The Jawbone UP bracelet has been on the market for three years receiving improvements every year. The Jawbone UP 24 received a major update: Bluetooth LE. Initially to sync the data onto the phone, the user had to plug the band into the phone’s headphone jack and wait, typically about fifteen seconds, for the data to sync into the app.
Now, since the UP 24 has Bluetooth LE capabilities, it is compatible with the iPhone 4S and later, the fifth generation iPod Touch, the third generation iPad and newer as well as the iPad Minis. Jawbone has made the UP 24 to be compatible with Android phones. Bluetooth LE allows the band to automatically connect with the Jawbone UP app.
The Jawbone UP 24 tracks your movement and sleep, by using accelerometers and algorithms. Also, in the app you are able to manually log food. Unlike the Nike Fuelband SE, and the Fitbits, UP 24 gives healthy points and tips with Smart Coach, and also gives you slight reach goals to become a better healthier version of you. I have been an early user of the Jawbone UP bracelets and have been using them for three years. When the first one got recalled I held on to it as long as possible. When Jawbone relaunched the UP bracelet, they improved the battery life, waterproofness, and flexibility of the band. I immediately bought one, and I still use it on occasions when I forget to charge the UP 24.
The Jawbone UP 24, is nearly identical to the Jawbone UP, but the design in the rubberized coating is of a different style. The UP 24 is available in onyx (black), persimmon (orange), lemon lime, navy blue, pink coral and red.
Fit-wise the Jawbone UP 24 is one of the lightest fitness bands on the market and it barely feels like you are wearing anything. Since it is a band that snaps around your wrist, it can stretch or conform to the user. The Jawbone Up 24 comes in three different sizes: small, medium and large. Initially on launch, the UP 24 did sacrifice some battery life and has a 7 day battery life as opposed to 10 days with the second generation UP. Recently, with a firmware update, it now has a battery life of 14 days, which makes it have one of the longest battery lives of fitness trackers. Charging is the same for both the Jawbone UP 24 and Jawbone UP, take off the cap, plug it into the cable, and plug it into a USB port on the computer. However, the chargers are different for the bracelets due to the size of the jack. The UP is a 3.5mm jack and the UP 24 is a 2.5 mm jack, which is my biggest complaint of the bracelet, since I have more cables for the older version. When the band is charging, the brightness of the green sun fades in and out. It takes 80 minutes for the band to charge completely and it will vibrate to let you know it is done charging. You do need to plug the bracelet into the USB port on your computer, unless you bought Jawbone’s USB Cable and Wall Charger. Their charger is 1.5 volts as opposed to Apple’s wall charger which is 3 volts, and if you use the Apple wall charger it can destroy the band and kill the lights, which has happened several times to me.
The Jawbone UP 24 is water-resistant, just like the Jawbone UP. Unfortunately, neither one of them is completely waterproof, so you cannot go swimming or do water sports with it on.
The Jawbone UP 24 is able to track your activity and you can log your workouts. You can log your workouts whenever you want to; either while working out with the app, while working out with the bracelet by pressing the button quickly on the bracelet, or several hours later. There are different exercises to choose from such as walk, run, weights, cross train, bike, stationary (bike), elliptical, cardio, Zumba, yoga, pilates, dance, tennis, soccer, basketball, swim, hike, ski and other (for self labeling). When running on the treadmill, or using the elliptical the data in terms of miles and calorie burned is pretty close and accurate to what the machines at the gym tell me. However, when I adjust the intensity in the app is when I “mess” up the accuracy between the band and the machine. I tend to write comments about how hard I worked out and how I feel afterwards, instead of rating the intensity.
The Jawbone UP 24 is able to track your sleeping cycle. To have the band track your sleep cycle, pressing the button causes a tiny vibration on the band and seeing a green moon symbol light up. It is able to show you how long it took you to fall asleep, how much light vs deep sleep you got, how long you were in bed and how many times you woke up during the night. Sometimes I actually remember waking up in the middle of the night because I either got too hot or cold, or had to go to the bathroom. Other times I had no idea I was waking up in the middle of the night, but it would explain why I was tired.
Using a Smart Alarm, the bracelet vibrates on your wrist to wake you up at the most optimal point in your sleep cycle so you feel alert and ready to start the day. This is the only way I wake up now and this happens to be my favorite feature of the band, as it knows precisely when to wake me up. I no longer use a “traditional” alarm clock and solely rely on the bracelet.
Some days, when I’m well rested, when I wake up I am able to say to myself, “I am awake, my UP is going to vibrate right now,” and then it instantly vibrates right on my wrist. Also, on days I sleep poorly I am able to tell why I slept poorly, based on the amount of light sleep I had, how many times I woke up throughout the night and how long it took me to fall asleep. By tracking my sleep, I know a great night for me is when I fall asleep in 11 minutes, wake up two times and had four hours of deep sleep.
