Tag Archives: activity trackers

I Always Hit My 10,000 Step Goal, On My Garmin, While Showering — Kind Of Frustrating.

by Anura Guruge

Just for the record. Click to ENLARGE. I do intentionally take a day-off.

I have had 12 Fitness Trackers In The Last 2-Years.

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to access my post.

Evaluating a ‘Polar Ignite’ against my ‘Garmin MARQ’ in July 2019. Click to access post.

I fully appreciate the dynamics and physics. I am NOT new to this and as you can see above I have been LUCKY enough to have(/evaluate) 12 decent (one could even say ‘high-end’) activity trackers over the last year, spanning Garmin, Fitbit, Polar and Amazfit. And I will say upfront: ‘in my opinion Garmin, especially with the likes of the Fenix 5 (Plus) is better at counting steps than a Fitbit’. But, that is kind of old news.

My wife wears a Garmin Vivosport. She has the same questions. How much of the step count is phantom?

It is inevitable. The accelerometer has to measure arm movements. It has no idea I am in the shower and standing still. It thinks I am walking. And then there was the 6-weeks when I was on crutches! Never counted my labored steps, and I was walking more than most — on the crutches — because my left hand wasn’t moving enough! Again, I understand. Just frustrating.

Why it always happens in the shower these days has to do with my latest ‘schedule’ of the last two-months. As I continue to recover from my knee surgery I have upped the mileage on my morning walk/run from ~3.5 miles to 4+ miles — always with GPS on. Given that a GPS mile equates to about 2,400 steps I am at about 9,700 — 9,800 steps when I get home. Then I get in the shower. Then I hit my GOAL. Bingo.

I did some EXTENSIVE step count record keeping with the Fitbit Inspire HR. With brushing teeth and showering I was clocking up around 400 steps in the bathroom. So, Garmin isn’t doing too bad.

Yes, I walk more than 10,000 steps MOST days. In the days I do, I am in excess of 14,000. So, the 10,000 is not my max. I also realize and tell people that what counts is the trend. Doing the same number of (or more) steps each day.

But, wanted to share this because it has got so rote — having the Garmin do its ‘GOAL’ celebration while I shower.

Oh, I average 41 floors count a day. I go past the 10 floor goal every day (as long as I am not on crutches). I usually hit that goal in the first 30-minutes of my walk/run because I live on the side of a ‘mountain’ and can’t go in any direction without doing some major elevation changes.

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by Anura Guruge

Using Garmin Fenix 5 Plus To Check Accuracy Of The New Fitbit Inspire HR — Wearing Them Side-by-Side.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus and Fitbit Inspire HR Anura Guruge

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus and Fitbit Inspire HR. You work out which is which. SMILE.

Fitbit Versa Lite and Fitbit Inspire HR. Wore this combo for 4-days.

Since Friday, March 22, 2019, I have been conducting a detailed study to determine the STEP-COUNTING accuracy of the new Fitbit Inspire HR.

I have a hunch (albeit now with some proof) that the Fitbit Inspire HR overcounts steps even by the generous, overoptimistic standards of Fitbit.

Testing against my trusted Garmin Fenix 5 Plus should be the acid test.

I now have a hunch to what is happening with the Inspire HR. It is way light and the accelerometer doesn’t take into account its lightweight. I could be wrong.

I don’t just measure the steps at the end of the day. I keep a log, on an Excel spreadsheet! Yes, I will publish my findings.

Wish me luck.

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by Anura Guruge

I Really Have Started Wearing TWO Fitbits On My Wrist — A Versa Lite & An Inspire HR — To Study ‘FAKE STEPS’.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

I never thought it would come to this. Having to wear TWO Fitbits — but, I have no choice.

I am 100% convinced that the new Fitbit Inspire HR is way, way INACCURATE — beyond even Fitbit’s normal propensity to overcount steps.

I made a video yesterday just with the Fitbit Inspire HR to show how the step counts goes up even when I am seated at this computer, typing. Per the Inspire HR I walked 1.3 miles, in steps, while all the time being seated at my PC!

So, I decided today. Heck with it. I will wear BOTH Fitbits side-by-side and compare the steps — taking pictures to prove it.

Today, starting at noon — the Inspire HR counted 400 more steps than the more expensive Fitbit Versa Lite.

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by Anura Guruge

When One Fitbit Just Isn’t Enough: Versa Lite & Inspire HR Side-by-Side On My Wrist.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE and admire.

What can I say other than I was sent both the Fitbit Versa Lite and the Inspire HR, at the same time, for evaluation.

Yes, I am lucky. But, it is not all fun. I do have to test them carefully and write multiple reviews. So, this is work — though it is fun.

Yes, I am lucky. Right now I have: a Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, Fitbit Ionic, Amazfit Verge, Fitbit Versa Lite & Fitbit Inspire HR. There are two other Garmins in the house but they are not mine!

