Beginners and Beyond


Smartphone or GPS Watch? (Read 278 times)


Smaller By The Day

    RA has an android app?  That's news to me.


    Weight 100 pounds lost

    5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)

    10K 48:59 April 2013

    HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013

    MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013


      not really. see my post



        When it comes to gadgets I aim for idiot proof stuff. This month I finally got a smartphone when my droid fell down a sewer 4 months after the contract ran out, but have yet to get an app. This week I did get  a New Balance GPS which is working out well so far once I figured out how to have it measure in miles vs. kms.


        My wife bought the GPS at Olympia which most of us wouldn't think of. My wife researched it, liked the reviews, and checked on-line for pricing. Amazon had the best price but she called Olympia who had it advertised. Their sales price was still higher but they agreed to match it as long as she printed it out. I mention that in case Olympia has the watch you are interested in, and maybe they or another store can match.

          GPS watch.  I would not run with my smartphone.  It would cost a lot of money to replace if I dropped it - much more than an inexpensive Garmin for sure.  Plus I would not want to use it for running in inclement weather for fear of wrecking it.


          Or, having started running before there were Garmins, I'd just buy a $35 Timex Ironman and use a mapping site or going back even further the car odometer.


          Letting off steam

            You should be able to find a Garmin 305, which is a very reliable GPS watch, for around $100 on US ebay or similar.  If necessary, get it shipped to a US friend then reshipped.  It appears that would be a lot cheaper than buying in the Philippines.




              GPS Watch! I've used various apps on my iPhone and I've always gotten weird paces or distances with the GPS option. My Garmin is pretty much consistent unless I'm in the woods. It can get a little off, but not by that much.

              Half Fanatic  #3091  ~   Marathon debut: 11/16/13 Anthem Richmond Marathon

              "Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious." - Rumi


                Thanks for all the replies.  I am looking at the online option and having it shipped to the US probably to my brother or mother who both currently live in CT.


                Right now I as I previously posted I do use my Smartphone and I carry it in a water resistant pouch or I just use my Timex Ironman and map out my runs or measure the course using my car's odometer.

                Will Jr

                  I use my iPhone & the free RunKeeper app. It works great, has a lot of features and compiles everything online nicely. You can also import & export from different programs, etc. (I don't really use that)

                  When I started running again a couple years back, I just got used to running with phone in one hand & keys in the other. At times I wish I had my hands free, mostly in races, but it does not bug me for the most part. And I like having music playing so it's handy that way as well.

                  One day I'll probably get a Garmin, perhaps when (and if...ugh) I'm injury free. Like TheLearnedFoot I'd like to not have to worry about dropping or rain, although we don't get much here.


                    For the record, handyrunner was not developed and isn't maintained by The Man.  The developer (cat named derek) kind of stepped back from it for awhile.  Not sure what the current status is or who (if anyone) "owns" it.  However, if you post questions in the main forum, sometimes someone can answer them.


                    I've downloaded Handyrunner.  I've seen this before but I haven't tried it yet.  My workouts here on RA automatically synced.  What I like about the Nike+Running app is the voice prompt that I set for every 0.5 or 1Km.  I will try this app in my next run.


                      Ok. Tried using Handyrunner in my run.  It just tracks pace and distance and does not offer any voice guide on how far I have ran and what pace I am going.  I am sticking with the Nike+Running app.


                        First, disclaimer: I use only a small sports watch that has lap and interval function for training and am not considering using any GPS device in a run/race. But...


                        Since the OP is living in the Philippines (right?), here's a GPS I came across several months ago that is loaded with the fast and accurate responding SiRFstar IV GPS chipset (Garmin 405 and older use SiRFSTAR III. 910 uses IV. Don't know about 610.) that puts the watch on par or better than Garmin 610/910XT in terms of GPS and training functionality (it has many display options and do more things than just distance calculation).  It's sold for only ~US$150 (~$180 w/ HRM). However, here's the thing: only half of the display (and user manual) is in English Roll eyes and though the data can be uploaded to your computer (w/ USB, not wireless) and you may not be able to get them to some of the popular training sites since only a very small part of the targeted users may use these sites.


                        Here's a test someone did with the said GPS watch on a 400m track (7 laps) (someone else had tested it before w/ similar results. He decided he'd like to test it himself). He said the GPS signals stayed mostly on the 1st lane (there're 8 lanes in total and he ran in the 1st lane), occasionally, the signals strayed away to the 2nd lane. That's as good(accurate) as I've seen of any GPS watch performance. Plus, the battery that comes in this watch is good for up to 18 hrs on GPS mode (probably the reason why it's a bit bulky) , compared to 8hrs for Garmin 610.




                        The watch can be purchased in Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan w/ free shipping and probably w/ no sales tax ( If you're interested and you know someone lives in, say Hong Kong, you can have the person order it for you.


                        Now, not all phone GPS is not as good. Samsung Galaxy S2 (don't know about the S3 though) is loaded with the same IV GPS chipset. Presumably, the S2 GPS can be as accurate if the GPS signals don't get interfered by other signals from the phone (cell phones rely on many wireless functions, such as wi-fi, bluetooth, etc). It really depends on the phone. Some are better than the others. Plus, cell phones can do a lot of things during the run that a watch can't. (disclaimer: my phone is not a Samsung)



                        BTW, it's been a while we saw (or, I saw) someone post a pic like the above for the performance of older models of GPS watch on track. Can somebody here test his/her newer model (610 or 910) on a track and post the result? I'm curious how much more accurate these new models are compared to the older models.


                        BTW2, at the end of a trail run of ~5mi I did with a group this past summer, 5 of the guys who wore a GPS watch showed the distance read on their watch, from 4.7 to 5.2 miles, none of them read the same (2 Nikes, 3 Garmins). Most of the trail path was very narrow, we all pretty much ran the exact same path. I decided I'd rather take whatever is carved on the sign at the trail head for the distance.

                        Chasing the bus

                          I've never used a GPS watch, started running last year with Nike+. Recently switched to Runmeter, because it doesn't have nike's limitations, and pretty much kills any other app I've looked at, plus I can email run log's to myself and then upload to running ahead, complete with maps. Anyway, my phone is at least as accurate as my handheld GPS and has much better maps, screen, and memory. For me, it's one device with music, GPS, Bluetooth, HRM, and emergency iPhone. The ONLY downside is low temps, below 0F, the battery life is very short.  For water, lots of waterproof cases, I like the life proof. Can you tell, I drank the koolade?

                          “You're either on the bus or off the bus.”
                          Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test


                            I use my Android with Mapmyrun.  I've never used a GPS watch and unfortunately don't know anyone with one.  In a past occupation (wild-land fire) I used several handheld GPS units and we had various difficulties with maintaining satellite lock in canyons and in thick forest.   I am curious about the watches but am concerned about their performance in similar areas.


                            The phone isn't always that accurate.  I often run a route with known miles and sometimes it is right on, and other times it's off a bit,  This leaves me curious if the watches are better.