Review: Jawbone UP

After an understandably long wait - even more so in the UK - I was finally in the position to purchase a Jawbone UP - a product I've closely followed from first discovering it over a year ago.

Having read countless blog posts and expert views after their ill-fated first generation, I was slightly apprehensive whether it would truly win me over.

Jawbone UP
Jawbone UP

The band itself

Designed by Yves Behar, the Jawbone UP, encased in a rubber body with zigzag texture, not only looks great but is flexible and importantly pleasant to wear. However one problem I've encountered with its exterior is that both the ends (metal button and cap) catch and scrape on objects.

Features

Whilst there are a number of features, I'll only focus on those that I regularly use.

As someone who sits at a computer desk for 8+ hours a day the UP's Idle Alert feature is both excellent and valued. A gentle vibration every 30-60 minutes (depending on what length of time I choose) helps get me up on my feet and away for a computer screen, even if it is only just for 5 minutes.

Another great feature of UP is the sleep tracking and intelligent alarm allowing you to both sleep and wake up better. I can clearly see the levels of deep and light sleep I get daily, as well as plan when I'd like to wake up. UP will wake you up with gentle vibrations within a user-set time period before the absolute latest you want wakened.

The Analysis and Insights section of the app presents your data alongside easy-to-understand information, often with some research aimed to help improve your lifestyle. Sometimes, however, the Insights lack context and struggle to assert their usefulness.

Problems

Both of the main problems I've found with the UP are concerned with the physical band itself, the small cap to contain the jack could be lost easily when charging or syncing.

And as mentioned previously the band itself sometimes get caught in clothing, or scrapes the table when you're working.

Final thoughts

I've been impressed by the UP's battery life; I'm averaging 9 days charge - just one day less than the manufacturers' claim. And it takes just over one hour to charge fully.

The companion app (I'm using an iPhone) looks great and is simple to use - the information contained within the Lifeline section looks incredibly beautiful.

Overall, I've been using the Jawbone UP for roughly a month now and have been very pleased with all aspects of it - the physical band, app and, most importantly, it's features.