Bia vs. Garmin 310XT on the swim

I have a new toy and her name is Sweet Bia. She is a new GPS device built by 2 uber smart and ambitious women who didn’t like what the market had to offer so they built their own. You can read all about it here at your leisure. I am going to do a full blown, feature rich review soon but for now I want to review how it did on my swims today.


I did a 1K swim followed by a 2.5K swim.  I wore both the Bia and the Garmin and here’s what I got.  The title of each image tells you how long the swim is in kilometers and how many miles that is supposed to be.  It also tells you what each device measured in miles.

Bia was way closer than Garmin.  For the 2.5K swim I forgot to turn the Bia off for 7 minutes and wandered around a  bit (okay, fine – I really had to pee and I was in a wetsuit so I just got back in the water – so sue me!) so that accounts for some of it. NB – the Garmin was off during this maneuver so that accounts for none of its extra distance.

If you look at the trace of my swim from either device you can see what accounts for, you know, a wee extra distance on both.  Swimming in a straight line is not my strong suit. Conclusion – Bia beats the stuffing out of Garmin for OWS accuracy.  Sadly, neither device can help me swim without wandering about the course in search of the next buoy.   1K swim 2.5K swim

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7 Responses to Bia vs. Garmin 310XT on the swim

  1. Lynn in MD says:

    Is your Garmin a 310 or 910XT?

    Also wondering when the last time you upgraded your Bia? I upgraded mine this past Friday and then did a 2250m swim (1.4 mile) swim on Saturday. The pictures I got were not nearly as pretty… it had me on shore several times during the swim when I wasn’t. The distance on the Bia site wasn’t too far off, but that same data on Strava was way off (said 2.1 miles). I’m hoping the swim feature improves more with future updates.

  2. pherbert says:

    Hi – mine is a 310XT.

    The Bia is on release 22.3.a
    You can tell if you go to Settings – About.

    You can force an upgrade per the last Bia email that went out. I know they will get all of this stuff working better. I went there and helped ship out the last units and saw that their engineer was working on some things. They really are working to improve all of the functionality and I have faith!

  3. Wanda says:

    Hi, for some reason the post link: says Garmin 910XT, which is what leads to the confusion as to whether you have a 310 or 910xt. Thanks.

  4. pherbert says:

    I know – I tried to edit it but it never changed the URL

  5. Black Knight says:

    I MUST buy a “toy” for my swimming. Thank you for this interesting post.

  6. cheryl says:

    I never even started my watch for Escape from Alcatraz …..

  7. Petra says:

    Thanks for your encouraging comments re the swim cutoff.. Need that. Yes I think I will make it but shit – it’s scary.

    Onto other stuff – nice to see how hard you’re training. And that BIA seems awesome! Kind of bummed that I’ve just bought a bike computer but if I decide to carry on doing tri – or even IM – I might get myself one.

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