Misfit Shine 2 review

UPDATED: We put Misfit's updated tracker through its paces

We've updated our Misfit Shine 2 review based on the revised design and adjusted the score from 3.5 to 4 stars accordingly.

With the benefit of hindsight the Misfit Shine nailed the fitness tracker market all the way back in 2012. While other companies have launched updates and sequels, the original Shine has been an ever-present, to the point where we didn't believe the company would bother to replace it.

That's mostly because the original Shine is still great. It boasts freakishly accurate step tracking, automatic sleep detection, decent analysis, plays nicely with other apps and it looks great.

Yes, Misfit is lacking a heart rate monitoring tracker (it revealed to us last week that it would release new devices at CES) but the Shine is still one of the best bands out there.

Essential reading: The best fitness wearables for women

Enter the Misfit Shine 2. Misfit has tried (again) to secure the infamously loose strap and added notifications from a smartphone displayed via some coloured LEDs. But is the $99.99 Shine 2 worth investing in? We took the brand new device for a spin.

Misfit Shine 2: Features and design

At quick glance, the Shine 2 looks nearly identical to its predecessor. It is a small, metallic disc that is fitted into a silicon band. The most noticeable difference is that the Shine's face is slightly larger and marginally thinner. It's slightly more unisex looking than before as the previous edition could be a a little dainty, especially in a metallic finish.

If you tap the device's face, you'll notice the first major change. The Shine 2 features coloured LED lights and a wider variety of light patterns to help you identify when you've received a phone call, text message, or simply a "get up and move" nudge.

Read this: Misfit Ray review

Probably the most interesting and important change in the second-generation Shine is the band. The company has created a special Action Clip (first designed for the Speedo Shine this year) for the back of the band designed to keep it more secure ‚Äď well, that's the theory anyway.

The Action Clip is a thin plastic strip that attaches to the backside of the Shine and threads through both sides of the band to anchor it in place.

When we first reviewed the Misfit Shine 2 it was still extremely prone to falling out, especially when snagged. Our Shine popped out multiple times during testing, pinging off at an alarming speed. The first time was while boarding a train, and it came perilously close to rolling onto the tracks.

It's really annoying as the ONE improvement that Misfit had to make was making this darn tracker stay put on the wrist, and actually it seems worse than before.

However, Misfit has had a third attempt, and things are much better now. We've spent a couple of weeks with the new Action Clip, and pleased to report no problems. If you give it a real yank you can still separate the unit from the clip, but we experienced no unexpected de-couplings.

And if you're reading this as an unhappy customer whose tracker is detaching all too often then there's good news: contact Misfit's customer services and they should be able to do you a solid.

New Action Clip available on new Shine 2 bands and by customer services

The old Action Clip, which didn't work

The Shine 2 also comes with a clasp, which can be attached to a shirt, belt, or shoe to capture the same metrics as the wrist, which offers more options for those that want their tracking to be a little more discreet.

We switched from wrist to shoe when starting a workout. Snapping it into the clasp was pretty simple, however, getting it back into the wristband tended to require a bit of finagling.

Even though the process takes a few extra steps, it's worth the effort considering the tracker works better when placed on the foot for cycling and other activities.

Finally, like its predecessor the Shine is still waterproof to 50 metres, and it will track your distance in the pool, making it one of the few trackers really suited to the pool.

Misfit Shine 2: Activity tracking

The original Shine was one of the most accurate step and exercise trackers we've tested (that doesn't include GPS of course), and its ability to keep tabs on your distances was almost freakishly good. And we're glad to report that Shine 2 is no different.

More to know: Misfit Shine tips and tricks

We took it out for a 1.87 mile run, tracked with GPS, and it was logged in the Misfit app as a 1.8 run. That may not sound impressive, but for a tracker that just monitors the swing of your arm it's almost miraculously accurate ‚Äď and for those whose running extends to a jog around the park every other Sunday, it means you can still get some information about your sessions.

You can then tag the exercise, and choose from a range of sports from swimming, cycling, basketball, soccer, tennis and running.

