Sunday, May 03, 2015

Jawbone UP 24 vs. FitBit Charge: And the winner is...

Note: This post has Amazon Affiliate links in it.
I think I need another gadget or two

I had been tracking with the Jawbone UP for about a year, and decided to give the UP 24 a try. I was looking forward to the wireless syncing, and was also hoping that Jawbone had solved its durability problems with the newer model (Interestingly, as I am writing this, I learned that both UP bands I have owned are now discontinued).

Not long after I just bought the UP 24, I was notified that our insurance company was offering a Fitbit Charge free for members who agreed to submit to some biometric screenings. Basically, the Fitbit is a bribe for the insurance company to collect information on us. If they catch a diabetic or someone with high blood pressure early, they can save a lot of money. Some of my more suspicious co-workers thought the insurance was going to use this information to charge us more if we were fat.  However, since I see my doctors regularly and they probably already had access to my height, weight, etc., I felt like it was worth a little trouble to get screened in order to try out a new gadget.

I wore them together for about a week. Interestingly, during that week, the UP needed to be reset and I lost a whole day's worth of data. That was the final straw for me. I gave the UP to my sister and switched LoseIt! to sync to the Fitbit.

When I bought the UP band, I was comparing it to the Fitbit Flex, and I didn't like the idea of having to take the "bit" part out of the wristband to charge it. I preferred the simplicity of the Jawbone band. I was afraid that if I got a Flex, I would lose the tiny piece and it wouldn't work anymore. I have a friend who has some mobility troubles with his hands and he finds it very difficult to work with the Flex.  The Charge just plugs in as is, which is much simpler to me. I don't mind that I can't change the color of the band.

Weirdly enough, I love having the watch function on the Charge. I got out of the habit of wearing a watch because they always bugged me when I was using the computer, so I would just use my phone to check the time. It's a lot more subtle to check the time on my wrist during class, and the band is thin enough that it doesn't annoy me when I'm typing.

I still liked the app for the UP better than the Fitbit app, and the UP bands I had were more attractive than the Fitbit, but I'm probably not going to buy another UP product anytime soon.  The new UP3 looks nice, but the UP2 is ugly. I think it is great that they discontinued the products that weren't working, but I'm mad that I bought the tracker on Amazon after it was discontinued and didn't know it (there is now an indication that the band is discontinued, but it wasn't there a few weeks ago when I bought my band). I wouldn't have spent the money if I knew I couldn't count on it to work. How do I know that the new trackers will be any better, and that the company will let me know if they aren't?

My dream product would be a Fitbit that used the UP "smart coach" software. And one that was waterproof, as I jumped in the pool with my Fitbit on and almost had a heart attack (I got right out and dried it off, and it seems to be fine).

Do you use an activity tracker? Which one do you have and how do you like it?


  1. I have a Fitbit Charge HR. Same as the Charge but has all day heart rate monitoring. It isn't quite as good a chest strap, but almost and I think gives better calorie burn info (it uses heart rate to help figure out calorie burn). I had a Fitbit One before. Anyway, I really like the Charge HR a lot.

    1. I haven't had a chance to try the Charge HR but I use a heart rate monitor when I bike or run.

  2. I have a POLAR LOOP but I wannnnnnt a charge :-)

    1. They have a purple Charge too -- I was sad the insurance people didn't have one, but since it was free I'm happy with the Slate.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07