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Jawbone UP2 (Black Diamond)


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Jawbone UP2 (Grey Hex)


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The Jawbone UP2 fitness tracker is a fine-looking dame of a band, albeit one that that will by no means suit everyone’s tastes. Moderately priced, the UP2 isn’t intended as an all-singing, all-dancing uber activity strap though, so it’s easy to forgive some of those absences, even if it has a couple of quirks that let it down a little.

 

C’est Tres Chic

The UP2 is available in two colours, black or light grey and in design terms is about as minimalist as you could imagine. Slender and undemonstrative, the simple loop of comfortable silicone doesn’t have any form of complicated display or touchscreen. All it has instead are three LED lights that tell you what mode it’s in: standard, activity or sleep. Obviously that means it’s not a watch substitute as some other bands are, but on the other hand it can easily pass as a wrist bangle or other form jewellery whether you’re at work or at a posh party.

For all that it looks the business, the clasp mechanism can be a bit fiddly to tighten up and can snag on clothing from time to time. Changing between modes is occasionally a bit frustrating, as it requires you to physically tap the UP2 and doesn’t always behave as expected!

 

Acting The Part

Time for another analogy. If the Jawbone UP2 was an actor, a decent comparison might be the sparkly one from Twilight, Robert Pattinson. A-list and good looking, but maybe a bit dull and lacking a wider range of abilities. Step counting, a manual sleep mode, calories burnt, an inactivity alarm… The basic functions are all here. Just as with every other pedometer, it inevitably gets your total step count a bit wrong over the course of the day, but not drastically so.

One clever feature that the Jawbone UP2 can boast is the smart alarm mode, which allows you to set a period of time in which you want to be awoken from your slumbers. So what, you say? Well, the innovative bit here is that the UP2 will wait until it thinks you’re sleeping lightly before it goes off, hopefully meaning you’re less out of it when you wake up, whilst still getting you up in time for the day.

What else? The lack of a display means that when you put the UP2 into activity mode, you have to use the app later on to classify the kind of workout you were doing. Meanwhile, unlike some other rivals, you should avoid getting the UP2 very wet, because it’ll probably stop working. You can wear it whilst washing the dishes or in the shower, but keep it out of the pool or any serious body of water. Battery life is excellent at more than a week.

 

Pretty Pretty Graphs

The other side of the experience is the app, which is all the more crucial when the display of the band itself is so limited. Fortunately Jawbone have done a great job of building a comprehensive and clear bit of software, so that your stats and data are readily found and analysed. It’s particularly detailed when it comes to evaluating your sleep patterns, although it’s hard to say how truthful it actually is! You can even use your phone to scan the barcodes of food to accelerate the calorie counting aspect.

There are, however, a couple of downsides.

Jawbone have no online portal equivalent of the app, so if your phone’s not working or whatever, you’re a bit stuck. On top of that, if you’re one of those brave souls using a Windows phone or a more exotic operating than IoS or Android, you’re totally stumped. You can’t fire data through to your PC, either.

Jawbone’s mooted “smartcoach” feature is, at best, mislabelled. All it really does is highlight trends, usually when you’ve been slacking off. It doesn’t give you suggestions on how to improve your fitness further or remedy where you’ve been falling short.

To summarise, then. The Jawbone UP2 is a solid activity tracker that looks good and that has all the standard things you’d expect from a wearable health gadget. Lacking things like a heart rate monitor, full waterproofing, GPS or the ability to control much from the band itself means that truly sporty types will probably find that it doesn’t meet all their needs.

  • Unlike the its predecessor (UP24), the Jawbone UP2 is available in a ‘One Size Fits All’ (220mm x 11.5mm x 3.0-8.5mm) thanks to the adjustable strap. It’s designed to fit wrists range 140mm to 190mm.
  • But don’t worry, there’s still two tones┬áto chose from – Black (with a ‘Diamond’ pattern) and Light Grey (with a ‘Hex’ pattern). The strap is made from medical-grade hypoallergenic TPU rubber and anodised aluminum (containing less than 0.5% nickel), which is also splash-proof.
  • And with an impressive 7 day battery life, you can be styling all week long thanks to the Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Polymer, 38 mAh Battery (and lack of battery zapping LCD) – Lets hope there’s a firmware update like the UP24.
  • With charge time only lasting around 60 minutes however, you won’t have to go long without your new personal trainer.
  • Not sure about a lack of LCD display? Not only does that mean your battery lasts longer, the UP2 has that covered in the form of three colour LED indicators. Blue for sleep, orange for activity and white for notifications.
  • Not forgetting those all important Tri-axis accelerometer sensor, which help you track your activity, sleep and calories burned. As well as provide food logging and a Smart Coach to keep you motivated. Oh, and silent alarm to help you hit that gym in time.

What’s in the Box

  • UP2 Band
  • Quick Start Guide
  • USB Charging Cable

Jawbone UP2
The Jawbone UP2 is one of the best looking activity trackers on the market. But like a catwalk model, its range of actual abilities is modest. Fortunately, so is its price tag. Suitable for non-athletes.
Design90%
Usability75%
Battery Life89%
Features79%
83%Overall Score
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