GPS accuracy

I bought my VA3 a couple of weeks ago:

-Nice watch
-Good battery life: 7 days as a watch plus activity tracker and HR monitor. No notifications and bluetooth active just a some minutes each day. 5-6 days with notifications and bluetooth always on. 4-5 days with 1h of running with GPS each two days.

So I was quite happy, but the accuracy of GPS is terrible.

A couple of days ago I ran with my old FR220 in my right wrist and the VA3 in my left wrist with with GPS (with GPS + GLONASS is even worse)

Here you can see the results:

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3202421637

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3202480906

So my old 220 is way better in terms of GPS accuracy, and sadly I sold my FR235 in order to buy this VA3.

I contacted the support chat, this is the last part to the transcript:

Calum: Okay, this does look to be normal behaviour, it's down to GPS drift. We usually allow discrepancies such as this

Jose Antonio: So GPS accuracy is better in the 220 or 235?
Jose Antonio: and If I got a new Unit results would be probably the same?
Calum: It could possibly be the same, but again may have some discrepancies

Jose Antonio: and about the other question. If I got a 235 instead would accuracy improve?
Calum: Unfortunately I cannot be sure, I don't have an exact list of what is more accurate than the other

Jose Antonio: Ok, thanks a lot for your answer
Calum: Not a problem. Have a nice day Jose

Basically I have an absolutely nice an elegant smartwatch that is useless for running.

So, how can Garmin, an expert in sport watches make this product.

How can review sites like DCRAINMAKER (I bought this unit based on his review) have not notice this?

Guys, any of you are experiencing this kind of discrepancies? Should I try a different Units or your VA3'a behave the same as mine?

Regards:

J.A


  • Javivanco, did you try One Second recording instead of Smart Recording (the default)? One second recording draws more battery and uses more memory but has higher accuracy. Regarding DCRainmaker, he did say that in his review:

    "the Vivoactive 3 was cutting some corners. In this case, it inadvertently had ‘Smart Recording’ on"
  • All, please note that we have no problem with forum members expressing their dissatisfaction with Garmin products. However, the overall tone has to remain civilized. When the discussion turns to personal attacks and obscene language, we will start deleting posts (as has been done here). and banning users temporarily, if not permanently.

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  • I get pretty good GPS accuracy with my VA3...even better after enabling GPS+Galileu. I've used Suunto Ambit3 (Peak, Sport and Run), Fenix 3, and TomTom Adventurer over the last 5 years and what I see from VA3 is pretty good accuracy compared with the best of the bunch (all the Ambit3's).

    Try enabling 1sec record and try with GPS only vs GPS+Glonass vs GPS+Galileu.
  • I get pretty good GPS accuracy with my VA3...even better after enabling GPS+Galileu. I've used Suunto Ambit3 (Peak, Sport and Run), Fenix 3, and TomTom Adventurer over the last 5 years and what I see from VA3 is pretty good accuracy compared with the best of the bunch (all the Ambit3's).

    Try enabling 1sec record and try with GPS only vs GPS+Glonass vs GPS+Galileu.


    How do you get the GPS+Galileu option?
  • How do you get the GPS+Galileu option?


    Make sure you have latest firmware (V5.50 at least) > Long Press Watch Face > Settings > Activities & Apps (First in the menu) > Running > Running Settings > GPS > GPS + Galileo should be there.
  • Make sure you have latest firmware (V5.50 at least) > Long Press Watch Face > Settings > Activities & Apps (First in the menu) > Running > Running Settings > GPS > GPS + Galileo should be there.


    I'm on V5.70 as of my sync this morning, and I only get off, on, & GPS + GLONASS options. Does it depend on country of sale or something like that?
  • I'm in Canada and I do see GPS + GALILEO, which I'm not using because AFAIK, there is not enough satellite as of yet for here.
  • Make sure you have latest firmware (V5.50 at least) > Long Press Watch Face > Settings > Activities & Apps (First in the menu) > Running > Running Settings > GPS > GPS + Galileo should be there.


    I did this this morning and while at first both options were available, I selected GPS+Glonass, now GPS+Galileo has disappeared. I have tried restarting the watch but it doesn't come back. My firmware is 5.70.

  • I bought the vivoactive 3 in April but discovered 16% errors in the distance reported compared to official distance and the 12 years old GARMIN forerunner 305. That is on a track with some pine trees around it.
    I returned the watch and got a new one. Same lousy performance. I returned also the third unit and got my money back.
    To me the vivoactive 3 is a nice smart watch, but Garmin's reputation as a GPS device manufacturer does not match my experience. 16% error is a lot!
    I am still looking for a watch that gives me nice design, smart watch features, wrist HR, and most important, accurate distance during my trail runs that can be partly run in forest.
  • Just to make sure all the boxes were checked, like I mentioned to someone else, did you try One Second recording instead of Smart Recording (the default)?