Four months after its newest Up bands started shipping — and nearly a year after they were first announced to the public — wearable tech maker Jawbone has rolled out promised features to its line of Up activity trackers.
The Up3 and Up4 bands, which are both equipped with heart rate sensors, will now track a wearer's heart rate periodically throughout the day, rather than just once in the morning as the wristbands did before. This "passive" heart rate tracking is supposed to give users a more complete picture of their health, including when diet or other stimuli might affect heart rate, the company says.
Also, the $180 bands will now automatically transition from active to sleep mode when the wearer goes to bed at night. Previously, users had to double-tap on the top of the device to set it to sleep mode, something that worked intermittently or not at all (in my own personal experience).
Finally, the Up3 will come in four new colors, including teal and sand; while the Up2 wristband, a $99 version without heart rate sensors, will ship with a thinner strap and will be available in six different colors. The clasp on the Up2, which was another criticized aspect of the product, has been redesigned, but until we get to try it out ourselves we can't say whether it's an improvement.
The changes are a delayed effort on the part of Jawbone to add more value to its newer Up wristbands, especially the Up3, which was introduced with high hopes but ultimately received tepid reviews after its launch in April. And while Jawbone's companion mobile app is often recognized as intuitive, comprehensive health-tracking software, Jawbone still struggles to compete with Fitbit when it comes to market share.
The feature upgrades, available through a firmware update, will roll out to users today through their iOS and Android apps, Jawbone says.
Jawbone UP3 Advanced Activity and Sleep Monitor: Discontinued
The Jawbone company discontinued production of activity trackers in 2016. As of the summer of 2018, the future functionality of the app and support of existing devices is uncertain. The following relates to how this tracker worked in the past.
The Jawbone UP3 fitness band adds a heart rate sensor and advanced sleep and activity tracking to the other features found on the UP2. With this extra data, the app's Smart Coach feature is even smarter in giving you advice for a healthy lifestyle. Do these added features make it worth the extra cost? Does it beat Fitbit?
Who Is It Right For?
If you want to be more active, sit less, track exercise automatically, sleep better, eat better, and have an overall healthier lifestyle, the Jawbone UP3 is a great choice. You must use the UP app with your Bluetooth-capable mobile device as it has no display of its own. If you never check the app, you won't get the benefit of wearing the UP3.
The stylish but simple design means no buttons to push, no way to forget to start and stop tracking exercise or sleep. The UP3 does that for you. Just open the app and you will see all of your data, plus Smart Coach advice gently nudging you, offering suggestions to improve your healthy lifestyle.
It doesn't give you exercise heart rate, GPS-based speed and distance or other features you might want for a workout tracking device. It won't replace your heart rate monitor.
Is it Better or Worse Than a Fitbit?
The Jawbone UP3 beats most Fitbit models by having the vibrating Idle Alert to remind you to move. Fitbit doesn't have the Smart Coach messages that give you great advice throughout the day. The UP3 heart rate sensor doesn't give you exercise heart rate like the Fitbit Charge HR does. It has no numerical display as most Fitbit models do.
UP3 Heart Rate Sensor
The bioimpedance sensors on the inner side of the band monitor your heart rate, respiration and galvanic skin response. Just before you wake up, it automatically registers your resting heart rate. Changes in your resting heart rate can show if you are fatigued, dehydrated, or have been overtraining. The Smart Coach in the UP app uses the resting heart rate to give you advice on getting enough sleep and activity. You can view your resting heart rate trend by day, week and month.
Throughout the day, the heart sensors register your passive heart rate whenever you aren't moving. You can view the daily graph and see the peaks and valleys in your passive heart rate. The Smart Coach uses this to give you advice on exercise, rest, stress, hydration and diet.
What you don't get is exercise heart rate. Although UP3 automatically detects and tracks exercise, it doesn't read or record your heart rate during exercise. If you want to aim for a specific heart rate zone, you would need to use a separate heart rate monitor.
