Jawbone’s New $200 UP4 Doubles As An American Express Card

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After a few delays, Jawbone’s UP3 fitness tracker is finally set to hit the delivery trucks early next week.

And yet… it already has a successor, of sorts. Meet the UP4. It does everything the UP3 does, and you can buy things with it.

Rumors trickled out earlier this week that Jawbone was working on a partnership with American Express — and sure enough: Jawbone has exclusively partnered with AmEx here. As a result, the UP4 can act as your AmEx card at hundreds of thousands of NFC-enabled merchants around the country. Note: only AmEx, for now.

The idea: add an AmEx card (just one card is supported at a time) to the UP4 through Jawbone’s UP app. Then just tap the UP4 against an NFC-enabled card reader, and you’re set. Purchase made!

If your phone is dead or you left it at home for a run, it shouldn’t be an issue — the authorization token is stored on the band itself.

And if the band gets stolen? Just pop into the app and deactivate the card, and the authorization token will be rendered useless. Your band will still be stolen, but hey — your credit card is safe!

Beyond the new payments voodoo, the UP4 is pretty similar to the UP3 that came (just) before it. Here’s the UP3’s feature set, borrowing much of what I wrote from when the UP3 was first announced:

  • A new band/clasp design. They’ve ditched the original Jawbone UP’s slip-on design for a bit more like a watch
  • Bioimpedance sensors… which, in normal people speak, means the UP3 can use a veeeeery slight electrical current to gleen all sorts of data about what’s going on in your body. At launch, that means it’ll be able to tell you your heart rate when you wake up. In time, that’ll expand to include things like hydration levels, heart rate throughout the day, and more.
  • A new tri-axis accelerometer lets the device intelligently guess and graph when you’re doing things like running, playing tennis, or hiking
  • The UP bands have long tracked sleep — particularly, how much of your sleep was “light sleep” vs “deep sleep”. By combining the aforementioned bio/accelerometer sensors, the UP3 can now graph how much of your night was spent not just in “deep sleep” (which basically means you’re not moving much), but in full-blown REM.
  • Splash resistance. Jawbone initially aimed for the device to be waterproof up to 10 meters, a move which they blame for much of the UP3’s repeated delays
  • Jawbone pins the battery life at roughly 7 days per charge

The UP4 will cost $200 at launch — or about $20 more than the payments-less UP3. As for when it’ll launch: Jawbone is only getting as specific as sometime “this summer”.

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