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Speedo Shine 2 first look: Misfit fine tunes its swimming credentials

Misfit has had the upper hand on Fitbit and Jawbone by opting to make its fitness trackers waterproof. After teaming up with Speedo for the original Speedo Shine, the partnership has been resurrected with the Speedo Shine 2 with one clear goal: to improve accuracy.

Like its predecessor, the swim friendly wearable you can wear in multiple ways is closely modelled on the Shine 2, Misfit’s most expensive tracker. There’s the same aluminium finish on the disc shaped sensor and thin plastic strap. I’ve had bad experiences with Misfit straps in the past, and in just a single day it’s already managed to slip off my wrist. In the pool, it was no problem at all.

Read this: Waterproofing and wearables explained

You’re also getting the same 24/7 activity tracking features and IFTTT recipes support so you can take control of other smart home and connected devices like Philips Hue lightbulbs or the Withings Body scale. It also inherits the Shine 2’s coloured LED display, which still works for smartphone notifications, but in the water it can be also used for a new countdown timer that indicates your progress and indicates how far you are into your session.

But it’s the new swimming algorithms that are the real story here. You still have the ability to track lengths and laps in the pool, but Misfit and Speedo is promising a higher level of accuracy this time around. Interestingly, the improved software updates are also on offer for the Misfit Ray or Shine 2 as an $9.99 in-app purchase.

To put that accuracy to the test, we pitted it against the TomTom Spark, the GPS running watch that also possesses a pretty solid swim tracker that helped it earn second place in our recent big swim tracker test. The process for recording a session is the same as before. Triple tap on the face of the device to start tracking laps and then when you’re done, do the same to end a session. It sounds easy enough, but in practice, it’s a bit fiddly. It took a couple of attempts to nail it and it’s not clear until you go back to your phone whether you’ve successfully completed a tracked swimming session.

When we did manage to successfully log a session the lap count was spot on although we were noticeably lacking any distance data. Clearly there’s a few bugs to iron out here. It’s baseline data, but for most, distance and lap counting is going to be more than enough if you’re adding some casual swimming sessions to your weekly routine.

Speedo Shine 2 review

Not a lot has changed on the app front. The same Misfit app used for the Shine 2, Flash or Flash Link is your go to place for reviewing data. So the big activity progress circles are still present, while swimming sessions are added to the ‘Today’s story’ news stream. If you head into the devices section, there’s the option to turn auto lap counting, adjust pool length and set up the new countdown timer. It’s remains one of the cleanest, most streamlined fitness tracking apps to use.

As far as first impressions in the pool go, it looks like Misfit and Speedo may well have delivered on that accuracy promise and housed it all in what we still regard as one of the best looking fitness tracker designs. Our main gripe is that getting those swimming sessions tracked is by no means straightforward and is a perfect example when Misfit’s trackers really could do with a proper display. Hopefully this will improve as we spend more time with it.

The Speedo Shine 2 costs $99.99, which is only slightly more expensive than the Ray or the Shine 2. Throw in the in-app purchase for swim tracking and it’s basically the same price. So that’s worth considering, if you’re thinking of picking up the second-gen swim tracker.

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