Like we have mentioned a few times in other reviews, we’re not only nerd of technology, but we are also massive fitness junkies. So when someone tells us that they want us to review anything fitness related it’s exciting, but when someone says they want us to review their fitness technology related device!? Well you have caught the full attention of our short attention spans. The Jawbone UP3 was a massive campaign for Jawbone when it was making its release, promising a whole new fitness tracking experience that you will not find anywhere else.
One of the promises that Jawbone made was that this was going to be a completely waterproof design. Instead, they ran into so many problems that it led to months of delays for all those who pre-ordered the fitness bands. Because of this they had to settle for a splash proof product rather than a waterproof one.
Aside from delivering an empty promise, they decided to make this band in a one size fits all. Now idk about you, but how often does this EVER work? I myself have massive hands and a big wrist and putting this on was a joke. I just barely got it on and it was just the most uncomfortable design not to mention an ugly one. To me it looks like they tried to make this into a fine looking piece of jewelry rather than a fitness band. And right there is another major field they failed in.
They also tried out a new clasp that no other fitness band has as well. What it does is just slides in so the band. Just trying to reach my hand in my pocket I was knocking this band off. Not to mention when I’m working out (remember this is a fitness band) and it won’t even stay on!
Jawbone also tried to build in an advanced multi-sensor platform which has bioimpedance sensors that stick out the inside of the band. Now if I showed you this design what is the first thing you will think? It obviously looks like it will be painful! 5 sharp like spikes that will dig into your skin so it will be able to track your heartrate and motions… Smart… These sensors sit on the inside of the band where they have to not only touch our wrist, but they have to be pressed up tightly against it. Wear this band for an hour and take it off and you will have 5 nicely imprinted marks in your skin. What these do is measure the resistance of skin tissue to tiny electric currents just like you would see with a heart rate grip.
The new software Jawbone has developed adds daily passive heart rate monitoring which allows for a more complete picture of your bpm metrics. With this new reading it will give you the ability to see your heart rate trends over week and month long periods. It sounds great and something that would be incredible to use when it comes to your health, but one this we kept coming across when we used this fitness bad for about a month is the readings are wrong.
Testing the Jawbone
Of course the best way to test your heart rate would be to go to the gym and see if the activity tracker would track when we are doing an exercise. First exercise, Stairmaster for 40minutes. If you have ever been on a stairmaster then you know without a doubt it gets your heart rate up. I looked at the activity tracker and it barley accounted the entire time I was on it. It was up and down. This to me was just obviously a negative. If I have a fitness band I want something that is going to track everything I do! Not some of it.
The UP3 also states that it can calculate the amount of calories burned based on your step count, using a basal metabolic rate (BMR) method. When you first set up your Jawbone it will ask you a series of questions such as your age, weight, height and activity and it will determine the calories burned from this. But, you should always remember that this is just an estimate and not an accurate number.
One of the most interesting things we were excited to try out with the UP3 is that just like the Mistfit fitness bands; the Jawbone has Sleep tracking and claims that, by monitoring a user’s bpm, respiration rate, body temperature and galvanic skin response, it would be able to tell the difference between REM, light and deep sleep.
As I guessed, when I woke up the next morning I checked to see what my sleeping pattern looked like. As far as I could remember I slept the entire night without waking up. But according to the Jawbone I was up for a couple hours from 1-4 without sleep. Now no one has ever told me I sleep walk and I certainly don’t think I was possessed by spirits from the time of 1am-4am. So I have to say that it was wrong. A couple more nights like this and it continued with its lies! So I thought what if I take the band off at night and see what it does? Well I did just that and it actually was detecting sleep! It was an on and off sleep but it sure detected someone sleeping and waking up. So what I have concluded is either this band isn’t accurate or there is a ghost in my room who went ahead and tried it on and fell asleep. For my sake, let’s hope that the band was just lying.
The Jawbone UP3 battery life says it is a 38mAh and states that it can last up to 7 days with a full charge. And from testing it out, this was the first time that the Jawbone stated something that was true. Charging the device though is a different story. The cable they give you is a specific designed one that ONLY works to charge this device. It is way too short and what they were thinking when they made it this short is beyond us. The charger magnetics to the Jawbone and that is how it charges. When you have make sure nothing can touch the charger while it charging. Don’t even breathe on it! Because the cord will just fall out and it won’t charge.
Overall, I was not impressed at all with the Jawbone UP3. And for the ridiculous $179 they are charging for this I would never recommend buying it. It is over prices for something that is not even as close to accurate are other fitness bands we have tested before. And it is nowhere are close as accurate as they state it to be. If I were you, I would spend the money on a different fitness band and not the Jawbone UP3.