Jawbone UP4 Adds American Express Mobile Pay

Introducing the Jawbone UP4

Late last night I received an email in regards to the release of two new products, the Jawbone Up2 and Jawbone Up4. Keep in mind that the Jawbone UP3 has yet to start shipping to customers who pre-ordered back in October/November of 2014. Read my thoughts here and on the holiday production delays and here for the additional shipping delays.

Direct From Their Product Release

We’re delighted to be announcing UP4, our newest fitness tracker – so advanced it pays. UP4 is built on the multi-sensor platform in UP3 (with advanced activity, sleep and heart health tracking) with the added convenience of payments from American Express. Our experience has shown us that health and fitness tracking is bringing a lot of people into the wearables market.

But there is so much more you can do to improve people’s life once you have a wearable on the body. Increasingly we have been using our trackers to help people connect with other devices and services – the so-called ‘Internet of Things’ (which we prefer to call the ‘Internet of You’, focused on your individual needs). Everything from your thermostat and smart home to your car and pet tracker. People love these integrations – particularly the ones that make their lives easier and more efficient.Travis Bogard, Vice President of product Management and Strategy

No, this is not April Fool’s. Yes, this is a real product. What is interesting is that considering that so few people have a Jawbone UP3, releasing an improved product (possibly an answer to the Apple Watch) makes sense. But why have two separate products? They could have just let everyone who pre-ordered the UP3 get the UP4 and then future orders would only be the Jawbone UP4. I do not even thing there is enough separation between the products to warrant a name change. Maybe I am thinking too hard on this one, but why not continue to call it the UP3 or maybe the UP3+? Jawbone has great branding and marketing, but I think they missed the boat on this one.

What Went Wrong?

Earlier in the month, Jawbone mentioned the reason for the delay is that they sold us on the device being waterproof up to 10 meters, but could not deliver. Read here for all the details. Seven months later, they are ready to release the activity tracker with a lot less pomp and definitely under more lackluster circumstances.

Why the $20 Premium?

Jawbone probably has a licensing agreement with American Express. If you read the fine print, this is only guaranteed to work through 31 July 2019. That said, American Express is a premium brand so the $20 is probably a small pittance to cover their partnership. Now at $200, we are dangerously creeping up into the Fitbit Surge territory which includes a screen, GPS and similar battery life. For a larger premium, you can just get an Apple Watch Sport for around $349.

Key Items To Note

  • The Jawbone UP4 is not available for purchase…yet.
  • Only one Card can be connected to UP4 and you cannot switch the Card once it is connected.
  • The ability to use your UP4 to make payments expires as early as 7/31/2019.
  • Works where Amex contactless payments are accepted in the US.
  • It will cost 199.99, that is $20 more than the UP3

Jawbone UP4 Features

The Jawbone UP4 is basically a Jawbone UP3 gussied up with the American Express contact-less payment option, a $20 premium. Here are some of the feature:

  • A system that adapts to the individual wearer’s physiology
  • A precise accelerometer tracking steps and activity
  • Two temperature sensors collecting ambient and skin temperature
  • A bioimpedance sensor collecting heart rate, respiration rate and galvanic skin response
  • Battery Life – should last around 7 days like the current, not so current UP24.
  • Form Factor – an efficient, multi-purpose sensor that picks up multiple signals.
  • Updatable Technology – Given the versatility of the sensor platform, we are able to (and we will) unlock exciting new features with a simple, free, over-the-air firmware updates in the coming months (the tracking of other signals, for example.
  • Advanced sleep tracking – Wake, Light, REM and DEEP stages of sleep (read more about the sleep tracking capabilities of UP3 here).
  • Resting heart rate monitoring – Heart rate measured moments after you wake up, before external influences. (read more about the heart rate tracking capabilities of UP3 here).

Did this news build up some tech excitement? Are you happy for the new updates or are you still on the fence? Did you already pre-order? Will you wait a few more months and possibly get the Jawbone UP5? It could happen. Let me know in the comments below.