Galileo – 935, Fenix 5 Plus Accuracy Update

Fitbit-Ionic-GPS-accuracy

I’ve probably spent a little too long recently looking at GPS (GNSS) plots of numerous runs that I’ve done, attempting to see if GPS+GALILEO offers any improvements over GPS-only or GPS+GALILEO.

In hindsight, the inordinate amount of time I spent looking at google map plots would have suggested, in itself, that there is no obvious answer.

The Obvious Answer

The conclusion that I came to was that:

  • Sometimes, GPS+GALILEO is slightly better at recording a plot showing where I’ve been.
  • Sometimes it’s about the same and
  • Sometimes it’s about the same in places and a bit better elsewhere BUT at the same time a bit ‘jagged’
  • Sometimes it’s truly awful and totally unusable.

 

Other Factors

Ref: DOP – Dilution of Precision (link to: wiki)

I’ve also used the GPS Plan app on IOS to determine the DOP conditions in various tests that I’ve done over the years. HDOP/TDOP/VDOP/PDOT conditions do vary where I live but the conditions tend to vary within the realms of Excellent-to-Ideal almost all of the time. Indeed on the very few occasions I have had a mere ‘Good’ level of PDOP I still had good tracks in those conditions.

However I’m not entirely sure if the stats I looked at worked out the DOP scores based on the entire constellation of GPS+GALILEO+GLONASS (I assume it did). Which makes the results and my time potentially meaningless and wasted, respectively. Grrr

However,  one thing that did stand out was that the number of available GALILEO satellites varied from 2 to 6 at my location. Quite low I thought (2).

You might have thought that buying a new watch to get access to two more satellites might be somewhat less than cost effective.

But, then again, it’s not the number of satellites that will necessarily give more accuracy. 2 GALLEO satellites in the right place in relation to the other GPS satellites could quite easily be better than 6 GALILEO satellites in ‘unhelpful’ locations.

Some Test Results

 

The Garmin Fenix 5S Plus (w/GALILEO) does seem to be an improvement over the 5S but is still not comparable to the better Suunto and Polar devices. There seems to be something generally wrong with running tracks that are not sufficiently smooth for my liking.

Whereas the Forerunner 935 w/GALILEO was actually pleasantly better than on previous run. I’m going to use my new app to plan the best time to get optimal GALILEO coverage and do a proper test run and see what it comes out with. It might, just might get close to the better Polar and Suunto models..or not. Then again, it’s 2 steps forward and the proverbial one step back. The one step back seems to be in open water performance where it’s defiantly not as good as before which seems to concur with Fenix 5 Plus performances elsewhere (link to dcrainmaker.com).

I had completed quite a bit of COROS Pace testing. COROS then released an improved GPS+GLONASS algorithm. Grrrr. But that *DOES* seem pretty good. Surprisingly so. It’s given me some excellent results that DO match the results of the best GNSS devices. #VeryPleasantSurprise

Instant Pace

I seem to be getting slower because of too much fiddling with gadgets. Maybe I should actually spend more time looking at how fast I am running?. Thus I’ve no feedback (yet) on any improvements to Instant Pace accuracy or otherwise. I would imagine that, at best, it might only be very slightly improved.

#STRYD

Take Out

Well I wouldn’t switch to a high-end Garmin right now just because of the GALILEO option. GALILEO wouldn’t be a factor for me AT ALL in a switch/purchase decision. Sure if you want to upgrade form a Fenix 5 to a 5 Plus because it won’t connect to your power meter then go for it….but that’s one of many other reasons to switch or trade up.

Indeed I would say that GALILEO currently has issues on the v2.20 GPS firmware. It’s fine to use it as a toy but it could go badly wrong eg me this week in a ‘C’ race.

If you are a 935 owner and feeling a little left out on the features front then you might want to think about my current, cunning plan. My cunning plan is to switch to a 5S Plus as my tri watch. That’s very much a W.I.P (work in progress) thing right now but that move will give me all the new non-sporty features that, of course, I won’t use too much 😉 But it will retain pretty much all of the sporty stuff that the 935 can do and it will do it in a similar sized/weighted format. Both have GALILEO. More to follow on the 5S Plus Switch.

