GPS vs. Smartphone Accuracy Test

We test the accuracy of GPS units and smartphone apps for recording distances and elevation gain/loss. Two years ago, there was a discussion on the …



  1. I find GPS on iPhone and Android phone, especially iPhone lack accurate and precise location. It misses by more than 100 meters at times. I would like to have a GPS that only misses less than 0.1 meter.

  2. Regarding the dedicated GPS receivers (such as the Garmin 60csx), this test is not entirely apples to apples. The Garmin, by default track points record as the heading changes. This method is intended for for navigation. Based on the tracks recorded by the other devices, it appears track points are recorded every second or two. All devices should have had identical recording interval settings (Garmin can go as high as 1 second). Poor comparison.

  3. Thank you so much for this. All over the Internet, it says that my Garmin watch is more accurate than Strava. I know this isn’t true because all the events I’ve done have differed in length/pace. The garmin watch consistently says I’m running less distance and slower pace than Strava. All my records on Strava (including a 6:09 mile) have been in question now for some time. I did a 16 miler trail race and went the wrong way accidentally and added some length to the run. 16.66 miles on Strava, and 15.56 on Garmin watch. I love the garmin for heart rate. Thanks again!

  4. Thanks for the good job. I think all the measurements should be checked against a mechanical device since it is the most accurate. All other devices are wireless and can be affected by the surrounding (water, magnetic/ electric fields, weather etc) environment

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