Wile I talk of the entry level best budget fitness trackers, I would like to talk about the Jawbone UP series starting from $30 [UP2] to $60[UP4]. They are fully functional trackers designed intelligently around the accelerometer measuring your movements [accelerations in all directions] which later processed using Jawbone proprietary algorithms ! Rest is done by the packed Bluetooth capability to synchronize the data with your mobile device for your use. They are the most simple trackers without any fancy stuff of display and hence manages power more efficiently just bare minimal to manage the accelerometer & BT sync management lasting fro 7 to 10 days
[UP2 10 days, Up3, UP4 7 days]
Jawbone UP series is designed to look like a fashion accessory specially liked by women & girls, hiding your fitness journey from others which is one of the good feature I would say, anyway if you begin with a tracker having display capability, you might spend most of the time playing with it ! rather than exercise & fitness !!
Second important aspect of this minimalist approach is that lower the number of functions packed, least functional problems the device will suffer in the lifetime, it will draw less power, it will be budget friendly & cost effective solution.
So coming back to the comparison of UP series trackers, here is simple tech specs table, highlighting important differences in these trackers, you can spend very little time to understand & choose right tracker using this table.
Jawbone UP2 vs UP3 vs UP4 Fitness Tracker Specs Comparison
|Tracker||Jawbone UP2||Jawbone UP3||Jawbone UP4|
|Price||$89.99 Best Buy||$51.99 Best Buy||Out of stock Best Buy|
|Above prices are dynamically updated|
|Colors||Black diamond, Light Gray, Light Gray Hex, Violet Circle||Black Gold Twist, Black Twist, Ruby Cross, Silver Cross||Black Twist, Silver Cross|
|Display||No [Minimlistic approach, post processing done on mobile]|
|Range||33 feet (10 meters)|
UP tracker syncs with the UP App every minute the app is open (and every 20 minutes when the app is running in the background)
|Social Sharing||Yes, FB + Twitter|
|Material||Medical-grade Hypoallergenic Rubber and is completely latex-free.
The top and bottom casings are made of anodized aluminum.
Note 1 : Bands are Smooth and Flexible, However Bending or Twisting of band may damage hardware packed inside
Note 2 : Those who are severely allergic to nickel may experience some irritation when wearing UP2™.
|Splash proof||Yes, rain, splash and sweat-resistant|
|Swim Proof||Not capable to withstand Showering, Swimming, High pressure splash situations like Surfing, Don’t ever use the band during saunas & steam rooms|
|Calories counting, Yes|
|Sleep tracking, Yes|
|Stairs climbed, No|
|Non-step based activities like Yoga can’t be tracked. You need to enter duration and effort level of workout into the App|
|You need to enter your meals into the App so as to calculate calorie intake, use of barcode scanner is also available in App, even you can upload food photos|
|Alarm / Alert||Smart alarm, idle alert, Yes|
|Coaching||Smart coaching, Yes|
|Advanced sleep tracking||No||Yes, Automatically measuring Wake, REM, Light and Deep sleep|
|Heart rate monitoring||No||Yes, using bio-impedance sensors it can track Resting and Passive heart rate|
|NFC Payment||No||Yes, NFC payments for American Express cardholders|
|App||Jawbone’s Up app for iOS and Android|
|Compatibility||Compatible with most of iOS and Android devices|
|Charging time||A full charge takes approximately 60–90 minutes.|
|Battery life||10 days||7 days (Due to heart rate sensor)|
|App Download||Download the UP® FREE App
App Store and Google Play
|Compatibility||Check out the current UP device compatibility list|
|Firmware||Ensure that your UP tracker has latest firmware update|
|Tracker||Jawbone UP2||Jawbone UP3||Jawbone UP4|
|Best Buy||Best Buy||Best Buy||Best Buy|
Who shall buy UP2
Beginner level, at spend of mere $33 you can begin your fitness journey 🙂 Later you can always graduate to higher Fitbi or Garmin series of trackers ….
Jawbone’s Up app for iOS and Android, which also has food logging features and the new Smart Coach system. Smart Coach builds on the information cards that the Up app has had for a while, learning your habits and lifestyle and suggesting tips and tricks to make you healthier.
One best thing is super battery life of 10 days !! due to no power spending on display, this tracker can last till 10 days in a charge, so you can be free from the boring task of putting things for recharge each day !
Whats new in UP3 compared to UP2 ?
- New “bio-impedance” sensors
Both UP3 & UP4 features bio-impedance sensors to monitor resting heart rate, respiration and galvanic skin response. It Automatically measures Wake, REM, Light and Deep sleep.
These bio-impedance sensors sends small electrical pulse through your skin to measure the tissue’s resistance & calculate your heart beats in a minute.[note : Other trackers in market uses optical heart rate monitors, there can be debate on which one is best, optical or bio-impedance, however as per me best to keep an eye on changes in heart rate w.r.t. baseline to judge where you are. At later stage of graduating the fitness journey you can always spend more $$$ to buy best in class trackers for you.]Resting and Passive heart rate
The tracker keeps measuring heart rates at regular intervals throughout the day (Plz note you can not control when to measure the heart rate) and provides you Passive heart rate report. As per me for beginners this is an excellent help to know how their body is responding throughout the day, during meetings, movements, driving and so on.
Note : Wear the tracker-band sightly further up the arm [not on the wrist], snug it to your best comfort level, but it shall not be so loose that it rotates, this will ensure most accurate heart rate readings.
- The Notifications Management
The wake-up alarm : The band vibrates as wake-up alarm until you tap it off
Reminder alerts : The band vibrates as reminder as well as the Up App will show notification on your smartphone, ensuring that you don’t miss important reminders like taking a medicine on time.
- Connectivity to App
you can connect your fitness tracker to many Applications like Runtastic, MapMyFitness, Strava, Nest, Kiqplan, Wello, and so on.
As per your wish get the App synchronize with your tracker band, to get data uploaded to mobile, to see say How your heart rate varied by the hour.
Also type in your food intake from time to time, so as to get Smart coaching know what you are upto and suggest based on Exercise, Goals, Food, Sleep etc.
How I find the NFC payment option in UP4
Finally the UP4 features the NFC capability, in sync with American Express, which would make you capable of paying using the fitness tracker band ! But for that you need to spend $15 Extra. To check where all you can use this facility you need to visit American Express website, here is direct link to their page American-Express Tap-To-Pay
I found this particular add-on-service in UP4 (compared to UP3) very useful, since it eliminates need to carry your wallet during exercise. If you see the photograph I have chosen from Jawbone website shows a girl wearing UP series tracker having a drink, may be after running exercise. This sounds so cool 🙂 You ought to take something after the exercise and don’t want to carry cash or card with you in pocket !
To me all the UP series trackers are best-bees for beginners, pretty budget friendly, long lasting, fully functional & stylish trackers with excellent features like Smart-coach, Silent alarm, Social sharing for competition with family & friends, Calories tracking. Ignoring that they are not swim-proof, missing features like step-tracking, Looks a good Fitness Journey Startup tool for you.
Last but not the lease is to mention that these trackers looks fantastic as fashion accessory too for girls, while they use it, the journey to fitness remains hidden from others easily still maintaining the fashion quotient 🙂
[Look at complete Jawbone UP Series at Amazon]