The Jawbone UP2 fitness band went on sale in South Africa on 20 July, and Jawbone was kind enough to send the Staff Writer the device to test.
Now, most tech sites have written reviews about what the fitness band offers and what data it tracks – which we have done briefly at the end of the article – but the first thing I noted when putting it on was how comfortable it was.
I am not one for wearing watches or jewelry, or those bangles you get when you go on holiday to Mozambique, but the UP2 sat on my wrist without any annoyance.
It also looked good, with a clean design and aluminium frame. It was not long before I knew that the UP2 and I would be good friends, sharing our lives for the duration of this review.
Our friendship blossomed over time, and I felt I needed to share our happiness with the rest of the world – in pictures.
Jawbone UP2 and the Staff Writer
We started our day full of confidence, ready for what the world had to throw at us.
It was straight to the grindstone, writing deals features with no good deals in them and how great DStv is. Our readers love those articles.
Unfortunately, we were bored 15 minutes later, so we started poking the web developer in the back of the head. You can tell he is creative because he uses a Mac.
Soon it was time for lunch. It was a Woolworths lamb curry. It was good, but not hot enough. I am originally from Durban, which has some of the best curry restaurants in the country.
After lunch, the editor asked me to write a story about Afrihost’s new ADSL POC network. I said okay, then looked at pictures of animated ponies. I like the orange one.
Soon it was time for second lunch. I wanted to eat the steak roll, but I am trying to avoid carbs. Not only would UP2 approve, it would also help me in my quest to get a six-pack. Then I realised no one ever sees me with my shirt off, so I ate the steak roll.
After lunch I had some coffee, and accidentally threw a teaspoon into the office bin. I was going to take it out, but there was other stuff in the bin – so I left it, then complained to the editor that the office was running out of teaspoons.
After work I went to a friend’s house and we played table tennis. I am really good at table tennis, but I always let my friend win because he is not good at sport and not good looking, so I try to help keep his confidence up. After only seven games with me he got engaged to a lovely young lady – I was proud.
After table tennis I went home, and needed the bathroom.
I soon realised I needed to extend my bathroom visit, so took the opportunity to go on Tinder.
I didn’t have any good pics on my Tinder profile, so I took a selfie to add to the portfolio. It was terrible, so I deleted it.
Eventually it was time for bed, so I took the UP2 off, took a photo of it, and then put it back on – because you sleep with it on. The end.
A brief review
The UP2 tracks your activity using a motion sensor, with the data then fed into a smartphone app – which was quick and easy to download.
This information is then broken down into how long you have been active for, how many steps you have taken, your idle time, how long you slept the night before, and so on.
Your step count, distance covered, and calories burnt are calculated based on your age, gender, height, and weight, along with activity intensity and duration.
What’s cool about the UP2 is that is does not need constant connectivity to your phone. You can run around, do some work, then connect it via Bluetooth and it will sync the stored data.
The image below shows the active and sleep cycle feedback the app gives.
Jawbone’s UP2 is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which still had power after five days of testing.
The UP2 also features a vibration alert, which you can use to wake you up, remind you to move if you have been sitting for too long, or when it’s bedtime.
The band is splash and shower resistant, which, when paired with the lack of required constant connectivity to your smartphone, means you can wear and use it most places.
Other features include a Smart Coach function, food tracker, and exercise stopwatch.
The most useful feature for me was seeing how long I was idle for at a time. As you can see in the screenshot above, sitting at your desk for 2 hours and 55 minutes at a time is probably not good for the back.
The Jawbone UP2 is available in SA grey or black, and retails for R1,599. The accompanying app is free, available for iOS and Android.