Aside from steps, the Shine 2 will also track sleep and will detect you dozing off automatically. It works well with a decent representation of light and deep sleep on an easy-to-read graphs. As sleep tracking goes the meagre data is hard to beat, and you won't find better data over at Fitbit or Jawbone.

The only issues were a couple of instances where an evening of couch lounging was registered as sleeping and the knock-on effect was that nightly averages surpassed nine hours some nights.

Of course, there's no heart rate tech built-in unlike the Jawbone UP3 or Fitbit Charge HR so the activity metrics aren't nearly as detailed. For many this will be a bugbear ‚Äď the Shine is no-where near as suited to gym workouts as its competition.

A less obvious benefit of the Shine 2 is also the multiple positions it works on the body. You can opt to clip it to shoes, belts, shirts or the wrist, which makes it a better buy for mums, for example, frustrated by not getting credit for steps when pushing a buggy. Just reset the position with the app and use the supplied clip.

Misfit Shine 2: Notifications

Similar to the first-generation Shine, this model lets you know how far along in your goal you've reached. Tap the screen and a series of red lights will appear around the disc, which give you an idea of where you are in your activity goal.

There are 12 LED indicators that light up around the ring depending on how far into your goal you are. The further in you get, the colour changes from red to orange. If you've passed 100% of your goal, the lights will blink around the ring once, then past the starting point to the current percentage you've achieved.

For example, if you reach 150% of your activity goal, the ring will light up from the starting point and than past it to the halfway point again. You can always tell when you've gone past your goal because the colours change from orange to yellow to green.

You can also set up the Shine 2 with Misfit Move, which gives you a nudge to get off your duff and move around. You can set the notifications manually in the companion app from every 20 minutes to every two hours. You can set the start and end time for Misfit Move for a specific time of the day. So, if you sit at a desk from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., set your first nudge for 9:00 a.m. and end it at 4:00 p.m.

The biggest software changes to the Shine are the smart notifications. In addition to letting you know when you've reached your activity goals, or poking you to get moving, the second-generation device lets you know when you've received a text message or phone call.

When you get a phone call, the LED lights at top half of the device light up and blink green. When you receive a text message, they light up in blue.

Strangely, there doesn't appear to be any documentation with the device that tells you what the notifications are for, so they can be a little bemusing at first. Once you understand what the lights mean (a bit of a process of elimination) it works okay. It's hardly going to trouble the Apple Watch for notifications but it's useful especially for ladies with phones tucked in their bags.

Read more: Creating the perfect fitness tracker

You can also set a vibrating alarm on the Shine 2. From the companion app, select a time for the alarm to go off and each day at that time, you'll get a series of vibrations from the device.

If you're a heavy sleeper, we don't recommend using the Shine 2's alarm feature. The vibrations are noticeable, but not exactly a jolt on your arm. We only noticed the alarm about half the time and usually after already being awake.

Misfit Shine 2: The App

The Misfit app, compatible with iOS and Android, is where all of your activity tracking information and goals are stored. With it, you can see more detailed information about how successful you were at keeping moving throughout the day.

The Home section is where you get an overview of your daily activity, including steps, distance moved, calories burned, and amount of sleep from the previous night. The main tracker shows you how many points you've earned from your day's activity in either a circular view or linear graph. Scroll down to see "Today's Story," which provides details on your activities, including when you were moderately or vigorously active.

You can also see your progress in a weekly or monthly overview with details on how many points you've earned or hours you've slept within that time period.

In the Social section, you can connect with others that also use the Misfit app to track their daily activities. Tap a person's profile to see how many activity points he or she has earned, as well as the daily and weekly record.

Before you shop: How to buy a fitness tracker

Under the Devices section, you can enable Misfit Move, set an alarm, turn on or off the smart notifications, enable the clock and set whether it is displayed first, and find out about other apps and IoT devices you can connect to.

