As wearables continue to become more commonplace, they're continuing to push forward in more spaces, including the fashion industry.
Misfit was one of the first companies that 'got it' with the Misfit Shine. Although far from perfect, it's simple, sleek and above all, disguised as a simple fashion accessory; you wouldn't know the tech was inside unless someone told you.
Now, Misfit has released a sportier and more affordable version known as the Misfit Flash, but it doesn't sacrifice the familiar design.
At just $50 or £50 (about AU$55), Misfit is giving people a quaint little fitness tracker that gets the job done. But if you want a more feature-rich device, it's best to look elsewhere.
Display and design
The display on the Flash is anything but flashy. There's no OLED screen - or any screens at all. Rather, it's a plain, solid colored button. Instead of opting for the Shine's tapping input, the Flash requires a solid push to get the LED indicator lights twinkling.
The LEDs tell you the time and your progress on daily goals. This can get confusing, but you can customize which lights pop up first in the Misfit app on your phone. I still had a hard time discerning what was what, though.
While the Shine has an anodized aluminum finish, the Flash is made from a thermoplastic polyurethane/polycarbonate combo. In short, it feels like a rubbery plastic. It's also actually made of the same plastic as the Misfit Shine's wristband and has flat sides.
It doesn't have a premium quality look, but since it's aimed towards the wallet-conscious, sporty crowd, this can be excused. Still, on first glance it's not much to look at, and I'm wondering where the "fashion" angle is. I suppose the fact that it comes in a variety of colors - seven, to be exact - is a perk, but it generally felt like I was wearing a cheap child's toy.
There is however, a practical benefit to the Flash design. One complaint of the Shine was that it would often break free of the wristband. The Flash's pod can only be inserted from underneath, meaning it'll stay snug inside the wristband as long as you're wearing it.
Even though it looks like a kid's bracelet, the Flash has been a durable tracker and definitely won't break if you drop it. My wearable hasn't even shown signs of wear and tear despite my constant usage. It's even waterproof up to 30 meters, meaning showers and dishwashing are all OK activities for leaving the Flash on.
The band is easily one of the most comfortable fitness tracker straps I've used. It doesn't get in the way of any jackets and most of the time, I hardly notice I'm wearing it.
While hiking during a particularly hot day, the Flash didn't feel super gross from sweat even after four hours trekking up and down hills.
It also fits nicely on my small wrist, which is a huge plus from me because I have such a hard time finding perfectly-sized wearables.
The band's clasp is a little difficult to fasten if you're aiming for the very last opening. Still, it still doesn't hold a candle to the Fibit's array of nightmarish clasps.