Jawbone’s UP3 proves that simple is sometimes superior.
At a time when activity monitors tend to double as smart watches akin to the Apple Watch, for example the FitBit Blaze, Jawbone's basic interface is a resounding success.
After all, who needs a small display on their wrists when a smartphone offers a much larger screen?
This slick, inconspicuous wristband is lightweight and classy, with only three indicators on the face of it, which remain largely invisible.
With an accurate pulse monitor, the band can precisely detect and observe your health, while also providing a breakdown of your sleeping patterns.
Combined with the in-built "smart coach," the UP3 truly is a great tool.
The sleek band is akin to its most recent FitBit competitors, a thin band which doesn’t draw attention in public.
What it lacks in this department is a screen, but this doesn’t weaken the tracker at all.
Almost all of the digital work is supposed to be done by the app - all the stats, all the fitness coach comments come through your mobile phone.
The band's three small icons light up at various points - when targets have been met, or when the watch is in sleep mode.
This acts to help the user know which mode the band is in, and let it know if it is recording exercise or sleep.
Advanced sensors allow UP3 to automatically and accurately measure your resting heart rate, defined as your heart rate upon waking up, before other influences such as movement, exercise, or caffeine set in.
This then lets you see the resting heart rate and changes over time through the app.
Monitor and phone app
In terms of the mobile app itself, the simple user interface makes it easy to understand and engaging to use.
The sleep monitor does an exceptional job at tracking sleep - noting the user’s sleep state and when they woke up, if at all.
The multi-sensor platform in UP3 allows it to identify detailed sleep stages – REM, light and deep sleep – providing new insight into what happens when you’re sleeping.
Additionally, the app looks at an overall lifestyle, if food intake is registered, it will calculate a food score and feed further hints into the smart coach as to how to improve your life.
It is as effective as tracking when exercise has been completed, asking the user to manually add the specifics, though knows that they have undertaken a workout.
It can be a bit of a chore to manually add the details for this - as well as the food input - but this pays off when the smart coach provides helpful tips to boost your day-to-day life.
For me, this is a fantastic addition to the wristband.
It could ostensibly be a patronising, frustrating idea but Jawbone have manufactured an interesting and engaging "coach".
If you, like me, need in some part to be parented by your phone, it is the ideal companion.
From health tips to sleep advice and tips on how to improve your lifestyle, the app works in a brilliant manner.
As a concept, It feels as though the coach will be a hindrance, but in reality it engages the user and actually makes you realise the impact of your actions on your lifestyle.
You can also rate the feedback given from the coach, so as to help it understand what you do and do not like to hear.
On the whole, the UP3 is a fantastic alternative to the popular FitBit wristbands, doing an equally apt, if not superior, job.
Aside from no display on the band, it does a fantastic job at monitoring the health and heart rate of its user.
This all helps the wearer of the band to start adjusting their eating or health habits to improve themselves throughout.
The smart coach input has a large role in this, and although it can seem like a digital parent, the tasks it can set - for example, to drink eight glasses of water in a day - can help to improve your overall health.