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Product Review: Up by Jawbone

Updated on October 28, 2013

Gray is the new black


Big Decision!

I had been reading product reviews about a fitness tracker for three months before finally settling on the Jawbone UP. I chose Jawbone for several reasons:

  • Less charge time - After full charge the UP bracelet holds it's charge for ten days.
  • IPhone App worked easily with other Apps and products that I already use
  • Reviews of Customer Service - for that just in case.....
  • Ease of use - since I don't have to charge it every night and it sits on my wrist, I don't have to remember to put it back on. I only have to remember to plug it in to my phone once a day

Gym Day

About Me....

I am NOT a fitness person. In fact, I think the biggest mistake I make is to go to the gym and willingly sweat for 45 minutes. And I do it three times a week. But what I am, is determined to be more healthy. I do not care about the inches lost or the weight lost but I want to be able to take the stairs in my office without being out of breath. If that means I lose weight then that's okay too. When I started my journey to health I weighed 200 lbs and was always tired. Since I was ready for a change I figured that it was starting to affect my health which may lead to diabetes, or even heart problems.

That being said, when I set a goal I stick to it. The first step for me was to log my food intake prior to every meal. This really got me thinking about my health and to try sneak more veggies and fiber in to my daily intake.I did this for a year and decided that maybe it wasn't enough. After all, I was still out of breath and got tired easily. Next up....join a gym. I found two people willing to help me go to the gym and be workout buddies - that accountability pushes me into the gym three days a week. I do not pretend to enjoy it.

The latest step is to more accurately measure my calorie output. What was I expending going to the gym and where could I improve? And that is where the UP by Jawbone comes in.

Day One

I bought the UP at Best Buy instead of online. This was because I wanted to actually put my hands on it prior to shelling out so much money. The Best Buy rep was awesome - he showed me the measuring device on the back of the package and let me know that the device should sit with light pressure on my wrist. This is so it can measure my pulse to do its job. I am glad I went in because originally I was going to get a size Large but with the help of the measuring device I settled on the Medium. Sadly, Best Buy only had a dark gray instead of one of the more colorful ones that I would have preferred but I figured that If I wear it for a year, the gray goes with everything.

When I initially opened the box (right there in the store) and put it on there was no charge. Reading the pamphlet let me know that while each product leaves their facility fully charged that it can lose that charge in transportation. I headed over to the computer department and plugged in to a laptop to charge it up for fifteen minutes.That was okay too since I could download the application while I waited.

The App for IPhone

Click thumbnail to view full-size

The App!

The app is very basic and colorful. I love the simplicity. The device measures sleep and daytime activities and shows the results in bar charts.You can see Trends, your entire "Lifeline" which is the timeline you have been using UP for, you can find friends that are using UP, add apps, notifications set smart sleep alarms, set an idle alert, set up a power nap, Log a specific workout activity, and set your goals.

The app syncs with a few other apps on the market to include:

  • MyFitnessPal
  • IFTT
  • RunKeeper
  • MapMyFitness
  • GymPact
  • Wello
  • Tictrac
  • Sleepio
  • Withings
  • Lose It!
  • Carepass from Aetna
  • Notch

I personally use the IFTT,GymPact, and MyFitnessPal. A few things of note:

  • IFTT - This app is called "If This, Then That" and works off the premise that if you use a variety of applications both online and on your phone it will aid you in doing some of your activities automatically. For instance, I built one in that said that "If I sleep eight hours, change my UP status to Happy".
  • GymPact - This app measures how often you go to the gym. It also offers an option to workout outside of the gym using the accelerometer which is where the UP application comes in. If you plug in your UP and it measured a workout as determined to be 30 minutes of continuous movement that accelerated your heart rate, it will sync it over to GymPact.
  • Lose It! - This app only works with the Jawbone UP if you have the Lose It! premium membership. For this reason, I stopped using Lose It! and switched to MyFitnessPal
  • MyFitnessPal - This App does not require a premium membership to use with the UP but it will feed in your daily intake without adding additional details such as what exactly you ate or the carb/protein breakdown. The way it works is that you use the MyFitnessPal to log in your calories and meals. It will sync over to your UP app and the UP app will sync over the total calories lost from exercise.

Day Ten

After ten full days of the benefits of UP, I can honestly say it is making a difference. I plug it into my phone every day at lunch and it lets me know where I am in my daily goal of 10,000 steps. This in turn helps me decide if I should park a little further out at the grocery store or go for a walk with the dog when I get home.

With the aid of the app, I learned quite a bit about myself to include that I am way too sedentary and that my 3 days a week at the gym still doesn't equal 10,000 steps. I also learned that the nights that my husband worked the midnight shift, I got a little over six hours of sleep instead of the recommended (and preferred!) eight hours.

Overall I really like it and can't wait to see where it leads. I have a goal to use it for six months to see if there are any major changes and improvements in my lifestyle.

Help Desk is actually helpful

One of the big sellers for me on the UP versus other fitness trackers was the review of their help desk. In an almost uncanny way, it was as if everything said, "The product has a battery problem" but..."The help desk is crazy friendly and helpful".

After the Day 45 battery issue and two test runs of the help desk I have to say I agree!

There is a help desk walk through inside the application. Follow the instructions and if you still have problems, use the helpful link inside the app to contact the help desk.

Some thoughts:

  • Be very specific with what you have already tried - this leads to fewer emails and faster resolution.
  • Through the app, they have a connection with information about when you bought it, what model it is and the color

60 Day review!

After 60 days, I thought it would be a great idea to touch base and let you know how it is coming.

Around day 45, the battery stopped working on the dark grey band. While this was very frustrating, within 24 hours of contacting the help desk through the application, they sent me a new one! They offered me a choice between black and light grey as that is what they had in surplus in my size. It arrived within a week and included free shipping to send back my original. One week later.....the band stopped I contacted the help desk again and within 6 hours they sent me a new one! Mint green looks good on me so no problem. I have not had any issues since but it does lead me to a small review on the help desk.

To Track or not to Track

Which fitness tracker do you use?

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    • rosemueller0481 profile image

      rosemueller0481 4 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

      I am! I am showing an increase in steps just being mindful and the hourly reminder to get up that I have set into the bracelet gets me moving once an hour to refill my water bottle.

    • FitGadgetReviews profile image

      Nick Jerkovich 4 years ago from Dayton, OH

      Nice Hub! I got mine as soon as they came out with the new version. I still wear it every day. I'm gonna be starting P90x this week and I'll be using it to track how many calories I burn through out the program. So it should be pretty interesting to see weekly and monthly totals. Are you improving your fitness using it?