How do garmins compare with gps in smartphone ?

After one outing too many when my phone hasn't locked onto a statellite, I"m seriously considering the garmin route. But before I spend the money, can anyone confirm that they really are orders of magnitude better ? I have a samsung galaxy s3 mini. I'm contemplating a garmin force 10. I don't want to spend that kind of money and then find I have the same problem !

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  • I've had my forerunner10 for a couple of months, I used to use Endomondo on my Samsung which normally locked on okay but found it would sometimes go awry when mapping me - and I also wanted the convenience of the wrist watch access.

    My experience has been that the Garmin varies in locking on, most days it's good, a few minutes on the windowsill and locked on. But sometimes it's terrible, notably when moisture is in the air (foggy days are the worst). It once took 2kms in to lock on, which Endomondo never did for me.

    Overall I'm happy, because I like the ease of the wrist watch instead of fiddling on with a phone but the Garmin is certainly not perfect. Not orders of magnitude better IMO.

  • I have a Garmin Forerunner 220, which I've used 8 times to track my runs. The GPS has worked perfectly 7 times, and on the 8th time was also fine except the first 500m of the run were a bit out of sync. I'm not sure why. Overall, I'm really happy with it. It normally takes my Forerunner 10-15 seconds to lock on once I'm out the front door (I live in SE London for comparison purposes).

  • I have the same phone. A techy friend put a system called cyanogen on for me because it's meant to be better at locking on to satellites. I've also got a couple of free apps that I use sometimes - one (GPS Status) shows the progress of how many satellites have been found and how good the "fix" is, while the other (GPSFix) is meant to speed up the process although I'm not always convinced by that.

    Perhaps it's worth trying these apps or something similar before spending a lot of money.

    I should say that it's still far from perfect, with the occasional map showing my route zigzagging across the road (doubling the distance I went ha ha!) or taking ages to get a fix. But it works more often than not.

  • Using an Android phone, I too had the problem of route zigzagging across the road doubling the distance I went. Very good for morale but not accurate. I find the Garmin watch to be spot on. Also useful for looking at wrist for time, distance and average pace - the latter motivational if it looks like flagging.

  • I've been using my Forerunner for about 8 months and I couldn't do without it now. It has a clever trick in that when you switch it on it checks for satellites at the same positions it found them when you started your last run on the basis that you're probably starting from the same location. It locked on within 20 seconds of leaving the house this morning. On the downside, I find it struggles in areas with many tall buildings. It took nearly 10 minutes to get a fix in Central London a few weeks back. It's also not particularly cheap... But I consider it to have been a very good investment.

  • Think i might just have been seduced by the concept of a Garmin Forerunner 15. Garmin allege it combines the functions of a proper GPS running watch and an activity band. Might be stopping off on my way home from work tomorrow to look at one !

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