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Jawbone UP24 review

Riyad Emeran
3 Jul 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
105
inc VAT

It's one of the most expensive activity trackers, but it offers a lot and integrates neatly with other apps

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Specifications

Pedometer: Yes, Heart-rate monitor: No, Display: None, Battery life: 7 days

The Jawbone UP has been around for quite a while. In fact, the original UP was the first wrist-based activity tracker to capture consumer interest. While the original device had some great features, its lack of wireless connectivity meant that it lagged behind competing devices, such as the Nike+ FuelBand and Fitbit Flex. Now, the Jawbone UP24 hopes to change all that.

UP and running

The Jawbone UP24 looks almost identical to the standard UP, but that’s no bad thing. The wrap-around design means that there’s no clasp or catch to worry about – it’s easy to slip on and off, but won’t slide off your wrist no matter how active you’re being.

There’s no size adjustment though, so you’ll need to make sure you get the size right when you buy: there are Small, Medium and Large sizes to choose from. You’ve got four colours to choose from, too: Onyx (black), Persimmon (orangey red), Pink and Lemon Lime. The latter looks particularly good, as you can see from our photos.


Jawbone UP24 sizes

You’ll need to charge your UP24 when you get it out of the box. There’s a USB to 3.5mm headphone socket cable in the box, and you’re going to need to have this with you whenever you need to charge. Removing the silver cap on the UP24 will reveal the 3.5mm jack; plug this into the cable and charging will start. The sun symbol on the UP24 will flash while charging and turn solid when fully charged. You’ll get just over a week of use out of the UP24 on a full charge, which isn’t quite as good as the non-wireless UP, but still class leading compared to other wireless bands. While you’re waiting for your UP24 to charge you can download the app to your phone. Both iOS and Android are supported, but you’ll need a handset with Bluetooth 4.0.

 

Jawbone UP24 plug

There’s no built-in display on the UP24 like there is on the Nike+ FuelBand SE. Instead you just get two lights: a Sun to indicate day mode and a Moon to indicate night mode. There’s a single button, which you press to switch between the modes.

Stepping up

Like most activity trackers, the Jawbone UP24 will measure the number of steps you take, but just like the FuelBand SE, it’s more than a basic pedometer. The accelerometer built into the UP24 will measure all types of activity, whether you’re walking, running, cycling and so on.

Where Jawbone differs from many competitors is how it makes sense of the data that its tracker collects. While the companion app will tell you how many steps you’ve taken throughout the day along with estimates for calories burned and distance travelled, the UP app will also tell you how long you were actually active for during the day, along with the longest period of activity. To round things off, it will also highlight your longest idle period too – name and shame tactics!

The UP24 may not have a built-in display, but it does have a vibration alert feature, which is far more useful than you might first think. For a start you can configure the UP24 to vibrate after a set period of inactivity, and even though you may not always be in a position to respond to that alert, it’s worth it for the times that you can.

You can also use the vibrate function to wake you up in the morning. Within the app you can set silent alarms, which will cause the UP24 to vibrate and wake you. We were a little dubious of the band’s ability to wake us from a deep sleep, but it’s surprisingly effective, and has the advantage of not waking your partner, as an audible alarm could.

Jawbone UP24 on wrist

 

One app to rule them all

While all activity trackers have some kind of companion app that they sync with, the UP app is in a class of its own. Jawbone has created a truly beautiful environment that’s easy to navigate and stuffed full of more features than most users would know what to do with. The main screen in the app works on a timeline design. This works brilliantly, allowing you to easily scroll through your activities, and those of any friends you may be following. But it’s not just your activity that’s tracked by the app, you can also log what you eat and drink throughout the day.

Jawbone app timeline

There’s a food database built into the UP app, and unlike the database embedded into the Fitbit app, this one is UK friendly. Not only are you likely to find what you’re eating in the database, but you can search for it by simply scanning the barcode on the packaging.

You can also log any specific activities during the day. You can log when you started your activity, how long it lasted and what it was. But the UP app is much smarter than that, because Jawbone has designed it to play well with others.

If you happen to log all your cycling and running with Strava, you can link your Strava account with the UP app. So the next time you decide to cycle up Box Hill on a Saturday morning, that ride will automatically appear in your UP app timeline. Likewise, if you use the Withings smart scales to track your weight, that too can be pulled into your UP timeline, giving you a clear picture of your activity and the results. As well as supporting Strava and Withings, the UP app will pull in feeds from the likes of Runkeeper, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal and FitStar. The list is far more extensive than that, though.

Jawbone app strava

The fact that Jawbone openly encourages cross platform collaboration means that the functionality of the app will only grow over time, and could well place the UP app at the centre of many fitness enthusiasts’ lives.

Conclusion

The Jawbone UP24 is one of the most expensive avidity trackers on the market, but despite its high price, we still think it’s a great choice. Yes, it lacks both a built-in display and altimeter functionality, but to judge the UP24 purely on hardware specs would be doing Jawbone an injustice. You see Jawbone hasn’t just designed an activity tracker, it’s built a beautifully realised ecosystem and has evolved over time and will continue to do so. The UP app really is a work of art, offering a superb user experience for novices and athletes alike.

The food database with barcode scanning, the ability to follow friends on your timeline and importing data from other platforms like Strava, are just a few of the highlights offered by this app. Syncing is also very fast, and not once has the app ever lost sight of our UP24 – something that does plague competing wireless trackers occasionally. The Jawbone UP24 may be expensive, but when you dig into everything that it offers, it more than justifies its price.

Hardware
Wearing modesWrist strap
PedometerYes
Heart-rate monitorNo
GPSNo
DisplayNone
WaterproofYes (splashproof)
Smartphone connection
OS supportAndroid 4.3+, iPhone 4S+, iPad Mini+
WirelessBluetooth
Battery
Battery size32mAh
Battery life7 days
Buying information
Price including VAT£105
WarrantyOne year RTB
Supplierwww.expansys.com
Detailswww.jawbone.com

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