COROS Pace Review M1 Multisport

If you are thinking of avoiding Garmin and getting a COROS Pace tri watch then that is starting to look like a more and more sensible move as the weeks go by. Especially with the apparently improved GPS+GALILEO. The lack of ANT+ support in last week’s firmware update was a cause for concern, although I was pre-warned of that. ANT+ is now scheduled to ‘later this month’ and ‘later this month’ is fast approaching. Maybe they’re actually testing it first to release sans-bugs??? Do companies actually do that any more 😉

Edited after a truly bad GALILEO experience

 

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71 thoughts on “Galileo – 935, Fenix 5 Plus Accuracy Update

  1. In august should become “usable” the 4 Galileo satellites that were launched in december 2017, they are now in the status “under commisioning”. See https://www.gsc-europa.eu/system-status/Constellation-Information.
    But 6 satellites in view are quite a good number, it seems that we won’t see other substantial accuracy improvement any time soon without using other gnss technologies 🙁
    Unfortunately I can’t find any detailed review about the Xiaomi Mi8, first android smartphone with a dual frequency Galileo chipset. The first tests seem to show (perhaps) that the android app are still not ready to take a real advantage of the second Galileo frequency (frequency E5b). See “Dual-frequency GNSS on Android devices” of Sean Barbeau https://medium.com/@sjbarbeau/dual-frequency-gnss-on-android-devices-152b8826e1c .
    In the 8 July Sean wrote that till today no one has done an accuracy test of the dual frequency galileo with the xiaomi Mi8.

    • it was interesting for me to look at the satellite positioning. within the space of 60 mintues the number of satellites can be VERY different. so 5 gallileo at the start of your run could be 3 or 2 an hour later.

      if the Xiaomi is looking JUST at galileo then i cant see how it will be accurate on 2 or 3 satellites.
      if it is looking at galileo plus something else then the status of something else is important as, obviosuly, is all the DOP stuff.

      • The Xiaomi has inside the famous dual frequency gnss chipset of Broadcom BCM47755 https://www.broadcom.com/products/wireless/gnss-gps-socs/bcm47755 and can give simultaneous reception of GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou (BDS), Galileo (GAL), and SBAS satellite systems.
        Important for us in Europe, it can receive the dual frequency of GPS (L1 and L5) and dual frequency of Galileo (E1 and E5a). The GPS constellation has fewer dual frequency satellites, because the older satellites have just one frequency. But the newer GPS satellites have also dual frequency like Galileo. In the website I cited above, you can see which GPS satellites have dual frequency in a screenshot of a xiaomi MI8 of a user who uses the app gpstest You can see that he can receive a lot of satellites with dual frequency.
        If I understand correctly, the big problem with the Xiaomi Mi8 now is not the DOP stuff, but the firmware that is not yet ready to use these dual frequency, if I understand correctly the website i cited above. Probably it’s not so easy to use this second frequency. I read somewhere in the web that the Xiaomi Mi8 is now wildly inaccurate (I read 16 meter accuracy, while in comparison the single frequency gps chipset of the Samsung S9+ had in the same conditions 3 meters accuracy). Of course, promotion video of the Xiaomi Mi8 show that it is superaccurate, and there is a video where a driver drives a car with dark glasses just watching at the smartphone.
        That said, I’m going to read your new article about the DOP stuff 😉

          • In the same web site cited above of Sean Barbeau, a user (Marco Samuel in Austria) on 25th July tested the Xiaomi MI8 (firmware MIUI version 9.5.11.0) next to the GPS antenna of a dpgs receiver NovAtel with an accuracy of 2 cm. He says that it does not seem that dual frequency gps is working at the moment in the phone xiaomi MI8 (in the graphics we see that errors is about under 5 meters, I think that for a stationary gps receveir in open sky with just one frequency accuracy should be about the same).

          • Marco Samuel used firmware MIUI9 (in particular 9.5.11.00).
            Another user in the xda-developers forum, Rodfrang, had good accuracy of 1-2 meter walking and driving a car changing the firmware from 9 to the firmware MIUI 10 (in particular MIUI10.8.7.6 China beta ROM ). This new firmware gave in the phone the icon “Dual GPS”

  2. Thanks for this review. It confirms my choice. I was in doubt whether to choose Suunto 9 or Fenix 5X Plus. I choose Suunto 9, because i value accuracy the most 🙂

    • not sure the suunto 9 has finalised its changes to the gps algorithm yet. previous suuntos used a different gps chip. previously the spartan sport, in my opinion, was awesome on the gps front.

