​Misfit Swarovski Shine review

Bling bling: Misfit’s new activity tracking jewellery is made for tech magpies
Misfit Swarovski Shine

The rule of thumb for making tech for women has always been make it pink or make it sparkle. Now with the Swarovski Shine, the tech has disappeared. But hot damn, this fitness tracking jewellery sparkles.

The Swarovski Shine comes from a partnership between the cut crystal specialists and Misfit, the difference being that Swarovski hasn't simply chucked some stones in Samsung's direction, the brand has put its name to the device.

Read this: Misfit Ray review

It brings the same activity and sleep tracking as the Shine and Flash before it, this time with a crystal atop the metal disc module and a range of bracelets, bands and necklaces. Whether you think the options are gorgeous or garish, one thing's for sure - this is a blueprint for 'invisible' wearable tech that fits into our lives.

Misfit Swarovski Shine: Design and build

When we talk about wearable tech disappearing, we don't mean making devices smaller and thinner and lighter to the point they're useless. We mean making what we already wear smart.

So while the Misfit Shine and Flash do a decent job of looking inconspicuous on the wrist, the Swarovski Shine demands attention. The large, but very light, crystal is delightfully glinty and depending on which accessory you choose, there's plenty more sparkle.

We've been wearing the cheapest accessory in the range, the Slake bracelet in black Alcantara fabric - it feels like suede and it's comfortable to wear but it's pretty full on, especially in the day. Misfit is selling the Shine in sets which come with a sports band. Bear in mind that combined with one of these, the tracker is water-resistant but we wouldn't recommend taking your bejewelled band to the pool.

Also available are the more subtle Vio, Sirora and Lisea pendants and blingy Piofiora, Cardoon and Cleyera wristbands in a range of prices starting at $69 per accessory. All set with Swarovski crystals of course. The idea is that you can buy bands and necklaces to suit every occasion which is exactly the kind of system which will appeal to fashion-conscious women who don't want to get stuck with a coloured fitness band. Though at these prices, it's quite an investment to get the set.

One problem on the Slake bracelet at least is that the rubber enclosure which houses the tracker detracts from the premium feel quite a bit - we know that Misfit needs to stop the Shine flying across the room but it ruins the effect somewhat. The Opening Ceremony and Intel MICA bracelet, which admittedly is $1,000, remains the high-end wearable to beat in the style stakes.

We didn't get a retail box with our Swarovski Shine sample but we presume it also includes a clasp for attaching it to gym clothes, for instance.

Being a Misfit tracker, there's no screen to show the time, alerts or your progress. There is simply a circle of LEDs - these are easier to see clearly on say, the Flash, but they are bright enough here to be visible on the crystal if you're concentrating. These can show the time, synced to your phone, with a blinking LED for the minute hand, and also your progress towards your daily activity goal with a double tap of the Shine. That's it. Everything else is done in the app.

Misfit Swarovski Shine: Tracking

If you like the look of the Swarovski Shine, the next biggest factor will be how you get on with Misfit's tracking. Chances are the Shine will monitor everything you need it to - steps, activities (running, swimming, walking, cycling, tennis, basketball) and also sleep tracking.

Step counting is accurate, as we've come to expect from Misfit, and this is pretty crucial because the Shine is being billed as an everyday piece of smart jewellery, not something to strap on when you're exercising. Activity tracking is up to scratch, too, once you've triple tapped to start a session, though this is far from a replacement for a GPS watch. It's also worth noting there's no altimeter as on some Fitbit devices, so the Misfit is no good for stairs climbed or hiking, and no heart rate monitoring. This is a back to basics wearable.

As for sleep tracking, this is so-so in terms of accuracy. We like that there's no need to switch the Shine into sleeping mode, it detects this automatically but this isn't perfect. And again, the Swarovski studded Slake bracelet is too uncomfortable to wear in bed - not to mention the worry that it would get damaged - so it's the sports band or nothing.

For more on Misfit's tracking abilities, read our Misfit Flash review.

Misfit Swarovski Shine: App

Misfit's tracking is comprehensive enough but compared to most rivals, its app is extremely simple. Perhaps too simple depending on how invested you are in the fitness and motivation element.

You can view your activity or sleep history by day, week or month with graphics to show number of steps, calories burned, distance travelled etc and how many points you earned towards your goal. For sleep tracking, you can see how much sleep you've had and how much of that was deep sleep. There's also the usual notifications for personal bests and the option to connect your account to Facebook.

Misfit's iOS app, to be fair, is better than the Android offering but both fall behind Jawbone and Fitbit in terms of giving you actionable info on your habits and a real community or virtual coaching to keep you going.

The Shine will pair, via Bluetooth, to an iPhone or Android phone though it's worth noting we've had a few pairing and upgrading issues with a Moto X (which isn't on Misfit's list of supported models but is included in the 'Android 4.3+' category).

Let the sunshine in

Misfit Swarovski Shine: Battery life

Talk about a wearable fitting into your life and the Swarovski Shine's six month battery life stands out. We've only been wearing it for a few weeks so far but there's no reason to believe this Clear Crystal edition won't make it to the half-year mark on its coin cell battery. And it means there's no reason to hate your tracker. No finding the proprietary charging cable or realising as you leave for work that it's dead.

What's even more exciting is the upcoming solar-powered Swarovski Shine which uses a purple crystal to harness the power of sunlight and light bulbs to recharge your tracker. We don't charge our regular jewellery and now with the Shine, we don't have to charge our smart jewellery either. This is the future of tech trinkets.

