In this review we look at the Jawbone UP 24 which supersedes the previous Jawbone UP. It has taken them well over a year to work out the wireless version of the device for launch and so they seemed to have taken the changes very seriously. The Jawbone UP24 now uses Bluetooth LE for real-time exercise and sleep updates on your iOS device. Meanwhile, Jawbone also has UP 3.0 ready for release, the latest version of its iPhone app, and which will also work with the existing UP (which stays on sale, too). However is the 24 worth the extra?
Jawbone has not moved far from the original design and they have still resisted the urge to put a display on the device. The reason apparently is that the app does such a great job of offering users all the information they need that the device should be more streamlined and have a longer battery life.
Instead, you get a different finish to the band – crosshatching that swirls into a curve across the broader underside, rather than the zigzag ridges on the original UP – and a new, softer-edged multifunction button. The softer edge is a definite upgrade and far more comfortable than the previous version.
Jawbone says the change in size on the USB adaptor was to make clear to users that Bluetooth LE is used for transferring data; unlike the original UP, the UP24 won’t push across the exercise tracking by plugging it into the headphone socket of your phone or tablet. However, it also means you can’t use the original UP charger dongle to recharge the UP24. It needs to be done wirelessly.
Using UP24 is straightforward. The flexible rubber band snaps around your wrist and is comfortable for extended periods even when typing. Also when asleep it is fine and all you do it simply switch between awake and asleep to switch modes. A different press combo puts it into Stopwatch Mode, signaling a specific bout of activity – weight lifting, yoga, stationary biking, etc. – that gets flagged up in the companion app with an estimated calorie burn. It can communicate with you via discrete vibrations and two red LEDs that show which mode it’s in.
Jawbone claims the UP24′s battery is good for a week but actually this looks like it is a conservative estimate and it may well last for 10. The app does reduce it but it is impressive.
UP 3.0 app
Adding Bluetooth is important to the evolution of the UP but the app is probably more significant.. It is available for iOS only, initially – Jawbone tells us an Android version is in the pipeline, but that the extra complexity of trying to cater for dozens of different devices means it’s not ready alongside its iPhone/iPad counterpart, and there’s no public timescale for its release. The UP and UP 24 share the vast majority of functions on the app.
All of the access Jawbone have had to the data over the last couple of years has meant that they have come up with some interesting analysis. for example people who sleep alone go to be 35 minutes later on average!
UP 3.0, therefore, aims to deliver more personalized data, more insights as a result of that data, and better recommendations to improve it, as well as celebrating achievements over time. That uses iOS’s notifications system to push prompts and triggers to the lockscreen, among other things, with a new “Try This” system that makes suggestions as to what you might like to challenge yourself with a goal based on your past behaviors.
Jawbone calls this “Today I Will” and initially it’ll cover sleep, steps, and drinking eight glasses of water a day. Exactly which you’ll see depends on your activities over the past 4-7 days: if you’ve consistently missed your sleep goal, UP 3.0 might issue you with the challenge to go to bed earlier, tracking how well you do at that along the way.
The way the app and the device communicate in real time mean that when you set a goal you can get reminders that you are close or that you must do it. for example that you have to go to bed early or do 500 more steps and so forth. This means it can motivate you after you tell it what you want to achieve.
One of the coolest additions is the ability to forget to turn it on for sleep and create an estimate of when you did based on what it thinks happened. so if you lose a few nights data you can essentially get it back.
As before, there’s food logging, which requires you to hunt through Jawbone’s database of foods and record exactly what you ate and how much of it. It works, but it’s a time-consuming thing to do, and we still can’t see it being widely used.
UP versus UP24
For a new user the difference is worth it because of the continuous sync and the vibration alarms which wake you up and alert you on goals and so on.
If you already have the UP then it is probably not worth upgrading to the 24 because you get the same app just no real time stats.
There’s no shortage of fitness trackers out there. UP24 goes up against Fitbit’s new Force, Nike’s Fuelband SE, and numerous other models from lesser-known brands. It also faces a growing challenge from software: the iPhone 5s and Nexus 5 each promise more precise movement data from their various sensors, but apps like Moves and Runtastic work across most iOS and Android devices, and at a fraction of the price of dedicated hardware.
But as we don’t carry our phones around all the time there is definitely a place for this band and it stacks up very well against it direct competitors.
As so many measure the same thing there is little to choose from on the face of it however the more interactive goal setting and notifications of teh UP make it more interesting for longer and more meaningful to your everyday life.
You can buy your UP here Jawbone UP