Garmin SatIQ Technology: Longer Battery Life, Equally Accurate Track Recording

Garmin is a leading manufacturer in the field of navigation and tracking. Their handheld GPS devices have been trusted companions of adventurers for decades, and they offer a durable device for almost every activity. But if you often use track recording technology, you know it’s important to choose the right satellite mode for your environment. In an open sky area, you may only need GPS mode. In a canyon or urban landscape among tall skyscrapers, you may need to shift into a higher gear – for example, along with all satellite systems and multi-band frequencies – to pinpoint where you are and where you need to go.

This is where Garmin SatIQ™ technology comes in. Think of it as your personal navigation assistant – it works in the background of your compatible device. It determines which satellite mode your environment requires and provides the accuracy of Garmin’s multi-band frequency technology while maintaining the long battery life that our smartwatches are known for. Below, Garmin engineer Ben Collins answers a few questions about the latest and greatest GPS technology.

What is SatIQ anyway?

SatIQ extends battery life while providing multi-band GPS accuracy during your activity. It’s a technology that works in the background and automatically selects the right satellite mode for the environment you’re using your device in.

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How does SatIQ work?

Which satellite receiver setting is required to obtain an accurate position from a GNSS device depends on the environment. With an open view of the sky, GPS Only mode can provide the same level of accuracy as All Satellite Systems + Multi-Band mode. In a canyon or among tall buildings, the chip must connect to all available satellites and frequency bands to ensure high accuracy. This is associated with considerable battery consumption. To give an example, the fēnix 7X Pro with solar charging support achieves up to 77 hours of battery life when the receiver is set to All Satellite Systems mode. If you change the satellite setting to All Satellite Systems and Multi-Band mode, this is reduced to 41 hours, while in GPS Only mode it is extended to 122 hours.

Before the introduction of SatIQ technology, you had to choose in advance which setting you would use for the activity, but it is difficult to know which mode is needed. What’s more, if you only needed multi-band technology for a short time while running through a canyon or in a really dense forest, you had to choose between poor position recording at that single location or higher battery consumption throughout the activity. SatIQ eliminates the guesswork of satellite settings and allows the device to switch between modes in real time depending on the environment. This means longer battery life while still using all satellite systems mode and multi-band mode via auto select mode.

What is the difference between Multi-Band GNSS reception and lower power GPS Only mode?

There are two main differences.

One is the number of satellites the device connects to. In GPS Only mode, the device connects only to the GPS satellite system, which is just one of many GNSS satellite systems. In All Satellite Systems mode, the device can connect to others as well.

The second difference is the frequency band to which the watch connects. In GPS Only or All Satellite Systems modes, the watch detects satellites on only one frequency. This extends battery life, but track recording may be less accurate due to dense tree canopies or e.g. large reflective surfaces such as tall buildings or cliffs. Multi-Band mode uses more than one frequency, which consumes more power but allows the watch to filter out errors.

Will users know if their device is using Multi-Band GNSS or low-power GPS, or will SatIQ silently switch back and forth in the background?

SatIQ will silently switch back and forth. You set it and let the watch do its job, while you confidently enjoy the outdoors.

Which devices support SatIQ?

This is available on devices with multi-band reception support, including the fēnix 7 Sapphire and Fenix 7 Pro series, Forerunner 255 series, Forerunner 265, Forerunner 955, Forerunner 965, epix (2nd generation) Sapphire Edition, epix Pro and Enduro 2.


I already have GPS technology. Why should I upgrade to a device with SatIQ?

If you live in an urban environment with skyscrapers or spend a lot of time in the mountains, you will notice a big difference in the accuracy of your track logs and only a minimal impact on battery life compared to All Satellite Systems mode. Even if you don’t spend a lot of time in places where good satellite accuracy is a demanding task for the device, SatIQ means you don’t have to think about it.

How much battery life does SatIQ technology save?

In extensive testing, we found that Multi-Band mode is only used about 15% of the time during an activity. This means that without multi-band mode enabled, 15% of your route could have poorer accuracy, but without SatIQ, battery life was significantly shorter if you wanted to ensure quality track recording. With SatIQ technology, you get good accuracy almost 100% of the time and only 15% of the time (under these conditions) the device operates with high power consumption due to the automatic activation of additional systems and frequencies.

Ready to roam the unknown? The Garmin fēnix 7 Sapphire and Fenix 7 Pro series, Forerunner 255 series, Forerunner 265, Forerunner 955, Forerunner 965, epix (2nd generation) Sapphire Edition, epix Pro and Enduro 2 are all equipped with SatIQ technology.


Source: https://www.garmin.com/en-MY/blog/garmin-satiq-technology-to-extend-battery-life/


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