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Tag Archive | activity trackers

‘Fitbit Versa Lite’ & ‘Garmin Fenix 5 Plus’ Side-By-Side On My Wrist.

by Anura Guruge



Yes, I have been asked to evaluate the Fitbit Versa Lite. It is fun. I get to try out all sorts of new activity trackers. I like it. Yes, it involves work and putting away my trust Garmin Fenix 5 Plus for a few weeks.

So, far, I am impressed.

Pairing was so, so simple and fast. Took less than a minute, start-to-finish! Fitbit is getting good at this.

Very lite. Very cheery. I like it.


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by Anura Guruge

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‘Amazfit Verge’ A Very Attractive & Pleasing Smartwatch With GPS/Glonass & Continuous Heart Rate Monitoring.

by Anura Guruge


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Click to access the Amazfit product page for the impressive ‘Verge’.


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As those of you familiar with this blog must know, I am ‘into’ activity trackers and, moreover, wear one 24×7 (which for the last 10-months has been, bar a few days, here and there, a Garmin Fenix 5 (Plus)). I keep an eye on the industry and try and check out smartwatches that really catch my fancy. The ‘Amazfit Verge‘, happened to be one of these.

Amazfit has been on my radar for a few months. I think they have HUGE potential. If they play their cards right they could be the next Fitbit. They definitely have the resources, backing, technology and know-how to do that. They are a part of Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi. That gives them a lot of muscle and clout — not to mention incentive.

The ‘Verge’ is Amazfit’s latest smartwatch. I was impressed with its specs and looks as soon as I saw them some months back. I have been trying to get my hands on one ever since.

I got one on Friday, and have been wearing it for the last 24-hours.

I like it. I like it a LOT. It is a very PLEASING watch. Personable. A watch you can relate to it. A visually striking and very attractive display. Bright and bold. Not washed out. It is going to be a nice watch to run with.

We, in the northeast, were pounded by a huge snow & sleet storm today — as some of you may know. So, I spent over 3.5 hours, outside, in the cold, shoveling. Of the 8,000 steps I have taken so far today, at least 7,000 were of me pushing snow.

The ‘Verge’, from what I can see, is pretty accurate in terms of steps, floors climbed and heart-rate. The HR maybe 5 bpm too fast — but it definitely seems to be in the right range.

It records a TON of data. I am still wading through and trying to get to grips with it. Didn’t have much time today — with all that shoveling.

The APP, once I got it paired, works fine. I have automatic synching on and it synchs fine. I have both Bluetooth & Wi-Fi set-up. Setting up Wi-Fi was a breeze.

So, far … I am SOLD. Sold, big time. For this price this is quite the watch, with a responsive touch-screen to boot.

Much more to come, of course. This was but a quick, ‘first impressions’.

Stay tuned.


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by Anura Guruge

Garmin Activity/Fitness Trackers — Issue With ‘Pool Swim’ vs ‘Open Water Swim’.

by Anura Guruge



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This issue as to the difference between ‘Pool Swim‘ vs. ‘Open Water Swim‘ comes up repeatedly in the context of Garmin activity/fitness trackers/watches such as the Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 645.

The Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 645, in particular, do NOT support ‘Open Water Swim’ though they do support ‘Pool Swim’.

This distinction and restriction drives folks nuts, so, I decided to get to the bottom of it.

It has all to do with GPS/Glonass support — or lack thereof IN WATER.

GPS does not work very well when the sensor is submerged in water. THAT IS THE CRUX OF THE ISSUE.

If you just want a GPS distance and track while you swim in open water you could try putting your watch into running mode and having it attached to a swim cap. That is supposed to work.

‘Pool Swim’, by definition, means that GPS is DISABLED. Pool swim data is measured using the ACCELEROMETER. Got that? No GPS … just accelerometer.


So, how do the more expensive watches like the Garmin Forerunner 935 and Fenix 5 support open water swimming? They use the GYROSCOPE.

With the gyroscope you only need occasional GPS fixes. The gyroscopes fills in the gaps between the GPS readings. The Vivoactive 3 does NOT have a gyroscope. Hence why open water swim is not available.

But, alas, a gyroscope alone is also NOT enough. For open water swim you ALSO need a powerful enough CPU to continually calculate the data. Got that?

Hence why open water swim is not supported on the Forerunner 645 though it has a gyroscope. The CPU in it is not as powerful as that in a FR935. Got that.


So, that is the deal.

To get open water swim support you need a gyroscope and a big enough CPU. Without that you only get pool swim which only uses the accelerometer.

You can TRY and use running or pool swim in open water — though the results will be mixed and most likely inaccurate.

So, that is the story. Now you know.


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by Anura Guruge 

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