Reviews

Jawbone UP24 (Updated December 2014)

January 1, 2014

Two months back i wrote a review of the Jawbone UP wrist band and gave it high marks. One of the areas which i hoped to see an improvement in new tracking devices from Jawbone is the inclusion of wireless syncing. My hopes have not been in vain. Jawbone UP24 is the latest wrist band tracker from Jawbone.

All newly packaged.

All newly packaged.

Clockwise from left: Proprietary charging cable, UP24 wrist band, manual

Clockwise from left: Proprietary charging cable, Jawbone UP24 wrist band, manual

ACCURACY

Putting the Jawbone UP24 through a series of tests i figured would closely simulate activities of daily living.  I would walk, jog and run on the treadmill for 5 minutes at each speed; most people i know of would engage in either of these activities in a day. Actual steps were recorded with a pace counter. An additional test for step accuracy was devised for wrist trackers where I would carried a laptop on my non-dominant hand and walked for 5 minutes at 5km/hr.

A less-than 5% error would indicate pretty good accuracy. Jawbone UP24 aced the step count test.

track count

This is one of the wrist band trackers I’ve owned to date to have consistently exhibited good accuracy for tracked number of steps at multiple speeds based on wrist movements.

LOOK AND FEEL

The Jawbone UP24 is still made of the same material as its predecessor; hypoallergic, medical grade  TPU rubber. There are some minor cosmetic differences from the previous band.

PICT_20131220_142409

Jawbone UP24 on the left and Jawbone UP on the right. The wavy pattern is indicative of which wrist band you own.

UP24 on the left and UP on the right. The button for UP24 is now textured. You can't really feel the difference from touch.

Jawbone UP24 on the left and Jawbone UP on the right. The button for Jawbone UP24 is now textured. You can’t really feel the difference from touch.

Size of charging pin differs. UP on top and UP24 at the bottom.

Size of charging pin differs. Jawbone UP on top and Jawbone UP24 at the bottom.

Charging is still via the proprietary cable. The only difference is the size of the pins. It used to be 3.5mm but it’s 2.5mm now. So the old charging cable CANNOT be used on the Jawbone UP24 and vice versa. What about fitting into the phone jack of your mobile devices then. Because the Jawbone UP24 syncs wirelessly, the 2.5mm jack is purely for charging purposes. Just a note, the end cap of the 2 versions of Jawbone wrist bands are also non-interchangeable even though they look identical. 

FUNCTIONS AND DATA PRESENTATION (Similar for Jawbone trackers)

jawbone app sample screen

Always a pleasant surprise to read the mini cards of tips for the new day.

Among all the activity trackers and their own versions of apps, the Jawbone UP app stands out the most for me. It provides news, tips, summary of researches and the occassional “Today I will” challenges. The fact that the data is used and compared versus the general UP population gives the user a better glimpse of where he or she stands. The addition of the Smart Coach is really icing on the cake.

new jawbone up app interface

Tapping on the “+” sign brings up various functions as shown on the right.

The updated Jawbone UP app for activity trackers simplifies the user interface further by consolidating everything under a single “+” sign. Tap on it and the user can access any of the 5 domains of functions; be it to track activity, mood, food, weight or sleep.

jawbone sleep and activity screen capture

Activity and sleep data presentation on the Jawbone UP app.

Users can scrutinise their tracked stats like activity and sleep for the day. Users could add a comment or simply share via Facebook or Twitter. The functions are all embedded within the app.

jawbone app trend months vs weeks

Trend data in months and weeks.

Past data can also be accessed right from the app. I’ve been a user of the Jawbone UP app since October 2013 and I can still easily access that. Nostalgia…Users can choose what to list in the trends screen.

  • Light sleep
  • Sound sleep
  • Total sleep
  • Steps
  • Active time
  • Workout Time
  • Distance
  • Calories burned
  • Calories consumed
  • Carbs, cholesterol, fiber, protein, saturated fat, sodium, sugar, unsaturated fat
  • Weight
  • body Fat
jawbone goals vs compatible apps

Adjusting goals. Compatible apps.

You can also decide the number of steps and duration of sleep to strive towards for the day. The best part is the user can see what the average UP user is clocking and judge if they should do more…or less.

