Jawbone UP2 review

If it was up to Jawbone, everyone would wear an UP2

Jawbone UP2 review
Does it inspire upwards movement?

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Step Tracking and accuracy

Jawbone's UP bands have always been on the more reliable end of the step counting spectrum, and the data from the sleep tracking has always felt a bit more useful than competitors.

But the UP2, like the UP3, has some real challenges in terms of usability.

The touch display, as we've already mentioned, is temperamental, and quite often refuses to wake up when you want to switch it between sleep and active modes.

Jawbone UP2 review

Another change from the UP24 that's sure to frustrate upgraders is no longer being able to launch the stopwatch function from the device itself. For anyone wanting to record an activity, you need to manually head into the app to launch the stopwatch function, instead of just holding down the button as you could on the Jawbone UP24.

The app does try to counter this by automatically detecting when you've been active for a period of time and classing it as an activity. It even goes so far as to ask you whether you were going for a walk or a run, and asking you to classify how intense it was.

The only problem is that sometimes it just doesn't recognise you've been out pounding the pavement for an hour, so the specific details of your killer workout are never actively recorded if you rely on the software to do it for you.

On the sleep front, you can expect details on light sleep, deep sleep, and those times you woke up in the middle of the night.

The vibration motor inside the band's compact body also offers a nice, gentle wake up alarm (so long as you don't turn it off and go back to sleep), and can give you a gentle prompt to get up and go for a stroll when you've been idle for too long.


Jawbone's UP app continues to be the best way of engaging with your fitness tracker's data. While the likes of Fitbit's app give you the hard, raw stats and not much else, Jawbone's offering works hard to help you understand the data.

Dubbed smart coach, the app will analyse your data, comparing it to your ongoing performance, but also against other app users.

The insight that you're in the top 20% of UP users on any given day, or the knowledge that you're getting more sleep than most people your age, is much more useful than simply counting the number of steps you've taken or how many hours of sleep you managed overnight.

Jawbone UP2 review

Jawbone also helps keep you motivated, with regular challenges for both getting and staying active, or getting to bed at a certain time to help your energy levels the following day.

It's done in a really positive, personal way that helps challenge you to better yourself, which is ultimately the reason you're buying one of these devices, isn't it?

The app also doubles as a social network of sorts, letting you track and share your performance with other UP users.

While this has always been interesting – allowing your friends to send messages of encouragement when you hit your goals – the introduction of Duels has added a much-needed competitive element to the app.

You can throw down step challenges to anyone on your contact list for a 24 hour, three day or one week step duel.

Throughout the challenge, you are constantly updated on the battle, so you can put in the extra effort to demolish your opponent (or meekly let them claim victory). You can also keep your Duel's private, if you don't want to share your shame at losing with the world.

For those lone wolves that prefer to not compete with friends, there's still plenty of personal insights available in the app, including the ability to track your step and sleep trends over time.

The Jawbone UP app also has the ability to track food and water intake, weight and moods. Unfortunately, the food databases aren't available in every region and even when they are, they can be a bit hit and miss.

Fortunately you can counter this by using a connected third party app like MyFitnessPal. In fact, the Jawbone UP app's API is one of its biggest strengths, letting you integrate things like Runkeeper, Strava, or even your Nest thermostat.

There's also IFTTT support, which opens up a huge range of possibilities for fitness and sleep based triggers. For example, we've used our UP to turn on a coffee machine when we wake up by using IFTTT and Belkin's WeMo home automation system.

Having spent the past decade editing some of Australia's leading technology publications, Nick's passion for the latest gadgetry is matched only by his love of watching Australia beat England in the rugby.