Distance and Pace w/o iPhone are complete nonsense.

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by flori13, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. flori13 macrumors member


    Apr 10, 2015
    Hello Apple Watch enthusiasts!

    For the past month, I was extremely happy with the AW Fitness Capabilities. As recommended, I took my iPhone for the first few runs with me, and after a while I left it at home. To run without my iPhone was one of the many reasons I bought the AW.- And running without it worked great, until I noticed, that the AW without GPS has no clue how fast you're moving.

    Small info: 20 yrs old, I run between 5km (3.1mi) in half an hour to 10km(6.2mi) in an hour a few times a week. My speed is consistently 10km/h (6.2mph) at 160bpm. I am accustomed to this pace and I can keep it. My AW showed me the same stats, until I took a run with my girlfriend...

    She runs 8km/h (4.9mph) pretty consistently too and I ran beside her. I checked my AW regularly and couldn't believe it. - It showed me the same exact stats as if I were running alone. After half an hour, my AW informed me that I ran 5km, when in reality, it was somewhere between 3.6 to 4 km.
    This was even move saddening, because my Heartrate was consistently at 140 bpm. Does the watch really think that all of a sudden I run the same pace with a significantly lower heartrate?
    My gf with runtastic and the right stats hid a few laughs, this run was very frustrating.

    I took a few more tests and came to the conclusion that the Watch basically remembers my runs with the iPhone and simulates these exact same runs when I leave the iPhone at home.
    IMO this is bs to say it nicely. I'm pretty much an Apple "Fanboy" and I believed them when they said "the Watch learns the distance after a few runs" but this time, at least in my case, this is far from the truth.

    I love my watch, but this is a dissappointment. Honestly, I wouldn't expect a watch without GPS to register my runs correctly, but Apples marketing told me otherwise, and imo simply lied.

    I encourage everyone who often runs with the watch alone to take a chilled run and compare your results.

    Hopefully, the AW 2 will have GPS built in.

    TL;DR- AW has no idea about your distance and pace (even after calibrating with your iPhone) and simulates the stats from past runs with iPhone. At least in my case.
  2. jbachandouris macrumors 601


    Aug 18, 2009
    Upstate NY
    This is another reason mine was returned. I don't get many messages or notifications, so if it can't help me with my runs, there's no point. I have a Nile+ GPS watch with footpod for accurate measurements.
  3. dannyyankou macrumors G3


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
    Well, mine's been pretty damn accurate, even on the treadmill.

    Attached Files:

  4. modernaccord macrumors 6502a

    Apr 20, 2015
    Seattle, WA region
    Mine's all over the place. With the iPhone it registers correct distances maybe 75% of the time, and without the iPhone about 30% of the time. I'll be with others that have the same exact apple watch right next to me, doing exactly what I'm doing, with different run and pace metrics.

    I've just resorted to basing all my goals to MY specific AW, not really taking into account what the actual numbers are.
  5. flori13 thread starter macrumors member


    Apr 10, 2015
    Mine was accurate as well, until I ran faster or slower than ususal for a longer period.
    If you always run at the same pace, these stats are useless anyway. I know that after half an hour I ran 3.1miles.
    But when I run significantly slower because of an hangover for example and the Watch still shows the same stats, then you know these runs without the Phone are just fake demos of previous runs with the phone.
  6. flori13 thread starter macrumors member


    Apr 10, 2015
    I guess I'm forced to do the same, but it's dissappointing and it discourages me to take these even slightly seriously.
  7. lchlch macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2015
    I think this is normal behavior for devices that use accelerometers.

    For example the Fenix 3 should behave the same with gps on vs off.
  8. quietstormSD macrumors 6502a


    Mar 2, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    This is what really stopped me from buying the watch. I run about 5 days a week fluctuating between 3 miles up to 8/10/12/14/16/18/21 miles in a day, depending on the week. I have a Fitbit that I wear all day(really just to measure my daily activity, particularly when I'm not running, but do wear it during runs), and a Nike+ Sportwatch for my runs to ACCURATELY measure the distance, time (and ofcourse pace.) All that matters too much for me that I wouldn't leave it to some algorithm that figures it out based on past data. My runs fluctuate at times based on how I feel that day as well as the distance and who I'm running with, etc. And I'd like to know how my run was on that day, not how my run was based on the averages of past performance.

    I don't like carrying my phone when I run, I run light,so the less stuff on me the better. I just use an iPod shuffle for music, if I want some.

    I really hope the 2nd gen has GPS built into it. I think they may have been afraid people would just always have the GPS on and not realize it's using a lot of battery?
  9. Johnno87 macrumors member

    May 29, 2015
    My Runs are off even if I have my iPhone with me. 10km run, AW made it 9,36km. 5,07km run, AW made it 4,86km with my iPhone with me. Hope a software update can fix it.
  10. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    For even speed runners (consistent stride and cadence) a calibrated accelerometer can offer fairly accurate results. However for truly accurate results it requires GPS mapping. I hope Apple will change to this instead of just GPS accelerometer calibration. For me I will continue to use my Garmin 620 as my 'official' run recorder.
  11. richpjr macrumors 68040


    May 9, 2006
    Can you use a bluetooth chest strap with just the Apple watch (and not your iPhone)? Kind of sucks to have to use that, but I understand that the Apple Watch simply isn't going to get you an accurate reading.
  12. flori13 thread starter macrumors member


    Apr 10, 2015
    Yes you can! But I wasn't saying anything against the HR readings, in my experience they are reliable! Or are there any GPS Bluetooth straps?! Just distance and pace w/o iPhone are jokes.

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11 June 1, 2015