  3. Last week, after updating my 935, I decided to use “GPS only” instead of “GPS + Glonass” or “GPS + Galileo”. To my surprise, the results were much better. I live in Boston and there aren’t many tall buildings here. I usually run by the Charles River so 80% of my run are wide open for miles. When I run by the river, both “GPS only” and “GPS + Glonass / Galileo” track the route perfectly. But until I get to the river, I run by many buildings and the “GPS only” works better (but it’s not perfect). I will give Galileo another try when the new Galileo satellites are launched. For now, I will stick with GPS only.

      • Strange, in theory in open field (when you run by the river) the option GPS only should give the same accuracy than GPS+Galileo. Near building Gps+Galileo should give better results because there are more satellites and the PDOP should be better (the position of the satellites) than GPS alone.
        As always, theory is different that reality.

  4. From my tests , Fenix 5S Plus (Galileo) owns both FR935 or Fenix 5 in terms of accuracy (there is no comparison (firmware 3.20) and I have actually compared the same track. I was very impressed by the accuracy of the 5S Plus , sometimes detecting even change of direction for like 1-2 meters and I compared both morning tracks and evening (to see if galileo positioning makes a difference)

    I am not even sure how it can be possible to get better results than that.

    You are complaining about the “smoothness”. That I believe is also the result of the processing factor ( like Garmin Connect or Strava) not just the watch. I am very pleased with what I got with my fenix 5s Plus considering all my tracks are city based.

    • Sorry the5krunner, with the three new usable Galileo satellites, I think it’s time you do another update of your GPS+Galileo test 😉

        • When you do the next test, can you control with some app at the beginning and at the end of the run how many Galileo satellites are in view in open sky, and report it in your review?

          • that app i mentioned gives that info. yes i have already added it to the spreadsheet of results.. i guess i could have done start and end…but i didn’t

          • With the url that a user gave to control the number of satellites in a location and in a certain time (see the the first post “Galileo: is it rubbish?”, https://in-the-sky.org/satmap_radar.php?town=2643743), I see that in London right now should be 6 Galileo satellites (actually appear a total of 8 satellites, but Gal E22 is not usable – see https://www.gsc-europa.eu/system-status/Constellation-Information and Gal E21 is the fourth satellite that was launched on december 2017 but unfortunately is still “under commisioning” and still not “usable”.) Gal E21 should in theory become usable in a short period,because it’s 7 months that it is “under commisioning”, the other three that were launched together are still usable from the beginning of august. I see that the satellite Gal E21 has an height over the horizon of 85°, while the other have an height over the horizon between 9° and 38°. Gal E 21 should be very important because it’s exactly over our head, so it should be always be visible, no problems with building. It should be also very important for the DOP factor, because with this satellite we can have a good geometry.
            The5krunner, maybe you should wait that Gal E21 becomes usable, before making new tests of accuracy of GPS+Galileo, maybe it’s a matter of just few days.
            Maybe with this new satellite Gal E21 the tracking with Fenix 5sPlus with GPS+Galileo satellites will be better than what we can achieve right now, because of the better geometry that we can achieve with Galileo only satellites if satellite Gal E21 becomes usable.

          • i’ll have a look. i fit the testing around my training. the 5splus WILL be this week or early next. i’ll have to do with gal and without as it is (that’s two half marathons if i include running to/from the start of my test route)

            not sure that one satellite will make any difference??? it’s quite conceivable that i may have lost sight of two gps satellites…so one more Galileo won’t help??

          • Satellite Gal E21at 18:34 o’clock today has now an elevation of just 0° above the horizon direction ENE, and probably in a short time it will not be in view any more.
            Now there are two other Galileo satellites high in the sky (GAL4 height 77° direction SSE, GAL 11 height 72° direction SSW). But the position vary quickly.
            You are right, on satellite more or less doesn’t make a huge difference.
            I forgot that Galileo satellites are not geostationary like ad example WAAS satellites, but they move quick in relation to the rotation of the earth, so we have above our heads always different satellites.

          • Right now in London of the new three satellites that became “usable” on the 2th of august, only GAL27 is visible (it has an height over the horizon of 25° and direction ESE), the other two satellites (GAL25 and GAL 31 are not visible, probably they are now visible from other continents).

          • 21:30 o’clock on 6th august 2018 location London.
            9 Galileo satellites in view, but Galileo 21 is under commisioning and Galileo 22 is not usable, so real satellites in view are 9-2=7
            About the 4 satellites that were launched in decembre 2017
            Satellite Galileo 21 (the satellite still under commisioning) is 4° above the horizon and direction NNE
            Satellite Galileo 25 is always not visible
            Satellite Galileo 27 is no more visible
            Satellite Galileo 31 is now visible (25° above the horizon direction ESE)
            It seems to me that of these 4 new satellites, in average 2 are in view. The satellites and their position change very rapidly during the day.

