Mea­sur­ing up… how do they com­pare?

App, smart­watch or fit­ness tracker… what’s the best way to record your miles?

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - Gear -

AS ANY­ONE WHO’S chal­lenged them­selves to #walk1000miles this year will know, keep­ing track of those miles can be an oner­ous task with­out the help of tech­nol­ogy. A smart­phone or ded­i­cated gadget can do all the mea­sur­ing and tal­ly­ing up for you. But with dif­fer­ent gad­gets us­ing dif­fer­ent tech­nol­ogy to record the dis­tance you walk, it’s hard to know which will give the most ac­cu­rate stats.

Mea­sure­ments made by apps or gad­gets vary de­pend­ing on whether and how they use GPS, mo­bile net­work ge­olo­ca­tion ser­vices or an ac­celerom­e­ter to es­ti­mate mileage based on your step count and stride length. We put the 15 apps and gad­gets we re­viewed to the test, to find out which are the most ac­cu­rate.

We com­pared them on an iden­ti­cal route through our lo­cal coun­try park, us­ing a trusty trun­dle wheel to pro­vide a con­trol mea­sure­ment. Our ex­per­i­ment re­vealed some gad­gets are prone to giv­ing wildly op­ti­mistic mileages, while oth­ers short-changed us. A few were near enough spot on. A gadget or smart­phone app isn’t the only way to record miles how­ever, so we’ve looked at some low-tech so­lu­tions too.

READY FOR THE OFF In­set: Team CW syn­chro­nises de­vices be­fore set­ting off. Main im­age: Ferry Mead­ows Coun­try Park – our track­ing tech test­ing ground.

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