Fuelband vs. UP
So a few days ago I strapped on my newly acquired Jawbone UP, ready to ‘trackle’ the world. I think I just made up a new word, but I digress.
Upon its arrival, I found the packaging to be a little ugly, not to mention tricky to open. This is all in comparison with the Nike Fuelband, which has a very simple and Apple-like design.
After clawing the packaging open, all I had to do was get the app (which I had downloaded a few days earlier because I lack in the patience department) and plug it in. Do all the regular calibration settings (height, weight, blah, blah) and you’re all set.
Now there are three main differences I found between the Fuelband and the UP:
- Design (fit)
- Screen vs. no screen
- Measuring data
Now maybe it’s because I have a Fuelband and I’ve looked at it one too many times, but it’s begun to look sluggish to me, so having something new on my wrist is a delight in itself. But putting that aside the UP looks amazing and, more importantly, it feels great.
Because there is no clip to lock the band closed, the UP subtly adjusts to your wrist. I have skinny wrists so I went with the Small size. At first it felt a little tight, but I’ve worn it in now and the band seems to have stretched a little. It’s because the band doesn’t have a set circumference that it fits so well, either side of your wrist bone, or whatever that thing’s called.
Screen vs. No Screen
What I originally liked about the Fuelband was that I could visually track my data, and check the time of course. But as time went on, all you really end up checking is the time, and occasionally the Fuel. The latter normally occurs when you meet with a couple friends and have a quick draw to see who has the most Fuel.
With the UP, I don’t really miss these features. The UP is not meant to be social - the Fuelband did a really good job of this and it’s half the reason why the LEDs are there. Because there is no screen, the UP has an edge over the Fuelband in terms of design. The surface has a textured feel and looks more like a bracelet than a computer-strap on your wrist. Putting it simply, the UP is more subtle, being discreet but also stylish and noticeable at the same time.
Now here’s the juicy part. The UP blows the Fuelband out of the water when it comes to tracking your activity. Due to the teaming up with Motion X, the UP packs a lot more punch and goes into a lot more detail about the activity it’s logging. I can log a workout, a yoga session, a run. I can also set a stopwatch to record these activities easily. I can record my sleep, which shows me a graph of how lightly and heavily I slept as well as how many times I woke up. It has an alarm feature that vibrates when waking up or if you’ve been idle for too long.
The ONLY thing I have against the UP is that it does take some time to get used to the app. Unlike the Fuelband where it’s more just pick up and go, it takes time to learn how to use the UP seamlessly. For example, I only just figured out that I can log my activities using the stopwatch feature - a few days it took.
I would also like to see a desktop version of the app. There’s a lot of data to track and it would be a lot more digestible if seen on a larger screen.
Maybe we’re all just spoilt by amazingly simplistic devices these days, and I’m not saying that the UP isn’t one of them, but it was the first time I had to read a manual in a while. Look at us, us Millennials.
Verdict: Get it if you don’t already have the Fuelband. If you do have the Fuelband, get it anyway.