Dec 2014

Jawbone UP - Move

Activity trackers help people come to grips with how much or how little movement and sleep they get in a day. Figuring out your current habits of walking, exercising, and sleeping can be the first step toward making big changes to your health and because it gives you a baseline to beat then that helps you set new goals that are truly within your reach.
Priced at only £40 the Jawbone UP Move is a very good entry-level activity tracker.
The Jawbone UP Move would make a great gift for someone using a fitness tracker for the first time and the price is right but it would likely disappoint a more experienced user looking to upgrade to a product that could provide a richer experience.
The UP app gives you more information about your habits but that might not be enough for serious runners, swimmers, and other athletes who would probably want a device that tracks their specific activity in greater detail, there are certainly other choices for them.
The Jawbone UP Move, however, is best suited to entry level users who do not mind its looks.


When you buy a Jawbone UP Move, you get a small disc-like tracker, a clip holster, a coin cell battery and a tool to open the tracker. Jawbone claims that the battery will lasts several months. The benefit of the coin cell battery is you never have to remember to recharge it, but if you are the kind of person who is lazy about buying a new battery when it is needed, then you will probably be better off with something you can plug in every few days.
The tracker comes in five colours: slate with yellow accessories, ruby with red accessories, grape with purple, blue with white, and black with black. You can buy additional clips and wristbands of different widths and colours for about £10 each.


The function of the UP Move is very easy to use and makes for a fun way of tracking health. A simple press the UP Move and the whole thing is a giant button, really, a dial lights, spinning around the perimeter to tell you how close you are to reaching your steps goal for the day. You will see a little orange running man icon light up, too, so you are sure of the data you are seeing. When you put the device into sleep mode by pressing and holding the device, a blue moon lights up. Double-tapping causes the dial to indicate the time by lighting up the hour marker and flashing where the minute hand would be on a traditional clock.
Some might see it as looking like a child like toy with its design and funky fun colours but I like that in a fitness tracker.
When you set up the Jawbone UP Move, you will have to download the app, tell it a few things about yourself, and enable syncing. Once the app and device know your age, weight, sex, and height, it can begin estimating how many calories you burn throughout the day, based on activity and inactivity. Of course, it is little more than informed guesswork. Better calorie burn estimations only happen with more data, so the more you use it the more it works in your favour and the more accurate the tracking can be using its ‘Smart Coach” approach.


As with any activity tracker, you really need to dive into the companion app or web dashboard to get a good look at all the activity the device is tracking. The Jawbone UP app is easy to use and provides a good overview of your day, showing a graph of different times when you were active, and letting you add notes to activities that you completed. The app also has areas for tracking your weight, mood, and foods you eat. One really fascinating companion app that can sync with Jawbone's fitness tracking app is called ‘UP Coffee’, it lets you track caffeine intake specifically and shows you how it affects your sleep.


The Jawbone UP Move is a very good activity tracker for entry level users, with helpful indicator lights and an app that is easy to use.
Some might not like it due to its funky design and bright colours so I guess when it comes to choosing a fitness tracker that is right for you, looks really do matter. If you do not like wearing it, you will not and then you cannot quantify your exercise.

The Flash

The wearable has become the new bit of tech that the body conscious or those who are concerned that they be sitting on their arse a bit to much are using at the moment, but that is all set to change in 2015.
The tech on these fitness bands are becoming so advanced that more and more data about yourself can now be monitored, in some of these wearables sleep tracking is also an option.
Several years ago I had a Nike Fuelband and I think because at that time, wearables were in the early stages, it just did not meet the expectations that Nike had made the band out to be and the Fuelband was forever losing data in-between the sync relationship from phone to wearable, not a good start.
However the 2015 horizon is looking good for the best of the best.  Apple have jumped on to the bandwagon of wearables with its iWatch and those wearables that did not seem to come up to the mark now do.  Jawbone also had a misfortune in its early stages but now seem to be heading the way as wearers want more and Jawbone offer all that and more in its latest model the UP3, due to be released any time soon.
My only concern is what do you buy into in the meantime when you know there is going to be update soon for the bit of tech you really want?
I’ve opted for the Misfit Flash, the budget bit of tech that might be cheap but offers more than most for your buck and has released its latest model ‘The Flash’.

Misfit_Flash_review_-_CNET 2

Small and as colourful as you want it to be ‘The Flash’ is packed with preset features and is waterproof, lasts six months on a single battery, comes with a wristband and clip-on accessory, works with iOS and Android, and tracks steps and sleep.
The Flash is not just waterproof for the shower and the bath but to 3ATM, which means it can be worn in water down to 96 feet in depth (Note: water resistant and waterproof tech should never be worn in salt water, though). So you can wear it in the shower or while swimming. In the Misfit app it has a fitness tracking mode that recognizes swim activity.


You click the Flash's soft-touch top to show daily progress as the LED lights complete a circle (for instance, if 6 of 12 dots are lit, you've completed 50 percent of your daily step goal). Afterward, it even tells the time via flashing dots for hours and minutes. 
Sleep tracking records automatically, just like on the Misfit Shine, and it does a pretty good job of guessing when you actually went to sleep. It records "light" and "deep" sleep plus the hours slept, which is not as rich a sleep-tracking tool as more advanced REM-sensing, heart-rate-enabled ones such as Jawbone and Fitbit's upcoming wearables, but it's fine for the price.  You can also set a smart alarm that wakes you at your lightest sleep pattern closes to your wake up time, a feature I tried out yesterday only to be woken a whole hour before my actual alarm clock, thankfully I did not feel groggy, so even though I was up earlier than I wanted to be I was not in a bad mood about it or wanting to go back to bed, The feature works.



The Flash works via Bluetooth with the Misfit app, which is available for iOS and Android and soon for Windows Phone. You will need Bluetooth 4.0 to sync with the Flash: iPhone 4s or later, iPod Touch 5th gen, and iPads going back to the 3rd-gen Retina, or Android 4.3 or later phones. It syncs easily, and the Misfit app cleanly lays out daily progress in steps and sleep. It allows you to label activity sessions, and the app integrates with a variety of other ecosystems: My FitnessPal, RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, Walgreens and many more.


It comes in seven bright colours. It's cute. Does it reinvent wearable health tech? No. Keep in mind that the Jawbone Move also costs about the same price and does nearly the same thing, but it's not water resistant and for recording sleep you will need the wrist band that is at, yes you guessed it, an optional extra.
I have used Jawbone apps and find that they go that bit deeper for information, but I like wearing my wearables in the shower, too. So until the latest UP3 is available this is the bit of tech for me.
Budget, but beautiful in every way.