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  • Jawbone Up Review - 011

    By J.W.Morse


    The Jawbone Up is a wristband that is worn 24 hours a day that tracks your movement, sleep, calorie intake and calorie burn rate so you can find trends in your life and make meaningful purposeful changes to a healthier lifestyle.

    This is the second generation of the Jawbone Up, some of you may remember that the first generation Up was less than durable. Many people found that within a month (sometimes less) it would simply stop working. These reviews are the reason that I did not buy the first generation. What is the point in buying something this expensive that is going to break? For their part Jawbone took care of every single first generation Up user and replaced their Up if it was broken no matter what. So while the product lacked, the customer service helped to make up for some of its shortcomings

    After spending about a month with the device... it meets all of my durability expectations

    The second generation came out recently and I was interested especially since Jawbone said that they had completely redesigned the inside to be more rugged and durable on all levels. After spending about a month with the device I have to agree that it is much better than the first generation and meets all of my durability expectations.

    The up tracks your life in three major ways -

    steps, sleep, and calorie intake.

    --Step Tracker

    The Up band tracks your movement and based on  your age, sex (ha), weight, and height it can estimate how many calories you burned and how far you have walked. It is amazingly accurate and a huge motivator when I go for a run or workout in any way because immediately after I can get a really accurate readout of how effective my workout really was.

    "(the step tracker is) amazingly accurate and a huge motivator"

    There are some workouts that the Up cannot track very well, such as weight training or swimming as the Up is water resistant and not water proof. You can still log this workout but it is not as accurate. It does make an estimate based on MET values, but I when I googled what MET was I only found really cryptic convoluted answers.

    Additionally it also measures the amount of time that you have been inactive and will vibrate to remind you to stand up and stretch a little. You can set it to remind you in as little time as every fifteen minutes or as much time as two hours.


    The best thing about the Jawbone Up is that it has a built in alarm clock. Basically I will tell the Up to wake me up at 9:00 and it will find the best time between 8:30 and 9:00 to wake me up depending on how deep I am sleeping. It is quite honestly the best alarm clock I had ever had and the alarm clock by itself makes the Up worth every single penny. The only better way to get woken up is by some super sexy chick who kisses me and says it is time to wake up because I have a show in fifteen minutes (I put my dream job in, but I am sure she could wake you up for whatever your dream is). I emailed jawbone and they said that they could not add this feature for some technical reason. Between you and me I think they are holding out on us.

    "The best thing about the Jawbone Up is that it has a built in alarm clock... it is the best alarm clock I have ever had..."

    The Up also tracks your sleep and produces a graph of how much time you were awake, in light sleep, or in deep sleep. It is really cool to see how effective your sleep was over the night, and correlate how well you slept with how much you worked out, what you ate and countless other things.

    --Food Tracker

    One of the other main things that the Up does is track your food intake in sodium, calories, fat, sugar and so forth. It is a really powerful feature however it takes a lot of input from the user. In some cases you can scan the barcode of the product you are eating and it will collect all of its nutritional information, but that is not an option very often. Basically this means that you will have to sift through a very expansive menu to find the particular item you are eating. This is not necessarily a problem with the app, I don’t really see how they could have done it any better but I did find myself slacking after a few days and now a month later I don’t even bother to add food I am eating. Again this is not a problem with the app but a problem with me. I honestly lack the motivation, however someone who has the proper motivation will get quite a bit out of this feature of the Up and used correctly it might be the strongest motivator and ally when making meaningful changes in your lifestyle to become healthier.

    "you will have to sift through a very expansive menu to find the particular item you are eating"


    The Up collates all of its data on a very nice looking and well designed app on the IOS market. As of right now there is no Android app. I emailed Jawbone and asked when we would see an Android app, they said to expect it within the first six months of 2013.

    With this app you can look at past sleep, steps, food and every other thing that the up tracks. The app is relatively simple at first look, but it gets very detailed under the hood, which is a really good thing. I cannot think of any features that the app could have done better or would be better with and while all of the features can feel overwhelming at first they are all useful and serve the Up well.


    As I said before the second generation is supposed to be quite a bit more rugged than the first gen and I believe it is. I have not had any problem with the band breaking or not working. It is made from hypoallergenic silicone and feels solid in my hand though putting it on is a little difficult since I don’t want to stretch it in an odd manner. The design is nice looking, and fashionable (whatever that means) and it is comfortable enough that I don’t mind wearing it all the time.

    I did find that it would sometimes bump up against my computer while I was trying to use it, but that was a pretty simple fix and not a huge problem.

    --Overall experiance

    I highly recommend getting the up band. There are a few other bands similar to the Up like the Nike Fuel band for the Fitbit band but in my research it appeared to me that the Up had the most features and all of these features are executed really well. While adding food that I have eaten to the app was cumbersome this was mostly my fault as the app is just being thorough. If I was willing to put in the effort (I found out I am not) I would get back really meaningful and powerful results. Just as when you are working out the best and most meaningful results come from the most effort and the same can be said for the Up.

    The battery life is amazing lasting for about ten days of a full charge which is just great. The downside I would have to say is that the Up does not have bluetooth so anytime you want to sync your up with your phone you have to take it off, it is a small movement but it would be a nice feature. Additionally as I mentioned above there is no Android app which is actually cutting out 75% of the market (yes Android holds 75% of the market.) and while there is one on the way I do not feel that Jawbone is trying to get it out as quickly as they should be. Regardless if you have IOS this is a really good purchase, if you have Android get this when the app comes out, unless you have already gone with another fitness wristband by that time, which, honestly, I would have.

    " there is no Android app which is actually cutting out 75% of the market"


    Design 9/10
    Software 7/10 (as good as it is, without an Android app I can’t score it as well)
    Features 8/10 (bluetooth would make this a 10)
    Performance 10/10 (everything works perfectly

    Average score 8.5

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