Jawbone UP – first impressions

The Jawbone UP was recently released in the UK and after wanting one of the beautiful devices since they were first ever released 2011, I finally got my hands on one.

Of course the reason I waited so long was due to the poor performance of the original device and then the delayed UK launch of the new and improved activity tracker. But it was well worth it.

The Jawbone UP is a wristband activity tracker that predominantly tracks steps and sleep. It has plenty of cool features, but the main reason I opted for the Jawbone UP is the simplicity and lack of human error.

Human error is a major flaw in many devices and people often dismiss this. But forgetting to clip your FitBit to your belt, or your BodyMedia device to your arm after a shower, can result in a day’s activity lost. It won’t get lost itself either; something that many FitBit owners find is that their device falls off during vigorous exercise, or even goes through the wash (it’s on your clothes, not your body – a major flaw they are fixing soon).

The Jawbone UP however is worn like a watch – wear it during your shower and it will still work, wear it during your sleep and it won’t be uncomfortable. The same cannot be said for the previous devices mentioned. You do have to take it off to sync, however this is a conscious activity and takes seconds, it will take a talking dog or unicorn siting to take you mind off putting the wristband back on.

The UP tracks a few things, including; steps, sleep (light and deep), food (and all the details such as fat, sugar, fibre etc.), other workout activity (i.e. anything not ‘on your feet’), mood and location. It also has a vibrate function, used as a reminder, alarm or confirmation tool in lieu of a screen – which helps keep the battery length high (10 days). You can even set an alarm to wake you during a light sleep, and it even has a power nap function!

The ‘trends’ section of the app also allows you to make comparisons between any of these variables to see what affects what. The app (available on iOS and Android) will also provide you with insights based on these trends without you having to do any of the legwork – in fact it can even tell if friend’s activity had an impact. I am yet to see this however, as have only been using the device for around 5 days.

Downfalls of the device include; not waterproof enough to go swimming with it on, does not automatically track activity that is not ‘on your feet’, such as weights (although you can enter this manually) and as a new device in the UK you are not likely to find many friends on the UP network.

However, the device is inexpensive (at £100), very accurate and incredibly motivating. The app presents data in a beautiful and easy to understand way, through interactive infographical information – for example it is easy to see which meal caused you to consume the majority of calories (for me, dinner, which is the reverse of what it should be).

I’ll be using the Jawbone UP from now on and will review the device on this site when I feel I have used every part of the app and got plenty of data to build out some insights. Keep checking back for the review!

Take a look of the supporting app which becomes the dashboard for your UP data…

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