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UP24 — the Holistic Wrist gets better!, December 7, 2013
RST10 (USA) –


Last November, I reviewed the Jawbone UP, and later compared it to the Fitbit Flex. A year later, Jawbone has now released the UP24. This review will primarily focus on making a choice between UP, UP24 and Fitbit Flex. When I originally reviewed the devices, I thought the main differences would be in the hardware appearance and fit/feel. I was a bit wrong– the biggest functionality difference was in the quality, function and aesthetic value of the software that comes with it. With the UP24 now having bluetooth syncing, the biggest difference for me is now only the software. I’ll let you make your own conclusions.

And now a year later, I will refresh my thoughts about the UP & Flex devices, and how the UP24 adds to the mix of options.

If you want to read my original in depth review of the UP, you can see it here: (copy & paste if click isn’t allowed)

If you want to read my original in depth review of the Fitbit Flex, you can see it here: (copy & paste if click isn’t allowed)

If you want to read my original review of the Fitbit One, you can see it here: (copy & paste if click isn’t allowed)

Hardware Comparison
UP24, UP and Flex are equally easy and comfortable for me to wear. The Flex requires a bit more work to latch, and the UPs both can get in the way when keyboarding on a laptop. Flex is charged by removing a horse pill sized module from the rubber arm band, and plugging it in to USB. UP is charged by plugging the band into an adapter and charging in USB.

In the UP vs Flex, I got about the same battery life in both, slightly leaning toward the Flex. In UP24, I get about 7 days of battery usage, and this includes it automatically bluetooth syncing. On both devices, if you have a bluetooth 4+ device, you should not see any noticeable drop in battery life by staying connected all the time, and I have not seen a difference.

I have worn the UP and Flex in extensive swimming, and while none are rated to track your swimming, none encountered any technical issues from the water. The Flex seemed to get a bit “funky/gross” in the portal where the horse pill goes. UP did not get gunky under its cap. Not a deal breaker on the Flex, but a bit more work to maintain.

From a physical and appearance perspective, the UP24 and UP are identical on the outside. The only difference is that the UP24 has a smaller sync jack inside the cap which is smaller than a standard headphone jack. The UP syncs through a headphone jack of your phone, while the UP24 and Flex use bluetooth.

Charging in both devices takes about at the same amount of time– 30-60 minutes. I recommend for both that you only use a computer or PC– not a USB wall charger. Some devices fail quickly when charged with more than 1.5V and while I don’t have scientific proof to back it, this is my conclusion from what I’ve seen in discussions and on forums.

When you buy an UP or UP24, you are committing to a color. When you buy a Flex, you can change the band and can choose any color you can find in a replacement band.

Wearing each isn’t terribly different. The UP/24 is more like a slap bracelet or a twisty metal that retains its original shape. You stretch it to put it on and it overlaps again to hold on. You can push it tighter if you want, as the rubber grips itself and lets you adjust the tension. The Flex is a thinner but wider band and feels more out of the way, but the clasp can be a bit difficult to operate. For absolute adherence I would say the Flex stays on better in most normal situations. The UP will stay on on roller coasters and probably even a NASA launch, but it can sometimes get entangled in backpack shoulder straps and pull itself from your arm to the strap. This is the only negative thing I have to say about the design of the UP.

Sleep Function
All three devices are equally accurate for day time walking for me and report almost identical steps. The UP and UP24 are equally good at sleep monitoring, both deep & shallow. The Fitbit didn’t give nearly as much detail about sleep, and for that matter about activity, intensity, etc. throughout the day in such a clear simple beautiful presentation. The UP products now can auto add your sleep if you forgot to put it in sleep mode and you give it appropriate sleep and awake times. This is a really nice addition since all devices require you to tell them when you sleep, and sometimes it’s easy to forget. Now, you don’t lose that data. A great improvement.

One feature I like about the UP is the “power nap” function. It learns your sleep patterns, and lets you make it through one cycle of sleep and slowly begins to vibrate to wake you up. For me,…

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