Which Jawbone UP Fitness Tracker Will Get You Moving?

Wristband Plus App Tracks Activity, Sleep, Diet

Jawbone UP Family of Fitness Trackers - UP24, UP MOVE with clip and wristband, UP3
Jawbone UP Family of Fitness Trackers - UP24, UP MOVE with clip and wristband, UP3. Jawbone

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The Jawbone UP family of pedometer/activity monitors pair with an app to track your physical activity, sleep quality, and diet. They do not have a numerical display on the wristband or monitor itself, you view your full data on the app. They have Smart Coach alerts and advice that you can use to improve your physical activity, sleep and diet.

Jawbone UP Idle Alerts

I bought the original Jawbone UP because of my concern about the health risks of sitting too much, as I make my living in front of a computer.

With UP, you can set Idle Alerts for any period from 15 minutes to 2 hours. The UP, UP24, UP2 and UP3 vibrate to startle you to get moving, and it also sends an alert via the app. The UP MOVE doesn't vibrate, it has only the app alerts. You can also set which time of day the alerts begin or end so they won't be vibrating all night long.

Tracking Activity - Workouts - Sleep - Diet

The app displays your activity and categorizes the intensity level, so you can set goals for getting enough moderate to vigorous intensity exercise. All of the UP models track your sleep quality using the excellent MotionX technology. The app has very good diet-tracking features.

Jawbone UP Models and Apps

UP2: This fitness band tracks activity, sleep and user-programmable Idle Alerts. It has automatic sleep detection and automatic workout detection. It syncs via Bluetooth with iOS and Android apps. Recharge it every seven days.

Full Review: Jawbone UP2

UP3: This advanced fitness band has heart rate sensors to monitor your resting heart rate. It automatically detects and logs workouts. It has advanced sleep tracking and has vibrating alarm and Idle Alerts. Recharge every seven days. Full Review: Jawbone UP3

UP4: Basically, this is an UP3 with the addition of being linked to an American Express card to make cashless payments.

If you don't think you'd use that feature, then the UP3 is a better choice.

UP MOVE: This less-expensive model comes in fun colors and can be worn on a clip or in an optional wristband, including some glamorous Baublebar bracelets. It has an LED watch face display that shows progress towards your activity goal, sleep, and time of day. But for the numbers you must go to the app. It doesn't have a vibrating alarm or alert. It doesn't have automatic sleep detection. It uses a replaceable battery that should last for six months. It syncs wirelessly via Bluetooth.

They also have a device-independent app that uses your phone's built-in accelerometer, and an app for the Pebble Smart Watch and the Apple Watch.

Discontinued UP Models

These UP models have been discontinued, but you may still find them at some retailers.

UP: This fitness band wristband syncs by plugging it into the audio jack of your mobile device, so it works with phones that don't have Bluetooth. The second generation UP was discontinued in 2014.

UP24: Fitness band wristband tracks activity and sleep with vibrating alarm and Idle Alert. Syncs via Bluetooth with compatible Android and iOS devices. Recharge every 14 days.

Wearing the Jawbone UP

The UP2, UP3 and UP4 are designed to be worn on the wrist, while the UP MOVE can be worn on the wrist or in a clip to attach to your waistband. They are water-resistant but you shouldn't immerse it or wear it swimming. They come in a variety of colors and the MOVE has different accessories it can fit into. They recommend wearing an UP on your non-dominant wrist (the left if you are right-handed) for the best accuracy. You can also carry it in a pocket or purse if you don't want to wear it on your wrist at a particular time.

The UP2 and UP3 bands have no numerical display, only an indicator of activity tracking, sleep and message.

You can set an Idle Alert in the app for the UP2 and UP3 bands so the band vibrates when you've been inactive for the length of time you choose. It will also vibrate with a Smart Alarm at the best time in a 30-minute window to wake you in the morning.

Jawbone UP App to View Data

The main screen shows how you are progressing towards your sleep and activity goals for the day. You can review past days.

