Accuracy issues with Apple Watch Series 2



I have had Apple watch series 2 for 3 months (and I used it every day for running avg 120km/week).  The Apple app to manage the various sport activities remain the best one and most accurate.  The Nike app (uniquely for the run) is OK altough sometime up to 10% inaccurate on distance and pace (I mean 10% especially when the pace is HOT like 3.30 - 3.40 mins / km.  I was much hoping in a good App developed by Strava and unfortunately at present this is not the case.  Strava app seems struggling to find a stable signal from GPS (when the other two mentioned Apps do it quite efficiently) and therefore all relative data is pretty much very very inaccurate.  Like this am run 6km easy and the Stava App was measuring just 1.9km.  I switched to Nike App and this is gonna be the end of my Strava app use until an update will be brought in (if ever) to fix those very macroscopic current problems.   Cmon Strava you can do it!! This is a very honest comment tried Strava over three days and basically it barely works to an unacceptable level.

Ciao Roberto 



  • I think quite a number of us have GPS recording issues even when the sky is clear and there are no buildings obscuring the sky.

    At the moment I find 50% of my runs have a missing distance, generally at the start of a run so that I miss approximately 0.5km.

  • Same here. And with auto-pause on, it's even worse. Half the time when I glance at my wrist the watch says "auto-paused".

  • Yes I've got the same problem. The first few kms the measurements are wildly inaccurate. I have no confidence in Strava right now. 


  • I'm glad to see that Strava updated the app to work with a standalone Apple Watch Series 2.  I have a couple of suggestions, however, and these are things that are keeping me from using Strava instead of the Workout app that comes with the watch:

    1.  As someone else mentioned, the auto-pause is too sensitive.  The auto pause kicks in every time you look at the watch display.

    2.  There's no way to manually start and stop the timer using the buttons.  On the stock Workout app, you can press both the crown and the side button and the same time to start/stop.  It would be nice if Strava would have that feature.


  • An issue I've been having recently is that the time on the watch does not match the time once the run Sync back to my phone. For instance, I ran for 105 minutes yesterday, but the run that synced to my phone says I only ran 100 minutes. Not sure what the deal is here. I agree with all of the sentiments here. I loved Strava until this Apple Watch app was released. It seems like this is a public beta and not a finished product! I'll probably go back to Nike Run Club for the time being. 

  • Gotta agree with the comments in this thread. Experiencing the same problem with the standalone Strava App for Apple Watch Series 2. The auto-pause is too sensitive and kicks in every time you check the display - and because there is no feedback to tell you that the gps is recording you end up checking often to see if it is running - causing it to autopause. 

    Accuracy is off about 2/10ths on a four mile run - always at the beginning of the run, fails to track the first 1/4 mile or so. Hope it gets better over time. Huge Strava fan in general.


  • First aprox 1km of every run the gps data with apple watch 2 without iPhone around is very very poor.

    Strava, please come with an update that fixes this bug, this is not fun. Total data of run (or race) is useless...

  • Agreed with the sentiments here regarding the app on Apple Watch 2. Love the idea. Wish it worked better. Here are the issues I've had:

    1.  watch app not recording accurately (latest example: my 4.2m run yesterday seems to have started about 2.4 miles into it and only recorded the last 1.8 miles. auto-pause was active, but did not notice if watch thought I wasn't moving for the first 2.4 miles or if something else seemed to go awry).

    2.  data reflected in same workout is not aligned: splits show different distance than the summary in the same workout (7.8 mile run shows splits for about 7.3 miles, and summary shows 6.8 miles. It DID seem to accurately report my moving time, though).

    3.  sync from watch to phone not reliable: sometimes it uploads to phone right off, sometimes it takes a while - usually through some other encouragement, like recording a new activity.

    4.  sync from watch to phone sometimes fails all together.

  • I would always recommend turning off auto-pause. Causes more trouble than it is worth and other apps with similar features can often have issues.

    Regardless I suspect Strava is only partially to blame. I suspect Apple is probably a big part of the problem. I guess the watch is the 2nd iteration which never helps.

  • "Regardless I suspect Strava is only partially to blame. I suspect Apple is probably a big part of the problem."

    I would surprised if noone stepped in to try to defend Apple, but I fear you are right. Runkeeper has the exact same problem when running without a phone. I doubt both teams would get the same problem out of chance, with their huge experience in implementing tracking for other devices.

    The only puzzling part is that Nike seems to get this right. Unfortunately it doesn't sync anywhere else (I sync it manually Nike -> Smashrun -> Tapiriik -> Strava for now), so it's not a good experience. But it works. I am guessing they do a crazy amount of error correction behind the scenes.

  • I have a problem with my iWatch I switched my iPhone and my strava stopped sync with iWatch.

    In my old iPhone when I made my rides Garmin sent the infos to Strava and iWatch recognized the activities of Strava but now I do and it does not appear = /

    even using the Strava app in iWatch ... someone already had this problem???

