Comfort and wearability
To get the most out of this band, you should wear it 24/7. Its comfortable enough, but in order for the sensors that are embedded in the band to read you, the band needs to be snug, including while you sleep.
The clasp is kind of fiddly and takes a bit to get used to, but once you do, it’s pretty easy to get on and off. It’s also fairly secure, unlike earlier versions that could catch on things and pull off. The one-size-fits-all band is easily adjusted for a snug fit, essential for optimal performance of the device.
As stated previously, the variety of colors and textures the band comes in makes it easy to find one that suits your individual style. However, it isn’t terribly rugged, and since it doesn’t have automatic activity tracking features other than your steps and heart rate, it may not be the best option for the gym. There are not options, other than color, for different types of bands.
I wasn’t impressed with the UP app’s ability to integrate well with other apps. It seems that, given the limited number of automatically detected activities, it would be important to offer decent integration with apps that can perform other functions to fill in the gaps. I was able to log a workout into MapMyFitness and have it show up in my UP app “feed,” but I wasn’t able to get Strava and MyFitnessPal to integrate with the app. Oddly, the list of compatible apps provided by Jawbone listed these two, but the lists of compatible devices on Strava and MyFitnessPal didn’t list UP or any Jawbone products. There was what appeared to be a healthy list of other compatible apps, but on closer inspection, they were mostly highly specific (for example food scales and fertility trackers) and paid services.
Email, IM, and notifications
There isn’t a screen on the device, so there isn’t a way for you to view incoming messages or email, nor can you set notifications that you’ve received an email or text to prompt you to look at your phone.
You can use the app to set other notifications that cause the band to vibrate and the corresponding icon to light up. Notifications can be turned on to remind you to move, alert you when you’ve reached a goal, let you know when it’s time to go to bed, or wake you up. The only notification I found useful, however, was the vibration that wakes you in the morning, when it’s pretty obvious why it’s going off. I had two main problems with the UP3 system in general. The icon doesn’t stay lit up long enough for you to see what it’s telling you before it disappears. I’d feel the vibration, but by the time I lifted my arm up, the icon was gone. It was especially futile if I had sleeves or a coat on.
Unless you just happen to be looking at the band when it goes off, you’re not likely to see which icon lights up when the band vibrates. If the notification is to move, the little runner lights up. If you’re being prompted for some other reason the notification bubble lights up. I ended up either ignoring the vibrations or constantly looking at my phone to try to figure out what the device was telling me.
If you set only two or three notifications, you can probably remember what they’re for, but let’s say you set your band to prompt you to move every 30 minutes and notify you every time you walk another 1,000 steps — the thing is potentially buzzing pretty often, and if you can’t figure out what it’s trying to tell you it’s not helpful.
The UP3 encourages you to invite friends and be social with regard to your activities. You can share your activities and accomplishments on Facebook and Twitter or invite friends from your contacts list and create your own “duels.”
The battery lasts a respectable five to seven days. I had to charge the band only about once a week, and it took less than an hour. The app starts telling you you’ll need to charge soon when you have about two days of battery life left.
The little charging dongle it comes with was handy, but you need to be careful you’ve attached it correctly. It’s magnetic and, although the two pieces will stick together a few ways, there’s only one way it will actually charge the band. It’s easy enough to tell— when the band is charging, all three of the icons light up until it’s fully charged.
December 19, 2017