Leomo Type S Bike Computer Review

shiruba

Active Member
I am posting here because although it's bike related, it isn't eBike specific:

I was looking for something like a hybrid between a Garmin Edge and a smart phone. Something with decent navigation and voice prompts, that would let me listen to music, while also giving stats like speed, cadence, heart rate, etc. Like the edge or Wahoo, it should be water proof, actually usable in the rain, easily viewable in bright direct sunlight, have a long battery life, work with gloves on, etc. It also should have a really good GPS chipset, BLE and Ant+. After some searching, I found the Karoo 2 and The Leomo. I ordered one of each, but the Leomo arrived first, and I have a feeling that it will be my favorite of the two, because it is basically a Bike Computerized smart phone with the full Google play store that lets you run Google maps, Youtube Music, or anything else you like. It also comes with some special sensors for athletic position monitoring, etc., if you're into that kind of thing.

First Impressions (Unboxing, size, mounting etc):

OS Tweaks:

Leomo App / Web Site Review:

I have only done a few test rides so far, so once I have done a bunch of long rides, I will update my impressions with mention of real world battery life, etc.

Broad strokes for people afraid to open my links:
Positives so far:
1. Battery life seems quite good.
2. I was able to install anything I tried to, and everything worked so far (Cramped screen for some apps, though).
3. Connected via ANT+ to Tacx trainer, Garmin Speed/Cadence/Heart Rate Sensors and tracked in the Leomo app without any issue.
4. Leomo web service looks nice.
5. Connected to Bluetooth Aftershokz and Sena headsets, plays music and/or navigation prompts fine.
6. Has LTE capability, but it's optional.
Negatives so far:
1. No support for Varia Lights/Radar with the built in Leomo app.
2. Seems not to support bluetooth sensors in the Leomo app, only ANT+. This means my bike's BLE will pair to the OS, but is not used in the stats display. (I could just be missing something..)
3. If you want to actually use it as a smart phone, it has a small low res screen and only 32GB of storage.
4. No built in location streaming service (i.e. Garmin's Live...) - but you can install other apps for that.
 

VoltMan99

Well-Known Member
Region
Asia
City
Tokyo
Thanks for the write up, this definitely looks like a good option ! Is this the Pro version? Can you tell me how well it behaves in English?
 

shiruba

Active Member
Hello,

The only difference between the normal version and the pro Version is that the pro version comes with more sensors. Since I didn't actually want any sensors, I didn't buy the pro version.

It works just fine in English.

If you want to mount the device in the more typical vertical orientation, you can unscrew the mounting connector, rotate it 90 degrees, and screw it back in.

I also did get the Karoo 2, which has some advantages and disadvantages. The Karoo 2 has a much nicer screen, a built in nav app (similar to Garmin), supports live location streaming, radar, a sexier overall package, and more. But, the Android is much more locked down, so you are much more limited on the Karoo 2.

If you want really open and unlimited Android or you want to use the sports analysis sensors, then the Leomo is for you.

Also, the Leomo power mount is a nice idea.
 

VoltMan99

Well-Known Member
Region
Asia
City
Tokyo
Hello,

The only difference between the normal version and the pro Version is that the pro version comes with more sensors. Since I didn't actually want any sensors, I didn't buy the pro version.

It works just fine in English.

If you want to mount the device in the more typical vertical orientation, you can unscrew the mounting connector, rotate it 90 degrees, and screw it back in.

I also did get the Karoo 2, which has some advantages and disadvantages. The Karoo 2 has a much nicer screen, a built in nav app (similar to Garmin), supports live location streaming, radar, a sexier overall package, and more. But, the Android is much more locked down, so you are much more limited on the Karoo 2.

If you want really open and unlimited Android or you want to use the sports analysis sensors, then the Leomo is for you.

Also, the Leomo power mount is a nice idea.
Thanks. Yes I’m looking at Karoo 2 as well but they don’t ship to Japan. How’d you get it sent to here? Also I’m curious as to the GPS performance in comparison of both of these units to an iPhone. I think the big advantage of the Garmin / Wahoo is increased positional accuracy.
 

shiruba

Active Member
Hi,

Yes. Where there's a will there's a way. I had it sent to a friend in the USA who forwarded it to me. You could also use one of those reshipper sites like myusa, etc.

I'm sure the GPS of the Karoo and Leomo are both better than your typical phone. At the very least, the compass is better for sure.

Another big advantage is that the screens work in the dark or bright sunlight, and they not only are water proof, but actually usable when wet. (I tried to use my smartphone for a quick ride a few weeks ago on a super sunny day and I couldn't see anything at all). Smart phones don't have transceiver screens, and even waterproof ones don't actually work when wet. Rain drops are always registered as key presses. The battery life of both units is also far better than a typical smart phone.

At the end of the day, I actually like riding with both - using the karoo to show stats and radar, and the leomo for Google maps or 自転車ナビタイム。

If you are in Japan, you can always come take a look before making a decision. I'll also probably be selling my Edge 1030 soon.
 

shiruba

Active Member
Almost forgot. The leomo officially supports Japanese, English, and other languages.

