- Super affordable activity tracking
- Discreet design
- Long battery life
- Tracker has fallen off when worn on shorts
- Some smart modes more gimmicky than useful
- Need to sync tracker to switch between different modes is irrirating
- Have to switch between Misfit apps to use activity tracking
- Review Price: £20.00
- Can be worn on collar/pocket/belt/shoe/sock
- TPU/polycarbonate design
- LED display
- Uses coin cell battery with 6 months battery life
- 3-axis accelerometer
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Measures steps, calories burned, distance and sleep tracking/duration
- Compatible with select iOS and Android smartphones and tablets
- Comes in onyx, frost, reef, and Coca Cola red
- 30m water resistant
What is the Misfit Flash Link?
The Misfit Flash Link is an all-in-one activity tracker and ‘smart’ button. You can track your steps, monitor your sleep and even take it for a swim, just like you can with the Misfit Shine and Flash. You can also control smartphone features hands-free, like taking a selfie and controlling slides in a presentation. But it’s the ‘Link’ support for connected devices like the Misfit Bolt lightbulb that are most interesting.
It’s Misfit’s cheapest tracker yet at £20 and gives you all of the features of the Flash. That’s exceptionally great value for money. The ‘Link’ element is far from finished, however.
Misfit Flash Link – Design and features
The Flash Link is the Misfit Flash without the wrist strap. It’s not as sleek-looking as the Shine, but it’s small and easy to wear discreetly. Like the Jawbone Move and first generation Fitbits, the Link comes with a clip casing so you can wear it on your shirt collar, jeans or on your running shoes.
The casing isn’t always reliable and I did manage to lose one. It fell off my shorts when I was out running. There were no issues at night or clipped onto my trainers, but I was constantly worrying that it might fall off again. Unlike a wrist-worn fitness band, you need to remember to take it off your clothes if you’re not planning on wearing the same thing everyday. It’s easy to leave it behind.
Is there enough of an advantage to go for the clip-on design over a wristband? I’m not entirely convinced. Especially if you’re wearing it on your jeans and need to quickly check your progress. It does however mean the tracker can be worn on the lower part of your body and should lead to more accurate step tracking.
Like the Flash, there’s a circular array of red LED lights that combine to indicate activity tracking progress or tell the time. It’s makes more sense on a wrist-worn activity tracker though as it’s quite awkard to try and work out the time peering down at the waistband on your jeans.
On the sensor’s rear is a removable backplate that grants access to the tracker’s coin cell battery. It’s the kind you use when you’re analogue watch or heart rate monitor chest strap dies. It’s well secured behind the plastic casing and you won’t have to go anywhere near it for at least six months because that’s how long the battery should last.
If you want to go swimming, the Link has the same 3 ATM waterproof rating as the Flash. This is a drop down from the 5ATM rating on the Shine. The 3 ATM rating means you can go swimming with it up to 30 metres and wear it in the shower – lthough you might have trouble finding somewhere to clip it in the shower. Swim tracking focuses on duration, so if you want something more in-depth, you may want to wait for the Speedo Shine tracker instead.
For tracking, surprise, surprise, it’s the same as the Flash. There’s a 3-axis accelerometer to cover the basic monitoring bases. That covers steps, calories burned, distance and sleep tracking as well as duration. The latter is done automatically as well so there’s no need to press the button or jump into the app when you’re nodding off. Bluetooth 4.1 is used to sync the Link to your phone and that’s it. There’s no heart rate monitor or GPS, but that’s hardly surprising. This is basic tracking and from that perspective, it covers the key bases.
Misfit Flash Link – App and performance
For such a simple tracker, the app is unnecessary confusing. Having used the Shine and the Flash, I was ready to head to the Misfit app on my Note 4 and iPhone 6. That was the wrong move as there’s an entirely separate Misfit Link app. It’s available for Android and iOS and you can check if your phone is compatible over on the Misfit website.
The Flash Link can be used with the other Misfit app, but if you want to use the smart features, you’ll need to move over to the Link app. Pairing works in a similar fashion to the old app, so you should be up in running in a few minutes. The main home screen has an image of the Flash Link sensor and a list of different button configurations that can be assigned to. Command options include a single press, double press, triple press and long press.
Related: 10 Best Fitness Trackers and Activity Trackers
Below that is the list of modes. Up first is the music remote here you can play/pause, skip tracks and adjust volume. This works with third party apps including Spotify. Using combinations of button presses to control music apps is a little tricky to get to grips with at first, but it works well and is handy if you don’t want to get your phone out of your pocket while running.
Next up is the selfie button letting you take a single picture or a burst images by holding down the button. This only uses two of the four button presses options but it still falters. Before you move to another mode, you have to go back to the app and assign the new feature. You also still need to open the camera app to make the selfie control work – if you don’t, pressing the button will bizarrely control the volume on your phone.
The Link can also act as a presentation clicker. To set this up you’ll need to disable the previous mode and save the new profile. Once on I found the Link provides a simple way to flick through slides or entirely black out presentations.
Activity tracking is much like it was on previous Misfits. Press once to toggle time and progress or hold the button down to tag an activity. Confusingly you have to use the original Misfit app to view tracking data. The back and forth between the two apps seems a little unnecessary and hopefully Misfit will address the issue soon. If you want a feel of what the Link can do as an activity tracker, I’d suggest reading my Misfit Flash review. I was curious though to see how step tracking compared to a wrist-worn tracker so I put it up aganst the the Polar Loop 2. You can see how the two compared below.
Polar Loop 2 activity tracker (left) and Misfit Flash Link (right)
If you have the Misfit Bolt, the Flash Link can also change the connected lightbulb’s brightness or turn it off completely, but isn’t able to change the colour.
Last up is the Custom Button mode. It’s here where the Link can be used with other services. So you can send a Yo, set up tasks using IF, stream, link it with Harmony or use it to ring your phone if it goes missing. These are not all that useful if you don’t access or use those services, which let’s be honest are a little niche. Hopefully third party service support will improve in the not too distant future.
Should I buy the Misfit Flash Link?
For £20, the Flash Link is a great value for money activity tracker, if you can live without the wristband and you’ve got it clipped on securely. If you shop around though, the Flash can be bought for around £20-25 and will at least give you the option to wear it more securely around your wrist. The Flash also has the same sensor sas the Link, so you won’t miss out on any of the ‘smart’ features.
I use that word smart loosely because at the moment, they’re nothing to get excited about. The music remote is useful, but the others need refining and it’s a bit of a pain having to jump between two apps when you just want to use it as an activity tracker. I’m sure the functionality will get better, but right now, it’s underwhelming.
If you really need to save yourself a little bit of money and don’t want to wear something more discerning, then I can see the Link’s appeal. It’s cheaper than Jawbone’s Up Move tracker, which also comes with a clip design. I would still say spend that little extra though and give yourself the option of wearing you tracker around your wrist.
The Misfit Flash Link is super-affordable activity tracker but the smart control features leave plenty of room for improvement.
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