A half marathon with AW3 LTE — mixed impressions

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by pedregosa, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. pedregosa macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #1
    Ran the Boston Half today with my new AW3 LTE, leaving my phone in the hotel. Some impressions, both good and not so good...

    Let the hotel at around 6:45 with a full charge and returned at 11:45 with 33% still left. LTE was turned on throughout. My time running was 2 hours and 9 minutes. I was playing locally stored music during all that time to my Powerbeats earphones. I made a couple of calls during the course of the morning, sent and received a few texts, and tracked my daughter who was also running the race using Find My Friends. I’d say that is not bad battery-wise.

    The cellular functions worked great. No problems whatsoever.

    My main concern is that I’m not sure how accurately it captured the distance. I was using the built-in Workout app and it showed my distance as 13.52. I realize that one typically would expect something higher than 13.1, because of inefficiencies in running the course, weaving, and so forth. But I generally make a point of taking curves along the course in the most efficient way and 13.52 seems on the high side.

    I’ve run races before with the S2 and the built-in Workout app and generally found it to appear accurate. I wouldn’t have thought that the S3 would be less accurate. To the contrary, I thought the LTE would improve accuracy. But who knows?

    Oddly, the splits aren’t showing up in the Activity app on my phone, although all the other data — including the map — are there. Never had that happen before.

    So mixed views overall. However, I really liked being able to do something like this without my phone but while still being connected.
     
  2. bruinsrme macrumors 603

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #2
    Maybe the watch wasn’t impressed you only ran a 1/2 marathon
    Seriously though Congrats on completing it.
    I despise running almost as much as I despise mayo.
     
  3. geraldem macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2015
    #3
    Very good! Congrats on the half marathon! How was the music playback during your run? any audio breakup?
     
  4. xDKP macrumors 65816

    xDKP

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location:
    Denmark
    #4
    Great run and thanks for sharing. This is one of the main reasons I would love the LTE version (currently not for sale in Denmark)

    Just for comparison I ran H.C Andersen Marathon last Sunday with my S2 and my AirPods. The AirPods died on the last kilometer and my iPhone did help out gps wise but all devices didn’t really like my 4:11 time - both phone and watch came in around 35% battery and as mentioned the AirPods with 0% (would have expected more when they advertise 5 hours)

    The build in app was scary on point that day though. Some kilometer signs were quite literally the same second as the watch
     
  5. pedregosa thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #5
    In answer to your question, the music playback was perfect. But that aspect was the same as with the earlier models — I wasn’t streaming the music over cellular, as that feature isn’t yet available and I probably wouldn’t have used it on this occasion even it was
     
  6. MJ22 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2017
    #6
    Thanks for this review! I’m a runner myself and ordered the AW3 because once daylight savings arrives, I’m running in the dark alone every night so I like being able to call or text (or SOS!) from my wrist, because I never run with my phone. I’m figuring it’ll take some adjusting to a new GPS system, I’ve been using a Garmin since 2010. I don’t run anything longer than a half so I’m pleased that you did all that you did and still had 33% left over!
     
  7. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #7
    Do you still have your s2? Maybe try running with both the best time you do something a bit on the longer side and see how they compare.
     
  8. Fthree macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    #8
    I’m beginning to think we are at the mercy of the gps gods in large crowds. I ran Chicago 26.2 today and my Fenix 5 said I ran 29 miles instead of the 26.2. We did go under a tunnel for a bit but shouldn’t be that much.
     
  9. PatrickNSF macrumors 6502

    PatrickNSF

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #9
    Frankly, the AW built-in GPS doesn't seem that great, at least from a GPS tracking perspective. I've uploaded two runs comparing it to a Garmin 935 (which tracks decently). One of the AW runs was recorded with Workouts, and the other with the Nike app. Of the two, I think the Nike app performed better.

    Although the mileage ended up similar, the AW pacing was pretty erratic. I think it's fine for casual running, but I'm not sure I'd want to pace myself with it for an actual race.

    Garmin 935 vs AW Workout
    http://www.mygpsfiles.com/app/#DfROP4tm

    Garmin 935 vs AW Nike
    http://www.mygpsfiles.com/app/#DgFe09xq
     
  10. Resqu2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    #10
    I do lots of 5k races, sometimes my watch matches the certified course exactly and sometimes it shows me running a bit more or a bit less. Not usually off by more that say 3.14 is the most I seen. Add in 10 more miles and I’m sure it could get off some even though it shouldn’t.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 8, 2017 ---
    I use Runkeeper for my pace but it’s a iPhone app, set it for 1 min updates on a 5k run and it paces dead on it.
     
  11. Ixidor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2016
    #11
    I’m surprised by your battery life (5 hours with LTE/GPS on and with music playback consuming 67% battery). I went for a run recently, was away from my phone for about 1hr 45min so I was on GPS/LTE throughout with the occasional messaging. The watch lost about 35% of battery.
     
