Misfit Shine 2 fitness and sleep monitor review

The Misfit Shine 2 is an activity tracker that follows on from Misfit's original Shine, adding sleep tracking and haptic feedback for notifications and calls into the mix.

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The Misfit Shine 2 is essentially a lite version of a smartwatch, offering tracking information to help you count your steps, calories, miles and activities. You'll also get data to monitor how well you've slept, and you'll be able to compare your activity with your previous personal bests and with your Misfit-wearing friends.

In addition, you'll be able to see the time, an indication of how close you are to meeting your daily activity goal, and you'll be notified to incoming calls and notifications thanks to a vibration on your wrist.

What you won't get is a display that shows who it is that's calling or texting, and you can't add extra functionality by downloading apps, but that means you're also getting this wearable at a much lower price than the average smartwatch. Read on to find out more about the Misfit Shine 2 in our full review.

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Misfit Shine 2 review: Design & build

Slim and unassuming, the disc-shaped aluminium tracker can be worn on the wrist or clipped to a belt, but the latter will render some of its functions pretty much useless. The Misfit Shine 2 can display your fitness progress and the time on your wrist, and its unlikely you'll feel the haptic feedback when you get a call or text if you choose to clip it to your belt. That's a shame, though, because the design is quite masculine and plasticky. I was reluctant wear it during a nice meal out with a blouse or a dress, for example, but I didn't want to miss out on its functionality.

There are two colour options, Carbon Black or Rose Gold, but for now there is just one rubbery black band to go with it, which is where the problem lies. The good news is that Misfit is set to release additional bands soon, which should help the device's style situation and would certainly encourage me to continue wearing it.

The standard band that's included is comfortable, though. It's easy to put on and adjust to fit your wrist, and there's a harder plastic portion that sits right beneath the Shine itself to stop it from falling out of the band.

When it comes to durability we're impressed. We've been wearing it for several weeks and haven't removed it at all, yet there's not a scratch in sight. It's waterproof so you don't even need to take it off in the shower or when you go swimming, but Misfit warns that you shouldn't expose it to salt water too much. Find which fitness tracker is best for swimmers.

Misfit Shine 2 review: Tracking features

It won't take you long to get started with the Misfit Shine 2. It's easy to set up, pairing easily and simply with your iPhone or Android device via Bluetooth using the Misfit app.

The Shine 2 works with devices running iOS 7 or later with Bluetooth 4 or later, including the iPhone 4S and above, iPod touch 5, iPad 2 and above, Android 4.3 and above including Galaxy S4 and Google Nexus 4.

You'll need to set up a Misfit account if you haven't already, entering your gender, age, weight and height to help the Shine 2 track your activity more accurately.

Once you've attached it to your wrist or clipped it to your belt you're good to go. The Misfit Shine 2 will immediately begin tracking your activity, and knows when you start running. Your default targets will be an hour of walking, 20 minutes of running and 30 minutes of swimming, and you'll be awarded points for your activity each day.

There's no doubt that wearing the Misfit Shine 2 will encourage you to walk instead of get the bus, or take the stairs instead of the lift, and that's before you even start looking at the specific distances and calories. You'll want to meet your activity target, which you can adapt to suit you, and even more so you'll want to beat your personal bests and your friends.

Tapping the shine itself will first show you your activity progress using a circle of red dots. Your goal is to illuminate all 12 of the lights in a day. Then you'll see the watchface, which can show you the time accurate to five minutes using a series of different coloured dots that you'll soon get used to.

It's a shame that there's no altimeter to show you how many floors you've climbed, though, and there's no way to measure or track your heart rate.

The Misfit Shine 2 isn't for serious athletes. That's where GPS-enabled trackers like the Garmin and TomTom devices come in. But you can extend its functionality by syncing the Shine 2 with the likes of the MyFitnessPal app.

In terms of additional features, we've already mentioned the vibration alerts for notifications and incoming calls, but you can also download the free Misfit Link app to add a 'triple touch' feature to the device. You'll find that you can set the Misfit Shine 2 to take a photo, control your music, change the slide on a presentation and more by tapping on it three times.

Misfit Shine 2 review: Price & availability

Buy the Misfit Shine 2 from Amazon here.

So the real question here is, should you buy the Misfit Shine 2 and is it worth the money? The RRP is £79.99 and you won't find it much cheaper than that even if you shop around. You can download the app for free and you'll have to spend a few pounds on a new battery every few months, but aside from that there are no additional costs here.

That puts it in the same price bracket as rival Fitbit's Flex, which also tracks both activity and sleep but lacks a display like the Misfit Shine 2. The Fitbit Flex is available in more colours than the Misfit Shine 2, but which you prefer will come down to personal taste. The Fitbit's battery doesn't need replacing – instead you'll charge it via USB, but that means it only lasts for up to five days on one charge compared with the Shine's six months.

The Fitbit Flex isn't waterproof either, and it can't display the time or alert you to notifications or incoming calls.

For £20 more though, there's the Fitbit Alta, which offers additional information caller ID and a full digital watch. Even that's not waterproof though, and it has a 5 day battery life.

The Misfit Shine 2 certainly has its advantages, including that long battery life and the fact that it can be used to track swimming activity, but if those aren't important to you and you can afford the extra £20 it's worth considering the Fitbit Alta as an alternative.

But for £79.99 we like the Misfit Shine 2 more than the Fitbit Flex, and we'll continue wearing it long after this review has been published which is always a sign of a good product to a tech journalist.

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Misfit Shine 2: Specs

  • Display: 12 multicolour LEDs Water resistant: Up to 50 metres Capacitive Touch-Sensor: Yes Vibrating Feedback & Alarms: Yes Watch Function (clock): Yes 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 Compatibility with the Misfit App: iPhone 4s/5/5c/5s/6/6 Plus iPod touch 5 iPad 3/4/Air/mini Shine 2 for iOS app is compatible with devices running iOS 7 and above and with Bluetooth 4.0 or later Samsung Galaxy S 4/5/6 Samsung Note 3/4/5 Google Nexus 4/5/6 Android 4.3 BLE devices and above Shine 2 for Android is compatible with devices running Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) and above with Bluetooth 4.0/Bluetooth Smart. Dimensions of Shine 2 device: 30.5 mm Diameter, 8 mm Height Weight of Shine 2 device: 8.5 g (with battery installed)
  • Display: 12 multicolour LEDs Water resistant: Up to 50 metres Capacitive Touch-Sensor: Yes Vibrating Feedback & Alarms: Yes Watch Function (clock): Yes 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 Compatibility with the Misfit App: iPhone 4s/5/5c/5s/6/6 Plus iPod touch 5 iPad 3/4/Air/mini Shine 2 for iOS app is compatible with devices running iOS 7 and above and with Bluetooth 4.0 or later Samsung Galaxy S 4/5/6 Samsung Note 3/4/5 Google Nexus 4/5/6 Android 4.3 BLE devices and above Shine 2 for Android is compatible with devices running Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) and above with Bluetooth 4.0/Bluetooth Smart. Dimensions of Shine 2 device: 30.5 mm Diameter, 8 mm Height Weight of Shine 2 device: 8.5 g (with battery installed)

OUR VERDICT

Overall, we'd recommend the Misfit Shine 2. It's an all-rounder with some added perks including the haptic feedback for notifications and calls, which we've found enormously useful. Comparing it with rival Fitbit we think it's been priced well, and not having to think about the battery life too often is a huge boon, meaning you'll rarely have to take it off.