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Christmas Gift Guide
Wearable Tech

Misfit Bloom necklace, hands-on: Fitness jewelry in time for Mother's Day

The Misfit Shine activity tracker gets its own fancy steel pendant. Together, the two might be the nicest-looking fitness wearables available.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Wearable tech is mostly about the wrist, but there are products that dream of being other places, too. Talk of jewelry that doubles as connected tech has been floating around for a while, but there's one prominent fitness tracker that already has a set of jewelry options: the Misfit Shine . Its latest accessory, the Bloom necklace, is now available, or rather, pre-order: the Amazon page says it'll be available May 16, which is a little late for Mother's Day. But, it looks like one of the nicest jewelry accessories for fitness tech I've ever seen.

So, what is it like? I tried out an early review sample with a Misfit Shine I had lying around, and also showed it to my wife to gauge her reaction.

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Scott Stein/CNET

The $80 stainless steel pendant has a vaguely Celtic look and feel to the back, and you pop the Shine into the front. That open metal pattern on the rear is to get the Shine back out: poke an end of the chain through to loosen the Shine, which I had a bit of trouble doing without worrying I'd scratch the Shine tracker. You can't see the patterned back when the Shine is in, but you could always flip the Bloom pendant around and use it with that design instead.

Once the Shine is in you can tap it to see your daily progress, but it's not entirely easy to flip it up to check unless the chain's on the longer side. You could also just give up on using the Shine as an active-display tracker, and just let it check steps while you sync later on.

In case you're not familiar with it, the Shine is a waterproof Bluetooth-connected wireless pedometer and activity tracker that has different modes to track various activities like running, cycling or swimming. I'm not sure how well the Shine works as a neck pedometer as opposed to wrist-worn, but I thought the Bloom was the nicest-looking Misfit accessory yet: it joins a collection of leather wristbands, more minimal neck pendants, and silicone wrist straps and magnetic clips.

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Other Shine accessories include bands and pendants. Sarah Tew/CNET

My wife, however, was mixed about the Bloom necklace's design. She wasn't sure if she'd wear it, and said it wasn't her style. That's the problem with wearable tech jewelry: it's an even more personal decision than watches seem to be.

For Mother's Day, if you're looking for a wearable gift that looks a little more attractive than a Fuelband, the Misfit ( already on our gift suggestion list) makes a better gift when paired with the Bloom. But, at a total cost of $200 for the necklace and the Misfit Shine, it's a bit more expensive compared to the competition. It's one of the only pieces of fitness jewelry currently out there, but it won't be the last.