Garmin Forerunner 620 tracking test (04/12/2013)
Category: Training
Map/area: Veritasskogen
Distance: 4.4 km
Time: 67:32
I was organizing a night-O event this evening so when I put out the controls in the afternoon I brought along my brand new Garmin Forerunner 620 gps watch, in order to compare it with my old 405cx and the 1-2 year old Montana which I usually keep in my car.

All three GPSs were set to use "Smart Tracking", i.e. only record track points when I change speed and/or direction, but the resulting track logs show that they don't use exactly the same algorithm to determine this:

The track log files varied from 50 KB (620) via 65 KB (Montana) to 77 KB (405), and visual inspection confirms that the 620 log is less smooth than the two others. In the locations where I know exactly where I have been (i.e. while following roads or paths), the Montana's better antenna seems to have resulted in better tracking than for the two watch GPSs.

The conditions were close to optimal, with clear skies, very low humidity and zero leaves on the trees but there is still many places where the three trackers vary by up to 20 m!

In my next test I will force both the 620 and the Montana to track every second, this should at least get rid of the visible corners in the 620 log.

(The 620 track is the one shown in QuickRoute, while the 405 and Montana was imported into the base map as purple and green lines.)
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Garmin Forerunner 620 tracking test (04/12/2013) Garmin Forerunner 620 tracking test (04/12/2013)