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Misfit Flash Fitness + Sleep Monitor review

Is this fitness tracker a flash in the pan or can it shine in a crowded marketplace?

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The follow-up to the Misfit Shine, the Flash fitness tracker guarantees a six-month battery life and is fully waterproof. It’s also able to offer this at half the price of the Shine. How? Well, while the Shine was made of metal, the Flash is made of plastic. A ballsy move when so many wearables – most notably the Apple Watch – are courting the luxury market. However, the very fact the Apple Watch is coming and is bringing fitness tracking with it, is a good reason for the Flash to distinguish itself in any way it possibly can, even if that’s just by slashing the price tag.
The plastic coating feels very cheap and rubbery, reminiscent of those bands nightclubs often make you wear to prove paid entry.

However, it is also light enough that you forget you’re wearing it and durable enough to keep up with an active lifestyle. The tracker also comes in seven different colours – ranging from anonymous black and grey to vibrant fuchsia and lime green – giving you a degree of personalisation. If you really don’t want to wear it on your wrist, the adjustable strap is large enough for you to wear it around your ankle. It also comes with a clasp so you can clip it to clothing or loop it onto your keychain.

Working with a free companion app and connecting via Bluetooth, the Flash can track walking, running, swimming and sleep, expressing activity as calories burned, distance travelled or number of steps taken. You can set daily goals and easily track improvement over time and compete with friends on a leader board. If you so wish, the Misfit app can also keep a record of your weight and you can keep an optional photographic food diary.

Though we’d recommend the app’s slick interface, it also integrates with iOS 8’s Health app and other third-party downloads, so you can track your activity any way you like. Less intuitive than the app is the LED display on the Flash. A tap of the screen will illuminate a series of red lights, which are intended to show your progress followed by the time, but the series of flashing lights is a little too abstract to interpret with just a quick glance.

With the Apple Watch due later this year, the fitness band’s days are numbered, but the Misfit Flash offers a lot of functionality at a reasonable price, even if it has compromised on style.

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