The Jawbone UP app is available for free for iOS devices and Android devices. It is a powerful, easy to use, intuitive app that makes tracking your information extremely efficient. Setting up the band to work with the app is very easy. First choose which band you have, either the UP or the UP 24. Then either plug it into the headphone jack (for the UP), or press the button to pair it (for the UP 24).
The app has a lot of features and benefits. New features include celebrating streaks and milestones, and being able to quickly see a list of accomplishments.
Right above the at-a-glance view of your sleep, steps and calories is where you can log and track your weight.
Directly below the at-a-glance view of your sleep, steps and calories is where the UP Smart Coach is. This Smart Coach analyzes your information, and provides connections and alerts you about any patterns that you have. It also provides tips and information on how to be healthier. Based on your patterns a new feature “Today I will…” challenges you to move more throughout the day, drink more water throughout the day, or go to bed at a reasonable hour. Using Push Notifications, it will remind you to drink more water or tell you how great of a job you are doing with your goal.
In the app you are able to set up Idle Alerts, so that way if you are sedentary for too long the band will vibrate on your wrist throughout the course of the day. You can choose how long the inactive period is, as well as start and end time. Activity Alerts will send alerts to your device in certain step intervals so you know how many steps you have taken. There are also Reminders that you can set up in the app, which you can configure to remember to take medicine, go to bed on time, log your food, go workout or create your own reminder. The bracelet will vibrate on your wrist as well as display the reminder on the phone.
You can use the band to track your sleep. By pressing and holding on the button it puts it into sleep mode a green moon appears. Now it will track sleep. If you forget to put it into sleep mode, you can manually log in your sleep and then the app will show and analyze your sleep data due to the sleep recovery mode.
Within the Up by Jawbone app you can log what you have been eating. This part has not always been the strongest feature, and I actually do not track my food regularly through this app, but instead use MyFitnessPal. However, the tracking food section of Jawbone’s app has recently had have many improvements. The app has gotten a lot easier to log the food, and it analyzes the food in an insightful manner. You can take pictures of your food, scan the barcodes of food items, quickly add in water intake as well as search for food items.
The Jawbone UP app also has HealthKit support. With this the steps and sleep data from Jawbone can be imported into the Health app.
Jawbone launched an API that allows other health tracking apps/services to be integrated into the feed. Health tracking apps/services that are able to used with the Jawbone UP 24 include: MyFitnessPal, IFTTT, RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, Strava, Nest, FitStar, Pact, Wello, Tictrac, Sleepio, Lose It, Withings, CarePass from Aetna, Whistle, Fitmo, Automatic, Glow, Munchery, Healthy Out, Plate Joy, Countertop for Prep Pad, NuMi, Fitt, Smart Things, Skin Hydration Challenge, 30-minute Dinners, For Vegans by Vegans, Words to Inspire, The Veggie Bite and Up Coffee. I’m not going to discuss all the different APIs and how the bracelet integrates with it. Instead, I will be discussing some of my favorite ones.
With the Withings Smart Scale, I weigh myself first thing every morning and the information from the scale, including weight, and body fat percentage automatically gets logged into the app.
IFTTT enables users to connect different web and mobile apps together through Recipes (simple if this then that conditional statements). For example with IFTTT, when I wake up by pressing the button on my Jawbone Up 24 it turns on my Philips Hue lights in the bedroom. Also, because of IFTTT, when I wake up my tea kettle goes on due to the Belkin Wemo Switch it’s plugged into. Those just happen to be the Recipes I use. There are a lot more Recipes that include making it easier to log food by taking pictures as well as different ways to track your activity by having the data being imported into Evernote or Google Drive.
I now love waking up now. Another reason why, is when I wake up and press the button on the bracelet, the Nest thermostat turns on and makes the temperature a couple of degrees warmer in my apartment. When I go to bed, and press the button on the bracelet, the Nest thermostat turns off and lowers the temperature in my apartment to be energy efficient and to help me save money.
There is no real display on the bracelet, except for the the sleep mode icon and activity mode icon, so you cannot gauge your activity throughout the course of the day without needing the app. This is something that the Fitbits and Nike FuelBand SE are able to do.
The Jawbone family does outperform the other fitness bracelets in terms of battery life. The Jawbone UP 24 has a 14 day battery life and the Jawbone UP has a 10 day battery life, compared to the Nike FuelBand SE with 5 to 6 days, Fitbit Flex with 5 days, and Fitbit Charge with 7 to 10 days.
If you are looking for a fitness band that is accurate, effective and powerful being able to integrate with your home, I would recommend the Jawbone UP 24. If home automation is something that is not as important to I would recommend the Jawbone UP.