Garmin ‘Venu SQ (Music)’: GPS Distance, HR, Pace etc. Very Accurate. Very Slight Overcounting Of Steps.
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One walk last night was just under a mile; this morning’s walk was 5.45 miles.
GPS distance was within 0.03-mile. 5.45 on the Fenix vs 5.48 on the Venu SQ. That is not bad. On the short night walk the Venu was out by just 10-steps! Over the 5.45-miles it overcounted by 320 steps. That, from my experience, is not bad at all, at all.
GPS distance on the Fenix 6 is fairly reliable. I have checked it against multiple other Fenixs, a MARQ, Fitbits, Polars, AMAZFITs not to mention phones & cars. Difficult to ever get two devices to be exactly spot on re. GPS, but my Fenix 6 is within the acceptable band. I test all other watches against it – at least to start with. I am happy with the Venu SQ. I have seen some HOWLERS this year – though not from Garmin. SMILE. So, that is all good & encouraging. 3% overcount is tolerable. I am sure I could optimize it if I messed around with stride length. Started using the Venu SQ as my primary (& thus only) watch as of this afternoon. I have tried some new watch faces & a very FINE all-in-one Data Field for walking. With that one Data Field I get all the data, on one screen, as I was with a customized screen on my Fenix 6. More on that on a later review. For now – thumbs up.
Garmin’s ‘Vivomove Luxe/3’ & Vivosmart 4 Now Get ‘Connected GPS’ — Provided You Have Your Smartphone Handy.
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All images from garmin.com
What I find here is that these watches did NOT have ‘Connected GPS’ from the get-go.
I have only ever bought Garmin, Fitbit or Amazfit watches with GPS so I have never required ‘Connected GPShttps://www.garmin.com/en-US/blog/fitness/connected-gps-now-on-vivosmart-4/‘.
I know that it has been available with Fitbit for a number of years. I have heard people talk about it. Thus, I had just assumed (incorrectly, of course) that Garmin must also have this capability by default.
The ‘Vivosmart’ is a $130 band. I can just about fathom why it doesn’t have GPS. For $40 more, you can get a ‘Vivosport‘, with GPS and a color display. That is what I got my wife.
The hybride ‘Vivomove’ with fixed hands and hidden color touchscreen is a $350 to $550 watch. You would think Garmin would offer GPS — maybe even as a $50 option. Guess not.
I love GPS on my watch. I use GPS, near daily, if I am doing a serious walk/run or hike. I do it to get (hopefully) a better distance measurement, i.e., GPS rather than accelerometer and gyroscope. Yes, GPS still leaves much to be desired, especially if you double back on yourself or walk in circles. But, I convince myself that the milage it shows is within +/- 5%. Yes, I have tested distnace with multiple watches (given that I have had at least 12 over the last 2-years) and vehicles.
Using the phone GPS is not the same. Yikes. I feel bad.
Very frustrating. And I am a Garmin shareholder to boot. Yikes.
I have had 12 Fitness Trackers In The Last 2-Years.
I fully appreciate the dynamics and physics. I am NOT new to this and as you can see above I have been LUCKY enough to have(/evaluate) 12 decent (one could even say ‘high-end’) activity trackers over the last year, spanning Garmin, Fitbit, Polar and Amazfit. And I will say upfront: ‘in my opinion Garmin, especially with the likes of the Fenix 5 (Plus) is better at counting steps than a Fitbit’. But, that is kind of old news.
My wife wears a Garmin Vivosport. She has the same questions. How much of the step count is phantom?
It is inevitable. The accelerometer has to measure arm movements. It has no idea I am in the shower and standing still. It thinks I am walking. And then there was the 6-weeks when I was on crutches! Never counted my labored steps, and I was walking more than most — on the crutches — because my left hand wasn’t moving enough! Again, I understand. Just frustrating.
Why it always happens in the shower these days has to do with my latest ‘schedule’ of the last two-months. As I continue to recover from my knee surgery I have upped the mileage on my morning walk/run from ~3.5 miles to 4+ miles — always with GPS on. Given that a GPS mile equates to about 2,400 steps I am at about 9,700 — 9,800 steps when I get home. Then I get in the shower. Then I hit my GOAL. Bingo.
I did some EXTENSIVE step count record keeping with the Fitbit Inspire HR. With brushing teeth and showering I was clocking up around 400 steps in the bathroom. So, Garmin isn’t doing too bad.
Yes, I walk more than 10,000 steps MOST days. In the days I do, I am in excess of 14,000. So, the 10,000 is not my max. I also realize and tell people that what counts is the trend. Doing the same number of (or more) steps each day.
But, wanted to share this because it has got so rote — having the Garmin do its ‘GOAL’ celebration while I shower.
