Jawbone Up wearable health sensor

Tech tag that fights the flab

Wrist watch

Even better, the wristband can wake you up. Jawbone says that it’s best if you wake from light, rather than deep, sleep. Set the alarm for 8am, say, and from 30 minutes before that the Up measures what sleep cycle you’re in. As soon as it spots you going from deep to light sleep, it starts vibrating to wake you up. If you’re still in deep sleep by alarm time, it’ll wake you anyway. No doubt many of you have tried apps like Sleep Cycle and this is yet another take on that sort of idea.

Jawbone Up motion-sensing wristband

USB charging adapter

Since the vibration is silent, this is ideal if your significant other wants to wake later than you. And on the occasions I’ve used it, it’s consistently woken me gently and left me feeling refreshed, so the timing seems right too. For me, this is the best thing about the Up, and many will feel it justifies the price tag for this alone.

Build quality is excellent and the wrist fit is comfortable and secure. But the Up is not perfect. Syncing with your iPhone is done by sliding the silver tip off and revealing a 3.5mm headphone jack which plugs into the phone. That’s OK – Bluetooth might have been more convenient but would have added weight and cost – but the silver tip is all-too-easily lost, especially if you catch the wristband on something.

Jawbone Up motion-sensing wristband

The 3.5mm jack plugs into your iPhone to sync the data on the Up

The Up is useless without the app, so it’s a shame there’s no Android version, though I’ve been told this will follow. As a UK user of a certain age, I’d like the option to input my weight in stones and lbs instead of just lbs or kg. And I’d like some indication about what’s healthy. In an eight-hour sleep, for instance, how much should be deep sleep, how much light? The app isn’t as intuitive as it should be, although the opportunity to improve it with updates exists, of course.

Still, there are other features, like the facility to set team goals to encourage your friends. The range of colours available means you should be able to find one that suits. And there’s something very satisfying in confirming that you had a good night’s sleep – the rays of sunshine radiating from the sleep icon can be enough to make you feel ready to start the day. Well, almost.

Jawbone Up motion-sensing wristband

iOS for now, with an Android version to follow

Verdict

Jawbone up covers a range of lifestyle issues although the food aspect of the program is rather too basic. Still, it’s neat-looking and simple to use although currently for iOS only. The only real concern is the Jawbone tip that covers the 3.5mm headphone jack could easily get lost. There's also the cost. The Jawbone Up is expensive but this is gadget could genuinely inspire you to eat better and exercise and sleep more and may well be a price worth paying. ®

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Jawbone Up motion-sensing wristband

Jawbone Up wearable health sensor

A motion sensor wristband that works with an iPhone app to monitor your exercise, eating and sleep patterns.
Price: £80 RRP