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Misfit, Fitbit, Apple Hit
- Virginia Lawrence | Caminito Del Rocio

Edward Bear with his round-faced Misfit Shine,
hs square-faced Apple Watch, and his ultra slim Fitbit Alta HR.
Photo Virginia Lawrence.
Click to enlarge.

A fascination with gadgets has led this writer to spring for three fitness trackers in two years: a Misfit Shine, an Apple Watch, and Fitbit’s slimmest model, the Alta HR. All three track walking, jogging, and swimming - and then generate a fitness profile organized by day, week, month, and year. The Fitbit and the Apple Watch also track heart rate.

Surcharge for Waterproofing: The Misfit Shine’s $70 ticket includes waterproofing. Both the Fitbit Alta ($150) and the Apple Watch ($250) impose a hefty surcharge for their waterproof models.

Battery Life: The Apple Watch: a brief 24 hours with a rechargeable battery. The Fitbit Alta HR: a generous 7 days with a rechargeable battery. The Misfit Shine: an astounding 4 to 5 months with a non-rechargeable wafer battery.

Edward Bear targeting ten K
with his Misfit.
Photo Virginia Lawrence.
Click to enlarge.

Ten Thousand Steps: You can set your Fitbit daily steps goal at 10,000, the number recommended by the American Heart Association. Not so, for the Misfit. Although the Misfit counts your steps, instead of selecting a precise number of steps as your goal, you must choose a points goal where 1,000 points approximates 10,000 steps. Similarly, the Apple Watch records your steps, but the only “goal” you can set is your estimate for the number of calories 10,000 steps can be expected to burn. A recent study supports a 15,000-step daily goal, but there’s no need to start a fire!

The Land of Nod: The Fitbit and the Misfit track both the duration of your sleep and its quality. The Apple Watch doesn’t track sleep at all unless you purchase a third-party sleep app.
Altimeter: The Apple Watch tracks your elevation gain for workouts; the Misfit does not. As for the Fitbit Alta HR, unlike other Fitbits, the Alta has no altimeter and cannot track changes in altitude. Fitbit ascribes the Alta’s lack to its ultra slim design.

Viewing your Stats: With the Apple Watch a few fitness stats can be viewed on the watch face itself. For more detailed stats you must sync with your iPhone. The Misfit and the Fitbit stats may be viewed on both the iPhone and the iPad, as well as on other smart phones and tablets.

Addable Apple Apps: The Apple Watch has many capabilities beyond tracking your exercise. A dozen practical apps are included in the Apple Watch’s basic bundle: among them, a timer, an alarm clock, and the Siri app. A flashlight is included providing your iPhone is running on iOS 11. Thousands more apps are available from the Apple Store, but only a comparative few may be worth your consideration.

Favorite Features:

• The Misfit can tell you how many more minutes you need to walk, jog, or swim to reach your points goal; and when you do, it rewards you with a 3-second burst of flashing lights.

• With the Apple Watch you can instruct Siri to set your timer herself should you happen to be in the kitchen up to your elbows in olive oil.

• The Fitbit details precisely when you enjoyed REM sleep, light sleep, or deep sleep each night - as well as how long you lay awake in sleepless frustration.

 

 

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