Vivosmart4 overestimates distance by 60%

I bought Garmin to help me walk faster. I often walk more than 10,000 steps but I know from info provided by my exercise physiologist that walking needs to be consistently brisk to be beneficial. I am very disappointed to find that distance measurements on my Vivosmart4 are wildly inaccurate.

When I connect to my phone's (Samsung S7) GPS, distances are overestimated by 60-70% compared to the distance estimated by Google Maps on the phone, which I have checked with car's odometer. My routes are through suburban streets and parks with lots of overhanging trees  but very few buildings higher than 2 storeys.

The phone has the option of using GPS only or enhanced GPS which us more accurate. I can see that the Garmin uses the GPS option set on the phone because the route maps for GPS-only walks show me walking diagonally through blocks of houses but the Enhanced GPS-walks show the actual route.

I have tried using device's estimates without the phone, but that gives a result which is closer to the true result but still inaccurate. For example this morning's walk to and from the gym by the same route was 1.91km going and 1.65 km coming back. This could be due to slope - shorter strides going up the gentle hill on the way out and vice versa on return.

I am really disappointed that the Garmin is less accurate than Samsung Health app, which is free. Please give me some ideas.

  • Since the VS4 does not have GPS it relies on the phone's GPS/Location services, and that is the problem.

    This was one of the reasons I upgraded to a VA4 that has GPS built in. However, because GPS does not work well indoors, I find them both useless for an indoor track which I use in the winter.