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  • So I'm a runner. And as I turn older, I started to run in hills and mountains.
    2 years ago I spent 300€ for a Suunto smart watch, to guide me on tracks:

    I really like it, but it could be improved in a lot of ways, in particular its software. At some point, it was possible to write custom screens with some sort of JavaScript :grin:
    But the whole Suunto ecosystem is very closed, and their support is, for the least... not responsive.

    So when I learned about Bangle.js you can imagine how excited I was.
    The plan is to mimic Suunto's sport mode:

    • start an activity
    • cycle through several screens, showing metrics (current & average speed, distance, BPM, burnt calories, incline/decline, altitude, for the total activity or current lap)
    • pause and stop

    In my craziest dream, I'd love to write a navigation screen to guide you along some GPX track. But this may be too ambitious given the hardware.

    Not surprisingly, writing such app is not in indoor activity. It depends too much on GPS to stay at home.
    So yesterday, it was the première for my app: after work I took my bike (10km +200m) to meet my fellow runners and we went for a run across hills (11km +400m), a watch on each wrist.
    It was night, raining and wind blowing.

    The Bangle behave very well!
    The LCD was lit up all the way long (3h30), 10 FPS refresh rate, GPS and HR on, and it ate 60/70% of its battery (same as the Suunto!).

    GPS fix took a while compared to Suunto, but I think the accuracy is better (I'll perform more investigations). The lack of accuracy is my greatest complain. GPS Altitude (benchmarked against signs mentioning it) is very accurate, I suspect instant speed to be quite good as well.

    No surprise: HRM gives terrible results (either 50 or 200 BPM). My skin is quite clear, and my veins very easy to spot. I was careful not wearing it on bones, and as it was night, the amount of light pollution was limited.

    Despite this little issue I was amazed how good Bangle did, especially when you consider the hardware is 5 times cheaper! Amazon work @Gordon!

    I'll continue crafting this sport mode, and share the code when it will be ready, would someone be interested to use Bangle for sport!


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