The demise of a Jawbone UP! | Wearable Tech Watch

The demise of a Jawbone UP!

July 11, 2013   All wearables, Smart wristbands   No comments

My onyx (charcoal grey) Jawbone UP! died this morning. A product life of less than four months isn’t acceptable for a device costing EUR 129.

RIP, Jawbone UP!

A quick Google search confirms that second-generation UPs appear to be failing in the field at a dramatically high rate – which is very bad news for Jawbone, after the disaster with its first-generation device.

The first sign that all was not well with my UP – known to me as “the Jawbone” – came last week, where less than two days after a generous 8-hour charge, the UP’s reported battery capacity was down to 50 percent. Capacity appeared to have slipped suddenly from somewhere in the mid-80s.

Since poor battery life was why my first  (purchased in March 2013) UP had gone back for a warranty replacement, in early May, I realized that the chances of an UP making it through the 12-month warranty period were pretty slim, and contacted customer service for a refund.

After that, nothing happened except that Jawbone support generously marked my trouble ticket as closed (I reopened it). I was being patient, until this morning, when the UP refused to sync. I got a “recharge battery immediately” message in the Android app – surprising, since the UP was on around 18 percent charge last night.

Charging didn’t do anything at all and I’ve now got the red sun with the pulsing yellow dots, which might be the code for “band’s internal clock disrupted” but then again it’s not so easy to tell.

A call to customer support and after holding for a minute while Chris I’mnotobligedtotellyoumysurname checked my complaint, and I’m getting a refund.


  • Call customer support, don’t use the web form, if you want a response (web support promises a response with 48 hours – I did not get that)
  • KEEP the Jawbone UP packaging, since when you need to send it back, you’ll be told:
  • Please return the unit, and all accessories in the sealed Jawbone retail box.
  • Remember you’ll need to pay return shipping costs out of your own pocket. With a failure rate averaging two months or less, this could get expensive over the 12-month warranty period
  • Consider whether Jawbone is the right choice of wearable technology for you


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