My MisFit Flash: no more broken pedometers

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Over the years I’ve had nothing but bad luck with pedometers. I’d get a pedometer, use it for a week or two… then it would break. The batteries outlasted the durability of every pedometer I have ever owned.

My last pedometer was called a FitMeter. As far as I can tell it’s just a generic Chinese-made pedometer with a little branding added. I really liked the design. It was ALMOST like a pocket watch because it told the time and date. (Hey Etsy, make me a case!) It also would reset your step count at midnight, while keeping a record of how many steps you took on each day. It didn’t do any communicating with my smart-phone, but it was smart enough for a simple pedometer.

It wore out a little slower than the others. Eventually, the clip portion broke and I started carrying it exactly like a pocket watch. Then one day, I pulled it out of my pocket at the end of the Insane Inflatable 5K and the screen had gone blank, so it was time for me to move on.

That’s when I finally decided to join the rest of the 21st century and get a “Fitness and Sleep Tracker.” I spent a few hours trying to figure out how much I was willing to spend, what features are important to me, and what was durable enough to survive the rain. I decided on the MisFit Flash, just in time for a Black Friday sale price.

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Pairing the “Reef” Flash (one of the teal colors) with a black wrist-strap by WoCase, I think it looks good.

After the basic setup with the app, I was able to import my activity from the MisFit into MyFitnessPal. According to the Elliptical at the local Planet Fitness, the MisFit seems to be accurate at guessing my activity level.

The big jump from a simple Pedometer to something like this, is the sleep tracking. It records this automatically, but you can “tell it” when you’re going to bed. I found it convenient to know approximately how many hours of sleep I got, and how restful my sleep was. Since it keeps track, you can scroll through the week and know how many nights you’ve met the goal of 8 hours and how many nights you didn’t.

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However, that’s not to say that it is perfect. If you want a dedicated watch, this is not for you. Since the Flash has only 12 led dots on it’s face, it uses the dots to tell you how far to you are to goal, and also what time it is.

Goal progress is simple – if all 12 dots light up you’ve met your goal for the day. If only the first 6 light up, you’re half-way there and if three light up you’re only a quarter of the way there, etc. Time is displayed using a partially lit 3, 6, and 9 with a fully lit 12 for reference, a solidly lit hour, and a blinking minute.

One problem with the dot system is that when the “minute hand” and “hour hand” are in the same spot it’s hard to tell what time it is, for example 12:05 and 1:05 look exactly the same. MisFit has fixed this problem on the Shine2 by having the hour and minute light up as different colors. If you pause the end of this demo, you’ll see that 12:10 looks like 2:10.

Not an issue for me, I carry my phone everywhere, and if I really want to wear my watch, I have another wrist!

If you want continuous heart-rate monitoring, then this is not for you. Again, not an issue for me. If I’m working out and really want to record heart-rate I’ll use my Armour39 chest strap with MapMyFitness. Considering the cost, the utility, and most important – the durability – the MisFit Flash has won me over.

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