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Can the Fitbit Ultra or Jawbone UP improve your lifestyle?

Nike just announced they are launching their Fuelband fitness tracking device, but until it launches we have the Fitbit Ultra and Jawbone UP available now. I have been using both of these devices for a few weeks and have a preference for one of them.
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By Matthew Miller, Contributor on
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The Fitbit Ultra is a very capable activity tracker that offers more than the Jawbone UP.

Please check out my ZDNet Mobile Gadgeteer blog post where I offer reasonse why I prefer the Jawbone UP over the Fitbit Ultra.

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The back of the package shows you how you can wear your Fitbit Ultra and how it connects to your computer.

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As you can see in this photo, you get everything you need to use the Fitbit in the retail package. Package contents include the USB docking station/charger, holster, Fitbit Ultra, and sleep tracking wrist band.

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The Fitbit Ultra comes with a plastic holster for you to use when you need to mount the Fitbit on a belt or thicker piece of clothing and don't want to risk prying the Fitbit apart.

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To charge the Fitbit you place it on the dock with the metal contacts on the back matching the dock contacts. This is also the same station that is needed to sync up the Fitbit to the website.

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To track your sleep you need to place the Fitbit in the included wrist band. By contrast, you can see the Jawbone UP is mounted on your wrist at all times and to track sleep you simply press in once on the button.

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This image shows the two fitness devices side-by-side. The Fitbit slides on to your clothing, including a bra, pants, shirt, etc.

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Here you can see the two approaches to fitness tracking with the Fitbit Ultra inside the Jawbone UP.

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To setup the Fitbit you fill out some basic info on the Fitbit website.

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This is a typical day of activity tracking, as measured by the Fitbit Ultra.

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The Fitbit also tracks sleep and as you can see this is how the data appears when you sync after a night of rest.

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In comparison to the Fitbit, the data from the Jawbone UP shows more details for light and heavy sleep. Both devices give you "ratings" for the quality of sleep based on some unknown measure.

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This screenshot shows activity tracking as captured by the Jawbone UP.

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There are a couple of aspects of the Jawbone UP that make it compelling to me when compared to the Fitbit, including the activity reminder feature.

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I also find the Smart Alarm feature to be quite handy and it does a good job of waking me up in a more natural way.

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UP Fitbit image gallery 1

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UP Fitbit image gallery 2

 

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