Jawbone Up2

Jawbone Up2
Photo: JAWBONE

The original Jawbone Up fitness tracker has been worn by celebrities such as actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Its successor, the Up24 has decorated the wrists of Kristen Stewart and Bryan Cranston.

But at $249, it is rather expensive.

You, too, can now feel like a celebrity by wearing the Up2, the new entry-level Jawbone fitness tracker, which costs $70 less.

It is available in black or light grey. I found the light-grey review unit better looking than the black one. The lighter shade shows off the textured diagonal lines on the main casing to better effect.

About 45 per cent smaller than the earlier models, the Up2 feels light and comfortable, and looks more like a fashion accessory than a fitness tracker.

Unlike the previous models, the Up2 has a clasp to secure it onto your wrist. But it does not always work. At times, it slipped off my wrist while I was taking off my hoodie or jacket.

Like the earlier Up models, it will survive being splashed when you wash your hands or even if you shower with it, but it is not for swimming.

The Up2 has no display. Instead, on its aluminium casing, an icon of a jogger indicates awake mode and a moon icon indicates sleep mode. By default, it is in awake mode.

You have to switch to sleep mode before going to bed. Double tap the aluminium casing, then hold it down until the band vibrates and the moon icon appears. This is an unnecessary hassle. Fitbit's fitness trackers automatically track sleep.

Like the Up24, the Up2 uses Bluetooth Low Energy connection to sync wirelessly to your smartphone. Download the new Up app (Android and iOS) to your smartphone. You need this new app to pair with the Up2. The older Up app can pair with only the Up24 and the original Up.

Pairing is easy. The app detects the Up2 and pairs with it within a minute. Subsequently, to sync the data, make sure your smartphone's Bluetooth is switched on and then launch the app. It takes a few seconds for the app to detect and sync the latest data.

After syncing, you will be able to view your sleep patterns, steps taken and calories burnt on beautifully constructed colourful charts and statistics. You can see how long you spend in sound sleep, light sleep, as well as how long it takes you to fall asleep. It even detects how many times you woke up during the night.

You can also set Smart Sleep vibrating alarms, which will not disturb your spouse; and Idle Alerts that will vibrate to warn you that you have been sitting for too long.

I found the sleep tracking to be quite accurate.

The advertised battery life is seven days. By the end of seven days, I found that the review unit still had about 10 per cent of battery juice left. Not bad.

The upcoming Up3 will have all the capabilities of Up2 plus the ability to measure your heart rate. Its pricing is not available yet, but you may want to wait and see before putting your money down for the Up2.

Except that it lacks a heart rate sensor, Jawbone's Up2 is a capable, lightweight and good-looking fitness tracker that will not look out of place at a black-tie dinner or cocktail party.

trevtan@sph.com.sg

TECH SPECS

Price: $179

Material: Rubber wrist strap with an anodised aluminium casing

Connectivity: Bluetooth Low Energy

Weight: 25g

RATING

Features 3/5

Design 5/5

Performance 4/5

Value for money 3/5

Battery life 4/5

Overall 4/5


This article was first published on June 24, 2015.
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