As we discuss in our upcoming Misfit Shine review, the Shine is one of the minority of activity and sleep trackers that you don’t have to remove when you swim or shower due to its 50m water resistance. This is achieved by a lack of buttons in its aircraft grade aluminium casing, minimising the possible routes for water ingress with the only access to its internals being a tight press-fitting removable rear for battery replacement with a rubber washer to ensure a water tight seal when closed. User interaction is via tapping the front of the tracker, using the internal accelerometers used for movement (activity/steps and sleep) tracking to sense the user interaction.
In all appearances, the Misfit Shine and Misfit Speedo Shine look identical, and this is because they are, with the only difference between them being the firmware. The new firmware in the Misfit Speedo Shine means that the swimming activity symbol is changed in the official Misfit mobile apps (available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone although Windows Phone compatibility is not mentioned on the Misfit Speedo Shine page) and the Misfit website. This symbol changed, compared with the Misfit Shine, is used to identify that the Misfit Speedo Shine counts the number of laps you swim rather than just changing the Misfit activity score algorithm used associating your movements with swimming for a user defined period of time.
Like the Misfit Shine, Misfit Speedo Shine display is somewhat limited, yet elegant, with twelve small LEDs equispaced around the edge of its circular front. The positioning of the LEDs means that as well as showing progress towards achievement of the user defined (via the official Misfit mobile apps or Misfit website) daily goal achievement they can be used to display time in semi-analogue form.
When the Misfit Shine/Misfit Speedo Shine is tapped twice goal progress and time is displayed (if enabled via the official Misfit mobile apps or Misfit website). Time is displayed by an LED illuminating in the 12 0’clock position, along with dimmer LEDs in the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions first, followed by an LED illuminating in the hour hand position, along with a dimmer LED flashing in the minute hand position. Although this may sound complex, reading the time becomes second nature in no time at all, although, if LED brightness is the same on the Misfit Speedo Shine as it is on the Misfit Shine, as we expect it to be, due to identical hardware visibility is an issue in bright sunlight.
Although Misfit have updated their website to provide information on the new product prior to its launch on 1st September, there were a few unanswered questions in our opinion, so we made contact with someone inside the Misfit camp and gained the following answer.
Is lap tracking going to come to other Shine devices by firmware update or is it Speedo Shine only?
The lap counting is enabled by a firmware update which is exclusive to the Misfit Speedo Shine.
Does the lap tracking require additional hardware compared to other Shine devices?
No additional hardware is required for lap counting. It relies solely on the firmware update.
Does I it matter how you turn at the end of the lane? Tumble versus touch turn?
The algorithms associated with the Misfit Speedo Shine firmware will detect when the swimmer finishes a lap, so just swim and sync.
How is the number of laps displayed our does it just track and report on pc or phone rather than in pool live feedback?
The number of laps is not displayed on the Misfit Speedo Shine meaning that users need to check the number of laps on their phone, after their swim.
This is a very positive step in the right direction, in our opinion, taking advantage of the waterproof capabilities of the Misfit Shine to bring us the Misfit Speedo Shine. We are a little disappointed, however, that there is no way to see lap progress whilst swimming. It would have been nice to be able to set the number of laps you intend to swim on your phone, syncing to the Misfit Speedo Shine, for it to show progress towards this goal. As any longer distance swimmer will tell you, when you are swimming kilometres in the pool, the hardest thing can be remembering how many laps you have swum and how many you have left.
Although the Misfit Shine is currently reduced from $99 to $69 in the Misfit Store it seems like a no brainer to spend the extra $10 and buy the Misfit Speedo Shine for $79 instead, when it releases in a few days.
Weather to buy a Misfit Speedo Shine over similarly priced activity and sleep tracker from competing brands is more of a question of how you intend to use it. There are many similarly priced alternative with digital displays and silent vibration alarms, providing more information than, but they have to be removed for swimming and showering, so how do you want to use yours?
Let us know what you want from an activity and sleep tracker and if you have any further questions we haven’t got answers.
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