My Leikr Experience

Share your training experience, advice, opinion

My Leikr Experience

Postby rasifix » Tue May 13, 2014 9:17 pm

After using the Leikr for quite some time I have to say that it more and more stays at home and I am only using my "old" Garmin Forerunner 610. In this post I highlight the stuff that does not work for me. Some points have been highlighted before, some a long time ago without any reaction from Leikr.

GPS Accuracy
Still, after so many software releases the GPS accuracy is still not good enough. I start to believe that this poor performance can only be due to bad hardware. An example of todays run:

Leikr: http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/339163285/8104552
Garmin: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/498826580

The Garmin Forerunner 610 is also not perfect, but still way better. For a watch of that price I expect top notch GPS performance (that's the main reason to buy a GPS watch, right?!)

WLAN Credentials
I still have to enter the WLAN credentials on their website just to download a file to my computer. Come on! This was reported a long time ago and still no progress?! I do not want to provide you WLAN credentials, especially for networks which I do not own! I mean the company I work for could probably fire me if I did.

Time to Fix
As long as I turn the GPS on when I am in range of a known WLAN network, time to fix is very good. 8 hours later at work (where I did not provide Leikr my WLAN credentials...) it takes a long time to get a GPS fix. I had to wait more than 2 minutes today while my Garmin had a fix within 10s.

No Export
Leikr focusses on providing support for alternative websites for activity upload. I do not care about these websites as I want the raw file (TCX, FIT, ...). The device is seen as a USB mass storage device. Why not just provide the files on the mass storage and let me handle it the way I want?!

Device not properly disconnected
I regularly get a message from my OS saying the watch was not properly disconnected. This happens e.g. when synchronizing the watch. From a usability standpoint I consider this a bug.

Manual Activation of Heart Rate Monitor
All the other GPS watches automatically find the heart rate monitor once it is paired. No need to press to buttons, which I always forget.

Screen Quality
The color screen quality is disappointing. The maps can hardly be read. Black and white screens are very good though and can be read even in bright sunlight.

Not so useful Maps
The map feature is not as useful as it sounds. This is partly due to the low display quality, partly due to the not so good map material, partly due to the too small screen, and partly due to the lack of automatic north orientation. While running I can hardly read the map. As this is one of the main selling points that is quite shocking.

Buttons
Another hardware related problem. Pressing the start button, especially with gloves is very wobbly. I have to always check the screen to see if the stop watch started. Event without gloves there is not enough tactile feedback.

Conclusion
I would not recommend this watch to anybody. For that price point you get a much better watch else where. It's sad to say that as I had wished that Leikr would mix up the competition. I am a kickstarter backer and that is the only reason to not return the watch and demand a full refund.

Regards,
Simon
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Re: My Leikr Experience

Postby son_tgs » Thu May 15, 2014 8:54 am

Hi Simon,

This list is nearly identically to my findings when using the watch and I have previously requested several of your point, but still no response.

To point some of them out;
I have requested the option to get the raw data but they have for some reason chosen not to provide the file to us but instead, as you have concluded, they have chosen to interact with different website - strange decision...
The Manual activation of the HRM is also one very strange decision, and I still dont get that one - I have several time forgotten to activate the HRM...

To sum up, I sold the watch some month ago, and are now back to a Garmin Watch :-(

I like this project, their ideas, the design and the hole concept, It's nice that someone have the guts to stand op against the big companies like Garmin.
I hope for now they get back on track soon and produce a watch and software that is capable to fulfill our needs - I would very much like to have to buy the Leikr V2...

Best Regards
Thomas
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Re: My Leikr Experience

Postby rasifix » Thu May 15, 2014 9:29 pm

I was a bit naive to expect the first version of the watch to be good enough. From my point of view it just is not. It will at least take another hardware iteration. My Kickstarter investement did not provide me with the watch I expected, but I am happy to have been part of the ride.

I really wish Leikr all the best for future iterations of their hardware and software. I have some doubts that I will buy a Leikr v2 unless I can test drive the watch in real conditions. Open sourcing the software would also help a lot for me to get on board again.

Just a couple advices: listen to your users, be open about your plans and timelines, and keep your promises! If you really want to compete with Garmin and the others you need to listen to your users and react swiftly. Most of the complaints (also voiced by others in this forum) are long outstanding issues. That is probably even more bothering than the hardware / software issues in the current state.

