UP by Jawbone review: track your activity without a fitness band

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The Jawbone UP24 is one of the best and most popular fitness bands, providing a comprehensive way of tracking your activity and sleep. Jawbone has now launched the UP app as a standalone tool for Android phones (and iPhone, too).

It will track your lifestyle without the need for the band, and it’s completely free.

Up android nexus fitness

UP by Jawbone features

UP by Jawbone is surprisingly feature packed for an app that could so easily be nothing more than a taster for the full UP experience.

It covers all aspects of your lifestyle, monitoring your physical activity, logging sleep and food and other significant events during your day.

Up jawbone main screen

The sleep logging feature is the only one that is hobbled—while the UP24 by Jawbone wristband monitors the quality of your sleep during the night, in the app you can only manually add details on how long you slept.

This obviously gives you a reason to buy the fitness band, and though the manual approach is not as useful, if you buy into the app as a whole it’s not too much of a problem to enter the details each morning. Many parts of the app also rely on manual input, including what you have eaten, your weight, and any workouts of any kind that you have done.

Thankfully the app makes much of this as painless as possible. Other fitness apps make the process of adding the foods you’ve eaten more effort than it’s worth. UP takes a visual approach with preset foods, and the ability to scan barcodes on products to pull in the nutritional information from a central database. The need to type, and manually set up foods, is really only a last resort.

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Up jawbone food

The main part of the app is the activity tracking. Using the motion sensor on your phone—we were testing on the Nexus 5—it is very accurate, and if you wish you can leave the device in your pocket or bag, and it will happily go about counting all your steps without needing any manual interference.

Android Wear is also supported. Sleep tracking doesn’t work with this, either.

UP for Jawbone compatibility

The Jawbone website lists official compatibility as being the following devices. We’d expect other newer devices, like the Note 4, to work with the app too.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
  • Moto G
  • Moto X
  • Nexus 5
  • LG G3

Tracking your activity

Over time it’ll build up a series of charts that show you how far you are walking, how many calories you’re using up and so on. It’ll also give you gentle encouragement as you pass certain milestones for the day, or find yourself sat idly for too long, and you can set goals for sleep, movement and weight for it to report on.

Up by jawbone

An additional welcome touch to help you reach your goals is the use of a ‘teams’ function. You can add friends and family members and share your activity with each other, which you can then use for motivation or competition.

The app syncs its data with the UP service, so it’s accessible on other devices, and you get full continuity if you do decide to get the band. In addition, it can be synced with countless third party apps and devices including MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper, and even things like Withings Smart Scales.

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The best fitness tracking app

UP for Jawbone is a beautifully designed app, packed with bright, friendly visuals that make it easy to see how you’re doing, as well as loads of small touches that make the app fun to use.

Up jawbone feel

Best of all, you can use as many or as few of the features as you need. We were happy using it as a simple pedometer, replacing our previous favourite, Pacer. If you want something more in-depth then UP fulfils that role too.

For serious attempts to overhaul your lifestyle then the added sleep tracking support from UP24 is definitely recommended, but as a more casual tool, or as a starting point for the changes you want to make to your life, UP for Jawbone is probably the best lifestyle app around today.