As Jawbone gains experience with the data from the sensors, they may add more functionality to the data and you may see some seamless upgrades in what the UP3 is able to report about your heart rate, sleep, exercise and more.
What Doesn't It Do?
- It doesn't display any data on the band, not even a row of lights like the Fitbit Flex, you have to check the app.
- It doesn't have call or text notifications.
- It doesn't track exercise heart rate (yet) or have built-in GPS for speed and distance.
- You can't switch bands, you are stuck with the look you bought.
- It has no web dashboard, all of your data is in the mobile app.
The UP3 comes in eight different colors. The medical-grade TPU rubber strap buckles on securely. I never had it come loose during weeks of wear. You are meant to wear it snug enough so the sensors on the inner strap are always in contact with your skin. The sensors are coated with stainless steel and the casing is aluminum with less than 5% nickel. You should wear it day and night to get the benefits of the automatic sleep tracking. It is splash-proof but not waterproof, so you take it off for showering, etc.
Power: Recharge every 7 days via a custom magnetic USB cable. Recharging takes only about an hour, although I found the magnetic attachment a little tricky to get right.
Data: Automatic syncing via Bluetooth to the mobile app. No buttons to push, it just happens.
Notifications: The band has three colored LED dots: blue for sleep, orange for activity, and white for notifications.
Vibration alerts: You can set an Idle Alert so the band vibrates when you are inactive for any period of time from 15 minutes to two hours. Don't worry, it won't wake you up at night, you set the hours during which it is active. You can set other vibration reminders such as when you reach activity milestones, reminders to drink, eat, take your meds or go to bed.
Jawbone UP App
The UP app for iOS or Android is the same for all Jawbone UP products, and can even be used on its own without a band. If you're upgrading to the UP3, you continue with the same account and you don't lose your previous stats. With the extra tracking of the UP3, you will see some new kinds of stats in addition to those you may already be familiar with.
Daily Activity: With the first screen you have immediate feedback of your sleep and activity, including percentage of step goal and sleep goal, plus your resting heart rate. Tap on the activity total to see your steps, distance, active time, longest active period, longest idle period, total calorie burn, active calorie burn, resting calorie burn, resting heart rate, and passive heart rate graph. You can view all of your past history by day, week, month, etc.
You can set a progress notification so you will be alerted when you achieve each 2000 steps or any number between 1000 and 15,000, which can be a good reminder that you need to move more. You can also get a move summary notification so you can know how much is left to do before the end of the day.
Advanced Workout Monitoring: You never lose a walking or running workout as UP3 detects them automatically. Once you are done, the app asks if you were active during that period and to identify exactly what you were doing so it can assign it to the right category of exercise. You will see totals for the workout duration, intensity, steps, pace, and calories burned. You can edit the data and easily share it on Twitter or Facebook, etc.
If you did a workout that wasn't detected, you can add that in to get credit for the calories and active time. The sensors will give a good estimate of the intensity of your workout beyond simply basing it on the speed, as they are sensing skin temperature, heart rate an breathing rate. In this way, you will know if you really did do moderate-intensity or vigorous-intensity exercise as is recommended for health and fitness.
Advanced Sleep Tracking: It knows when you are sleeping. While the other UP bands also detect sleep, the UP3 tracks more details. It automatically detects sleep periods and the graph shows when you were awake, in REM sleep, light sleep, and deep sleep, with the total time for each during the sleep period. It also shows total sleep time, how long it took you to fall asleep, and the number of times you woke up during the night. If it didn't get the sleep period right, you can edit the start and stop time and then it will show the data correctly. You can see your sleep trends for the past week.
Smart Coaching: The Smart Coach messages cheer you on for goals, streaks, milestones, averages and trends. The coach will encourage you to specific activities, such as getting in a workout or going to bed earlier. It is very motivational and includes links to more information on different aspects of a healthy lifestyle.
