Health and fitness: Acer Liquid Leap review

Over the past month I've been on a bit of a health kick (January stereotype, anyone!), and as part of this I've been testing out a couple of fitness tracker gadgets to help monitor my progress and give me a bit of extra motivation.

I was kindly sent Acer's Liquid Leap* by the lovely people at LV= and I was intrigued to see how this would perform.

Acer liquid leap review

The Liquid Leap is a watch-style, wrist based device that tracks your step count, calories burnt, minutes of being active and amount of sleep that you're getting. It works in tandem with an app on your phone to allow you to track your progress, which is great if you're a little competitive like me as you can see which days you've done well and those that you need to make a bit more of an effort.

It was very easy to set up - the Liquid Leap is charged using a cradle system and a usb cord, and takes about 90 minutes to get a full charge. One charge lasts about a week, so you don't need to be continually plugging it in every night, which is a definite bonus.

I've tried other pedometer devices that have to be clipped on to your trousers before and while they've always been pretty accurate, they're a little bit cumbersome, so the watch style Liquid Leap really appealed to me. I was able to wear it all day, every day without realising it was there - and the fact that it has the time and date on the screen means you can do away with your normal watch if you like.

The downside for me was that it seemed to be pretty step-happy in counting how active I'd been. I do a reasonable amount of walking over the course of a normal day, but I think the tracker here is too sensitive as it clocked up almost 300 steps while I was sat down applying my makeup. Hmmm. I did one day where I wore both the Liquid Leap and my Fitbug as I knew the latter was pretty accurate and the Liquid Leap counted almost 14,000 steps on the same day the Fitbug counted 11,000. This didn't completely put me off the Liquid Leap, but I did always make sure to mentally reduce my step count by about 20% and I think the accuracy really needs to be improved here.

Sleep tracking is an added feature, but unlike other devices, it doesn't give you an idea of how good your sleep quality was, just the length of time you've been sleeping for. You also have to set it to 'sleep mode' when you go to bed and reset it in the morning when you wake up in order to get an accurate idea of how long you've been asleep.

The app itself is pretty basic - it doesn't allow you to track your food intake, only the calories you've burned through exercise. This meant I had to continue to use the My Fitness Pal app while I was using my Liquid Leap, whereas I'd have preferred to use one app to track everything.

Overall, I think it's a pretty basic device given the price (£79.99) and I'd rather have spent another £20 and got myself a Jawbone UP24 which seems to have a lot more features for only slightly more money.

Have you tried any fitness trackers? What are your thoughts on them?

*PR sample

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