I'd hoped the UP band's tech pedigree (Jawbone is also responsible for the ultraportable Jambox speaker) meant it would blend seamlessly into my digital life. I wanted a fitness monitor that was easy to use and was a helpful digital interface for tracking fitness progress.
When the UP first debuted, its only method of food tracking was to take a picture in the app of each thing consumed, with the idea that when you have to see exactly what you eat each day, you'll think twice about that second handful of Goldfish crackers. Fortunately, Jawbone has improved the food diary to not only sync with third-party nutrition apps like MyFitnessPal, but also now include a proprietary food database with beautiful visuals. Once I started using UP's own barcode tracker and calorie counter, I began questioning my loyalty to MyFitnessPal, knowing that I could get my movement and food tracking in one place.
Favorite feature: The ease of the UP app made the band a joy to use. I would quickly sync a workout from band to phone the second I stepped off the elliptical. While I'm at my desk during the day, I can input meals into MyFitnessPal from a desktop browser and see those in the app next time it's opened.
Least favorite feature: I don't wear much wrist jewelry, and as noninvasive as the UP is, I found myself taking it off when typing at a desk so that it wasn't in my way. Getting dressed also involved the band flying across the room or getting stuck in a shirt. A closed fastener — like the FitBit Flex — might make me less inclined to take the UP off throughout the day.
Verdict: There are plenty of ways — including free apps — to track your daily steps for a fraction of the cost of the UP band. It's the integration of the software that makes me a fan, though. A central location for fitness and food data is a big draw for me, though I would like to have the ability to add food via a web version of the app too, so I can access my account at any time.
— Kelly Schwarze, associate editor, Tech