Jawbone Doubles Battery Life, Makes Fun of Smartwatches

Battery life is the company's biggest advantage as competition from smartwatches increases.

The Jawbone UP24 syncs over Bluetooth, but you still have to remove its easily lost cap to recharge the band.

Credit: Image: Mike Homnick

Jawbone has doubled the battery life of its UP24 activity monitor wristband to two weeks through a firmware update.

To get the most accurate view of their activity, UP24 users need to wear the device 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Jawbone said in a blog post. To extend the battery life and reduce the interruptions in monitoring,, Jawbone said it has improved the algorithms it uses to decipher signals in the UP24.

Jawbone also took a jab at smartwatches offered by the likes of Motorola, LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics, saying, “In a world where some wearable devices barely last a day, we’ve always been proud of the week-long battery life of UP24.”

That’s a message Jawbone needs to hammer home if the company wants to remain relevant in the wearables segment, which will get a lot more competitive with Apple’s expected entry. Smartwatches have screens that lets them offer more functionality than wristbands. Their drawbacks are a higher price, bulkier size and the need to charge them every day.

Jawbone’s UP24 wristband and associated app can track activity, sleep and what a user eats and drinks. To get the Jawbone firmware update, users need to connect the UP24 to their computer and visit Jawbone’s website.

Wearable sales are still dominated by wristbands from vendors such as Jawbone and Fit, which have more than a two-thirds market share. Overall sales grew by 684 percent during the first half of the year to 6.2 million units, according to Canalys.

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