GPS chip: GARMIN, POLAR, SUUNTO & TOMTOM (english version)

In zitaSport blog have also taken an interest in better understanding the GPS chip integrated in the more valuable models of the main brands in the sector. The GPS chip is not the most important factor in the accuracy of Garmin, Polar, Suunto and TomTom, there are some other ones. For this reason is not easy to understand how complicate is to find information about it. In internet the information is limited and not very reliable.

chip gps eng

The accuracy in a GPS watch is affected by many different factors. First of all, the specific features of the watch. The antenna design is important, the radio receiver design (frequently part of the GPS chip), the chip in its own and the firmware.

The GPS chip is not the most important, a good antenna can compensate some limitations, as well as a good firmware development, but the chip may limit the real potential of the watch. Some chips are already design to get connected to the GLONASS satellites, and all of them should offer the lowest battery consumption possible.

The accuracy could be affected also for other factors related to the collect and data processing of the watch: (1) the amount of data stored by the watch in every track, (2) the webs in charge of the data processing, smoothing them, based sometimes in the Kalman Filter, (3) corrections by WAAS and EGNOS, and (4) the number of available satellites.

Finally, the interferences in the emitted signal via satellite can affect also, there are different kind of them: (1) electromagnetic interferences, (2) atmospheric interferences or even (3) a poor signal of the satellite.

The table below is opened to the correction of anyone. Our aim is to get it complete with all the comments you leave. You can make comments about the brands and models in the table, or even add information of any other brand, Timex?, Geonaute?, Adidas?, Bryton?, Nike?, O-Synce?, Soleus?… there’s still many work to do. We promise update the table with the information you provide.

You will find three different colors in the table: green means that the information has been confirmed by the brand (Suunto and TomTom). Blue, the information is highly reliable. Black, the information has not been confirmed but denied either.

Polar V800 2014 SiRF STAR IV Instant Fix
Polar M400 2014 U-Blox U-Blox 7  
Polar RC3 GPS 2012 SiRF STAR IV  
Polar Sensor G1, G3 y G5 2011 SiRF STAR III
Suunto Ambit3 2014 SiRF STAR V (NO GLONASS) Instant Fix / ceramic antenna
Suunto Ambit2 R 2014 SiRF STAR IV Instant Fix / ceramic antenna
Suunto Ambit2 S 2013 SiRF STAR IV Instant Fix / ceramic antenna
Suunto Ambit2 2013 SiRF STAR IV Instant Fix / ceramic antenna
Suunto Ambit1 2012 SiRF STAR IV Instant Fix / ceramic antenna
TomTom Multisport Cardio 2014 SiRF STAR V GLONASS, QuickGPSFix
TomTom Runner Cardio 2014 SiRF STAR V GLONASS, QuickGPSFix
TomTom Multisport 2013 SiRF STAR V GLONASS
TomTom Runner 2013 SiRF STAR V GLONASS
Garmin Epix 2015  Antenna EXO™ HotFix®GPS /GLONASS
Garmin Fenix3 2015  Antenna EXO™ HotFix®GPS /GLONASS
Garmin Vivoactive 2015
Garmin FR920xt 2014 MediaTek MT3333 GLONASS
Garmin Fenix2 2014 MediaTek MT4/MT4x
Garmin FR15 2014 MediaTek MT4/MT4x
Garmin Tactix 2013 MediaTek MT4/MT4x
Garmin FR620 2013 MediaTek MT4/MT4x GPS Fix
Garmin FR220 2013 MediaTek MT3339
Garmin FR910xt 2012 SiRF STAR IV
Garmin Fenix1 2012 MediaTek MT4/MT4x
Garmin FR10 2012 MediaTek MT4/MT4x
Garmin FR610 2011 SiRF STAR IV Instant Fix II, HotFix
Garmin FR410 2010 SiRF
Garmin FR210 2010 SiRF
Garmin FR110 2010 SiRF
Garmin FR310xt 2009 SiRF
Garmin FR405cx 2009 MediaTek
Garmin FR405 2008 MediaTek
Garmin FR305 2006 SiRF STAR III
Garmin FR205 2006 SiRF STAR III


5 comentarios
  1. inf3rno
    inf3rno Dice:

    What about the Broadcom BCM4771 chipset? It was released 1.5 years ago, it is designed specifically for sport wearables, but we still don’t have any products with it. :S :S :S :S

  2. Rodrigo Santos
    Rodrigo Santos Dice:

    Nice work!

    But what about Soleus data?

    I recently ran Golden Four Asics here in São Paulo, and received aa discount coupon to Soleus online shopping.
    Nice $ advantage between it and Garmin, like around 25 usd.

    Also, Soleus promises less than 2 minutes of GPS aiming”

    • Gabriel Hernando Castañeda
      Gabriel Hernando Castañeda Dice:

      Hola Rodrigo Santos

      En esta primera revisión de los chips de los relojes hemos estudiado los más conocidos.
      En próximas revisiones esperamos poder analizar SOLEUS, TIMEX y más.

      saludos y gracias por comentar


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