misfit-flash-review.jpgWhen you’re as busy as I am, fitness has to be easy. Heading out for a run has to involve getting on the gear and putting shoes to pavement within 10 minutes of deciding to go. If I go for a bike ride, all of my bike gear is laid out long before I decide to pedal, just in case I find an hour somewhere in my day. It’s not that I don’t love to workout, because I do when I manage to get out there. It’s because between work and family, groceries and homework, I don’t always have the time.

The same goes for tracking my fitness. Using fitness trackers means I can gauge my progress, keep track of how far I’ve run, and always know how many calories I’ve burnt (because if I don’t, how will I know how many cookies I can eat after?) Although there are a lot of great fitness trackers on the market now, I don’t always have the time to set up a new system or learn a new app.

What I need in a fitness tracker are features like ‘simple’, ‘precise’, and ‘easy to use’, and that’s why I’m seriously impressed with the new Misfit Flash. It ticks all the boxes and, thanks to the app, even gives you info on your sleep patterns.

I’ve used and reviewed the Misfit Shine, so I knew the Misfit Flash would be sleek, lightweight, and ready to wear. It hasn’t hit store shelves yet, but I was able to try out the Misfit Flash for a few days.

Here are the specs for the Misfit Flash:

  • Made from durable TPU/Polycarbonate
  • Wear it on your wrist or clip it to your shoe, shirt, pocket, hat, or keychain
  • LED display
  • CR2032 coin cell battery that lasts up to 6 months without a charge
  • Waterproof up to 30m
  • High precision 3-axis accelerometer to track your fitness
  • Synchs via Bluetooth
  • Tracks steps, calories burned, distance, sleep quality and sleep duration

Sleek vs Sturdy

When it comes to motivating you to exercise, get lean, or make healthier choices, you can’t go wrong with a fitness tracker. These devices have been on the market for several years, and each year they get lighter, more precise, and easier to use. They also get smarter, and that’s definitely the case with the Misfit Flash.

You can’t really describe the Misfit Flash without comparing it to the Misfit Shine. The Misfit Shine is made from aluminum and worn as a charm on a necklace or on your wrist as a watch, and it might be a fitness tracker, but it feels almost elegant when you’re wearing it.

In contrast, the Misfit Flash is made from sturdy plastic, and although it can also be worn everywhere from your wrist to your shoe, it looks and feels like a sports device. That’s a good thing, because when you’re out there taking a beating, you want your fitness tracker to take the beating and come out the other end right along with you.

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To get started with the Misfit Flash, you just need to download the Misfit app and synch your Misfit Flash via Bluetooth. To do that, you take the Misfit Flash and place it on the screen of your smartphone. You’ll see it start to synch, and then you’re off to the races.

The Misfit Flash uses a high precision 3-axis accelerometer to track all of your activities. From swimming to cycling, running to walking – with the Misfit Flash, anything goes and it’s all easy to track.

To see how you’re doing during the day, just tap the Misfit Flash. It’s like a big button, and the screen will light up and show your progress. It actually looks a lot like a clock dial, and it’s very easy to immediately see where you’re at for the day. It’s so easy that for two days I didn’t see the need to synch it with the app, because I could tell I was already at my goal.

But as I soon discovered, if you don’t synch it with the app, you’re missing out on some very valuable fitness information.

misfit-flash.jpgPoints equal motivation

For me, the goal of having a fitness tracker is to motivate me to get out there and move. If it can motivate me to move despite the significant amount of obstacles I encounter during the course of my day, all the better. In a very simple, non-invasive way, the Misfit Flash does just that.

Because I wore it on my wrist, I didn’t think about it until it occurred to me that I needed to make my daily points and it was time to head out for exercise. Once on, it’s so lightweight, it’s barely noticeable. My only worry was that it was so light, if the Misfit Flash fell out of the watchstrap, I wouldn’t notice until it was long gone. As a result, I spent some time trying to make sure it was solidly in the strap, and I checked it frequently throughout the day. I felt much more comfortable when I tagged it to my shoes and jacket.