Food Diary and Diet Analysis: You can use the app to track what you eat and to balance calories in/calories burned. It has a barcode scanner, food lists, restaurant menus, custom foods, or you can take a photo of what you are eating. Beyond calories, it also tracks fiber, unsaturated fat, carbs, protein, sugar, saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol. See your color-coded nutrition score, aimed to inspire you to make the best choices in what you eat. You can also log your weight and your mood. The UP app makes this a great pedometer for dieters.
Social Sharing With App
The Smart Coach encourages you to get social and add friends, tracking your data together and engaging in friendly Duels. You can determine exactly what is shared. The Jawbone App also will share data with many other popular fitness and health apps, including Apple Health.
I am a fan of the inactivity-reducing vibration alerts you get with UP2 and UP3. I need to be reminded to step away from the computer, and it's great to be able to customize how often you get these alerts. The resting and passive heart rate numbers are mostly used by the Smart Coach to recommend rest and exercise. I find them mildly interesting, but not as much as getting exercise heart rate.
I prefer a band with a numerical display rather than having to open the app to see my numbers, but the custom notifications of your step count help keep this in mind rather than invisible in an unopened up. Automatic sleep and workout detection are great features, as you soon realize if you forget to start and stop this with other activity monitors.
The Smart Coach tips are an excellent way to get nudged to improve your habits for better fitness and health.
More: The Jawbone Family of Fitness Trackers
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.
Thanks for your feedback!
Jawbone Adds Passive Heart Rate Tracking And Auto Sleep Mode To Its Wristbands
Jawbone is releasing a firmware update that will add passive heart rate and an automatic sleep mode to their wristbands. The UP2, UP3, and UP4 trackers are also getting a facelift in the form of new colors and, for the UP2, a new design with thinner straps.
Jim Godfrey, the company’s vice president of global communications, said Jawbone’s new features were among the ones most requested by users. Auto sleep means that people no longer have to activate sleep mode by tapping their tracker. Instead, it will detect when the wearer has gone to sleep and when he or she wakes up.
UP2’s new design and colors
As accelerometers and other sensors in smartphones become more sophisticated, offering continuous heart rate monitoring might help Jawbone appeal to people who are still on the fence about buying a wearable tracker.
Jawbone’s UP3 and UP4 bands already track resting heart rate, or a person’s heart rate when they are sleeping and as soon as they wake up in the morning. Passive heart rate, on the other hand, is taken at 20-minute intervals throughout the day and is meant to give users more insight into how things like consuming caffeine or experiencing stress affects their heart. Over time, Jawbone’s software determines what each user’s baseline heart rate is so it can send alerts about changes or offer health and fitness advice.
The firmware update is now available through the Jawbone UP app.
Life After Jawbone: Which Fitness Tracker to Buy Next
Don’t be fooled by the deep discounts on Jawbone’s fitness bands at retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy. Jawbone is going out of business. So even though you can find each generation of Jawbone’s UP fitness tracker for as low as $49, that appealing price simply isn’t worth it since there won’t be any company left to provide support.
But what to do if you already own a Jawbone, and want to switch to a different fitness tracker? Here’s how you can move on in a post-Jawbone world.
Jawbone’s best features, and where to find them now
Jawbone set the standard for slim and stylish fitness trackers with advanced features, such as NFC payments, sleep tracking and bioimpedance sensors for heart-rate tracking. The company’s beautifully designed UP app for iOS and Android has racked up thousands of positive reviews.
Now that Jawbone is done for, though, there’s no point in trusting your data with a company that could shut down its app and end support of its devices at any moment. (I reached out to Jawbone via email to find out whether the company plans to address customer questions, honor warranties or continue to support the Jawbone UP app, but public relations representatives have yet to respond.)
There are many other high-quality (and affordable) fitness trackers made by companies that aren’t going out of business. If you loved your Jawbone, consider these alternatives.
