We’re obsessed with those little reminders to stay active that we call fitness trackers. It’s exciting to record our steps and sleep patterns, and then see that data visualized. It feels good to know that technology can keep us on our feet in addition to in our computer chairs. From FitBit to Jawbone to the pedometer on your phone, fitness trackers have become a way of life for many. So how does a fitness tracker stand out with so much competition?
If you’re Misfit, maker of the Shine 2, you create a unique-looking device with a stellar battery life that doesn’t have to be worn on your wrist, complete with a robust mobile app. For the past few weeks, I’ve been using the Shine 2 and it’s done exactly what I want a fitness tracker to do: stay out of my way and show me beautiful data on my phone.
The Shine 2 is a very small, aluminum disk (available in a slew of colors) with multicolored LED’s along its diameter. It feels premium and can be worn on your wrist, clipped onto your shirt or can be put into your pocket. One thing to note right off the bat is that, frankly, you’re not going to want to wear the Shine 2 on your wrist. The flexible, plastic wrist strap fits into a small groove along the circumference of the Shine 2 and does not feel secure. In fact, I had my review unit pop out and fly across the floor many times every time I flexed my wrist up. There’s an included clip that prevents this from happening, but adds unnecessary bulk and is uncomfortable.
I found that putting the Shine 2 in that small pocket in my jeans worked great, even if it meant missing out on sleep tracking, the morning alarm (which is meant to vibrate on your wrist) or reminders throughout the day to get up and move around. Even though steps remained accurate while in my pocket when I compared the Shine 2 to my phone’s pedometer, hopefully there will be a better wrist strap in the future since it really does look good as a wrist accessory.
The Shine 2 is a pedometer, sleep tracker and watch – and it does all of that pretty well! To see your progress, just tap on the top of the device and the LEDs will light up around the device to show you how much you’ve done and how much further you have to go. The pedometer worked great and was accurate enough to know when I was jogging and when I was just walking. You can even swim with the device as well because it’s water resistant up to 50 meters. Despite not having a traditional watch face, the Shine 2 will light up the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock locations and show you the hour and minute using its LEDs. It’s completely intuitive once you get used to it, and pretty futuristic to boot. Since I wasn’t using the Shine 2 on my wrist, I only got to use sleep tracking for a few nights, but it seemed to get the job done adequately.
Perhaps the best feature of the Shine 2 is that you don’t need to remember to charge it. If you’re anything like me, having to take a fitness tracker off to charge it every few days is the beginning of the end of using it at all. The Shine 2 doesn’t have that problem. It lasts for 6 months at a time without charging and has a replaceable coin battery when it does run out. I just put it in my pocket and totally forgot about it the entire time I had it. It was wonderful.
The Shine 2 uses Misfit’s app to give you extensive data that is easy to read, with menus that are intuitive and a quick syncing process. You’ll set any alarms you want from within the app to set up your goals. While I wish the Shine 2 synced with my phone more often, the app is solidly engineered overall. I never had the app crash and I never encountered any other weirdness. To help the Shine 2 stand out, you can also forward notifications to your Shine 2 from your phone or use it to control your music.
If you’re looking for a fitness tracker that can stay out of your way, the Shine 2 is a solid option. While it’s held back by the implementation of its wrist strap, it’s a competent fitness tracker with some nice perks – especially in the battery department and the easy to use app. You don’t have to think much about this device, making tracking your fitness a breeze. If you have $99 and don’t like to wear things on your wrist, the Shine 2 is a solid choice.