Simon
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Re: My Leikr Experience

Postby kennethbrun » Sat May 31, 2014 4:28 pm

I planned to start my own thread, but the conclusions in this thread have a lot of similarities to mine. Actually I agree in each one of them excluding "Device not properly disconnected" and "Not so useful maps" - the latter because I don't really use the maps.

My use case is:
1) Cycling
2) Running
3) MTB

Here goes a few additional comments. Might seem like small details, but I think the bigger issues has already been mentioned elsewhere...

GPS
I never thought it would be so difficult to have good GPS tracking in a device specifically made for it. But I guess the many years of experience for Garmin and the other big companies gives them an advantage that just doesnt come as easy as a dumb user like me would think.

Honestly my smartphone or 5 year old Garmin watch is still better than what the Leikr performs.

Apparantly Leikr fixed the "bounces" in GPS location by heavily filtering/averaging. Well, obviously you get rid of bouncing, but the drawback is that accellerations is completely lost. I'm really no expert, but I believe, that the filtering could be done more cleverly, than you do. E.g. when 5-7 satelites are being tracked you shouldnt just average the positions of all 5, but instead filter away the least trustworthy assuming they are reflections or something. All this is said without knowing how you do it and what is possible in the hardware. Just take my words, that it doesnt seem optimum how you do it currently. One could argue, that accellerations shouldnt be the primary focus - well, it isnt, but when I find my pace sitting on my bike, I dont want to wait five seconds to get my actual speed.

Discharging
Only God knows how many times I put the Leikr on my hand just to experience, that after five minutes workout it shuts down, because on low battery. I'm probably to blame myself, because I might forget to turn it off when finishing excercises. Also I could leave it in the charger whenever it's idle, but I usually just forget it. Two suggestions:
1) Auto turn-off. No movement, no pulse, no action at all for XX minutes: why not turn off the device by itself. One of my reasons to hate my old Garmin watch was the exact lack of this function, and five years later nothing has happend. Any reason?
2) This is probably more tricky, but you have such a nice display: can you provide better status of the battery? E.g. percentage or at least more than four battery bars. The last bar apparently means anything between two hours and two minutes of remaining battery. This is a useless indicator.

Battery charging
Whenever I have charged the battery, and unplug it from the charger, the battery icon is frozen, and I cannot turn the device on!? This usually takes one or two minutes. Why? This is really annoying. When I unplug the device, it's because I'm on my way out of the door to do some workout. Due to A-GPS I cannot leave the home without having turned the device on. Waiting two minutes to be able to turn on the device is complete waste of time. Fully charged it should be ready within seconds.

Menus
I think navigation in the menus is a little cumbersome due to the "long press"-requirement. How about the "light"-function requires a "long press" since it is a (in my case) rarely used function? Then you have four buttons for a regular select-back-up-down functionality, and long-press (key1) for light, and long-press (key3) for back to active screen. Just a suggestion:)

The pros
Wifi and upload really rocks. This is much easier than ANT+/USB hell or other options.
The mechanical design. Not a big deal, but I like the size, shape and robustness of the device.
Maps. Not a big deal for me, but I see the potential. At least if people are allowed to customize it.

Feedback, openness, pocket philosophy and conlusions (provocative, but with best intentions)
I'm a little frustated that you (Leikr) don't provide feedback to the not-so-positive comments in this forum. My guess is that Simon "rasifix" spend at least a couple of hours to write and prepare the comment above. And you reward that with no comment at all! Instead you comment on the (in my opinion useless) comments like "I like my Leikr watch". Not a big deal, it just lights a little bit of frustation inside me.

I remember you started up at Kickstarter with lines like "We got annoyed with how the existing devices worked" and "we are athletes ourselves". I wanted to support that claim, because I completely agreed. Honestly, how much better do you think your device is now? That the many small annoyances (mine and them reported by others) still exist kind of limits my believe in the claim that you use the device yourself. Either it just collects dust on your shelves or you have really low expectations for a 2013/2014 device. I've started using my iPhone instead when riding my bike and the user experience is far better.

Status? The rate of software updates have lowered significantly implying that the watch are at a decent maturity level? Critisizing on software development is a cheap trick because as a stranger I have no insight in the complexities... but seriously, programming a device that simple cannot be rocket science. It's more than a month since last update: are you still working on cadence sensors? Did the developers fell asleep or do they spend their time elsewhere?

