Misfit offers a couple of the most popular activity trackers around. These are the Flash and the slightly more expensive Shine. I happened to walk out of CES 2015 with a Misfit Flash, which happens to be a pretty cool device at only $50. It gives you the time, tracks your activity and monitors your sleep.
I have been testing it for a while and wear it along with the Pebble, which happens to be my smart watch of choice. While my Pebble has the Misfit app installed, I must accept I never really checked it, but carrying around an actual Misfit device made us wonder just how different they performed. Are they as accurate?
I was wearing both of these at first and it wasn’t long before I realized by Pebble’s activity numbers were always higher than the Flash’s. I was wearing them in separate hands back then, though. I am right-handed and realized I probably do more with one hand than the other, therefore, altering the activity results.
I wanted to get a proper reading for some days, so I wore both devices day and night, on my left hand. To my surprise, the results were just as different. And it turns out the Pebble gave me almost twice the steps… or the Flash measured half of them? I would hope the latter is not the case, as the Flash is made by (and for) Misfit.
I went ahead and decided to end this mystery once and for all and have some interesting results for you. Here is how the test worked.
The idea here is that one of these devices is likely not measuring my steps correctly. During this experiment, I wore both devices in my left wrist. I took them outside and stood right in front of my door. I then went ahead and synced my Misfit Shine, an action that was followed by taking a picture of both the Misfit Pebble app results and the Misfit Flash’s results.
Those numbers can be considered my starting line. After this, I went ahead and walked 100 steps. Then I would stop and take a picture of the results. I did this 3 times. What did I find out?
- Misfit Flash: 108 steps
- Pebble Misfit app: 124 steps
- Misfit Flash: 116 steps
- Pebble Misfit app: 110 steps
- Misfit Flash: 72 steps
- Pebble Misfit app: 96 steps
What does this mean?
As you can tell, there is no solid proof of one of them being more accurate than the other. The closest any of these got to actually measuring 100 steps was in the last session. Otherwise, numbers seem to go up and down.
This is to be expected, though. No activity tracker is 100% accurate. These devices offer more of an approximation, right? Still, these number don’t add up. I mean, even when one is higher than the other, it’s not even close to a 2:1 difference. What gives?
The real issue: Pebble counts more random actions as steps
As you can probably assume, I spend most of my time working in a desk. This means I take very few steps during work. This morning I put the Misfit Flash and the Pebble smartwatch on at the same time and sat here typing away. After a while I noticed some numbers had already added up. Here they are.
I hadn’t taken a single step while wearing these. Yet the Pebble was showing 50 steps. Meanwhile, the Misfit Flash recorded 16. These are both way off, as I hadn’t walked at all, but you can easily see where the Pebble Misfit app goes wrong. That’s a huge difference in wrongfully counted steps.
Misfit Flash is more accurate
I was hoping this would be the result. While I like the Pebble smartwatch much more (of course, it has much more features), it would have been depressing to see the Pebble being more accurate than the actual Misfit device.
This improvised experiment proved there wasn’t such a huge difference in counting actual steps. It was the other things you do all day long that Pebble monitors incorrectly.
With that said, I would say you go for an actual Misfit Flash (or Shine) if you want a better reading of your activity. Not to mention, the Misfit Flash is only $50 (often cheaper)! Now, if you don’t care much for activity, the Pebble Misfit app will still give you a good approximation of your day-to-day activity. At least you will know if you are doing well. I would just advice that you increase your daily goal for activity.
And while we are at it, why don’t you tell us how your experiences with any of these have been? Do you use a Misfit device or a Pebble with the Misfit app? Why not make a quick test and show us how accurate your wearable is?