FitBit Force versus Jawbone Up24

By Wednesday, November 5, 2014 2 Permalink 0

I’m in a fight with FitBit. I have been for awhile now. I bought the Force last year, (yes, the one that was recalled), and was SO excited to use it! I wanted to track steps during SXSW, work trips, conferences, music festivals and just daily life.

Fitbit Force - image from fitbit's site

I specifically picked the Force for a few reasons, but the main reason I picked the Force over the FitBit Flex because the Flex didn’t have a display, even though it was thinner. I loved that the Force band showed different features like the time, steps, stairs and more. Another big reason was because many of friends had FitBits and I loved that I could become friends with them, taunt them, cheer them on and compare my progress to theirs. I didn’t really research other activity trackers because I wanted to be able to connect with friends, so FitBit it was.

Less than 6 months after I purchased the Force, I was disappointed as the Force broke in half. Since this was after recall, I couldn’t get a replacement, and they would only refund a portion of what I paid (which I finally received after 3 months of returning it to them and then hounding them via email, social and phone. Yup. I had to pick up the phone and call them in order to get confirmation of my refund.).

Jawbone UP24 - Image from Jawbone

Before the Underground Music Showcase I decided I needed another device because I knew I was going to walk a ton over the 4 day festival. I knew that Apple sold a ton of different activity trackers, and it was 3 pm on Thursday, so I had less than 20 minutes to buy a device and get on the road to make my packed UMS schedule.

After much deliberation, I decided to try the Jawbone UP24. Apple has a 30 day return policy, so I figured at worst case I would try it for the week, and return it if I wasn’t happy. Fast forward 4 months, and I’m still wearing the UP24!

Turns out, I love how thin the UP24 is compared to the Force, and the app is delightful. Below are my pros and cons of the UP24 versus the Force.

Jawbone UP24 Pros

Idle Alert – I can set the device to vibrate if I’ve been idle for over 2 hours during the day (9 am – 6 pm during the week specifically).
Reminder – I use this to tell me when it is time to go to bed. Select a time and the device vibrates until I turn it off.
Vibrating to Wake Up – Jawbone will vibrate to wake you up in the morning. It will also track your movements in the morning wake you up when you aren’t in REM.
Easily Viewable Trends – The app shows you how you’re doing compared to the past few days, weeks or months.
App Integration – Easily integrates with apps I already use like RunKeeper.
Smart Coach – App tracks your habits and suggests things like time to go to bed, when to go for a walk, how many more steps you need to maintain your average and more.
Tips – This is more fun than anything. While some tips are in regards to healthy eating, others are about sleep and exercise and others come directly from the Smart Coah.

Jawbone UP24 Cons

On device display – I really hate this part. You have to open the app in order to get stats.
Floor Counter – Fitbit would share how many floors you’ve climbed throughout the day, which is fun when you live on the 3rd story).
UP Team/Friends – I have *very* few friends wearing a Jawbone.
Apple HealthKit – It doesn’t integrate with HealthKit…yet. Hopefully it will soon!

Jawbone UP3 - Image from Jawbone

Jawbone UP3

Earlier this week, Jawbone announced the UP3 which will be coming out soon and has more features including the introduction of the Heart Health Sensor that measures resting heart rate.

While I haven’t had the UP24 for very long, I think I will upgrade to the UP3 as I like the clasp design a bit more (the UP24 catches on sleeves of jackets and can be bulky). Plus the ability to track heart rate is interesting!

What do you think? Do you have the Fitbit, Jawbone or something else? Let me know in the comments!

Fitbit Force image from Flickr user US CPSC.
Jawbone images from

  • Eric Walker
    November 12, 2014

    I actually bought a Fitbit Force for a lot of the same reasons that you did about the display. I too was bummed when mine stopped working but was lucky that they sent me a full refund as it was mechanical. After that I was torn on what to get next as well and it took me another 4 months to finally pull the trigger again and I decided on the Fitbit Flex.

    So far I have been happy with the Flex and they upgrade the app around the same time so can track my running route as well. However, I do miss the display as I don’t wear a watch as much anymore because I want to wear the Flex instead. With the new lineup of Fitbit watches coming out I now have my eye on the Surge as I would like to leave my phone at home when I run but still get the benefits of GPS.

  • Monika
    November 12, 2014

    Honestly if Fitbit had better customer support I may have stayed with them, but they were just so frustrating to work with.

    I also would have preferred a partial refund and the offer of a Flex to stay with them. I just have no trust that the Surge will work the way they claim or for as long as it should after my experience with the Flex. I’ll be curious to hear how people like it though!

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