My review of the ReliOn Premier Voice blood glucose meter

Thanks Scott for the chance to review a ReliOn Premier Voice meter! I appreciate the opportunity.

First, a few observations:

  • The meter setup is very easy. Everything is voice assisted.

  • Testing is easy, and the results are given both via voice and on meter display.

  • Many of the functions on the meter are voice assisted.

  • Occasionally I got an E4 - “the sample was not enough or too thick” Okay, but the thing beeped after I put the blood on. Mr. Meter, why would you beep and start the countdown if there was not enough blood? Most every other meter I have ever used will wait until there is enough blood before it starts its countdown. If the problem is that my blood is too thick, that’s a problem because it’s the only blood I have. (My blood is occasionally thick from dehydration after a workout, but I have never had that error on any other meter).

  • I like the desiccant container that is built into the vial cap. I have not used any meters with that feature. Smart.

  • The meter allows data transfer to your computer but I could not test this because I don’t have the cable.

  • You can review 1, 7, 14, 30, and 90 day BG averages. That is very nice. Not all meters allow this much granularity in displaying averages.

  • You can set hypo alert from 20-60. Nice that you can pick the range, but some people might want to be able to set their hypo alert higher, like 70.

(Side-note: I tried many times to get a test that would give me a hypo alert. But it never happened! Despite testing a number of times when I was absolutely low and knew I was low. This was maddening! :angry: A little more info on meter accuracy problems is given below.)

  • You can set time alarms and post-meal alarms, but the post-meal alarm is only available for 2 hours. Allowing some adjustment of the post-meal alarm time increment would be nice.

  • You can test yourself without looking, the voice does walk you through it. But you can’t really tell if the strip is inserted right-side up or not. Perhaps having one side of the test strip rough and the other side smooth would make this possible to do without sight?

  • No light on the meter :frowning: Seems like a lot of meters do not have this, which is unfortunate. A light is a very useful thing on a meter. It’s why I take my FreeStyle when I go to the movie theater…

  • This is a big one - no voice review of past tests?!?!?!? Nicky mentioned this too, and it is extremely puzzling to me. Why make a voice meter and not allow people to hear their previous test results? It makes no sense. This really is a feature that should be added. If a person is able to see the past results, why would they be using a voice meter in the first place?!? Voice review of past tests should be added to this meter!

Now for the test result comparisons, which were a little bit disappointing.

I compared the ReliOn Premier Voice meter with two very accurate meters I have been using for a long time - the Contour Next One and the FreeStyle Lite.

Most of the tests I did were a direct one-to-one comparisons with these meters, with the tests done only seconds apart. 34 of the 50 tests I did were direct comparisons. I did these tests at very random times and with a wide range of BG’s.

  • 72% of the time, the BG shown on the ReliOn Premier Voice was higher than what was shown on the Contour Next One.

  • 100% of the time, the BG shown on the ReliOn Premier Voice was higher than what was shown on the FreeStyle Lite.

  • The Contour had about a 7% average difference from the Relion.

  • The FreeStyle had a 34% average difference. 3 tests were off by a very large percentage (greater than 30%). If I throw those 3 results out, the avg difference for the FreeStyle was still 19%.

  • I had a number of times when I tested and was significantly low but the ReliOn Premier Voice did not pick it up! For example, being 42 and the ReliOn Premier Voice showing a 64. That was a serious problem to me. Happened several times. That was kind of a deal-breaker for me…

For average deviation tests, the ReliOn Premier Voice was very good when I did the tests just by itself (with one exception).

The average deviation was 0.875, which by itself looks great.

But one time when not testing average deviation, I saw a number on the ReliOn Premier Voice that was waaaaaay off. I re-did it and saw a completely different number. I saw 179 and 73 (the Contour was showing 109 at the time, which was likely closer to correct at the time).

So that 179 is what really bothered me - a lot!

