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Jawbone gives fitness trackers another try with a much-improved follow-up

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One year ago, we thought the Up was done for, but Jawbone refused to simply roll over and give up. We've got to give the company credit for going back to the drawing board, redesigning the band and its companion app and addressing all of the most glaring problems with the product -- most notably its tendency to stop working. This year's model is a success in terms of ruggedness and longevity. We're pretty sure we couldn't break this electronics-packed rubber band even if we wanted to and it can last well over a week on a single charge. So, if you were sold on the concept in 2011, but took issue with its durability, then rest assured your concerns have been addressed.

On the software front, things are a little murkier. While the companion iOS app is certainly a significant upgrade, we still feel there's a lot of room for improvement. The design is slick; there are loads of new features; and you can dig much deeper into the details. The added granularity and new visualizations are clearly a highlight, but too many other features feel half-baked. It seems like Jawbone took the complaints about the stripped-down nature of the Up app to heart, but may have overcompensated by becoming a jack of all trades while mastering none. We will say this about the app: No longer does it seem like an afterthought. Instead we'd say it's the main attraction and the band seems like an accessory (an unfortunately mandatory one).

And, therein lies the problem. The Up band itself doesn't actually do much that you can't already do with your smartphone or a $20 pedometer. Heck, if you've got a phone running Jelly Bean, you've already got a pedometer. And, if you are in the market for a dedicated health-tracking gadget, the Fitbit One offers most of the same features for $30 cheaper in a slightly less convenient form factor. If Jawbone would let you use the app without purchasing the bracelet, it might have more success luring people in by hooking them on the platform before trying to sell consumers a piece of jewelry. At the end of the day, the Up excels at encouraging good habits and a healthy lifestyle, but considering the competition, we're not sure $130 is a compelling price.

Buy It:

90-Day Price History

now
high
$129
low
$75

Critic reviews

7.2
15 reviews
  • Durability
    8.3
  • Portability
    8.3
  • Ease of use
    7.0
  • Design and form factor
    7.2

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User reviews

7.5
31 reviews
7.0
Engadget Dec 7, 2012

At the end of the day the Up excels at encouraging good habits and a healthy lifestyle, but considering the competition we're not sure $130 is a compelling price.

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8.0
Wired Dec 3, 2012

Nothing the Up does is magic. It merely makes all of the tracking mechanisms people have long been doing easier, unified and just invisible. Almost everything about the bracelet is fantastic; just aces. But syncing and charging could use some work.

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7.0
CNET Nov 28, 2012

The new Jawbone Up is comfortable and durable, but iOS-only support means this gadget only makes sense for iPhone users.

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7.0
TechCrunch Nov 16, 2012

I do enjoy the UP’s simplicity but the Fitbit, with its stair sensor and comprehensive online interface still keeps me coming back.

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7.0
PC Mag Dec 21, 2012

The newly revamped Jawbone UP tracks personal health and fitness very well in a stellar iPhone app, but it's not the best fitness tracker you can buy.

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7.0
PC Mag Mar 20, 2013

The Jawbone UP tracks personal health and fitness very thoroughly in a stellar mobile app for iOS and Android, but it's not the best fitness tracker we've tested. A few unique features do give it special appeal, though.

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5.0
Gizmodo Dec 5, 2012

Should You Buy It? Despite its problems, the second generation UP is a much improved activity tracker. ... You'd think a company whose entire freaking product line is built around Bluetooth would stick a wireless chip into its activity tracker. Every other popular activity tracker syncs wirelessly.

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8.0
TechHive Nov 20, 2012

This latest version of the Up addresses the issues with the original, while keeping the benefits of a solid device that gathers a good assortment of data. However, the lack of Bluetooth is a drawback.

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8.0
SlashGear Nov 27, 2012

In the end, it’s a solid mixture of life-logging tools and a good example of how wearables can cross over from the stuff of science-fiction to everyday life, but approachable enough for the mass market.

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8.0
PC World Australia Apr 10, 2013

The Jawbone Up is an excellent motivational tool and has a couple of nice extra features, but its overpriced and the lack of wireless syncronising is a real downside.

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8.0
Pocket-Lint May 9, 2013

As a serious tool for exercise, Up loses out to the GPS watches like those from Garmin and Polar, but as something to keep you motivated, we think it's a solid choice, and a lot cheaper too.

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8.0
Forbes Nov 27, 2012

Comfortable and full of functionality, but not without its flaws. I think I’ll give this thing a chance!

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8.0
VentureBeat Nov 24, 2012

Sure, the manual syncing is annoying, but I love its gorgeous design and colorful app. Most of all, I appreciate how it makes a simple statement — the future of technology isn’t just about what we’ve got in our pockets, it’s about what’s right up against our skin.

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6.0
TechRadar Apr 19, 2013

It looks good and it certainly seems to work as intended, but if you were hoping that the Up was something more than a pedometer in fancy dress, then you'll be disappointed.

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7.0
Fit Technica Dec 20, 2013

So, while there really is a lot that I like about the Jawbone UP, it really can’t compete with the Nike+ FuelBand SE or Fitbit Flex right now.

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9.0
KAsante KAsante

My Wife and I bought 2 of these for each other as early Christmas presents and since a week ago we've been using them religiously. The iPhone App is pretty great. Helps a lot with logging your food gathering the nutrition information. You can scan barcodes on labels to add food. You can type in...

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9.0
nordr nordr

Tried the fuel+band, found it lacking for data and durability. Tried the fitbit one, didn't like forgetting it in yesterday's pants all the time. Even tried the larklife. Don't get me started about the size of the band or the need for two separate bands. I didn't own a first gen Up. By all...

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8.0
bzipkin bzipkin

I had the first version and was extremely disappointed when it bricked on me after one week of use. I did see the promise of the device and decided to give the upgraded version another shot. The new version works much better and provides an accurate log of your daily activity and sleep patterns....

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9.0
zerock zerock

All the data that this wristband gives you via the iPhone app is pretty useful. It's very durable. The only downsides that I would give it, is not having Wireless syncing and not being able to share my activity on Social Networks.

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7.0
thechiman thechiman

I've gone through 4 UP bands in an 8 month period. They keep breaking: vibration motor breaks and the battery stops charging are the main problems. The design where the band's internals go around the band and are thus subject to flexing when you take the band off and put it back on are what...

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6.0
amf amf

Bought one last November 2013. The band stopped working in Feb. 2014. Jawbone replaced it in March and again no longer works (does not sync, no lights, no vibrations) as of 11 June 2014. This is a product that simply doesn't work! The software is good but the hardware is real bad!

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