12 February 2014

review: jawbone up

If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen this picture about a month ago.


The Jawbone UP is all the rage these days so when given an opportunity to review one for you guys I obviously jumped at the chance. So, thanks to Verizon Wireless, I was sent a demo unit a few weeks ago to try out. As soon as it arrived, I downloaded the free app and slid this bad boy on my wrist and got to work.

One of my main motivators behind wanting to demo the Jawbone UP was the sleep tracker. Because, y'know, who doesn't want to know what their sleep behaviors are like?

Setting the sleep tracker on the Jawbone UP was super easy and every morning I loved plugging the device into my phone and syncing it with the app to see what my sleep had been like the night before.


Seriously. How cool is that? I was always most interested in the "Fell asleep in" numbers because it always feels like it takes me forever to fall asleep even though I know it doesn't actually take that long.

Every day the app also provides you with various insights, to make the most of your Jawbone UP as well as just general healthy living information. Like, did you know that the average Olympic athlete burns over 5,000 calories daily while training? I didn't either until just the other day.


Thanks to the insights I also learned about some of the other features the device offers, like the Power Nap and Alarm Clock functions. Both utilize your natural sleep rhythm to figure out when the best time is to wake you up based on how lightly you're sleeping.

With the Alarm Clock you let it know what time you want to wake up and give it a window: so, during the week I like to be up between 7 and 7:30, so I set the time as 7:30 but let it know I'd be willing to be woken up to 20 minutes before that. With my 6:30 am spinning, however, I set the latest time as 5:45 am with only a ten minute earlier window. When the Jawbone UP senses you're at a prime time to be woken up it starts to vibrate. Just the push the little button to let it know you're up and it turns off sleep mode. You're also able to set different alarms for different days of the week, so once I set my times for the work week, my spinning days, and then made sure it was off on the weekends I was all set.


Speaking of sleep, I don't know about you but if my nap is too long I tend to feel even more tired than before, so this is where the Power Nap feature comes in. When you're just looking for a quick nap that will leave you feeling refreshed, the Power Nap mode will do something similar to the Smart Sleep Alarms in that it uses your sleep data to decide how much sleep you need to feel refreshed. You can either set an exact time you want to sleep or use the "optimal" setting and set a maximum time you want to nap and it will wake you up with  vibrations when it determines you're at the prime time.

Pretty nifty, huh?

Being attached to my iPhone I also really liked that I could sync the Jawbone UP app with several other apps I use on a regular basis, like Pact and MyFitnessPal. They all work in conjunction with each other, which is pretty cool: the meal information I put into MyFitnessPal will show up in  the Jawbone UP app while the calories burned as monitored by the Jawbone UP app will show up in MyFitnessPal. And as long as the Jawbone UP registered more than 10,000 steps in a day it would count towards my weekly Pact.

Finally, we have the life of the Jawbone UP and this is actually one of my favorite things about the device starting with the fact that there's no battery. With other motion trackers you always have to worry about battery life and, more importantly, getting a replacement battery which can be a bit of a hassle. With the Jawbone UP you just use a provided USB cord to plug it into your computer and it charges that way.

Then there's the really cool part: Each full charge lasts about 10 days and every time you sync the device with your app it will tell you how many days are left on the charge. No guesswork, like wondering how long 30% will last. It actually tells you 3 days.

All of that being said, there were a couple of things I wasn't super crazy about with regards to the Jawbone UP. The first is that I couldn't track my progress unless I synced it to my phone. So if I'm trying to keep track of how many steps I've taken for the day, I can't just glance down at the device and see a number. I have to physically take it off my wrist and plug it into my phone and open the app. Not super convenient if you want to know right away or aren't in a situation where it's easy to go through all the motions. (Though from my understanding, the new Jawbone UP24 takes care of that issue by syncing wirelessly.)

The other thing is that, as you can tell from the picture above, it's not very discrete as far as devices go. If I'm at work or at the gym, I'm obviously not going to care about the black band around my wrist. But, you know, if I'm going out for the night I'd like to have something a little less noticeable or something that could be attached under clothes.

Obviously, though, looking at the list below the Pros far outweigh the Cons when it comes to the features offered. The Jawbone UP retails at about $130, which is a good chunk of change, but for a device that tracks so much information when you're both awake and asleep and has so many useful tools that go along with it, I definitely recommend the UP if you're in the market.

Pros:
App is super easy to use
Syncs with other apps, like Pact and MyFitnessPal
Power Nap Mode
Alarm Clock Function
No Battery that needs to be changed
Tells you how many days left on charge
Easy to switch between functions and features

Cons:
Wish it was a little more discrete
Can't just glance down to see how many steps you've taken

Any Jawbone UP fans out there?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

5 comments:

  1. I"m so glad you posted this review! There are so many gadgets out there, and I always wanted to know the details of the Jawbone. It looks like a fun gadget!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a lot of fun to play with and provides tons of info.

      Delete
  2. Awesome review! I just got my Jawbone from Verizon too and can't wait to try it out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Random question - how long did they let you keep the Jawbone for? :)

      Delete

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