AlcoSense Excel Fuel Cell Breathalyzer
- Product Review (submitted on 27 December 2016):
- As I had previously purchased the AlcoSense Elite, I was offered a free upgrade unit of the AlcoSense Excel in exchange for an honest review of the Elite.This are my experiences of this unit, the information provided is accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time this review was written.Consult the user guide, manufacturer and your local laws for advise on alcohol limits and the driving law in your area.Do not drink and drive.PROS:- Easy to use (menu driven with three buttons)- Calibration before each use is very quick (takes around 10 seconds before it's ready to use, much quicker than others I've used)- High quality and easy to read screen (really impressed with this)- Very Good build quality (family member described it as looking like an Apple product)- Quick Response with Reading after test- You don't have to blow into unit for too long before it reads the result (Elite took quite a lot of time breathing into unit before it would analyse)- "Accurate" - Several concurrent tests produced the same or very similar results (also tested with a group of people)- Easy to know when not to drive - if within 20%-80% of drink drive limit goes amber, if within 20% of limit clear do not drive warning displayed- Unit powers on quickly- Unit can be updated via included USB Cable- Easy to change settings, if neededCONS:- The tester blow tubes can easily be lost (spares ARE included, however)- One result produced a wildly inaccurate result (the user had just had a drink before testing - AlcoSense clearly warn against doing this)After receiving an eMail from AlcoSense offering me a free upgrade, I sent off my existing unit and ordered I a replacement unit at no cost, which arrived promptly.N.B. I notice AlcoSense offer a discount on each of their models, if upgrading from a cheaper model (just send back your existing unit in exchange).The box includes the breathalyser, USB Cable, Batteries, Tubes for testing and the user manual.After opening the box and installing the batteries, I powered on the unit and was immediately impressed by how much better the screen is (high quality colour TFT Screen).The initial setup is very easy (and can be done without the manual!). You set the time/date and alcohol limit and unit type (will give you a country list for reference).To use it, you slide the top of unit up and insert a blow tube into the hole at the bottom.I tested the unit on a couple of occasions with both myself and my family over Christmas and everyone was impressed by the build quality and easy of use of the product.I also tested myself 3-4 times over 15 minutes to make sure the result was accurate and found the result initially returned the same result then slowly dropped.I would definitely recommend spending the extra money and going for this over the Elite, and would avoid cheap breathalysers!I've had bad experiences with cheap breathalysers in the past, but have been very satisfied with both the Elite and the Excel.Both units are small enough to fit into my glove box and storage draw in my car. I've kept both in the car and always use them the morning after to check I'm safe to drive.N.B. It's important that you don't test yourself for at least 45 minutes after your last drink as your alcohol level may continue to rise as your body will continue to absorb alcohol for some time after your last drink.It's also worth noting that if any alcohol gets onto the sensor it will give an invalid reason as the alcohol concentration is too high (and can damage the sensor).One family member blew a result of around 4% BAC, which was way higher than anyone else (who'd drunk more). He'd taken a drink just before blowing into it.However, after a minute or so, I tested myself again and found the result was the same as my previous result so it appeared not to have damaged or affected the unit adversely.It's better not to drive at all the same day and use a breathalyser for the morning after.You can get any of the Alcosense Breathalysers calibrated for about £20, so you know they're still accurate after a year.