Pal Strap Review -2 GPS capture and software
Here is the second review of Pal Strap with Pebble time
The main purpose purchasing Pal Strap is of course GPS for me. I am a long distance runner (races for 100km or longer). Pal strap looked suitable for me, because I am already a Pebble series lover, and have a Kick-starter version of Pebble time which is not in use now.
After receiving Pal strap, and connecting it to PT, charged over night. I decided to go work putting on Pal Strap + PT. I hoped that I could test it's performance even for walking to the train station near by, but this try was failed. I was waiting for about 5 minutes in front of my house to capture GPS, but Pal Strap continued searching GPS and never succeeded.
After I reached the office, I checked Pal Strap web site and found I needed to do "GPS soak". As indicated in the Pal Strap User manual page and in YouTube, open space is required to capture GPS as the first time. I did exactly as indicated, and this time I could get GPS in reasonable short time.
Up to now, I ran with PAl strap + Pebbpe time 3 times, and time taken for GPS capture was as follow. Two times out of three, I compared with Garmin Fenix2.
1st time: Pal=40 sec, Fenix2=50 sec (Dwontown Tokyo / Near Ginza)
2nd time: Pal=1min 20sec, Fenix2=1min 30sec (Country side / Open space)
3rd time: Pal=>5min (Downtown Tokyo / Neag Ginza)
As you see, it is not bad regarding the timeneeded to catch GPS, or at least better than famous Garmin Fenix2. Only you need is open space and take time to catch GPS at the first time.
Ok, then I am moving to the application part.
Here, there is very simple to review. Current applications both watach side and compaion app. (smartphone side) are just terrible.
When runnig, what I would like to check with GPS watch is just 3 data, distace, pace and elapsed time. Very simple. Pal+PT offers me these three data, but in separate screen! I need to toggle 3 screens to see my essential data. That is very much frustrating.
I am not expecting the functions all the stadard GPS watches have, such as auto stop, auto lap, virtual partner, but just expecting the most basic functon of (1) record GPS track and (2) show me current time, pase and distance. Even this very basic, Pal+Pebble does not have.
Companion application in smartphone is also too primitive to use. It can show me the route I ran, graphs for accumulated distance, speed and pace. That are all I have. No details of split, no data for hight. The worst of all is there is no data export function. If I can export the data as GPX, then I can do whatever I like in Runkeeper, Runtastic or Sport trackes as i want, but the data sticks in Pal application without export function!
The Pal developper already announced export function is under consideration and it will come in a next release. If it comes, I do not care the functionality of the smartphone application. Just export the data and see it in the other application.
Next, I will report the GPS accuracy and conclude.