          • I think that in the spreadsheet of result you should also exclude the satellites with an elevation above the horizon less than 10° or 15°. I think that under that elevation it’s very difficult to see during the run these satellites. I don’t know if the Ios app exclude automatically the satellites under that height. Right now in London (22:28 the 15th august) there are 8 Galileo satellites, but I would exclude GAL E24 and GAL E30 because they have an height of 1° and 12° respectively and so I think they are too low on the horizon. I would say that right now there are 8-2=6 usable Galileo satellites that can be viewed by the gps receiver of the sport watches.
            I’m surprised how quickly the satellites are moving, just one hour of time gives a noticeable difference of the satellites in the sky.

          • yes that info will be included in the DOP stats that are in the spreadsheet. That is the measure that addresses your (and my) concern on this issue. However I think the problem I have is that the DOP stats refer to the entire constellation of gps+glonass+galileo…ie it’s rubbish data!! i need dop for gps and gps+gal and GPS+glonass. i dont know how to easily do that hence the absolute number of satellites is also an indication – if some are in geostationary (ish) orbit then that would help but i guess they are not

          • Looking at the images of the satellites in the website that Luis Pinto suggested (in-the-sky.org->spacecraft->Satellites in your sky) I think that in open sky the DOP is always good for all constellations in every moment of the day, because all the three constellations (GPS, Galileo and Glonass) have a good number of satellites and with a good position in every moment of the day.
            The problem is that DOP becomes very important near buildings and near other obstacles like mountains that don’t let see some satellites any more.
            What we need is an application that shows how DOP varies along a track during a run and register it so we can read these values in a graph after the run.
            It would be nice if there is an IQ app so that we can see the DOP value in Garmin Connect for the entire run, like for example we see the cadence. I think that the firmware of Garmin should know what is the DOP number second after second, because when the firmware chooses which satellites to use, perhaps it takes his choice not only evaluating the strength of the signals of the satellites, but perhaps it takes the satellites that give the best DOP value in that moment .

            Or maybe there is a phone app that can register the track with google maps and register for the entire track how the DOP value varies along the track. The phone obviously should register the track with the watch so we can after the run join the track of the watch with the DOP values given by the app . We need for example an app that can register second after second how are changing the DOP values that are given for example by the android app “GPStest”.
            If we don’t have these apps, just knowing the number of satellites at the beginning and at the end of the run is a good starting point!

            In the article I cited above, we see that the DOP value can be less than 5 in open sky, and can become 20 in an urban canyon. If I understand correctly, the total error= DOP x accuracy of the watch. So if the accuracy of the watch is three meter and the DOP near a building is 20, the total error becomes 60 m!!!

            Satellites GPS, Galileo, Glonass and Beidou are not geostationary.
            Geostationary satellites are the satellites that give a correction error service – SBAS satellites- that means Satellite-Based Augmentation System (like WAAS in America, EGNOS in europe, QZSS in Japan).
            I read that in Tokio there are a lot of high buildings and urban canyon, so the designers of QZSS planned to put a satellite that is always 90° over the horizon in Tokyo, so it’s always perfectly above their head and improve the DOP value a lot for Tokyo. Clever! QZSS is quite new and I don’t know if now is fully operational, but for us in Europe is not important because we can’t see these satellites.
            I read that SBAS satellites are important in particular because they give a correction error service (Garmin says that accuracy with WAAS improves from 10 meter to 3 meters), but GNSS receivers can use SBAS satellites like the others GPS satellites also for positioning and for calculating the pseudoranges, so are some satellites more in the sky that gnss receivers can use.
            Unfortunately for us in Europe and in America WAAS and Egnos satellites are quite low in the sky (for example 24°, 30°, 27° for ASTRA 5B, SES-5, IMMARSAT 3-F2) because the were planned for airplanes. In difficult environments they are the first satellites that we don’t see any more, they are simply too low above the horizons for being useful for runners and hikers.

          • I just saw with better attention the ios app gps-plan : it seems that it gives good graphs of the DOP values . But if you run with your iphone, the DOP value increases near building? If so, it seems the app we were looking for.
            Are you sure you can’t choose which constellation to use in the settings of gps-plan?
            For example if you run with the Fenix 5s with “gps only”, maybe you can run with your iphone near the fenix and select in the app gps-plan the option: turn off galileo and turn off glonass.
            In the second run, with the Fenix 5s with gps+galileo and the iphone you switch off only glonass.
            But you should run also with your phone, because DOP values changes near building (I tested it with the android app gpstest).
            If you can’t switch off some constellation in gps-plan, it is nethertheless a good graph to look into.