When I checked it for progress toward my daily goal, the solid LED light showed how far I had to go. I set my daily goal for the standard 600 points, and I found it was fairly easy to achieve. If I were planning on training to lose weight, I’d set the daily goal for at least 1000 points.

Instead of guessing how long of a run or walk I had to do to make my goal, the Misfit app would tell me. I found that really handy when I was rushing out the door, because by knowing how far I had to go and how long it would take me, I could plan the route I was taking.

The Misfit Flash also works with the Misfit Community. It’s like having a fitness support system built right into your smartphone. You can make friends and compete against them, all within the app. And because I need a fitness tracker that’s fast and easy, not having to charge the Misfit Flash is appealing. The battery lasts for six months without needing to swap it out.

Sleep tracking is an eye-openermisfit-flash-sleep-tracking.jpg

By far my favourite feature of the Misfit Flash is the sleep tracker. I kept the Misfit Flash on all day and then slept with it in the watch at night, so I didn’t realize until I synched it that it would track my sleep too.

You don’t have to push a button to track your sleep because the Misfit Flash automatically knows when you’ve called it a day. The first night it told me I had over 4 hours of restful sleep and 8 hours of sleep total. The next night I had 5 ½ hours of sleep with 3 ½ hours of restful sleep.

This was pretty mind-blowing to me, because although I was up the second night with a sick child, the first night I thought I had slept pretty well. It even shows you a graph of how you wake up and fall back into restful sleep all night long.

The app doesn’t just track your sleep, it helps you relax with sleep sounds like waves and crickets. You can even set the timer and it will turn off after you’re sleeping. It has a built-in alarm too, and you can set it to wake you up with sounds like ‘Caffeine,’ ‘Eggs’, and ‘Scrambled Eggs’. Trust me when I tell you all of these sounds will wake you up, and scrambled eggs is actually good for not falling back asleep after your alarm goes off.

Although tracking your sleep with the Misfit Flash is really informative, if you want to take your sleep tracking one step further, there’s the Misfit Beddit.

misfit-beddit.jpg

What happens after you close your eyes?

The Misfit Beddit is a sleep monitor that sits on top of your mattress but below your sheets. Unlike the Misfit Flash that you wear on your wrist, if you place the Misfit Beddit sleep monitor strap near your chest level, it can monitor your heart rate, breathing, snoring, movement, or any sounds in the room.

It’s thin, so even the lightest sleeper won’t be bothered by sleeping on it, and it’s so advanced it can tell you everything from the moment you fall asleep to when you’re in a light enough sleep cycle to wake up refreshed.

Why would you want to track your sleep with the Misfit Beddit? For people with sleep apnea, the snoring and cessation of breathing that comes along with it can definitely be scary. The Misfit Beddit will be able to tell you when it’s happening and how often. For people who wake up feeling exhausted, a device like the Misfit Beddit can tell you how often you’re waking up at night and how much REM sleep you’re actually getting.

I didn’t test the Misfit Beddit myself, but I definitely found the sleep information from the Misfit Flash to be helpful. I fall asleep easily, but I’m up all night long tossing and turning, so maybe it’s time to trade the 6pm cup of caffeine for some chamomile.

If you’re like me and you need a simple, accurate way to track your fitness, something that’s ready to run when you are, the Misfit Flash delivers. It’s sleek, light, and easy to just tag on and use. I liked everything from the one-push tracking right on the device to the sleep information I received from the app. The only thing I didn’t like about it was the watch strap, so being able to attach it to shoes, jackets, or a keychain was a plus.

The Misfit Flash and the Misfit Beddit are both coming soon to Best Buy so be on the lookout for them. In the meantime, check out Best Buy’s range of pedometers and activity trackers and let me know – what features do you look for in a fitness tracker?