Raise your hand if you have heard me complain about GPS watches/apps! No? Then you haven’t been reading my blog long enough. Maybe you haven’t followed me on Twitter yet. Or maybe you haven’t liked me on Facebook yet.
Just kidding! I don’t complain about it THAT much. Seriously though. GPS devices are so important to all runners. Once you get involved in the sport even a little bit you will probably consider buying one of these
overpriced mildly expensive devices. They help you track distance, pace, total time, even heart rate (most of the time) if you choose. I am sure there are tons of other things that GPS devices do, but I use them for the basics.
Over the past 2 years I have used the Garmin 210, Runkeeper, MapMyRun, Endomondo, and LogYourRun. WHOA! Overkill, right? Not sure about that. Living in NYC it has been really hard for me to find a watch or app that does some basic things:
1. Grab satellite quickly
2. Maintain accuracy throughout an entire run
2 BASIC things.
I know, I know. To those of you that already use these devices you might be thinking…GPS is not an exact science. Of course in a city (especially New York City) these 2 things are going to falter a bit. But I do not consider a bit to be 1 mile or more in some cases. Aren’t these supposed to allow us to run more freely. Not have to map runs beforehand if we don’t want to?
A few weeks ago I saw that Magellan had finally come out with GPS watches. The Switch Series watches are crossover GPS watches. There are two in the series. The Switch and The Switch Up. One is basic. One is fully-loaded. I had recently given my mom my Garmin 210 because, simply, it was not working for me. Planning my runs around waiting for my satellite to grab was annoying and half the time it did not record correctly.
Intrigued by the Magellan Switch I decided to buy it. I got it on Amazon for around $230.00.
I will keep this review short and sweet.
This is a good, easy-to-use watch. It does all of the basic things that you need a GPS watch to do and despite me living in a city, a city with tons of obstructions like large buildings, it grabs satellite pretty quickly. Compared to the Garmin 210 it grabs about 5-8 mins faster. Phone apps grab satellite quick but they are ALWAYS very off for me in terms of total distance. The Magellan Switch is usually pretty accurate with total distance. In the few weeks I have been using it, it has been off no more than .5 of a mile (which in the city is excellent). Now, let me be sure to say that this is not scientific data. I usually just MapMyRun before I head out and then set my watch and see how much it is off. MapMyRun is not completely 100% accurate either, so I am sort of guesstimating in the best way possible. That being said, I would assume that this watch would work close to perfectly in areas where there are not very many reasons for it not to, ie: buildings, bridges, whatever the hell else can obstruct a damn GPS signal.
Bottom line? I like the watch and I think you would too. Yes, there are cheaper Garmin versions out there that say they do the same thing. But I had trouble with my 210. Also, I had often wondered why Magellan had not come out with a watch yet–and, according to them, one of the biggest reasons was to perfect their version. Nothing is perfect. But…I think they did a nice job with this piece.
What GPS watch do you use? Do you think you would consider the Magellan? Are you too attached to your current system? Not ready to buy a GPS watch? Why not?