GPS Accuracy : Sony : Suunto, Polar & COROS

Test Route

The results of some recent GPS tests were worthy of a post of their own for once. For those of you with Polar and Suunto devices here are some important and provisional findings.

It’s been a busy week for things to test. As well, I had some old data to go through. Busy. Busy.

What’s New

  • COROS APEX – who? Read on and see. But they interestingly use the same Sony GNSS chip that both Polar (Vantage) and Suunto (9) have opted for. It’s mostly due to the low power consumption of the chip.
  • Yesterday Suunto enabled GLONASS with a new firmware release for the Suunto 9.

For once there is positive stuff to report. But perhaps not from where you expected it.

I’ve only done one run with the COROS APEX. But it equalled the best-ever score which the AMBIT3 RUN turned in for me in 2017. It could be a fluke of course but the course is sufficiently hard for me to say that the COROS APEX obviously has at least a reasonably accurate GNSS device here. I used GPS+GLONASS for the COROS.

I had a similar experience with the COROS Pace earlier in the year but downgraded my opinion of its accuracy slightly with more usage.

  • Q: How can a newcomer do so well at this? With two devices each using different chips?
  • A: If I knew I would be offering consulting services in this field.

A massive sigh of relief at Suunto HQ. I was looking at  results from a week or so ago with GPS and comparing to the new firmware using GPS+GLONASS. So two things have changed – firmware and GNSS mode. Well three. Accuracy, being the third. It is NOTABLY improved. With GLONASS enabled the Suunto 9 put in a 79% score, which is the same as with the best-ever Garmin result I had recently for the Fenix 5S Plus in GPS-only mode (Galileo?…nah). It’s still not quite good enough for Suunto but this is a big move in the right direction (hopefully).

For some bizarre reason Suunto have hidden away the option to turn GLONASS on in the menu navigation. No doubt it will be a battery-eater…who cares?!?! The Suunto 9 has a bigger battery than my car.

Polar? Nothing to report with the Polar test. Nothing has changed at any rate.

The good news for Suunto and Polar is that the Sony chip obviously CAN BE GOOD. COROS proved it.

Lots of caveats here of course but generally happy, smiling faces in London tonight.

Special thanks to @RiphRaph for nagging me into doing this. It was worth it !!

 

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Jimmy
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Jimmy

Is the coros apex can track sleeping?

RiphRaph
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RiphRaph

And thanks right back for allowing yourself to be nagged! This is indeed very interesting news, and it looks as though the Suunto 9 is now on my shortlist again.

Robert Black
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Robert Black

The only remaining variable between corros and the rest would be antenna design.

Luis
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Luis

I guess is the metallic bezel. That may explain the differences between Vantage V and M also…

Running Otaku
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Can you share with us how you compute the test score. I couldn’t figure out what “79%” indicated. Thanks!

Luis
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Luis

There is a post with all the results. In the excel chart, it is explained how the global score is calculated

Chris
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Chris

Huami’s Amazfit watches also share the same GNSS chip, the latest Sony: Bip, Pace, Stratos (and maybe the Verge too). The latter two have ceramic bezel and the Bip has full plastic shell.
Moreover, it is funny that the screen of the Suunto Spartan Sport/Ultra/9 and the Amazfit Stratos is the same.
https://www.j-display.com/product/pdf/Leaflet/6LL_1.34_round_LPM013M091A.pdf

Zoser
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Zoser

Hello, a bit time has passed since las time. : ) I’m following with interest the Coros Apex and in general the future of Coros in this area of sport watches. I opened a thread too in our forum and contacted them with some suggestion trying to help them to improve in the future and be success from a professional point of view. Surprisingly for me, their CEO (L.W.) wrote me about it. He commented me about the development plans they have with partners like Stryd, etc. And “if” they acomplish to get enough big customer base, they have an open mind about one of my suggestions of release a future sdk for their watches ; ) For that reason I ask you about to add to your review the storage capacity of the Apex or if you can add it to your review, although, i imagine that this model still could have a small one and a bigger in future models. And add what is the state of the Apex compatibility with accesories like bands, power meters, etc. He also said me that they have finished the navigation feature in their webpage. Is that feature already available? If you… Read more »

Zoser
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Zoser

I forgot mention that i already told them about add detailed manuals for the Coros Apex and Pace in their web page and reported a bug, they have crossed links between Pace and OMNI quick start guides. And that they should add the navigation feature for the Coros Apex page with image and descriptions. Remember it to them too ; )

Zoser
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Zoser

One last thing … I also mentioned you as a good possible reviewer for their Apex. It was around November 3rd. I’m glad you received one for your review. Very happy with that. I will read your review very carefully.

Stromz
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Stromz

That’s a pretty stout score for a newbie. Interest is certainly peaked…