  • Hi. I also have similar problems recording my MTB rides with the apple watch Gen. 2. Auto pause was on and I ended up with approx. 23km and 59min but it should have been 26km and 64min (recorded with runtastic). I think I stopped once because of a red light ..... the rest of the ride I was moving and my minimum speed was approx. 10km/h. So for the distance more than 10% is missing .... that's a lot! I'm wondering why the gap of time and distance is missing because I can't see a reason to switch into auto pause for that long. Next ride I definitely will switch the auto pause off and hope it gets better. Hopefully I get the whole distance in the correct length and don't care about some seconds of waiting time.

  • Hi. I'm with Lucian, and probably a few more of you. When I complete a run, the data that shows on the watch is rarely what is actually transferred to the feed on my iPhone. Eg, last night I ran 12.3 miles. My watch showed this at the end of the run, it shows it in the History on my watch, yet it uploaded a distance of 11 miles?? My run partner also tracked it on Strava via his phone and the data came through fine.

    I'm a big fan of Strava but the Nike Run app might just have to take over  :(

    Any feedback from Strava themselves would be welcomed. Please?

  • Frank, same thing happened last night. Ran 4.7 miles and transferred to my phone as 4.5 miles. Really frustrating. It also showed my first mile at 7:30 pace even though it recorded 9:22 pace on the watch. Strava needs to do something about this.

  • Same issue. Losing 500m when running solo with Apple Watch 2. Means I always run 1km extra just to be sure I've hit a recorded distance.

  • I'm still running with Apple Watch 1, but the activities are measuring wrong. My runs are now consistently measuring too short. I can run courses that I know the distance, and Strava will measure half a mile short on a four mile run and recently was a mile and half short on a 10 miler. It isn't because of the watch, which hasn't changed except for OS updates and which records perfectly well when I'm using either the workout app or Runkeeper. It also isn't the known bug where the watch is initially connected to the phone and then loses contact, because I'm carrying my phone with me. I want to use Strava because I prefer Strava's auto-pause and recording and analysis of workouts, but I'm finding myself regretting it whenever I track with Strava instead of Runkeeper. 


  • Strava has released app for watch2 long after other activity tracking apps many months and it's not stable. Even Nike app, I found its accuracy is much better than Stava. I got issues just like everyone here and wondering when it can be fixed permanently. The only reason I'm still using Strava is it has bike and run and my activity records are with it and I don't want to switch apps to record different activities, and sadly I'm a premium member :(

    Yesterday I ran 5.2km with 6.x avg pace but Stava shows 4.4km 7.28 avg pace. It was 2 rounds park run that I usually do. The Stava app is the most updated version on my watch2 and my i7.

    I think it's about wrong computing data that is recorded in watch2 but I don't think it's unable or taking a long time to fix. If Nike or other apps can provide good accuracy, why can't Strava?

  • I use apple watch series 1, and run with my iPhone. In the last couple months, runs are coming in shorter than they used to. I often run the same routes. Today I ran a standard five mile route and finished at 4.6 miles. Same watch, same phone recorded the same run in mid March at 5.0.

  • Still no reply from Strava? Must be hard at work on the update :-/

  • Every day I go for a run and every day it is wrong - the watch states one distance then the sync to the app reduces by 0.2/0.3 miles very annoying. It is clear the GPS is not connecting at the beginning of the run! Come on STRAVA sort it out!

  • I'm having a similar issue with tracking runs on the Apple Watch 2.

    I records runs using just the Apple Watch 2, leave my iPhone at home. From the start of the run, the display on the watch will show the correct distance and pace implying that the watch does have a good GPS signal. I complete the run on the watch with a recorded distance showing as expected for the route I ran. However when it syncs to the phone and ultimately to the Strava servers, the distance will be shortened by about a half mile, give or take.

    A few odd things about Splits

    Both the iPhone app and the website show splits corresponding to the correct distance. So if I ran 3.5 miles I would see splits for mile 1, 2, 3, and 0.5 even if the summary distance is only 3.

    On the iPhone app the first mile split will show something ridiculously fast like a 4 min mile pace (I usually average somewhere beteween high 7s and low 8s pace). However on the website the first mile is much closer to being correct. Seems that the server is aware of some of the truncated first mile data. Or they just handle the calculation differently when there is some missing data.

    On the activity page for a truncated run, when clicking the splits to highlight the correlating segment of the pace graph will not line up. e.g click mile 2 under splits and the pace over time graph highlight something like mile 1.3 to 2.1 rather than a clean mile 1 - 2.

    I have a theory that starting recording the run within wifi or bluetooth range of the iPhone could be interfering here, maybe the watch is trying to communicate with the phone for the first couple mins and when it loses the connection it ungracefully drops that data on the floor?