If you download the Misfit Link app, compatible on iOS and Android, you can connect your Shine 2 via IFTTT to a number of different household gadgets and useful programs. By linking your device, you can connect such things as the Withings Body Scale, Google Drive, or Twitter. You can even link up your Shine 2 to turn on your Hue smart bulbs or toggle your Wemo switch with three taps.

The Misfit Link app also lets you connect your Shine 2 to your smartphone so you can play or pause music, or activate the front-facing camera so you can quickly take a selfie.

Misfit Shine 2
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Misfit Shine 2: Battery Life

The battery life of the Misfit Shine 2 is beyond the norm. It doesn't use a rechargeable Ion-Lithium battery. Instead, it uses a coin cell battery, like traditional watches. The company boasts a six-month battery life, which is based on the average coin cell battery life.

We've only had the Shine 2 for a few weeks, so we can't attest to six months, but we can confirm that with two weeks of daily use, the battery is still fully charged.

Misfit Shine 2
By Misfit
The Misfit Shine 2 is a decent step up from its predecessor with added smart notifications and vibration alerts, yet the fact that the company still hasn't made the tracker secure in its band is a real disappointment. In short, the Misfit Shine 2 is still a great looking and accurate step and sleep tracker with more features at a decent price, but its propensity for detaching stops it from being an all-out success.

  • Accurate step tracker
  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear day and night
  • Battery life is awesome
  • Shine *still* pops out of its band
  • Switching between band and clasp for workout isn't ideal
  • Some minor sleep detection issues

What do you think?

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  • orangetabbys·

    I've had it for a week and was quite disappointed with the step accuracy. While attached in the clip to my pants it was very accurate, though while on my wrist it was registering any movement my arm did as steps, which I found very frustrating.  It also could use some form of allowing me to change the calorie count, as it estimated that 20 minute of hiit training was only 21 calories. I feel quite limited by the app. The sleep monitoring is interesting, and the shine does sync very quickly to my phone. 

  • BarbAnn·

    I have only owned my Shine 2 for two weeks, and I've already lost it via popping out of the band (probably move my purse to that arm) three times.  Now I'm done!  Don't even want to find it this time.  Too bad because I enjoyed it...just hate worrying about losing it all of the time.  Not worth it.

    • Megs·

      I lost mine within 2 weeks of getting it as a Christmas present. It just feel out. I didn't even feel it get lost. After searching in the car and around the house, then making some phone calls I decided I must have lost it in a snowy parking lot while jogging to the car and carrying my squirmy toddler. So gone for good. 

      I feel as thought this review is way overly generous because no matter how good looking or capable it is, a fitness tracker only works if you are wearing it, which seems to be practically impossible. I even had the "new" more secure action clip. I liked the look of it and the app wasn't bad, but It gets only 1 star from me because it won't stay on the strap.

      • ElizG·

        I received mine as a Christmas present too (2016) so it was the new one, and it popped out the first time after a few days and I had difficulty putting it back in but managed but it was a bit out of alignment. Then it popped out again on Monday this week, fortunately where I could retrieve it - from a bin in the ladies in my education centre. I just had to take out the used paper towels first!! I haven't bothered trying to put it back into the strap but put it on the waist thing but that wasn't very secure either. 

        Also, I don't get any notification on it to say I've received a phone call - just tried it and no lights flashed. My son and daughter-in-law both have the Fitbit Charge 2 so am going to get one of those instead. I think it'll be worth the extra money as I won't lose it and it has a lot more features.

  • mrsdripdrap·

    I would like to buy a shine but my phone and tablet operate on windows systems and I keep reading conflicting advice about compatibility. Specifications never seem to show this but some reviews do say the shine works through an app with windows. Can anyone please provide me with a definitive answer so I can be certain before purchasing. Thanks

  • khwb2·

    Awesome product but...

    Mine popped out and so I returned it.


    I had the original shine, but lost it while it was clipped to my bra strap (only the 2nd time it ever fell off in the few months that I had it). I was hoping that the newer version would have a better clip because I don't like wearing it on my arm. I think the clip for this one is worse than the original. I've had it for 4 days & I've counted 8 times already that it's slipped off of wherever I've had it clipped (bra, waist of pants & shirt collar). Once was as I was using the restroom & it fell IN the toilet. Thank goodness it's waterproof. The tracker itself is an improvement, but I feel like the clip actually downgraded & is comparable to the Flash clip. It doesn't have a snug grip & easily slides off of thin fabric.

