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TorontoSS

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 9, 2009
783
250
Hello,

I have a s4 cellular Watch. I use it for working out a lot. I know for calories it can be a bit (or very) off. But how accurate is it for runs?

i started running about 2 months ago. Every other day I would go for a run and add some to my run till I reached 30 min. I run slowly, about 7min 20s per km. I don’t care. I tried to add speed but it hasnt worked so well.

today I went for my run and I averaged 6min 50 and did .33 km more.

my question is, how accurate is that? Also is it more or less accurate if you don’t have your phone with you? (I have the cellular version).

thanks!
 

Monkswhiskers

macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2018
334
224
I have found my S4 to be quite accurate, I run the same 10k course and it is pretty much the same distance every time. I think the distance recorded is more accurate than the gps track. Some people have issues of accuracy when cellular is turned on (see another thread re this).
 
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TorontoSS

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 9, 2009
783
250
I have found my S4 to be quite accurate, I run the same 10k course and it is pretty much the same distance every time. I think the distance recorded is more accurate than the gps track. Some people have issues of accuracy when cellular is turned on (see another thread re this).

thanks! That’s so interesting that cellular causes inaccuracies! When I looked at the run map it was super accurate.
 
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firedept

macrumors 603
Jul 8, 2011
6,092
962
Somewhere!
My watch is pretty accurate. I jog and hike a lot. I find my watch is generally within range each and every time. It does not seem to matter whether my phone is along with me or not. My watch is cellular.
 
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minimo3

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2010
519
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I’ve found it to be accurate for outdoor runs but very inaccurate for indoor runs. I’m not surprised since it can’t get a GPS fix, it can be up to 25% off for treadmill runs. Too bad most treadmills don’t support GymKit
 
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TorontoSS

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 9, 2009
783
250
I’ve found it to be accurate for outdoor runs but very inaccurate for indoor runs. I’m not surprised since it can’t get a GPS fix, it can be up to 25% off for treadmill runs. Too bad most treadmills don’t support GymKit
actually I agree too. on treadmills, you have to go by what the treadmill is telling you because it does know better. The Apple Watch can be under or over quite a bit there!
 
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NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
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1,272
I've always wondered about this. When I hike, I use both the watch and an app on the phone, Motion-X GPS. The GPS app will consistently show more distance, several tenths of a mile.

A local coffee shop I walk to shows in Google Maps as being 5.9mi round trip (using walking directions), where watch shows a consistent 5.66mi.

Now, not a big deal for me, as more concerned about heart rate and calorie burn. And as long as use same data source for an activity, might be off, but have a consistent off and a baseline for tracking purposes.

Something I've meant to do, and can be applied here: go to a local high school and do laps. See if a mile on the track is a mile on the watch.
 
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Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
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In the middle of several books.
I have found my series 5 cellular to be fairly accurate when running. When I am racing, I wear a Apple Watch and a Suunto, so that I can make sure to get a more accurate accounting, should a problem arise with one of the watches.
 
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Hicks.

macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2006
266
15
UK
I sometimes “dual wield“ a S4 cellular and a Garmin 945. Generally the S4 records slightly longer runs than the 945 (say 0.2 mile on a 7 mile run). I often run with my girlfriend who also has a S4 (not cellular) and they’re both pretty similar to each other (I have cellular turned on).
 
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someoneoutthere

macrumors 6502
Jul 27, 2014
254
63
The Great Lakes State
OP: Did you go on multiple runs/walks before you started leaving your iPhone at home (aka did you do the “Do a workout for at least 20 minutes with your iPhone on you” that prompts up first time you record a workout on your Watch?)
Doing so helps calibrate your motion data and provides more accurate readings of your distance - at least that has been my experience with all the Apple Watches I’ve owned.
Hope it helps!
 
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millerj123

macrumors 68020
Mar 6, 2008
2,217
1,904
Calories can be way different on the same route. I think it’s pretty accurate, but there are folks who get antsy about .2 of a mile on a 6 or 7 mile route.
 
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Hicks.

macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2006
266
15
UK
Calories can be way different on the same route. I think it’s pretty accurate, but there are folks who get antsy about .2 of a mile on a 6 or 7 mile route.

I’m not too bothered about it being slightly different to say Garmin. When you have a 20 mile running target each week, it actually means you have to run slightly less time if you use an Apple Watch versus a Garmin! And yes, Apple Watch is pretty accurate and DC Rainmaker was pretty impressed with it – but it does do ‘swoops’ on corners when tracking (which probably explains the slightly longer distances measured).

One thing I would say, is that if you are bothered about having an accurate pace, Apple Watch will show you as being slightly faster per mile (compared to Garmin).
 
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rbart

macrumors 6502a
Nov 3, 2013
638
275
France
Apple Watch is usually 2% optimistic regarding distance (and pace).
I am working on a running app which can answer this issue ...
 
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