Friday, May 30, 2014

Leikr GPS Sports Watch Review

The Leikr GPS Sports Watch was first seen by many when the company went on Kickstarter to raise funds to develop and mass produce their watch. The Leikr team is made up of ex-Nokia engineers who are also active runners, swimmers, cyclist, marathoners, and triathletes. Basically athletes who wanted a GPS sports watch that would fit their needs perfectly. I contacted the Leikr group so that I could get my hands on one of their watches for a review and they kindly sent me one. My reviews are of my own opinion and are not influenced in anyway by the Leikr company.

The Leikr watch retails for $329.00 which is definitely set to compete with the big boy high end GPS watches out there. Let's see what it has to bring to the table.

Here is an the unboxing video I did for the Leikr when I first got it out of the box. It is a nice presentation upon opening the box and the contents include:

  1. The Leikr watch itself 
  2. Manuals (Product Safety information and Quick Guide)
  3. USB cord
  4. Charging Cradle




DESIGN



I really like the look of the watch. It has a high-end sleek look to it and the first thing that is noticed about this watch is how large the display is. It's a 2” TFT color 320×240 pixel 65K color with 11% reflectance display.  It is the largest GPS watch display of all the current GPS watches out on the market right now.


The Leikr's casing and strap are both made out of medical thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) plastic and rubber. This is to ensure that you will not have any type of allergic skin reactions while wearing the watch.


GPS watches are usually bulky thick watches but the Leikr is quite slim with the dimensions being 57.20 x 40.40 x 10.65 mm. When compared to some of my other GPS watches its definitely the slimmest but also the widest. 



On the wrist it feels light with it being only being 75 grams and while not uncomfortable on the wrist it does get some getting used to because of the length of the watch. I wear it a little further back on the forearm because of this. 


INITIAL SETUP

While you can use the the Leikr watch right out of the box you will really want to setup your watch first which can only be done by heading to their website on your laptop/desktop to configure your watch. These steps are necessary to configure your wi/fi, upload maps, and update the Leikr to the latest firmware. It's not a complicated process but it does take a bit before you can take advantage of all the features of the watch. 

After downloading the wifi driver all you have to do to update/sync your watch is to simply press the two buttons on the left side of the watch simultaneously.



The maps for the United States are not preloaded into the watch so you'll have to do it yourself through the website by selecting the areas you run in and then downloading those maps into your watch. The process for this is quite time consuming and I could see how this could get annoying if you do much traveling. 


Alright now that the setup is complete lets get to running.

ON THE RUN

GPS Acquisition

The watches GPS is always on unless you turn off the watch or set the watches "Sport Mode" to "Running Indoor" which will turn off the GPS. There is no way of turning off the GPS otherwise. 
Leikr's website claims that it has a "10 second assisted GPS locking" I found it to be more or less similar to other GPS watches when acquiring satellites which was about 2 minutes. The one feature that I did like was when a satellite is acquired the watch would vibrate to let you know. 

STARTING THE RUN

To start your run after your satellite is acquired all you do is press the upper right button and you're good to go. 


You have three screens to toggle in between during your run.
  1. Overall metrics screen.
  2. Lap metrics screen.
  3. Maps

The measured metrics are:
  1. Time
  2. Distance
  3. Calories
  4. Average Pace
  5. Pace
  6. Heart Rate
Again the watch was comfortable on my wrist on the run and the screen was easily seen especially when the screen was backlit. I do wish they gave an option to customize the screen to my preference. Some of the metrics are not needed during my run such as the measurement for calories and heart rate (I don't use one).

UPLOADING WORKOUT

To upload your workout all you have to do is sync it by pressing the two left buttons simultaneously which will then sync it directly through wifi to Strava, MapMyRun, and Endomondo. 

OTHER FEATURES


MAP DISPLAY FEATURE

The map feature is a nifty little feature. I could see it being useful for those running in a new area and needing to find their way around. The Maps screen is also the only screen to take advantage the color screen of the watch. Be sure to update your maps so you can actually see the maps. 

WORKOUT EDITOR

The workout editor allows you to input your workout or training program into the watch. It's pretty basic but gets the job done. 




WILL IT WORK IN THE WATER?

Unfortunately the watch was not able to get a IPX-8 rating so although it is water resistent it's not water proof. So there will be no swimming with this watch. 

BATTERY LIFE

In my experience when conserving the battery life to the max meaning turning it off when not in use. I was able to get just about the stated 5 hours of life. They are working on this and hopefully a future update will address this. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Processor - 300MHz Arm Cortex A8
  • On-board Software - Leikr custom software on Linux OS
  • GPS - Leikr optimized high-performance GPS
  • Display - 2” TFT color 320×240 pixel 65K color with 11% reflectance
  • Data and Map storage - 8 GB
  • Connectivity - WIFI 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0
  • Accessory support - ANT+ enabled accessories
  • Buzzer/vibra - Yes/yes
  • Battery - Build in Lithium Polymer
  • Battery time (active mode) - 5 hrs (current software)
  • Casing - Medical PC/TPU plastic
  • Waterproof rating - IPX-6 (water resistent)
  • Strap - Exchangeable, medical TPU rubber
  • Dimensions - 57,20 x 40,40 x 10,65 mmWeight75 gr
PROS & CONS

PROS
  • Large 2'' screen
  • Low profile watch
  • Nice backlight 
  • Once setup, easy to use
  • Vibrating alerts
  • Maps
  • Updates and good support
CONS
  • Price - $329
  • Lack of waterproofing - No IPX-8 
  • Lack of customizable data fields
  • Short battery life
OVERALL

As a GPS watch, it does everything that you would expect it to do and does it well. The watches large display is a big plus and the Leikr team does a great job of updating it's firmware. For the price of $329 the Leikr team really needed to make the watch waterproof and fix the short battery life, especially when trying to compete with watches at the same price point. It is a solid GPS watch but not for the price point that it is currently at.

To purchase the Leikr for yourself you can do so by following this link: https://leikr.com/shops.html

If you have any questions or comment please leave them below. 

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