If you own a Jawbone UP Move…
Jawbone’s entry-level fitness tracker is a low-profile, quarter-size device that you can wear on your wrist or clip to your clothing. It has an accelerometer for tracking steps and sleep, and its LED display shows when the device is in active or sleep modes.
If you’re looking for a similarly basic tracker, I’m a big fan of the Fitbit One. Like the Move, the One has a display and can also be worn on your clothes for undercover fitness- and sleep-tracking. If you need an activity tracker that matches the Move’s 6-month battery life, try the Misfit Shine 2. Both the Fitbit and Misfit devices have a coin-cell battery that can be swapped out when it dies, so you don’t have to remember to charge them.
If you own a Jawbone UP2…
Jawbone’s tagline for the UP2 was “where performance meets style.” That’s an easy standard to meet these days, with companies like Fitbit and Misfit making bracelet-style fitness trackers that look nothing like the chunky plastic activity bands that were inescapable just a few years ago.
The Fitbit Flex 2 and Misfit Ray are the best picks for stylish bands that track your steps and sleep without looking like in-your-face fitness trackers. Like the UP2, the Flex 2 and the Ray lack displays, but they offer smartphone notifications in the form of LED lights that flash in different colors depending on the notification type. That’s more than the UP2 could do. Both are waterproof and wallet-friendly at under $100. The Flex 2 takes the edge for Fitbit’s app, which is just as good as Jawbone’s, but both bands are solid options for UP2 owners.
If you own a Jawbone UP3...
Jawbone’s UP3 band is unique in that it uses bioimpedance sensors to monitor your heart rate. Those sensors send electrical currents through your skin, similar to an electrocardiogram, and are thought to be more accurate than the optical sensors that have become standard in fitness bands, such as the Fitbit Charge 2. Unfortunately, the only other devices that use sensors similar to those in the Jawbone’s are chest straps, such as the Polar H7 and H10.
Jawbone’s bands don’t track your heart rate continuously. The UP3 and UP4 measure your resting heart rate in the morning and then check your beats per minute sporadically throughout the day. They can’t capture heart-rate data during exercise.
MORE: The Best Fitness Trackers Under $100
If you want a band nearly as slim as Jawbone’s and that can automatically track your workouts, including continuous heart rate-monitoring throughout, Fitbit’s Alta HR is a worthy contender. The $130 band’s optical heart rate sensor accurately tracks your BPM, and that heart-rate data contributes to deeper sleep-tracking analysis in the Fitbit app. Users might miss Jawbone’s app, but Fitbit’s is a solid alternative with challenges that motivate you to be more active. And with about seven days of battery life between charges, the Alta HR is a minimally fussy fitness tracker.
Another option is the Nokia Steel HR. Originally released under the Withings brand, the Steel HR is a heart-rate-tracking fitness band that looks like a stylish watch. The stainless-steel case with elastomer band easily transitions from the gym to the office to dinner, and it also comes in two sizes — 36mm and 40mm — to fit a variety of wrists.
Unlike other activity-tracking watches, the Steel HR has a small display on its face where you can see your current heart rate and daily stats, like step count and distance traveled. The watch automatically tracks 10 different exercises, including running and swimming, then syncs that data to Nokia’s Health Mate app. You’ll need to press the Steel HR’s crown to jumpstart continuous heart-rate monitoring during those workouts. The watch also tracks sleep.
If you’re looking for a fitness tracker to help you count calories and lose weight, the Steel HR integrates with MyFitnessPal and also Nokia’s smart scales, which I’ve used and highly recommend.
You can currently snag a Steel HR under the Withings brand on retailers like Amazon and Best Buy. Nokia will start carrying the rebranded version on its own website this fall.
If you own a Jawbone UP4...
Jawbone put all of the UP3’s features in its UP4 band, then took it to the next level by adding payments right from your wrist. If you want a similarly stylish fitness band that can track your heart rate and substitute for your debit card, it’s time to invest in an Apple Watch. Yes, Apple’s smartwatch is far more expensive than Jawbone’s more basic bracelets were — the Apple Watch starts at $269 — but you’ll get all the features the Jawbone offered and then some.