    Please fix this problem with recorded data being dropped. I expect to not have to deal with problems like this on a service I pay $8 a month for. This problem really takes away the credibility of the phrase "Strava or it didn't happen"

  • I'm also having issues with the accuracy of the GPS on my Apple Watch 2. My last 3 runs have tracked incorrectly; Last week, 2km was missed off the middle of a 24km run (very annoying as it was actually a race), 2km was missed off a 7k run (and uploaded with errors) and this morning, the distance tracked correctly for a 5km run, but the tracked route shows me allegedly running across water and through buildings! (...which I didn't do!)

    As other users have said, there seems to be an issue with when / where the GPS thinks you've started your run, not sure if this has anything to do with Auto-Pause being enabled? Or the fact the app also uses the Apple Watch's pedometer data to augment it's distance tracking? (Clutching at straws here).

    I recently started running with bluetooth earphones in (so I can have music streaming from my watch, while I use the strava app at the same time). I initially thought it may have been having some problems trying to multi-task, but after running without my bluetooth earphones or any music today, the problem still occurred.

    Currently, the Apple Watch app doesn't seem to be functioning like a finished product at all. I'd go as far as saying it's not fit for purpose at the moment and needs to go back into development, or, stick a "beta" tag on it until you fix the issues, because it's certainly not a reliable solution as it stands.

    Please sort this out as soon as possible, I really like Strava and would rather not have to move to a different platform to track my runs.

  • Running with a Series 1 Apple Watch. I thought the inaccuracy in miles was a result of the Strava app running slow as molasses when starting my run. Was so frustrated I was about to upgrade to the Series 2. Thank goodness I found this thread. Saved me some $$$. I'm experiencing all the same problems shared here: inaccurate tracking of distance and auto-pause always showing auto-paused every time I look at my watch while running. I'm also experiencing super slow app performance and... one of the most frustrating issues... every time I look at my watch, the data part of the Strava app (i.e. distance & heart rate) dims dark, while the time still lights up. I have to stop and squint in the shade to see how many miles I've run and up-ticking heart rate. Anyone else having the dimming problem? Has Strava commented on any of this?

  • I have the Series 1 Apple Watch and can echo everyone's complaints here.  I have a known 4 mile route that Strava used to track just fine and now it's coming in at around 3.7 pretty consistently.  I do carry my phone since I only have the Series 1 watch, but I did unpair my watch from the phone and re-paired it and it seemed to help for the first week, but I am now back to the same issue.  Since I run with my phone anyway, I may just switch to the on-phone app for now until Strava fixes the problem, which I'm not too thrilled with.

  • I've just had the pleasure of two weeks in Orlando and I have to say that every one of my 8 runs whilst there has recorded perfectly, even with auto-pause turned on? My thinking is that I was completely out of range/connection of my iPhone before hitting Start. Who knows. Weird!
    At least one thing's consistant tho... no official reply from Strava themselves :-/

  • What the heck Strava? Are you not listening to this? I was just about to go premium but will not until resolved, i specifically purchaced Apple Watch 2 for native onboard starva and its useless! litterally, useless!

    This issue is directly effecting your user base therefore revenue stream for Apple Watch owners...LAME as!


  • I have had the exact same issue as everyone above on this thread with regards to accuracy of mileage reporting, but on my bike.  (I have the Apple Watch 2.) It was driving me NUTS.  I would be riding along, and then POOF! It would stop tracking, and I would get the little dotted line "------_ across distance and mph.  Drove me crazy.  So my mileage for a twenty mile ride would come back at two.

    Apple gave me the usual schtick.  Tighten your wristband.  Do you have hairy arms?  How about unpair and repair?  NOTHING.

    Then a friend asked me if I had the iPhone 6.  I said YES.  He said, "that's your problem.  Try putting it in airplane mode or ride without it."  

    Hand to God, I just went out for a three mile ride.  I left the phone at home, and in airplane mode.  The tracking worked LIKE A CHARM!!!  I tried it a few more times.  Worked great.  Turned the phone back on. Problem returned.

    So I am curious.  How many of you have the iPhone 6?  If you do, turn it off and see what happens.  My friend said a few of his friends had the same issue.  It's Apple's dirty little secret.  He bought the iPhone 7 and the problem seems to be fixed.

    Hope it works for all of you!!!!


  • Hey Joe, I have the iPhone7. I'm convinced that if you start your run/ride OUT OF RANGE of your phone, the app works fine. See my most recent post above (Orlando). I also ran back at home last night, made sure my phone was way out of range and, guess what, it recorded every mile spot on. I ran with a friend who recorded it on his dedicated running watch and we had pretty much identical data.

    Good luck next time out!

  • Over the last week, I've made sure my iPhone has been in Airplane mode at least 10 minutes before I head out for a run with my Apple Watch 2 (to make sure it's not trying to piggy-back off my iPhone's GPS) unfortunately this hasn't made a difference for me.

  • Ah. Yes, I see your post now. So I see, unfortunately, that apple six and seven have the same issue. You have to have your phone off or out of range in order for your Apple Watch to work correctly. You would think that for a watch that costs over four hundred dollars that Apple could get GPS to work right. It's not like GPS is new technology

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