Misfit Phase Review - App, activity tracking, battery life and verdict Review

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Misfit Phase – Misfit App and Activity Tracking

Like Misfit’s other trackers, all of the activity data is pulled into the Misfit companion app on Android and iOS. The app is also used for initially setting up the watch via Bluetooth, as well as to change the notification and Link functionality. Handily, if you’re a frequent traveller, the watch time will change automatically.

The app hasn’t changed much since I reviewed the Misfit Ray. It’s fundamentally broken down into different tabs where you can view your own activity, how you stack up against friends, change the device settings, plus a profile screen that displays an overview of your activity and achievements. Having statistics such as how your total distance covered relates to the moon’s circumference is a nice touch.

Related: Best Fitness Trackers

Misfit Phase 11

Like the Ray, the Phase will automatically detect activity but you’ll need to apply a label – such as “Dancing” – manually. All of your activities are displayed in the day’s “Story”.

Misfit uses a points-based system, which takes into account your steps and exercise. The app will make you aware of the level of exercise or activity required to reach your goal  – be that 31 minutes of running or 23 minutes of swimming, for example.

Speaking of swimming, since the Phase is water resistant to 5 ATM, you can happily plunge into the pool with it on – although I wouldn’t recommend using the leather strap. One of the models with the sports straps is a better choice if swimming is one of your main exercise activities.

In order to check the progress you have made towards your goal, you can tap the top side-button. One press will have the hour and minute hands rotate and point towards your current progress. A full revolution marks 100%. Pressing the button a second time will notify you of the time you’ve set the alarm. The silent, vibrating alarm is particularly useful if you have a different wake time to your partner.

As for the three-axis accelerometer used for step tracking, I wore the Phase alongside the Fitbit Charge 2 and found it counted below that of the Charge 2’s findings.

Which of the two trackers is correct is a guessing game, because every tracker uses a different algorithm and I’ve yet to spend a day manually counting every step I take. One day saw the Phase count 8,336 steps to the Charge 2’s 10,928; on another it counted 6,230 to the Charge’s 7,250. My most active day during testing saw 16,696 vs 18,856.

Related: Best Running Headphones

Misfit Phase 14

There’s at least a decent degree of consistency to the step counting, so it’s a good barometer to see when you need to get up and move more. The watch can also be set to give you a move alert, if it detects that you haven’t taken any steps for an hour – useful for any office workers who can go an entire day without getting away from their desks. Although that move alert can easily be confused for an incoming notification.

The Phase also features automatic sleep tracking, and its findings tally with what I was expecting. The watch successfully identified when I nodded off and when I arose, providing a breakdown of light and restful sleep alongside time awake.

Misfit Phase 9

Where the Misfit Phase loses out to the similarly priced Withings Steel HR is with the latter’s heart rate monitor, and its provision of an extra layer of information. Heart rate data is useful not only during exercise, but I find that the resting heart rate metric a useful measure of improving (or declining) fitness levels. It was something I missed.

Misfit Phase – Battery Life and Charging

Misfit Phase 8

Like Misfit’s previous activity trackers, the Phase uses a conventional non-rechargeable CR2430 coin-cell battery and is rated for six months of battery life, which is excellent. Changing the battery requires the use of a tool to pop off the back of the device – which is included in the box – so be sure not to lose it.

Should I buy the Misfit Phase?

Misfit Phase 3

When it comes to hybrid smartwatches, design is likely to play a significant role in a person’s buying decision. Personally, I prefer the look of the Withings Steel HR. I also feel the Steel HR’s heart rate monitor gives it the edge.

Like the Steel HR, however, I found that the Phase’s implementation of notifications missed a step (pun intended). Neither watch has really nailed how these are presented – for differing reasons – but the easy-to-read digital display of the Steel HR just edges it for me.

Still, if you don’t need advanced fitness tracking and are enamoured by the Phase’s discreet design (the leather strap option is a handsome watch), it’s a respectable choice with fantastic battery life.

Verdict

The Misfit Phase is a stylish hybrid smartwatch, but its notifications management can leave you feeling rather confused.

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