Misfit Swarovski Shine: Price and release

The Swarovski Shine collection is only available in the US at the moment with no details yet on launches in the UK and Europe. A set including the Clear Crystal Shine, an entry level Slake bracelet and a sports bands starts at a fairly reasonable $169 and if you really want to splash out the Vio pendant set costs $249.

If you're not taken with the Swarovski collaboration, the regular Misfit Flash is just $50 and the Shine is $99. The Swarovski edition is up for pre-order now with delivery set for June 2015.


Misfit Swarovski Shine
By Swarovski
Misfit might need to work on making our fitness and sleep data more useful to us, then, but it has absolutely nailed the problem of wearability, modularity and battery life. Down with charging and get someone else to make it pretty. The Swarovski style won’t be to everyone’s tastes but we predict it will fly in the US and - if it gets there - Asia too. Most importantly, there’s nothing quite like it at the moment. Swarovski and Misfit aren’t asking us to wear something dorky or futuristic looking. In fact no-one who has seen us wearing the Swarovski Shine knew it was wearable tech and that’s exciting.

Hit
  • Looks like jewellery
  • Modular system
  • Amazing battery life
Miss
  • App could be more useful
  • Rubber clasp ruins aesthetic
  • Some pairing issues

7 Comments

  • Atakan says:

    Hello Sophie;;

    I'm a postgraduate student undertaking the MSc Digital Marketing in the University of Southampton. I'm working on my dissertation which is about the consumption of wearable tech devices as fashion and I would be very interested to get some viewpoints from wearable tech users from different countries and cultures toward their adoption on wearables. So I need some perceptions of wearable tech users all around the world and need to do some interviews with the users about their experience with these devices. I read your review about Misfit Swarovski Shine and thought that it would be great to talk about your experience with it and it would be an interesting example for my dissertation as wearable tech become fashionable. I'm aware that you may have limited time and other obligations as well. However, if you can give me some information about your experience with Misfit Swarovski Shine that would be much appreciated and it'd be very efficient to talk with someone who really experience these kind of devices. The interview will be made on Skype or another video chat platforms which preferred by you. If you are interested, could you get in contact with me from this email address? Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward hearing from you soon.


    Kind Regards,


    Atakan Baran Akgul

  • Bubbles says:

    The crystal is a bit flashy. I would prefer the shine more.

  • Anissa says:

    its beautiful, i bought it and was dissapointed with the lack of options. I returned it the same day and got the Fitbit Blaze instead. Its not as pretty but at least it has a purpose.

  • brontegirl509 says:

    I have this product. I have the slade bracelet and the sport band and I also bought myself that cardoon watch band and the Vio pendant as accessories. The watchband is absolutely wonderful and very well made. However I cannot say the same thing about the Vio pendant and I do not recommend it. I put my misfit Crystal into the Vio pendant and it was a very snug fit. It's so snug that I now cannot get it out and I'm stuck just wearing it on the Vio pendant for now. It does work. It's just that I don't have very much flexibility at the moment.  However I'm confident that the company will help me. The very first Misfit Crystal I received had a problem with the battery contacts and the company is going to replace it for me as soon as they finish moving their warehouse which will be in about a week. The problem with the battery contacts means that battery basically lasts a week in this device.  I contacted the same person who helped me set up the return of the unit and told her about my problem with the pendant and how I cannot get it out. Maybe I'm just unlucky enough to have fit and finish issues or whatever but I really like the customer service from this company. They really seem very serious about making sure people are satisfied with their products.

    Another thing about the Vio pendant is that the chain is extremely long. On my neck even on the shortest setting for the chain, the pendant hangs below my bra strap which I think is a bit too low. On the longest chain setting, the pendant hangs down to my waist which is way too long.

  • Crystalg82 says:

    Hello all,

    This piece is beautiful, lightweight, and comfortable. I received this as a graduation present today as I saw this and was amazed by the fashionable style. But after wearing it for literally 9 hours, I am inclined to return this asap. I just really really wish that it provided me with a heart rate monitor. The monitoring would give me a more accurate tracking on my calories burned as I workout. That is a feature that is definitely needed for my personal goals. Also, the tap feature seems unpredictable. When I double tap for the time, it may tell me when it wants or just start playing my music on my phone. It's a great start to wearable trackers but I also want functionality,  otherwise what is the purpose?

  • Cher says:

    Whatever you do, save yourself a bunch of wasted money and a fitness tracker that breaks after a few days by not buying the Misfit Swarovski Shine. I was so excited that the cute Swarovski bracelets I wore anyhow now had a fitness tracker. I bought the tracker, plus a couple of different bracelets, probably spent $400 total. The tracker broke within days. Misfit customer service is good about answering emails within 24 hours and confirmed that the product was defective. Many emails and 3 months later, I am still waiting for the replacement they are supposedly sending. When they said it was "backordered" but I was "on the top of the list," I asked if I could just have a refund (for the tracker and the accessories I bought to go with it!), or maybe have a Misfit Ray sent, explaining that I actually WANTED A FITNESS TRACKER which was why I had originally bought one, and now had been without one since March (and it's now June). They said that wasn't possible. So, basically, it's a crummy product, prone to defects, and I don't know why, but what you will get from Misfit is the runaround. I bought the products directly from the Misfit website, too. You would think that would allow them to see that my purchase is recent, legit, and I should be given a bit more fair consideration.

    Reply

  • jpete says:

    What I really would like to know more about is the CA proposition 65 warning on this product and what levels of lead the crystal tracker contains, being it will be worn throughout the day and night on my person. my mom passed of Ovarian Cancer and is it stated to relate to cancer & reproductive harm? I would like to know more about the risk of cancer in these lead crystals. Any relative input on the Misfit Swarvorski activity band that can help?

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