Jawbone’s UP3 Crams More Sensors Into A $180 One-Size-Fits-All Band

up3 band

Almost exactly one year after launching the UP24 fitness tracking band, Jawbone is back with the successor: the UP3.

So what’s new this time around?

Most immediately obvious is the design. Gone is the signature, mostly-rigid design of all UP bands prior — instead, the UP3 is more like a watch without a watch face.

Gone is the annoying little plastic cap that covers the charging plug, so many of which have been left behind in hotel rooms — instead, you charge the device by matching a set of contact pins up against a bespoke USB cable (in other words, it’s still not microUSB or any other standard cable you have a million of.)

Most importantly, gone is the need to pick a “size” for your UP band. No more measuring your wrist to figure out if you’re a small, medium, or large — since it’s an adjustable watch style clasp now, it’s one size fits all.

Beyond the design tweaks, however, the UP3 brings some new tech into the mix:

  • 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.
  • Because there’s no removable cap, they were able to seal this thing for water resistance up to 10 meters. Update (April 2015): After a number of delays caused by trying to perfect the waterproof aspect of the UP3, Jawbone has dropped this feature. It’s now “splash resistant”.
  • Jawbone pins the battery life at roughly 7 days per charge

Alas, the new tech comes at a bit of a price hike. Whereas the UP24 launched at $150 and eventually dropped down to $130, the UP3 will start at $180.

As for when it’ll ship… Jawbone will only say “later this year”. It’ll come in one color (black) at first, with more options in 2015.

But what about the UP24 that came before it? Is that device done for?

Not quite yet, but it’s getting there. Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman tells me that the UP24 will continue selling through the holiday season, after which point it’ll be phased out.

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