Garmin Fenix smartwatches hit with GPS, run and activity saving glitch amid outage

Garmin's smartwatch woes continue as GPS and run tracking for distance wasn't available. This glitch, which also applies to indoor activity tracking, means the Fenix is caught in a "saving" loop that requires a reset.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

What you get if you track any activity on a Garmin Fenix smartwatch. Garmin was hit with a ransomware attack that has benched its infrastructure. 

Garmin's smartwatch woes continue as GPS and run tracking for distance wasn't available and devices such as the Fenix line were caught in a "saving" loop that required a reset. The same problem affects indoor activities even without GPS connections. 

At the moment, it's unclear whether the GPS signal issues with the Garmin devices are related to the company's ransomware attack and bungled handling of it, but your Sunday morning run won't be quantified.

My run went like this (of course I stopped it to write this article). We'll omit the humidity issue for now.

  1. Device went green for GPS signal.
  2. Heart rate and time tracked.
  3. But no distance.
  4. I stopped the tracking and restarted.
  5. Still no distance.
  6. I saved it and got a "saving" loop of death.
  7. Reset the device.

Twitter complaints seem to confirm the same issue as runners Sunday am are wondering what life was like without quantified runs.

We'll update as needed, but the short version is that Garmin's issues just got worse. It's one thing when Garmin tells you your data is ok and stored on the watch. It's another when the watch doesn't collect data properly and fails to connect to the GPS signal. At that point you're wearing a pricey brick on your wrist.

Update: This issue goes beyond the GPS. The Fenix doesn't appear to be able to track indoor activities that connect via sensors, say a foot pod or speed sensor on a indoor bike on rollers. An indoor bike ride wouldn't record distance and resulted in the same "saving loop" as an outdoor run. 

A potential fix: One workaround for the aforementioned problem is logging out of Garmin Connect on your smartphone. Another move is to delete some old files on the Garmin device via USB on your PC. I did both and was able to save a strength workout. 

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