Smart watches - feedback

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shays_days
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Re: Smart watches - feedback

Post by shays_days » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:51 pm

oldschoolczar wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:45 pm
I just picked up the Garmin Instinct Solar a few weeks ago and I can’t recommend it highly enough for backcountry use. I’d consider it a Fenix lite. It has almost all the backcountry capabilities as the Fenix but will last significantly longer. You can load routes - it just doesn’t have a background map. However you can pull out your phone in the Garmin Explore app if you want maps. It’s got altimeter-barometer-compass. However the biggest selling point for me was the battery life. I’ve used other Garmin watches and they’d never make it through long day hikes or overnights. I’ve tracked my entire weekend, get home Monday and track 3-4 runs that week and still have battery the following weekend. Impressive!
The solar charging on the Instinct is much more robust than on the Fenix. It has much more solar charging area than the Fenix. I doubt the Fenix solar would make it through a weekend of tracking. The solar charging is definitely worth it in Colorado. With the intensity of the sun here you’ll notice a difference. I even get some decent charging hiking in the trees.

Definitely check it out. It’s $399 vs $299 vs the regular instinct but the GPS chip has been upgraded (same as Fenix), pulse/ox added, and a few other upgrades beyond just the solar charging.
Wow, I don’t think they had that one when I got my instinct, that sounds incredible! Now I wish I had that one. The battery life on the base isn’t the greatest.
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oldschoolczar
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Re: Smart watches - feedback

Post by oldschoolczar » Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:35 pm

Yeah I think it came out just a few months ago. Check with Garmin, they might let you upgrade at a discount.
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nyker
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Re: Smart watches - feedback

Post by nyker » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:23 pm

Anyone have the Garmin Fenix 6 with any new updates on how it performs? It does look pretty cool.
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amorgan
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Re: Smart watches - feedback

Post by amorgan » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:27 am

nyker wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:23 pm
Anyone have the Garmin Fenix 6 with any new updates on how it performs? It does look pretty cool.
I finally got out to the mountains with mine a month or so ago. We hiked everyday (although nothing too involved with my wife and 2 dogs), and my Fenix 6 Pro held up great. The GPS was responsive and accurate. Battery life remains a huge asset for a wrist-based tracker. The watch estimates at least 24 hours of GPS+GLONASS use when I go to an app using GPS with a full charge.

One awesome perk of the 6 pro is built in mapping on screen. We made a wrong turn at an unmarked fork in the trail and after about 5 mins, just had the vibe it wasn’t right. I was able to pull the map up on my watch and pan/zoom to clearly figure out what happened. This was in a place with no cell coverage, so my other iPhone apps weren’t much help. In hindsight, it would’ve been smart to be proactive and upload a course to the watch to follow during the activity like I do on training runs, but Garmin Connect was down due to the massive ransomware attack.

Outside of that, I’m still using it for daily training and activity tracking and appreciate the depth of analytics the Connect app tries to provide. Overall, super satisfied with the watch (apart from when Garmin was held hostage by randomware... 🙄)
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Re: Smart watches - feedback

Post by nyker » Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:56 am

amorgan wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:27 am
nyker wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:23 pm
Anyone have the Garmin Fenix 6 with any new updates on how it performs? It does look pretty cool.
....
One awesome perk of the 6 pro is built in mapping on screen. We made a wrong turn at an unmarked fork in the trail and after about 5 mins, just had the vibe it wasn’t right. I was able to pull the map up on my watch and pan/zoom to clearly figure out what happened. This was in a place with no cell coverage, so my other iPhone apps weren’t much help. In hindsight, it would’ve been smart to be proactive and upload a course to the watch to follow during the activity like I do on training runs, but Garmin Connect was down due to the massive ransomware attack.
...
Interesting, were you following a gpx route or just eyeballing it?
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Re: Smart watches - feedback

Post by amorgan » Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:38 pm

nyker wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:56 am

Interesting, were you following a gpx route or just eyeballing it?
We were eyeballing using the on-board maps. It has a lot of trails prebuilt, so I was able to view our previous tracks and zoom and pan around the map to see where we got off track. Attached is a photo of the map view on the watch of Elbert where you can see the different trails marked.
2101CB2F-D3E5-44C5-8272-F6A24134AE51.jpeg
2101CB2F-D3E5-44C5-8272-F6A24134AE51.jpeg (174.65 KiB) Viewed 1492 times
The Fenix 6 does have the ability to upload a custom gpx route if you wanted to create your own to follow along with too.
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Re: Smart watches - feedback

Post by martinleroux » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:07 pm

Rollie Free wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:00 am
Can someone explain to me what these watches do for you considering the money?

