The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is upgraded from the original Galaxy Watch Active. I have had mine for close to two years. I ran a GPS accuracy test using my Active 2 for a week. But one thing stood out. Galaxy Watch Active 2 GPS was pretty accurate. But the altimeter does not seem to count the floors climbed accurately.
According to the Official U.S. government information about the Global Positioning System, GPS signals transmitted from space to wearable devices such as the Galaxy Watch Active 2 have an error of less than or equal to 6.6 feet (2 meters). It means GPS is accurate 95% of the time.
At least 31 GPS satellites are orbiting the earth today. That means two to five satellites are above you at any given time. However, the Active 2 GPS might have slight difficulties pinpointing your exact location. I experimented with my smartwatch and reported the results in this article. You will also find tips to make your Galaxy Active 2 more accurate.
Read also: Does Samsung Watch Work With iPhone?
How I tested for GPS Accuracy on Galaxy Watch Active 2
In doing the test, I went jogging along a five-kilometer route and climbed a ten-story building for five consecutive days. I used a static GPS Baseline as a control for the experiment
I noted and analyzed the readings on a spreadsheet after every workout.
The accuracy of Samsung smartwatch GPS systems was between a 3 and 30-meter radius. With 3 meters being the most accurate and 30 meters being the least accurate. Also, the higher the accuracy, the faster the battery drain.
Accuracy in this experiment means getting the exact longitude and latitude numbers from your smartwatch. Accurate or not, chances are high that you will be within the radius given by your smartwatch GPS.
Here are the results I got from the experiment:
|Day||Galaxy Active 2 GPS radius (meters)||Static GPS Baseline (meters)|
Interpretation of the Galaxy Active 2 GPS results
Here is a graphical representation of the Galaxy Watch Active 2 GPS data:
Static GPS baselines are more accurate than most smartwatch GPS radios because the latter utilizes more satellites than the former. From the results, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is not as accurate but is nevertheless pretty reliable.
Your smartwatch’s real-time GPS transmission will lag only by a few seconds. A GPS smartwatch uses the trilateration method to measure your accurate position on the earth’s surface. Trilateration, also called triangulation, can pinpoint your exact location.
Your smartwatch’s GPS receiver has an internal clock that compares different time signals from the satellites to pinpoint your exact location. Sometimes, the GPS results are an estimate and do not reflect actual locations on the surface.
However, the GPS does not involve real-life angles. That is why the test to determine the accuracy of my Galaxy Watch Active 2 showed sharp instead of smooth corners on the map. Instead of the smooth bend down the road, my Active 2 registered a straight line on the map.
Zoom in on your workout map and you will notice the sharp corners.
According to Android Authority, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 GPS is erratic. However, other smartwatches like the Fitbit and Apple Watch Series have more accurate GPS radios. Apart from GPS monitoring, your Active 2 can also measure altitude and atmospheric pressure.
Related article: Does smartwatch drain phone battery?
Factors influencing the accuracy of Galaxy Watch Active 2 GPS
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 GPS will sometimes show you the wrong place. Several things can block or degrade Global Positioning Systems.
Here are some factors influencing the accuracy of Galaxy Watch Active 2:
- Atmospheric conditions: Atmospheric conditions such as heavy rains, cloudy skies, or storms can cause horizontal and vertical positional errors of GPS.
- Signal blockage: Things like bridges, buildings, and trees can worsen smartwatch accuracy. Less populated areas, lower altitudes, and deforested areas have more accurate GPS signals than their opposites.
- Smartwatch design features and quality: GPS radio receivers vary in their interaction with your smartwatch. Most smartwatches have faulty quality and design, which affect GPS accuracy.
- Satellite geometry: The arrangement of satellites in space can significantly impact the longitude and latitude values you receive in your smartwatch.
GPS values recorded from two or more satellites are more accurate and are mostly used by the military. But GPS transmission from one satellite could be slightly inaccurate.
- Software and operating system implementation errors: Always update your device’s operating system and applications to keep GPS active. In the next section, I will tell you how to make your smartwatch GPS more accurate.
- A turned-off smartwatch screen and power-saving mode: Another thing that can lower your GPS’s accuracy is the power-saving mode. Coupled with a turned-off screen, GPS alongside other tasks will stop.
How to set up GPS location on a Galaxy Watch Active 2
Follow these steps to set up GPS location on your Galaxy Watch Active 2:
- Go to your smartwatch Settings
- Tap Connections
- Go to Location
- Turn on Location
How can I make my Galaxy Watch Active 2 GPS more accurate?
Here are some ways to increase your smartwatch’s GPS accuracy:
1. Enable high location accuracy on your Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
2. Recalibrate your compass app
The compass is an essential element of the global positioning system. For your smartwatch to give accurate location results in real-time, recalibrate the compass app.
That will refresh your GPS signal. You can download more than ten compass apps from the Galaxy Store. For example, use the HERE WeGo app on your Galaxy Active 2.
3. Keep your smartwatch GPS signal active
GPS consumes a lot of power. Therefore, when you move from one app to another on your smartwatch, the GPS signal turns off to save the battery. Install GPS Connected to keep your GPS signal active even when you toggle between apps on your smartwatch.
4. Refresh your GPS data
Sometimes your smartwatch will remain connected to a satellite that has already passed.
By getting stuck on a satellite that’s not within range, the Galaxy Active 2 GPS will not work correctly. Use GPS Status and Toolbox to reset your GPS data.
Repeat the process until your smartwatch is connected to the closest GPS satellite for accurate positioning.
5. Purchase an external GPS receiver
Buy an external GPS receiver if your Galaxy Watch Active 2 GPS is wholly broken. Pair the device with your watch via Bluetooth. If the smartwatch is unreliable, an external GPS receiver offers rock-solid and reliable GPS data.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 GPS receiver sends and receives radio location signals from over 30 satellites to estimate your location.
The accuracy of Samsung smartwatch GPS systems was between a 14 and 30-meter radius, which is pretty much accurate and reliable. On a map, the Active Watch 2 GPS will map your tracks well. However, the GPS needs extra work to accurately monitor corners.
Have you been wondering how accurate the Galaxy Watch Active 2 GPS is? Did you find this article helpful? Share with me your thoughts in the comment section.