Posted: Abbey Dufoe | April 28, 2015

Fitness Programs

Jawbone Up3 released: does it stand up to Smartwatches?

Some say no.

With the introduction of the Apple Watch and it's fitness tracking capabilities, along with smart fitness watches from FitBit, Peak and Polar, some say that smaller fitness trackers will go by the way-side.

Jawbone's Up3 is a fitness tracker akin to a basic FitBit in that it collects data and sends it to an app, since there is no screen. The Up3 is supposed to track steps and heart rate through the band, and users can add more information in the app. Here's more about the Up3, including more about how it may not last (labeled WSJ: Joanna Stern and Wired: Josh Valcarcel):

  • The Up3 doesn't necessarily track steps, as it gets confused between exercise and a train commute. (Wired)
  • The smart sleep feature that wakes you up at the perfect time in your sleep schedule is a favorite of Valcarcel's, and Jawbone does give the user suggestions about how to get better sleep. (Wired)
  • Stern found that the Jawbone does collect heart rate, but only while the user is sleeping, so how useful is that really? (WSJ)
  • The sensors on the rubber/plastic band left imprints on Stern's skin, which she didn't enjoy, and also is difficult to clasp with one hand. (WSJ)
  • Jawbone trackers know exactly when the user starts working out, so the user doesn't have to tell it. They also have the best user interface and easiest-to-use data collection system. (WSJ)

Beyond these features, Valcarcel and Stern found that the band is seemingly just a sleep and step tracker, when it works the way it's supposed to, which they think doesn't constitute a $180 purchase. And according to Stern, "If you were to buy one, you'd already be halfway to the price of an Apple Watch Sport, which has an accurate heart-rate sensor and offers a broad choice of fitness apps."

To sum it up:

[Jawbone] has all the right ideas, and just never quite nails the execution. I love the idea of a fitness tracker that collects and collates more data, that can tell me more specific and actionable things over time. On paper, the Up3 is exactly the thing I want, more so than any of its competitors. But even ignoring the fact that it doesn't turn more data into better data, the experience of using it is a mess. (Wired)




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Written by Abbey Dufoe

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