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fitness tracking applications

Jawbone UP review - Discovering my own inconvenient truth

02 Oct 2013
Mark Headshot

Mark

amaysim's digital stuffologist

Howdy, it’s Ric here.

A few weeks ago Seph, the digital guy, asked me if I’d review the Jawbone UP. To give you some context, Paul’s a fitness fanatic. He was keen to get a few different opinions on the UP, including one from someone who was an “every day person who doesn’t do much sport.”

At first I was a tad insulted. Then my mind went through a series of realisations from “What’s Paul talking about - I’m really athletic?” to “Well, maybe not as athletic as I could be – the last time I went to the gym was three months ago… I used the mirrors to get ready for a night out.”

And so my journey with the UP began.

So, what’s the Jawbone UP?

The UP is a band you wear on your wrist that allows you to track your movement, sleep and what you eat. The idea is that by being more aware of your body and how you use it, you can change bad habits and improve your health.

The UP works like a fancy pedometer, counting your steps and monitoring your movement throughout the day. Plugging the UP into your mobile through its headphone jack syncs the two devices. Your step and sleep information is stored in the UP app, and updates about your movements are sent to your UP contacts (I’ve only got three – Paul and Hayden who are also reviewing the Jawbone UP for amaysim, and my aunt).

You can then graph different types of data against one another – like hours slept vs water consumed – to see if there might be a correlation between the two.

My own inconvenient truth

I walk to and from the amaysim office each day (around 3kms each way), so although I don’t do as much organised sport as I could, I do still have quite an active lifestyle.

One of my first surprises when using the UP was that (disappointingly) I don’t need to be eating nearly as much food as I do. Whenever you pick up a food packet it often tells you that the average person needs to eat between 8,000 and 8,500 kilojoules a day. I assumed that walking at least 6kms a day would have put me at the upper end of that estimate.

Alas, the UP told me that on a typical day when I walk to and from work but don’t do any other organised exercise, I only burn around 7,200 kilojoules. Ouch.

Finding this out has made me way more aware of what I eat. Being able to see how much energy Paul and Hayden use compared to me has also really increased my awareness around the different energy requirements of men and women.

I was always kind of proud that I could eat more than Sam, my partner, but now I’ve realised that I should be opting for smaller portion sizes than him (especially as he’s a long distance runner and I’m not).

What I learnt from using the Jawbone UP

Don’t assume you know how much food you should be consuming – I didn’t.

Not all steps are created equal – Often I take more steps than the other amaysim guys testing the UP, but mine are predominantly walking while they run. Walking’s great, but if you want to up your energy expenditure (be it to get fitter, to lose weight or because you just want to eat more), running could be more effective.

It all adds up – I set my movement goal at 12,000 steps a day. As part of my daily routine I walk around 11,000. Whether or not I make my goal is affected by small things, such as walking to get lunch and taking the stairs over the escalator. If you’re trying to move more, every little bit helps.

Clearly I'm no health expert though, so you know the drill - if you're looking to change your diet or take up a new sport, always have a chat with your doctor first.

So, over to you – how aware are you about your body? Have you used any apps that calculate your movement, like UP, perhaps Moves (it’s an iPhone / Android app) or even Map My Run? What did you find out that you didn’t already know?

Cheers,
Mark

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Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5: Everything we know so far

13 Aug 2020

Fresh on the heels of the Pixel 4A being announced, the hype train for the Google Pixel 5 is now well and truly underway.

After months of speculation about whether the Pixel 5 launch would be pushed back, Google put much of this chatter to rest by providing a sneak peak of the Pixel 5 during the recent launch of the Pixel 4A.


Last years flagship device, the Pixel 4, was a phone full of potential. As we've come to expect from the Pixel series, it featured an incredibly powerful camera, however its average battery life, held it back from being a serious contender for phone of the year.

While the Pixel 4 had its flaws, it was still a really good phone overall, and it will interesting to see how this years model, stacks up against other flagship models from 2020 such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 12.

