GPS watch - recommendations

Count Steer
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GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Count Steer »

Pondering getting a Garmin Instinct Solar but thought I'd ask on here for recs for a GPS type watch. Coordinates are fine ie don't need maps but want the usual stuff - altitude tracking, distance, retrace route etc. Doesn't need to be particularly rugged or have music. Apple is out. Not too hulking ie suitable for a slim wrist and battery life needs to be 8hrs without recharging while in GPS mode.

Thoughts?

Ta. :thumbup:
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Ditchfinder »

The Amzfit bip watches have GPS and the app can link up with Strava I think. Battery life is supposed to be very good. Usually around £50 but always deals on.
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Le_Fromage_Grande »

I know nothing about GPS watches, but what is the benefit of it - serious question before Weeksy accuses me of trolling and being grumpy :D
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Count Steer »

Le_Fromage_Grande wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 9:50 am I know nothing about GPS watches, but what is the benefit of it - serious question before Weeksy accuses me of trolling and being grumpy :D
Fair question. :D

I'm pretty good with a map and compass (done stuff like Mountain Skills training at Plas y Brenin) but the key thing with a map is knowing where you are on it. The GPS coordinates tell you exactly where you are on the map. All the other stuff is nice to have but I would like altitude tracking so I know what I've done without resorting to maps and pencil and paper. :D

I had one of the very early Garmin hand-helds that just did way-points and coordinates. With that and a map I found our way over the Pyrenees in thick fog. Couldn't do it with just a map and compass, you can't get a bearing on anything. That's an extreme example but it's v useful when you think you know where you are in the hills, woods, fog....but you're not exactly sure.
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Le_Fromage_Grande »

So you'd be using it like an old style GPS (I had a Garmin 11) and it being a watch makes it a convenient size and easy to carry?
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Count Steer »

Le_Fromage_Grande wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 10:09 am So you'd be using it like an old style GPS (I had a Garmin 11) and it being a watch makes it a convenient size and easy to carry?
Yup. The Garmin 11 was v swish compared to the one I had, don't remember the model but it was bright yellow. (Bought it, practiced on the lawn, 2 days later stuck up a mountain in thick fog thanking my lucky stars I'd changed the offset for French maps :lol: ). The other thing is, of course, that it's a watch too so it can have a day to day use. :thumbup:
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Le_Fromage_Grande »

I think it's an 11XL, with the serial data port, I've still got it, no idea if it still works
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Mr Moofo »

@Count Steer
Will be following this as my Garmin Forerunner 235 is deffo on it's last legs ...
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by MingtheMerciless »

POLAR GRIT X user here. Good battery life, looks good and the fitness app is very good.
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Mr. Dazzle »

I have Mrs Ds hand me down Garmin Forerunner 645m. I do use it for the fitness tracking stuff, where IME it blows other smartwatches out of the water. The GPS is accurate and it "finds" itself in a matter of seconds. I can track an activity all day on a single charge, no problem.

Id highly reccommend it to anyone who's after a GPS fitness watch, id have thought just being a GPS watch is an easier task.

Mrs D now has a Garmin Fenix (sic) which is also solar powered and does extra stuff like route planning. Shes delighted with that too.
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Count Steer »

Mr. Dazzle wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 7:38 am I have Mrs Ds hand me down Garmin Forerunner 645m. I do use it for the fitness tracking stuff, where IME it blows other smartwatches out of the water. The GPS is accurate and it "finds" itself in a matter of seconds. I can track an activity all day on a single charge, no problem.

Id highly reccommend it to anyone who's after a GPS fitness watch, id have thought just being a GPS watch is an easier task.

Mrs D now has a Garmin Fenix (sic) which is also solar powered and does extra stuff like route planning. Shes delighted with that too.
I don't really need the fitness functionality although it would probably keep me amused for a while, for swimming and hiking. I looked at the Fenix range and was tempted but they are a bit OTT for my needs....but when did that ever bother people who like motorbikes? :D

I'll have a look at the Forerunner. :thumbup:
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Nordboy »

I have an Amazfit T-Rex Pro, it's a great smartwatch, over 2 weeks battery. And only £119

They've just bought out a new model the T-rex 2, looking at the reviews the GPS is massively improved, it's more expensive though at £220'ish
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Count Steer »

Nordboy wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 6:18 pm I have an Amazfit T-Rex Pro, it's a great smartwatch, over 2 weeks battery. And only £119

They've just bought out a new model the T-rex 2, looking at the reviews the GPS is massively improved, it's more expensive though at £220'ish
T-rex 2 spec and reviews look :thumbup: At 1.4in though it's going to look like a mantel clock on my wrist! Even the Fenix 6s is 1.2in and that's 's' for small. The Garmin Instinct is 0.9in but it sits in a huge plastic body. I'll probably go and try a few on for size.

