My name is Mir, and I hate to exercise. That said, I’ve reached an age (ahem) where it’s no longer optional if I wish to remain healthy. So I exercise, and I’m sort of getting used to it, but I still don’t love it. I’d say that I just… hate it less than I used to. Which is progress.
I’d been on my new daily exercise regimen (I work out for half an hour a day, every day) for about 6 weeks when I went to Mom 2.0 and won myself a pretty, shiny Misfit Shine Activity and Sleep Monitor. Up until that point I had resisted the fitness tracker craze (my husband wears a Fitbit, but I think they’re kind of ugly), but this was so pretty. And free. And maybe this would help to motivate me in my quest to get healthier.
Keep reading for my full review, and also to enter to win your own Shine—I’m giving away the one pictured here!
Let’s start with the good stuff.
Awesome things about the Misfit Shine:
- So pretty. Really, really pretty. If you want a fitness monitor that doesn’t look like a fitness monitor, this is it. I wear mine with the included rubber wristband, as a watch, but it also comes with a magnetic clasp so you can wear it on your shoe or pocket or even your shirt. If you want to get really fancy, you can buy a leather watch strap or a pretty necklace to wear it, instead. Looks-wise, no other gadget comes close to the Shine.
- Excellent sleep monitoring. My husband can wear his Fitbit to bed to monitor his sleep if he wants to, but he has to set it up, tell it he’s going to bed, and wear it on a weird strap around his chest. With the Shine, I just… go to bed. I’ve found the tracking of light vs. deep sleep to be really interesting—sometimes I wake up feeling tired and my little graph shows that I didn’t get much deep sleep. You can also coordinate a sleep alarm with the app so that you can be woken up during the lightest part of your sleep cycle (theoretically facilitating an easier wake-up). I’ve never used this feature, but it makes sense to me.
- Points vs. steps. The Fitbit tracks steps; the Shine uses a point system which is both (for me) less intimidating and counts things other than steps. I can always go into the app and see the comparison of activity levels, too, where walking is “kinda active” and using the elliptical is “very active” and see where my energy is spent.
- Basic usage is easy/intuitive. I read the manual (okay; I skimmed it), but basically I put the Shine on, I downloaded the app to my phone, and off I went. For 90% of what I do in a day, the Shine automatically detects and tracks accurately. That’s perfect for me, because I often forget I’m even wearing it.
- It goes where you go. The Shine is waterproof (I wear mine swimming) and operates off of a button cell battery, so you don’t need to charge it. I wear mine 24/7 so it’s nice that it doesn’t ever have to be charged.
Slightly less awesome things about the Misfit Shine:
- Tap, tap, tap… is this thing on? The Shine has no readout in the conventional sense; instead, it has a circle of lights that will display the time and your activity progress when prompted. You turn on the display by tapping it twice. Except sometimes I tap it twice and nothing happens, so I figure I didn’t tap hard enough, and then I do it again, harder, and I’m that moron in the checkout line smacking my watch. So… yeah.
- Tiny lights are pretty, except when they’re invisible. Again, while the design is very elegant, I appreciate it less when, say, I’m out walking in full sunlight and my double-tap probably yields a display, only I can’t see it because the lights are small and the sun is bright.
- Walking? Fine. Running? Fine. Other stuff? That’s harder. The Shine allows you to tag various activities within the app (in a manner that is not terribly straightforward, but it can be done), but if you forget to do that, you may be out of luck in terms of accurate tracking. So yay, I can wear it swimming, but unless I tell it I’m swimming, it has no idea what I’m doing (and thinks I’m not even exercising). When I wore it kayaking it didn’t count it as exercise, even though I could barely move the next day.
Bottom line: I’ve been very happy with it, overall. I find the tracking and the way it awards me little milestones and trophies within the app surprisingly encouraging (one day it told me I’d completed the equivalent of a marathon since I’d started wearing it, which made me laugh). I like the way it looks and that I (mostly) don’t have to think about it. It’s a pretty nifty little gadget.
Want to win your own Shine? The generous folks at Misfit not only gave me one, they gave me another one to give away to one of you! Hooray! If you want in, please go review the contest rules and regulations, then come on back here and leave a comment on this post by 9:00 a.m. Eastern (that’s 6:00 a.m. Pacific) on Thursday, June 26th, 2014 to be entered. I will use my handy-dandy random number picker plug-in to select a winner on Thursday.