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Jawbone UP Gets Back on Track

The activity monitor gets slimmer bands, new colorways, but most importantly: a much-needed firmware update

by Josh Rubin
on 08 September 2015

Released earlier this spring, the new generation of Jawbone UP products (2, 3 and 4, the latter which includes contactless AmEx payments on top of heart rate and temperature tracking) offered a favorable initial impression, but after a few weeks, we retired the UP3 from our arm line-up due to some unacceptable usability issues. A double-tap gesture was required to switch between activity and sleep modes, but the device didn't respond consistently and would sometimes activate incorrect modes throughout the day—especially for those of us with jewelry or juicy wrists that touched the side of the device.

Jawbone is now offering a new firmware update for the UP2, UP3 and UP4 that aims to remedy most of these issues and take greater advantage of their cutting-edge sensor technology. This includes automatic sleep and wake detection (no more double-tapping when you hit the sheets) for all models, and passive heart rate tracking throughout the day for the UP3 and UP4. Jawbone also launches a new design for the UP2's band; two thin straps make it lighter, a hook clasp feels more secure and, overall, it comes closer to bracelet territory—though if you prefer the look of the classic flat strap, that's still available. There are also new, more adventurous, colorways available for the UP2 and UP3.

The new designs for UP2 ($100) and UP3 ($180) are now available online from Jawbone as well as Amazon. Existing owners can download a free over-the-air firmware update.

Images courtesy of Jawbone

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