Jawbone has a lot of compatible apps and at last count, it was 35 and includes popular apps like MyFitnessPal, Pact, Nest, Runkeeper and a whole lot more.

Jawbone introduced the Smart Coach into the UP app to provide more advice based on the tracked stats.

jawbone smartcoach screen captures

Smart Coach dispenses advice on activity and sleep.

For example, I took 36 minutes to fall asleep on one night and Smart Coach suggest I try UCLA’s 12 minutes guided meditation.

When I failed to hit my goal for the day, Smart Coach would chip in with suggestions on how I can increase my step count; go for walks, take the steps, walk the longer way.

Since stride length differs from person to person, distance tracked in a day though the UP app can also be calibrated. All you need is a accurate measure like a walk around a 400m track or on a treadmill. I’ve used this function to fine tune my own distance clocked per day.

ANYTHING ELSE?

The upgraded UP app brought about a new feature called “Today i will”  and I’ll elaborate on this. After learning your habits from your regular activities, Jawbone UP24 will supposedly understand your daily pattern and propose some challenges for you. I waited a looooong while to see my first challenge. It’s so elusive it got me excited when i saw something new on the dashboard.

Today i will challenges is available on both iOS and Android devices.

water start

The Today i will challenge will appear under Insights on the app dashboard. In my case, i was challenged to drink 8 glasses of water. I don’t track my water intake but i do have a 2 litre water bottle which i finish daily.Nonetheless challenge accepted. Once i accept i can see a water droplet which is indicative of my progress thus far. One glass equals slight filling up of the water droplet. you can also record the time which you hydrate. Nice.

tdy i will 2

If you go to the dashboard, you should see a new column on top of your usual sleep and steps column, with a water glass icon. Fast forward and i’ve drank my fill of 8 glasses of water. Hooray! Once challenge is completed, you’ll be asked if you would like to repeat the challenge the next day. Nice way to reinforce good habits. There are other Today i will’s like getting you to sleep early or upping your step count. 

Photo 1-1-14 13 44 32

And mission accomplished. It’s not exactly clocking 50k steps but it’s still a positive nudge towards forming good healthy habits.

The UP app also has the Recent Activities drop down. On the app dashboard, just slide down slowly from the main screen. You’ll see the your recent activities at certain times of the day. If you would like more information, you can always access the life line function. 

Photo 1-1-14 10 45 44

Recent activites drop down.

IN A NUTSHELL

Pros:

  • Accurate for step counting.
  • Beautiful.
  • Wireless syncing via Bluetooth 4.0
  • Great app interface and features.
  • Multiple vibration alert features (idle, smart alarm, power nap)
  • Good battery life- 14 days (Update your firmware)
  • Splash and sweat proof.
  • Very easy to remove and put on.
  • Calibration function available.
  • Weekly summary report.
  • Tracked stats are downloadable from your web account.

Cons:

  • Thick band gets in the way of daily activities.
  • Proprietary charging cable.
  • Lack of display.

The Jawbone UP24 is my wrist band of choice to date. Syncing through Bluetooth just made the deal sweeter. It’s clear to me the team who created the app made it intuitive and aesthetically pleasing. No web interface? No problem. The app does almost everything. The Insights panels is something i look forward to everyday; nuggets of health information about my own health stats in terms of sleep hours and step count.

The UP24 is pricier than the UP but in my opinion, it’s worth every penny to not have to remove your tracker band to sync. It’s been almost a year and I’m still on the UP system of activity tracking. My Jawbone UP24 band failed on me once but the good people at Jawbone had it replaced. 

In September 2014, Jawbone announced that they will be opening up the UP system which will allow…“anyone with a compatible smartphone, Android Wear device, Pebble smartwatch, or any wearable connected to the Health app for iOS 8 – such as the Apple Watch – to instantly join the UP community.”  Besides the aesthetics of the Jawbone UP bands, the prize winning factor is the UP app. This is definitely good news for consumers.

Listed price: $129.99.

combined colours

Top row L to R: Colours: Red, Pink Coral, Persimmon,Persimmon. Bottom row L to R: Onyx, Navy Blue, Lemon Lime.

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