I would recommend to open things much more. My first thought on the project was that you were open-source friends: Linux-based watch, OpenStreetMap, direct upload without necessary third-party USB-devices etc. I believe many of your users had the same idea. But currently, you are more closed than your competitors. With Garmin I could get my data with proper tools. With Leikr its uploaded into the cloud without any possibilities to investigate it. Why don't you want to benefit from the assumption that your users are probably significantly more nerdy and technically based than Garmin, Polar or Apple users? Next big thing of the smartphone era is said to be personal fitness devices, so within months (yet) a lot of devices will come to the market. Some of them from vendors with a lot of cash in the box. I dont think you have a chance among the users who just need a device that works without problems from day 1. Instead focus on the users who actually chosed you. I.e. be nerdy: open-source the software, let the users have better access to perform customizations, maybe even let them program plugins "Apps". Let them see your GPS algorithms and let them have access to all the debug information, when their watches doesnt work as intended. I can only see benefits for both users and Leikr if you do this.

A watch created by idealists with the option of tweaking things around and look into the details would definitely make a selling point to me. If the "all-out-open-source" is too extreme for you, then find a proper alternative. For a start supply a debug mode with the option of saving GPS details in accessible files, that curious users can look into. Really, you should allow yourself to benefit from the nerdy users who wanted an alternative to completely closed Apple/Garmin/Polar.

Best regards,
Kenneth
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Re: My Leikr Experience

Postby son_tgs » Sat May 31, 2014 5:01 pm

Kenneth - well spoken :-D

I do also think that Leikr have been mysterious quiet lately - I do think/hope that they are working hard to get a new FW ready or working on the Leikr V2...

Best Regards
Thomas
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Re: My Leikr Experience

Postby Juergie » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:13 am

All so true, unfortunately.

I really liked the idea of the watch in the beginning, and still do. I often get jealous looks from my friends when they see my Leikr. But for me it becomes more and more a shiny but useless piece of accessory. Because not even the basic functions work properly. Ever so often I start my workout with 4-5 sats only to loose them again shortly after starting my run. Most of the time the watch does not recover once that happens and only parts of the trail are recorded. Fortunately, I often run the same tracks and can therefor correct the missing parts. But that is not how it is supposed to work.

That was ok in the beginning since it was a kickstarter project and a completely newly designed watch. But updates didn't bring the desired progress. Sure, there was some progress in the beginning. But over the last few months there was no improvement in the basic reliability.

I've been thinking about buying a new watch more often in the last few weeks. And I will do so if I don't see some massive progress in the near future.

Some words addressing our concerns from the Leikr team would be nice.

And also from other users that share the same frustration (if they are even here anymore) so that the Leikr team sees that it is not only frustration by a small group that dares to speak their mind.

Juergen
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Re: My Leikr Experience

Postby admin » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:13 am

Dear Juergen,
4 to 5 sats is quite little and if you run in high density areas, it can happen that you loose connection.

To improve the performance of the watch you should download assist data from the Wi-Fi.

it is quite simple to do it:
1) turn the watch on in the range of a register access point (it could also be your phone)
2) remove the watch from the docking station in the range of a registered access point ( still ti could also be your phone)

At Leikr we are working on a software solution to extend the life of the GPS assist data, so that you could retrieve them from the web only every once in a while.

thanks
Cris
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Re: My Leikr Experience

Postby moggyx » Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:55 am

Cris,
I have not been on here in a while because I have basically given up on my Leikr after no recent updates to fix the problems outlined above by others. The most recent update basically destroyed my GPS reception so that I now NEVER see more than 5 satellites connected at any time. This is after connecting within proximity to a known wifi access point. I have even done several factory resets to ensure there is no other problem aside from average firmware.
There was a point, around the time of my last few posts, that I was relatively happy with the GPS reception but things have gone downhill and I recently found my old Motoactv, which is so much more reliable.
Best of luck with future products.

Todd.
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Re: My Leikr Experience

Postby Barry » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:48 am

Does anyone know if Leikr have any plans to improve GPS accuracy?
Or is it considered sufficient?
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Re: My Leikr Experience

Postby admin » Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:50 pm

Late answer to this thread, just to clarify this point from Barry
we do focus on improving the accuracy of Leikr all the time.
We believe that the accuracy when the GPS is assisted is in the right place and we work on continuously improving the unassisted accuracy in the most difficult environments
thanks
Cris
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