You have probably read my previous post on Fitbit products, including the Fitbit Flex. If you don't know what a Fitbit Flex is, it is a wristband-like device that helps track your activity throughout the day, mainly the steps you've walked. There are a few similar devices on the market, including the Nike Fuelband and the Jawbone UP. I have used the Fitbit Flex for a few months, but I hadn't had a chance to use the Jawbone UP, until now.
I like my Fitbit Flex. It's not 100% accurate all the time, but I really like it. But I originally wanted the Jawbone UP so I really wanted to see how they compared with each other. I was very lucky to receive one from Verizon to review for a few weeks.
Looks: The Fitbit looks nice compared to most of the other products out there, and you can change the color of the band (If you're looking for a Christmas present for me, now you know), but just look at the UP though. It looks so sexy to me. It doesn't look like an activity tracker, and could pass for a bracelet in my opinion. I think it helps that I have the black one, but hell, the UP wins in looks.
Accuracy: The Flex and the UP were pretty even to me in terms of accuracy. I already know the Flex goes a little under in distance for me because I have measured it (although I have not calibrated it to suit my body). On Sunday, I had a race. So put them both on to see which would get a more accurate distance. They came in approximately the same. What I thought was curious though is that the Flex measured more steps but yet had a slightly lower distance than the UP. The variance was about 1 mile (see results below in "The App" section).
The App: The Jawbone app is not bad, but I think Fitbit wins this one. I tend to want to see how much information I gave get on page one without digging too deep. Jawbone only gives the steps on the first page, and then you have to dig deeper. Fitbit gives the calories burned, the steps, and the miles. When you do dig deeper, Jawbone does give you more information about when you were active, when you were idle, etc. which is fabulous. But in the end, Fitbit wins by a tiny margin because the interface is just better.
Sync Process: Okay, so far Jawbone is in the lead. However, this is pretty much the part I don't like. Fitbit devices sync to your phone, tablet, or PC via bluetooth. So it is a very very painless process. All you have to do is make sure you download the app and set up your account. Jawbone? Not so much. Maybe I am just being a lazy bum, but I would rather see automatic updates about my progress throughout the day rather than have to take off my wristband and plug it in before it synchronizes.
Charge: The Jawbone UP lasted about 7 days before I needed to charge it. It says 10 on the pack, but we all know electronics usually don't make what the manufacturer says about the charge time if you use them frequently. My Fitbit usually lasts about the same unless I run very long distance races so I think they are also pretty even here.
What is my opinion? Well, if you don't mind plugging it in, the Jawbone UP is actually a pretty nice device. I like the look, and I think it was really accurate and effective. I would pick the Jawbone UP if not for this issue. If you do mind the plug-in, the Fitbit Flex is an awesome alternative :)
Cheers Eights & Weights!