Jawbone Up24 review: app

The app is possibly the best part of the Up24. It has been updated a little since we reviewed the original UP, and is still one of the best designed and nicest looking of any activity tracker.

Jawbone Up24 review - app

Two big bars show your sleep and steps, along with a percentage showing at a glance whether you're over or under. If you want to, you can track food and drink via the app. This adds a third bar showing total calorie intake. Adding food and drinks is much easier than before since you can quickly tap on a coffee, water, juice or common foods such as toast and cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and various evening meals. There's a built-in barcode scanner for processed food too.

Of course, if you want to, you can be more precise about the number of calories. It's up to you how much effort to put in. And, there's good support for third-party apps which means you can still use MyFitnessPal instead of Jawbone's food database.

Happily, there's a bunch of other big names in the companion app list including Strava, Withings (for the Wi-Fi scales), IFTTT, RunKeeper and more. There's also Jawbone's new UP Coffee app which promises to show how caffeine intake affects your sleep. Unfortunately this needs updating to make it easier to enter different types of coffee in the UK as it's set up for US use and wants you to enter the number of ounces.

Jawbone Up24 review - app

Below the big bars on the home screen is a news-style feed of your recent activity, including exercise, food and drink and sleep. For each day you can tap on a breakdown of your movement and see for how many minutes you were active and idle, plus the estimated distance you covered and a bar chart shows when you took those steps.

Sleep works in a similar way, and is arguably the best sleep tracking system around. A clear graph shows awake, light sleep and deep sleep periods, with totals underneath. It can be fascinating to see how little deep sleep you got, for example, after a bad night's sleep, as well as how long it took you to fall asleep and how long you were awake in the night.

Jawbone Up24 review - app

It's easy to change your sleep and steps goals in the app, but the defaults are 10,000 steps and 8 hours' sleep.

Swiping left brings up all the band settings, while swiping right shows a menu where you can view trends (your sleep and steps for the last weeks and months), a 'Lifeline' which puts your sleep and steps graphs in chronological order (this isn't particularly useful, we don't think), and a Team section where you can compete with Jawbone-owning friends.

Jawbone Up24: bottom line

It's great that the Up24 can now synch wirelessly, but this does limit its compatibility with Android devices (a problem for all Bluetooth activity trackers). The seven-day battery life is a few days shorter than the older Up because of wireless synching, but it's still decent considering the size and weight, and the app is brilliant - especially the sleep tracking and compatibility with other popular fitness apps.

However, it's a shame there's still no display and that the band isn't fully waterproof. It's also expensive at £125.

OUR VERDICT

If you can afford it, the Jawbone UP24 is a great activity tracker. It doesn't have the most features - and the lack of a display is frustrating - but as a tool for motivating you to exercise and generally live a healthier lifestyle, it can be very effective. There's still strong competition from the cheaper Fitbit trackers, though, and these are better value overall.