The Tech4o Accelerator Pro Plus Watch was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of this review.
By Jenn K.
The Tech4o Accelerator Pro Plus Watch is a multi-function sports and fitness watch that has a plethora of functions. Very impressive! The most impressive features I have found so far with this watch are the PC Link and the accelerometer sensor.
The PC Link allows for transmission of data from the chest strap (heart rate data) and the watch (log data) to a computer for viewing of the data. The PC Link uses a USB device called the PC Pod to get the data from the watch and the chest strap to the computer. There are a few different ways the data can be sent: through the watch, chest strap, and the PC Pod (combined); from the watch and PC Pod (combined); real time while wearing the chest strap with the PC Pod connected (for heart rate values). So far I have only installed the program, paired the watch and the chest strap with the computer, and viewed my real time heart rate. The program was easily installed on my personal computer and the menu tabs and functions are simplistic. I was able to view the screens with no difficulty. I will be letting you know how the PC Link works next month after I have some data to share and I get more familiar with the functions of the Accelerator Pro Plus Watch.
The accelerometer sensor measures speed and distance without a footpod or a GPS. This sensor is claimed to give 95%+ accuracy. The manufacturer explains this sensor on the product website: “The accelerometer sensor works by detecting changes in the user’s movement (acceleration) that are translated into varying degrees of electric current within the sensor. These electric currents are instantly decoded by the watch into highly accurate measurements of speed and distance and displayed on the watch face.”
I have set up the basic features of the watch, but I am still working on figuring out my stride length. There is a website link for a stride length calculator in the instruction manual. This is an important measurement for the accuracy of the Accelerator Pro Plus Watch. I plan on setting it up shortly before going on my fitness walk. I will be comparing the accuracy of the Accelerator Pro Plus Watch against a Garmin Forerunner 305 (GPS) Watch.
The watch is mostly gray in color with a lime color on the underside of the rubber strap that accents the strap holes. The mode button is also this lime color. The strap is fastened with a typical watch buckle that is made of stainless steel.
There are 4 buttons on the watch (2 on each side) that are used to select the menus, scroll, escape, value changes, turn on the backlight, etc. The buttons are easily pressed to view the desired screen or function. There is also some text on the face of the watch near the buttons to indicate the main functions of the buttons.
This watch has so many features so it took me some time to get view all the menus, explore the features, set the time/alarm, and set my personal data. I still have to reference the instruction manual to figure out how to view certain screens. Hopefully I will get more familiar with the settings that I no longer have to reference the manual.
Below is a list of the features of the watch. As you can see there are many.
Accelerator Pro Plus Features (obtained from the manufacturer’s website)
Speed & Distance Mode:
- Speed (Current/Average/Maximum)
- Pace (min/mile)
- Calorie burn
- Exercise/moving time
- Fully Adjustable Personal Profile
- 10 day memory
Heart Rate Measurement:
- Coded – 2.4GHz transfer speed insures unit doesn’t interfere with other monitors or equipment
- Heart rate zone alert – on/off selectable
- Heart rate alert on – audible & visual indication for out of HR limit
- Heart rate statistics (Average, Minimum, Maximum HR)
- In-zone timer
- 2 Heart rate training zones
- Fitness zone (65% -85% of estimated max HR)
- User defined heart rate
- This mode displays 3 rows of user selected information
- Select from: Time / Exercise Time / Moving Time / Speed / Max Speed / Avg Speed / Pace / Distance / Odometer / Steps / In-zone Timer / Heart Rate / Max HR / Min HR / Avg HR / Calories Burned
Logbook with PC-Link:
- Up to 7545 records
- 12 Selectable logging rates
- PC Link
- Upload data to your computer for review and analysis
- PC compatible – Windows 98 / 2000 / ME / XP / Vista / Windows 7
- Time, Date, Day
- 12/24 hour format
- Dual Time
- 2 Daily or Weekly Alarms
- 50 Lap Chronograph
- Recall lap time & total time
- Countdown Timer
- EL Backlight
- Adjustable LCD levels
- Key Tone on/off
- Low battery indicator
- Power save mode
- User replaceable battery CR2032
- Water resistance 100M / 300 ft
The Tech4o Accelerator Pro Plus Watch retails for $129.99 and is currently only available in a men’s version. I as a female find some of the GPS watches to be huge on my wrist, but Accelerator Pro Plus Watch is not overly large on my wrist.
Since my first update, I have been busy using and getting familiar with the Tech4o watch. I am gradually getting more confident scrolling through the display screens without the need of the instruction booklet. There are a plethora of functions and capabilities with this watch that at times I found it difficult to find the proper menu that I was looking for. Also I sometimes would forget how to complete certain functions. Since the initial update, I am much more familiar with this watch including the features and settings. There are some sections of the user manual that are not very descriptive and could use more explanation on the general features and the functionality.
