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After wearing one for about a month, I'm going to pass some judgement on this popular fitness tech.
The Jawbone "UP" band is a fitness bracelet that tracks movement and sleep, then connects to a mobile device via the headphone jack in order to by synced with their UP application (on Android and iOS). It is charged via USB every 10 days and is meant to be worn at all times.
Notice: Since this bracelet was purchased, Jawbone came out with "UP24" and a new app (which, so far, is only available for apple products and is only compatible with the new band).
My mother originally bought the band in November 2012 and I helped her set it up. As someone who's been actively trying to lose weight, I showed a lot of interest in the device. A month later, my mom found a different fitness device she preferred since it can be clipped on and doesn't have to be worn as a bracelet. Thus, I acquired the UP band from my mom.
I'm going to judge it on 3 criteria - Function, Fashion, and Feel-Goods.
Function - Does it do what it says it's gonna do? This is... yes and no.
- The UP Band calculates your steps, yes, but I'm wary of how accurate it is since it's on your wrist, and arms tend to move a lot more than legs.
- One of the features that interested me the most was calculating sleeping patterns. It's suppose to detect when you fall asleep, when you're in REM sleep, and if you wake up at all. In my experience, if I don't wear the bracelet while I'm sleeping, it only thinks I've slept for about 3 hours out of the 8 I usually do. I don't enjoy wearing jewelry while I'm sleeping, but if the user has to manually input their sleep it doesn't calculate all of the extra tidbits.
- The app itself is pretty good. I like getting tips everyday and the ability to set daily goals. However, I like myfitnesspal's UI better for inputting food items and getting daily nutritional value. Luckily, the user can link the two accounts and the UP app will include the calorie count from food intake.
- As a bracelet, it's comfortable. The original comes in black, blue, and white. I have black, which is good since it looks just like any other bracelet I'd wear.
- It can be a little chucky at times, but it's lightweight so I typically forget I'm even wearing it.
- It's a simple design, I like the idea of using the headphone jack, but I'm positive I'm going to lose the "cap" that covers it at some point. (The cap is the metal part of the bracelet that says "Jawbone").
- A lot of users have had issues with accidently pressing the button in the middle of the night if they wear it while they sleep. (The button is the metal plate on the opposite end of the cap, this turns the band into "waking mode" and "sleeping mode".
- The basic idea is that this device is suppose to make the user more aware of their sleeping, walking, and eating habits in order to promote better health.
- On a personal basis, I'd say it's successful in this area. Though I combine it with myfitnesspal's exercise and nutritional diary, the constant presence of the band is, at the very least, a reminder that I'm trying to better myself.
- I've been a lot more successful in the past few weeks than I have been in the past, and I believe having this device has helped with that.