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Acer's Liquid Leap+ Runs Circles Around Fitbit

BARCELONA -- How many features can you pack into a cheap activity tracker? Acer is trying to answer that question with the new Liquid Leap+, which will cost around $88.

Passive activity tracking is the core of the Leap+, meaning it tracks step, distance, calories and sleep. When we saw the device at Mobile World Congress, its 1-inch OLED touchscreen was bright and easy to read, using numbers and icons to communicate activity data. Other fitness trackers in this price range from Fitbit and Jawbone don't offer this kind of functionality.

MORE: How to Buy a Fitness Tracker

The best thing about the Leap+'s smartphone connectivity is that it works with Android, iOS and Windows devices. The Liquid Leap+ app that we saw on one of Acer's Android phones was bold, bright and easy to navigate, letting you set goals and check your progress.

The band of the Leap+ appears thinner than the original, and you can more easily pop the device out of the colorful band, letting you charge it and potentially stick the tracker in your pocket rather than wearing it on your wrist. It's rated for IPX7 durability, meaning you won't have to worry if the Leap+ goes for a dive or gets splashed with water.

When you begin a workout, you can scroll through the screens on the Leap+ to designate your activity. During your workout, you can even start and stop the music that's playing on your smartphone. This little fitness tracker also will deliver your smartphone's call, text, email and calendar notifications to your wrist, thanks to its Bluetooth LE connection.

The Liquid Leap+ will cost 79 euro when it goes on sale in Europe later this month, which converts to about $88. That's pretty cheap for a tracker with a touchscreen, smartphone notifications and compatibility across Android, iOS and Windows devices sound compelling. We look forward to testing the Acer Liquid Leap+ to see how well it holds up.

Valentina Palladino is a senior writer for Tom's Guide. Follow her at @valentinalucia. Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide and on Facebook.