Garmin Forerunner 10 vs Pyle PSWGP405BK

While I like my wife’s Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS watch, it’s irritating to me that it is a GPS device which is not capable of displaying GPS coordinates (latitude/longitude). This makes it essentially useless to use as a navigation device. After browsing around the web, I happened upon the Pyle PSWGP405BK.


What struck me immediately was that for a list price of $150, it has a GPS, wireless heart rate monitor, digital compass, navigation functions, and is waterproof to 30m. Though there were few reviews of this GPS watch, they were generally favorable, and I was able to purchase a “used – good condition” unit from for $27 after getting a $50 credit for applying for their credit card, and got free 2-day shipping with a trial subscription to Amazon Prime.  When I received the unit, I was delighted to find that it was actually a never used, open box item.  The Pyle PSWGP405BK is essentially the same device as the Runtastic GPS watch, in slightly different packaging.  It is also available from several other companies with various names. As far as I can tell, the manufacturer is Latitude Limited, from Hong Kong.  It’s called the Nav Master II on their website.

This article is not meant to be a detailed comparison between the Garmin FR10 and the Pyle PSWGP405BK, but here are some of the differences:

  • Battery life with GPS on: Pyle – 8hr, Garmin – 5hr
  • Pyle has digital compass,navigation functions, tual time, and 5 alarms
  • Pyle is bigger and heavier
  • Pyle comes with clunky PC software, called GPS Master, which runs only on Windows.  Garmin interfaces to their Garmin Connect online service.
  • Pyle is much more customizable, and displays more types of data
  • Pyle has wireless HRM, Garmin doesn’t support HRM
  • Garmin is simpler, easier to use, at the expense of less functionality
  • Pyle takes a bit longer to get a GPS fix
  • Pyle outputs GPS track points at selectable interval in seconds, Garmin uses an adaptive approach, outputting GPS points at varying intervals depending on terrain

For me, the clunky PC software and lack of online service is a non-issue, because the included GPS Master software easily exports to various formats, such as GPX, TCX, KML, and even NMEA. Many of the phone softwares have online services which allow uploading of externally gathered GPS data, so I upload my Pyle tracks to Today, I had a chance to wear both watches and simultaneously track a workout.

One minor inconvenience of the Pyle vs Garmin is that when you press the start button on the Garmin, it automatically waits for a GPS fix before it lets you start the workout. On the other hand, the Pyle will happily start the workout clock even when it doesn’t yet have a fix, so you must first start the GPS, wait for a fix, and then start the workout. Also, I found that the Pyle took a bit longer than the Garmin to get an initial GPS fix. Minor irritants, but how about GPS performance? The overlaid tracks below tell a big part of the story, Garmin in red, Pyle in blue:


The Garmin FR10’s track is noticeably more accurate, especially at the bottom of the plot. However, the Pyle PSWGP405BK is no slouch, it is still significantly more accurate than anything running on an iPhone. However, there is a significant bug in both the PSWGP405BK and the accompanying GPS Master software’s distance calculation. Here is a synopsis of the above route:

Distance (mi) Calories
Garmin Forerunner 10 2.43 153
Pyle PSWGP405BK 2.37 242
Pyle PSWGP405BK track on 2.44 247
Garmin Forerunner 10 track on 2.43 232

Notice how the Pyle came up short on its distance calculation: 2.37mi vs Garmin’s 2.43mi, a difference of .06mi.  However, the Pyle’s GPS track uploaded to comes up .01mi longer than the Garmin track.

Though the Pyle’s GPS accuracy is not as good as the Forerunner 10, and there is a glaring bug in its distance calculations, for the $27 I paid, it’s a keeper.  I like its extensive customizability and functionality, and I don’t mind the distance calculation bug, because I always upload the tracks to an online site for analysis. Please take my results with a grain of salt for now… I have only used the Pyle for one workout so far.  I have not seen any reviews which complain about the inaccuracy of its distance calculations, so maybe today’s track was just an aberration.

Update 2015-01-26: GPS Master’s exported GPX files don’t contain heart rate data and the only usable export format is CSV, which isn’t compatible with any software or website that I could find. Therefore, I have written two utilities, csv2gpx and csv2tcx, which you can use to convert the GPS Master CSV format to GPX and TCX files containing heart rate data. You can read more at: GPX and TCX output from GPS Master Software

Previous Related Post: Accuracy of Garmin FR10 vs RunKeeper vs MapMyRun

Next Related Post: Accuracy of Strava vs RunKeeper vs Pyle PSWGP405BK vs Garmin Forerunner 10

Accuracy of Garmin Forerunner 10 vs RunKeeper vs MapMyRun

Even though I’m the engineer in the family, my wife is more of a gadget freak than me. This year, she beceame interested in tracking her workouts.  She started out with a FitBit, and found that to be rather useless, so we returned that. Lately, she’s been into training for a half marathon, so we started using GPS workout tracking apps on an iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S.

