The Shine is an activity tracker and sleep monitor and in this product review I discuss how it works, what I like about it, and what I don’t.
These types of devices can be particularly useful if you move around a lot throughout the day and are trying to work out a proper meal plan. If you’re like me and you work out and then sit at a desk all day, a simple TDEE calculation works just fine. But if you’re on your feet all day it can be hard to accurately determine your TDEE and a tracker can help.
The Shine is easily the most attractive tracking device on the market. It’s sleek and unobtrusive and can be worn as a bracelet, necklace, put in your pocket, attached to your shoe, etc. Different wearing positions are recommended for different activities: the wrist is good for swimming, the shoe for cycling, the neck or belt or pocket for daily use, and so forth.
The device automatically tracks steps taken and distance covered and can also track various specific activities and sports like cycling, swimming, basketball, soccer, tennis, and more. You track these activities by setting them in the app and then tapping on the Shine three times before you begin.
The activity tracking is built around a points system that assigns various point values to time spent doing certain activities. This way you can set an overall activity goal, as represented by points, and easily track your progress toward it, knowing that you have “X minutes of” walking or swimming or cycling or what-have-you left.
The sleep monitor is simple but works well. It tells you total sleep time and time spent in deep sleep. The graph is a little odd at first as the deep sleep bars are longer than the light sleep, but it makes sense after you look at it for a second. And if you have an iPhone, you can also use its Smart Alarm feature, which will wake you up during a period of light sleep. You can set the device up to manually enter sleep mode or, through its sensors, it can automatically recognize when you’re in bed and begin sleep tracking. This feature worked just fine for me.
The Shine also has a neat little watch function that is activated by double-tapping the device. Some people have complained about taps not registering correctly but I didn’t have any issues with this.
Like the device itself, the app is beautiful but a bit limited, and especially so with the Android version, which is missing one great feature found in the iPhone version: the “Smart Alarm” that will wake you up during periods of light sleep.
A few things missing from the Shine that you’ll find in other trackers are a feature related to tracking calorie and macronutrient intake, integration with other devices and apps, and a Web app. Misfit, the company that produces the Shine, says they’ll be opening up their API, so maybe we’ll see device and app integration at some point, but for now you’ll have to go without.
The Bottom Line
All in all I like the Shine. While it’s not as feature rich as some of its competitors and is more for getting a simple overview of your exercise and sleep habits, what it does do it does well and it’s definitely more attractive than some of the clunky bands and hip clip devices out there.