What is it I need to know in a mountain trek that watches provide? I already have a free phone app that tells me my location, the trail I am on, elevation, time/distanced traveled etc.
Not discounting them, I just never had one and don't have a good concept of the appeal.
Some advantages:
a) Watches usually have much better battery life when recording GPS tracks. Most smartphones can't record for more than about 6 hours before the battery dies.
b) If you're trying to move quickly it's more convenient to be able to glance at your wrist instead of taking a smartphone out of your pocket (this is a big advantage for trail-runners).
c) Push-button controls work better than touch-screens in wet or snowy weather, especially if you're wearing gloves.
d) Watch displays are designed to be readable in bright sunlight.

One downside is that the market for outdoor GPS watches is dominated by Garmin, and they place a much higher priority on coming up with new features that will help them sell more watches than rolling out bug fixes for existing products (and there are plenty of bugs that need fixing). With smartphone apps there's healthy competition between app publishers, and you're not as dependent on a single software vendor.
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Re: Smart watches - feedback

Post by nyker » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:28 pm

amorgan wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:38 pm
nyker wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:56 am

Interesting, were you following a gpx route or just eyeballing it?
We were eyeballing using the on-board maps. It has a lot of trails prebuilt, so I was able to view our previous tracks and zoom and pan around the map to see where we got off track. Attached is a photo of the map view on the watch of Elbert where you can see the different trails marked.

2101CB2F-D3E5-44C5-8272-F6A24134AE51.jpeg

The Fenix 6 does have the ability to upload a custom gpx route if you wanted to create your own to follow along with too.
That's pretty cool, assume those peak icons are the peaks (Elbert, S.Elbert, etc) or are they trail junctions or something else?
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Re: Smart watches - feedback

Post by amorgan » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:17 pm

nyker wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:28 pm
amorgan wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:38 pm
nyker wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:56 am

Interesting, were you following a gpx route or just eyeballing it?
We were eyeballing using the on-board maps. It has a lot of trails prebuilt, so I was able to view our previous tracks and zoom and pan around the map to see where we got off track. Attached is a photo of the map view on the watch of Elbert where you can see the different trails marked.

2101CB2F-D3E5-44C5-8272-F6A24134AE51.jpeg

The Fenix 6 does have the ability to upload a custom gpx route if you wanted to create your own to follow along with too.
That's pretty cool, assume those peak icons are the peaks (Elbert, S.Elbert, etc) or are they trail junctions or something else?
Yeah I believe all the little peaks icons are summits. I think the lower one is actually Mt. Cosgriff as I compare it to the google map overlay on this site. I have no idea how they decide which peaks get an icon, but there are quite a few that pop up as you pan around. They aren’t labeled within the map as far as I can tell though.
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Re: Smart watches - feedback

Post by AnnaG22 » Sun Dec 06, 2020 11:52 pm

Bringing this thread back up to see if anybody else wants to weigh in, especially re Coros watches.

I just read this: https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/reviews/ ... coros-apex but it's always nice to get a little more of a personal question-response in a forum to back up inclinations.

My criteria: I don't want to spend $600 on a watch, decent GPS tracking that won't cut out mid run/hike, and basic time feature + user friendliness.

My phone is getting older and tends to die on longer days when Strava is running. I also need a watch that's stupid proof. I have a Soleus GPS watch that has glitched on me every time I've used it, which I'm chalking up to a combo of me being watch-tech challenged and it being on the cheap side for a GPS watch.
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Re: Smart watches - feedback

Post by wheresgibbs » Tue Dec 08, 2020 9:01 pm

Just my 2 cents: I have the Fenix 5S and have taken it on multiple 5-7 day backpacking trips in UltraTrac mode, it's lasted a week using the GPS from hiking start in the morning to camp in the afternoon/evening. There is the ability to pause an activity, thus stopping the use of GPS overnight and resuming where you left off the next day. No, the track in UltraTrac mode is not 100% accurate when you download the data but I just want a general idea of mileage/vert and the ability to mark spots. I'd imagine the Fenix 6 is even more capable.

FWIW I use Avenza or a hunting app w/pre downloaded maps for realtime tracking if needed.

Edited to add that as cool as the mapping feature on the 6 looks, I prefer the smaller, less capable S watch on my petite lady-wrist, and a phone+paper for mapping.
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Re: Smart watches - feedback

Post by jblyth » Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:34 am

Does anyone have any feedback on the Coros Vertix vs. the Apex Pro? Trying to decide between the two of them.
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