CNET First Look
Jawbone Up3 adds limited heart rate to a slim band, but it's not worth the priceIs there room for a plain old fitness band with no screen in an age of smartwatches? Jawbone's new band has fantastic software, but its heart rate tracking's just not useful enough.
In a world full of smart watches and fitness watches with screens like the Apples watch, and Pebble and others. There are also fitness bands some of them don't have any screen at all, and the Jawbone bands are an anomaly in that regards. The new Jawbone up three, which is a premium product at $180 Has no screen. It's meant to be worn casually. Now, the last bands, the [UNKNOWN] was like that too. It had this easy, stretchy design, looked low-key and a lot of people like that. And, these new ones are like that too except, the band is a lot harder to put on. The clasp really takes some effort to get it on just right. Once it's on, you could wear it around everywhere. You could even wear it in the shower. Just don't wear it swimming. And the Up3 brings something new to the table, which is heart rate tracking. It doesn't do it with any blinking green light that a lot of these do. It's using bio impedance. There are metal studs inside the band. Then once it makes contact, it's meant to measure electrical impedance to measure heart rate and potentially down the road look at stress levels, hydration. And skin temperature. What it does right now is just resting heart rate. So if you go to sleep at night, you'll find out what your heart rate is. But you can't use it for exercise, you can't use it for reading throughout the day. You can use it for slightly better sleep tracking. A lot of bands have heart rate tracking, Basis, Microsoft Band, Apple Watch, Fitbit Charge HR So heart rate is not all that exciting and this one does less. For $180, I would recommend going down to the $100 upto which skips heart rate tracking, but I love the jawbone up app, it's awesome, has great coaching, has social elements and ties in with a ton of features. I like that the Up App coaches me, but I want it to coach me more. And you keep having to go back to your phone to see what this is buzzing you about. It'll vibrate to tell you to go to sleep or to send alarms to you, but other than an indicator to tell you whether you're in walk mode or in sleep mode That's pretty much it. There's a little bit of a notifications flash, but it feels archaic compared to all the little displays that other bands like this have, I mean you could have put a display on here to send basic information to this. The Up3 gets a solid seven days of battery life, and it's easy to charge with a little magnetic dongle that's included. Just don't lose that dongle. Thumbs up to the Jawbone UP app. Not so excited about the features on the UP3 right now, I'd suggest waiting, unless you're dying to explore the potentials of bioimpedance down the road. I'm Scott Stein at CNET with the Jawbone UP3.