Coming as an aid for your fitness life and more recently, the quality of some other aspects as well, the Jawbone UP24 is a particularly clever activity tracker wrist band. It comes as a new and upgraded version of the Jawbone UP – featuring upgrades such as Bluetooth Smart syncing with your Apple or Android smartphone.
While you could argue that anything regarding your work out sessions could very well be handled by your health app on your phone, you are only partly correct. Most phones, including the most recent ones and their respective operating systems do indeed count your steps and even your heart rate in some circumstances. But in reality, the data depicted by these devices is valid only for the times that you actually took your phone with you wherever you went.
In case of the Jawbone UP24, things are a bit different. Naturally, as long as you’ll have the wristband equipped as you go around your daily business, data will be recorded; so you can get a better and more accurate reading of your daily activity. Furthermore, the Jawbone UP24 is equipped to do more than just count steps: it can monitor your sleeping cycles and help you when it comes to your diet just as well. All in all, the Jawbone UP24 is up and out to help you gain a better understanding and control of your health.
The UP24 comes as an upgrade to the previous Jawbone UP, for a $29.99 increase in price. The perks that we found in the Jawbone UP vs Jawbone UP24 battle? Viewing data in real-time. If anything, the UP24 provides a more complete experience in comparison to its original variant. But before anything, let’s go through everything that the Jawbone UP24 has to offer, and which of its features are worth considering it for.
Jawbone UP24 Design
Aesthetically, the Jawbone UP24 can be considered one of the better options that you get in terms of fitness trackers. That highly depends on taste however: do you prefer your fitness tracker to take on the form of a watch or do you prefer a simple band that you can camouflage along with your other jewelry or clothing instead?
While we can’t say that the UP24 is a fashion statement by itself, the reason it may win over other products of this class is its very simplistic and smooth design. With either a textured rubber exterior, featuring swirls or simple wavy lines or the more classic smooth design, the Jawbone UP24 is made to be simple and discreet. There are 3 variants when it comes to the Jawbone UP24 sizing you can choose from, and each comes with a different design. The smallest displays a line pattern that snakes from top to bottom, while the medium and large variants hold onto the plain and smooth design.
Thanks to the very light build, you won’t even notice it when you have the Jawbone UP24 equipped: the small version weighs 19 grams, while the medium is 22 and the largest is 23 grams respectively. That’s considerably lower than many of the competing gadgets – an explainable fact given that most other fitness trackers out there have opted for various types of on-band displays. This is one aspect that some people may not be particularly happy about – even on the latest iterations of the Jawbone wristbands, Jawbone UP3 or UP4, a screen has yet to be implemented, underlining the company’s attempt at keeping things as subtle as possible.
The Jawbone UP24 is made of medical-grade rubber which has been treated with a number of hypoallergenic substances in order to ensure nobody has any unfortunate side effects when starting to wear the band. However, even if all of the technology is neatly hidden inside the rubber exterior, this particular fitness tracker has not yet become water proof. This comes as a tremendous downside for some considering that you should always make a mental note of taking it off because going into the pool or even the shower. Furthermore, if by any unfortunate incident it happens to rain outside while you’re on your morning jog, you should be wary.
Part of the reason the band has yet to be made waterproof is the end of the wristband that hides the 2.5 mm charging connector underneath a metallic door. That, along with the other end of the fitness tracker that hides the syncing button, are not made to resist to fluids entering beneath them yet. And that can surely mess up with the system just like it would with any other electronic device.
In the absence of any sort of display that would give you the chance to view at least the status of your wristband, most of the controls over the wristband will be done via its mobile app. There are, however, two green LEDs hidden behind the external rubber layer that will light up when you press the sync button – a moon and a flower for off and on respectively.
Jawbone UP24 Features & Utility
So what are the most basic functions of the Jawbone UP24? Besides the actual activity monitor that is responsible for tracking daily physical activity, the UP24 makes a point of giving you a more ample type of control over the health aspects of your life. Allegedly a tool that was made to give you a method of starting to take ownership of your life and not one that professionals and most advanced fitness fans will opt for, the Jawbone UP24 now turns its attention to the other factors of health too. You can use it, surely along with the application that it comes with, to track the intake of calories you score on a daily basis as well as get a good overview of how well you’re sleeping. Thanks to its extensive app, you can set yourself goals and targets that you can slowly make your way into.
The way that the data is recorded is via a tri-axis accelerometer – the same technology that is adopted in many of the other types of fitness trackers. Basically, what it does it measure acceleration in a tri-dimensional space, being able to differentiate between the moments when for example you’re in your car and when you’re walking or running. The same kind of sensor is used to track your sleep too – but that part may prove to be a little less accurate than you would expect. While this is a fact that is present in all kinds of fitness trackers, you may find that your Jawbone UP24 may not always detect the correct state you are in – whether you’re asleep or not.
Once the motion sensor detects you’re asleep, it can do as much as map an entire diagram of your sleeping cycles – however, only based on predefined algorithms, and not a direct method of measuring it. One previous that has, to some degree, been fixed was the fact that you had to manually set your UP24 on sleep mode when you went to bed and, similarly, take it out once you awoke in order to get a good reading of your sleep cycles. With the Jawbone UP24, you get the Sleep Recovery Mode which acts as sort of a backup for the times when you forget to sync your wristband with the mobile app in order to track data.
