Before I arrived at the #acerliveblog2014 even I was not aware of Acers plans to enter the fitness tracking market, so it came as quite a surprise when they lent me a Liquid Leap for the weekend.
Priced at £79.99 it is exactly the same price as the Fitbit Flex however Acer have added several features that make it stand out compared to the Flex. The Leap comes with a 0.9″ 128 x 32 OLED display that is touch enabled and can display various smart notifications including text messages, calendar appointments and phone calls. This therefore makes it more like the new Fitbit Charge which retails at £20 more at £99.99.
The Leap is a relatively attractive design, though very similar to the VivoFit, you should be able to buy it a variety of colours including black, white, orange, green and pink. Putting the Leap on was surprisingly awkward, getting it to snap shut took quite a bit of fiddling, and this seemed to be the case with the other bloggers t the event too. Once on though it was perfectly comfortable and provided no irritation.
Personally I found setting the device up very easy, I just downloaded the Leap Manger, switched on Bluetooth and connected the device using the pin code provided by the Leap. Unfortunately Holly from ShinyShiny managed to brick 2 of her devices by carrying out an update to the Leap without it being on charge. This could be a fluke accident but it is a little bit of a concern as it seemed extremely easy to do and was not fixable at all.
During my 2 days with it, it performed just as you would expect, it counted my steps and provided an estimation of calories burned. When you load up the Leap Manager it will sync the data and allow you to view graphs of your data including steps taken, sleep etc. Leap Manager did not feel quite as well made as the Fitbit or Garmin software, and I am also unsure if there is a web based system where you can easily view your data. The general UI needs a bit of working doing to it. Also I am not aware of any API or 3rd party integration with other systems, unlike Fitbit which has been integrated with dozens of other systems, especially MyFitnessPal.
I was very impressed with the smart notifications, they came through quickly and they were easily readable, I could easy scroll texts messages giving me chance to read a whole message. In comparison with the Garmin, I really struggled to get it to scroll to read an entire message. You can also control your media with the Leap, which I found quite useful when walking around Edinburgh with my earphones in.
Overall this is an OK fitness tracker, it is well priced against Garmin and Fitbit and it does the job as advertised. But the hardware and software don't appear to be quite as refined as the competing products. I think it makes a decent first fitness device for Acer, and hopefully over the next few months the software will improve which I think will iron out the majority of the issues.