AW5 LTE GPS accuracy problem

rbart

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 3, 2013
325
146
France
Hello.
I have a Series 5 44mm LTE watch for 5 days and I have noticed terrible GPS accuracy when running with LTE ON (without phone).
It seems better without LTE activated.
The GPS trace is completely strange, with big glitches and the distance is false.
Does anyone has noticed the same ?
I have tried to install it again as new today to check if it improves ...
 

Significant1

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2014
708
210
Try rotating the Watch. Many see better gps reception If the crown is facing away from your hand, due to placement of antennas.
 

rbart

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 3, 2013
325
146
France
I have never done that with my S2/S3 to have a correct GPS accuracy ...
 

avkam

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2014
124
49
I did a short AW5 test run yesterday with LTE on, Watch only. GPS track was fine.
 

rbart

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 3, 2013
325
146
France
My watch has been replaced, but it's still the same with the new one.
The distance calculated by the watch is over estimated and I am very dissapointed.
Running activity is most important for me in a smartwatch...
Is it an LTE issue ? a watchOS6 issue ?
 

Strangedream

macrumors regular
Sep 15, 2019
209
127
Are you using a magnetic band like the Milanese loop or leather loop? The magnet in the clasp can interfere with the GPS.
 

NME42

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2019
42
14
As written on the Workoutdoors thread: did my first run with AW5 LTE and the GPS track was horrible.
Using the standard sport band.
 

Significant1

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2014
708
210
As written on the Workoutdoors thread: did my first run with AW5 LTE and the GPS track was horrible.
Using the standard sport band.
Try disabling Always On Display. I have been running with S4 LTE without problems. However DCRainmaker noticed that HR had regressed and suspected AOD. He said he would try without it enabled, but AFAIK it hasn't happened. But he also told that Apple had contacted him, so maybe he is working with them and will not publish before it is solved.
https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/09/apple-watch-series-5-first-run-impressions-video-up.html
I also have the crown away from my hand, which is also suspected to improve GPS reception due to Antenna location. It also have the added benefit not triggering the crown with the back of your hand or sleave.
 
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NME42

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2019
42
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Try disabling Always On Display. I have been running with S4 LTE without problems. However DCRainmaker noticed that HR had regressed and suspected AOD. He said he would try without it enabled, but AFAIK it hasn't happened. But he also told that Apple had contacted him, so maybe he is working with them and will publish before it is solved.
https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/09/apple-watch-series-5-first-run-impressions-video-up.html
I also have the crown away from my hand, which is also suspected to improve GPS reception due to Antenna. I also have the added benefit not triggering the crown with the back of your hand or sleave.
thanks. Could be a lot of issues actually. Might be related to watchOS 6 also. I will try as soon as my foot injury allows running. My first run on Saturday was not the best idea. Well was keen trying my new toy but had terrible pain afterwards (apart from the disappointment about the crappy GPS track). ;-(
 

deeddawg

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Jun 14, 2010
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Are you using a magnetic band like the Milanese loop or leather loop? The magnet in the clasp can interfere with the GPS.
Huh? Please explain your thinking. I'm not seeing how a magnet in the band would in any way change the gps chip measuring the differences in radio signal arrival time from the visible gps satellites.
 

NME42

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2019
42
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Huh? Please explain your thinking. I'm not seeing how a magnet in the band would in any way change the gps chip measuring the differences in radio signal arrival time from the visible gps satellites.
Not with GPS but maybe disturbing the compass which is used to enhance tracking accuracy.
 

deeddawg

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Jun 14, 2010
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Not with GPS but maybe disturbing the compass which is used to enhance tracking accuracy.
Oh cool. I didn't see the article describing how that works on the Series5. Would love to read it, please post the link.
 

NME42

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2019
42
14
Oh cool. I didn't see the article describing how that works on the Series5. Would love to read it, please post the link.
No idea why you are reacting so aggressively.

This is my first AW and I am far from being an expert on this. And no, have no article to prove my assumption. On Garmin devices they do that.

Maybe did not clarify that in my posting. Might also be related to myself being no native speaker. Have a nice day.
 
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rbart

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 3, 2013
325
146
France
I am pretty sure the compass is not used to improve GPS tracking accuracy.
- - Post merged: - -

Try disabling Always On Display. I have been running with S4 LTE without problems. However DCRainmaker noticed that HR had regressed and suspected AOD. He said he would try without it enabled, but AFAIK it hasn't happened. But he also told that Apple had contacted him, so maybe he is working with them and will not publish before it is solved.
https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/09/apple-watch-series-5-first-run-impressions-video-up.html
I also have the crown away from my hand, which is also suspected to improve GPS reception due to Antenna location. It also have the added benefit not triggering the crown with the back of your hand or sleave.
I can't imagine AOD could have an impact on GPS accuracy ...
And I don't want to change the button side on my watch. It wasn't required for my old series 2 to work properly.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
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No idea why you are reacting so aggressively.
I'm genuinely curious; I like learning about stuff. I've studied a bit on how GPS works (I've been an amateur radio operator since many years ago, although I'm not active these days) and hadn't seen anything about using a compass to improve the accuracy of a GPS position fix.

