Battle of the Bands – Part 1 – Jawbone

Jbone v Fuel

jawbone-logo png“This search for what you want is like tracking something that doesn’t want to be tracked. It takes time to get a dance right, to create something memorable.” – Fred Astaire

I’ve been lazy again. It’s amazing how you can work so hard, running, lifting weights, eating right, then BAM! something happens, an injury, a cold, an event that you need to attend, anything that stops you from training and before you know it, it’s months since you did some kind of physical activity.

I forget exactly what happened to me that made me fall off the exercise wagon, I think it may have been a cold, I can’t recall, but it’s been 2 months since I did any type of training. It’s also amazing of how quickly you lose all those glorious gains as well as your over all fitness.

Well I’m back from a 4 week tour of the United States and finally over a flu that I picked up on about the 3rd day there that hung around until a week after I got back. But I finally got off my fat arse and went for a run this morning (I use the term run very loosely here!). It was quite sad really, but just getting up and going is a huge step to getting back to being healthy and fit. I’m also motivated by a couple of new gadgets (I do like gadgets!).

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Up App

Shortly before I left for the US, a friend who had just started training to get herself fit for her 50th birthday in a couple of years, had introduced me to Jawbone. A band that fit around her wrist and tracked things she did throughout the day. This intrigued me, as not only do I like gadgets and fitness, I like anything that records personal stats. Everyone loves keeping track of things like how many Test Matches Sir Donald Bradman played or how many goals your favourite footballer has kicked this year and how that relates to how many goals he’s kicked during his career, but what about people that aren’t super sports stars? What about average schmoes like you and me? Well Jawbone does that, kind of.

Jawbone pngWhat it does do it is track your steps for the day, kind of like a digital pedometer. It also tracks your sleep. It will let you know how many hours of deep sleep you got for the night, how many light hours you slept and how long it took you to get to sleep. How it does this, I don’t exactly know. Easiest answer is magic.

Seriously it’s all to do with movement, accelerometers in the Jawbone track movement, and once plugged in to your phone, it uploads that information so that you can track the things you’ve done for the day and compare them to other days. It also provides you with motivation to move throughout the day by sending you a small vibration alert to let you know you’ve been idol for 30 minutes (this can be adjusted by the user to what ever idol time period you like).

You can also set Jawbone to give you a gentle reminder that it’s bed time. I tried this feature out while I was away, unfortunately when you’re exploring another country, your bed time isn’t the same as when you’re attending a 9 – 5 job. I had it set for 9:45pm, which can also be a pain when you’re out with your mates having a few pints and all of a sudden your Jawbone starts vibrating telling you it’s bed time.

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Runkeeper App

Jawbone also links to other apps, like Runkeeper. I’ll be honest here, I haven’t actually had a chance to look at how the device works with other apps, I did try using Runkeeper while walking around New York to see how the 2 worked with each other, but I was busy having fun and with my attention span, if I couldn’t work it out within 3 seconds, I just gave up. I have no doubt it could be quite the duo if done correctly. I’ll keep you posted on that. I’ve put together a small list of some of the pros and cons I discovered in the 3 weeks I wore my Jawbone.


  • Keeps for a charge for up to 10 days
  • Light weight and comfortable, looks nice too.
  • It did actually motivate me to to at least track where I was going and since I like stats about me, I could see how this would keep me motivated.
  • The possibilities that this device could be capable of, I just need to do more research!
  • It’s a gadget


  • I would find I would switch to sleep mode when I went to bed, but when I got up, it would already be on “awake” mode. I wouldn’t know how long for, I assume it was a setting I needed to change myself, but I wasn’t sure how. As a result it would say I had slept for 16 minutes that night, when I’d slept solidly for 8 or 9 hours. Once again that is probably user error but I couldn’t easily figure out how to fix that.
  • Wasn't a fan of this connection. Too easily lost.

    Wasn’t a fan of this connection. Too easily lost.

    Charging – To charge the band you need to plug the band in to a USB adapter then place in your computer or a USB charger. It has a small adapter that if you lose that, you could find yourself in some trouble trying to charge the band.

  • User functions – This once again could just be me, but in order to set it do do certain things you needed to press and hold the button for 3 seconds then press once again for this, or press twice then hold for 3 seconds for that. It was confusing and I just didn’t get it.

Over all I liked it, and I’d certainly recommend it to people trying to get more out of their day to day fitness routines, or if you just simply want that little bit of extra motivation.

Or if you like gadgets!



But how does it stack up against the Nike+ Fuelband? Well you’ll have to wait until part 2 to find out!


Let me know what you think!

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