12/06/2015

Jawbone Move, cost effective tracking

The Jawbone Move retails for £39 which is pretty reasonable for a tracker. It does look a bit cheap as it's made of plastic and comes with a clip that can attach to your clothes (pocket or belt) and also a silicon strap. Unfortunately the strap isn't particularly strong and relies on tension to keep it together, which may not suit all sports activities as it can get loose when wearing tight fitting sleeves and then come off when removing your top (which happened and the initial version disappeared one day). When wearing the strap it does look a bit like wearing a 'ladies' watch which some may not like.

The boxed product is very minimal as it just contains the Move and the clip and simple instructions on how to set it up (which means installing the Jawbone UP app, available on both Android and iOS).

The UP software is pretty good, though pretty American-centric with a lot of "YEAH" "YOUR GREAT!!" and stuff going on but it is nice and it makes interesting reading. The sleep function is excellent and encourages you to improve your sleep patterns which seemed to work. Just press the button on the sensor before you go to bed and it records sleeping patterns. It also showed that any night drinking sleep patterns changed so that is all very useful stuff. Sleeping is as important as exercising so Jawbone is right on the money here with that feature. It was a little disappointing that the app cannot distinguish between the various exercises easily. A good example of this is with cycling. The sensor has the ability to track any walking or running through the fact that steps make it jolt so it tracks all walking but is a bit vague when running. However, when cycling your hands are on the handlebars so they are not moving and it misses all of this tracking which can be quite a bit of exercise. The app seems to have complete reliance on the sensor to give the app what data it need's, but the app itself is not being clever enough to know that you're moving (even though GPS is turned on so why not sample it), the app could make a rough guess at what's happening as it knows it's moving and what speed it's doing (even without the sensor) so could guesstimate exercise being done. So ultimately the reason for buying this product is to quantify oneself. This means the question is: Does it work and is it useful? Well, wearing the Move daily for everyday useit does work. It tells you if you have done enough exercise and tells you if you have slept enough and it gives some handy hints on what you could do better. Here's some data from a normal day.

what you see is a rolling view of how you're doing compared to your friends. How they slept and exercised versus your view. The competitive person will use that as motivation to be better than your friends.

To summarise: If you are in the market for a budget fitness tracker then this is the one to go for right now. For £39 its got enough features to allow you to understand how much movement you need to achieve to be fitter and to lose those Lb's and get back to a "you" that is more what you want. The app is great and doesn't take up that much battery for what it does and although could do with working out more activities its plenty good enough for the person wanting to get fitter and needs a helping hand.