          • https://github.com/barbeau/gpstest/issues/71
            In this comment Barbeau, the author of the android app gpstest, explains how to get the dop value with NMEA strings that gps receiver use.
            https://www.gpsinformation.org/dale/nmea.htm
            Extract:” GSA – GPS DOP and active satellites. This sentence provides details on the nature of the fix. It includes the numbers of the satellites being used in the current solution and the DOP. DOP (dilution of precision) is an indication of the effect of satellite geometry on the accuracy of the fix. It is a unitless number where smaller is better. For 3D fixes using 4 satellites a 1.0 would be considered to be a perfect number, however for overdetermined solutions it is possible to see numbers below 1.0.”
            Is there already a Connect IQ app that can show DOP value? Or if it doesn’t exist already, maybe a smart developer can write a good IQ app for Garmin?
            Dom? McBadger? 😉

          • In the garmin forums https://forums.garmin.com/forum/into-sports/running/forerunner-935-aa/156138-glonass-on-off-battery-use
            they write that garmin doesn’t allow to have dop values with ciq app.
            Extract of the forum:
            “04-29-2017, 12:34 AM
            ***QUESTION***Originally posted by kangsterizer
            When Glonass is in use I believe it works like any other device.. its GPS + Glonass, not GPS or Glonass. Having more positioning data just means more precise / accurate geolocation in this case.
            Basically you might have 5m accuracy on GPS, and 1m if you turn on Glonass (this is a fictious example). Most recent phones have GPS and Glonass with apps where you can test exactly the same thing as well, though it’d be interesting to have an IQ app on the watch that shows the satellites locked that are GPS vs Glonass and/or accuracy (I don’t know if that already exists/is possible on the watch)

            ***ANSWER***You’re right, it’s either GPS or GPS+GLONASS. Having GLONASS enabled as an additional source of information can improve position accuracy in situations where GPS coverage is poor due to the number of visible GPS satellites. If GPS performance is poor due to environmental factors (high rise buildings, underpasses, dense wet foliage overhead) then GLONASS is likely to be affected in the same way but the two together might do a better job than GPS alone.
            Unfortunately CIQ does not allow access to the information you need for an app showing GPS/GLONASS data, satellites and/or accuracy. From the contributions of Garmin employees in the ConnectIQ forum it would seem unlikely this will change.”

            Android let us see DOP value, Garmin not. Bad Garmin…

          • just about to go on holiday…will have a look at these later. ultiamtely i need a simple tool to give me some value of meaning to satallite availability and potential precision

          • I remembered wrong and what I writed about QZSS is not correct. But I’m not interested in QZSS because these satellites are visible only in regions near Japan, so if you want correct information see wikipedia.

          • http://qzss.go.jp/en/overview/notices/trial-qzs3_171219.html
            In the official japanese page of qzss, we can see important information and we can see what could be achieved with Galileo when Galileo will be fully operational.
            QZSS is not yet fully operational in Japan, but they are still testing it (they use the words “start of trial-service”) and I just read that they stopped their services because there are some hardware problems with some satellites.
            The only satellite that is geostationary is QZS-3, the others not. But QZS-3 is now not operational because it has problems.
            But the important thing is that these services are freely available to the users, when they are avalilable. When QZS-3 was functioning, it started his trial services in december 2017
            The most important services are:
            1- Satellite Positioning, Navigation and Timing Service (PNT)
            2- Sub-meter Level Augmentation Service (SLAS)
            3- Centi-meter Level Augmentation Service (CLAS)

            The question now are three:
            1- When will start Galileo similar services (SLAS and CLAS) ? Officially they say in 2020 with the E6 frequency, but maybe they are quicker.
            2- Will these services be freely available without fee for the users?
            3- There is a chance that sport watches could benefit of these additional services? Sub-meter accuracy would be nice for sport watches 😉

            It seems that the Japanes are now one step ahead of Galileo.