Jawbone’s UP4 only supported American Express payments, which isn’t that useful. Apple’s mobile payment service Apple Pay, which works on the watch, is integrated with a variety of banks and credit card companies; the watch also tracks your heart rate and offers apps that track your sleep. If you shell out an extra $100 for the waterproof Series 2, you’ll get GPS and swim tracking.
And, hey, at least you know Apple won’t go out of business anytime soon.
Caitlin is a Senior editor for Gizmodo. She has also worked on Tom's Guide, Macworld, PCWorld and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. When she's not testing out the latest devices, you can find her running around the streets of Los Angeles, putting in morning miles or searching for the best tacos.
Heart rate jawbone
Jawbone has unveiled a new Yves Behar-designed band design for its UP2 tracking device and announced a new firmware update for a few of its fitness tracking devices that will enable new heart rate and sleep tracking features. The company confirmed to CNET that it would replace existing UP2 users' devices with the new one if requested because of an issue with the legacy device's clasp.
For devices that already have heart rate tracking functionality -- the UP3 and UP4 -- Jawbone has added passive heart rate tracking. And for the UP2, UP3, and UP4, Jawbone has also added automatic sleep detection.
Until now, the UP3 and UP4 devices have only tracked resting heart rate first thing in the morning. Now, these devices will also monitor passive heart rate, which is recorded throughout the user's day, during moments when users are still. The app will then help the user understand how resting heart rate compares to passive heart rate so that users can see how certain factors including caffeine, diet, and stress can affect their heart in daily life.
The automatic sleep detection update allows users who wear the band to bed to monitor when they fall asleep at night and when they wake up in the morning without needing to change modes on the band. The UP devices will send this info to the UP App, which will generate a sleep graph for the users.
Jawbone's newest UP2 tracker will be available online at Amazon, Jawbone, BestBuy, and Target immediately, and the company said the tracker would also be available at brick and mortar Best Buy, Target, and Apple stores coming in the following weeks. The return of Jawbone devices to the Apple store is relatively new.
In June, just three months after Apple pulled a number of wristworn fitness tracking devices from its stores, including Jawbone UP24 and Nike FuelBand SE, a Jawbone executive revealed that the company’s devices would return to the Apple Store in the coming months.
Jawbone has made news a number of times this summer, though little of it was product-related -- Jawbone filed a few lawsuits against its competitor Fitbit.
The Fitbit-Jawbone lawsuit feud first began in May, just a few weeks after Fitbit filed for an IPO. In that suit, Jawbone alleged that Fitbit poached employees who downloaded sensitive data about Jawbone before leaving the company. Then in June, Jawbone filed a second lawsuit, this time Jawbone sued Fitbit over alleged infringement of three patents Jawbone obtained when it acquired BodyMedia in 2013. BodyMedia’s extensive IP catalogue was one of the key drivers of that acquisition.
And in July, a report emerged that Jawbone is trying to get the US International Trade Commission to block Fitbit’s imports into the US based on the same complaints that form the basis of the two lawsuits against Fitbit.
This week, though, Fitbit filed its own lawsuit, suing Jawbone and its subsidiary, BodyMedia, in Delaware District Court, for alleged patent infringement.
Jawbone’s Up3 fitness device monitors heart rate to track sleep cycles
Jawbone has unveiled a new small fitness band that is capable of recording three stages of sleep including rapid eye movement (REM) sleep associated with memory and high quality sleep.
The new Jawbone Up3 features an accelerometer like most other fitness trackers for detecting steps, activity and calories burned, but also new sensors that track the conductivity of skin to measure heart rate and sweat, as well as ambient and skin temperature sensors.
Other fitness trackers and smartwatches can detect heart rate using optical sensors that shine a light into the skin to detect the rushing of blood cells, but they require a larger device and demand a bigger battery.