Tapping on the activity graphic takes you to a screen which shows you:

  • Bar graph of your activity data throughout the day, color coded for intensity of your activity. For example, moderate-intensity activity is orange, vigorous activity is dark red-orange.
  • Step count and distance estimate. You can calibrate your band over a known distance to get better accuracy.
  • Active time, longest time active, and longest time idle. This is one of the best indicators of inactive time among different trackers.
  • Total calories burned, active calories burned, resting calories burned.
  • Trend bar graph of the past seven days with average steps for the past seven day.

You can manually log workouts that your UP didn't record, by activity type, effort level, and duration. This will add the estimated calories and active time to your total.

There is also a stopwatch mode to time activities, which you can then edit with workout details.

The physical activity tracking is at about the same level as the Fitbit trackers, good for those who want to set a total daily step or activity time goal. But it doesn't include heart rate data, speed or other details that you might want for training purposes. The UP3 detects resting heart rate, but is not a full-fledged exercise heart rate monitor.

Workout Tracking with Jawbone UP

The UP2, 3, and 4 automatically detect waking or running workouts and prompt you afterward to tag it with what you were doing. Then you can see statistics for that workout - steps, pace, distance, intensity, duration, and calorie burn. You can share a workout statistic with Twitter, Facebook, etc.

You can also start the Stopwatch in the app to time an activity, such as cycling, that wouldn't be detected by a step count. After you end the stopwatch period, you can tag it and have the calories and other stats added to your total.

Tracking Sleep with Jawbone UP

Jawbone incorporates the MotionX sleep tracking technology to produce very detailed sleep graphs. To track your sleep, you wear the wristband to bed. UP2, 3 and 4 automatically detect sleep while with UP MOVE you have to manually start and stop sleep tracking.

As with the MotionX Sleep App, I love the details. You can easily see on the graph as well as with numbers the time you spent in light sleep, deep sleep, times awakened, how long it took you to fall asleep and the amount of time you were awake during the night. You get the total time slept as well as the time in bed. I find these to be extremely accurate for me. You can edit your sleep period if it didn't track it correctly.

Tracking Diet with UP

You can track your diet with the UP app. Add meals and drinks three ways. You can scan a bar code. You can enter items by searching a food database or typing in data from a nutrition label. Or you can take a photo.

As you add items, your daily intake gets color coded from green to red for calories, fiber, unsaturated and unsaturated fat, carbs, sugar, protein, sodium and cholesterol.

I found it to be a nice integration of a food diary, which makes this a more complete health monitor system.

Mood Tracking

You can also track your mood throughout the day with a smiley/frowny face.

Smart Coach

The Smart Coach messages in the app congratulate you for reaching your goals or encourage you towards that end. For example, if you didn't reach your sleep goal for the night, they will recommend ways to improve your sleep habits. The messages are motivational and informative.

Social Integration

The UP has friend tracking among other Jawbone UP users. You can see their postings on your dashboard, and they can see yours, if you so choose. You can share workout summaries on social media, for example, to Facebook or Twitter. They have a Leaderboard so you can compare weekly totals. You can start a daily Duel with a friend to compete for your 24-hour step count.

The Jawbone UP app will also integrate with many other popular apps such as MyFitnessPal and MapMyFitness, plus Withings scales and more.

Bottom Line on Jawbone UP

This is a very good device for those who want to track their physical activity, sleep, diet and decrease their sitting time.

The UP app is easy to understand and navigate.

Jawbone UP is a good solution for those who want charts and graphs of their activity, sleep and diet but don't want to have to have a desktop or laptop computer. It functions with a mobile device only.

The feature I value most is the Idle Alert, which I need and I find motivates me more than having, say, a phone app that would do it. It's harder to ignore it when it is vibrating on your wrist.

Negatives of the Jawbone UP:

I downgrade it most for not having an on-device display. I like to check my step count frequently and I prefer to be able to do it by just looking at the device, especially when it is there on my wrist.

It isn't a training system for those who want to track their speed, heart rate and other performance details.

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