While the Karoo doesn't support Japanese officially, I was able to sideload gboard which let's me enter Japanese just fine, and it will let you download Japanese maps in the karoo app.

The reason they don't ship the karoo to Japan is probably because they don't have certification, so using it in Japan may not technically be legal. (but then that's true of a lot of phones tourists use here...)
 

VoltMan99

Well-Known Member
Region
Asia
City
Tokyo
Hi,

Yes. Where there's a will there's a way. I had it sent to a friend in the USA who forwarded it to me. You could also use one of those reshipper sites like myusa, etc.

I'm sure the GPS of the Karoo and Leomo are both better than your typical phone. At the very least, the compass is better for sure.

Another big advantage is that the screens work in the dark or bright sunlight, and they not only are water proof, but actually usable when wet. (I tried to use my smartphone for a quick ride a few weeks ago on a super sunny day and I couldn't see anything at all). Smart phones don't have transceiver screens, and even waterproof ones don't actually work when wet. Rain drops are always registered as key presses. The battery life of both units is also far better than a typical smart phone.

At the end of the day, I actually like riding with both - using the karoo to show stats and radar, and the leomo for Google maps or自転車ナビタイム。

If you are in Japan, you can always come take a look before making a decision. I'll also probably be selling my Edge 1030 soon.
Thanks for the details! And thanks for the offer to check it out, would love to do that but we’re in a peak right now and I’m isolating. I do have a shipper in California I can probably use. As much as I like Garmin products I want to have Bluetooth audio for Varia in my Sena M1 helmet. So many choices. I have several months to decide though - preparing for a 5 lakes ride around Fuji-san. 自転車ナビタイムはいいでも私の日本語はとても基本的です🤣. Like I always told the NHK man when he comes to my door - 日本語を食べません!I haven’t seen him in years hahahaha. In the meantime I’m going to use the iPhone for my daily ride. Actually only need it for emergency contact. Right now it stays in my pocket. I’m shifting to 3AM riding to avoid traffic and people, but I don’t need GPS.

thanks again!
 

shiruba

Active Member
自転車ナビタイム might possibly work in English, but if you don't need navigation then it's not worth paying for. Google maps will give you cycling routes for most places in Japan nowadays anyway, just not as many routing options.

The main reason I am not using my edge is because the navigation is really, really bad sometimes. I got tired to the middle of nowhere in the middle of a typhoon once.

Trying to take the train less means taking the bike more, which means using it to go a lot of places I don't know the best route for. Car in point, I had to go out to the middle of nowhere for the vaccine. So I'm actually needing the navigation more recently. That said, for night riding you can actually see a phone scrum, so an old iPhone or whatever is not an awful option even if it's not optimal.

BTW I have a sena M1 too mainly for the light) , but fyi the audio from Aftershokz is much, much better if you want to listen to music, etc. (no intercom feature, though).
 

VoltMan99

Well-Known Member
Region
Asia
City
Tokyo
自転車ナビタイム might possibly work in English, but if you don't need navigation then it's not worth paying for. Google maps will give you cycling routes for most places in Japan nowadays anyway, just not as many routing options.

The main reason I am not using my edge is because the navigation is really, really bad sometimes. I got tired to the middle of nowhere in the middle of a typhoon once.

Trying to take the train less means taking the bike more, which means using it to go a lot of places I don't know the best route for. Car in point, I had to go out to the middle of nowhere for the vaccine. So I'm actually needing the navigation more recently. That said, for night riding you can actually see a phone scrum, so an old iPhone or whatever is not an awful option even if it's not optimal.

BTW I have a sena M1 too mainly for the light) , but fyi the audio from Aftershokz is much, much better if you want to listen to music, etc. (no intercom feature, though).
Well, I had another look and now Navitime Bicycle supports full English with both maps and voice. That’s awesome actually. My wife uses Navitime on our road trips to find parks with toilets because we don’t go into combini toilets these days. So I am going to try the bicycle version. ¥300 a month is great value because it has several route optimizations. I haven’t taken the train since Jan 2020. Drive by car everywhere these days. We drive to Shin Kiba every night almost to get in a good dog & human walk. I have a spare iPhone XS so I’ll probably continue with that until I get my kit for the 5 lakes ride. Varia is so important to me that I’ve even considered dedicating an iPhone to that function alone , along with music. I’m ok with the M1 Sena sound because I grew up on AM radio haha. Now the Navitime Bicycle app may lean me into a dual iOS device direction. Weirdly enough I’m also considering using an iPad.
 

shiruba

Active Member
Sorry, I was out riding in the mud...
Yes I like the route options in n Navitime. I have a dedicated bike Navi unit that has similar options, but the maps are from 2012... If I have to go to the same place often and I get bored of the route, I can easily try another.

BTW Navitime does work on the Leomo very well, and it does work on the Karoo, but since there is no Google play services, you have to go make an account on their site, and then sign in on the karoo with that.

Google maps also works on both, but it will always give earnings in the karoo, and you can't sign into your Google account. It'll still route, though.
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I took GPS traces with both units just now, and they are pretty close. The Leomo may be ever so slightly better.