As you’re probably aware by now, I was invited on a trip to Edinburgh by Acer UK, with some fellow tech bloggers to get a hands on experience with some of their current/new products. This is a review of one of those products – the Acer Liquid Leap smartband.
The Acer Liquid Leap is one of the most simple looking smartbands/fitness trackers we’ve seen on the market to date, and is easily comparable to the Fitbit Flex on its aesthetics. This being said the Acer product has the added benefit of a small e-ink display as well as being able to push notifications to the band such as incoming calls and texts. The Leap is also waterproof so you don’t have to worry about any liquids destroying your device.
Once removed from the box I had to charge up the device as it was completely dead, so unfortunately it’s not ready to go straight from the box. Once I’d fully charged the device, I continued to start the set-up process. Overall setting the Leap up is very simple and requires just Bluetooth on you’re device. Once powered up for the first time the 2.4cm screen will display 4 numbers. On the companion smartphone application you’ll have to enter these 4 digits to authorise the connection.
However I ran into quite a major problem once the connection had been established. Our phone notified us that an update was required, of which I agreed and continued. When it reached around 90% the application froze and I was forced to quit out of it. This lead to the Liquid Leap shutting down and not being able to be switched back on. I tried everything from using the hard reset button on the back to trying to boot while charging but unfortunately nothing worked – it seemed as though I had bricked the device! (I was notified that a member of the Acer team managed to revive the device – unfortunately I don’t know the details!)
Thankfully we had another Liquid Leap on hand which we managed to connect, set-up and update successfully so the testing could continue.
If you’ve ever worn a Fitbit Flex then you’ll be familiar with the two pin and hole clasp system. Well the Acer product uses this mechanism as well. Trying to secure the band to your wrist is nigh impossible and requires a great amount of force/strength. I understand that it needs to be secure so it doesn’t just fall of your wrist, but I’m sure being able to actually wear it is a higher priority. Despite this Acer could easily fix this problem by making the clasp holes ever so slightly bigger. After talking to the fellow bloggers this seemed like a problem we all encountered.
The devices battery should last for around 5-7 days on a normal use, and even up to 10 days if it remains in standby mode (after getting hands on for just 2 days I cannot confirm this as of yet). This is on par for a fitness tracker, and is helped massively by the fact that the screen isn’t constantly active. Instead you must wake it by double tapping on the screen, and from here you can swipe to access different stats such as steps walked, distance covered as well as enabling the built in sleep mode.
Despite the problem with the clasp on the device, the overall design and aesthetics of the Acer Liquid Leap I feel is spot on. I’m not normally one for wearing things on my wrist, but once it was on it was so comfortable that I actually forgot I was wearing it until it started vibrating, notifying me of an incoming text message. The companion smartphone application brings a well designed user interface that’s easy to understand and navigate on all platforms.
However there is definitely room for improvement, and I’d like to see the problems found, fixed in maybe a version 2 of the product.
The Leap retails for £79.00 which is highly competitive in the fitness tracker market.