Jawbone UP2 Activity and Sleep Tracker - Review

Fitness Band Keeps You Moving, Sleeping Better

Jawbone UP2
Jawbone UP2. Courtesy of Amazon.com

The Jawbone UP2 is a full-featured fitness band activity tracker that can help you improve your lifestyle in several key ways. It not only tracks your daily steps, it also automatically detects workouts and sleep. It will vibrate to remind you that you've been sitting too long. You can track your diet with its app and get motivational coaching with its Smart Coach feature.

Who is the Jawbone UP2 Activity and Sleep Tracker Right For?

The UP2 is a excellent fitness band for people who want to develop a healthier lifestyle and who have a mobile device to run the UP app, which is necessary.

Jawbone has always been a leader in fitness bands that vibrate to remind you to move so you reduce your risks of sitting too much. With the UP2, you also get automatic detection of sleep and workouts, plus daily steps and a Smart Coach to encourage healthy choices. It has a simple design on the wrist but a high-powered mobile app with all of the data, coaching, social motivation and diet tracking. It's a good choice for a person who will be checking the app when they want to see the numbers and get encouraged.

What Doesn't Jawbone UP2 Do?

  • It doesn't display your steps or any other data on the band itself, you have to check the app. In this way it is similar to the Fitbit Flex.
  • It doesn't have call or text notifications.
  • It doesn't track heart rate or have built-in GPS for speed and distance.
  • The band is integrated with the tracker, so you can't switch bands.
  • It has no online dashboard, all of your data is in the mobile app.

    Wearing the Jawbone UP2

    The UP2 comes with two different band designs, each in a selection of colors. The thin strap design shown attaches with a hook. There is also a classic flat strap.They are hypo-allergenic non-latex rubber, and the aluminum casing has a tiny amount of nickel. It is comfortable to wear all day and all night.

    They are water-resistant but not waterproof. I never had the clasp come loose in over two weeks of wearing it continuously.

    Power: Recharge every 7 to 10 days via a custom USB dongle. Recharging takes only about an hour.

    Data: Your data syncs automatically to your mobile phone via Bluetooth Smart. You don't have any buttons to push or commands to make. Just charge it and wear it and everything happens automatically.

    Notifications: The band has three icons that will show if you tap it or when notifying you of reminders. A runner icon means it is tracking activity and that it's time to move. A notification icon shows when you have set reminders. A moon icon shows if you set a bedtime reminder.

    Vibration alerts: You can set your Idle Alert so the band vibrates when you are inactive for any period of time from 15 minutes to two hours. You can also set which hours of the day it is active. The band can also vibrate at activity milestones throughout the day, or to remind you of when to drink water, take medications, eat meals or go to bed.

    Jawbone UP App

    The UP app for iOS or Android can be used on its own, even without the band. If you had a previous version of UP, you can continue to use the same account of the app.

    Daily Activity: The app has great details of your daily activity, from a simple overview of how you are doing towards you step goal and sleep goal to graphs and data of your steps, distance, active time, total calories for the day, active calories burned, longest idle time, longest active time. You can view all of your past history by day, week, month, etc.

    Workouts: Walking and running workouts are automatically detected. The app will prompt you to identify what you were doing and you can see totals for the workout duration, intensity, steps, pace, and calories burned. You can edit them and share them on social media. You can also add workouts that weren't detected, such as using a stationary cycle.

    Sleep Tracking: Sleep periods are automatically detected, with a sleep graph showing periods of light sleep, sound sleep, time awake, and number totals including how many times you awoke during the sleep period. You can edit the sleep period and add non-recorded sleep periods. A trend graph shows how you have slept for the past week.

    Smart Coaching: The Smart Coach messages congratulate you for your accomplishments and encourage you to keep developing good habits for activity, sleep, diet, etc. You can drill deeper to find more information.

    Diet Tracking: You can track your food intake using a barcode scanner, food lists, custom foods, restaurant menus or taking a photo. Your calories eaten are tracked, as well as fiber, unsaturated fat, carbs, protein, sugar, saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol. You get a color-coded food score to encourage you to make healthy choices. You can also track your weight and your mood. It is a good pedometer for dieters.

    Social Sharing with Jawbone App

    The app allows you to add friends and determine which of your activities appear in the Jawbone social feed within the app. This can keep you honest in your diet and activity tracking with friends. You can also view the weekly leaderboard and engage in Duels for besting each other with daily steps. You can share totals for your workouts via social media.

    The Jawbone App also will share data with many other popular fitness and health apps, including Apple Health. It has a Pebble app and an Apple Watch app.

    Bottom Line on Jawbone UP2

    Jawbone UP2 beats Fitbit by having the vibration Idle Alerts, a critical need for those of us who sit for long periods at work or at home. The automatic sleep and workout detection make it super simple to wear and use with no fuss. For those who are dieting, the food tracking is very well done and easy to use. Although I prefer a band with a numerical display, the UP2 has the most important features to coach you to be more active, get enough sleep and eat a healthier diet.

    More: The Jawbone Family of Fitness Trackers

    Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.

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