  • drnavanee·
    • I have the misfit shine , even after 1 hour excercise i get only 200 ponts. ¬†I would like to know the calories per point,¬†
  • Wysegirl·

    I had my shine for 4 months and then it started to pop off the wrist band. I lost it and lucky found it 6 times!!!! But on the 7th it was gone. Extremely annoyed that I paid $100 for this thing. Initially I really enjoyed wearing but would never recommend any of these products that are held together with a thin rubber band. I feel ripped off

  • natashal·

    I just bought one on Amazon and I can't get the battery compartment open.  Have looked at 3 online videos and still can't open it.  I will return and ask for a replacement, but this is pretty frustrating.  I want to love this product.

  • Ahep·

    I only had mine for 2 weeks before I losed it. It had popped out once in the first week when I was changing at the gym and thought it was a fluke. Until it popped out in my home this morning and is now missing. It was on my wrist when I woke up but sometime between brushing my teeth, feeding the dogs, and going to the bathroom it slipped out if the band. I tried to sync it, Bluetooth find it, even tried the light blue app no where. My fear is is is down a drain and gone forever. For something that costs this much and is supposed too be made for use during activity, sleep, everyday life, even swimming it shouldn't fall out randomly so easily. I am extremely dissatisfied. 

  • tule·

    The first upgrade they need is the darned band.  Had this for two months, popped out regularly and finally is lost completely.  Really stupid design!  otherwise loved it. dammit.

  • whocares·

    Notifications on Android do NOT work properly, the same is true for the Misfit Ray. You get notification for phone calls but not for text messages, emails, or anything else really useful. This probably has to do with Misfits decision to ignore the standard Android notification system: The primary indicator here is that you never have to give the Misfit application permission to receive app notifications. Their devices are therefore really competing with cheap tracking-only gadgets. This can't replace a smartwatch or a fitness tracker with actual support for notifications.

  • Mumsie·

    NOT waterproof! Misfit website clearly states 50m water RESISTANT-big difference!

  • rebeccadoss·

    Worst fitness tracker ever. It's pretty, but won't stay in the wrist band for longer than 10 minutes. Flies out of the silicone band... Even on the way home from purchasing it, it fell out while I was simply driving. Resorted to putting it in my zipper pocket during my run. I ran 3.52 miles according to "Map My Run", but recorded the distance as 4.7 miles on my Misfit app. It even said I burned over 700 calories, which is wildly inaccurate... Returned immediately. Super disappointed!!

    • j.stables·

      Bit late now for you Rebecca, but users with issues with the clip can contact Misfit support for a new one. I've tested and it's a big improvement.

  • mizdelmonico·

    I bought the Shine 2 a couple months ago on Amazon. Wanted to love it but realized that my first generation Moto X would never sync with the device. There seemed to be an issue with the battery, and I couldn't get the compartment to open. Back it went to Amazon. When the original Shine went on sale, I bought it. In the meantime, I updated my phone to the Moto X Pure. Now there's no problem with syncing. I also have an iPad and can see the difference in the IOS app versus Android. I'm glad I've got both options of operating systems. As far as the band is concerned, I've not had the Shine pop out. Maybe next month, I'll be cursing my Shine. So far so good.

  • frustrated·

    lost mine.  Contacted misfit and was offer 15$ off a new one.  Was extremely frustrated as I paid over 125$ for the new one.  Would spend my money on a better tracker with HR monitor. 

  • xeril·

    had mine for a while now,  really liked the look of the olive green watch strap band they have pictured on there website.  but thats all it is.   no accessories for the shine 2. and now they have moved on to the ray and altra so i doubt any shine 2 user will have a better strap. 

