I am so happy you asked!
Your smartphone is capable of most things these days. And – at least at the time of writing this – there isnt a thing your smartphone cant do that the GPS sportwatch can. So why bother with getting a GPS sportwatch? My smartphone even supports Ant+ so I can use the same HRM band as I use on the GPS sportwatch. And on top of that I bring my smartphone on any trip I do for availability/music and on top of that again the first thing I do when I get home is to upload my walk/run to Endomondo. On my phone its already there with live tracking and everything..
Sounds reasonable, right?
Yeah, so I got rid of the Fenix 2 and the TomTom that I borrowed and started using my phone. My first attempt started really promising. HRM connected to the phone, music on, phone in my pocket and off we go. When I got back the session was on Endomondo already and the GPS tracks were impressively accurate even though the phone was in my pocket. What I miss from using the watch was fairly obvious: MUCH more effort needed to get a quick status from the device when in the activity. Up with the phone, turn on screen, type the pin and switch from Wimp to Endomondo app. Then power off and back in the pocket (and dont you drop that phone!).
So obviously you get a lot more accessible status information!
A few days later I tried again. I thought using one of those fancy armbands would help, so I got to borrow one. Hoping the GPS accurracy might be improved. I discovered that the status info from my phone when in an activity was even harder to reach on my arm. The touch display worked fine, but the phone is really not in the best position for usability and it felt like it would slide off my arm all the time. AND most interestingly – the GPS accurracy was about the same as when having the phone in my pocket. One note I did though, was on a session out in the mountain I missed the path somewhere and the Endomondo map was really useful for my trackback info to the path (which was about 30 meters, btw). I’ll definately check the Fenix 3 trackback functionality when it arrives.
So. I miss the GPS watch. It just made everything simpler and more accessible. I also miss the training effect number for a session that I got on my Garmin watch to get some indication on how much I was really pushing in my session. I guess the sportwatch comes really at use if you are the kind of person that like to know everything about your session at all times. Allthough you will get most of the info you need from using your smartphone, you just can not beat a dedicated device. Hope the Fenix 3 will be here soon then!!