Obviously that 179 was wrong, but I found it troubling to see. I don’t see one-offs like that on any meter I trust. So that might be something that I would be troubled by, until I tested over and over with the meter and after not seeing an error like that after a few hundred tests with it I might be comfortable with it again.

Bottom line - this meter may work okay for you, and the voice feature may be useful.

But the failure to flag the lows, and the meter almost always being higher than what I felt was my true BG value, make this a meter I would not entirely trust.


Thanks for your review. That’s too bad to hear about the accuracy issues. It’s also too bad to hear that the test history is not spoken. If that’s not spoken, I’m guessing that the meter wasn’t really designed to be truly accessible to people with visual impairments and that there are probably other design flaws that would create problems.

I would be curious whether the speech for testing is actually useful to someone who might want to use this meter to test many times a day, or whether it’s more annoying than helpful. An example of useful speech would be: “[BEEP] Apply blood.” An example of annoying speech would be: “Hello, thank you for using our meter. Today’s date is blah blah blah. Please apply blood.” Listening to the latter provides no useful information (except for the date, which could be obtained some other way such as through a command or the settings) and would get really irritating to hear a dozen times a day.

For people with visual impairments, having strips that allow one to place more blood is essential becasue we can’t really see where the blood is nor how full the little window in the strip is. As for not being able to tell whether a strip is upside down, this is also a problem. Are there any tactually distinguishing features on the top of the strip at all? Most strips have a little ridge that can be felt between the little circuity-looking bit and the rest of the strip. (I’ll attach a picture.) Do these strips have something like this?

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Yes, actually it does. I was not skilled enough to figure that out on my own, but now that you mention it, you can definitely tell right-side-up on the electrical section. There is a ridge there.

Thanks for mentioning that!

The meter just says to apply blood, letting you know the strip is ready. And then it beeps after the blood is on it. And then it says the BG value.

So there is not a lot of blah-blah talking!

Possibly other people will find the accuracy better. That can vary from one person to the next. For me it just wasn’t that great.


Thanks for the reply! Aside from the history not speaking (significant flaw), it sounds like this might be a good meter for people who are visually imapired, given the very limited meter choices. Does it have a headphone jack?

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No headphone jack. Only a data transfer port.

You can adjust the volume to 3 different levels, or turn it off.

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Eric, when you got the E4 error did the meter provide voice feedback? If so, what did it say?


That’s too bad. It sounds like the data transfer port is one of those old-style proprietary ports rather than a standard micro USB port, too. :frowning:

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It gave a very clear voice message. (All the audio parts of the meter were great.)

It said, “Error 4. The sample was not enough or too thick.”

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Thank you. I’ve also received the error several times while testing the ReliOn Blu and wondered why it counted down before saying there was an error.

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Yeah, I had the same comment! If there is not enough blood, it should wait until there is enough blood before it starts the countdown!!

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I’ve had the same experience with the Blu - countdown before the error message - though only a couple times, as it takes less blood than my ReliOn Prime, so I keep poking myself too hard and have no shortage for the Blu strips. :laughing:


@Eric, what a great test!

The poor accuracy is more than regrettable. It is truly disturbing to read of your failure to get low readings, when these lows are detected by the Contour. As the Contour is a reference that has been benchmarked many times, I trust its results.

Nonetheless, it is a good thing to see the direction of development this meter shows.

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Does it maybe wait to see if you apply more blood? Are you able to add more if it says there’s not enough?

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No, unfortunately it’s a wasted strip. No “do overs” allowed.

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Can anyone confirm that the Premier is finger stick only and not for alt site sticks? The Ultima was for either

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The ReliOn Premier Compact meter (uses same strips) advertises this feature. Maybe the “Voice” meter would as well, since it uses the same strips?

Premier Compact Meter

You can contact ReliOn here: Contact Info

Thanks. I tried both an arm stick and finger stick with the voice one and there was a 50 point difference! The arm read higher. The Ultima worked much better.