  12. geraldem macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2015
    #12
    That is consistent with what I experienced as well today on a run of similar time. About 35%
     
  13. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #13
    There are so many variables in GPS tracking that it's hard to criticize a device for its tracking from any single run. What matters to me is consistency over the long-term. My Garmin Fenix 2 is inconsistent, so I stopped using it. My Forerunner 225 is consistent, so it's been my primary tracking device for 2.5 years. My phone is inconsistent, so I only rely on it when I have to. I'm hoping my AW3 will be good enough for regular training runs - so far it has been matching my 225's numbers very well (.1 of a mile or better on 5-10 mile runs), but I don't have enough history with it yet to know how well I can trust it.
     
  14. andyp350 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    #14
    I already run without my phone on my older Apple watches. It means I need to meet up with friends/family after the old fashioned way as I can’t call anyone but organised runs are only time I’d ever need LTE on my watch so it’s not enough to justify buying one.
    Interesting to hear how your experience was. I’m running a local half this weekend so I’m interested to see how well my new (second hand new!) Series 2 tracks it with the GPS compared to my old Series 0.
     
  15. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #15
    Were you near or between large buildings?

    I've had really wonky distances with past GPS watches in midtown Atlanta running; even one six mile run where a Fenix3 on one wrist read 1/2 mile different than a 920xt on my other wrist. Looking at the track detail later, the Fenix3 suffered bad from multipath reflections and had my position way off my track a times, always next to tall buildings.

    No such issues so far with my AW2 or AW3, though my running near large buildings is infrequent.
     
  16. iThink Apple macrumors 6502a

    iThink Apple

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    #16
    Yea I have the same issue...The workout app doesn't show the splits when running with the Nike+ app :(

    Did you try to calibrate your watch? I have a feeling that my S3 Nike+ LTE is off in distances....
     
  17. pedregosa thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #17
    Is one meant to calibrate a GPS-equipped Apple Watch? I thought that was a more Series 0/1 thing to do. What does it involve doing — simply running with the phone and the watch just one time?
     
  18. TravisPNW macrumors 6502a

    TravisPNW

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2017
    Location:
    Renton, WA
    #18
    Wow... and those AirPods are $159.99? Glad I passed on them. I get 10-12 hours usage and the same bluetooth wireless from my LG Tone HBS 912's that were $49.99...

    @ OP,

    Nice review! My watch just arrived today.
     
  19. matrix07 macrumors 601

    matrix07

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #19
    Funny what we got from what we read sometimes. It's great your LG is only $50. That doesn't mean AirPods is awful. In fact it's one of the great Apple products currently. The ear piece battery may last for 5 hours per charge but the case can charge them up to 24 hours. If you're using only one ear piece at a time you'll get 48 hours from a single charge. But its benefit lies much more than battery life. My Bose QC35, the one that has the best noise cancelling, is out of use since I got mine.
     
  20. TravisPNW macrumors 6502a

    TravisPNW

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2017
    Location:
    Renton, WA
    #20
    Didn't say they were awful... don't be so quick to defend.

    I haven't tried the AirPods yet because I haven't had a reason to. The price is scary and when I look at the LGs that give the same features with amazing sound quality I gotta wonder what the value is in something that costs 3x as much.

    Maybe I'll see if I can try out a pair at the Apple store or something... thanks for the review!
     
  21. mark081990 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    #21
    Hey, congrats on the half. I ran 1x with my LTE AW 3 Nike Series. The GPS is not accurate. Compared to Garmin it seemed way off. For instance my first mile split on Garmin was 7:44 on AW it was 7:13. That’s over 30 sec difference. I grew frustrated with it, stopped the gps, and just used it for music
    --- Post Merged, Oct 9, 2017 ---
    That being said... I typically finish races and the watch shows I ran longer than the course. .4 seems a bit much I agree. But you could’ve zig zagged at aid stations and you might not have ran the most direct course route. Also, when the course is measured I don’t believe GPS is the tool they use
     
  22. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5

    Mlrollin91

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ventura County
    #22
    Even with GPS you should do a 20 minute outdoor walk to calibrate your stride with the GPS. Everyone's stride/arm swing is different. You still need to calibrate it, you just don't need the phone to calibrate it.

    The best way to calibrate is a 20 minute walk, followed by a 20 minute run (separate workouts). Then it truly learns your strides.
     
  23. xDKP macrumors 65816

    xDKP

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location:
    Denmark
    #23
    That seems weird - I just ran a full marathon and it was scary accurate - literately marking the km-numbers as I passed the marks for most of the run.. Pretty impressive
    --- Post Merged, Oct 10, 2017 ---
    Even though mine is closer to four than five hours of battery, it's still pretty amazing - I made a call and used Siri on my run, so still great battery for two true wireless (HATE the wire between the ears on most bluetooth headphones)... One of my best buys in a long time.
     
  24. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #24
    This may be the use-case that gets me to pay for the LTE service. As I'm out for runs I think about stuff and so often have wanted to remind myself later to do something... A quick "Hey Siri, remind me to..." without stopping my run has been super convenient.

    Agreed. I've been very satisfied the the Mpow Cheetah headphones (Amazon) as the band goes behind your head and essentially disappears from perception. When not in use it self-coils and doesn't tangle. VERY worth the cost, and my pair have survived a couple of sweaty Georgia summers. That's what makes me nervous about the AirPods.
     
  25. xDKP macrumors 65816

    xDKP

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location:
    Denmark
    #25
    They seem better than most but still not as “free” as the AirPods - they are just like running without anything and it’s prettt amazing
     

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