Reviewers rave over the Jawbone UP's clever alarm, in-depth sleep tracking and holistic fitness app. "Being lightweight, very comfortable to wear, and extremely durable, it's the easiest fitness tracker to operate that I've ever used," reports Brian Bennett at CNET. However, without wireless syncing or instant readouts on a screen, and with limited compatibility, it "doesn't quite measure up" alongside the similarly priced Fitbit One, says Jill Duffy of PCMag.com.
Standout vibrating alarm. The Jawbone UP tracks steps, distance, calories and active time, but doesn't count stairs. For other activities, you can use the UP's timer to chart your exercise, then update your profile on the fitness app. "From the app, you can set a silent alarm that vibrates up to 30 minutes ahead of your designated wake up time if it spots an ideal moment for you to get up based on your REM cycles," explains Jill Duffy of PCMag.com. "There's also a power nap switch that, when activated, looks at your sleep habits to determine whether your best nap would be a 27-minute rest or a 45-minute siesta, or something in between."
First-class fitness app. Jawbone's free fitness app is a reviewer favorite, featuring easy-to-read charts and straightforward settings. The UP is compatible with iPhone and Android platforms, but can't connect to other smartphones or computers. To sync data, the UP connects using a headphone jack, requiring users to take off the band and plug it in. "This was sometimes annoying, and meant I didn't check my stats quite as often as I did with trackers that synced automatically via Bluetooth," says Clara Moskowitz of LiveScience.com. For wireless syncing, Jawbone offers the UP24 (Est. $150) with Bluetooth connectivity.
Rope-like band is soft and lightweight. Editors at CNET say the Jawbone UP is "comfortable, durable, and effortless to wear." Its rubber body is hypoallergenic and is available in three different sizes and numerous colors; at 0.8 ounces, it's also lighter than most wrist trackers. Reviews are mixed on the appearance -- Christina Tynan-Wood appreciates the "futuristic" design, and Vanity Fair's James Wolcott finds the band more discreet than larger bands, but Duffy prefers something less conspicuous for dressy occasions. The battery lasts for 10 days between charges, about twice as long as that of the Fitbit Flex.
Jill Duffy gives the Jawbone UP a thorough review, citing its ability to monitor your sleep and create smarter naps as her favorite feature. Overall, the UP doesn't measure up to Duffy's favorite tracker, the Fitbit One.
Review: Jawbone UP, Jill Duffy, March 20, 2013
Editors test two types of activity trackers: those with screens that provide instant readouts and those that can't be read in real time. The Jawbone UP falls into the second category and is rated on its accuracy, features and ease of use.
Review: Activity Trackers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
The Jawbone UP excels at tracking sleep patterns -- with an intelligent vibrating alarm -- and the comfortable band makes daily wear a breeze. However, limited compatibility and a multi-step syncing process reduce its convenience.
Review: Jawbone Up Review: An Easy-to-Wear and Insightful Fitness Pal, Brian Bennett, May 9, 2013
Danny Sullivan takes the Jawbone UP for a spin. He finds it helps promote a more holistic approach to health, with a fitness app that also tracks non-step activities, the foods you eat and even your mood. Its lack of a screen and inconvenient data syncing, however, aren't so user-friendly.
Review: My Life with the Jawbone Up Activity Tracker, Danny Sullivan, May 3, 2013
Clara Moskowitz gives the Jawbone UP a total of 13 points out of 20, slating it behind the Basis B1, Fitbit Force, Fitbit Flex, Withings Pulse and Fitbug Orb. The UP stands out with its vibrant fitness app and clever alarm, but overall falls short in appearance and data uploading.
Review: Jawbone Up: Fitness Tracker Review, Clara Moskowitz, Oct. 2, 2013
Paul Sawers includes the Jawbone UP in his guide to the best activity trackers, saying the clever app gives users a complete view of their health. The sleep-tracking feature is outstanding, but the UP falters with a more cumbersome syncing process and lack of a screen.
Review: Know Your Fitbit from Your Fitbug: A Guide to the Best Activity-Trackers on the Market, Paul Sawers, Nov. 11, 2013
The Jawbone UP doesn't make it into Ben Taylor's top 10 best trackers, partially due to its inconvenient syncing process and limited compatibility. In comparison to similarly priced fitness trackers, Taylor says the UP isn't a good value.
Review: 26 Fitness Trackers Ranked from Worst to First, Ben Taylor, Jan. 9, 2014
8. Family Circle
Christina Tynan-Wood includes the Jawbone UP in her list of the best activity trackers. In her brief write-up, she praises the UP's "futuristic" design, plug-in syncing and long-lasting battery. She also notes the bracelet will vibrate to remind users they have been still for too long.
Review: The Best Activity Trackers for Staying Fit, Christina Tynan-Wood, Not Dated
9. The New York Times
In this comparison, David Pogue details his experience testing the Jawbone UP and Fitbit Flex. He appreciates the UP's clever alarm and convenient fitness app, but says removing the end cap to plug the band in for data upload is awkward.
Review: Wearable Devices Nudge You to Health, David Pogue, June 26, 2013
Reviewer Andrea Smith straps on a Jawbone UP, Fitbit Flex, Misfit Shine and Nike+ FuelBand for a week, comparing convenience, accuracy and web support. The Fitbit Flex comes out on top, though the Jawbone UP gets kudos for having the best alarm of the bunch.
Review: The Best Activity Tracker: Fitbit Flex, Andrea Smith, Oct. 14, 2013
11. Vanity Fair
James Wolcott tests the Jawbone UP alongside the Fitbit Ultra (predecessor to the One). He notes the two report significantly different daily step counts, but isn't sure which one is counting wrong. Wolcott calls the UP "more discreet."
Review: Wired Up! Ready to Go!, James Wolcott, February 2013
Owners frequently say the Jawbone UP is easy to wear and user-friendly. Here it gets an average of 4 stars out of 5 -- a lower score than similar Fitbit devices at BestBuy.com. Of the close to 900 users who rate the UP, about 85 percent recommend it.
Review: Jawbone-UP Wristband (Large) - Onyx, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of February 2014