Jawbone UP24 Review


Consumers are spoiled with choice when it comes to fitness bands. So much so, that the options may seem a bit overwhelming. The Jawbone UP24 ($159.99) is an excellent choice if you’re thinking about purchasing a fitness band. It has plenty of great features to motivate and keep you moving throughout the day, however, as with the Garmin Vivofit, it makes some sacrifices to bring you these great features. But if you find yourself unmotivated in the morning or needing a nudge of guidance, the Jawbone UP24 is the perfect fitness device to set you down a path to healthy living.

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The Jawbone UP24 is quite sleek. Its hypoallergenic TPU rubber was soft to the touch and felt great around my wrist during testing. Unlike the Garmin Vivofit, this band won’t stick out as much at a formal event. The wavy embossed engravings add a nice, subtle touch to the device that allow it pass as a simple bracelet.

It comes in three sizes: Small, Medium, and Large, so you’ll have to measure your wrist before you buy. The fitness band has no tightening straps, there’s some minor flex to the band that comes from the opened ends that cross parallel to one another. On one end there’s a button to enable and control certain functions and the other end has a removable cap that hides a 2.5mm jack for charging via USB adapter to your computer. There’s no AC adapter included for wall-charging, however, you can re-purpose an iPhone or Kindle charger to suit your needs as I did.


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The design isn’t as durable as the Garmin Vivofit, which I took into the ocean. The Jawbone UP24 is only splash-resistant, so it won’t go beyond surviving a wash in the shower. Users should also take care not to flex the band too far, as excessive bending may cause one of the components inside to snap or be damaged. The reason why it’s so thin is because every part of the Jawbone UP24’s insides is taken up by components. The band’s presence on my wrist went unnoticed throughout the day while I sat typing at my desk thanks to that thin design. Likewise, while I was sleeping, the UP24 did not disturb me (except to wake me up as scheduled).

The Jawbone UP24’s sleek design leaves it somewhere in between fashionable and impractical. There’s no display on the UP24 to tell time or signal how many steps you’ve taken. Instead Jawbone relies on buzz notifications to alert you to how far you’ve gone (if you choose to set them). You’re not meant to see everything from the Jawbone UP24–that’s what the smartphone app is for.

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One thing the Jawbone is not lacking in is customizable options. Through the UP24’s sleek smartphone UP app for Android and iOS you can set a Smart Alarm to buzz you when you’re in a state of light sleep before your designated wake time. When the UP24 buzzed me before my 6AM alarm every morning, I felt awake and refreshed, and no need to go back to bed.

There’s also an Idle Alert that you can set to buzz for every hour, half-hour, 2 hours you sit idly at your desk. This buzzing notification was a huge improvement over Garmin’s progressing red bar. I oftentimes will lose myself to my work and lose track of time—not even thinking to look down at my wrist. This type of notification system got me in the habit of jumping up to walk around for 15 minutes before I sat back down again.

The reminder alert was a nice alternative “alarm” that can buzz your wrist to let you know it’s time to workout, go to bed, take a pill, or whatever custom alert you need. These extra alerts were a nice touch and helped when I wanted to set a personal fitness reminder.

The UP app is where you’ll set all these options, but the app isn’t just an at-a-glance view of how far you’ve come—it sets a tone for what you should care about. Jawbone measures not only steps, but sleep as well.


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When setting up the Jawbone UP24 through the app, you’ll give it some information about height, weight, age, and sex. In return the UP app will recommend sleeping and step goals. Likewise, when you tell UP what you’d like to achieve, the app gives you information on how you can achieve it (i.e. eat X calories less) and a healthy time frame to achieve your weight goal.

UP will constantly challenge you to do better or go to bed earlier, by throwing goals into your daily feed. The UP app uses some word psychology to motivate you, too, saying things like, “It’s on! You will take 6,834 steps today.” Not “try to take 6,834 steps today” or “aim to take 6,834 steps today”–UP doesn’t muddle the subject, “you will.”

The Jawbone UP24 pairs with the app over Bluetooth that’s on all the time. The Garmin Vivofit had a button to enable Bluetooth syncing with its app, which allowed it to attain an amazing 1 year battery life. Because the UP24’s Bluetooth is always-on, it has to be charged every 7 days. During my time with the device, provided I didn’t have too many reminder alarms (those buzzes cost battery life), I managed to go a day or two over the 7 day estimated limit on a few occasions.

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Bottom Line

The Jawbone UP24 doesn’t have a screen, which may turn off a lot of folks. The short battery life in comparison to the Garmin Vivofit may also sway people to move away from the Jawbone UP24. The bottom line though is that this fitness band isn’t for people who want a watch or a pedometer. It’s for people that need that extra nudge to get out of bed early, get up out of their chair during the work day, and be reminded that “you will” take 6,000 steps.

If you want practical, go with the Garmin Vivofit. If you want motivation, go with the Jawbone UP24.


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Natalie Shoemaker

Natalie found her passion for writing about tech when she started with PCMag. She has also written for Geek, GDGT and TechnologyTell.

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