Jawbone UP Move: Australian Review

Fitness trackers are great, if you buy into that sort of 'quantified self' thing. Having easily understandable data on your daily activity helps you measure one day against the next, pat yourself on the back when you hit your goals and work out when you have to get outside and actually move. The UP Move is the cheapest way to get yourself into Jawbone's now-excellent app and its associated ecosystem.

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What Is It?

Specifications
  • Bluetooth: Yes (4.0 LE)
  • Fitness Tracking: Tri-Axis Accelerometer
  • Weight: 6.8g
  • Dimensions: 27.64x27.64x9.75mm
  • Battery: CR2032 (removable)
  • Battery Life: (Up To) 6 Months

The $69 Jawbone UP Move is the cheapest fitness tracker to come out of the San Franciscan gadget company's offices yet -- it's a full $80 cheaper than the $149 UP24, and still a fair amount cheaper than the now-outdated original UP. Despite that big price difference, the UP Move has the vast majority of the feature-set of the UP24 -- low-power Bluetooth, a tri-axis accelerometer to track movement, all the power of the UP By Jawbone app hidden away inside its circular metallic chassis.

That chassis is at the same time small -- it's only 28mm across, and is actually a squircle -- and a little bit chunky -- it's almost a centimetre thick at its most bulky point. That tracker is available in five different colours (and front patterns for its single circular button), each with a complementary colour for its included pendant clip -- white for the blue tracker, black for the black tracker, pink for grape, orange for ruby, yellow for slate grey and so on.

The brains of the UP Move are hidden away inside its small hockey puck-esque shell. There's the one big button on the front -- tap it and you'll see it light up with twelve white LEDs in each of its clock-face segments, a single orange LED for the movement icon and a single blue LED for sleep. Around the back, there's a twist-to-remove metal cover behind which you place the removable, nonrechargeable CR2032 lithium button-cell battery; there's no other buttons or lights or switches to deal with.

If you don't want to wear the UP Move on its pendant, packs of three differently coloured wristbands are available for $39 -- and for my money, the UP Move and one of those locking wristbands is a damn sight more secure and more comfortable than wearing an UP24. It's water resistant like the UP24, too -- not entirely waterproof, so don't leave it in a glass of water, but it's fine in the rain and in the shower and dealing with your daily sweat.

What's It Good At?

The UP Move is a little bulky -- more on that later -- but as an integrated, all-in-one fitness tracking gadget that little coin-shaped device is a godsend. You can clip it to your belt or bra or sock. You can slip the puck into your pocket directly. You can wear it on a wristband. You'll probably be able to get necklaces and pocketwatch chains and all manner of other little accessories for the UP Move in the not-too-distant future too.

Having a removable, placeable, and most importantly non-rechargeable battery is a massive step forward for Jawbone and the UP Move. I have used and stopped using two UP24s in the past after battery and circuitry problems, and having the ability to swap out the MOVE's battery means it won't die in that completely inexplicable and frustrating way as previous integrated wristband designs. It's also much more sturdy, being a sealed metal shell, so should stand up to a lot more everyday punishment.

The single button on the face of the UP Move is not nearly as inconvenient as it sounds. Tap that button twice in quick succession and outer edges of each of the Move's segments light up in a clockwise motion, sweeping around the circle and eventually stopping -- one solid LED for the hour mark and one blinking LED for the five-minute period. Tap it once to get a marker for how many thousand steps -- one for each segment -- you have moved over the course of your day. Tap it once and press it again for a second and the UP Move enters workout mode, marking a period of sustained exercise over time and noting that on the app.

It has evolved over the last couple of years, but the UP By Jawbone app has become a powerful tool for fitness tracking -- one of the best on the market for the average, normal, everyday user. You can track your movement and your sleep over time -- whether it's today versus yesterday, today versus a week ago, or your entire fitness and sleeping trendline since you joined the UP community. You can, of course, set goals for both metrics, and since the UP Move is Bluetooth-connected those goals will display on the watch face when you tap it for an update.

What's It Not Good At?

The UP Move is missing two of the features that more experienced fitness tracking fanatics or those that want the best of the best will be missing. It doesn't have the integrated vibration motor of the UP24 -- which means no smart alarms to wake you from your slumber at the optimum time, and no idle alerts to get you moving every hour or twop -- and it doesn't have any ability to monitor your heart rate in the same way that the UP3 can.

The ongoing price of the UP Move is higher than its more initially expensive counterparts, too. You can't buy rechargeable button cells, and as energy dense and long-lived as they are they are you'll eventually have to throw them out, creating a small amount of environmental impact. The UP Move consumes its battery at a rate of about one every six months, and it's an absolutely minimal cost -- about 50 cents for a new cell -- but that's a price you don't have to pay with the more expensive models. Of course, you could buy a hundred years of batteries for the UP Move and still be a long way ahead of the price of the $229 UP3.

Because the UP Move is quite cheap straight out of the box, its accessories are comparatively expensive; three rubber wristbands for $39 is a bit of a rip-off. Don't get me wrong, they're great, and they add the versatility of being to wear the little hockey puck on your wrist to replace your other smartwatch, but surely $40 is a little much for three pieces of carefully shaped rubber.

Should You Buy It

Jawbone UP Move
81

Price: $69

Like
  • UP24 features for less cash.
  • Useful CR2032 battery.
  • Great Up By Jawbone app.
Don't Like
  • No vibration motor.
  • No heart rate monitor.
  • $39 for wristbands.

I genuinely like the $69 UP Move more than the UP24 from which I've based my previous experience on. It seems like it'll withstand more punishment, it's very nearly as versatile -- it certainly tracks just as much -- and it's so much cheaper. Fitness trackers may still be a novelty, but they're also a commodity -- and that means price is very important. Cheaper is always better. The extra adjustability that the optional wristband pack and the clippable pendant offer mean that you don't necessarily have to wear the UP Move on your wrist or at all, really, since the puck will hide away happily in your pocket.

When the biggest problem that the UP Move has is the fact that it's just a little bit thick -- 9.75 whole millimetres, guys -- then you know it's a pretty impressive little tracker. Of course, you don't get the haptic feedback of the UP or UP24 or the heart rate monitor of the UP3, but those are value-add options and, for my particular use case, largely superfluous. Your mileage may vary, but the UP Move handles the basic aspects of fitness and sleep tracking admirably, and for the vast majority of users, those are the only aspects they need.

The UP Move will be out in Apple Stores from December 8, with further availability to be announced.