracker features a screen it’s usually a bit thicker, while trackers without can be quite a lot thinner without that extra hardware. Misfit has managed to come to a happy medium where there is no screen, so the tracker is exceptionally thin, but the face of the tracker provides enough information in a quick and easy way. As a bit of early housekeeping, this review covers both the Misfit Shine 2 and the Misfit Shine 2 Speedo Edition. I’ll get into the reasons behind that in greater detail later, but the design section below talks mostly about the Speedo Edition, though the normal Misfit Shine 2 is nearly identical.

The tracker itself is a silver circle, just slightly larger than a quarter and about the thickness of three quarters stacked on top of each other. The face of the tracker features twelve dots around the outside (which will be discussed in much greater detail soon) and no other markings whatsoever. The outside of the tracker includes a groove, which is where the included bands will attach. The bottom includes the Speedo name mark as well as two notches that are used to open the battery compartment using the included tool.

The non-Speedo Edition simply has the Misfit logo on the back of the tracker.

The Speedo Edition of the tracker comes with two bands, one white and one black, which connect via a loop on one end where the other side with a metal peg passes through and connects to one of eight holes. The older model includes a small plastic disk that attaches underneath and to either side of the tracker on either of the included bands. This helps keep the tracker securely fastened to the band, and the rounded edges allow it to more easily slide on your arm, though there is the occasional possibility of catching an arm hair in the small cracks, which can be a surprise for sure. Newer models have a one piece band where the tracker snaps into place. I’ll talk more about why you want to be sure you have the newer model in later sections. You’ll also receive a belt clip, where the tracker pops in and can then be clipped to your belt or shoe, or you can just as easily keep the tracker loose in your pocket (though it would be quite easy to lose it, it’s small).

The dots on the top of the tracker are used to show you your progress towards your goal, as well as the time, and also act as a notification when the tracker is syncing, setting off an alarm, or reminding you to keep moving. The twelve dots are used to show a percentage of your goal and can be activated by tapping the top of the tracker. You’ll first see your progress toward your goal in red, as the lights around the outside light. If you surpass your goal for the day, the circling lights will get progressively lighter — red, to orange, to yellow, and that’s the highest daily total I got — and circle around multiple times to show how many multiples of your goal have been completed.

This is the newer band. This is the band that you want.

After the activity indication you’ll have the clock (though you can switch the order in the app settings), which first shows you 12, 3, 6, and 9 in white dots that stay lit, followed by a green dot that stays lit showing the hour, and a blue blinking dot that shows you the minute rounded to the nearest five minutes. It’s obviously not the most accurate clock as the minute hand can be off by a few minutes, but more often than not it will be enough to give you an idea of what time it is without pulling your phone out of your pocket.

Motion alarms will blink orange and rise from either side of the tracker while it vibrates eight times, and when you’re syncing the tracker with the app the LEDs blink blue and circle around clockwise. The silent alarm will buzz the tracker until you tap it enough times to turn it off. The documentation suggests that tapping twice is enough, though I’ve found it usually requires a few more taps. One other thing to note, if you’re a heavy sleeper, you probably won’t want to keep this as your only alarm. I’ve definitely slept through the vibrating alarm a couple of times (or maybe turned it off in my sleep) though lighter sleepers shouldn’t have that issue.

Overall I really do like the design of the Misfit Shine 2. It is very thin and light, and the band is actually big enough for my big wrists. In fact, I usually have it set on the next to last, and occasionally even the third largest peg, which is impressive!

Software

The Misfit app allows you to sync your tracker to your phone via Bluetooth, as well as review your previous results for activity as well as sleep. The tracker has a default activity rating of 600 “points” which equates to roughly an hour of walking, a half hour of running, or 20 minutes of swimming. That will usually end up equalling right around 6000 steps. You can view your progress towards this goal in either a circular percentage graph, similar to how your tracker looks, or you can see a more traditional bar graph that shows your most active times during the day.

Activity and sleep tracking graphs. Of course I had to choose a day where I crushed my activity goal.

The sleep tracking has a default goal of eight hours and uses a three-tiered system to show the times that you are awake, sleeping lightly, or sleeping restfully. These will show up similar to the activity tracking in either a circular percentage graph or a more detailed bar graph. The bar graph is more of a block graph, where the entire y-axis is filled with whatever sleep level you’re at. I do somewhat prefer more of a line graph style, where peaks and valleys show your varying stages of sleep, but the block style gives you a good understanding of your sleeping habits as well. One extra bonus that the Misfit Shine 2 has over some other trackers is that it can easily handle naps and will display additional graphs for your sleep whenever you end up sleeping.

You can change your goals after you’ve set up your profile in the app. When setting up you’ll enter your name and your desired username. You’ll also choose whether or not you want to share all of your activity progress with your friends. It is un-checked by default. You can also adjust your activity or sleep if something looks wrong. For example, I do still take off the Misfit 2 when I’m in the shower, and sometimes it does not register that I’m actually awake as I stumble into the bathroom. You can easily change your wake up time if necessary to reflect a more accurate sleep schedule. You can also add activities, food, sleep, weight, and estimated pulse to keep a more detailed listing of your day to day health.

Your profile also allows you to connect to other fitness/note apps such as MyFitnessPal, Evernote, RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, and even IF by IFTTT. Most of these simply allow you to export fitness data to other health-type apps, though IF obviously has quite a few recipes covering everything from archiving your synced data to Google Drive to finding your phone with a series of taps on your Shine 2 tracker.

