Best Buy Jawbone Up Fitness / Step / Sleep Tracker Review . . .
Sleep, step, and activity trackers have been all the rage. At first, I was somewhat hesitant to try any of them. The main reason being that I already knew I need more exercise and sleep and didn’t need a separate apparatus to tell me so. With everyone and their mother jumping on the bandwagon and seemingly loving it, my curiosity was peaked. So, when the opportunity arose to try a Jawbone UP from Best Buy, I was more than happy to participate.
The UP comes in several colors and three sizes. Using the online sizing chart, I found out that Medium would fit my wrist best. However, due to the scar I have on my left wrist, the band was too tight for me to wear on that one. The band does seem to loosen slightly after use but I found it to be more comfortable on my right arm in general. Anyway, I figured out on which arm to wear it and in which direction. I now wear the Best Buy Jawbone UP pretty much 24/7. It’s water resistant too so I even keep it on in the shower.
Based on your movement, the UP detects the number of steps you make. It then shows how many calories you likely burned and how close you are to reaching your target goal. If you do any other kind of activity, there is the ability to record that as well. You can even add what you’ve eaten during the day and track the number of calories you take in. What was most interesting to me, though, was the sleep portion.
I was actually able to get a good idea of my sleep cycles. Knowing how long it takes me to fall asleep and the percentage of light sleep versus deep sleep was surprising. It turns out that I sleep much better during daytime power naps than at night. Also, even if I’m in bed for a good 6-8 hours, I might only sleep during half of that due to waking up periodically. That part was somewhat expected as I have obstructive sleep apnea. Still, seeing the type of rest I’ve been getting in a simple color chart has alerted me that I really, really need to get to sleep earlier for a better chance at quality sleep.
Set-up is super easy. Just download the app on your iOS (iPhone) or Android device, open the UP app, pull the cap off your band, then plug the it into the microphone port. You’re walked through a tutorial of syncing the band to your phone and that’s it. You need to plug the band in 1-2 times a day to sync your activity and sleep info. Sounds bothersome but it’s really not. Once you open the app and plug the Jawbone UP in your phone, the sync process is quick and happens automatically.
With only a plug on one side and a button on the other. Operation is very basic. Tap the button once to see if it’s active (which it is all of the time). Press and hold the button to put it on ‘night’ mode when going to bed. Tap once then hold to start the stopwatch and calibrate your stride. Tap twice then hold to put it on ‘power nap’ mode. I often forget to switch to night mode and back so my readings have been somewhat inaccurate. It’d be nice if the UP automatically sensed my heartbeat so didn’t have to tell it when I’m actually sleeping.
Since the UP is constantly ‘on’, it is important to charge it once in a while. This is needs to be done every ten days or so. When you plug the band in to sync, the app will also tell you how much power is left and when you need to charge it. You do this by plugging it into your computer via the USB cord included with the band.
While the Jawbone UP has been insightful, I’m not sure how useful it has been for me. During my trial period, I was not able to connect with other users so we could ‘complete’ with our step progress. Also, my health has not been good lately so I haven’t been able to use the UP as a motivator in incorporating more activity into my day. I would, however, love to get another one for my husband. He often speaks of wanting to know his quality of sleep so he can improve it. Plus, it’d be nice to have a built-in partner in upping our exercise and eating better.
The Jawbone UP from Best Buy is sturdy and easy to operate. It doesn’t work with my Moto X mobile phone but I had no problem using the app on my iPhone 4S. The band is supposed to be wristwatch style so it would have been nice if it had an actual clock on it as well. The convenience of having it on my wrist has been great and prevents me from losing it all the time. Plus, it’s light and mostly inconspicuous. This is a great item if you’d like to get a bit more insight into your health and are looking for ways to improve it in even the slightest.
The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. All opinions are my own.