          • http://qzss.go.jp/en/overview/services/sv05_slas.html
            Beautiful description of the service of QZSS SLAS (Sub-meter Level Augmentation Service), that could be useful for sport watches.
            In short, they say that it’s a more affordable way to have sub meter accuracy compared to dual frequency. They say that dual frequency receiver are expensive.
            If I understand correctly, it’s a similar service that WAAS and Egnos satellites are giving now in America and Europe.
            If also Galileo gives a similar service it would be nice, because WAAS and Egnos are too low on the horizon (they were designed for airplanes) and they are hard to see for the normal user (for the runner or hiker). If also Galileo begins to give this service (like QZSS is trying to do in Japan), we are sure to also receive this service also in difficult environment.
            The Fenix 2 used WAAS. Fenix 5 is not known, maybe yes o or maybe not (perhaps Garmin thinked that WAAS doesn’t give a good advantage for sport watches, so Garmin decided to not use WAAS any more).

          • I have to do another correction, I writed that the chinese Beidou satellites are not geostationary. I just read in Wikipedia that some Beidou satellites are geostationary, but the most are not geostationary.

          • I had a discussion about Garmin Fenix and WAAS with Dom in the DCRainmaker review of the Garmin EDGE 130. At the end we couldn’t find a definitive answer. Maybe you or DCR could further investigate about it.
            I think that it’s quite important because Galileo declared that in 2020 it will give an error correction service with centimeter accuracy for free with the E6 frequency – maybe also before 2020, they are probably choosing who will give this type of service or are preparing the ground infrastructure (PPP – Precise Point Positioning). In order to use the PPP service, you need a PPP enabled device.
            Someone told me in that thread that centimeter accuracy is “overkill” for a sport watch and it is definitely; PPP has also big problems in urban environments because if it looses the track, it has long convergence time (10 – 15 minutes) before it gains the centimeter accuracy again. In the meanwhile it functions like a normal device with standard accuracy.
            But if Galileo gives also a submeter accuracy service, similar to that that WAAS in North America and QZSS in Japan are giving now, it would be a more economical solution to obtain greater accuracy compared to dual frequency. I have fear that Garmin and the other brands are not so interested in dual frequency due to the higher cost of the chipset and antenna and the more complex construction of the watch. They should increase the cost of the watches and this could limit the volume of the market interested in these watches.
            The WAAS satellite are too low on the horizon (they were thinked for airplanes) and sport watches have problem to have a good visibility of WAAS satellites. In Japan QZSS planned to have a satellite always on their head, that is visible also in the urban canyons of Tokyo where there are high skyscrapers . If Galileo will give also a submeter error correction service like WAAS, together with the centimeter error correction, it would be very nice for sport watches, because we would never lost the view of the Galileo satellites (perhaps we could have problems just under trees), and we could always have this submeter correction service. There shouldn’t be constructive problems because the Fenix 2 had WAAS for sure, and right now Garmin sells the Foretrex series (the Garmin devices for hikers) that has the option to use WAAS. In the Fenix 5 probably WAAS is working underground, but I think that it can’t help much. A simple obstruction is enough to hide the WAAS satellite.

          • unfortunately i have ZERO contacts with Garmin. That’s why I can say what I really think about Garmin products.
            I guess we can speculate on the rest until something is released. such a feature will give a company a proper competitive advantage so i dont think there will be too much chat about it from official sources

          • I just read that also the chinese Beidou satellites constellation gives a similar service like WAAS and QZSS.
            The accuracy of Beidou for civilian user is 10 meter, with the error correction service accuracy is under 1 meter. This error correction is given by some geostationary satellites and is given only in regions near China.
            I’m wondering if also Galileo is planning to give an error correction service like WAAS that could give submeter accuracy. Till now unfortunately I couldn’t read anywhere that this will be provided.
            But if Galileo planned to give in 2020 with the E6 frequency centimeter level accuracy for PPP enabled receivers, perhaps they are also planning to give submeter accuracy for normal receivers with an error correction service like WAAS.
            Come on Europe, Japan and China can’t be more intelligent than you…

          • I’m controlling Tokyo for some times with the website “in-the-sky.org”. It is true, there is always one QZS satellite with a minimum height of 80° above the horizon in Tokyo.
            Europe, this is how you must give a SBAS correction service!
            The name QZSS ” Quasi-Zenith Satellite System ” corresponds to reality. Japanese are very clever!
            I wish that Galileo begins to give this type of service (SBAS) indipendently, without the support of WAAS and EGNOS.
            I don’t know if it is possible, because QZSS has a dedicate frequency to transmit the sub-meter error correction service (frequency L1S). Till now, it seems to me that Galileo has not a dedicate frequency to transmit an error correction service. Or maybe Galileo could transmit this error correction service inside the code of the normal frequency E1?

