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.
ESSENTIAL READING: Suunto SPARTAN SPORT review
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.
ESSENTIAL READING: Lezyne Micro C GPS Watch review.
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.
ESSENTIAL READING: Scosche RHYTHM+ review
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 costly. Quantity of features will be a no-no and their 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’s a LOT of new products coming up that I hope to be 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, too many other jobs.