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UP by Jawbone Wristband Review

Trying Up was a Letdown

As a passionate iPhone devotee, I really wanted to find a fitness product that would work seamlessly with my iOS devices. While there may be some that are more geared to work with iPhone, I liked some of the additional features that Up by Jawbone was supposed to have, so I decided to look into it.

UP wristband activity tracker

UP by Jawbone
See it at Amazon

Up, up and away!

The actual app for Up is made to be user friendly. It’s nice to look at, syncs without cables or connecting to Bluetooth, works easily with iPhone (unlike some of the other fitness bands), puts the progress data in your pocket, and you can also compare the information on the app with some other apps that track activities without a separate fitness band. I like to get as much information as possible, so being able to compare them against each other would be great.

It’s also water resistant. If you’re like me and have basically forgotten to take every watch you’ve ever owned off before getting in the shower or jumping in the pool, water resistance is also a big deal for expensive electronics. Personally I would consider it just for that reason, but keep in mind that this doesn’t mean waterproof and you probably shouldn’t take it in to the ocean for an extended period of time or drop it in a bathtub full of water.

The Letdown

Unfortunately, the advantages of Up pretty much end here. The colors are nice, and it comes in sizes that could fit my small wrist. Other than that, it’s limited on good reports.

Colors of Up

Not reliable

The biggest problem with Up is that it isn’t reliable. Some of them break right out of the box and others could give you a couple of months before they just stop doing things that Jawbone says that they’re capable of doing. It’s basically just an expensive bracelet at that point without the added bonus of gold or diamonds.

For the ones that do work, the buttons that are supposed to make it sync or go in to sleep mode get less sensitive over time. With repeated use, they stick and it becomes harder to find them without physically looking for them. With time, they just kind of stop working. At that point, they’re flush with the rest of the band and useless.

If you’re able to keep Up working, there is the question as to whether you’re going to be one of the people with a wrist that it agrees with. The closing clasp is shoddy at best, and it can just open and fall off. I wouldn’t spent $10 on something that I was possibly going to lose. Forget spending $100.

Batteries Die

The battery is supposed to last up to 10 days, but it doesn’t seem like anyone is able to get that out of it. Within a few months, the battery can stop being effective all together. Something like this cannot need to be charged everyday and still be useful, it should be able to be on your wrist all the time. Jawbone says that it will track everything that you do, but unless you’re going to sleep with it on your wrist while it’s plugged in to the computer, there is information you’re going to lose. If you were without it for a few hours once per week, I could possibly understand it.

I’m not good at remembering to charge things that need to be plugged in regularly. I can envision how this would work out for someone like me. You’re getting ready to head out for a run or go to the gym with your motivation revved up to actually do your workout. Then you remember that you never charged your fitness band again after your exercise yesterday. Once again, it becomes just a minimally shiny bracelet with out any requisite bling.

When it needs to be charged, it has to be plugged in to the computer with the included cord. It doesn’t come with anything to plug it into the wall to charge it faster or without fiddling with a USB port. They make converters that will let you plug the included cord in to a wall outlet, but you have to spend more money to get it. For something that costs $100 at least, you should get everything you need to make it work regularly. They don’t have to throw in an external heart monitor or any fancy tools for exercise that aren’t specifically something that the general population would use. They should just provide things that make a product that is supposed to be easy to use actually easy to use.

Not What I Had Hoped

The Up had a lot of potential and some really good ideas, but the execution just wasn’t there. Fitness bands should work without having to put a ton of brain power in to keeping them up and running. If you have to go back and whine to a manufacturer within just a few months of owning it, then the product isn’t worth it even if the initial features are great. Overall, I wouldn’t spend the money just to get water resistance and a good app. The rest of the time, it’s just not reliable enough.

If you still think Up is the one for you, it can be purchased here.

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