Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis

Misfit vs Fitbit - the swimming fitness tracker bakeoff results!

Addendum added to the end on 6/12 at 8:30 pm

I've used a Misfit device since March 2015. I'm a swimmer. Most fitness trackers are not. Misfit has always been pool ready so that was why I got it in the first place. Recent network issues and the deplorable customer service of Misfit, caused me to look around. I discovered that Fitbit has finally discovered swimming! They now have a little tracker that is swim worthy. So I bought one to try it out.

Here are my notes on the various things I look for in a tracker and how the two different trackers fare.

In all instances I am talking specifically about the Speedo Shine II model of Misfit and the Flex 2 model of Fitbit.

Battery: Misfit wins

Misfit has button battery that needs replacing about every 6 months.

Fitbit needs to be recharged about every second day. (You can turn off features and extend that to a week or more if you want.) If you go the every other day route, it takes about 20 minutes to full charge. Requires a proprietary charging cable.

Payoff*: Misfit wins

Misfit takes the efforts I put into swimming and 'translates' it to steps. So it reports way more steps to the Go program. So I get more Amazon $$ faster.

Fitbit does not do this. Fitbit only counts actual steps. However, this does not seem as big an impact as I though. It will take me longer to gather more $ OR I can walk more.

*My insurance has this 'health' deal the Go program, where you hook up your tracker and it gives you points for steps. Points can be cashed in for a bunch of stuff including Amazon gift cards.

Swim tracking: Fitbit wins

Misfit won't track laps unless I remember to 'tell' it I'm getting ready to swim. If I don't tell it, then it reports yards. So with some math I can get there but still....

Fitbit just knows when I swim and does its thing.

Swim reporting: Fitbit wins

Here's what they each report - Misfit on the top. This was the exact same swim, by the way. The more I wear the Fitbit, the more I like their reporting better. That pace number is fun for me to watch. Somebody is way off whack on the calorie numbers.  Misfit is always double Fitbit.  If I were tracking food intake this would be a deal. But I'm not. So it isn't. And Fitbit is far more accurate on the actual time spent swimming. Misfit left the clock running while I showered and walked back to my car.

Other reporting: Fitbit but I don't care

Fitbit is set up to let you record, food and all kinds of other stuff that I honestly don't care about.

Misfit has some food reporting but only in the iOS app. My app doesn't. But, still don't care.

Sleep: Fitbit wins but I don't care***

Misfit tells you deep sleep/light sleep/awake

Fitbit gives you more detail and a week at a glance

BTW, I wore both on the same wrist and my sleep stats were vastly different every night. Off by hours with wildly differing stats on the kinds of sleep. Seems all pretty voodoo to me. But... do I care? nope.

IFTTT reporting: draw

Misfit reports exactly what it tracks easily and nicely.

Fitbit reports lots more stuff but not the stuff I want (like swim reporting). However, they offer a very easy and fast download option direct from their website. Nothing like that on Misfit.

Hardware: Fitbit, maybe

Misfit is bigger. It's kin of clunky. It can be a bitch to open when you change batteries. It does give you the time. But it is really not handy because you have to be able to read their strange time telling dots. I usually read it wrong so not that handy.

Fitbit does nothing but give you lights to show you progress. But it's tiny and more wrist friendly.

Bands: draw (note I only care about soft bands with NO buckle)

Misfit band options are limited and none are great but all are soft and pliable and easy to get on/off/adjust.

Fitbit has way better colors for cheaper but they are not as pliable and more difficult to get on and off.

Service and support: Fitbit by a landslide

Misfit can be finicky. Most of the time these days it's fine. It syncs when you click sync. So when it works, it's fine. But, when it doesn't, there's no net. Their customer service is as slow as Christmas and totally tone deaf. There is no community. I have 33 friends listed in my app. More than half show 0's ever day. I have no way to contact any of them. I can't even find out if the sync issue is mine or the system's.

Fitbit has a gynormous community easily accessible. There are groups to swap spit with in the app itself. There are community support groups on the web. If I were unable to sync, I'd be able to find out in seconds if it was just me or the system's.

I had a question and posted it to the community board as well as official customer service (which is done via Twitter, oddly enough) - on Sunday morning. I got an answer on the bulletin board by Sunday afternoon and a 'sorry for delay' answer via Twitter on Monday morning. WAY better than Misfit was even when it had decent customer service.

Web presence: Fitbit by a mile

Misfit used to have a web version of their app but no more.

Fitbit's web presentation is great. It offers the same info as the app and presents it in a different way. And you can customize it. It's great.

Companies: Fitbit

Misfit was bought by Fosil - zero clues as to what that means but Fosil is not a tracking or fitness company by any stretch of the imagination.

Fitbit buys companies (Pebble) and feels like it's more invested in what I want.

Other notes:

1. At this writing, Misfit Speedo Shine II is more expensive than Fitbit Flex 2 are the same price - about $60 - although I notice that Amazon no longer has much in the way of the Shine products so maybe they really are disappearing.

2. Both companies love Apple software way better than android. In fact, Fitbit says their software will not work with my particular phone (Google Pixel) but it works fine. Probably some of their more sophisticated products are the ones that don't work well.

I think I'm going to take off the Misfit for a few days to see how that goes and assuming all is fine, I will retire it completely. Fitbit gives me more and better of what I want in a tracker.

Addendum: I skipped a category that I shouldn't have.

Friends: Misfit by a landslide

Misfit has a great and exceedingly easy to add friends to compare yourself to every day. They even have an average you can add as a friend. Basically if you know or can guess anyone's userid you can request friend and all they have to do is click. I have about 30. Only about 10 are active but it's fun to click there every once in a while and see how everyone's doing.

Fitbit has a friends thing but it's very different and not as much fun. It's built in such a way that it's nearly impossible to click with random peops. I did finally find a Reddit group where you can pick up new friends and ask for more but still, it's not a daily comparison. I will miss this feature a lot.

***Added a week later: I didn't care about the sleep tracking because Misfit does such a miserable job of it, I had no idea how interesting it could actually be. Fitbit tracks night sleep as well as naps and gives you all manner of interesting details and some sleep factoids. Very cool.

My Shine is in a box in the cupboard. My Fitbit Flex 2 is my tracker now.
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