  • ddflorida·

    I just got my Misfit Shine 2 three days ago and I love it.  I like to swim, I am not an Olympic swimmer, but I get around.  It tracks my swimming via steps which I love.  I have it synced with the weight watchers application and it works great.  I have not had any pop out issues with the wristband.  It tracks my sleep which is really cool.  I plan on getting a pretty wristband for it coming up.  I am very happy with it!

  • Pmainpa·

    Do not buy this product

    We bought 3 misfits for our daughters last Christmas 2015. One Shine and two speedo shines. All three are now gone - lost - just dropped out of the ineffective or defective wrist strap. And all during normal routine wear. You look down and it's gone. A very poorly made product.

  • Sandlewood11·

    Although it works well there are two major flaws. 1st once the battery goes flat- whuch is does after 6 months there is no point trying to change it as they do not work!  Secondly, i have lost my iphone that it was linked too and i cannot now link it to my new phone as it is saying that the shine is already linked to another device and it will not allow it so total waste of money as i cannot now use it! Would i buy another one?? No!

  • mhrvalle·

    After reading a few of your reviews, I found myself torn between Misfit Shine 2, Garmin Vivosmart HR and Fitbit. The most important features for me are heart rate and sleeping tracking, so it is very difficult for me to choose as one is better than the other in only one of these aspects.

    The main thing is: I am a BOXER and MMA fighter and fear the strong impacts would damage the device or compromise the tracking capability during my intense workouts. Is there any advice for me? 

  • nmiles·

    Great concept, poor follow through.

    I bought the Shine 2 for biking. It works... but is a little disappointing. I wear it on my ankle or with the clip-on on my shoe, and it tracks my activity as "Vigorous Activity"... not "Cycling". I was led to believe it could tell by the action (spinning around in circles should be a pretty easy clue) that it could auto-detect that I was cycling... but it doesn't. I can go edit that activity later and change it to Cycling, but then it drops down my points a bit - which I don't understand at all. And the app give an option to tell it you are starting an activity, but it's not clear how to start and stop that activity. So I've given up on editing all the time, and really don't want to tell it every single time I jump on a bike. 

    Also, Misfit has come out with a new biking app... but it does not work on the Shine 2. It only works on the cheaper models!? Same with accessories, like the extra bands... they are only available on the cheaper models, not the premium Shine 2. Is Misfit abandoning this product? I really don't get it.

  • Markrkrebs·

    People, enough about the clip already. Two drops of rubber cement and it's in there until you take a screwdriver to it.

  • Nancy1·

    I just received the Speedo Shine 2 by Misfit -blue tooth won't read it and I can't find any information on getting support for it.    My last watch worked fine-the only problem was it kept falling out.  I am so frustrated I am returning it.  It shouldn't be this hard to reach someone for technical support.  

  • justdisgusted·

    i ordered it, shipping was to be in "1-2 weeks"  after a week i cancelled.  got an email from leah saying it was cancelled and voided, my debit card would not be charged.  a week later it shipped and my debit card was charged resulting in 4 overdrafts in one day.  they will not refund any of them even though it was their fault.  i shipped it back following their instructions over 2 weeks ago and still no refund.  all customer service is through email or messages in their website, absolutely no phone # to call.  buyer beware.  

  • speedooops·

    How the hell do you open it to replace the battery?  This thing sucks.

  • Golf4Life·

    I bought the Speedo Shine because it was advertised to count laps when swimming.  Unfortunately the technology doesn't work.  To start "active tagging" you tap the unit three times.  The light at 6 o'clock is supposed to start flashing.  Unfortunately this seldom works.  I have used it for about three months and it has only worked twice.  On a positive note, when it did work, the lap counting was accurate.  A second problem is it is supposed to sync with my IPhone.  Unfortunately it only syncs about 35% of the time.  The tech staff are very responsive but there is not much they can do if the technology doesn't work.  After several emails the tech staff concluded that my unit was defective.  I was able to get a replacement from the Apple Store with no problem. However the new unit doesn't work any better than the previous one.  It still won't count laps and it will only sync to my IPhone periodically.  I was able to get the unit to work few times for running but it is not accurate.  I have a 6.2 km route through a subdivision that I have measured with both my car and my Bushnell Golf Watch.  The Speedo Misfit measures the distance at 7.2 km. I would not recommend the Speedo Misfit to anyone.  It just doesn't work.

