Monday, December 15, 2014

Fitbit Charge vs. UP24

I'll warn you right now.  This is a LONG post.  I've been wearing both of these suckers for almost a month now at the same time.  But I wrote this because I would have liked to have read this kind of information prior to committing to one of these gadgets that seem to be growing in popularity.  I paid full price out of my OWN pocket for both.  Nothing free here.

Back in August I picked up a Jawbone UP24 band.  I have thoroughly enjoyed it.  I felt like it was extremely eye opening.  To sum things up it confirmed what would be a given, on days I ran I hit my 10,000 step goal with no effort at all.  I should back up a step, I have a desk job.  So for 9 hours I pretty much sit behind my computer at my desk.  When I got my UP24 band the market seemed to be getting saturated with the Fitbit family.  I had even bought a Fitbit one many months before and returned it.  I had wanted to use it with the LoseIt app only to find out that once I had bought the Fitbit I could only use it with that app if I paid for the premium version of the app.  I wasn't interested in doing that.

So back to summer.  I went with the UP24 because I knew a couple people that had that one and liked it.  The first one I received actually was an out of box failure and I had to take it in and exchange it.  I guess it's internal battery had depleted past the point of recovery.  But since then I've had no issues.  The band itself works exactly as it's supposed to.

I'm kind of a numbers geek.  I like having goals and hitting them.  So while I knew I would kill it on days that I ran I was more concerned with how I did on non-running days.

My favorite features of the UP24:

UP App  -  I love love the app.  It's WAY better than the Fitbit in my opinion.  However, it can be glitchy.  My band will disconnect from it and I have to kill all my apps and sometimes even reboot my phone to get it connected again.  I have an android phone for personal and an iPhone for work. I recently had to move the UP app to my iPhone because when I got the Fitbit I started having all kinds of app issues.  Apparently Fitbit asserted itself over the UP band.  Since moving, I've had very few issues at all.

At a glance I can see my sleep and steps % to goal.

Smart Coach  -  I LOVE this feature.  It actually gives you tips that are specific to you and your activity.  For instance mine tells me every weekend how consistent I do with bedtime during the week and to keep that consistency that I should be in bed by 11:44pm in order to not mess up my sleep patterns.

Step Tracking  -  I like this better on the UP app.  You can see the range for the day, versus just a number.  Plus there are times attached to this information.

If you hover over this in the app it tells you the specific time.

Food & Drink Logging  -  I like this a little better on the UP24.  But it's not a feature that I tend to use a lot.  With my Weight Watcher points tracking app, I just don't log food a second place.  I also don't like to see my exercise add more calories into my daily allowance.  I have used My Fitness Pal with the UP24 and they weren't fine together.  You can take pictures of your meals (that might actually be fun), barcode scan things, track your water intake.  And it gives you a food score based on what you log.  I like the simplicity of this.

Sleep Tracking  -  In short I prefer this feature on the UP24.  The only bad thing is you have to manually tell it that you're going to bed.  But the info you get is far more superior to Fitbit.  And accurate, for instance last night I got up TWICE to pee.  UP24 captured this, Fitbit did not.

UP24 vs. Fitbit Charge

Smart Alarm  -  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this feature on both.  You set the alarm on the app.  The only reason I give UP24 one up on this one is that it has a cool wake window feature.  Where you can choose for it to wake you up as early as 30 minutes before you need to get up.  It identifies when is the "best" time to wake you up.

Idle Alert  -  I LOVE this feature.  Fitbit Charge doesn't have it.  But you can set it to buzz you on your wrist if you're inactive for a designated period of time during a period of time.  For instance I set mine for 30 minutes of inactivity between 8:30am and 5:00pm on weekdays.  This is when I'm in my office. It will buzz and I'll find some way to get up from my desk.

RAZZING your friends  -  Way better on the UP24 app.  You can write comments on their steps, their sleep, what they eat (if they log food), their badges they earn.  You name it.

Features I don't really use:

Goal Setting - This allows you to personalize what your steps, hours of sleep and weight goals are.

Other stuff:

Battery says that it's good for up to 14 days. I disagree.  I'm lucky to get 7 days.  But it charges within 30 minutes back up to full charge.

