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Wearable Tech

Acer's Liquid Leap+ smart fitness band supports Android, iOS and Windows (hands-on)

Acer's Liquid Leap+ will track your daily activities and alert you to notifications from your iPhone, Android device or Windows Phone. We saw it at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

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BARCELONA -- Acer kicked off Mobile World Congress early with a slew of new products, including an update to its Liquid Leap smart activity tracker. The second-generation wearable, known as the Liquid Leap+, does everything we have come to expect from a fitness device. It can track the steps you take, calories burned, distance traveled, active minutes and your sleep at night. Is that exciting? No. But hey, it's somewhat cheap.

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The tracker also includes numerous smart features when connected to a mobile device. There's support for basic music controls, allowing you to play, pause, go back and skip your favorite songs, and notifications for things like emails, calendar events and text messages. The one-inch touchscreen isn't exactly a perfect place for reading, though.

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The Liquid Leap+ syncs with Acer's own health app, which has charts for tracking data. The build we saw looked pretty clunky, however, compared with other leading fitness apps.

Other features include a silent alarm and support for apps. Acer didn't go into detail about the app drawer, although we suspect it's where you will find tracking for specific exercises, a feature the original Leap had .

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We got to try one out in Barcelona, and it felt small and cheap, but its thin, innocuous size might appeal to someone who doesn't want a big, honking watch or gleaming metal band. The snap-on band design seemed like it might run the risk of falling off, much like Fitbit's older Force fitness tracker. Also, the Liquid Leap+ lacks any buttons: to turn it on you double-tap and swipe through the screens with your fingers. Demo units provided by Acer seemed a little hard to operate with such a small screen and complete lack of buttons.

With a water-resistant rating of IPX7, it can withstand exposure to water of up to 1 meter (about 3 feet) for up to 30 minutes, but it's still not meant for laps in the pool. Battery life is said to be around 5 to 7 days, on par with other fitness bands.

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The tracker pod can easily be popped out and the band replaced with a new color. The Liquid Leap+ will include three different replaceable bands: black, pink and green. The tracker is available now in the US for $100, which converts to about £65 in the UK and AU$135 in Australia. That's a relatively low price for an activity tracker that also includes music control and notifications.


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