Jawbone Up24

Jawbone Up24
Jawbone Up24

The original Up fitness tracker was made famous by its celebrity users such as Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The newer version, Up24 - with the same thin and bendy wristband form factor which makes it more a fashion accessory than tech toy - looks just like the original.

Available here in black (version tested) and orange, it uses the same medical-grade hypoallergenic rubber as the original. This material is less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

Upon closer inspection, you will realise that the zigzag surface pattern of the original has been replaced by a swirly pattern more pleasing to the eye.

Like many a fashion accessory, it is not meant for the swimming pool or shower. It is only splashproof, safe enough if you are only washing your hands or jogging in a drizzle.

Unlike Samsung's Gear Fit, this device has no display. A flower icon indicates it is in awake mode; a moon icon, sleep mode. By default, the device is in awake mode.

A silvery button at one end of the wristband lets you toggle between sleep, power nap and awake modes. At the other end is a removable cap that hides a jack.

It is thinner than the one on the original model, so it cannot be inserted in a smartphone. A jack-to-USB adaptor is included for charging.

To switch to sleep mode, hold down the silvery button until the band vibrates and the moon icon glows green. For a power nap, press the button twice and hold it down until the band vibrates.

To view the data that Up24 tracks, download the updated free app (Android and iOS) to your smartphone. You must key in information such as gender, height and weight before using the app.

While the original Up had to be plugged into a smartphone via a headphone jack for syncing, Up24 is now wireless with Bluetooth 4.0.

Pairing was easy. The app detected the tracker and pairing took a minute. Subsequently, to sync the data, make sure your smartphone's Bluetooth is switched on, then launch the app. It takes only seconds for the app to detect and sync the latest data.

The app displays your sleep pattern, steps taken and calories burned on colourful and beautifully made charts and statistics.

You can see how long you spend in sound sleep, light sleep and how long it takes you to fall asleep. It can even detect how many times you wake up during the night.

You can set Smart Sleep vibrating alarms, which will not disturb your spouse, or Idle Alerts that will vibrate to tell you to get off your seat and start walking.

Battery life is around a week - better than many fitness trackers but not as long-lasting as the LifeTrak Zone C410 or Garmin Vivofit. Plus, you need to make sure you have that jack-to-USB adaptor for charging.

In terms of looks, features and user-friendliness, the Up24 ticks almost every box. Unless you want something waterproof, it is well worth its price tag.

BACKGROUND STORY

TECH SPECS

Price: $249

Material: Hypoallergenic soft rubber

Water resistance: Splash-resistant

Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0

Weight: 19g to 23g

RATING

Features: 4/5

Design: 5/5

Performance: 5/5

Value for money: 3/5

Battery life: 4/5

Overall: 4/5


This article was first published on July 30, 2014.
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