I have no problems telling you I love my Jawbone Up. I’ve been “living Up” as Jawbone call it for 322 days now, so I’m living the ecosystem and the data. I love it. Why? Well it gives me a sense that I’m at least trying to live better. But the Up has had its challenges, and the usability of the device was limited by the need to continually plug it in. All that’s been solved with the Up 24 which
will be in Australia this year. is now available in Australia.
I purchased an Up 24 from an Apple Store in Los Angeles on my way out to Las Vegas for CES. The reason I bought it is in fact one of Jawbone’s biggest challenges right now – reliability.
I’ve had three Jawbone Up’s now. My son has had two. I quickly fill my hand when I count the other tech journo’s I know who have had reliability issues. This is a major problem when people are parting with $150 for the device. To their credit Jawbone have had no problems replacing the devices quickly via the USA or their Australian distributor.
I spoke with representatives from Jawbone while I was in the USA and didn’t hold back in expressing this as a concern. They told me that not only have they been working on the issues for the new model, but also within the regular production run – meaning there isn’t a need to wait for a new version, the most recently manufactured Up’s will be more reliable. Try telling that to those who’ve been through more than one of them.
In the month I’ve had my new Jawbone Up 24 I’ve had no problems at all – so I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to the company who know they have a cracking product but have to make it last or it will be a dismal failure.
So what’s new in the Up 24?
This is essentially the same device – feels the same to wear, comes in the same sizes, is the same dimensions but on the inside it packs Bluetooth Smart goodness. Bluetooth Smart is the low power consuming wireless technology which allows devices like watches and things to communicate with smartphones or other Bluetooth devices.
When you add that to the Jawbone you lose 3 of the 10 days battery life, making the Jawbone Up 24’s battery life a grand total of 7 days.
However the perceived inconvenience of that charging need is offset by the constant access to data. You open the Up app and it synchronises wirelessly to tell you your step or sleep data.
To make it even more useful because the device can talk to your Smartphone all day, you even get alerts to let you know when you hit your target of steps and notifications of sleep duration when you wake – all without plugging it in.
You see with the original Up you might try to plug it in every night as you go to bed, set your Sleep alarm and check your steps. Now with the Up 24 that happens whenever you want just by opening the app. It’s a simple thing which makes the device immeasurably more powerful.
When you consider that your phone can know what your step or sleep state is without you prompting it, you can barely imagine the possibilities that opens up.
Spot the Difference
As i’ve said, this new version is very much the same as the original Up, the differences you will see are in the pattern around the edge, a very very slight change to the button on the end – and, weirdly the size of the plug on the end. It’s gone down to that micro headphone size so doesn’t fit the original Up charger – and yes, I know that only matters to owners who upgrade, but it’s kinda strange.
That size change also means it cannot be plugged into any smartphone, so if Bluetooth isn’t working or available you’re out of luck. Also at this time the Bluetooth functionality is not available on Android devices. All a bit strange, but not a deal-breaker.
Buy now, or wait?
Don’t buy the Jawbone Up – wait for the Up 24, I mean that – sincerely. I love the Up, but it feels ridiculous not to have the wireless technology now.
UPDATE MARCH 26
The problem is, the Up 24 is not yet available in Australia, and we don’t have a schedule for release – what that could mean is that Jawbone is waiting to clear the original stock – we could be waiting a while.
The Up 24 is now available in Australia, from JB Hi-Fi, Dick Smith and Apple Stores at $179.
Overall this is a cracking good device, which has to lose a star on the ratings chart just because of the unknown reliability, other than that – it’s just what the doctor ordered.