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Thread: Gps watches

  1. #21
    Senior Member DangerMouse's Avatar
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    Off topic I guess, but I looked at all these fancy watches when I started running a few weeks ago and in the end I suddenly realised I already had everything I needed and I just use my phone with the Asics Runkeeper app, it does everything I want it to:

    Time, Distance, GPS tracking, Altitude (presumably computationally derived rather than via a barometer), Music, Audio prompts etc.

    And of course with it being a phone it has all the other useful apps on there, like full OS maps for 23 a year :-O

    If it's raining I stick it in my waterproof coat if it's not so bad weather wise I put it in one of those arm band things which cost 15 or something - sorted!

    I may end up with a fancy watch one day, but right now I really have no need!

  2. #22
    Senior Member Dave_Mole's Avatar
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    I suddenly realised I already had everything I needed
    which is true, but I've found numerous times that the app version of both Strava and Movescount is very unreliable on my phone, but I've never had an issue with my watch....I also find it more difficult to scroll through menus on the phone.
    ....it's all downhill from here.

  3. #23
    Senior Member DangerMouse's Avatar
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    That's interesting!

    I wonder if I have just been lucky so far, Runkeeper hasn't skipped a beat yet although I have only actually used it in two areas so far.

    I also don't mean to suggest that others don't have more requirements than I do, I am a beginner after all!

    I just wanted to mention it

    For the record, this is with an iPhone 5s (best phone I have ever owned, 6 years old and going strong with a new battery recently).

  4. #24
    Senior Member Dave_Mole's Avatar
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    I also don't mean to suggest that others don't have more requirements than I do, I am a beginner after all!
    fair enough, just sharing my experience. The reason I got a watch was because I was fed up of my phone crapping out all the time. Have used a watch for the last 5 or so years. Used my phone the other week because I forgot to charge the watch. Guess what? It recorded about a third of my run!

    I guess different phones may have different specs, but I've always found the watch more reliable.
    ....it's all downhill from here.

  5. #25
    Senior Member DangerMouse's Avatar
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    Funny, I guess there are many variables at play here, the obvious answer being if your phone craps out all the time, get a watch

    I just checked, I have done a grand total of 26 runs since I started running at the end of July, one of those was my first race, every one recorded perfectly!

    I guess it's going to happen sooner or later; I'll be 'eating my hat' and looking for a watch the first time my phone craps out on me

  6. #26
    Member skipchris's Avatar
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    It’s an odd one. I haven’t used runkeeper for years and years, but I don’t remember it being majorly unreliable. when I did.

    However, using Strava on the same phone, I would get terrible results. Same hardware, different app.

    A year ago I switched to using apple watch’s built-in tracking app, and it’s been completely flawless. I don’t know, but I’m guessing the GPS hardware in the watch isn’t significantly different to the GPS hardware in my iPhone.

    So… I’m guessing the software (in terms of perhaps ignoring obviously-wrong datapoints, and smoothing things out) is far more important than the hardware. If your phone + runkeeper are doing the job, long may it continue! On the other hand, now I use a watch, I’d get cross at having to carry my phone around every training run. Whatever works for you.

  7. #27
    Master PeteS's Avatar
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    Personally I like the immediate visibility of a watch and also that its waterproof and more robust than a phone. I will always carry a phone with me but usually buried in the bottom of my bumbag in a plastic bag so not great if you need to know current distance/pace etc

    Ive also not found a huge discrepancy between watch and using the Strava app when I don't have my watch. Both seem accurate enough. The main problem I have is with app drawing on the phone battery. Generally not a problem with running but some of my longer bike rides are over 6 hours and that would probably take at least 75%.

  8. #28
    Master PeteS's Avatar
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    BTW I've done some more research and it's looking likely I'll go for a Garmin 735 xt or Instinct. I like them both and although I like the additional ruggedness of the latter, it does feel a little lower in technical spec than the 735. The 735 sadly lacks altimeter but otherwise is pretty much perfect. Suunto Ambit 3 is also a contender.

  9. #29
    Senior Member DangerMouse's Avatar
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    Heheh, conversely I find wearing a watch annoying

    I totally get that it is much more convenient to see what's going on with a watch, I do not look at my phone at all while I am tracking my activities. For longer distances the phone is definitely going to run out of juice; I find ~40 mins is about 10% of battery life on my phone. That's going to drop significantly with the colder winter temperatures based on previous experience.

    I am anticipating that the phone is not going to be enough for me at some point, I am definitely going to try and get as much use out of it as I can though. The watch technology keeps advancing and getting less expensive as time goes on, so definitely some bargains to be had buying a year or two behind.

    If you're going that way PeteS, it seems a shame not to have the altimeter!? The Instinct looks great!!

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