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Shine On, You Crazy Pedometer.

I’ve spent a few weeks playing with the Shine fitness tracker from Misfit Wearables.  (Hence the title, which I’ve been itching to use since receiving the device.)

As with any pedometer/fitness tracker/new thing, I’m paying attention to this device and becoming immersed in the data.  I use it as intended; I wear it all day long and sync it to my iPhone when required.  And it’s not hard to integrate, as I’m still in the wicked techno-joy portion of using this fitness tracker.

Doesn’t hurt that it’s slick, design-wise.

Shine vs. a quarter

The Shine is about the size of a quarter, and looks like a spaceship.  Only more Batteries Not Included than Wall-E, which I’m fine with.  Already suited up with an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor, I’m grateful for the small, discreet design of this fitness tracker.  Especially since I view exercise as necessary in my diabetes playbook as insulin.

Right out of the box … well, I have to admit:  I had trouble getting this thing out of the box.  Literally.  The package design is streamlined and reminiscent of all-things Apple, and admittedly took me ten minutes to figure out how to pop the Shine out of the packaging.  (I had a photo of the box, etc. but it ended up lost down an elevator shaft along with my OCP [original cell phone] two weeks ago.  Don’t ask.)  But once the Shine was released from its factory packaging, all I needed to do was download the Shine application, put the battery in the fitness tracker, and sync that sucker up with my phone.

Pros?  Once I had the battery in, it took me about two minutes to set up my profile and assign fitness goals.  The Shine goal system is based on points, and I opted for 1000 points to start, which worked out to about 1.5 hours of brisk walking, according to the app.  It was encouraging, and informative, to see the patterns of my day.  Having worn the Shine for the better part of the last three weeks, I’ve seen that I’m lazy as eff in the morning, but by 1 pm, I’m already logging points and usually have my goal met by early evening.

I like seeing the progress build throughout the day, either through syncing-and-reviewing on the app, or tapping the device and watching it light up, clockwise, signalling how close you are to completing your goal.  That ‘around the world’ light show is very satisfying, once you’ve hit your goal for the day.

The detailed reports for each day are seen from the application, and while they aren’t as detailed as I’d like (I use RunKeeper to track miles, pace, etc, so I’m accustomed to that level of exercise detail, and I prefer it), it’s useful.  If I hit goal for a few days in a row, I get the “on fire” icon, showing that I’m on a good streak.  The device also tracks sleep patterns (see photo below).

And lastly, it can go through the washing machine.  Or you can sweat all over it.  Or wash your hands without fear of water-logging it.  Nice feature, considering what circumstances fitness trackers are put through (running, swimming, bathing toddlers, etc.)

Cons?  The biggest con is that the night I put the device on, I lost it about an hour later.  I used the magnet clip, at first, and it somehow came loose while I was giving my daughter a bath.  That sucked.  It’s so small and so slick that it hid from me, underneath the bathroom cabinet, for a long time before I found it.  I wish it had some kind of tracker built into it so that I could use my phone as a honing device.

I mentioned that the level of detail leaves much to be desired, for me, and I’m hoping the interface upgrades will eventually reach the RunKeeper level.  Also, there’s no way to track weight training, and no open data field to add notes, which would be really useful.  I’d love to be able to add notes about blood sugars, etc. to help make this useful in tandem with uploading my meter, etc.

Another issue is cost.  While this device was sent to me for review, at no cost to me, it’s not cheap.  (Which is why, when I lost it for a few days, I was spazzing, feeling like I lost $120.)  It’s a durable little sucker, but isn’t easily kept-track-of without accessories like the magnetic clip or the sport band.  You can splurge even further and go for the necklace option, or durable leather band, but you’re dipping into the $80 range there.  Overall, the design and functionality seems worth the cost, but it’s not a purchase I’d make without thinking through.

And the sleep tracker function?  I’m iffy on these sorts of things.  How does it know I only had two hours of deep sleep?  And why didn’t it notice I woke up to use the bathroom?  I have yet to find a sleep tracker app or device that seems to work for me, especially on days when they claim that I should feel rested when I feel more like I’ve been hit by a truck.  Tricky tracking there.

Overall, I think the design of this device is excellent, and integration is easy (that is, providing I don’t lose it again).  With time, I hope the interface evolves to customize more details.  So far, it’s been fun to use.  What I really want to do is stick this pedometer – or any pedometer, for that matter – to my three year old and confirm that she logs over 20,000 steps per day.  I’m sure she’d kick the crap out of the goal system.

[Disclosure:  Misfit Wearables sent the device to me to keep and review.  I was not asked to blog about it, and my opinions are all mine. ALL MIIIIIIIINE.]

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Yes, small and discreet is great, but not if you can lose it! I’m still trying to decide if I should get a FitBit wrist-thingy. I have to make sure it integrates with my android phone, computer, what-have-you. I am not feeling very techy today, or have lost all vocabulary abilities, one or the other. Bleck.

    08/28/13; 10:36 am
    • Pedometer Reviews #

      The Fitbit Force or Flex, both pedometer bracelet models, are great pedometers to look into. If your biggest concern is losing a pedometer, especially one that costs $100 or more, a bracelet could be the best way to go. However, when I was using my Fitbit One and tracking sleep, the wristband it came in fell off during the night. I thought it was no big deal, and that I’d find it the next morning, but somehow I never found it. I had to replace it with my old Ultra that sometimes doesn’t work well. Not willing to take the next $100 plunge just yet.

      02/17/14; 10:09 am
  2. Lizzie #

    I put my fitbit on my dog one day as an experiment. She only walked 80 steps when we weren’t at home with her, and I tracked her progress online from my office. I’m all about quantifying my loved ones!

    08/28/13; 11:24 am
  3. I have been waiting to pull the trigger on a fitness tracking device for a couple of months but when I saw all the Shining going on in San Diego I decided to get one.

    I have had it for a few days now and honestly, I love it.

    Still have to decide on some stuff but do far I agree on all the points you make.

    08/28/13; 11:59 am
    • G – do you wear it on the sport band or the magnetic clip? I wear the sport band almost exclusively now, after losing it on the magnetic clip a few times.

      08/28/13; 2:33 pm
  4. Minnesota Nice #

    Scott had one at our meetup a week ago and it looked really cool. The only thing stopping me is the price.

    09/1/13; 8:11 pm
  5. Judi #

    You should try it on Birdy. I’d love to see her stats for a few days. Never seen any kind of tracking done on a toddler before. You could be the first.

    09/2/13; 1:16 pm
  6. I bought a FitBit for my husband but hijacked it so I could use it first. I love it so far but my kids also like to tap it and see how I’m doing with my goal. I’m not sure on the sleep tracking, on normal it doesn’t seem realistic but on sensitive seems to be really underestimating. I’m going with somewhere in-between the two. It was interesting to see how much we walked at Cedar Point and Soak City this past week! I didn’t think about putting it on my son, though he’s 8, he seems to be as active as a toddler. 🙂

    09/4/13; 12:24 am

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