A Review: Jawbone UP

Fitness trackers have been around for a few years and you’ll probably remember the old pedometer that counted your steps and displayed the amount of energy burnt. I have never owned or used one. I was never into fitness.

Fast-forward to 2014 and I’m regularly going to gym and maybe it’s time to get that fitness tracker yeah? Something that is intelligent, it tracks my movement, sleep patterns, I can log my meals and it tells me how it impacts on my health, it can give me isolated numbers on glucose levels, read my heart rate – a complete view of my health. From what I have read so far, I don’t think any fitness tracker can fulfil my expectation just yet.

I was given the Jawbone UP fitness tracker to review and have been using it for the past two weeks and here’s my take on it.

The device has minimalist yet effective design – it has no screen. It looks like a bangle and could be mistaken for a fashion accessory.

Jawbone me

Set up
The Jawbone UP, unlike the Jawbone UP24 model, uses your phone’s jack to connect. Installation is pretty easy; charge your device for a while, download the UP app from your App Store, you’re your device into your phone and register your account. Done.

How does it work?
Move. That’s it. Based on your measurements, age and gender, the device will give you an approximation of steps that you need to take to ensure a healthy lifestyle. Mine was just over 10 000 steps… a day!

Jawbone tracks your steps and movements which you can then log to your app but you can also manually log a workout via the UP app.  You’re also able to log your meals that you choose from an extensive list of foods on the app.

I was impressed that it tracks your sleeping patterns and pretty accurate too; it tells you what time you fall asleep, experienced sound and light sleep and when you woke. The reminder function gently vibrates if you’re idle for too long, making sure that you reach your daily goals.

Jawbone progress













Battery life
One charge and this little thing last for up to 10 days!

The app allows for socialising and you are able to find your friends who are using the Jawbone or integrate it with other fitness trackers and then create your own team. It makes working out fun and competitive if you’re anything like me.

The verdict:
Firstly, a fitness tracker can only work if you want it to work and Jawbone spits out some really cool data that’s easy to interpret.

The “Wow”

  • It’s accurate
  • The UP app is well designed and easy to navigate
  • You receive a weekly mailer from UP with a retrospective view on your health
  • Battery life is great
  • You can up to 200 Discovery Vitality points for every workout that you log

How does this compare to my expectations?

  • The fact that here is no screen can be a put-off. I want to look at my progress on the treadmill without having to plug it into my phone
  • Although it gives you an overview of your physical activity, it doesn’t drill down to the intelligent data

Cost: R1 499.00


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