You can add activities, food, weight, etc. The Misfit Shine 2 will even easily handle naps.

The app also lets you set up Misfit Move — a reminder to get yourself up and moving around after a set period of inactivity, app notifications that provide a unique light/vibration pattern for incoming calls, texts, and other app notifications, as well as an alarm. The alarm vibrates your tracker until you tap it twice to turn it off. You are also able to connect your Shine 2 to the Misfit Link app, which lets you configure additional tap controls on your Shine 2. Curiously, though, the Misfit app allows 3rd party login with your Google account, but the Misfit Link app does not.

Ease of Use

At its most basic level, you really just need to strap the Misfit Shine 2 to your wrist or clip it to your belt, or shoe, and just get moving. The tracker will keep track of your walking, running, sleeping, and other activity. and then you’ll simply need to sync with the Misfit app in order to keep track of your daily progress.

Reading the clock may be a bit of a challenge for anybody that isn’t familiar with traditional analog clocks, though it shouldn’t be too steep of a learning curve. There are definitely more advanced use cases that you can get into, including IFTTT support and other app integrations, but if you simply want to wear your Misfit Shine 2 as a fitness tracker, that option is absolutely available.

Performance

For general activity tracking, the Misfit Shine 2 does a great job. My daily steps seemed pretty accurate based on what I’ve seen with other trackers, while extended sessions fell in line with what I’d expect based on previous history as well. You’ve probably noticed that I’ve mentioned both the Misfit Shine 2 and the Misfit Shine 2 Speedo Edition in this review. I mentioned that you’ll want to be sure and have the newer style of wrist strap earlier, and that’s because the older style (with the two piece construction) is a bit less reliable.

After wearing that band for some time without issue, the tracker itself just popped right out, leaving the strap on my wrist. I discovered this while at CES when I went to tap and check my progress only to find that the tracker disk was simply missing. Since it wasn’t in my pocket, I knew there would be pretty much no chance of finding it, and I was definitely disappointed. Since this happened at CES, I was able to stop and chat with Misfit at the big show. I explained what happened, and they told me about the new band design and how it was more stable and holds the tracker more securely. They were gracious enough to give me a Misfit Shine 2 to complete my testing since they did not have any of the Speedo Edition trackers at their booth.

Otherwise, performance is great. I was able to do a bit of swimming before the Speedo Edition was lost, and entering swim tracking mode is easy. You will need to exit swim tracking mode before you’re able to check your status or see the clock again, as otherwise the tracker will not respond to individual taps. I’d honestly thought I broke the Speedo Edition tracker the first time I got it wet and it stopped responding for a bit. As long as the tracker is properly sealed though, a little bit of water won’t bother it at all.

One issue I had with the Shine 2 that I did not have with the Speedo Edition was syncing with the app. The Speedo Edition would sync very quickly and I’d be able to see my daily results within seconds. The Shine 2 will often fail to sync, and I’ll occasionally need to try two or three times before I can get it to sync. This could just be an issue with the replacement tracker that I got because it seems really odd that the Speedo Edition would sync so perfectly and the regular Shine 2 would not.

Battery Life

With the replaceable CR2032 watch battery, your Misfit Shine 2 should run without issue for months. Misfit suggests six months before a battery change is necessary. I’ve not had six months to confirm or deny that fact, but throughout my testing, the battery meter in the app has always read “full.” Replacement batteries are pretty cheap and easy to change either with the included tool or even with your bare hands, though you shouldn’t need to change batteries all that often.

The tracker itself is quite small.

Price/Value

The Misfit Shine 2 is priced at $99.99, while the Speedo Edition is a bit more expensive at $119.99. Many of the Speedo Edition functions such as lap counting can be unlocked by Misfit Shine 2 users via the Misfit app and a $9.99 upgrade charge. For $99 though, the Misfit Shine will be well worth it for most users. The slim design is great, the included tracking and features included via the app definitely add value, and the redesigned band should do a much better job preventing you from losing your tracker.

Wrap Up

I said at the very beginning that there are loads of different fitness trackers to choose from. The Misfit Shine 2 offers a very slim design packed full of features that will cover the needs of most. If you’re a swimmer, the upgrade to the Speedo Edition or app upgrade for lap counting may be worth it for you too. Either way, you’re getting a small, attractive tracker that can help you to achieve your fitness goals.

Misfit Shine 2
4.6 Out of 5
Nailed it
The Misfit Shine 2 is very thin and light. It's comfortable to wear, and does a good job of tracking your activities. The app is easy to use an offers quite a few basic and advanced features.
Needs Work
You'll want to be sure you get the newer style of strap, since the old version caused me to lose my first tracker. Some may not like the lack of a digital display for the time, or that the clock can be a few minutes off since it rounds to the nearest 5 minutes.
Bottom Line
For the price, you're getting a very thin and light tracker with some great features. If you're a swimmer, you can opt for a more swimmer-centric version of the tracker with the Speedo Edition, or upgrade your swim tracking features via the app with the Misfit Shine 2.
Design5.00
Software/Ecosystem4.25
Ease of Use4.50
Performance4.50
Battery Life5.00
Price/Value4.25
*We were sent a review sample of the Misfit Shine 2 for the purposes of this review.
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