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by Anura Guruge

‘Fitbit Versa Lite’ & ‘Garmin Fenix 5 Plus’ Side-By-Side On My Wrist.

by Anura Guruge

Yes, I have been asked to evaluate the Fitbit Versa Lite. It is fun. I get to try out all sorts of new activity trackers. I like it. Yes, it involves work and putting away my trust Garmin Fenix 5 Plus for a few weeks.

So, far, I am impressed.

Pairing was so, so simple and fast. Took less than a minute, start-to-finish! Fitbit is getting good at this.

Very lite. Very cheery. I like it.

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by Anura Guruge

‘Amazfit Verge’ A Very Attractive & Pleasing Smartwatch With GPS/Glonass & Continuous Heart Rate Monitoring.

by Anura Guruge

Click image to ENLARGE.

Click to access the Amazfit product page for the impressive ‘Verge’.

Click to ENLARGE and read here.

As those of you familiar with this blog must know, I am ‘into’ activity trackers and, moreover, wear one 24×7 (which for the last 10-months has been, bar a few days, here and there, a Garmin Fenix 5 (Plus)). I keep an eye on the industry and try and check out smartwatches that really catch my fancy. The ‘Amazfit Verge‘, happened to be one of these.

Amazfit has been on my radar for a few months. I think they have HUGE potential. If they play their cards right they could be the next Fitbit. They definitely have the resources, backing, technology and know-how to do that. They are a part of Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi. That gives them a lot of muscle and clout — not to mention incentive.

The ‘Verge’ is Amazfit’s latest smartwatch. I was impressed with its specs and looks as soon as I saw them some months back. I have been trying to get my hands on one ever since.

I got one on Friday, and have been wearing it for the last 24-hours.

I like it. I like it a LOT. It is a very PLEASING watch. Personable. A watch you can relate to it. A visually striking and very attractive display. Bright and bold. Not washed out. It is going to be a nice watch to run with.

We, in the northeast, were pounded by a huge snow & sleet storm today — as some of you may know. So, I spent over 3.5 hours, outside, in the cold, shoveling. Of the 8,000 steps I have taken so far today, at least 7,000 were of me pushing snow.

The ‘Verge’, from what I can see, is pretty accurate in terms of steps, floors climbed and heart-rate. The HR maybe 5 bpm too fast — but it definitely seems to be in the right range.

It records a TON of data. I am still wading through and trying to get to grips with it. Didn’t have much time today — with all that shoveling.

The APP, once I got it paired, works fine. I have automatic synching on and it synchs fine. I have both Bluetooth & Wi-Fi set-up. Setting up Wi-Fi was a breeze.

So, far … I am SOLD. Sold, big time. For this price this is quite the watch, with a responsive touch-screen to boot.

Much more to come, of course. This was but a quick, ‘first impressions’.

Stay tuned.

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by Anura Guruge

Garmin Activity/Fitness Trackers — Issue With ‘Pool Swim’ vs ‘Open Water Swim’.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

This issue as to the difference between ‘Pool Swim‘ vs. ‘Open Water Swim‘ comes up repeatedly in the context of Garmin activity/fitness trackers/watches such as the Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 645.

The Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 645, in particular, do NOT support ‘Open Water Swim’ though they do support ‘Pool Swim’.

This distinction and restriction drives folks nuts, so, I decided to get to the bottom of it.

It has all to do with GPS/Glonass support — or lack thereof IN WATER.

GPS does not work very well when the sensor is submerged in water. THAT IS THE CRUX OF THE ISSUE.

If you just want a GPS distance and track while you swim in open water you could try putting your watch into running mode and having it attached to a swim cap. That is supposed to work.

‘Pool Swim’, by definition, means that GPS is DISABLED. Pool swim data is measured using the ACCELEROMETER. Got that? No GPS … just accelerometer.

So, how do the more expensive watches like the Garmin Forerunner 935 and Fenix 5 support open water swimming? They use the GYROSCOPE.

With the gyroscope you only need occasional GPS fixes. The gyroscopes fills in the gaps between the GPS readings. The Vivoactive 3 does NOT have a gyroscope. Hence why open water swim is not available.

But, alas, a gyroscope alone is also NOT enough. For open water swim you ALSO need a powerful enough CPU to continually calculate the data. Got that?

Hence why open water swim is not supported on the Forerunner 645 though it has a gyroscope. The CPU in it is not as powerful as that in a FR935. Got that.

So, that is the deal.

To get open water swim support you need a gyroscope and a big enough CPU. Without that you only get pool swim which only uses the accelerometer.

You can TRY and use running or pool swim in open water — though the results will be mixed and most likely inaccurate.

So, that is the story. Now you know.

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by Anura Guruge