I have never owned a fitness tracker before. When Fuelbands hit the market and everyone all of a sudden had them I was intrigued, but that lasted for about 5 minutes – I don’t wear a watch and those things looked like watches.
Argos recently offered me to trial this Jawbone’s fitness tracker that looks nothing like a watch and I thought I’d give it a go and see what these fitness trackers are all about.
I’ve been wearing it for a week and here are my thoughts:
Things I like
- Easy to set up
I just had to look at the instruction manual for where the charging end is, other than that there’s nothing else to it.
- The app is free
It takes a few seconds to download and a minute to set up with your personal details and to sync it with your band.
- The band syncs wirelessly via Bluetooth with the app.
- There’s a single button on the band which can be used for various things. Press it once and it will vibrate and tell you which mode it’s in: awake or sleeping. Simples.
- The app comes with a lot of great functionalities
You can set it to vibrate when you’ve been sitting on your bum for too long, you can set it to wake you up at the best time in your sleep cycle (you choose the +/- from the time you HAVE to get up, you can track your food (calories, macronutrients), and of course it tracks your steps, sleep and calculates calories spent doing everyday stuff as well as the exercise that you do and log.
- The food logging feature has a ‘scan barcode’ functionality
It’s pretty easy to log food that comes with a barcode that way.
- It does encourage me walk more and helps me decide whether I’m hoping on a bus a few stops from home or not.
Things I don’t like
- It took me forever to find where to log exercise and food.
Now that I’ve figured it out, it’s starting to become more clearer although sometimes all the actions still aren’t a 100% intuitive to me and I fumble around a lot tapping away on things that take me to places I didn’t expect to be taken to. Mobile App Usability 101.
- The website doesn’t have a lot of information about how to use the app.
In fact, it has very little. The only reason I found out how to see all the tracked stats together in “Trends” is because I read about it on another review.
- I don’t like to sleep with something around my wrist.
- The couple of times I did sleep with it, it told me “well done!” for sleeping 9 hours even though only 45 minutes of it was deep sleep and the rest was light fidgety sleep. I’m therefore not convinced at the quality of the sleep tracking functionality.
- The wireless syncing with the app is awesome but I would like a little display of steps on the actual band.
That way I could quickly see the main information that I am interested in throughout the day.
The main screen as you open the app.
To log your food, exercise, etc. you tap on the little blue plus icon and see the icons below. None of those options are in the ‘hamburger’ menu (top left corner of the screen), I think they should be 🙂
Logging exercise is very straight forward, you can set the type of exercise, the duration and the intensity (and I guess the system in the background figures out how many calories you’ve burned based on your age/weight/height).
Food log not only lets you enter the things you eat but also lets you take photos of them, enter them via scanning the barcode or via accessing a restaurant’s menu (I haven’t tried this option though).
This is the sleep tracker. Not sure why people track sleep to be honest. Maybe I just really don’t want to think about sleep because for YEARS when my kids were little my life revolved around sleep and now I just want to get to bed and sleep and not monitor or analyse it.
The band and the app are easy to set up but the app takes a few days to truly get to know. My advice would be to tap away at everything and see what happens. I don’t usually log my food but for a few days I have done it and so far it feels easier and more flexible than doing it via MyFitnessPal. And I’m happy to see that I eat enough protein every day.
The app doesn’t give you any advanced stats on a weekly / monthly / yearly basis on any of the info it gathers but on a daily basis it does encourage you to eat well and to move more.
I think I will mostly use my Jawbone on rest days or while on holidays (either at home like right now or when traveling). It’ll help me to move enough when I’m out of my usual exercise routine. During normal weeks when I run, do Crossfit, boulder & rock climb 7 days a week, I don’t feel the need to track my steps in addition to that.
Today I just did some rock climbing and bouldering in the morning and in the afternoon I was going to hop on the bus to go to the shops but I walked instead – I saved money AND got my 10,000 steps 😀
Have you tried Jawbone? What do you think? Have you tried another fitness tracker? Do they differ in many ways?
Thank you Argos for letting me review this product. To read more about Wearable Technology, check out this page.