After listening and reading about Strava precision on different devices, most precisely comments regarding better times when recording your rides on the iPhone, I decided to test it personally on a short lunch-time Enduro ride.
First of all, I have to admit I'm a great fan of Strava. As with any new technology, a good bunch of people is criticizing it, but I'm sure, using some common sense is a great tool for discovering new trails, no have fun challenging friends, and to challenge yourself.
Of course you SHOULD always respect the rest of the trail users. Trails are not yours.
The test was carried out with a Garmin 310XT Forerunner versus Strava App on a Samsung Galaxy S3 on a short Enduro ride near our headquarters.
Let's analyze the results on some segments of the ride.
1st segment. Segment "Baixada Diposit a Camí Flor de Maig":
Description: Short descent, with roots and quite wet
Distance: 200m; Avg.Grade: -9%; Elev.Difference: -22m
Garmin 310XT result: 40 seconds. My 2nd best time ever.
Galaxy S3 result: 43 seconds
Result: Garmin 6.9% faster
2nd segment. Segment "Carrer de la Ginesta Climb":
Description: Technical ascent, with very technical sections and very slippery when wet (as was on this ride)
Distance: 1300m; Avg.Grade: +7%; Elev.Difference: +90m
Garmin 310XT result: 11min 40 seconds
Galaxy S3 result: 11min 35 seconds
Result: Galaxy S3 0.7% faster
3rd segment. Segment "Trialera Torre Forestal":
Description: Fast, and narrow descent, with roots, rock gardens and a fast sweeping finish.
Distance: 1100m; Avg.Grade: -6%; Elev.Difference: -81m
Garmin 310XT result: 3min 35 seconds
Galaxy S3 result: 3min 41 seconds
Result: Garmin 2.7% faster
4th segment. Segment "Can Coll a BucleLand":
Description: Easy trail ascent, quite muddy on this ride.
Distance: 1700m; Avg.Grade: +3%; Elev.Difference: +64m
Garmin 310XT result: 8min 37 seconds
Galaxy S3 result: 8min 40 seconds
Result: Garmin 0.6% faster
5th segment. Segment "GdC Piedras Caballos":
Description: Short uphill, followed by a short steep and veeery technical descent.
Distance: 600m; Avg.Grade: -5%; Elev.Difference: -35m
Garmin 310XT result: 2min 04 seconds. My personal best and 11th overall
Galaxy S3 result: 2min 07 seconds
Result: Garmin 2.4% faster
Overall in all 5 segments:
Garmin 310XT result: 26min 36 seconds
Galaxy S3 result: 26min 46 seconds
Result: Garmin 0.6% faster
Overall in the 2 ascent segments:
Garmin 310XT result: 20min 17 seconds
Galaxy S3 result: 20min 15 seconds
Result: Galaxy S3 0.2% faster
Overall in the 3 descent segments:
Garmin 310XT result: 6min 19 seconds
Galaxy S3 result: 6min 31 seconds
Result: Garmin 3.1% faster
Suming up, and at least on this test none of the rumors were true. Overall, the results are almost the same with a 0.6% difference, being Galaxy S3 scoring faster segment on ascents, while Garmin scoring them on descents. Good job Strava!!!