For Water Resistance it says it's splash proof.  I however had just barely gotten it when I took a trip to Lake Powell at the end of the summer.  I jumped in the pool multiple times with it on, completely submerged and then threw it out to the side.  As well as the lake.  It survived all these things.  Although I wouldn't recommend swimming in it on purpose. I also take it off to shower.  However, one thing worth noting, is that this is REALLY easy to get on and off my wrist (unlike the Fitbit Charge)

UP24 Price:  $129.99  
**  Currently you can score one of these at Costco for $99.99

So if I loved my UP24 so much then why did I go out and buy a Fitbit Charge?  Mainly because I know a lot of other people that have the Fitbit.  I had grown to love the interaction with "friends" on UP24. I only had one friend however, one of my sister in laws.  But that's because I just don't know anyone else that has this one.  I loved seeing how many steps she had each day and working to keep up.  She has consistently given me a run for my money and she's NOT a runner.  I added one more friend over the weekend.  But I don't really know her all that well.  But it's nice to have another person on there now.  So for my anniversary my husband bought me the Fitbit Charge.

My favorite features of the Fitbit Charge:

Fitbit Dashboard

Caller ID  -  The UP24 doesn't have this.  It's kind of a cool feature.  The biggest help I've found is that it's not necessarily seeing who's calling.  But it's nice when I have my phone on silent or vibrate and don't realize it's ringing.  I wouldn't buy it for this feature alone.

Watch  -  It displays the time when you press the button.  I thought this would be cool.  But you have to press the button to get the time to display, the rest of the time it's just dark.  I think it would be better if the display stayed on.

Visual Display  -  I like that you can see how many steps you're at without opening up the app on your phone.

10,000 Step Goal reached  -  I REALLY like that the device vibrates on my wrist when I hit the 10k step mark.  UP24 doesn't do this.  More than once I've popped down on my treadmill right before bed in slippers and PJ's just to walk and hit my goal for the day.  With the UP24 I have to keep refreshing the app to see if I've hit the mark. 

Battery Life  -  While it says it's good for 7-10 days which is estimated to be less than the UP24.  I think it's a more accurate statement with the Fitibit Charge.  I wonder if I turned off the Idle alert on my UP24 whether this would help extend the battery life.

Features I don't really use:

Floors Climbed - I just don't really care.

Fitbit Charge Price:  $129.95  (5 cents cheaper?)
I may attempt to return my Fitbit Charge.

Stuff that's basically the same on both:

Activity Tracking / Steps & Distance Tracking / Calories Burned -  These are basically the same on both devices.  I find that UP24 is giving me slightly more steps than the Fitbit.  But they're both pretty close to each other.  

Wireless Syncing  -  They both sync to your phone app through Bluetooth.  Although my friend has pointed out that the Fitbit forces her Bluetooth to turn on, whereby draining her phone battery.  It's not an option to stop it from doing that.  I don't notice this I guess since I don't turn the Bluetooth off, but I do know that the Fitbit totally messed up my UP24 from syncing properly which was why I had to move it to my iPhone.

Leaderboard  -  You can get a snapshot of the leaderboard of how you compare with your friends on both.  UP24 however you can see much more specifically what your virtual "friends" are up to.  Whereas on the Fitbit all you can see if the 7 day average.  Well when I want to text my bestie and tell her to get her ASS moving because she's been sitting on it all day, you can't do that with Fitbit.  

So which would I recommend??

You probably already know that the UP24 would be my preferred device.  For me I like the friendly competition.  I also like to be able to encourage my friends and tell them how great they did on a given day.  It's kind of like the Facebook of activity trackers.  And the UP24 gives you much more detailed information not just on your friends but on yourself too.  However, it's a much more smart phone based device.  Whereas I think the Fitbit is more computer based.  I don't want to have to log on to a computer to razz my friends. I want to do it from the grocery store check out line.  If I were to go spend my hard earned cash I'd spend it on the UP24.  Not to mention they've got a new UP3 coming out "soon" (WHENNNN????).  I will probably get one of those when they're finally released.  This incorporates heart rate based information.  I wear my heart rate monitor when I run 100% of the time, so it's not surprising that I would want to include some daily tracking there as well.

Even as a runner currently 5 weeks into my training my UP24 band keeps me focused on moving on my non-running days. I take walks when I didn't feel like I needed to before.  I am more active on my non-running days.  It has brought an awareness to me that I didn't have before. I have also become much more focused on my sleep. Knowing exactly how much sleep I'm getting each night forces me to make sleep more of a priority.  And that's good for my training.

And on that note .. my Idle alert just buzzed at me so I better get my butt out of my chair and MOVE.


Do you have an activity tracker?  Let's be FRIENDS if you do!

Why would or wouldn't you want one?


  1. Very interesting! I had an older tracker that's neither FitBit or Jawbone but don't use. Like you said, it's very eye opening. I sometimes wonder whether I'd like one post baby but had no idea about the differences. I love reading the review of someone who used both for no other gain than health.

    If I get one, we can definitely be friends.

  2. Omg, you read my mind!! I was JUST wanting one of these for Christmas, but didn't know which was better. Now I do! I would def go with the Jawbone. Now I know what to tell hubby I want for Christmas. Thank you!!

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