All the buttons press easily to complete the desired function. The ESC button enables the backlight to turn on, exits the current display, and returns to the previous menu. The “Mode” button confirms/selects a section and can advance to the next level of menus. The arrow keys scroll the menus or change the settings.
The display on the watch is easy to read; the numbers and lettering are large. With the regular backlight setting the watch can be easily read in the dark by pressing the ESC button, but the backlight only lasts for a few seconds. In night mode the backlight is activated with the press of any button, but then again the light only stays on for a few seconds. I wish there was a way to turn on the backlight for a longer period of time. The night function is helpful, but sometimes I need to look at the display for more than a few seconds.
Many of the main watch functions are accessed from “Time Mode”. These settings include the time, date, system settings (display, sound, light, and pairing), user, and units.
The watch has two alarms that can be set once, daily, or weekly. I used one of the alarms on a daily basis to help me wake up in the morning. The alarm beeps for 30 seconds and it can be deactivated by pressing any button on the watch.
The “Timer Mode” was handy when I only wanted to walk for a certain period of time. I could not figure out how to set up the quick set values that are already in the software. So, I would set the timer with my own preset value instead of the quick set values. I will continue to work on figuring out how to use the preset values.
Mostly I use the Distance and Heart Rate Mode for my fitness walks. Both of these modes turn on in five seconds as the default setting. The sensor can be changed to have a manual setting. The “Distance Mode” setting captures: current speed, maximum speed, average speed, current pace, number of steps, calories burned, distance, and exercise time. This mode is helpful when I just want to look at distance, speed, and time. I can save the workout and view all the data from the workout. Also ten days of workouts are also recorded on the watch under the “Daily Record” menu. The pedometer can also be placed into sleep and the sensitivity can be changed.
When I want to capture more data from my workout I use the “Heart Rate Mode”. This mode captures the current heart rate, heart rate zone alert, calories burned, heart rate statistics, and in zone timer.
I have used the PC Link Program (with the USB) to store and view my workouts on my personal computer. I did not know at first that only the past 10 days of the daily record is transferred. Unfortunately I lost some data since I failed to upload in the 10 day window. Once I was able to upload some data, I found it convenient to view my workouts and my data.
I am confused as to what the functionality of the “Logbook Mode” is. This is where some explanation of the features of the modes would be helpful in the user guide. I am assuming that this is to store more than 10 workouts on the watch. I will have to dig deeper into this functionality
So far I am pleased with this watch. It took me more time than expected for me to become familiar with most of the functions. However, I am happy to say now that I can successfully record my workout and use most of the functions without referencing the user guide.
Final Update 7/11/11
Another month has gone by and I have been enjoying the Tech4o watch during my fitness walks, hikes, and walks at the beach. I am very familiar with the settings/functions now and I rarely need to reference the manual. I have also been diligent to record my workouts within the 10 day window to the PC Link Program. I think it would be cool if the PC Link Program had the capability to store the workouts on the Internet to be shared with others; or just for a different way to track my data.
I have finally got the “Daily Record Review” to save correctly and have been successful saving the daily record to the PC Link. I found the “Logbook Mode” to work well when I have multiple workouts in one day or when I want to split a workout. Mostly I just use the “Daily Record Review” to view the data stored. I have the “Logbook” set to record automatically when the sensor is activated in “Heart Rate”, “Distance”, or “User” modes. The “Logbook” functionality is still a little bit confusing to me.
The “Heart Rate Mode” appears to give an accurate reading on my heart rate. This was compared with manual readings and using a Pulse Oximeter. I have the “Heart Rate Mode” set to give alarms when I am outside my heart rate zones. I have this mode set for my custom ranges.
What would a workout be without burning calories? It is nice to see how many calories are burned in a workout. However, I do not take this data too seriously. It gives me a good ballpark figure to see how much I can eat on my workout days (and I aim below the calorie data recorded). Seriously, how can a watch know exactly how many calories were burned when there are so many variables.
I changed the stride setting in the watch and I noticed that when I am walking briskly or slowly there is a difference in the distance and the number of steps. It is not by much, but it was noticeable. I know when I change my walking pace my stride length differs.
Still all the buttons are functional and easy to use (now that I am more familiar with the settings and functions). I have set the watch to not beep when the buttons are pressed. The beeping was annoying to me and people would look at me oddly when I was setting up my watch and it was beeping with every button that I pressed.
This watch has all the bells and whistles I need to record my fitness walks, hikes, and walks at the beach. I find it enjoyable to capture my workout data and to track my progression. It also has general features that are nice for daily usage. I plan on using this watch for many more outdoor adventures.
For more information please visit www.tech4o.com.