Last Updated on
As you may already know if you’re leading an active lifestyle, the fitness tracking market is filled with a lot of wearable gadgets for helping you stay fit and healthy. Today I’m going to pick only two from the plethora of affordable wearables for offering you a closer inspection in the eventuality you wish to purchase one from the bunch: the Misfit Shine and Fitbit Flex.
I’ll go even further and challenge them in a head to head battle by comparing their features; after finishing with reading this review, it’s going to be up to you to give the verdict and decide which one is suitable for fitting your needs. Keep in mind that these two fellows don’t feature a display, like some other fitness wearables, but they serve their purpose just fine and you’ll find out why in a little bit.
First of all, if you’re not quite familiarized with the niche of fitness wearables, you might be wondering what exactly are they good for and why should you be needing them. Well, they serve for tracking your steps, calories burned, distance, sleep quality and the duration of your activities.
For being able to do so, they’re provided with a 3-axis accelerometer and need to be synced with your smartphone/tablet/computer for transferring the gathered data and displaying the results, as these two, in particular, are mid-range activity trackers that lack a display.
Keep reading and find out in-depth information about both of them, as well as which are their advantages and disadvantages when compared to each other.
In a hurry? Here’s my high level observations if you need to make a quick decisions:
|Misfit Shine Advantages||Fitbit Flex Advantages|
|Waterproof up to 50m (vs just water resistant for the Flex)||More customized color options|
|Can wear anywhere to track (just wrist for Flex)||Also has USB data transfer capability (vs just Bluetooth for Misfit)|
|Up to 6 months battery live (vs 5 days for Flex)||Better software design (fewer bugs) for apps|
|More durable aluminum material (vs plastic)|
|Generally $10-30 cheaper (check here)|
About the Misfit Shine
The Misfit Shine from Misfit Wearables was released in December 2013 and is a sleek device that will resemble to a lot of you with an odd looking piece of jewelry due to its minimalist, but interesting and futuristic appearance. When worn on the wrist, it can easily pass as a peculiar-looking watch or bracelet, as the gadget looks like a small, metallic disc with curved edges.
Its stylish and attractive design consists in an aircraft-grade aluminum body with a matte finish which measures 27.5 x 3.3 x 27.5 mm and will look nice regardless of the place you choose to wear it: on your wrist, clothes or hanging by your neck. One of the biggest advantages of the Shine is that it can be worn anywhere you like thanks to its clever and simple design.
The device is also very solid and reliable and you could really tell from its appearance that it was built to last.
Inside its retail package, the Misfit Shine comes along with a black silicone wrist band, a magnetic clip, a little tool for opening the device and a battery.
About the Fitbit Flex
Now, let’s judge the Fitbit Flex in terms of aesthetics. This activity tracking device was released in May 2013 and has been designed for being worn on the wrist.
We’re dealing with simplicity once again when taking a glance at this fellow, as its appearance consists in a plastic band with a matte finish which holds the actual tracker inside, which is a tiny, black device with five LED lights that enable you to access the sensor by double tapping it.
The band features a transparent bar positioned where the LEDs are for enabling you to monitor your progress while wearing it. Inside its retail box, besides the tracker and two wristbands (small and large), you’ll come across a USB dongle which serves for charging the device and a wireless syncing dongle.
Head to Head Features Comparison – Quick Look
The following table allows you to easily compare the features/specs at a glance.
|Misfit Shine||Fitbit Flex|
|Manufacturer||Misfit Wearables||Fitbit Inc.|
|Material||Anodized Aircraft-grade Aluminum||Plastic|
|Display||LED, 12 lights||LED, 5 lights|
|Wearability||Wrist, Neck, Clothing, Shoes||Wrist|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 4.0 LE||Bluetooth 4.0 LE, USB|
|Battery||Removable, CR2032 coin cell||Re-chargeable, Lithium-polymer|
|Battery Life||Up to 6 months||Up to 5 days|
|Sensor||3-axis accelerometer||3-axis accelerometer, vibration motor|
|Compatibility||iPhone 4S and above, iPod touch 5, iPad Mini/3/4/Air, Android 4.3 and above devices with BLE and Bluetooth Smart, Windows 8.1 BLE & Bluetooth Smart devices||Windows Vista and above, Mac OS X 10.6 and above, iPhone 4S and above, iPad 3 and above, Android & Windows Phone devices with Bluetooth Smart|
|Water resistance||Waterproof, up to 50 m||Water resistant|
|Accessories||Sport Silicone Strap, Leather Strap (black & brown), Necklace||Rubber Strap|
|Colors||Silver, Gray, Champagne, Topaz, Jet Black||Black, Slate, Violet, Lime, Pink, Navy, Tangerine, Teal, Red, Blue|
Fitbit Flex vs Misfit Shine
Let’s jump into discussing some of the key features in more depth…
Now it’s time to judge them both according to their design, which is one of the most important factors that come into play especially for those of you who are fashion conscious. The Misfit Shine is clearly superior through the fact that you can wear it anywhere you want due to its magnetic clip and can be used during swimming or cycling, while the Fitbit Flex only serves you when attached to your wrist.
