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Review: Jawbone UP24 fitness tracker

Jawbone Up24

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:

thumbsup Things I like

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The band syncs wirelessly via Bluetooth with the app.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. The food logging feature has a ‘scan barcode’ functionality
    It’s pretty easy to log food that comes with a barcode that way.
  7. It does encourage me walk more and helps me decide whether I’m hoping on a bus a few stops from home or not.

thumbsdown2 Things I don’t like

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. I don’t like to sleep with something around my wrist.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Screenshots:

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.

Conclusion:

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

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16 Comments

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Lauren (@PoweredbyPB)
    January 6, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    I’ve had the original jawbone for the last year (just replaced my initial one as it broke) and I really like it. I think it has some great features, although I’ve never used the food tracker as it doesn’t interest me. I have it connected to mapmyfitness and strava so the workouts upload automatically to the app.

    • Reply
      MrsB
      January 7, 2015 at 10:16 am

      Do you then take it off for when you go running or keep it on? I have kept it on and I see that it syncs my run from Strava and keeps the steps as well. I wonder if I don’t wear the Jawbone whether it’ll just add my run as a workout but not add any steps? If that makes any sense… 🙂

      • Reply
        Lauren (@PoweredbyPB)
        January 7, 2015 at 10:50 am

        I keep it on, if you don’t wear it, it will sync the run but not add any steps.

  • Reply
    flakeandcake
    January 5, 2015 at 11:49 am

    I have a Garmin vivofit and do like it. Like you, I don’t wear it for sleep because I don’t like the idea of having something on my skin 24/7. I love the display and clock face on it and it’s definitely been a motivating tool for me to get up and walk on sedentary days!

    • Reply
      MrsB
      January 7, 2015 at 10:05 am

      My son’s using the Vivofit and loves it. Do you find it a pain to get on though? He really struggles with the clasp 😐

  • Reply
    Helen
    January 4, 2015 at 11:10 am

    A few of my friends have these. They were given out at another event I went to, but I ended up with the Gramin Vivofit instead.

    I liked that the jawbone comes in different colours and as you say, doesn’t look like a watch. It’s nice that it’s more discreet! I found the lack of screen on it a shame though, although I guess if they added one, it wouldn’t look so nice and discreet anymore.

    Good review, I don’t understand sleep analysis either. Just give me sleep!

    • Reply
      MrsB
      January 7, 2015 at 10:04 am

      MrB got a free Vivofit and my 9-yd old is using it. It’s nice and bright and he loves it, but I couldn’t wear it at work so I’m sticking with mine.

  • Reply
    Beki @MissWheezy
    January 3, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    I bought a Jawbone UP24 in the Black Friday sales, and I’ve found it really interesting! The best feature for me is the Vibrate Alarm that you can set for when you’ve been sitting still for too long- a great idea at work! On the days I don’t run I really struggle to make it to 10,000 steps so it’s highlighted the need to get up and walk around more 🙂

    • Reply
      MrsB
      January 3, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      I think I will try that activity alert thing at work, just to make sure I don’t stay sitting for hours at a time. Do you use it to log your food and running as well?

      • Reply
        Beki @MissWheezy
        January 3, 2015 at 8:33 pm

        I don’t use it to log food, but I have it synced to MapMyFitness so it logs my workouts. My Garmin syncs to MapMyFitness and that syncs to the Jawbone- complicated but it works! 🙂

        • Reply
          MrsB
          January 3, 2015 at 8:38 pm

          Interesting! I need to connect my Garmin to this MapMyFitness thing! But then again I already have it connected to Strava and I use Beyond the Whiteboard for Crossfit so maybe it’s just going to be way too many fitness apps to keep my eye on 😐

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