One of the greatest parts of what the Jawbone UP24 and the upgrades it brings over the classic UP is that it allows all the data to be exchanged with the host device via Bluetooth Smart syncing. By not having to use either your Internet traffic or, even worse, a cable to sync your data regularly and manually, the app will always be up to date with your daily progress thanks to the real-time updating of the information received.
Not so much regarding the device but the app that it comes with, but one of the most iconic features of the Jawbone UP24 is the Insight engine – something that you will get all the chances of experiencing via your mobile phone. What this particular aspect of the app does is analyze your personal data, tracks and recordings in order to offer you a list of recommendations based on your particular habits and wishes. These recommendations range from more default or generic-oriented kind of knowledge towards actual methods of improving your health and life through various things the app picks up from your usual eating behaviors or sleeping patterns.
Another thing that the developers put a high degree of thinking in in order to maximize your experience is not only bringing its own input of motivation for the wearer as well as giving him or her the chance of phrasing their own wishes and expectations. Things such as amount of time you sleep, the time you go to bed, the amount of water you drink or how long you spend doing exercise are all valid goals you can set yourself via the app, together with settings alarms and notifications to give you a nudge to do so when the time comes.
All in all, the UP24 Jawbone makes a great effort to not only convince you to pick up good habits, but hold onto them as well and discipline you in order to develop a proactive type of thinking in this regard. As an extra method of providing you continuous feedback regarding your performance and progress, you can set up your account to also send you a weekly report of your step count and status of your sleep. And while some may not find this small detail as useful, you can also set the wrist band to send you nudges by vibrating when you haven’t been moving for long – for example when working on the computer, thus prompting and reminding you to take a 5 minute break every hour or so and stand up.
Jawbone UP24 App
Every single ounce of information and control you will get over this fitness wristband can be seen and managed through the Jawbone UP24 Android or iOS application. That means that any device running anything beyond Android 4.3 Jelly Bean as well as any device that is iPhone 4S and above (including iPads and iPods) will be compatible with the Jawbone 3.0 app. One downside is that there is no way for you to install the application on your computer for example. The only available download is an updater that is meant to upgrade the wristband’s firmware when connected to the computer via USB.
Setting up your app is relatively easy. Once you have set up an account via e-mail and turned Bluetooth on for your phone, you can sync the two devices. There is one detail that some may find a bit of a nuisance: the way the Jawbone UP24 hard reset is done doesn’t allow you to start the data collection from scratch, and sadly if you want to start over completely you will require a new account – which in turn means you will need to use another e-mail too.
As soon as you turn the app on, you are prompted to press the sync button on the band once you’ve enabled Bluetooth. Once the two devices are connected, you will be presented with the main screen of the app. Here you will be able to find the step count and sleeping bars, followed by personal records that you’ve acquired up to that moment. On the left side you can scroll down through an entire menu of options starting with profile and ending with settings. Here is where you will be able to view your overall statistics, set up alerts, goals and trends.
It’s great that the application actually allows you to import information from a large number of other health-centric applications, thus providing you with a central hub for all of your information that you can afterwards observe. Even Jawbone itself has started releasing auxiliary applications that you can track other aspects of your life with such as caffeine intake.
The way the app keeps track of your calories intake is not automatic and instead has you basically keep a log of the things you consume, only to have the app provide you with the information if it has it recorded; otherwise, it will allow you to set it up manually. You can upload information regarding your diet by either scanning a product, typing it its name, uploading an image of it or looking through the database that is already built into the app.
Jawbone 24UP Battery & Verdict
The first thing that came to mind when I first heard of the Jawbone UP24 was, for some reason, the iWatch that also attempted integrating features of a fitness tracker in its operating system. Then I recalled the disappointing battery life on it and for a second considered that the UP24 might have the same issue.
Thankfully, it’s nowhere near the battery life of a smart watch. Mostly because it has no display to speak of and minimal power consumption because of the Bluetooth Connectivity over other means, you will find yours lasting you from a few days to a week. Only powered by a 32 mAh Lithium-Ion Polymer battery hidden inside, not only that charging it won’t be something that you’ll keep having to remind yourself on a regular basis, but charging generally shouldn’t take longer than an hour and a half, meaning you can very well do it while you’re taking a bath and getting ready for bed or watching your favorite show.
The Jawbone UP24 is the kind of fitness tracker that, as we have mentioned before, is more so aimed at people who are just beginning to brush up on their lifestyles from a health perspective. By no means insufficient in terms of data provided and assistance with keeping healthy, but this particular fitness wristband falls behind in the Jawbone UP24 vs Fitbit Flex battle, or when put up against the more advanced, professional Garmin Vivoactive. It’s not a device meant for an intensive sports life, but instead attempts to help you keep up with your needs for a healthy lifestyle when you live a busy schedule.
Furthermore, in comparison to other fitness trackers, you will find that the Jawbone UP24 is more on the affordable end of the deal. While professional sports wearables can take you as far as $350 depending on their capabilities and technology packed, the UP24 will only go as far as $129.99.
So as a final note, if you feel that you don’t need an advanced piece of gadgetry just to keep track of what you eat, how well you sleep and how much you move on a daily basis, there is literally no reason to go for a bigger alternative and should instead give the Jawbone 24UP a glance. If that is not the case, however, you may want to look towards something else – and prepare to whip out a few extra bucks for it too of course.