The Shine is also better looking (at least, that’s what I think), so if styling is one of the major factors you’re considering when buying a fitness tracker, the Fitbit Flex will lose some points from this perspective.
The third advantage of the Shine is that it’s waterproof for up to 50 meters and can be taken when swimming, while the Flex is only water resistant and even if it can take a few splashes now and then, I wouldn’t advise wearing it in the swimming pool unless you want to see it drown.
As I was previously saying, the Fitbit Flex displays your progress through its five LED lights, each of them representing 20% of the progress you’ve made until reaching your goal. The Misfit Shine works in the same manner, but instead of five lights, it holds a ring of 12 LEDs that represent (each one) an interval of five minutes, symbolizing the duration/percentage of your workout.
The difference between the trackers doesn’t stand only in the number of LED lights, but also in the fact that the Shine is able to display the time, actually offering a clock function besides resembling with one, and this offers some more bonus points to it.
On the other hand, the Fitbit Flex holds the advantage of being easier to read under direct sunlight, as the Shine’s LEDs tend to be washed out.
I don’t know about you, but for me when buying a gadget its battery life can be a deal breaker, and in these terms, the Misfit Shine also gains some terrain through the fact that it relies on a removable watch battery which provides you with more than four months of autonomy and spares you from having to remember to re-charge it.
The Fitbit Flex’s battery is rechargeable and will last between five and seven days, depending on its usage.
When it comes to connectivity, the Misfit Shine only features Bluetooth LE (low energy), while the Fitbit Flex has support for Bluetooth LE or USB data transfer. Setting up the devices is done easily and you only need your smartphone for doing it. Both trackers are compatible with iPhone 4S and above, devices with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and later and Windows Phone 8.1.
For pairing the trackers with a device, the latter needs to have support for Bluetooth 4.0. The Fitbit Flex is superior through the ability to connect to your computer via an Internet connection and the USB port, while the Misfit Shine can only connect to your phone or tablet.
My guess is that almost everyone will view their fitness-related data on their smartphones, so this disadvantage shouldn’t be a deal breaker for the Shine.
Besides tracking your daily activities and work-outs, these two fitness wearables are also able to monitor you when sleeping and deliver data regarding the length and quality of your sleep (for example, you’ll be informed about your tossing and turning). As a plus over the Misfit Shine, the Fitbit Flex also has support for food tracking.
Both trackers hold an alarm clock feature, but they stand apart from each other by working differently. Unlike the Misfit Shine, the Fitbit Flex features a silent alarm, which means that it will vibrate to wake you up.
However, the Shine doesn’t fall behind and comes up with another feature known as Smart Alarm which, while monitoring it, detects when you’re in a light state of sleep and wakes you up in a certain pre-determined interval before your alarm for helping you wake up more refreshed.
As far as customizations go, both trackers are available in a variety of colors, but the Misfit Shine has a wider range of accessories to choose from. If you don’t settle with the sport silicone strap which comes inside its package, you can purchase a brown or black leather band for offering it more elegance or even a necklace, for wearing the tracker as a pendant.
Overall Recommendation: Fitbit or Misfit?
Given the discussion of the features and my personal experience with both trackers, I definitely lean towards the Misfit Shine as the superior fitness tracker. Granted, I love my fitbit but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much more useful the Misfit Shine is for me.
The combination of better battery power, more versatile usage tracking, waterproof functionality, and lower price point make Misfit Shine my pick over the Fitbit Flex.