Misfit Flash Activity Monitor

What We Think

A useful activity tracker that works well, although possibly isn’t the best-looking product, depending on taste. Despite having a high RRP for the quality, there are reduced prices available online that could make this a good purchase.

    Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Cheap compared to rivals
  • Battery life
  • Versatile ways to wear

    Cons

  • Looks cheap
  • Made from plastic
  • No proper display
  • Sleep monitoring isn’t great

    Rating

  • Performance:4 out of 5 stars
  • Features:4 out of 5 stars
  • Design: 2.5 out of 5 stars
  • Value:4 out of 5 stars
Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Gadget Review

The Misfit Flash is a waterproof fitness tracker designed to be worn on the wrist or clipped onto clothing, depending on your personal preference. The tracker itself is barely larger than a button, roughly the size of a £2 coin but thicker, and tracks your activity and steps each day.

After setting a goal, you can view your progress towards your target each day instantly. The seemingly blank face of the Flash, when pressed, lights up with a circle of LEDs (the degrees of LEDs lit indicates your progress; if half of the circle lights up, you’re halfway there).

If you are going to buy the Misfit Flash, you will need to be able to download the Misfit app, which syncs with the device via Bluetooth. On it, you can track both fitness data and sleep data gathered by the Flash, and set your fitness goals and change the settings.

Using the app, you can set the Misfit Flash to track several different, specific activities such as swimming, running, football and tennis. The data recorded during these activities can be displayed in graphs for you to view easily. You can enter information such as your age, gender, height and weight (to get more accurate information about the number of calories burned), and also add friends to make it all more social.

Generally worn on the wrist, the Flash is comfortable, does not catch on objects and you can easily forget you are wearing it due to its slim, light build. Being waterproof, you also don’t need to bother removing it when taking a shower or bath.

The tracker is not restricted to one place on your body. You can have it on your wrist, chest, ankle, waist, due to the characteristic versatility of the Misfit products. The device can be popped out of the wrist strap and clicked into the clothes clip, which can be hung securely off a pocket, waistband or shoelace.

Available in black, white, blue, turquoise, pink, yellow or red, (don’t be confused by the pretentious colour names listed on the website; onyx, frost, wave, reef, fuchsia, zest or Coca-Cola red) you have plenty of options to make your Flash a bit more personal.

There are plenty of holes in the strap to adjust the tightness, which is good news if, like me, you have quite thin wrists. I often find with watch straps that I run out of holes on wrist straps before they are comfortably snug, a really irritating fact that Misfit have thoughtfully sidestepped.

The Misfit Flash is powered by a single coin battery, much like a watch. The back separates fairly easily, and the battery is claimed to last six months by Misfit. This retro approach to power means that the Misfit doesn’t need charging, which is a nice change from having to plug each gadget in every night.

The LED circle consists of 12 LED lights in total, the layout imitating the numbers on a clock. They flash red or white, depending on the colour picked. They are fairly bright, so there was no trouble making them out in bright daylight. Pressing the button (which is simply the face of the Flash) will show you the time, (In a rather clunky way, as the LEDs corresponding to the numbers on a clock flash to indicate the time of day, limiting it to just showing five minutes intervals of time) and then show you your progress towards your goal. (This order is reversible in the settings menu of the app.)

The Flash is good at tracking exercise and gathering sleep data, but criticisms of its design and material quality seem to be preventing it from becoming a big hit. Although being straightforward to use (once you have set it up to begin with), the plastic product looks and feels rather cheap, unfortunately.

When it comes to forming an opinion on the Misfit Flash, it boils down to pitting functionality against design. I can’t argue that the Flash isn’t functional, and does its job quite well. However, I’ve been spoiled by having tried out the Flash’s older brother, the Misfit Shine, in the past. The Shine does everything the Flash does, but also just looks a bit more suave, a bit more elegant, and a lot less cheap. However, the Misfit Shine is far more expensive, meaning that the Flash is a more affordable product, and the quality drop is proportional.

The RRP for the Flash is £50, which I’d still consider quite expensive for the design and material of the product. However, it can be purchased for less if you shop around and look for deals, including discounts on the Misfit website itself. At the time of writing, Amazon offers the product for £35.05, whilst the Misfit website points people towards Boots, John Lewis, Dixons and Argos, who have the Flash listed under several different prices.

Our Verdict

The Flash is a good fitness tracker, comfortable and functional. However, I do not think I would buy it at the RRP. Its drawbacks are in terms of material quality, with a plastic and basic look and feel. However, if you can get your hands on it for £35 or less, you’ll be pleased with your purchase. On the other hand, if you have cash to burn, shelling out for the Flash’s big brother, the Shine, will get you a better overall product.

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