Almost every consumer electronics company seems to be trying to get you to wear a fitness tracker these days. There's FitBit's family of trackers, there's Nike's new FuelBand SE, there's Samsung's attempt at a smartwatch that tracks your steps and now there is not only one but two fitness brackets from Jawbone.
Today, the maker of the Up bracelet announced the $150 Jawbone Up24, a similar looking bracelet that finally adds Bluetooth, enabling it to wirelessly connect to your phone. Unlike with the $130 Jawbone Up, you no longer have to plug the bracelet into your phone every time to sync it up and see your activity, including steps taken and miles traveled.
While the company has finally added Bluetooth, the bracelet remains the same size, still has seven days of battery life and has an almost identical design. Available in black and orange (oh sorry, "persimmon") to start, the water-resistant rubber band has a clean look and a slight etching to give it a little bit of flare. Yet, unlike the new FitBit Force, which we recently said was one of the best trackers on the market, the Up doesn't have a screen to see your steps or miles gone on your wrist.
"Putting a display on the band takes away from this being unobtrusive," Brad Kittredge, director of product management at Jawbone, told ABC News. "We all have this beautiful display in our pockets that we touch hundreds of times a day, according to statistics."
Of course, Kittredge is referring to smartphones, and now with Bluetooth you can just launch the new Jawbone Up 3.0 app and almost instantaneously see your fitness activity, but also monitor your goals much closer. A new feature called "Today I will" allows you to set goals for that day. For instance "Today I will move 15 times." The app will send you push notifications to your phone to remind you to get up throughout the day to meet that goal. You can set goals to sleep more or drink more water. And because of the Bluetooth, it can also nudge you through push notifications on your phone to get up and walk more based on how many steps you have taken.
In our first tests, the Up24 works as promised. On a long hike, the bracelet kept track of steps and using the app we were able to see just how many miles we had traveled. (Thankfully, it doesn't record falls or slips!) And just as we said in the FitBit vs. Jawbone face-off this summer, Jawbone's app continues to have a leg up on design. The app interface is cleaner and more playful. Unfortunately, there is only Up24 support right now for the iPhone; Android support is coming soon.
Of course, Jawbone is aware that this is becoming a very heated market, but Kittredge said he's confident that despite the burgeoning category of smartwatches and fitness trackers that Jawbone will continue to lead by just focusing on the data.
"We are just at the beginning," Kittredge said. "As we add more sensors and they get more powerful and we get more data and nudges and actions, you'll use this as a way to automate your interactions. There is a big and growing market and value proposition for that."