Measuring up… how do they compare?
App, smartwatch or fitness tracker… what’s the best way to record your miles?
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.