We're still waiting forthe Jawbone UP3 (but not for much longer). Well, we say "we". T3 already has one, of course, but you'll have to wait a bit longer. But from today you'll be able to lay your hands on an even slimmer fitness tracker the UP2, for £89.99.
The successor to the T3 Award-winning UP24 is 45% slimmer than that device, and looks a lot like the UP3. The UP3 is narrowly the slimmest and most discreet band with a heartrate monitor we've yet seen, and as the UP2 doesn't do HR tracking it is, as you would imagine, even more petite than that.
With a seven-day battery life and water resistance (ie: you can wear it in the shower but not in the pool), Jawbone's positioned this as a proper lifestyle tracker, as opposed to something that triathletes are going to be strapping on. You put it on, tell it whether you're awake to about to go to sleep, and leave it on till recharge time while it accumulates data. In the meantime, you could maybe chop some lemons and mozarella. If you like.
Connectivity is via Bluetooth - no plugging into your earphone socket with this new generation of Jawbones - and, as ever with the UP range, it's Smart Coach, part of the iOS and Android UP app that helps this stand out.
Smart Coach is a well designed thing that's forever bombarding you with stats, encouraging messages, challenges ("Drink 8 glasses of water today!") and so on. In our opinion, it offers more context and useful info than its fitness tracker peers, although admittedly that's not saying much.
Similar to Fitbit, Smart Coach also lets you team up/do battle with other UP users, for extra motivation. There's also sleep tracking, which Jawbone continues to make a big deal of, although we're a little dubious about its benefits.
Although the UP2 is primarily about your basic step counting, there is more on offer if you want it. Compatibility with a long list of third-party wellness-related services, including key players such as Strava and MapMyFitness means you can import data about your cycling and running exploits.
MyFitnessPal is also on board, givingan easy way to track what you've eaten, if you're calorie-watching (there's a built-in way to track your food consumption too, but MyFitnessPal is pretty hard to beat for that kind of thing).
In addition, with Works With Nest and IFTTT support, there's scope for using it with connected home devices; triggering your smart thermostat when you awake from your tracked sleep, for instance.
Designed by serial tech CAD-meister Yves Behar, the UP2 comes in a choice of "black diamond" and "light grey hex" finishes and costs £89.99 - putting it bang in the mid-range of the fitness tracker market. You can get it at Jawbone.com, the Apple Store, Amazon, Currys, PC World, Selfridges and John Lewis. Textbook.
We've been playing with an UP2 for the last week and we're quietly impressed - it's narrow enough that you can wear it on the same wrist as your watch/smartwatch, and it's so far lacking in any really glaring faults. We'll have a proper review once we've had time to use it for a few more weeks.