So you have $100 burning a hole in your pocket, and you’re ready to buy a fitness tracker. There are a lot of fitness trackers available at that price point, and you might be overwhelmed by all the options out there.
Two of the most well-known options are the Fitbit Flex (MSRP $99.95), and the Misfit Shine. The Shine used to retail for $99.99, but recently dropped down to $69.99. Are you better off spending your $100 on a Fitbit Flex, or buying the Misfit Shine and having a little extra money left over?
In this post, we’ll be comparing the relative merits of the Fitbit Flex and the Misfit Shine so you can make an informed decision. Full disclosure: Misfit provided us with a sample of the Misfit Shine so we could go hands-on, but our review will remain unbiased.
And since no two people have exactly the same fitness needs, we’ll also take pains to explain what type of consumer will benefit more from the Fitbit or the Misfit Shine. Read on to learn more about how these two top-rated fitness trackers compare.
1. Fitbit vs. Misfit: Fitness Tracker Price Comparison
The Fitbit Flex retails for $99.95, but it’s possible to find it online for slightly less. As of this writing, select Fitbit Flex bands can be found online for $79. The Misfit Shine recently saw a price drop, from $99.99 to $69.99. However, we’ve seen some retailers offering the Shine for even lower, with select colors on sale for $50.49.
No matter how you slice it, the Misfit Shine is cheaper than the Fitbit Flex. However, prices do vary by color in some cases, particularly when you don’t buy direct from the manufacturer. Another consideration that can affect price is the cost of additional accessories. The cost of accessories can vary greatly, depending on your taste level.
The Flex is arguably the best Fitbit option for people who want lots of accessories. There are tons of third party companies making accessories for the Flex, including patterned replacement straps for around $3, and Fitbit Flex necklaces, which let you wear the Fitbit around your neck instead of on your wrist (we like this one, which will set you back $89). Some companies even offer a bra clip ($17.99) for storing your Fitbit during the day. Griffin also makes a Fitbit tie clip for men, which you can find for $13.49 online.
Misfit also has a deep bench of accessories for the Shine, including the Bloom necklace ($47.89 on Amazon). Misfit’s own Ekocycle Field Band ($49.99) and pebbled leather band ($24.20 on Amazon) are both nice options as well.
2. Fitbit vs. Misfit: Form Factor
The Fitbit Flex and Misfit Shine aren’t actually all that different when it comes to appearance. Both lack a numeric display, relying on a series of illuminated dots to show your progress towards your daily fitness goals. That being said, the Shine has a more watch-like appearance, while the Flex looks more like a band.
There are more dots on the Shine, which gives you not only a more detailed look at your progress, but also acts as an analog watch display. If you want a wearable that has a circular, watch-like face, the Shine is a good choice. If you prefer the slim, bracelet-like look, get the Flex. Both wearables come in a wide variety of colors, so it should be easy to find a color that expresses your personality.
3. Fitbit vs. Misfit: Key Features
The Misfit Shine and Fitbit Flex boast a very similar set of features, and even have some similarities in construction. Both devices are compatible with Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices. Both devices track daily activity and monitor the quality of your sleep, and both devices offer alarm functionality.
However, the Fitbit Flex lacks automatic sleep detection, while the Misfit Shine is able to detect your sleep on its own. To start sleep tracking on the Flex, you need to tap rapidly on the device for a few seconds.
Both devices are also designed to resist water. Misfit states their device is safe to wear while swimming, to depths of 50 meters. However, the Flex isn’t quite as waterproof. Fitbit states that the Flex is sweat, rain and splash proof. However, the device is not swimproof.
4. Fitbit vs. Misfit: Battery Life
Battery life is an important consideration when buying a fitness tracker, and it’s an area where the Fitbit and Misfit lines differ greatly. The Misfit Shine uses a replaceable battery, which lasts up to 6 months. In contrast, the Fitbit Flex needs periodic recharging. A full charge will generally last you four or five days. If you don’t like the idea of needing to recharge every week, the Misfit Shine probably has the edge over the Fitbit Flex.
5. Fitbit vs. Misfit: Conclusion & Final Recommendations
If you’re looking for a fitness tracker with a huge array of third-party accessories, a band-like form factor, and a rechargeable battery, the Fitbit Flex is probably the best option for you. However, for those seeking a cheaper fitness tracker with a replaceable battery, the Shine is clearly the right choice. Both wearables are good in their own way, but the cheaper price tag on the Shine, combined with a great smartphone app interface, swim-friendly design, and the ability to tell time on the face make the Shine superior to the Flex.