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No Go: Very weak GPS and Proprietary Workout Software is an Issue
on December 15, 2010
The specs of the watch are really good, but it is when you start using it that one realizes that the Timex Global Trainer does not perform to expectations.
Firstly, the GPS in the watch, although it uses the same chip as that of the Garmin Forerunner, the performance in the Timex Global Trainer is extremely inaccurate. i.e. it takes an average of 5-7min to lock the satellites, unlike other devices, which can lock satellites in matter of seconds. Also, once a session is recorded and loaded onto a map (such as Google Maps), one can appreciate that the tracking of the device is very inaccurate. I have seen distance reading erros of up to 12% (e.g. you run 10miles and the watch says you have run 8.8miles!!) , which is very very bad. Other GPS watches only have a 2% error max accuracy (i.e. Garmin). I have checked this issue on the internet and other user reviews on Timex's Global Trainer GPS show this same issue. I have sent the watch to Timex, got it replaced for a new one, and the same issue persists. TIMEX HASN'T GOT A SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM even with their latest FIRMWARE release (v. 3.14) made on August 2011.
Secondly, the workout data downloaded from the watch to the PC is proprietary and can only be used on the TrainingPeaks website. Forget about exporting you data to other better and cheaper websites such as MapMyRun or WorkOutLog. This wouldn't be a problem if TrainingPeaks had a good system, but it is slow and in many occasions it won't load 100% of the workout information (plenty of software improvement is needed on their side). TrainingPeaks has a cost of c. $20/month, while other websites only cost $20/year. The Free version of TrainingPeaks won't show you all of the information from your watch (e.g. HR zones, Cadence Zones, Power Zones, etc).
Conclusion: The GPS is a no go. On a spec basis the watch is not that expensive against competitors but if you include the cost of the software to visualize your workouts you need to add $+120/year, and thats another no go. I have bought the Garmin Forerunner 310xt, Garmin is better value for money and you are not stuck with proprietary software that doesn't work!