Final weekend, I strapped on 5 health smartwatches, drove to Mount Diablo State Park in California, and hiked about 2,100 toes to the summit. Why? To resolve which smartwatch model — Apple, COROS, Garmin, Polar, or Samsung — was most correct for monitoring elevation.

Most high-end smartwatches sport a barometric altimeter to guage your elevation acquire throughout out of doors exercises. Altimeters use air strain modifications to calculate elevation modifications in coordination with GPS knowledge. However some are extra correct than others, and most manufacturers do not allow you to calibrate your beginning place manually. 

I’ve wished to check this for a while, ever since my experiment final yr after I wore six smartwatches for 6,000 steps to see which got here closest to the actual quantity. Since then, I’ve additionally performed a number of multi-watch GPS accuracy assessments for critiques, however these have all been two-dimensional assessments: I’ve by no means recognized how correct my watch is when it tells me I’ve climbed X toes or Y flights of stairs. 

The Polar Vantage V3 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic worn near the summit of Mount Diablo.

(Picture credit score: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

For my check, I selected three watches I’ve already reviewed — the COROS PACE 3, Garmin Forerunner 965, and Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic — together with two I am presently reviewing, the Apple Watch Extremely 2 and Polar Vantage V3.