          • Polar GPS sensor G1 and G5 had the possibility to use WAAS and EGNOS. But when they used WAAS, it was no possible to utilize an energy save mode for the battery.
            I think that the G1 and the G5 sensor are no more in production.
            It is to verify if the new gps sensor of Polar are compatible with WAAS (for what it’s worth, because the visibility of WAAS satellites is not good).

  5. h t t p s : / / http://www.ewisetech.com/Device/SmartWearable/Samsung-Gear-Sport(SM-R600)_id2650/Part-Collection/Location-Marking?locid=83093
    Always in the page of Sean Barbeau of the first post, we see that a user on the 24th august writed that the Broadcom chipset BCM47758 will be installed in the watch Samsung Gear.
    This chip can give simultaneously dual frequency GPS and Galileo.
    After the big delusion of the Xiaomi Mi8, we’ll see how if this watch well behave.

    • i’m just wondering who will be first to do it ‘properly’. Garmin have tried a little. just to have the capability doesn’t mean the brand will enable it. samsung? maybe. apple? I can see this level of accuracy being importnat to some runners (me and you) but not to the wide population and hence maybe not the mainstream brands (including apple who would not want a battery hit)…battery consumption is still king unless there is a compelling reason to eat battery (garmin)

      • I agree that the big con of dual frequency is the battery hit.
        I think that the bigger impact on battery is not dual constellation (for example GPS+Galileo), but the use of multiple frequency (for example two frequency, L1 and L5 for GPS and E1 and E5 for Galileo).
        I think that during tracking the firmware decides which satellites to use (choosing the strongest signal or the best position), so having the choice of one or two constellation of satellites doesn’t change much the power consumption, because I think that for watches at the end of the story the firmware just use 4 satellites (GPS or Galileo)x 1 frequency = 4 signals.
        With dual frequency the firmware have to track 4 satellites x 2 frequency = 8 signals, so maybe circa the double power requirement.
        NOTE: this is just my pure speculation and not supported by technical data

        Broadcom for his chipset BCM47755 (for phone) and BCM47758 (for watches) declared that the power consumption is low, and not greater of the current single frequency chipset, for two reasons:
        1- new production mode of the chip with less nanometers .
        2- they said that they wanted to fix the satellite signal initially with the L1 frequency, and then use only the L5 frequency to save battery, so at the end they wanted to use just one frequency.
        3- probably they just use an algorithm based on the signal code and not on the carrier frequency. This type of algorithm is used by fitness devices because the cost of the receiver is lower and the power consumption is lower.

        XIAOMI
        Xiaomi released the MI8 with the BCM47755 dual frequency multi constellation chipset.
        In the forums they write that Xiaomi shouldn’t have released a phone with that firmware, because there are big problems with gps. Probably we have to blame the firmware and not the chip BCM47755 that the dual frequency multi-constellation solution doesn’t seem to give an improvement over a single frequency solution.

        GARMIN
        I don’t think that Garmin will change Mediatek, so we’ll have to see if Mediatek begins to produce a dual constellation – dual frequency gnss chipset. It would be nice to hear someone if something is moving in Mediatek.
        Broadcom announced his chip one year ago, but Mediatek didn’t announce till now dual frequency chip for wearables as far as I know.

        SUUNTO
        Suunto in his recent Suunto 9 choosed a mono constellation single frequency chipset. I am very upset, because Suunto could at least deliver a dual constellation single frequency chipset (like Garmin has done with the Fenix5 and some other models that have single frequency GPS+Galileo).

        SAMSUNG
        There were voices months ago that the Samsung Gear had the BCM47758 inside (see the comment of DOM in the DCRainmaker Garmin FR645 review). But till now just voices, some photos and nothing real in the shops.

        POLAR
        We’re waiting the successor of the V800, the5krunner tell us the true, do you maybe have good news of a V900 that is coming with dual constellation and dual frequency 😉 ?
        And that you can’t anticipate for request of Polar?

        .

  6. How accurate is the GPS in terms of measuring the correct distance vs mapping coordinates. For example, if I run three miles, and the surface that I am running on is accurate and measured, but GPS is reading a distance shorter than actually ran.

    I have the Fenix 3 and I am willing to upgrade to the 5x plus but I won’t until reviews on the distance accuracy can be adequately answered or more people purchase this version of the watch and give an honest assessment. I currently have to run measured routs to ensure I am running correct distances whether its on a track, course or street. Correct distances are my main concern.

