Adventures In Running

Friday, December 21, 2012

Review of UP by Jawbone

I purchased an UP device by Jawbone a month ago. For $129.99 I was expecting great things.

It advertises sleep tracking, 24/7 activity tracking, food and drink tracking, smart alarm, power nap, stopwatch mode, idle alert, nutrition database, barcode scanner, and an insight engine. For full disclosure, I purchased this right when I was having foot surgery. I only have experimented with the sleep tracking, 24/7 activity tracking, smart alarm, power nap, stopwatch mode, and idle alert.

Given all the talk I was hearing about how awesome this device is, I've been pretty disappointed. Basically, it is a wristband (available in multiple colors) that you can wear non-stop (except for swimming and deep sea diving). You download an app on your iPhone/iPad and can plug it in once or twice a day to do a sync. You also plug it in to a charger every 10 days and charge it from your computer. Those parts worked well. Here is what I found on the various options I tried:

  1. Charging cap – the stupid charging cap falls off all the time. I lost it 6 times in the first five days and was not happy hobbling around trying to find it. I finally kept it off. Either figure out a way to keep this cap on (screw method) or get a better cap or provide all users with 20 free caps. EPIC FAIL
  2. Sleep tracking – didn't work so well. Some nights it seemed to come out of sleep mode even if I didn't get up. I would be told I only slept 1 hour or so a night. It's amazing I am still functioning. They state that walking over 250 steps will take it out of sleep mode. Either I walked to the neighbors' bathroom if I got up or I sleepwalk. And what's with this 11 minutes to fall asleep every single night? FAIL.
  3. 24/7 activity tracking – I didn't do a lot of activity because of the foot surgery, but it seemed to do OK on this. PASS
  4. Stopwatch mode – I only did one calibration using the stopwatch mode, but it was ok. However, it takes a lot of button pushing to get it in the right mode. MEH
  5. Smart alarm – It is supposed to wake you up during a certain time period when you are in a lighter sleep mode. This seems to work well if you are still asleep. However, if I have already gotten up and turned on awake mode, you would think it could figure out it didn't have to wake me up. MEH
  6. Power nap – wakes you up after 30-45 minutes when you are in a lighter sleep mode. PASS

Luckily, there is a 60 day money back guarantee. Mine got packed up this morning and is being shipped back. The charging cap falling off constantly was actually the deal breaker for me.

Let me know if you have any questions or if you have had different results.

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