Looks like the other thing I'll have to get used to is not wearing my watch on the inside of my wrist. That'll be strange having done that since I got my first ever watch. Probably won't need to change if I don't get one with blood O2 though I guess.
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Mr Moofo »

Nordboy wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 6:18 pm I have an Amazfit T-Rex Pro, it's a great smartwatch, over 2 weeks battery. And only £119

They've just bought out a new model the T-rex 2, looking at the reviews the GPS is massively improved, it's more expensive though at £220'ish
They do look good - what is build quality / interface with Strava like?
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Nordboy »

Mr Moofo wrote: Sat Jul 09, 2022 10:14 am
Nordboy wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 6:18 pm I have an Amazfit T-Rex Pro, it's a great smartwatch, over 2 weeks battery. And only £119

They've just bought out a new model the T-rex 2, looking at the reviews the GPS is massively improved, it's more expensive though at £220'ish
They do look good - what is build quality / interface with Strava like?
I’ve never used it with Strava, there doesn’t seem to be a direct strava app but looking at the zepp app, which is the amazfit app, you can sync with strava from there. I’m guessing theres some sort of download option?
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Count Steer »

In the end I went with the Garmin Instinct Solar. Looked at it a few times on-line and lo! the price dropped 30%*. It's quite chunky but doesn't look out of place on my wrist. Going to give it a test stroll up Holmbury Hill tomorrow.

Haven't bothered with downloading the app to the mobile phone for now...going to keep things simple and see how it goes.

* It might be coincidence but this has happened 2 or 3 times recently. Look at things a few times over a week or put them on the wish list and the price drops. Amazon seem particularly fond of giving a favourable nudge to the price if I'm in 🤔 mode.
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Count Steer »

Update for anyone interested.

After a few days use inc. a circular route up a local hill I'm quite impressed and pleased with the choice. Anyone that's had this sort of thing before won't have the learning curve that I had (downloaded the full manual and watched a few youtubes). Usual problem of operating something with just 5 multi-purpose buttons, but getting familiar with it now. It looks and feels quite rugged/well protected. May have to ramp up the back light level and configure the watch face...it's all a bit dark and not easy to read in lower light levels on the default setting.

The hike/activity stuff is good but it missed the first bit - assume it needs longer to acquire the satellites. I downloaded the app on the phone after and that's going to make life easier. Got all the novelty stuff like phone alerts, weather etc going too - much of it is fun but won't stay on long. The stress/sleep stuff is quite entertaining too but really need to wear it 24/7 for a while to get it calibrated and I don't know if I can be bothered (haven't worn a watch at all since the plague hit). It'll monitor swimming activity too but that's unlikely to get used.

So generally :thumbup:

PS. I suppose all of these sort of things will but if you're a cyclist it will link to Strava.
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Mr Moofo »

I think I have just got tight or lazy - I have stopped using my Garmin Forerunner ( because it is temperamental) and used use a HRM direct onto my iPhone. It seems to have none of the distractions of the Garmin!
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Count Steer »

Mr Moofo wrote: Fri Jul 22, 2022 1:52 pm I think I have just got tight or lazy - I have stopped using my Garmin Forerunner ( because it is temperamental) and used use a HRM direct onto my iPhone. It seems to have none of the distractions of the Garmin!
Problem with stuff like this is they try and do too much. Over-functionality. There's the initial 'Ooh...it can do.....' then a drift back to using just the things you need and harrumphing about all the stuff that clutters the device up. :D

I suspect I'll save a network of locations up in the hills on it and just use those, the altitude, compass and distance covered in combination with the map once the novelty of the HRM, stress and sleep monitors wears off. (Not convinced at all of the value or accuracy of the blood oxygen monitor but haven't done a comparison with our 'proper' one. First time I tried it the value suggested I needed medical intervention :lol: ).
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Re: GPS watch - recommendations

Post by Mr Moofo »

Count Steer wrote: Fri Jul 22, 2022 2:19 pm
Mr Moofo wrote: Fri Jul 22, 2022 1:52 pm I think I have just got tight or lazy - I have stopped using my Garmin Forerunner ( because it is temperamental) and used use a HRM direct onto my iPhone. It seems to have none of the distractions of the Garmin!
Problem with stuff like this is they try and do too much. Over-functionality. There's the initial 'Ooh...it can do.....' then a drift back to using just the things you need and harrumphing about all the stuff that clutters the device up. :D

I suspect I'll save a network of locations up in the hills on it and just use those, the altitude, compass and distance covered in combination with the map once the novelty of the HRM, stress and sleep monitors wears off. (Not convinced at all of the value or accuracy of the blood oxygen monitor but haven't done a comparison with our 'proper' one. First time I tried it the value suggested I needed medical intervention :lol: ).
And that is part of the problem. I don't use Strava for KOM or to see if I have the biggest bollocks of all the over 60s on the South Downs - but to track where I have been, what speed I am doing, my HR ( a good indication of fitness and "stress testing" and the approx calories used ( so I know I am not slacking). TBH, I don't want to get my text message on my watch, or my emails because I have my phone.
`i guess if I could be bothered to read the manual I could work out training zones etc - in all hosiery, I get on the bike and think "left, right, or straight on" at the end of the road.