You posted as if you'd read something about it... So I asked.

No idea why you would find that to be "aggressive". 🤷‍♂️
 

NME42

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2019
42
14
I'm genuinely curious; I like learning about stuff. I've studied a bit on how GPS works (I've been an amateur radio operator since many years ago, although I'm not active these days) and hadn't seen anything about using a compass to improve the accuracy of a GPS position fix.

You posted as if you'd read something about it... So I asked.

No idea why you would find that to be "aggressive". 🤷‍♂️
no problem. Could also be my bad language understanding. So ok.

What I understand: when using a GPS device one is getting a whole lot of measurements from GPS that somehow look „cloudy“ mean with a certain inaccuracy. The software in the devices so has to decide, what is valid and what is not and discards values. Accelerometers and compasses can help with deciding which points to keep and which to discard. A compass that is disturbed with a magnet could interfere with this algorithm in the sense: huh, I thought we are going north and now it is south? And now west?
On Garmin devices (which I used for more than 10 years) it was therefore important to calibrate the compass. Not the most important factor in accuracy but one.
 

Significant1

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2014
708
210
I am pretty sure the compass is not used to improve GPS tracking accuracy.
- - Post merged: - -
Apple uses additional sensors to improve accuracy. The details only Apple know and I am sure they keep it guarded. But the api has a parameter about whether to use it or just simple gps. On the old workoutdoor app, there was a setting, so you could choose. Can see it has been removed in the new version.

I can't imagine AOD could have an impact on GPS accuracy ...
And I don't want to change the button side on my watch. It wasn't required for my old series 2 to work properly.
Neither should it impact heart rate. But it is easy to test and so is rotating the watch. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. But how will you know, if you don't try. Rotating works for me so I am just sharing my experience. Also I am aware that S5 has regressed compared to S4 with heart rate, maybe there is more than that, since the main difference between S4 and S5 is compass and AOD, it is natural to focus on those differences and eliminate them as possible culprit.
 

rbart

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 3, 2013
325
146
France
Apple uses additional sensors to improve accuracy. The details only Apple know and I am sure they keep it guarded. But the api has a parameter about whether to use it or just simple gps. On the old workoutdoor app, there was a setting, so you could choose. Can see it has been removed in the new version.
Apple says accelerometer and gyroscope is used to help GPS in case of poor reception.
They are also able to track activity (distance/pace) without GP on Series 0/1
But they say nothing regarding compass
Neither should it impact heart rate. But it is easy to test and so is rotating the watch. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. But how will you know, if you don't try. Rotating works for me so I am just sharing my experience. Also I am aware that S5 has regressed compared to S4 with heart rate, maybe there is more than that, since the main difference between S4 and S5 is compass and AOD, it is natural to focus on those differences and eliminate them as possible culprit.
I have no problems with heart rate. Maybe Dcrainmker has a problem with his watch, or had a glitch during the test ?
Maybe rotating helps, but I don't want to rotate my watch. If the button are on the wrong side, it's not convenient when running (for intervals)
 

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,210
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no problem. Could also be my bad language understanding. So ok.

What I understand: when using a GPS device one is getting a whole lot of measurements from GPS that somehow look „cloudy“ mean with a certain inaccuracy. The software in the devices so has to decide, what is valid and what is not and discards values. Accelerometers and compasses can help with deciding which points to keep and which to discard. A compass that is disturbed with a magnet could interfere with this algorithm in the sense: huh, I thought we are going north and now it is south? And now west?
On Garmin devices (which I used for more than 10 years) it was therefore important to calibrate the compass. Not the most important factor in accuracy but one.
Thanks. None of my Garmin running watches except the fenix3 had a compass function. Though I returned my fenix3 due to gps inaccuracies
 

Significant1

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2014
708
210
Maybe rotating helps, but I don't want to rotate my watch. If the button are on the wrong side, it's not convenient when running (for intervals)
Not sure how that works, but it is not difficult to press both buttons, if that is what you mean.

Double checking workoutdoors, I think the settings is still there, it has just been renamed and the description toned down:
If the recalibration doesn't work (Apple's pedometer just doesn't work for some people) then use the GPS instead of Apple's estimates. To do this press the watch screen hard and tap "Settings" and then "More". Find the "Use Calibrated Distance Estimates" setting on that screen and switch it off. Note that this will make distance estimates susceptible to poor GPS signals, such as when you go through tunnels etc.

And there is a section about solving gps problems

 

NME42

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2019
42
14
Thanks. None of my Garmin running watches except the fenix3 had a compass function. Though I returned my fenix3 due to gps inaccuracies
Yes, though the problem there was mainly a bad placement of the GPS antenna and the bezel.
 

NME42

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2019
42
14
On a German AW forum a user is reporting that switching off LTE on his AW5 brought back track quality to normal state.
 

rbart

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 3, 2013
325
146
France
I have noticed the same, but too many samples to be sure about this.
It's a bit stupid to buy an LTE for running without phone and switch it off ...
Do you have the link of this forum/post ?