Jawbone Up 2 #ExpertGear Review


One of the perks of working in a running store part-time is the chance to learn about a variety of great brands and products through a site called Experticity (and then have the chance to purchase those products at a discount). OK, that’s a big perk of working in a running store. Pro pricing is a wonderful thing but, aside from the personal benefits I get from it, it also allows industry pros to train with a wider variety of products, which in turn helps them provide better advice to customers.

Through my relationship with Experticity, I now have the opportunity to review products, beginning with the Jawbone Up 2 fitness tracker! Until now, I’ve never hopped on the fitness tracker bandwagon, figuring I stay relatively active as a triathlete. Still, the health implications of sitting at a desk all day go beyond not getting exercise during the day and it always helps to have a reminder to get up and move every now and then. But I figured I’d get even more useful information from the sleep tracking, which would give me a better idea of just how much of a sleep deficit I have. No part of me believed I was getting enough sleep before tracking it.

Now, you’ll have to bear with me as, in the interest of efficiency, I did my unboxing while on the trainer while watching results from Super Tuesday 2. That’s right, I’m a multi-tasking triathlete politics geek. NBD.

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What you’ll get in the package is the tracker, a charger, and “instructions.”

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Now for those instructions.

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So, get the app. Plug your tracker into a computer. Got it. Now, when I was able to actually do this, it was an exceedingly simple process. If you have a modicum of familiarity with apps, you will be able to set up the Up 2. As I recall, there’s no pairing to fumble through, no passwords etc. But, my quibble with the process would be that you need to plug the tracker into a computer to do the initial set-up, which seems to be an “antiquated” requirement. On the subject of connecting to a computer/charging, you may have noticed the charger looks a little funny, with no obvious clips to attach to the charger. Turns out, it’s magnetic! Neat!

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You can also see how you actually put the tracker on here. There is a metal clasp that attaches via hook to another piece, which you can move up and down the rubber band to adjust the fit. When you set the app up, there is a video that shows you exactly how to properly put the tracker on. Of course, I’m one of those guys who figures I can figure stuff out on my own – instructions are for sissies, and so ended up putting it on like this.

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I’m a moron, which is plain to see here. After watching the instructional video I was able to do it the right way, which is actually quite easy to do.

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Much better, right? And here’s how it looks on the wrist.

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The tracker itself is thin, light and comfortable, meaning I hardly notice it’s on during the day and never am bothered wearing it at night. Personally, I don’t see it as a drawback that the Up 2 lacks a display as it makes it more business-appropriate for daily wear.

On The Wrist

As for functionality, as mentioned, the Up 2 tracks steps and sleep. That’s it. And, really, given that I have GPS watches for keeping track of my swim/bike/running, as well as giving me smart notifications, that’s all I need from a fitness tracker. When you sync the Up 2 using the UP app, you’ll see a progress chart showing your steps for the day and your sleep for the previous night, both of which you can then dive down deeper into for more stats, as shown below.

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Please don’t judge me for my inactivity today, so far all I’ve done is taken a train from Boston to NYC.

The best thing I can say about the Up 2 is that, seemingly, it works. I’ve never actually taken a hard look at my sleep stats, but I like that it tells me light and heavy sleep, which seems to line up with what I experience at night. If nothing else, it reinforces that I need to get more sleep. As far as cons about the Up 2, I wish that it was fully waterproof so I could swim with it, but it is resistant enough so that you can shower with it and not have to take it off. I do find that it can be a bit of a pain to take on and off, but also don’t have to do that all that often.

All in all, the Up 2 is a worthy option to consider if you are looking for a slim, simple, stylish fitness tracker!

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