As a point, Jawbone’s Up software does a pretty good job of working out that if you’re walking around, you’re not sleeping, and fills in the gaps, which is tremendously useful. But this issue of overly responsiveness can lead to a reduction in battery life, seeing our 4 to 5 day life dropping closer to 3 days when we wore it on the same arm as our regular watch.
Jawbone could fix this in one of two ways: make the display less responsive — either in general or to things that aren’t fingers — or incorporate a watch into the Up 3.
That takes us to another issue, because the Up 3 just doesn’t do all that much.
It’s a fitness band first and foremost, and Jawbone’s people totally talk that up, which is awesome. But it’s also only a fitness band first and foremost, because it doesn’t really do anything else.
Despite maintaining a constant connection with your phone or tablet over Bluetooth, it doesn’t pick up calls, nor does it tell you when you’ve had a message drop by even though there is an indicator built into the Up 3 band for “messages”, though this appears to be there for the benefit of the Up app telling you something, like a fitness or coaching tip, or asking if you were exercising during a certain time.
“Bzzz!” the band will say, vibrating and lighting up the message icon, and directing you to a question on your phone on if you were exercising between 6.15 and 7.35 when it picked up on extra activity.
That’s what that message icon does, and that’s more or less all it does. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if it did something else, like alert you to a phone call, or an email?
Wouldn’t it be lovely if there was a small clock integrated in this design, too?
The much less expensive Up Move has one, albeit in a different design, so you kind of want something here too, something to say “I have less reason to wear a watch alongside the Up 3 since there’s a watch already here”.
In fact, it would be tremendous if there was a way to see how you’re going with your steps, outside of pulling out your phone.
These are similar problems we experienced on the Up 2, and they’re found here again on the Up 3, likely because Jawbone is relying on the same design to push this gadget forward. There is a difference between the two, however, and the Up 3 should do more, because it includes more sensors and is $100 more expensive. You’d hope so, anyway.
Water resistance also produces a similar issue to what we saw in the Up 2, with the Up 3 temporarily powering down when it comes into contact with water.
A good thirty or forty seconds after frantically tapping the display when it gets wet, you’ll see the display switch back on and the vibration return, the fear of a lost $250 purchase fading the moment it does.