Jawbone UP2: Affordable, stylish and an efficient fitness tracker


Jawbone, the fifth largest wearables company in the world according to market research firm International Data Corporation in terms of market share, is one of the latest entrants in the India market. The company launched three fitness trackers just three days ago in the Rs.4,999 to Rs.14,999 price range. We got our hands on the mid price-band UP2 tracker priced at Rs.9,999. Here is our analysis:

What is good?

The UP2 is one of the most minimalistic, yet ultra fashion-conscious activity-cum-sleep- tracker present in the market today.

The tracker can sit on the wrist all day long without the wearer noticing it at all. Another advantage is that it can be worn on both arms and can be worn at the gym, office and parties.

The band and core, which is made of silicon and mostly plastic with three LED indicators on the top, are water, sweat and dust-resistant. One can even take a shower with the device on.

The band is very efficient in tracking activity and sleep. Users can also set reminders, and smart and silent alarms.

The UP app is actually the game-changer for Jawbone. The simple, social, intuitive and easy to use app makes tracking fitness accurate and fun. There are a host of third-party apps that can be used with the tracker, including the MyFitnessPal from rival Garmin’s stable.

Users can also challenge each other on the app in “duel mode” to make workouts interesting.

The app provides one of the best sleep analysis charts we have seen till date. It tracks sleep patterns and variations. There is even a smart alarm feature that wakes up the user once the user is in the light-sleep zone.

Users can also set idle alerts while seeing WHO-recommended body-mass index solutions. The UP app also brings to the table what Jawbone calls Smart Coach. This artificial intelligence driven feature first learns more about the wearer and then gives small tips and advice to ease up solutions for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

To add another feather to Jawbone’s cap, the wearables company has deceided to eliminate the feature where the user needed to tap the band to change between active or sleep modes. The band can now decide on its own if the user is sleeping.

What doesn’t work for the tracker?

In its goal to be ultra-minimalistic, Jawbone has eliminated the UP2’s display, which many users might not appreciate since most of the activity trackers on the market come with displays. Also, because there is no display, wearers cannot interact with the band.

There is also no web application and users can control, tune or interact with the tracker only via a smartphone using the UP app that is available on iOS and Android platforms. Another disadvantage is that it cannot connect to any other devices like a monitor or a TV so that the charts can be visible in a bigger and better way.

The single biggest problem of the UP2 could be the band’s inefficiency to track the time of the day. If the wearer is working nights, the band might get confused. This is a possibility and we feel we have experienced only some part of it.

Although the tracker is water-resistant, the user cannot track swimming with it as it is not water-proof. If the wearer absolutely has to, then he or she should submerge the device at their own risk.

Verdict: Given the price proposition and the performance of the band along with the app, users will be able to get a good all-round fitness experience with the UP2. Having said that, the display-less band also faces stiff competition from ultra-cheap products from rivals like Xiaomi, YUFit or Gooqi, which comes with a live personal coach.

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