Fitness trackers are ugly, with fitness fanatic design ethics that channel an inner desire for a sci-fi monstrosity, be it a star trek communicator or unsightly wristband that communicates to its user through a morse code series of flashing lights.
Enter the Misfit Phase, a tracker that looks like what should be around your wrist - a watch. An actual watch that doesn’t require a flick of the wrist to see the time, or isn’t some hideously innocent bubble-shape or testosterone-fuelled hexagonal monster.
A watch - and a minimally beautiful one at that. The 41mm face and the thickness of the body may make more of a statement on smaller wrists, but it’s comfortable and is not thick to the point of being weird. The included sports band split around the most used holes, but is a nice accompaniment - not too garishly sporty, so it can be worn all day, every day from your moments of fitness to the office shift and even on a date. It’s also waterproof to 50 metres, meaning it can literally be worn everywhere.
Bucking the trend of trackers’ reliance on rechargeable batteries, requiring the occasional connection to a charger cable left by the bed, the Phase relies on interchangeable watch batteries. The good news is with a 6-month battery life, you will not be worrying about low power for a long time. In the slightly bad news, replacing can be a little tricky with the replacement tool, but not impossible.
But does it work as a fitness tracker? Well, using the three-axis gyro pair with Misfit’s algorithms, sleep and steps (plus the speed of steps) are recorded rather accurately. However, there is one jarring issue - distance tracking. While step data is tracked thoroughly, the distance can be wildly inaccurate, believing I had completed all 10,000 steps in just 0.2km. The video review shows evidence of this:
Speaking to other Misfit Phase owners, this doesn’t seem to be a problem affecting all users, but it is impacting some. Hopefully, this is an issue that can be resolved through a simple software update. But this, naturally, puts the Phase at a bit of a disadvantage in respects to being a capable fitness tracker.
However, let’s get straight to the point. This tracker is not for everyone. It is not for those who are fitness first in mind and body. The data recorded is too basic for that, so maybe look further afield for something with GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring at the expense of design.
This is for the rest of us. The average people who want to look after ourselves but can’t help but have the odd pizza or takeaway.
It’s not the cheapest either. At just under £100, there are many other trackers that do this same level of activity recording at half the price.
But none of them are as deliciously good looking on your wrist as the Phase. If you want a device that can capably do double duty as both an activity tracker and a beautiful watch, then look no further.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.