Misfit Ray review: Fashion-forward fitness, but it's not as good as Fitbit

The Good Slim design, water-resistant, long battery life thanks to replaceable batteries. Tracks activity automatically. Vibration alerts.

The Bad Uncomfortable fit won't feel great on all wrists. Minimal look means no buttons or display, except for one glowing light. Misfit app not as good as competing fitness apps.

The Bottom Line Misfit's tube-shaped Ray fitness tracker looks stylish and gets the job done, but it does too little for what it costs.

6.4 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Battery 8
  • Performance 6
  • Software 6
  • Features 6

It looks like a bracelet, or some space-age tube. But the Misfit Ray's a fitness tracker. One of a vast number of track-your-steps, pair-with-an-app gadgets that keep popping up. Fitness trackers -- the standalone ones that aren't smartwatches -- have started shrinking down to aspire to be jewelry, sort of. That's been Misfit's formula for years. But now, that formula feels a little commonplace.

The original Shine, a metal disc that automatically tracks steps and sleep and has good battery life, was innocuous. But also, easily lost. It could pop into accessories and be worn lots of places. I liked the Shine a lot when it first debuted in 2013, because it was unique and small. But there are more fitness trackers now, and most of them are unnecessary. The Shine 2 only made a few advances over the Shine. Its main appeal -- being simple and automatic -- has been adopted by many other competitors, including the king of the hill, Fitbit.


Misfit Ray in two colors, with Misfit Shine 2 in the middle. Same functions, different design.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Now the Ray is the same idea as the Shine 2, but in a tube. Like those earlier Misfit products, the Ray tracks steps, sleep and short activity sessions. It can be worn as a bracelet (it comes with a band), or turned into a necklace pendant. But it's not really attractive enough that you'd wear it if you weren't "using" it.

It looks like something someone crafted out of a piece of metal at an indie art shop. It is, at least, water-resistant enough to shower with, if you get a non-leather band. But yeah, it doesn't look like a gadget. That's probably the idea: human, versus "techie." But it felt uncomfortable on my wrist, the band way too small. Maybe it's meant for someone other than me. Or I'm not appreciating that it's a fancier variation on a basic band like the Jawbone. But that's the problem. Why not just get a Jawbone on sale...or anything else?

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