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Adidas Running vs. Zepp Health (MiFit) vs. STEPN -> How are they measuring distance?

I have lots of strange things on my mind and one of my “things” is that I like to compare things. This wouldn’t have come to my mind at all unless I would have noticed that STEPN has a habit of registering distance in a terrible way. But, what is the reality right here? What is going on? How do the different applications do in a test when it comes to measuring the distance I am running?

This entire thing came to my mind as I was running with STEPN and a distance I know to be 4km showed up as 2.5km. Now that is why I have enabled both Zepp health (MiFit) and the GPS in my Amazfit GTS 2, Adidas Running, and also STEPN while running. I was curious to see how they would report the same distance. This is what showed up.

running with stepn

Comparing Adidas Running with Zepp Health and STEPN

I have tried the same experiment twice and here you can see the results.

Results from the first run:

  • Adidas Running: 6.49km
  • Zepp Health: 4.63km
  • STEPN: 5.84km

Results from the second run:

  • Adidas Running: 6.62km
  • Zepp Health: 6.13km
  • STEPN: 5.93km

As you can see from these stats, the data reported from the GPS on my smartwatch to Zepp Health cannot be trusted at all, and neither can the data from STEPN. At least STEPN seems to be somewhat consistently showing lower numbers, but based on my test, the data is always lower than the reality. I have heard about this also from other people on Reddit and Twitter.

Why is STEPN a shorter distance than Adidas Running?

There are several reasons why this might take place. First of all, it might be a problem with your phone. If you turn on STEPN and start to walk, does it continuously show your steps increasing, or does it add your newer steps now and then (meaning that it jumps from 5 to 15 and then to 30 and so on)? This is a problem with STEPN that might actually give you the moonwalking error which is extremely annoying. So, if you see that the steps aren’t added continuously, then that might actually be one of the causes for STEPN reporting a shorter distance than the reality.

I do know that my Xiaomi phone is struggling with constantly reporting steps to STEPN (it has no trouble with other applications), so I will do a very similar test on a different device that I know to be working properly and reporting steps to STEPN. I will write more once I discover whether STEPN will report shorter distances on such a device as well or not.

Does this really matter?

I am not really sure yet. But, if you have a sneaker that is set to maximize its earnings when you move at a speed between 8km/hr and 20km/hr, then it might actually cause trouble if it doesn’t record distance and speed properly. In other words, it is worth looking into this. And yes, I will do some more testing soon and I will write more about it later.

For lots of other articles about STEPN, take a look at all the posts in the IP Address Guide in the STEPN category.

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