Jawbone Up2 review: A stylish band that won't fall off your wrist

After the first few days of use, I started to receive smart coaching tips and feedback on my activities. I was challenged to walk more than 9,478 steps one day and when I completed that, I was challenged to do even more steps the next day. These challenges don't just cover steps, but also sleep, hydration and food intake. Challenges aren't automatic and you can choose to accept or pass on specific ones.

Along with the challenges, I began to receive reminders and activity insight. A small notification explained the benefits of sleeping more than 7 hours a night, while another reminded me that swapping out chips for crackers would aid in my weight loss. It's this sort of feedback and smart coaching that makes the Up shine.

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I walk at a brisk pace in the mornings as I head toward the subway. When I arrived at work, I opened the app and was asked if I had performed an activity 20 minutes prior. The Up is capable of automatically detecting a rapid change in pace and active exercises. I confirmed in the app that I was walking at a moderate pace. You can also manually log activities for lifting weights, running, cross training, hiking, cardio, biking, yoga, basketball and Zumba, among other activities.

When it was time for lunch, I opened the food and drink journal in the app and logged my meal. You can either type in the food you are eating or scan a bar code, which will then search for the food in Jawbone's database. I'm no stranger to food tracking, having used MyFitnessPal for many years to maintain my weight, but I wasn't a fan of Jawbone's database. Barcode scans weren't always accurate and sometimes couldn't read the information at all. As I mentioned however, the Up can sync with third-party apps, including my favorite, MyFitnessPal.

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Aside from viewing your data, the app also lets you customize your sleep, step and weight goals. There's even an option to set idle alerts, which will vibrate to remind you to get up and move. You can also set reminders that will vibrate the band and alert you through the mobile app of upcoming events.

After a long day, it was finally time for bed. I didn't have to tap the band or open the app thanks to the new automatic sleep tracking update. The next morning I was able to view the amount of light and deep sleep I achieved. The band also tracks how many times I woke up during the night, how long I was awake, the amount of time I was actually in bed, and how long it took for me to fall asleep. All of this data is displayed in a colorful chart, along with a percentage for how close I was to achieving my sleep goal.

I tested the Up2 on an Android device running version Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. It appears the band didn't always sync in the background and would only begin the syncing process after I opened the app. The same occurred when I paired the band with an iPhone 6 Plus .

Battery life

Jawbone claims the Up2 will last up to 10 days on a full charge, but I consistently saw around 7 days. A week of battery life isn't bad, and that's similar to what the Fitbit Charge can achieve. For some perspective, though, the Up24 lasted up to 14 days, and the Garmin Vivofit and Misfit Shine each have a coin battery that can last up to one year.

The redesigned Up2 shares the same charger as the original Up2 (and same as the Up3). It's a magnetic four-pin connector that plugs into your computer or wall charger and takes approximately an hour and a half for the battery to go from zero to full.

Conclusion

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The redesigned Up2 is stylish and more secure than older models. While it may be missing more advanced features seen in recent competitors, an attractive price and superior software make it one of the best fitness trackers available today.

Not only does Jawbone's software provide in-depth information on your sleep and daily activities, but it also offers smart coaching and daily insights to help you live a healthier life. This software is what propels the Up2 ahead of the competition. You don't even need an Up2 band to take advantage of Jawbone's software (you can use your phone, or a smartwatch app available for Pebble , Android Wear and eventually the Apple Watch ), but it's a good match.

The Up2 is the fitness tracker I would buy, and I have no problem recommending it to others. Just be sure to purchase the redesigned Up2 with the lightweight thin straps, rather than the model with the classic flat strap.

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