The UP2 from the top looks broadly similar to the UP24 that we have previously reviewed, but it is at the bottom where the changes have happened.
It comes in two difference styles, one with a solid band around the wrist, the other (the model we reviewed) has two thin straps. It makes it look much smaller and less obtrusive on the wrist whilst also making more like a bracelet than a fitness tracker.
The colour we tested was turquoise, which is pleasant and a much more interesting colour than the blacks and greys that most other fitness trackers tend to use. It also has an interesting clasp system with just two metal clips containing subtle Jawbone branding.
I prefer this look to the previous Jawbone models as it looks far less clinical and much more subtle when on the wrist. It also has no buttons on it whatsoever, and only three lights that very rarely appear unless you tap the top in a certain way.
The battery life on the UP2 is around 5/6 days which isn’t too bad, although compared to something like the Misfit shine (6 month battery life) it is some way off. However 5 days is enough to not feel that you constantly need to charge it. In fact the only time it has run out of juice was when I went away for the weekend with only 5% battery remaining and didn’t take my charger.
The charger itself is improved from the last version, which was a headphone like socket that you needed to plug the band into. This is much simpler, where you just place the band onto a platform and line up the pins on the charger and and. It is much more solid than the last charger too, which makes it easier to use too.
The band seems accurate, especially as I find it much more difficult to reach my steps target, which I thought were perhaps a bit too easy to reach with previous models. it does not pick up cycling activity automatically, which is either a good or bad thing depending on what you are using the band for. If you are using it as a pedometer then this is great as it stops inaccuracy, but if you just want to measure wifer activity, then this could be a let down. That being said, it is simple to add the activity afterwards and although this does not add this to the number of steps taken, it adds it to calories burnt.
As well as tracking activity, the band tracks your inactivity both in terms of sleeping patterns and also idle alerts.
With the older bands the sleep recording needed to be be turned on through holding the only button on the device, with this model this is not necessary and instead is done automatically as it recognizes when you are asleep. The accuracy of this is particularly good and I even tested this through not looking at this data until later in the day and when it quantified my sleep at 60% I had spent the morning feeling slightly tired and when it was close to 100% I felt energized.
It also has a countdown function (through a series of vibrations), a silent alarm and inactivity monitor all using the same vibration settings.
The thing that really sets this band apart from others on the market is the excellent app.
Uploading to it is a breeze through bluetooth, then once the data is on the screen it is simple to view and analyze your activity throughout the day and sleep during the night. It has a minimalistic look, and much like all well thought out designs, takes away the unnecessary and makes the necessary simple to follow. Additional information can also be viewed through simply looking at specific data when you want to.
From the app you can also set different aspects of the band, such as the time of the silent alarm, setting reminders, idle alerts etc. These are incredibly simple to do, making it useable for almost anybody.
Away from the technological functionality, the band itself is much improved in terms of practical functionality too. Where the older bands, due to their rigid structure, would slightly hinder you movement, especially when writing or typing, the UP2 does not have this issue due to its flexible rubberized bands, which means that it just like wearing a regular bracelet rather than a fitness tracker. The problem with the old version was not something only found with the UP though, and I believe that this makes the UP2 one of the most wearable fitness trackers I have used.
I was very impressed with the UP2, it brings together genuine wearability and intuitive uses of technology to make it probably the easiest to use activity monitor on the market at the moment. It does not have the complexities of use that many others have, but this is perhaps what makes it so good, it has stripped out the stuff that people don’t use.
The app is also a particular highlight, making the data from the band easy to see and analyze, even giving helpful tips based on your results.
The UP2 has a bigger brother (UP3) which includes more complex technology such as a HR monitor, but in reality I think that it would take away from the benefits of this model. It is easy to use, easy to view data from and useful, what else would you want from an activity monitor?