A couple of weeks ago Jawbone released their new UP3 fitness tracker. According to Jawbone, the company couldn’t keep up with originally promised release date of “Holidays 2014” because of difficulties they faced to make the device water proof. Finally the company declared new release date with with compromised water resistant device. The new UP3 is no more friends with water than it’s predecessors UP and UP24.
Jawbone says, UP3 has heart rate monitor, bio impedance sensor and blah blah blah; all the big words. Here is what you need to know if you have pre-ordered or thinking of ordering one.
Why to go for UP3?
Sleek design – It is definitely better looking tracker out there. On the wrist it just looks like a regular jewelry band people would wear. Even though Jawbone advertised multiple band types and colors if users want one right now the only color options are black and white. Black band looks cooler than the white one but then, beauty lies in the eyes of beholder.
One size fits all – UP3 sports a newly designed clasp which is adjustable and makes one size fit most of the wrists out there.
Resting Heart Rate (RHR) – if you are crazy about all the numbers about your sleep information then you would absolutely love this thing. Jawbone says resting heart rate helps you get better picture of your over all health.
UP App – UP3 required new UP app which is different than the blue one. The new app icon is purple colored and the app is considerably faster and reliable than the blue counterpart which supports UP Move and 24 trackers. Notifications on new UP app are way too reliable than the old one.
Future updates – even though active heart rate monitoring is not possible today with UP3, Jawbone promises (yeah right!) to enable more HR related features in future firmware updates. We don’t know when that will happen but, if you are loyal to UP system then you might want to invest in UP3 now.
100% goal celebration – everyday when you reach your goal the band vibrates and throws you a little light show using it’s three indicator lights.
Magnetic charger – the band effortlessly latches to the charger making it easy to connect. Band takes about 1.5 hrs to fully charge.
Why not to upgrade to UP3 or UP2 and stick with you UP24?
Clasp – The clasp that latches band around your wrist is really tough to go around (Ladies, remember those Pandora clasps?). I wonder who is the idiot behind selection of this design to go in production. This clasp also moves and loosens the belt every couple of days. The simple solution is to press it a little with pliers.
Battery life – If battery life is something that really matters to you then, stay with UP24. UP24 holds battery charge upto 14 days where as UP2 and UP3 only provides 7 days of battery life. 7 days of battery is still high among all the other fitness trackers out there.
Heart Rate (HR) features – UP3 has HR monitoring but it’s very limited and is not worth the money at this point. If you want to measure HR during exercise or on-demand then stay away from UP3 for now and go for Fitbit HR bands.
No Timer on/off from band – Timer is the third most used mode among “UPsters”, Active and Sleep mode being first two. Jawbone took it away from users on UP3. Users can start or stop timer (or work out mode) only using UP app, so no more running without your phone on you. This is absolutely ridiculous.
No Power Nap mode – One of the features I liked about my UP24 was power nap, especially on weekend afternoon naps. This is no more possible on UP2 or UP3 bands.
Touch based switching between modes – UP2 and UP3 have capacitive touch surface on it’s top metal housing. Users have to touch it twice and hold the tap when any mode light is ON. I know it does sound complicated but, I got a better hold of this now and rarely have to try multiple times. However for some users this can really be frustrating.
“Were you working out” prompts – App is much faster and reliable but, a walk to train station or stretching arms around causes app to ask annoying “Were you working out?” questions. Jawbone got rid of ‘timer mode switching’ from band itself so, they added these ‘smart’ prompts to the app to help users log their missed workouts.
Despite above disadvantages, UP3 provides pretty advanced sleep tracking with user’s heart rate throughout the sleep cycle.
Overall, UP3 band sports ambitious new technology to provide users more information about their sleep and activity. Most of the UP users will still upgrade to UP3 hoping to receive firmware updates in ‘near future’ to unlock many of it’s currently disabled features. We can only hope that, Jawbone would keep ‘up’ with their loyal customers and bring UP3 to it’s full potential before end of products life.