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Jawbone tackles mobile payments with UP4 fitness tracker

Susie Ochs | April 17, 2015
Out this summer, the UP4 will combine the heart-tracking features of the UP3 with NFC payments by American Express. A lightweight UP2 tracker rounds out the offering.

For example, if your RHR tends to spike the day after a bad sleep, the app could point this out to you, suggest an earlier bedtime, and remind you to start winding down an hour before. At any point along the way, you can say, "No thanks" to its prompts so it doesn't nag you when your routine is already thrown off, by, say, a trip or an illness. Actionable tips like this are a much smarter approach to health than just charting your data on graphs and leaving you to make your own connections--that's how dumber activity-tracking systems get left in a drawer.

Fashionable fitness
Looks-wise, UP3 and UP4 are less conspicuous than a smartwatch with a big gaudy screen. While Jawbone's previous flagship tracker, the UP24, kind of bends around your arm like a pipe but doesn't close all the way, the new bands have a metal clasp that you can position anywhere on the strap for a very customizable fit.

That's especially important for the UP3 and UP4, whose sensors must stay in contact with your skin, but it helps the new UP2 band stay slim and light as well. It's only a little tricky to get closed with one hand. (Luckily you don't have to take it on and off very often, unless you swim every day--these bands are splash resistant but not waterproof.) But the clasp did catch on my long hair twice the first day when I reached up to scratch my head.

Jawbone's bands don't look like jewelry like Misfit's Shine and Flash, or the Withings Activite, a tracker disguised as a normal wristwatch. But the buttonless, screen-free UP2, UP3, and UP4 are discrete enough to blend in. You can tap the capacitive panel on the top of each band to change modes (asleep and awake), a vibration motor buzzes you when you hit your goal or set an alarm in the app, and you just check the app to check your activity data or get recommendations. The app wasn't live at the time of this writing (although it should be when you read this), but we'll have complete reviews later on, after we've used each band enough to get meaningful insights into our health.

The UP2 is available immediately from Amazon and Jawbone for $100, which is $30 less than Jawbone offered the UP24. A Black Diamond pattern is available first, with a Light Gray Hex option and more colors coming soon, and it'll be on store shelves at Best Buy starting April 19.

UP3 is shipping starting April 20 for $180, in a Black Twist pattern. UP4 will be available starting this summer, for $200.

 

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