Jawbone Gets Cheap With Up Move, Goes Premium With Up3
While Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft are pushing fitness-tracking smartwatches and catch-all health apps, the industry’s pioneers are doubling down on fitness bands. Jawbone introduced the $50 Up Move and the $180 Up3 on Wednesday—two new devices that join the popular $130 Up24.
These additions mean that Jawbone has a full family of products serving different use cases, needs and price points. “Smartwatches and fitness trackers are distinctly different things,” said Yves Behar, Jawbone’s chief creative officer. “It’s a huge part of our philosophy.” Behar said that Jawbone has always aimed for Up products to be discreet, contrasting with the buzzing, glowing smartwatches that dominated in 2014.
“[An Up device] doesn’t distract you. It doesn’t take you out of the moment. It doesn’t stop you when you’re doing things you want to do,” Behar said. “It’s about keeping people moving, exercising, meditating, whatever they do. When I use a phone at the gym, it distracts me. When I use it in a meeting, it’s distracting there, too.” And smartwatches have thus far largely replicated the smartphone experience on a wrist, he said.
Besides being distraction-free, Up devices are meant to be worn 24 hours a day, for days on end, so longer battery life is mandatory, Behar said. So far, he added, people aren’t wearing smartwatches to bed. “If we don’t capture sleep data, we don’t have a complete picture of your health,” Behar said.
All of the Up products pair with the free Up app, along with a growing number of third-party devices—Nest thermostats, Withings scales and Pebble watches to name a few—that bring additional functions, like turning down the temperature when you sleep, or tracking how your exercises help you lose weight.
The Up3 is the Jawbone’s new flagship tracker. It’s far thinner and lighter than the Up24 band. At its thickest point, which sits on the top of the wrist, it still has a lower profile than the Up24. Even where it’s as thin as a leather watch strap, the Up3’s strap is filled with sensors.
Previous Up devices, including the Up24 and the now discontinued original Up, included just one sensor: a tri-axis accelerometer. The Up3 has an updated one of those, plus skin and ambient temperature sensors, and four bioimpedance sensors located on the inside of the device.
Together, these sensors do still track all the Up24 tracked: steps, calories burned, distance traveled and sleep quality. But they can also recognize bursts of activity, so you don’t have to log workouts every time you break a sweat. The app does ask you what you were up to (running, weight lifting, playing basketball, swimming, etc.), however, so that over time, it will automatically recognize what type of exercise you’re doing.
And while the Up24 could determine when you were sleeping lightly or restfully, the new sensors will let Up3 recognize REM sleep, deep sleep and light sleep. Up3 will also be able to determine your resting heart rate.
Travis Bogard, Jawbone’s vice president of product, said that future software updates will also let the Up3 tell users what their heart rate is on demand, and whether or not they’re fatigued or stressed out at work. With all the new signals the Up3 will be able to track, the Up app’s Smart Coach feature will be able to give better recommendations on how its users can sleep, eat and exercise better to live healthier lives, Bogard said.
For a device that doesn’t tell even tell the time, $180 may sound steep. But even with all the additional sensors, the Up 3 should get about a week’s worth of battery life, Behar said. While that’s about half as long as the less-featured Up24, it’s about seven times longer than smartwatches. (Fitbit’s 8-sensor Surge fitness band, promised in early 2015, is also set to last a week on a charge.)
The Up3 will ship later this year in black, and be offered in red and silver early next year. The company is also working on other models which will feature leather and cloth bands, and ship in various colors and finishes that give the device an almost jewelry-like look. Like the Up24, the Up3 and the Up Move are water resistant—the Up Move is splash resistant and fine for the shower or doing the dishes, whereas the Up3 is water resistant up to 10 meters deep.
The Up Move is a small pod, about the size of four half-dollar coins, that runs for about 6 months on a watch battery. It’s essentially Jawbone’s answer to the Misfit Flash, which is about the same size and price. Like Misfit’s trackers, the accelerometer-equipped Up Move can be worn as a clip attached to your shirt, jog bra, pants or shoes. It can work in your pocket, or worn on the wrist with watch-like bands.
The clickable little token is soft-touch plastic underneath, anodized aluminum on top. With a press, hidden LED lights glow to show you your progress toward your step goals. Two clicks will display the time, with shining lines at the edge indicating hours and minutes. Though far cheaper, the Up Move does nearly everything an Up24 band does, including measuring calories burned, distance traveled, steps and sleep. The only thing the Up24 can do that the Up Move can’t is vibrate to wake users up in the morning.
The Up Move will be sold with a clip case in various colors, and the wristband cases will be sold separately for $15—or in packs of three for $30. The Up Move and its accessories will be available for pre-order on Jawbone.com starting Wednesday and it’ll hit retailers later this month.