Jawbone UP24 - App, Performance, Battery Life and Verdict

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  • Page 1 Jawbone UP24
  • Page 2 App, Performance, Battery Life and Verdict

Jawbone UP24: UP by Jawbone 3.0 app

The good news is that the Jawbone app is available for free for both Android and iOS devices. For iPhone users that means iPhone 4S and above while select Android phones running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, like the Motorola Moto G and the Google Nexus 5, are among the handsets that can enjoy the real-time data syncing as well.

Setting everything up is very straightforward. Open the app, make sure Bluetooth is switched on, press the button on the band and you’ll be good to go in a few minutes. Once inside, the interface is dominated by the two progress bars that illustrate sleep and step count. Scroll down and you’ll find the UP Feed where milestones and streaks are posted.

There’s a drop-down menu on the left where you can jump into your personal profile, goals, lifeline, trends, team members, app support, inbox and settings. In the top right there’s an icon to indicate whether the band is currently synced. Swipe the screen right and you can see the battery life status. Additionally, you can manually set Sleep Mode, turn on the stopwatch, set up a power nap, smart sleep alarms, idle alerts and an activity alert.

There’s plenty of third party application support too, so you can import data from the likes of Strava, RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, Withings and MyFitnessPal. Jawbone is also introducing its own applications like the UP Coffee. A standalone iOS app for tracking caffeine intake and its affect on your sleep, it works best when linked to the UP24.

The app needs to be running to soak up all the data and while everything is cleanly presented and easy to digest, it can be a little sluggish at times loading up the data from the current and previous days. Some of the new features like ‘Today I Will’ were difficult to locate and the third party app support section bizarrely disappeared from our drop-down menu after a few days.

Jawbone UP24: Performance

To get the most out of the UP24, it’s really about playing the waiting game. Living with it for a week is enough to see the step data collected was consistent when testing against the Nike Fuelband SE for instance. You are only truly going to get a more tailored experience especially with the Insights engine when it has had enough data, ideally a week, to make recommendations.

Sleep data is still rich and one of the most interesting elements of the Jawbone. It feels more substantial than the Fitbit approach and delivers some great information, if you remember to hit that sleep mode button. You can see details of your heavy and light sleep times, the time it took to fall asleep, how long you were in bed for, how many times you woke up and how long you were awake for. The sleep recovery mode which is also available for the original UP helps you fill in the gaps but we’d prefer using the vibrating mechanism inside the UP24 to make sure you hit that switch.

Notifications play such a big part of prodding you to stay on track but if you don’t have your phone nearby that’s an issue. The frequency of notifications is an issue as well. Using it on the iPhone 5, we usually received notifications in the morning about sleep and step progress but nothing else. It was a little more consistent running it on the Nexus 5 though. The silent alarms and vibrating reminders are much more effective especially when you are waking up in the morning or you haven’t moved from your desk for the last 30 minutes.

There are some issues that plague most activity trackers and that includes logging workouts and food tracking, There just isn’t a really solid solution to consistently tracking these things when you have still have to do them manually. Relying on dedicated third party app support is Jawbone’s solution and that’s going to be your best option to reliably cover these aspects of your day.

Jawbone UP24: Battery Life

The original UP manages a decent 10 days of battery life but now that you have to factor in the always-on Bluetooth syncing, the 32mAh battery Lithium-ion polymer battery inside the UP24 only has the capacity to make it through seven days. In our time with it, the UP24 makes it through a week before it needs charging. The good news is that it only takes 80 minutes to fully recharge and the battery notification status inside the app gives you a clear idea of how long the remaining battery life is going to last for.

One major gripe is that there’s no standard USB charging cable. We understand Jawbone’s decision not to include a built-in USB charger is about keeping the design as slim as possible, but it can be a pain if you’ve left the charger at home.

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Should I buy the Jawbone UP24?

While the Nike Fuelband SE is geared towards the more active user and is all about gamifying the experience, the Jawbone UP24, like the Fitbit, is better suited for someone who wants to make smaller more gradual changes to their lives.

Fitness trackers churn out a lot of data, but it’s making sense of it all that is key and the Jawbone system is one of the most effective in doing that. Give it time and the more insightful data will come. Presenting it all in the small bite-sized cards of information makes it so much easier to digest as well.

The lack of a built-in display and reliance on a smartphone screen is going to be the main issue for those looking to buy an activity tracker, and understandably so. It can be frustrating not to be able to get a quick overview without having to reach for your iPhone or Android phone.

If you are a Jawbone UP user though, the Bluetooth Smart syncing alone is worth the £25 upgrade. That actually makes it only nominally cheaper than the Fuelband SE (£129) although a little more than the Fitbit Flex (£99.95) with the recalled Fitbit Force yet to arrive in the UK.

The UP24 is still one of the best-looking trackers available and if you value the data over beating your mate’s points score, this is the one for you.

Verdict

The Jawbone UP24 is the most stylish activity tracker available and with Bluetooth Smart support and more insightful data, is one of the best to buy.

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