- Battery life
- Lack of features
The Misfit family has the typical brother duo in its fitness lineup. There’s the clean cut, sophisticated older brother, the Misfit Shine, and then there’s the sportier, funkier younger brother, the Misfit Flash. Much as its name suggests, the Misfit Flash is brighter and more eye-catching while not only retaining the same feature set, but also being set at a much less expensive price due to its less expensive material.
Look & feel
The Misfit Flash is composed of three different pieces: the tracking device itself, a wristband, and a clip accessory. Misfit boasts that the Flash can be worn anywhere, and we generally found this to be true. The handy clip can be easily attached to nearly anything such as shirt collars, shoes, or backpacks, and still get a relatively accurate reading.
Overall, the Flash has a very sporty, active, and colorful look that is very reminiscent of Nike’s bold color schemes. The Mistfit Flash has a multitude of vibrant colors with fun, if relatively non-descript names: Frost, an icy silver-white; Onyx, a matte black; Fuschia; Zest, a lime green; Wave, a deep blue; Reef, a light teal; and Coca-Cola Red, which is self-explanatory. The tracker and the band match in color, with the exception of the Coca-Cola Red that comes with the same band as Frost. The clip only comes in matte black.
The band, tracker, and clip are all made of a hypoallergenic polycarbonate. When looking closely, it’s easy to see rough edge lines on the plastic material, and admittedly, its inexpensive price tag translates into a cheap-feeling band. Despite this, when worn on the wrist at a proper setting, the band is lightweight and doesn’t cause excess sweating. In fact, it’s not uncomfortable at all, and from a distance, those rough cut lines are barely noticeable.
Red or white LED lights in the tracker indicate either the percentage towards a days goal when tapped twice or act as a minimalist clock interface when held in a long press. Misfit improved the LED display from the first generation of the Shine; the lights are now easier to view than ever, even in bright light. While it doesn’t show exact step numbers, the percentage dots provide a nice estimate and the clock is a feature that is both stylish and functional.
Performance & Features
- Wireless Sync
- Step counter
- Calorie counter
- Activity tracking
- Water proof
- Meal tracking
- Sleep tracking
- Heart rate tracking
- Caller ID
- iOS compatible
- Android compatible
- Windows compatible
- Battery life: 160 days
The Misfit Flash is equipped with a 3-axis accelerometer and comes standard with most features found in current fitness trackers. The step count tracker is accurate and syncs to the app with low energy Bluetooth technology, which puts minimal strain on battery life for both the tracker itself and the smartphones to which they sync. One thing that sets the Misfit Flash apart from its competition is that there is actually no charging required, as it operates on a replaceable and inexpensive coin-cell battery that boasts 6 months of life. It is one of the few trackers on the market capable of being used while swimming, as it is water resistant up to 30m.
In addition to counting steps taken, the Flash also is able to track distance travelled and an estimate of calories burned, both of which are standard fare for the activity band arena. What sets the Flash apart, however, is that it also comes with automatic sleep tracking. At its inexpensive price point, this adds an immense amount of value compared to trackers that require the user to remember to trigger sleep mode each night, such as the Fitbit Flex that costs twice as much.
Another feature that puts the Flash leaps and bounds ahead of its similarly-priced competition is its impressive list of activities that it is able to accurately track. Because of the clip accessory being able to be situated nearly anywhere on the body, the Flash can track running, swimming, walking, cycling, tennis, and basketball with a great amount of accuracy. For activities such as swimming and tennis, the tracker should be worn on the band, but for running or cycling, clipping to the shoe will provide better results. Even though this requires a user to remember to bring the clip along just in case of a surprise game of two-on-two hoops, this extra feature puts the Flash far ahead of its competition.
Despite all the various features the Misfit Flash proudly carries, its surprisingly lacking on the app-side. The app has neatly designed graphs to show activity throughout the day, including a separate chart that breaks down heavy and light periods of sleep. But there isn’t too much more in the way of metrics. The home screen displays steps taken, estimated calories burned, and distance travelled in a circle that shows how close the daily goal is to being met. It’s nice to have this information all up front, and tapping on the circle shows Misfit’s proprietary points system that allows users to rack up points for extra activity.
Although you can click on times when you participated in an activity, no information is displayed about what exactly was done such as pace or distance. All that is provided is a glance at how many points that activity earned you. It’s a bit discouraging to not be able to compare your progress across days or simply view how much you did on that run.
While the lack of metrics really detriments the Flash as whole, there are some neat features that should not be underestimated. The app has a fun social aspect where you can compete against not only friends, but all Misfit users. The Mr. & Ms. Misfit function shows the average steps taken and daily and weekly steps taken record by all the men or women using Misfit devices. It comes with an encouraging message: “If you’re beating me, you’re better than average!” This creates an entirely separate goal to achieve, and although we found it was sometimes an easy goal to beat, the additional feelings of success were fun and motivating.
The silent alarm function was decent; however, for users who prefer to put their phones on airplane mode at night to preserve battery, it is wholly pointless as it interferes with the Bluetooth transmission. It is really no better or worse than any other silent alarm on fitness trackers today in both performance and in the setup of the alarm in the app.
- Battery life
- Lack of features
The Misfit Flash listened to its users and provided an amazing tracker to join the Shine at a more than competitive price. Its wearable versatility not only is convenient but also provides tracking features that are simply not found in other trackers at its price point. From a variety of activities to automatic sleep tracking, Misfit went above and beyond in fitting great features into the Flash. While not exactly chic, the variety of color options and the sporty aesthetic act as a nice alternative to its more sophisticated older brother. When it comes to features for the price, the Misfit Flash is one of the best values in fitness trackers today.