With all this said, we wouldn't count Google out from delivering something special and with such a positive early response to the Pixel 4A, perhaps 2020 will prove to be the year of the Pixel.

To help bring you up to speed on what Google has in-store with this years flagship Pixel device, here's everything we know so far about the Pixel 5.

at a glance: rumoured Google Pixel 5 features

  • Expected October release
  • 5G connectivity
  • Android 11
  • New camera features; Adjustable Flash, Motion Blur & Audio Zoom
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

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    Expect 5G

    It's widely expected the Pixel 5 will include 5Gconnectivity.

    The feature was all but confirmed in early August with the announcement of the Pixel 4A, where Google teased two new 5G devices, the Pixel 5 and a 5G version of the Pixel 4A, both of which are set to be released during the final quarter of 2020.

    Release Date

    Since the phone’s inception back in 2016, Google has remained incredibly consistent with their release schedule for the flagship Pixel series, with all previous launches taking place in October. This trend is set to continue, after a leak surfaced from a Google affiliated website in France, claiming the Pixel 5 will be available for pre-order from October 8.

    Android 11

    This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since a beta version of Android 11 is already available for public download, however it’s expected the Pixel 5 will be the first device to don the latest Android software straight out the box.

    Some of the expected improvements and features of Android 11 include a new media player widget, easier ways to control smart home devices using your phone, a new power button menu and refinements to the messaging system and conversation bubbles.

    Pixel 5 Render
    Image Credit: Google

    Design & Display

    Last year Google teased images of the Pixel 4 in the months leading up to its official launch. This time round, the only confirmed sighting of the Pixel 5 has been the side image (seen above) which Google teased during the launch of the Pixel 4A.

    Outside of this image, there have been a number of different leaks floating about which have helped paint a picture of what this years phone might look like.

    Like the Pixel 4, it's expected the Pixel 5 will feature an OLED panel, with a matte glass finish on the back and full HD/QHD resolution. According to Front Page Tech who gained access to an early Pixel 5 prototype, a forehead bezel on the front side of the device is also expected to remain.

    In terms of refresh rate, last year we got to enjoy a smooth 90Hz experience with the Pixel 4. However with Samsung (and others) already making the jump to 120Hz and Apple reportedly looking to do the same with the iPhone 12, it will be interesting to see if Google sees this as an important feature upgrade and whether they'll look to roll out a 120Hz refresh rate with the Pixel 5.

    A Mighty Fine Camera

    While earlier leaks suggested the Pixel 5 would include a triple-lens camera on the rear of the device, more recent leaks suggest Google will once again opt for a two camera setup on the back.

    The quality of images with the Pixel 4 were outstanding, so it's not as if this should be a concern. For some though, the added flexibility of a third, wide angle lens, would of been the cherry on top, for a camera that many consider one of the top-tier mobile phone cameras.

    With that said, Google doesn't appear to be standing still, instead opting to fine-tune the Pixel's two-camera setup by adding new features.

    Expected new features include an adjustable camera flash, a new motion blur feature and the introduction of audio zoom, which will allow you to zoom in when recording video to help you capture audio more precisely.

    Long story short, it looks like we're in for a treat with this years camera setup.

    Under The Hood

    In the past, Pixel devices have typically featured the best Qualcomm chip available, which this year would be the Snapdragon 865 Plus. With the Pixel 5, this might not be case, with an inside scoop from 9to5Google suggesting the phone may be shipped with a Snapdragon 765G processor.

    The Snapdragon 765 is more of a mid-range chip, unlike the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 which powers the latest Samsung phones. This would suggest slightly less processing power than some of its competitors. With that said, the 765 is obviously no slouch and will still pack a solid punch in terms of performance.

    In terms of RAM, while it hasn't been a huge strength of the Pixel series in the past, there should be improvements on this front, with the Pixel 5 set to include 8GB of RAM in comparison to last years 6GB.

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