Apple Watch 6 Accuracy – Detailed analysis – Run Bike Swim,

Garmin Forerunner 745 Accuracy Apple Watch 6 Accuracy

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Analysis & Verdict

The Apple Watch 6 can be extremely accurate.

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There are only rare times when the Apple Watch 6 simply flatlines with the oHR...or just gets it obviously wrong. At other times, it still makes mistakes BUT, unless you are working out with another watch in parallel you will never know as the results in these scenarios are still superficially plausible. Consequently, there are going to be a lot of people who think it's awesome. More awesome than it is.

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However, don't get me wrong. It is still a mightily good performer with oHR, elevation and GNSS/GPS. I'd say that oHR and elevation are definitely amongst the best-in-class when compared to either sports watches or smartwatches. GNSS/GPS is a tricky one the AW6 usually looks great and, in reality, it is sometimes awesome (as good as an AMBIT from a few years ago) but constant precision isn't there over many and varied conditions. Nevertheless, the AW6 produced one of the best-ever scores in my standard GPS run-test, so that deserves kudos if nothing else.

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  • running accuracy - GNSS can be excellent but smooths corners and doesn't like trees. oHR usually excellent and very occasionally flatlines, possibly doesn't like off-road terrain.
  • cycling accuracy - GNSS is usually excellent and smoothed corners seem improved over previous AW models. Doesn't like trees. oHR is usually excellent and elevation is excellent.
  • open water swim accuracy - GNSS is surprisingly excellent and oHR usually surprisingly good.

I am an extreme cynic about the population-wide accuracy of oHR during sports. If you'd asked me 6 months ago which vendor's oHR I would use in sports I would definitely have said Garmin ELEVATE gen 3. However, now I'd say the Apple Watch 6 is very close. But I'd perhaps caveat that to add that I was only going to run with it on hard ground.

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Similarly, with GNSS/GPS, I am sceptical about the Apple Watch's accuracy but more from the perspective of 'in which way do you want it to be accurate?'. Very many sports watches will give you a pretty GPS track of your route and the Apple Watch is no different. Yet if you want it to tell you how fast you are running right at this moment then it struggles as all the other smart/sport watches out there. Sneakily the workout app usually displays a believable rolling average or lap pace...again, you'd probably never notice it was wrong unless you had something to compare it to or unless you were running in particularly difficult reception conditions.

Verdict: If you insist on using your watch's GNSS and HR capabilities rather than external sensors then the Apple Watch 6 is up there with the very best sports watches...most of the time. For accuracy, I would trust it equally as much as a Garmin.

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SCDC

I have no idea how you can call the Garmin sensor the best. it’s maybe in the middle, at best? I gave up after trying multiple Fenix 6X Pro’s and the Delta Tactix. The HR readings were basically random number generators outside of activities, and not even close for a lot of running and swimming. Tried all of the firmware and beta. Found by looking at the forums that I’m not alone, either the sensor or the software is complete rubbish.

I moved over to the Apple Watch and quite honestly, not even interested in anything else. The Apple Watch 6 battery life is excellent outside of activities with almost 3 days use. I have a second AW6 I use exclusively for sports. I can get about 4 hours cellular, gps, and music (NO PHONE). That’s excellent.

The data you get from the Apple Watch is fantastic. Workoutdoors is one great companion app and love the customizable visual and audio queues.

I wish I could try the Coros, but without cellular and music. I just can’t. I have to be available and will not carry my phone around.

tfk, the5krunner

thank you for commenting.
You are not logged in as a supporter and so could not have seen the many charts that would appear above if you were logged in as a supporter! Some of them are not pretty. So, to answer your question, my comments are based on my extensive experiences with all sports products and their sensors. I’d agree that most ohr sensors and gnss receivers (in difficult conditions) can sometimes be random number generators. I often get accused of being a Garmin fan and a Garmin hater (not by you!! you are being nice). I’m neither and just call it how i see it. How I see it is that the Garmin ELEVATE Gen 3 and Apple ohr sensors are probably the best but are not perfect and will vary in quality from person to person and in different environmental conditions eg Apple oHR seems to not work well on bumpy off-road ground. so if someone else finds it to be the worst, that could well be true for them, i can only test for me. either way, I use a chest strap as neither are good enough for me.

tfk, the5krunner

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