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Galaxy Watch 6 Classic : GPS Accuracy is Fairly Good, But

I have tested so many Galaxy Watch devices over the years, and one thing thats very consistent is the GPS accuracy. My expectation is that the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic will perform at the same level or better, and my hope is that it would be better. Is the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic GPS tracking accurate?, the answer is yes, but there are some conditions that you need know, that will allow you track accurately.

After conducting 3 different GPS tracking tests, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic has maintained the same level as it’s predecessors with a strong score of 10 out of 15, here is a summary of my final results

GPS DifficultyRatingComments
Easy Level5/5Excellent precision
Hard Level1/5Not good
Very Hard Level4/5Very good precision

After reflecting the final scores, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic achieved the same rating I gave to the Galaxy Watch 5PRO, Galaxy Watch 5 and the Galaxy Watch 4, and every single new generation Galaxy Watch has the same issue which was exposed in the hard level test.

I will give full detail as to where the errors occurred, and what to look out for when you decide to use GPS tracking. I will also show you how I go about rating a device including how the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is rated in the market.

GPS Sensors, What’s Built in

The saying goes, the more satellite connections you can connect to, the greater the accuracy. This is true to a point, and is not always the most reliable method, so do take this into account. As for the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, nothing has changed from the previous models.

You will also gain assisted GPS which is a technology that makes GPS faster and more accurate in determining your location. It uses data from sources like cellular networks or Wi-Fi hotspots to help the GPS receiver calculate its position more quickly and accurately. This is really helpful in situations where GPS signal reception is poor, like in urban areas or indoors.

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One thing to note as well, because I am based in New Zealand, I wont be able to connect to BeiDou (Chinese satellites) and the QZSS (Japanese satellites) as these satellite systems only scope their own territories. So in this test, I will be using GPS, Assisted GPS, GNOASS and Galileo satellites.

NavigationAvailableAssisted
GPSYesYes
GNOASSYes
GalileoYes
BeiDouYes
QZSSYes
Dual Band No

How I Test Accuracy

Before I present my final results, I wanna give a quick explanation on how I rate a device. The table below is a testing criteria that I made myself. It’s not perfect but it helps me judge how far off the device is from what I expected.

  • Zero mis alignment : Is where the device reading is exact or within 2 meters (10FT or less) variance.
  • Minor mis alignment : Is where the device is reading with a slight error that’s greater than 2 meters (10 FT) and no more than 3.5 meters (11.5 FT)
  • Major mis alignment : Is where the device is reading with a very large error that’s greater than 3.5m (11.5 FT)

GPS Accuracy Rating System

No of StarsDescriptionComments
5Zero mis alignments, no errorsExcellent precision, no errors, tracks correctly
4Up to 3 minor mis alignmentsVery good precision, some minor errors
34 – 5 minor mis alignmentsAverage precision
26 or more minor mis alignmentsBelow average precision
11 Major mis alignmentNot good,
0More than 1 major mis alignmentWay off

Easy Level Test : Excellent Precision 5 out of 5

In the easy level test, I like to plan my route that is very similar to anyone that might want to take a walk around your neighborhood. That route I have chosen is very flat and no overhead obstructions like tall trees or tall buildings. In the end the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic performed exactly like it’s predecessors, with great precession in the easy level test.

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If GPS tracking is important to you, plan your route similar to mine will greatly increase your chances of pinpointing your location accurately. I have synchronised my tracking data with third party app My Adidas running, so you can see the satellite images, from a terrain perspective. The red dotted line is the planned route, whereas the black solid line is the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. Overall, very good precision at this level.

CriteriaResults
ObstructionsNone
Minorzero
Majorzero
red dotted is my planned route. black solid line is the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic tracking.

Hard Level Test : Not so Good 1 out of 5

In this test, I plan my route where 80% of my planned route is nearby tall buildings, and in this test, the tall buildings are only 3 storey’s high at the most,. In this test I look to see how well the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic can pinpoint my location, and unfortunately the device performed just the same as it’s predecessors the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 4 series.

Every device that I have tested have all behaved in a similar fashion. There were occasions I walk around awnings so my location can be tracked from above, however the error is out by a lot. I only live in a small country here town in New Zealand, so for the larger cities, like Melbourne, London or New York for that matter, may perform far worse. Just be aware of this when ever you are planning your route through a township, as the tracking accuracy is not very reliable.

CriteriaResults
ObstructionsTall buildings
Minorzero
Major1
red dotted line is my planned route. Dark black line is the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.

Very Hard Level Test : Strong Rating 4 out of 5

The last test is something that I really enjoy doing, and I get to test the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic through a local track with dense overhead vegetation, which may skew the GPS tracking accuracy. These results would interest anyone that likes to do the odd nature trail through local parks, and I have to say the device performed exceptionally well.

Although the device did not gain a perfect score, the test did expose an issue during tracking. Just like many devices that I have tested in the past, this error has occurred consistently every time I test the device, and at the same spot as well.

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I have provided an image of where the error occurred, but what you are seeing is a multi path issue, where the satellites need more time to track the device because the change in elevation has changed a lot in a short space of time. Where the error begins there is a massive change in elevation over a short distance, and I just wanted to point that out to you when you are doing any hiking.

Eventually the device will find your location and track your location well very well, just like it has done in this test.

CriteriaResults
ObstructionsDense Vegetation
Minor1
MajorZero

How Does The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic Rate in the Market

How does the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic rate in the market? well so far it’s been one of the best devices that I have tested so far. Considering that I can only connect to Assisted GPS, GPS, GNOASS and Galileo satellite systems here in New Zealand,

There are many other devices that I have tested in the past, that are cheaper and still matched the same results, like the Xiaomi S1 Active, Huawei Watch Fit 2.

RankBrandSeriesNo of GPS SensorsRating
1Samsung Galaxy 4, 5, 5Pro5, Assisted GPS10
2Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic5, Assisted GPS10
3HuaweiGT35, Dual band10
4Huawei GT3 PRO5, Dual Band10
5XiaomiS1 Active5, Dual band10
6AppleWatch 7510
7PolarIgnite 35, Assisted GPS10
8Huawei Watch Fit 2510
9Garmin Forerunner 5559
10Fitbit Versa 413
11Fitbit Charge 512

Final Conclusion

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have learnt a lot about the GPS accuracy of the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. As mentioned, my expectations of the device were high considering I have tested the Galaxy Watch’s prior to this model. Although it do better than previous models, but never the less the performance is still strong.

Depending on where you are in the world, planning your route isn’t always easy, but if you can find an area that is similar to my easy level test, you have a great chance that your location can be tracked fairly accurately.

Just be aware that if you are going through a small township, there will be a chance that your GPS tracking wont be accurately, and in fact you may get results similar to mine. I live in a small country town in New Zealand, and yielded very poor results, so cities with a higher density population may affect the accuracy further.

Lastly if you are someone that likes to go for a hike though the local park ranges, just be aware that sharp changes in elevation over a short distance can offset your GPS tracking accuracy as the satellites need more time to pinpoint location. It’s not easy to avoid, because you are going to come across something like that when hiking, so just take note of that. Thank you for reading and I hope this information helps.