  • OwenMoore·

    I loved it until it started popping out of the wrist band and that was one with the annular 'new action clip'.  Eventually it popped out in a remote outdoor location and I have not been able to find it.  Basically the wrist band design is not fit for purpose and as such one should be compensated by the manufacturer.  The O-ring relaxes over a short time of usage and the Shine 2 slips out.  On the American Misfit website, I have seen a new design of wrist band that visually looks like watch but even that I would not consider as the mechanism is pushed in from the front.  It therefore could easily flip out again.  I don't understand why this watch type design was adopted as surely it would be much more sensible and secure if the mechanism was pushed in from the back!  Until a suitable sensible and secure design of wrist band is produced I would not entertain having one on my wrist (even if I do manage to find my old one).  Unfortunately it is somewhere out in the frost and ice for the last week and may have ceased functioning even though it is only a month old.  It therefore has been a waste of money.

  • OwenMoore·

    Since my previous message above, Misfit have sent a replacement Speedo Shine 2 to me free of charge for which I am grateful.  Unfortunately however it has the same annular 'new action clip' to fit it to my wrist.  As I greatly missed my original Speedo Shine 2 I have started to wear the replacement but only in restricted circumstances until I find a robust and secure method of retaining it on my wrist.  I have tried to point out the deficiencies to both the Misfit and the Speedo support teams but they both seem to want to turn a blind eye to the problem.  It is a shame because this is a fundamental weakness in what is otherwise an excellent product.


  • TawnyaH·

    I have the Shine 2 after previously having the Shine (but lost it).  Does this one not fit into the leather band?  I cannot pop it in!

  • LTurner·

    I received the Misfit 2 as a gift.  I can't believe how accurate it is.  I had an old Fitbit that was never as accurate or as easy to use.  I love that I don't have to take it off all the time to charge it.  I have had it a week and have not had it come off but I agree that the design should have made it attach from under rather than on top.  

  • Funnyman·

    I've only had mine for 1 month and its battery died

  • AMP·

    I have just bought the Shine 2 after not founding back my Flash which is somewhere in my house, Has I was realy liking my Flash and looking for a new fitness tracker I have bought the Shine 2 because I love that you can place it anywhere so It can be realy discret and you can hide it and still count your activity, for when I do dance and Pole Fitness we oftenly can't where any jewelry So I can clip it to my bra or short and even hide it Inside those, this is perfect and count steps pretty accuratly, love the new notification features, can wait to see I it will go overtime but for now realy good, I am just still afraid to go swimming with it I don't want to ruin it. Otherwise I love it (just now that it's bigger that the Flash, so I little too big on my small, almost baby wrist, but still great)

  • MiltonMaid57·

    Purchased Shine 2 after I thought I lost first Shine. (The magnet on clothing clip had attached itself to a power tool in my garage.) Though very pleased with Shine 2 I find it very difficult to open the back to replace or reboot battery. Mechanism not designed for small handed or older people who may not have great hand strength. Do like choice of new metal bands as I find other fitness trackers very unattractive though I usually attach it to clothing using the clip. This new clip is still not secure enought for my liking and has also fallen off. Would be better if you could pin it to clothing as well. Having said all that I prefer the Shine to other trackers.

  • Kinkin·

    I got my Misfit Shine one year ago & the tracker always come out . ¬†Most of the time when I put things into my bag, stuffs inside bag may get touch with the trackerÔľĆ them it pop off. ¬†Unluckily, I lost my Misfit Shine in April( last month). ¬†I then brought anothe Misfit Shine 2 & expected to have a¬†better tracker. ¬†It's disappointed me again, the first day I wear on hand & at the end of the day, I only saw the wrist band but without the tracker, it gone!!! ¬†I will not buy a Misfit anymore!