Oh, I average 41 floors count a day. I go past the 10 floor goal every day (as long as I am not on crutches). I usually hit that goal in the first 30-minutes of my walk/run because I live on the side of a ‘mountain’ and can’t go in any direction without doing some major elevation changes.
‘Amazfit GTR’ With 24-Day Battery Life & Premium Fashion Look Will Be Available In The U.S. In August 2019.
The Amazfit GTR with the leather strap, titanium-body and high-end looks reminds me of the Garmin MARQ Expedition I wear — though there is an ORDER OF MAGNITUDE difference in price!
Functionally, other than the incredible, 24-day battery-life and water-resistance to 50-meters, it, with the trademark bright AMOLED display (with 326 pixel resolution), appears to have functionality similar to the quite impressive Amazfit Verge (e.g., GPS/GLONASS, 12 sport modes etc.). There is NO MENTION, as yet, of an ECG/EKG capability. But, that might come.
I have been told that it will be available in the U.S. in August 2019. I have not got an exact date yet. I will work on that.
Looks a nice watch. I might get one and put my Garmin MARQ Expedition away (to ‘appreciate’ in peace (SMILE)).
Bad news, not announced or available (officially) in the U.S. Only in China to begin with. That might also mean that there is NO English support on the watch as yet.
With the eSIM, in 4G mode, the battery life is rated at 28-hours. That means it needs to be charged every day. Folks are already complaining.
U.S. announcement is expected later in 2019.
I really enjoyed running with an ‘Amazfit Verge‘. It has the BEST display I have yet to encounter on a smartwatch, and I say that as somebody who OWNS a $1,750 Garmin MARQ Expedition. Yes, I wear a Garmin more than I do the Amazfit Verge, but that is only because I am a sucker for all of the Garmin value-adds such as performance, body battery, stress, sleep analysis eyc.
For a smartwatch under $200 you just cannot beat the Amazfit Verge. I freely tell that to any and all that ask me for smartwatch recommendations and I get asked quite often.
From the little I can gleam the Verge II, at a minimum will sport a faster chipset (though it was pretty fast to begin with) and will have a SIM slot which will enable it to do even more functions without a smartphone in close proximity.
Right now we are not sure of U.S. pricing and availability. Rest assured, I will keep you posted. This is just a quick heads-up.
I am excited. This could be a gamechanger.
Amazfit continues to AMAZE.
Now Alexa integration. Wow. Keeps on getting better.
It is very popular outside of the USA.
I am hoping that it will catch on in the US.
Check it out.
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20-days ago when I strapped on a Amazfit Verge for evaluation.
The final watch face I was using on the ‘Amazfit Verge’.
During the 123-days that I owned the Fenix 5 Plus I have taken it off and put aside on two occasions. Once, for 10-days, when I was evaluating a ‘Polar Vantage V‘ and now for 20-days when I flirted with an ‘Amazfit Verge‘. I had very different reactions to these two watches. I was glad to get rid of the ‘Polar Vantage V’. It was a very boring, insipid watch. Not so with the Verge. I like the Verge. I returned the Vantage V though I had the option of keeping it (for free). I am keeping the Verge!
The Verge still has some ways to go. Floors climbed is a joke — a very bad joke. That was the one big flaw I found, other than the Amazfit APP not working with Android 9.
The AMOLED display on the Verge is an absolute joy. I can’t wait for Garmin to start using AMOLED displays.
Well, it is still kind of nice to have my Fenix 5 Plus back on my wrist. I have got used to its feel and I do like all the widgets.
Me and My Trackers.
Like the ‘Amazfit Verge‘, which I am currently evaluating, this is another impressive Chinese GPS smart-watch with a compelling AMOLED display. It is not Huawei’s foray into smart-watches but it is by far the most feature rich, in that it includes: GPS/GLONASS/Galileo, continuous heart-rate, VO2 max, sleep monitoring etc.
That it is currently not officially available in North America is rather frustrating. Yes, there are folks selling it in the U.S. — and it is available on eBay — but there is no U.S. warranty and Huawei is very explicit that it is not available in the U.S.
From the specs., I think it is more capable than the Amazfit ‘Verge’. But, the ‘Verge’ is now available in the U.S., even from Amazon, whereas the ‘Watch GT’ is not. That is a shame.
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Appears that this version, 220.127.116.11 added 3 European languages — viz. French, Italian & German — and, as was to be expected, fixed some bugs. Alas, it doesn’t list what they were. Shame.
I have not noticed anything appreciably different. Floors climbed is still erratic but now counting more than it did previously.
That they have gone through 6 versions of software in 9-days is both impressive and scary. That is a lot. But, shows that they are committed. We are not even close to being done. This watch still needs some tweaking before it is ready for Prime Time.