The product: Jawbone UP2 Black Oat
In a nutshell: A lightweight, fashionable fitness tracker, redesigned and improved since the original version of UP2.
The technology: Jawbone states that the UP2 is a ‘miniature technological wonder.’ The tracker’s battery life is up to 10 days and it takes approximately 60 minutes to fully charge using a magnetic USB charging cable. The device uses a tri-axis accelerometer in order to track movement, and the strap features 3 colour LEDs to represent different features: blue for sleep mode, orange for activity and white for notifications. The strap consists of a medical-grade, hypoallergenic rubber with aluminium casings. The band is ‘rain, splash and sweat-resistant’, however it is not waterproof. Bluetooth wirelessly syncs data captured by the tracker to the UP app, which is compatible with most iOS and Android devices.
What Jawbone say: According to Jawbone, the UP2 ‘makes fitness fashionable.’ It combines ‘world class technology’ with a stylish, lightweight band to create this ‘feat of perfection.’ The UP2 ‘tracks your sleep automatically’, records activity, and the in-sync app features Smart Coach: ‘a personal trainer who knows you like a friend.’ Jawbone believes the UP2 ‘is not just an activity tracker’ – ‘it’s a revolutionary system’ that allows you to ‘better understand your behaviours and habits.’
What we say: The UP2 claims to be the ‘most beautiful tracker out there’ – but with the watch’s unique selling point being its design, I was initially concerned whether its functionality would match up to its (admittedly rather swish) looks.
While a real limitation to this is the tracker’s lack of screen, the UP app allows easy access to all the info with key statistics such as steps and sleep displayed at the top of its main screen. Food intake can be logged by searching for particular items, taking pictures of products or scanning barcodes, allowing you to monitor fibre, unsaturated fat, protein and even cholesterol, as well the usual macronutrients.
From a runner’s perspective, the UP2 automatically tracks duration, distance, pace and calories burned during exercise like many other watches, however it uses an accelerometer as opposed to the more accurate industry-standard GPS. The fact that the UP2 also lacks a heart rate monitor may be a turn-off for data-geek runners.
All in all, the UP2 manages to reach a balance between design and purpose. It offers the most important features to keep fit – activity tracking and food logging. While it’s not the best choice if you’re looking for a classic GPS running watch, it’s a good value activity tracker that’s suitable for many people at different stages of fitness.
The Jawbone UP2 (£89.99) comes in nine colours, including the limited edition Black Oat. Buy yours at Jawbone.com