I was one of the early adopters of Jawbone’s Up V1 fitness tracker. When it worked, it provided me with the feedback I needed to “get up and move” and get enough sleep, among other things. Key words here were “when it worked”. The folks at Jawbone supported me (when I reached out to them on Twitter) and I went through 4 V1 bands, and finally applied for the no questions asked refund (which expired 12/31/2012)/. I got my money back and also was sent a V2. I “only” went through two V2’s and (probably foolishly) purchased an UP24. When that UP24 showed signs of misbehaving that resets and firmware upgrades could not remediate, I cut my losses and went with a Fitbit Flex which offered most of the same functionality, plus a Windows app (which the Jawbone folks have yet to launch, assuming they even care about the Windows platform).
The Fitbit Flex met my needs, except I frequently ended up with a dead battery needing a recharge. Battery notifications from the app itself and a third party IFTTT app just didn’t seem to work. On the plus side, where UP could not be worn in the shower, while washing dishes, and of course swimming, the Fitbit Flex was much more “water resistant”. There are accessory bands for the fashion conscious and even some Tory Burch accessories to dress up the band. (I always thought the Jawbone UP was ugly, and considered the Fitbit Flex a fashion step up – pardon the pun.) When my Fitbit Flex stopped holding a charge and needed a reset before each recharge, I decided to see what else was out there.
The Microsoft Band had just been released. While it really is a computer for your wrist, the MS Band is an obvious piece that screams (unfashionable ugly) high tech that isn’t something I’d wear out to dinner. And when I tried one on, uncomfortable to boot. Clearly the Microsoft Band was made for a male audience. It does lots of things other fitness trackers don’t do, but I didn’t want (another) device to be a slave to, I just wanted to track steps, activity, sleep, etc. Then there’s the 48 hour battery life. I want to be free of wall chargers and remembering to plug a tracker in.
Enter the Misfit Shine.
I’d been following this product since the Indiegogo days off and on. What finally got me to pull the trigger on ordering one (besides reading all the reviews of the functionality) was the classically simple fashion conscious design AND the use of an old fashioned CR2032 four month battery.
Here’s a visual fashion comparison:
|UP24 in basic black||Fitbit Flex|
|Microsoft Band||Misfit Shine|
In addition to the tracking functionality, the Misfit Shine also serves as a watch, and gets the time from the synced phone or device. Another big plus for me is that the Misfit Shine goes into sleep mode automatically which the other devices don’t do. It comes with an alternative clip so that you can attach it to a T-Shirt, etc. You can remove the device from the band/clip and just keep in your pocket, too.
I’m using my Misfit Shine and syncing to my iPhone 6, but Misfit has apps for Windows Phone, Windows 8.1 and Android devices. Misfit recommends syncing with only one device, but I did play around with syncing to my Surface Pro 3
Comparing how well the Misift records my sleep patterns was interesting. After a particularly long day, I went to bed early and did some reading before dousing the lights. Fitbit (on the left below) recorded the time I went to bed because I had to tap to place it in sleep mode, but didn’t do a stellar job of recording restless/awake, etc. Misfit, on the other hand, entered sleep mode automatically and recorded the 45 minutes or so of reading as part of a sleep cycle, but did a better job of reporting on sleep quality.
Here’s the same sleep data displayed in the Windows 8.1 app:
The major areas I care about are displayed when I check the app on my iPhone. The app on the iPhone allows multiple views so you can see how you’ve done to meet your goals by day, week, etc.
You can set up trackers for running and swimming, too.
There is a Misfit channel on IFTTT and integration on the iPhone with the Apple Health App.
I started this post with some comments about fashion. Swarovski has partnered with Misfit and two versions of Swarovski Shine were shown at CES. The first version (available for pre-order now) uses a clear Swarovski crystal married to the Misfit Shine technology (with user replaceable CR2032 battery) and can be inserted in a variety of Swarovski bracelets or pendants. The second version uses a blue-ish crystal that channels light in a specific way to enable a solar/light powered version that does not use batteries. These are intriguing. I’ll be looking at them closely. And if any Misfit/Swarovski folks are reading this, I’m a GREAT beta tester 😉
I’ve loved my Fitbit Flex since the day it launched. I ordered and use the wristband pack and the pink band, but when all is said and done, these bands aren’t aesthetically what I’d call jewelry and they don’t blend nicely with the other accessories I wear. And to be honest, the bands look out of place on an evening out.
You can sign up to be notified when the accessories are available.
Fitbit has, in my opinion, the best of all worlds in its Flex tracker. Fitbit has released a Windows 8.1 Store App (which none of the other fitness tracker companies have yet done) and the company stands behind their excellent product with great support. The coming availability of these fashion enclosures gives them a leg up on the competition.