Not that I really used this feature much, but the Shine 2 can finally act as a smart button control like the less expensive Misfit Flash. Misfit has a smattering of smart-button functions scattered between the Misfit fitness app and a separate Misfit Link app, controlling music playback, camera shutters, Harmony Home functions or programmable IFTTT controls should you think up another one-click idea. I didn't love Misfit's smart button tech when reviewing the cheaper Misfit Flash Link, but it's an intriguing add.
Fine app, bad accessories
There are lots of fitness trackers out there, and lots of them are good enough. Fitbit's bands can track sleep, steps and even heart rate, and allow social challenges, too. Jawbone's Up bands are slim, and the Up app has some basic lifestyle coaching. Misfit's app is clean and connects with a few additional social services and apps: you can look for friends on Facebook, Twitter or even LinkedIn. It's got plenty of nicely-designed graphs and charts, and it's easy to figure out where your data is. I like the circular progress charts for daily goals, which mirror the ring of LED lights that slowly fill up on the Shine 2's metal disc.
Simply put, the Shine 2 has a good app, and the disc itself is nicely made. But its accessories that come in the box are horrible.
It's great that the Shine 2 comes with both a band and a plastic clip to use the Shine 2 as either a wrist-worn or clip-on-your-belt-or-shoes tracker, but the band's inability to keep the Shine 2 from flying off and disappearing is ridiculous. There's an added "action clip" that helps secure the Shine 2 under the rubber ring that acts as the wrist-fastening mechanism, but it didn't help. Misfit has an instructional video showing the "right" and "wrong" way to attach to the band. I tried the "right" way and it seemed to help for a while, but then it flew off my wrist again when I was getting dressed one morning.
The plastic clip, at least, keeps the Shine nice and cozy, and I didn't lose it in that mode. But the plastic clip feels flimsy, and I know at least one co-worker whose similary-designed Misfit Flash plastic clip broke on them.
For $100 (£79 in the UK, AU$137 in Australia), better accessories should come in the box. The Shine 2 is bigger than older metal Shine trackers, and requires different modular accessories. But I don't care about other options. I want my out-of-the-box experience to not involve losing my tracker.
And the included bands are ugly, too. The actual Shine 2 disc is clean, pretty and feels like an alien artifact. Why couldn't the rest of the experience look as good?
Skip it for now
Here's the crazy thing: on its own, the Shine 2 is a better piece of hardware than the Shine before it. But it takes a big step back because of how poorly it stays put on the wrist. That small detail matters tremendously if, say, you're actually intending on using this as a wrist-worn fitness tracker.
If the Shine 2 fixed its included band, I'd recommend this tracker. But I can't suggest you buy this and then lose yours, too. I took my replacement Shine 2 off after a week. As much as I like Misfit's app, I'd rather not worry about checking my wrist for runaway gadgets.