3/18/2013

UP by Jawbone - A Gadchick Review

Sometimes, it is nice to be an early adopter. I had a 1st-gen iPod/brick that I carried with me for years and could replace the battery for. But when I was finally able to own a tiny one, I gladly traded up. In the case of the UP by Jawbone, their early adopters received a product that did have some serious issues. Luckily in this case I had waited, trying to decide between the UP and several other competitors. When I did decide to make my purchase, I was happily surprised to see the company had taken the issues their 1st-gen had suffered and improved the product greatly.

The UP by Jawbone is more than a pedometer or an app to track your life, it is a one-stop habit changing machine. From its data tracking (sleep, activity, food, and mood) to its built in features like an Idle Alert that reminds you to move around, I've been amazed by the motivation provided to beat my daily goals and the native iPhone app's ability to give me an overview on my day. My favorite features have been the overall sleep and activity trackers, helping me start to narrow down why I'm a little more tired one day or pushing me to make sure I got enough movement despite my desk job everyday. Also, it just looks like a bracelet and comes in a rainbow of colors, allowing you to pair it with both business appropriate attire or pajamas.





The list of cons with the UP is pretty short:
1) iPhone-Only
As an iPhone user,
this is not a huge con for me. But for all of you Android fans,
according to their message board, your app is right around the corner.

2) No Bluetooth Support.
I have a hard time making this a con but it is a valid one for those considering between the UP and some of its competitors. However, the flip side to this is how great the battery life is and how easy the sync process is (via your headphone jack).

3) Reliability of Data
No band
on the market is going to be 100% right on all personal data, but no
pedometer can claim 100% accuracy either. You have to take your received
metrics about steps taken and sleep with a grain of salt. What I've
done to help calibrate is use the band with other apps like Sleep Cycle
to judge validity.

4) Lack of Non-Native App Support
My largest complaint is the lack of support and integration with popular iPhone apps. While the UP's app is extremely useful, it would be great to see it interact with apps like RunKeeper.
But despite any of these cons, I highly recommend the UP by Jawbone and suggest it to anyone looking to establish new healthy habits or keep tabs on the ones they already have. What originally started as a neat accessory and a potential fun gadget has turned into a must-have daily device that I love.

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