The Up was always a very cool idea, and when we reviewed it just before it was first due to launch in the UK, we loved it. The simple design, long battery life and beautiful iOS app all made it a cunning package, and more than just a standard pedometer. From today, the newly redesigned Up is finally going to go on sale in the UK, and it now has an Android app too.
So why the delay? Well, the first run of devices ran into some problems. Some people complained of shocking battery life, some found the cover that protects the charging and data-transfer connector got lost too easily and some just had their Up break on them completely. With that in mind, Jawbone went back to the drawing board to fix the problems, and released a new Up, which went on sale in the US at the end of last year.
To say Jawbone is somewhat paranoid about the new design is something of an understatement. But that's a great thing, it means the company has learnt and taken its past problems very seriously. When we spoke to the firm, we were impressed by just how much thought and testing had gone into this new model. For a start, there are well over 100 patents protecting the Up's design and internals. And to make sure they learnt from the mistakes it made previously Jawbone has been testing the new Up for nearly a year.
A lot of effort has gone into waterproofing in particular, as it is this Jawbone identified as the problem area in the previous version. The firm has invested in equipment that can test the Up to the very limit of its tolerance, and even had to invent some testing machinery to do that.
If you haven't used Up, then it's probably worth pointing out what it does. Essentially, it's a step tracking system, like a pedometer, which keeps track of your activity. The hardware is able to tell how much you've walked in a day, but it can't count other exercise. The strength of Up though, is its apps for Android and iOS which allow you to keep track of what you eat, as well as add any other, untracked exercise like cycling or swimming.
Up also keeps a track of how long, and how well, you sleep. And it's this that makes it different from other similar devices. Obviously there's some doubt about how well these things can monitor sleep, but the app also allows you to tell it how you feel, and can build trends from there, and offer advice about what helped you in previous days, and what other people find beneficial.
From our very brief time with the Android app since it launched this morning, the good news is that it's every bit as beautiful and polished as the iOS version. In fact, there's visually almost no difference. Your Up stats are all published to the cloud anyway, so adding an Android phone now, if you have been using iOS, is no problem at all.
Up Costs £99 and is available to buy now from the Jawbone online store. We will have a full review of the new Up once we've spent a little time with it, and once our stats aren't so humiliating.