GPS Accuracy: Surprise New Leader, An Upgrade for Lezyne and a Mystery Device

I fancied a 16 mile run today so the obvious thing to do was route it around my standard 10ish mile GPS test route. I’m using the Suunto SPARTAN now for most of my runs. My main reason for using it is that the STRYD integration works fairly well but also because the GPS is pretty accurate. Now that I can customise the display, my inner demons have mostly been assuaged (Source: thesaurus). Having said that I’m using a Polar footpod with it and still not quite sure how to get instant pace from either that or the STRYD.


Suunto Spartan Sport (+Ultra)Lezyne’s snappily named “Enhanced MICRO C GPS Watch” performed poorly when I first formally GPS-tested it a month ago but there were some factors that meant it deserved a second chance. The second chance was duly given and the performance DID increase notably to what I would now call ‘averagely good’. That’s performance accuracy for total distance and, much more importantly, for adherence to the real route by the GPS.

Lezyne Micro C GPS Watch

ESSENTIAL READING: Lezyne Micro C GPS Watch review.


Scosche Rhythm+ HR Arm Band Strap
Scosche Rhythm+ – Pretty Accurate In My Experience

I had not used the Scosche Rhythm+ armband HRM for a few months so I found it in the gadget cupboard and took it for a spin as well. I thought I would try to hide it away from the ANT+ and BTLE-compatible Lezyne on the other arm. But that didn’t work. There’s no fooling the Scosche. It worked fine.


There was supposed to be a new Scosche at CES2017 but that never materialised.

Anyways. No doubt the title of a ‘new leader’ dragged you here. So without further ado, the surprise new GPS accuracy leader was the Polar M200. Well, I was surprised anyway. Pleasantly so. I expected a decent performance but it came out as the best so far. There’s still a degree of subjectivity in the interpretation of my results but, even if it’s not ‘the best’ then it’s still ‘not far off the best’. So that’s better than the F3, the 920XT and the 235.

Results, FIT/TCX files, route can be viewed and downloaded (here).

The Polar M200 also performed well with a Z1/Z2 HR for over an hour, nicely matching the Scosche and the Suunto SMARTBELT. Or at least it did until I fiddled with it and lost the optical connection without realising it. Grrrr.

Interestingly, if you were a Garmin competitor how exactly would you compete against them? Ie how would you set yourself apart or differentiate your offering? Price and service are obvious; both are costly. The quantity of features will be a no-no and there can’t be that many niche features for the mass market left to invent. But COMPONENT QUALITY and ACCURACY would be a good angle I reckon. But, also costly. My understanding is that there ARE ALREADY much more accurate GPS chips for GPS+GLONASS but no one uses them in sports watches because of the cost of the components.

The mystery device, I’m afraid, will have to remain a mystery for now. I should have something out on that next week if things go to plan. It’s a HR strap, but not as we know it. If you guess correctly, below, I will say yes/no as it’s not under any kind of NDA.

There are a LOT of new products coming up that I hope to be covering, most of which have been formally announced and others that have been leaked. Exciting times. If they don’t turn up on loan from the PRs then they don’t turn up. I’ve mostly given up spending a lot of time chasing PRs and marketing people unless the product particularly interests me…too little time, and too many other jobs.

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22 thoughts on “GPS Accuracy: Surprise New Leader, An Upgrade for Lezyne and a Mystery Device

      1. nope. insufficient wrist space on the day!!. Plus garmin do not give me ANY kind of preferential treatment (zip, nada, rien, zilch). I was sort-of offered some sort of ambassadorial type role but I don’t see my role as being an ambassador for Garmin’s or anyone’s products- so I turned it down. now you know. I was saving that tidbit up for when someone accused me of Garmin bias 😉 when I’m perhaps the ONLY one who has turned it down.

        not mainstream.
        hr based

  1. so it must be a speical exclusive preview of the garmin’s 635 🙂 🙂 🙂

      1. That is one expensive piece of kit. Damn. Seems really cool though, any impressions?

      2. It’s a REALLY awesome concept. Well I think it is. the only reason is that I wanted EXACTLY this kind of product in exactly this form factor a couple of years ago but it just didn’t exist. No doubt a discount might be found for my band of merry readers…we’ll see.

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