Jawbone UP2


I’ve been thinking about diving into the fitness tracker world for a while, but never had seen any band that I actually thought I’d wear all the time. I wanted something that I could wear at the same time as my Pebble on the days I wear it (I don’t wear it every day), and that tracked sleep, but that didn’t look like a watch (though I’d wear on the other hand, not looking for the 80s throwback look). 

From what I could tell, the options were these:

  • Fitbit: Almost universally seen as the best out there (the Charge HR, in particular), but I don’t want a display, since that would just look dorky. Also, it’s expensive. And big (wide band). 
  • I like the looks of the Garmin Vivosmart (I know someone who has one), but again, don’t need the “smart” features, and it’s a little big (tall). I like that when it’s not displaying anything, it looks like there’s no display. If I didn’t have a Pebble, I may have gone for this (or an Apple Watch!). 
  • Jawbone has been making the UP line for a good while, and they have gotten mixed reviews. People love the software, but are so-so on the hardware, which I think just looked weird

In the fall, Jawbone announced the UP3, the latest in their line of fitness trackers that looked like a contender. Small, HR monitor, no display. I was all ready to plunk down some money around the holidays, but the release was delayed… And delayed… And delayed. When it was finally released, it was announced that it measures your heart rate once a day, when you wake up, with the argument that resting heart rate is a good proxy for a overall health. Lots of bad press, and in the end, it sounds like it was just not that great, especially for the price. 

So I ended up with the UP2 from Jawbone. The best comparison I have for it sizewise is that it’s like one of those Lance Armstrong “Live Strong” rubber bracelets — but a tad taller. It’s unobstusive, light, and doesn’t get in the way of long-sleeved shirts. It doesn’t have the heart rate monitor of the UP3, but it’s also ~$80 cheaper. And our old friend Dieter Bohn liked it, too. In fact, the subtitle of the Verge’s lukewarm review of the UP3 (linked above) was “Just buy the UP2.”

So, here we are. I don’t know anybody else in the Jawbone universe, so I guess I won’t have the social aspect. at least that’s what I thought until I found matchup.io, which allows you to “compete” with almost any platform out there as far as step counting, which could be fun. If you have one of these things and want to challenge me (you have a good chance of winning!), feel free to do so. Joanie has a Misfit, so we’re looking forward to giving it a shot and hopefully motivating ourselves a bit. 

We’ll see how this goes!
Last bit: Jawbone has also announce an UP4, which is the same as the UP3, but with an Amex wireless pay option, along the lines of Apple Pay. Sounds like a loser to me — guess they’re struggling to remain relevant. At least they’re not Garmin — it’s as if the world is conspiring against Garmin to make them completely irrelevant, one technology at a time.



OK, it’s time to try to resuscitate The Board one more time — and we have a topic where three of us seem pretty engaged on Twitter. 

By the way, I’ll plug the new WordPress app, makes it super-easy to post, even photos. Give it a shot!

The topic: phones. Where we stand right now, from oldest to newest phone:

  • Mike: iPhone 5, 16GB. Love the physical size, very cramped on memory, somewhat tempted by Touch ID and Apple Pay. Want the next phone to be the size of a 5, but with up-to-date hardware. If not, then maybe going all the way for a 6S Plus. What the hell. 
  • Jake: iPhone 5S, 32 GB (I think). Talks like he feels trapped in iOS and wants to get out! Cheap Windows Phones seem compelling. 
  • Kelvin: iPhone 6, seems pretty satisfied, no upgrade plans. Apple Watch on the way! 

Ok, discuss! Here’s a start — do you guys use Touch ID? Or Apple Pay? I’ve forgotten my wallet on trips to the grocery store twice in the last 2 months, but had my phone both times — wouldn’t have been a problem with a modern iPhone.