One of my goals set for January was to get moving more. I am never going to be a huge fitness fanatic and am fairly frugal so I didn’t want to spend a huge amount on a fitness tracker when I wanted it for basic use – to track how often I am accountable.
During the typical January sales on fitness items, I saw the Misfit Flash advertised at the amazing price of $30, far cheaper than other wearable fitness trackers on the market.
It counts steps, keeps a record of sleep (given the issues we were having with problem neighbours making noise at night, this was a feature I wanted) and sets a goal for you. The Misfit shows calories burned and can be synced to food diary apps to track calories eaten vs burned. Sounded perfect for a beginner model right? Sadly it was not as great as it sounded and didn’t look as great either.
The Misfit Flash comes with a sport band to wear the tracker on your wrist like a watch and a clasp you can clip onto clothes, shoes or wherever else it can grip. I started with the band, but sadly after under a week, the side of the band snapped. I went online to find that this was not an isolated issue. Misfit were great about it, they ordered me a new one and sent it express the very next day. In the mean time, I decided to use the clasp. I found the watch band a little bulky and cheap looking compared to the advertising, the clasp could be hidden on my pants or bra strap. It was not too long before the clasp also snapped and now I am back to only my replacement band as the weather gets warmer and it will be more obvious against short sleeves.
My other issue was the tracking. It would seem to forget the time a few times a week. It would track that I slept for 6 hours, but tell me I went to bed at 9 and got up at 3 instead of 2 hours later on each and the same for activity. That got a little confusing when trying to see where I could improve on activity. Although I would leave the house at the same time, walk the same route, it would tell me a different time and points. Obviously the points could be based on me moving faster but there is no excuse for losing hours of the day, and sometimes the points were off by over 100 in a day. Once I synced it, it would reset future data to the correct time, but I don’t want to sync it a few times a day to get accurate data.
The points were something I knew about, but somehow my brain decided that it would be easier to set a goal myself. It decided what 1000 points is for me, no ability to set it to the calories or steps I want (and 8500 not 10k steps too).
The Pros of the Misfit Shine
- Affordability – often on sale for $30
- Battery life – uses a watch battery that lasts about 6 months, no charging needed
- Basic use for price (if you are happy to put it in a pocket or buy replacement bands once it breaks)
The Cons of the Misfit Shine
- Cheaply made, plastic bands break and can no longer hold the tracker securely
- Hard to tell the time (you need to wait for it to show the 4 lights then work out which one is flashing, it sucks at 4am when you could go back to sleep but woke up trying to work out what time it is when staying in a hotel with no alarm clock)
- No ability to personalize goals
- No ability to really track food (but you can sync the Misfit app to food trackers)
- Loses track of time
Looks like I am investing in a Fitbit after all, I think I will wait for a sale on one with heart rate monitoring as I think I burned more calories than the Misfit Flash gave me credit for on some exercise.