May 9, 2013

Up by Jawbone - A Review

This is not a sponsored post. I simply have this product and want to share my opinions of it.

I purchased my UP by Jawbone three months ago. I'd been wanting a pedometer for a while, but I had yet to find one that fit my qualifications. First and foremost: it couldn't be a clip on model. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I cannot stand things clipped on my pants. It bothers me and makes me feel unprofessional. Plus where do I put it when I wear a dress? Some models you can clip onto your bra, but I have never been one to stash things in my bra nor it is cavernous enough in there for me to forget it's there. Actually, that was really my only qualification - I wouldn't be forced to clip it onto my pants or where it somewhere it doesn't belong.

When I read about the UP I was intrigued. It's a bracelet? That tracks my steps, and my sleep, and is a place where I can log other activities and my food? Of course, you have to use the app for most of that, but the app is free and has a great user interface. After reading more about it I knew that I wanted it, but due to it's decently high cost ($130) we decided I would think about it for a few weeks. If I still wanted it after that time I could get it. (Sometimes I have a tendency to really want things, but a week later I couldn't care less. We put this policy in place to counteract that. Lars has the same rule for himself so it works out nicely.)

Now that I've been living daily with my UP for two months, here are some observations:
  • I am often amazed by how few (and sometimes how many) steps I walk in a day. It's not as easy as you'd think to get in the recommended 10,000 steps. If I'm working all day at my desk even if I work out 45 minutes I sometimes don't get in all of my steps. On the other hand, I volunteer at a hospital in town, and there are days I'll walk all 10,000 steps in one three hour shift. It just really depends. 
  • I usually walk and strength train for my exercise. The app has about 15 various exercise activities that will satisfy most people's tracking needs. If you do some obscure form of exercise just know that you might have to choose "other" for tracking your daily exercise.
  • I love the food tracking aspect of the app. Yes it takes a bit to add your foods to the food library, but if you're anything like me you often eat the same things (at least for breakfast and lunch) so it's not that difficult. It's been interesting to see how the nutritional value of the foods I make at home once I put the recipe ingredients into UP.
  • On the food aspect, my main issue is that the app sets your nutritional daily values for you without really taking anything into account but your height, weight and gender. It has my daily carb intake set to what is in the middle range of a low carb diet. I am not on a low carb diet so when I look at my overall day, it always tells me that I'm over my carb limit. 
    • To be fair, on days I eat a decent amount more carbs than others I have noticed that I don't feel on top of my game. Although I still eat more than 100g of carbs a day, I feel better on the days I don't eat 250g of carbs. I might not have noticed that without my UP tracking it.
  • You have to press the button to put it in sleep mode so I've forgotten a few times, but it is amazing to have data validating a good (or bad) night's sleep.
All in all, I am very satisfied with my UP, and I would definitely purchase it again.

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