Fitness devices are trending upwards, and rightfully so! There’s nothing more important than your health. Last year, Jawbone’s Up activity monitor paved the way as one of the most popular fitness bands. This year they’ve released the Up24, the same great device but with wireless syncing capabilities. Up24 monitors fitness, activity, sleep, and more.
Up24, like the predecessor, is a hypoallergenic rubber bracelet you can comfortably wear on your wrist 24/7. There’s no seal or clasp, the band is built to wrap around your wrist, and it does so quite nicely. At it’s widest point it’s about as wide as a livestrong bracelet; it’s much thicker, but barely even heavier.
On one end of Up24 there’s a silver end-cap that covers the charging plug. On the other end is a silver button, that does just about everything. A simple touch of the button will alert you to the current mode and battery status. A press and hold starts an activity timer, and a double press and hold toggles you in and out of sleep mode.
There’s a lot of technology in this minimalistic band. A processor, a vibration motor, sensors, memory, and a battery capable of lasting up to seven days. At it’s most basic level, Up 24 is a step monitor. Using advanced sensors, Jawbone can make a lot of assumptions about intensity or distance traveled based on your slight movements.
The device is just part of the experience, the app is the other half of Up. There’s plenty of fitness trackers now, but the Jawbone Up app is the real competitive advantage. The app is very usable, extremely visual, and quite insightful, especially with the new version Up 3.0. Other fitness monitors have some catching up to do now.
Up24 wirelessly syncs with iOS devices using the power-efficient bluetooth 4.0 specification (Android will be rolled out at a later point in time). Every so often your app refreshes with your activity and your data is uploaded to the cloud. With this information Jawbone can push you to go harder or congratulate you on accomplishments. You’ll be able to see all of your recent activity at a glance, or zoom out and see trends like distance, steps, sleep, activeness, and more plotted out by day, week, or month.
Natively, the Up24 logs your activity and even your sleep. That’s the beauty of a fitness band, you can effortlessly wear it all the time, and even to sleep. The only catch is that you have to specify when you’re going to sleep, otherwise you have to manually fill it in the next day. This is an improvement over the last model which assumed you were awake all night if you forgot to put it in sleep mode. Like sleep, you can also log your mood or food and drink intake. Even better, you can link your favorite fitness app for an even deeper level of activity monitoring. Up is compatible with RunKeeper, Strava, MyFitnessPal, iFit, MapMyFitness, Withings, IFTTT, Wello, Sleepio, Lose it, and more
As long as you’re not swimming, you can wear Up 24/7…almost literally since the battery life is 7 days. It’s water resistant and isn’t affected by showers or hand washing, just don’t submerge it in water.
There’s a few other really neat and useful features that Up24 packs. There’s a “Smart Alarm” that can wake you up with vibration during a scheduled time frame. You can set the time and a grace period and Up will decide the optimal point in your sleep cycle to wake you. Up can even log power naps for you, and even better, it can wake you up from a power nap. Here’s my favorite feature: the idle alert. The Up bracelet will vibrate every hour that you’re being inactive. Get up and stretch, move around a bit–your Up24 knows best. You can adjust the time period and also the hours that the idle alert occurs.
The fitness tracking trend might simmer down over time, but we recommend everyone tries one at some point. It’s amazingly empowering and encouraging to learn how active, or inactive, you are in an average day. It doesn’t matter how healthy or fit you are, there’s a lot to be learned and you should always aim to push the limits. The truth is that the Up24 fitness band isn’t that much different than all the other fitness bands out there, however, the Up 3.0 app is. That’s the real value proposition. The tracking data is mostly the same between devices, but there’s a world of difference in how it’s used and portrayed. The Up 3.0 app is great. It’s very visual and very insightful. Fitbit has an app that’s much more basic; you have to go to their site to see trends. I’ve found in comparison that the Up24 is about 10% more optimistic on steps and distance than my Fitbit One, which is clipped to my pocket.
The Jawbone Up24, with wireless syncing, is currently available from Jawbone.com for $149.99, just $20 more than the classic Up. It comes in persimmon or black and in small, medium, or large (see site for sizing). If you have a compatible phone, the Up24 is a no brainer over the classic Up. It is, however, pricier than Fitbit’s lineup, and keep in mind a lot of new phones like the iPhone 5S and Galaxy S4 have built-in fitness monitors.
The Good: 7+ Day battery, Comfortable, Easy to use, Wireless syncing, Up 3.0 is very visual and insightful, Vibrating alarm clock, Inactivity alerts, Durable, Water resistant, Looks good enough to wear in both casual and formal environments
The Bad: Compatibility is limited, No altimeter, No built in step/activity display, Also a bit pricey considering it doesn’t have a display
Compatibility: iPhone 4s and newer, 5th Gen iPod Touch and newer, 3rd Gen iPad and newer, iPad Mini and newer