We played with several different apps:  Kaiser EB Walk, Nike+, MapMyRun, NeoTreks, and Runkeeper. It’s interesting how you can run several apps simultaneously on an iPhone, and get wildly varying metrics from them.  The distance and pace vary quite a bit between apps, and I think the main reason is that the realtime geodata coming out of the iPhone is crap. Therefore, the app developers implement different filtering strategies on the data, leading to the different calculated metrics.

I find it amazing that the iPhone has an onboard GPS, accelerometer, and compass, and still manages to output such bad location data. Granted, the GPS antenna is quite small, but GPS watches are pretty small these days, and work much better. My guess is that Apple needs to do some work in iOS’ sensor data processing code. If only they would give us access to raw GPS data, rather than forcing us to use their garbage location API’s…

Following the recommendations of friends, my wife recently bought a Garmin Forerunner 10 (FR10) GPS watch.  I was skeptical that it was worth the $130, price tag, and was very interested in finding out how much better it would perform than the iPhone.  After using it for only a few days, I must say that I am very impressed.  Unlike my 10 year old Garmin eTrex GPS, the FR10 gets a fix very quickly, and manages to keep the fix even under moderate tree cover and in canyons.

Below, I will compare the simultaneously recorded outputs of RunKeeper, MapMyRun, and the FR10.  I chose RunKeeper and MapMyRun as the iPhone apps, because they offer easy access to the logged track data in the form of GPX files, and both websites allow you to upload/edit track data.  Note that the MapMyRun and RunKeeper data were recorded simultaneously on my iPhone, so they share the same sensor data.

Route plotted on Google Maps:


Calculated distance: 1.3mi



Despite the fact that the route is largely in a flat area, with very little tree cover, notice how the track wiggles and meanders.



The MapMyRun track, as expected, also wiggles quite a bit.

MapMyRun Track on


The above plot is taken from a GPX file exported from of the workout, as recorded by MapMyRun. Notice how, using the same track data, calculates the distance/pace/calories differently. I have found that MapMyRun consistently calculates the longest distances, and highest calorie count of the bunch.

Garmin FR10 on Garmin Connect



Note how the Garmin track is very clean and smooth, and tracks the roads reasonably closely.

Garmin FR10 Track on


The above plot is of GPX data exported from Garmin Connect, and then uploaded to The FR10 stores the track data in a proprietary FIT format, but luckily, their website is able to output GPX. Again, notice that used the same data, and yet, calculated different results.


Distance (mi) Calories
RunKeeper 1.40 153
MapMyRun 1.51 178
FR10 (Garmin Connect) 1.28 81
MapMyRun Track on 1.44 147
Garmin FR10 Track on 1.29 121
Google Maps 1.3 N/A

Below are some data from a couple of other routes that I tested:

Euston Loop

Distance (mi) Calories
RunKeeper 2.53 279
MapMyRun 2.71 306
FR10 (Garmin Connect) 2.44 156
MapMyRun Track on 1.44 147
Google Maps 1.3 N/A
Manual Plot on 2.55 N/A

Winston Loop

Distance (mi) Calories
RunKeeper 1.79 186
MapMyRun 1.83 205
FR10 (Garmin Connect) 1.66 103
Manual Plot on 1.73 N/A



While my sample size is small, some trends emerge.  The Garmin FR10 consistently calculates the shortest distances and calories.  MapMyRun consistently calculates the longest distances and highest calorie counts.  There is a difference between the calculation methodology between and, because given the same GPS track, MapMyRun calculates a longer distance (1.51 vs 1.44mi) and a higher calorie burn (147 vs 178cal) than  On the other hand, Garmin Connect calculates shorter distances and calorie burns than, given the same track.

I have tested several other times, and the above trends hold.  Furthermore, the Garmin FR10 gives the smoothest, most accurate GPS track, especially when in a canyon, or under heavy tree cover. Below is a canyon track, Garmin FR10 in red, RunKeeper in blue:


Notice the vastly improved accuracy of the Garmin FR10 track vs RunKeeper running on the iPhone.

Finally, a canyon track which was recorded on my iPhone 4S, running RunKeeper and MapMyRun simultaneously. RunKeeper is in red, MapMyRun in blue:

The image above shows the vast differences which sometimes occur between the way that RunKeeper and MapMyRun interpret the same location data stream.  Neither track closely follows the actual path.  It’s pretty obvious that the Garmin FR10 is a worthwhile upgrade from using the iPhone as a sensor.

Next Related Post: Garmin Forerunner 10 vs Pyle PSWGP405BK