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Whenever we first clapped eyes on the Misfit Ray we were slightly puzzled. Here is a new, slick looking fitness tracker from Misfit, nonetheless it doesn’t do anything different. The Misfit Shine 2 premiered only a couple of months ago, so what’s with this brand-new cylindrical tracker at the same $99 price?
Well, that it is the response to a problem faced by all fitness bands. That problem is thus: persons only have no more than two wrists. And each wrist are designed for just one wearable at the same time.
Be it that classic watch you prefer, your shiny new smartwatch/fitness tracker or various other little bit of jewellery, there’s limited space for tech. Also, persons can’t stand wearing two devices – it looks dorky as hell and will leave you feeling encumbered. That is a problem for the fitness tracker.
It was a straight bigger problem for Misfit than most. The round-faced Misfit Shine 2 clashes with most watches – persons don’t want two circles on either wrist – which explains why the Ray heralds an all-new design. It appears like a bracelet, sits alongside other bangles or bands nicely and may be worn as a necklace.
Misfit Ray: Design and build
In conditions of design, Misfit is keen never to be drawn into questions of gender. While dainty enough to look good on smaller wrists, the Misfit Ray does an excellent job of staying fairly unisex. Having said that, the rose gold model, with sport strap, that we have been wearing is obviously leaning towards a feminine aesthetic. The black model with the – up to now not on sale – cord bracelet, or the leather bracelet you can get for $20 extra, for example, may suit male wrists more.
Read this: Fitbit Alta review
The Misfit Ray itself is rather dainty, measuring just 38mm long and weighing just 8g, while it’s still water-resistant to 50m.
At first it seems as if the machine itself is a hollow tube, however the strap clips into either end with a concealed 8mm bar. The machine itself pulls apart to reveal two replaceable batteries.
The design also offers another benefit. The straps are well and truly embedded into each end of the Ray, so there is no potential for it detaching from the band, lost forever on the road, which was a significant issue with the Shine 2.
Overall, the Ray is a design win. It’s slim, sleek, comfortable and won’t pop out. And it’s really even more appealing personally compared to the Fossil Q Motion, an extremely similar looking tracker from Misfit’s new owner.
Nevertheless, you do lose a thing or two, especially the circle of LEDs that the Shine series is well-known for. Shine users are being used to having the capacity to use these to glance quickly at their progress and tell enough time (with repetition). Here, we’ve just one single multicoloured LED.
Overall, the Misfit Ray simply represents more of the same, in a far more discreet form factor.
Misfit Ray: Activity and sleep tracking
First up: that is an activity tracker, not really a sports watch, and therefore it’ll count your steps, measure distance walked and estimate calories burned with a 3-axis accelerometer together with tracking activities such as for example cycling, swimming, yoga and dancing. No heartrate, no stress, no GPS.
Misfit step trackers are usually very accurate and the Ray is no exception; no real surprise since that is a Shine 2 in several form. Wearing it on my wrist – ordinarily a problem for fitness trackers – I came across that as the Fitbit Alta tended to include a 100 roughly extra steps in the center of your day, the Ray’s results on a single days were slightly nearer to the truth.
Distance was generally accurate whenever we took the Ray out running, though we’d recommend a GPS watch or a hybrid alongside this. Calories, too, might seem to be stingy initially but they’re a lot more helpful to you if they are not overestimating that workout burn.
Days are divided into scrollable stories. There are occasionally way too many disparate activities nevertheless, you can edit these to improve slight inaccuracies. What’s also helpful is that in the daily view, Misfit will let you know just how much walking/running or swimming you nevertheless still need to do to attain your daily points goal. There are also friends on Facebook or compare your progress to state, the common female Misfit user.
That said, There is Fitbit and Jawbone’s communities and insights more motivating previously than Misfit’s simple app. Plus you lose the easily glanceable progress circle of LEDs from the Shine – you can tap the Ray to obtain a different colour according to what percentage you are towards your goal, but honestly, I came across that I didn’t wrap up doing this much.
