It's no secret that I'm in love with Jawbone products, so I was pretty anxious to get my hands on their fitness gadget, the Jawbone UP, which unfortunately had some issues forcing them to take it off the market while they made some necessary tweaks.
Well, now it's back and for the last few weeks, I've been giving it a try.
Of course, with so many new fitness gadgets being released, I was anxious to see how the new Jawbone UP would fare. And let's just say, I'm pretty impressed with how well it works and how much I've learned about my own fitness and sleep habits while using it.
Now points go to Jawbone UP for being one of the most stylish looking fitness bands on the market, and one that I found to be quite comfortable, an important point since you need to wear it all the time. Size does matter in this case, so be sure to measure your wrist before you order.
Like all of the Jawbone gadgets I've tried, the set-up is remarkably easy not just because it's so user friendly, but because they provide you with smart, simple directions that even my 8-year old could follow.
You'll need to download the free UP app on your iPhone or iPad (sorry Android users!), and create an account; this allows you to sync your bracelet and track your data. You then remove the cap on the tip of the bracelet and plug it into your headphone jack, making sure the app is open before you do that. Once you're all synced up, and you've set your activity and sleep goals, you're ready to begin wearing and tracking!
A fully charged battery will get you about 10 days of wear, and it's recommended that you sync up your Jawbone UP at least once a day, something that I never needed to be reminded of because I was quite anxious to see how many steps I had taken and how much sleep I had gotten (or not gotten).
HOW IT WORKS
After using the UP for a few days, I was able to see patterns of my activity including number of steps, distance, and various kinds of activity (active, not as active), as well as my sleep, which I actually found to be quite fascinating as it not only showed me how long I slept, but also how long it took me to fall asleep, how many times I woke up, and how much deep sleep I got. You do want to be sure to remember to put your UP in sleep mode before going to bed, otherwise it will not be able to track all that information for you.
If you've got virtual or IRL friends with the UP, you can friend them actually keep up with each other or compete, which I have to admit is pretty motivating, as is the feature where you can snap and share photos of your food. While it doesn't track calories (unless you enter them manually) the photos can definitely keep you accountable.
WHAT I LOVE
Along with all the data (I LOVE DATA!) that I got about my lifestyle, my favorite feature is the alarm, which will make your bracelet buzz within a 30 minute window of your set time, waking you up at the point where you are least groggy. It will take a few tries for the UP to get your sleeping patterns for this to be effective, but what a brilliant concept.
And yes, the UP is waterproof, so while you should take it off for deep sea diving, showers and baths are fair game, an important feature for a busy mom who gives lots of baths to lots of small children.
WHAT NEEDS WORK
Now I will say that my 2-year old was able to pull the bracelet off my arm, using a bit of force of course, but still, it did come off. Not a big huge deal but something to be aware of if you have small kids.
The lack of wireless syncing might be a downside to some people, especially since you've got to keep track of that little cap when you plug in your bracelet, as is the lack of Android technology at this time. And while there is a stop watch feature, I'd say this is less for super fit very active people and more for the average person looking to start living a healthier lifestyle overall.
BOTTOM LINE: If you're looking to make changes to your health and wellbeing, I'd say the Jawbone UP is an excellent investment. -Kristen
You can purchase the new Jawbone UP on their website. And if you've got an Android, sign up on their site to find out when the UP Android app will be released. Soon!