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Jawbone Joins Pre-Holiday Wearable Race, With $50 Up Move and a New Up3 Wristband

An entry-level "pod" and a pricey, heart-monitoring tracker.


Get ready for yet another activity-tracking device.

Make that two more.

Jawbone, maker of Bluetooth audio products as well as the Up health-and-fitness system, is introducing two new products the company thinks will address both ends of the wearable technology market.

The new Jawbone Up Move costs $50.
The new Jawbone Up Move costs $50.

The first product is called Up Move. It’s a little sensor-filled nugget made of anodized aluminum — okay, I am supposed to call this a pod — that can either be worn in a lightweight polymer wristband or in a clip-on casing. It tracks all of the same metrics that the earlier Up24 activity wristband measures — your steps, sleep and calories burned — with the exception that it doesn’t do “idle alerts.”

Like other Up products, Up Move syncs with Jawbone’s free mobile app for Android and iOS, which is where you can view all of your recorded data. However, the Up Move pod has a hidden LED light display, too. So if you press it once, it will show you, in an array of tiny lights, how active you have been; pressing it twice will display the time, and holding it down firmly will put it into sleep mode. Expected battery life is six months.

Most notably, though, it costs just $50 for the clip-on Move, making it Jawbone’s least expensive tracker to date. The wrist straps are $15. It’s available for preorder today and begins shipping November 7.

If the Up Move strikes you as part-Fitbit Zip (which clips on to clothing), part-Misfit Shine (which has a similar form factor and uses LED light indicators, too), you’re not far off base. Jawbone definitely sees the Up Move as a more accessible, “mass market” device that is supposed to bring activity-tracking newbies on board. But the company also firmly believes that its compatible Up app provides the best context around all of this data we’re sharing, and says engagement statistics back this up.

The second new product, Jawbone says, bridges the gap from Wearables 1.0 to 2.0, like jumping from “feature phone to smartphone.”

Called Up3, this $180 wristband looks and performs like the Up24 band. But it has one major addition: It includes a combination of sensors that will provide data around resting heart rate. Eventually, a software update to the Up3 will also provide heart rate readings during episodic workouts.

The Jawbone Up3 is the most expensive Up tracker to date, but includes heart-rate-tracking sensors.
The Jawbone Up3 is the most expensive Up tracker to date, but includes heart-rate-tracking sensors.

These are not optical heart rate sensors, which show up in the new Fitbits, the Basis Peak Band and the upcoming Apple Watch. Travis Bogard, Jawbone’s vice president of product management and strategy, said the company made a conscious decision to use skin and ambient temperature sensors instead, because optical heart rate sensors either “suck up a lot of power, or are super sensitive to light reflection,” resulting in less accurate readings. The sensors in the Up3 can also detect respiration rate and hydration rate.

Jawbone is categorizing this combination of measurements as bioimpedance, a not-new term used in the medical field to assess body composition and fluid. The pricey Up3 will ship in a few weeks (and will be sold in Apple stores … unlike Fitbit). Battery life is expected to last a week.

Jawbone is also updating its mobile app. This will include features like Smart Coach, an element of the app that will provide insights around diet and activity, and more advanced sleep analysis.

The Yet-Another-Activity-Tracker news comes amid a flurry of new products this fall from Fitbit, Basis, Garmin, Samsung and Microsoft. In other words, there’s no shortage of competition for Jawbone.

“Smart” watches that pair wirelessly with a smartphone, such as Apple’s much-anticipated watch, are sometimes viewed as a separate category from activity-tracking wristbands. But the two categories increasingly share features, including heart rate sensors and messaging notifications.

When it comes to actual unit sales of these devices, the numbers are often murky, although by some estimates activity-tracker sales have shown encouraging year-over-year growth.

Jawbone, as usual, declined to say how many units it has sold of its Up activity-trackers. Bogard did say Up users are wearing the bands 23 hours per day on average, and that the app is opened up to 21 times per day.

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