“With UP3, our mission was to create the world’s most powerful tracker in the smallest possible design” said Travis Bogard, vice-president of product management and strategy at Jawbone. “Our advanced, multi-sensor platform delivers a huge amount of new health data, backed by our smart algorithms and highly personalised Smart Coach system.”
The Up3 is a slim strip of plastic with a flexible strap that adjusts to a reasonably tight fit to make sure the metal contacts within the strap make a decent contact with the skin.
Jawbone will use resting heart rate, measured just before waking up and just after going to sleep, as a measure of overall health when it is not affected by caffeine or other things like stress that affect it through the day.
The band can also automatically track different activities and sports, allowing the user to tag those active periods for better measurement of movements and the number of calories burned.
It syncs the data via Bluetooth to iPhone or Android smartphones, uploading the data to Jawbone’s servers for analysis allowing the app to display sleep, activity and health measurements over minutes, hours, days, weeks and months.
It will last approximately seven days on a charge, which is done with a small USB adapter that can be powered by any computer or standard USB power adapter.
‘Improve the quality of your sleep’
The biggest advantage the Up3 has over the previous generation Jawbone and most other fitness trackers is the ability to detect the different phases of sleep using the heart rate monitor. Activity trackers that use motion to infer sleep can only attempt to predict when a person falls asleep and not the important sleep cycles and quality of that sleep.
“True sleep staging can only come from EEG with sensors on the head, which has been tried in the past with a wearable monitor ( i.e., the ZEO-which is no longer around),” Dr Michael Breus, sleep therapist and author based in Scottsdale, Arizona, explained to the Guardian. “But since each sleep stage has a signature heart rate, while not direct measurement of sleep cycle, I think that this is certainly something that will be much closer than accelerometry and the device has some serious merit.”
“The more data we can collect about a person’s activities through new sensors, the better we can understand their sleep, fitness and health,” Jason Donahue project manager for data and insights at Jawbone explained to the Guardian. “The bioimpedance sensor allows the Up3 to detect light, deep and REM to measure the quality of your sleep not just the duration.”
Sleep has always been considered scientifically important to all-round physical health.
Studies have found that people who sleep for less than six hours a night have a risk of high blood pressure three times greater than those who get more than six hours, and that women who sleep less than four hours a night are twice as likely to die from heart disease as those who sleep longer.
Other research suggests that a lack of quality sleep is linked to the onset of diabetes, obesity and cancer, not to mention deterioration of mental health and memory. Conversely, sleeping too long has also been shown to cause issues. The recommended amount is between seven and nine hours.
“If, for instance, we notice that you sleep better after a certain amount of exercise or steps in a day, we can suggest hitting that amount of steps regularly will improve the quality of your sleep,” Donahue said. “But going further, if you get a bad night’s sleep with poor quality sleep we can detect this and knowing the hormones released after a bad night’s sleep that make you crave fatty foods, can suggest better alternatives and help make the next night’s sleep productive.”
The Up3 will be available before Christmas costing £149.99 in two colours – black and silver.
Jawbone also unveiled a new, cheaper fitness tracker the Up Move, which is a small button similar to the Misfit Shine. The Move tracks steps and calories burned using an accelerometer and can be worn using a belt clip or an optional wrist strap.
It lasts six months on a single replaceable coin cell battery and will be available for pre-order from 7 November costing £39.99 aimed at those looking to start tracking their daily activity.
Misfit Shine fitness tracker review: small and perfectly formed
Sleep sensors: waking up to the need to study our night’s rest
‘Sleep trackers made me far more interested in my sleep’
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Rita began feverishly tossing things into her backpack, but remembering that she could not leave the night now, she sat down on the bed in frustration. A light knock on the door made her shudder, she crawled under the covers and was silent, in the hope that Evgeny would leave now, annoyed with. Herself that she had forgotten to shut it on the heck.