Sleep tracking is a lot more impressive – spookily so. You can edit the sleep and awake times in the Misfit app, which is effective, but I didn’t have to correct this once since it was i’m all over this – the Ray even noted down my nighttime bathroom trips as ‘awake’ in the graphs. And yes it never once registered me as asleep when I was just watching Netflix. For deep and light sleep, while that is pretty tricky for all of us to verify, short of tests, it’s still interesting to dig into daily and weekly trends.
A good activity feature is Misfit Move, which ensures that the tracker will vibrate when you’ve been sitting still for say, 1 hour. I set it to buzz me between your hours of 10am and 5pm (when I’m probably working within my desk) and it’s a solid vibration (more powerful than alerts) and LED combo that got my attention each and every time.
Quick note: regarding syncing, we’d a few issues pairing and syncing the Ray to your Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, a problem we’ve had before. Persist, remove other Bluetooth devices in the area, and it will work. But we did need to reset Bluetooth several times that is a pain.
Misfit Ray: Alerts and Link features
Misfit hasn’t added a screen to the Ray but it doesn’t mean it’s simply a passive tracker. Alerts could be started up in the Misfit activity iphone app but are limited by calls and texts for the present time – a blue blinking light and subtle vibe means you have a text, or green for calls. They work very well and it’s your decision whether that’s helpful or not. I haven’t received a text from anyone but my grandmother in months so that it will be nice to see Misfit open this up to all or any notifications (WhatsApp and email specifically).
I imagine the reason why it hasn’t opened it up up to now is to keep that battery life up. But if some users want to sacrifice some battery for a vibration if they get an email, you will want to let them? It’s nothing near everything you get with Altruis, Ringly or an Apple Watch and I’m sure plenty of Misfit fans want to double up features wise.
Gleam smart alarm which works as described – set a period for the Ray to wake you up by and you will get yourself a vibration, we assume throughout a amount of light sleep, before that point. For all your promises of getting up fresher, we’ve never actually achieved that morning person glow, but hey, smart alarms are popular.
Link wise, this involves a complete different Misfit iphone app and sadly fails quite aswell with this form factor. With the Flash Link, you get more of a reasonable button press and that means you know your action has been logged. Here with the Ray you’re limited by two actions – double tap or triple tap – and among those has already been defaulted to showing activity progress. Plus I finished up tapping really hard to be sure it had registered.
In a nutshell, it’s limited. But if there are a couple of things you intend to control from your own wrist – smart lights, say, or your music on a linked speaker that is handled from your own phone – then this may be a good bonus feature. You can include actions via IFTTT and altogether, it’s great Misfit is certainly going in this direction with the addition of the feature to all or any future wearables. It’s not there yet.
Misfit Ray: Battery life and charging
Much like the Shine 2, the Misfit Ray’s up to half a year battery life is even more impressive now that it can smartphone alerts too (not absolutely all the types we want yet, but some).
What that essentially means is that there is absolutely no charging involved, making me feel better towards any wearable, frankly. You can observe the battery level in the Misfit app. Our Ray has been showing as fully charged for recent weeks and hasn’t budged from there.
The Ray is powered by two button cell batteries that you should replace whenever your tracker does eventually die, but they are pretty cheap so overall it’s a win, especially in comparison to screen-based trackers that can’t last weekly.
Just like the Fitbit Alta, it’s hard (as a reviewer) to get worked up about the Misfit Ray since it doesn’t offer much that’s genuinely new. Having said that, you may still find plenty of individuals on the globe yet to buy an exercise tracker – or perhaps a wearable – which is targeted at them. Perhaps a classic watch wearer. Or the sort of one who stacks on costume bracelets. Or the smart home owner who would like to get somewhat fitter. For the purchase price, it’s a thorough package and the no charging deal – especially with the notification vibrations – continues to be a genuine pull. A sleek all-rounder that’s simple to live with and makes itself useful in several different ways.