    • all the distance info is in my tests spreadsheet.
      interestingly ALMOST EVERY device is +/- 1% accurate when it comes to OVERALL distance over long periods. the tricky bit is accuracy over shorter periods which, in a way, i am more interested in as this is what probably impacts a lot on instant pace

  7. Galileo GSAT0215 (also known as Galileo E21 – space vehicle ID ) is usable from 12th october 2018.
    There are now 18 usable Galileo satellites.

    NOTICE ADVISORY TO GALILEO USERS (NAGU) 2018023
    DATE GENERATED (UTC): 2018-10-12 10:30

    NAGU TYPE: USABINIT
    NAGU NUMBER: 2018023
    NAGU SUBJECT: USABLE AS FROM 2018-10-12
    NAGU REFERENCED TO: 2017047
    START DATE EVENT (UTC): 2018-10-12 08:07
    END DATE EVENT (UTC): N/A
    SATELLITE AFFECTED: GSAT0215
    SPACE VEHICLE ID: 21
    SIGNAL(S) AFFECTED: ALL

    EVENT DESCRIPTION: GALILEO SATELLITE GSAT0215 (ALL SIGNALS) IS USABLE SINCE/AS OF 2018-10-12 BEGINNING 08:07 UTC. GSAT0215 IS POSITIONED IN SLOT A03 OF THE CONSTELLATION. PAYLOAD ON PHM CLOCK.

  8. Font Sean Barbeau
    https://medium.com/@sjbarbeau/dual-frequency-gnss-on-android-devices-152b8826e1c
    Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro

    Huawei launched the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro on October 16, 2018, and — tl;dr — it supports dual-frequency! However, there is a twist. Instead of using the Broadcom chipset, these devices use the Kirin 980, which is also being marketed as the “World 1st 7nm Mobile AI Chipset”. But, more importantly for this article, the Kirin 980 website says:

    The GPS is supported by industry leading L1 + L5 dual frequency ultra-precise positioning to give you a more accurate target location when using map navigation, even in complex terrains.

    And, the Mate 20 Pro site says:

    By leveraging L1&L5 dual frequency simultaneously, HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro allows you to always find the destination with great accuracy even in city centres surrounded by skyscrapers or highway interchanges.

    And it looks like dual-frequency extends to Galileo and QZSS too, according to the specs:

    GPS (L1 + L5 dual band) / AGPS / Glonass / BeiDou / Galileo (E1 + E5a dual band) / QZSS (L1 + L5 dual band)

    • as per 15 nov FCC rules: “FCC approval to allow access to the Galileo E1 and E5 frequencies is a welcome announcement given the improved availability, reliability, and resiliency it will provide to multi-band GNSS equipped devices “

      • Now people in USA will have similar results of people in Europe with GPS+Galileo enabled with the Garmin watches, probably before Garmin watches in the USA didn’t use Galileo satellites even if the option GPS+Galileo was enabled.
        Perhaps Polar will now give the option GPS+Galileo in the Polar Vantage?
        Unfortunately from your reviews it doesn’t seem that single frequency Galileo helped GPS to increase accuracy in sport watches. But maybe we have to blame the chipset and power saving mode of the watches and not Galileo. Maybe in sport watches the weakness depends not on the satellites, but on the swinging of the arm while running and on the power save mode for better battery life .

        • “probably before Garmin watches in the USA didn’t use Galileo satellites even if the option GPS+Galileo was enabled” – yes !! which is amazing, if true
          “Perhaps Polar will now give the option GPS+Galileo in the Polar Vantage?” – not yet !!
          “Unfortunately from your reviews it doesn’t seem that single frequency Galileo helped GPS to increase accuracy in sport watches.” i would say that statement is true when looked at ‘in the round’
          ” Maybe in sport watches the weakness depends not on the satellites, but on the swinging of the arm while running and on the power save mode for better battery life .” indeed so. but it is also the issues of running close to building where signals that bounce off walls confuse the device. when cycling you are further away from the same buildings.

          • John, a user in the DCRainmaker Garmin130 comments, shared this link:
            https://www.gpsworld.com/fcc-approves-use-of-galileo-for-non-federal-official-use/
            Extract:
            “https://www.gpsworld.com/fcc-approves-use-of-galileo-for-non-federal-official-use/
            Extract from GPSworld:
            “While private users were free to use the European GNSS, with this ruling entities such as telecommunications companies can now also use Galileo.”
            Gpsworld says that this limitation was not for private users, so maybe garmin watches could receive Galileo satellites also before the FCC rule of 15 november 2018.

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