Two babies in three years has left it’s toll on my body and I hereby declare that 2017 will be the year where I reclaim both my waistline and my fitness, and to help with this I plan to eat less and do more.
Sounds simple right? The truth is that is both is and isn’t; the theory is simple but the application takes willpower which seems to have gone missing sometime back in 2013. To help though I will be aiming to walk or run 500 miles in 2017 and to support me in my efforts, the people from Misfit have very kindly supplied a Misfit Ray for the challenge.
Immediately on arrival I was impressed; efficiently packaged it’s a good looking piece of kit. Modern in design it looks more like a stackable piece of jewelry than sports equipment which is exactly what attracted me to it, I already wear a watch so the last thing I want is something that looks like a second watch. The adjustable band fits even a small wrist and feels secure.
Setting up was easy, though inserting the batteries is a pretty fiddly activity that had me needing to fish one out with a pair of tweezers as it flipped mid drop. However once in, connection and syncing to the app was very quick.
As with most wearables now, the Ray is operated through an app available on both iOS and Android. The HOME screen allows you to toggle between activity (which provides the unique Misfit points system alongside miles traveled, calories burned and steps taken) and sleep (which provides the time awake, time in light sleep and time in restful sleep). Lets just say with a toddler and a baby that restful sleep is looking pretty pathetic!
The SOCIAL tab allows you to connect with other Misfit users, while the DEVICE tab provides your device data and the PROFILE tab your user data. All pretty self explanatory and provided in an attractive user interface that is extremely easy to navigate.
Although basic compared to some of those on the market, the beauty of the Misfit design is that it keeps it simple in a ‘story’ format. Perfect for someone like me who is starting again on their fitness journey and does not want to over complicate things and get too bogged down by stats. Therefore if you haven’t guessed, what it does not provide is detailed data. If you are looking for GPS etc then this is not the wearable for you and there are plenty others on the market which can provide this kind of functionality. For me I already have a Garmin from my running life pre-children therefore this is not something I wanted or needed in a wearable right now, instead what I was after was something that would simply encourage me to move more and give me basic data on that effort such as steps taken and calories burned. For this I am finding the Ray perfectly adequate.
The Ray seems to track activity extremely well, although I’ve not had chance yet to utilise the cycling or swimming application. A double tap to the unit provides a colour indication as to how close I am to reaching my goal that day and I have to say I love the little display of rainbow colours when you reach it….to the point where my toddler now likes to give it a good whack to see the ‘flashing lights’ – something the Ray has been withstanding well! The inactivity reminder is a nice touch too and something I’ve experienced a few times while pinned under a sleeping baby, and to be fair it encourages you to get up and get moving if you can.
The sleep tracker functionality I noticed did not seem to pick up every night time wake up with the baby but on closer inspection of the data, I wonder if that’s a reflection on the Ray or more a question as to what extent mums actually wake during all of those middle of the night cuddles! Perhaps a future medical study topic there….
Links & Alarm
I originally didn’t think I’d make use of the phone notifications but as a mummy to a new baby my phone is perpetually on silent (far too many sleeping babies to be woken!) therefore I often miss calls, so in practice I loved that the Ray vibrated when a call came through. Unfortunately I had less use out of the message alert as it currently does not notify what’s app messages but perhaps this will come in a later release. Finally the alarm is a nice addition: although the kids seem to beat the Ray to it when it comes to waking me up in the morning, the alarm has a nice insistent vibration which I am confident would wake me if I ever had chance to sleep that long.
The Ray currently retails at £79.99 though is currently on offer at £55.99 on the Misfit website (prices as at December 2016) which puts it solidly in the middle of the fitness wearables market. For me, if it encourages you to move more and have a healthier lifestyle than this is good value for money, less so if you wear it for a week and then dump it in a drawer. Therefore as always, the value for money is relative to how much you use it.
The Ray is a good looking tracker, it fits well and is comfortable to wear. It has limited tracking abilities though, therefore if you are looking for maps and splits then a dedicated sports watch may be more suitable. However, if you are looking for something that does not immediately look like a piece of tech around your wrist but still provides you with the level of information you need to get out and move more while keep track of your goals, then the Ray is a great option.
- Attractive tracker
- Easy navigation of the app
- Water resistant therefore able to track swimming
- No need to charge and has a long battery life
- Options available for both colour and band type
- Does not provide GPS data is which available in other trackers of a similar price
- Plastic strap isn’t the most attractive but this can be replaced at an additional cost
I’m enjoying using the Ray and am confident it will help me meet my 2017 fitness goals, now I just need to get moving! Join me for updates next year as to how I am getting on with the challenge, or even better join in – 500 miles walked or ran throughout 2017…..imagine how great that will feel looking back this time next year!
DISCLAIMER – a Misfit Ray was provided for the purposes of this review, however all opinions are solely my own.