The best GPS watch is a personal choice since it entirely depends on the amount of information that you want from your runs. Basically, GPS watches provide location information. It can help you in tracking and mapping your routes so that you can calculate your pace and speed. If you want additional features such as heart rate data, Bluetooth functionality, maps, altimeters then you have to pay more. Simply put, a GPS watch is considered as an essential device for any runner.
Some GPS watches might be expensive, although there are still others which are more affordable. The latest models incorporate heart rate monitor and a clutch that is beneficial when you’re cycling or swimming. Undoubtedly, there is no perfect GPS watch, so we’ve scoured the internet to give you our top picks. Choose the best one that is more suitable for your budget and preference.
- Best GPS Watches
- GPS Watch Reviews
- How To Get The Most From Your GPS Watch
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Best GPS Watches
Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS Watch
With 24/7 heart rate monitoring
TomTom Adventurer GPS Watch
Hiking and Trail Running Watch
TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music
Waterproof Sport Watch and Heart Rate Monitor
Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS Watch
Wrist-based Heart Rate, Smart Notifications
Apple Watch Series 2 Gray Aluminum Case
Displays Notifications and Runs Apps
Polar M600 Sports Smart Watch
Wrist heart rate monitor, Waterproof
Polar M400 GPS Smart Sports Watch
Compatible with H7 Heart Rate sensor
Garmin Vívoactive HR GPS Smart Watch
Includes 24/7 heart rate monitoring
Garmin Forerunner 735XT
Polar V800 GPS Sports Watch
Compatible with H7 Heart Rate sensor
GPS Watch Reviews
Incidentally, the Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS Watch is the latest entry-level running watch from Garmin. It is inexpensive yet it is very functional since it includes an optical heart rate monitor. This watch is an upgrade to the Forerunner 25 and integrates information on your distance, pace and time. Best of all, it offers you real-time data of your heart rate. These are the basic features that most runners require. It gives you 13 hours of tracking and 9 days of battery life when used in a non-GPS mode. This is quite impressive considering it’s price! Best deal ever!
In this case, the TomTom Adventurer GPS Watch was launched at IFA 2019. This multisport smartwatch is not only for running but also works best for hiking, skiing and more. Basically, it is much similar to TomTom Spark 3 which offers new route mapping. With the addition of expert modes for trails, you will never get lost when you’re off the track. TomTom uses the most precise sensor in monitoring your heart rate. Its battery life can last up to 24 hours of hiking.
By the same token, TomTom Spark 3 is a top-notch running watch. One of the ace features of this watch is its optical heart rate monitor. Aside from tracking the distance, speed and time, it is also compatible with several running apps. However, it is actually the MP3 storage that makes this watch sparks. MP3s can be played through wireless headphones. Wouldn’t it be great to run without your phone? The Route Exploration feature is very handy when you are exploring new places. Perhaps a Garmin is much better, but TomTom Spark 3 gives you a lot of fun.
The Garmin Forerunner 235 integrates numerous features which are ideal for average runners who want to enhance their training. The main feature of this watch is the optical heart rate sensor which can track steady runs. However, for more intense workouts you’ll have to wear a chest strap. This watch is capable of monitoring your overall health 24/7. It can track your daily activities and your resting heart rate magnificently. It also has a decent battery life and smartwatch notifications.
The Apple Watch Series 2 looks sportier than its previous model since it includes a built-in GPS which can track your running and cycling sessions effectively. Its heart rate sensor is the best. Although it may be far from perfect it can offer you more useful data. Apple is also launching a Series 2 Nike+ edition which uses a perforated rubber strap.
The Polar M600 Sports Smart Watch is a running watch and an Android smartwatch at the same time. First, you’ll need to access the company’s fitness system by pushing a button on the watch. Once the app is activated, you can easily track your runs and workouts. The Polar Flow app provides stats, metrics, and post-run data, making it the best smartwatch for runners.
The Polar M400 GPS Smart Sports Watch is the best budget-friendly GPS watch. Its built-in GPS can effectively track distance, pace, and altitude. This is your attractive companion while doing your runs and workouts. It features 24/7 activity tracking. The interval timer is very useful for your custom training sessions. The back-to-start option can point you to your starting point as quickly as possible. The Polar Running Index will compute your improvement based on your speed and heart rate.
Meanwhile, the Garmin VÃvoactive HR GPS SmartWatch is the best multisports watch. It can literally do everything. It’s the most powerful watch for runners and cyclists. By downloading the Garmin Connect you can easily access your distances and hazards. It is capable of reading emails and messages. This watch also includes a built-in HR monitor, making it one of the best sports watches out there.
The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is the sleek, agile, and multi-sport capable piece of Garmin. It features smartphone notifications and new metrics. This watch will calculate your threshold and performance status to avoid overtraining. This is a perfect choice for hardcore runners who also enjoy smartwatch features.
The Polar V800 GPS Sports Watch is the most excellent training timepiece for swimmers, bikers, and runners. It can track almost anything you do whether you are in the water or on the dry land. It’s crystal clear screen can display max heart rate, distance, pace, and others. The Recovery Status and Orthostatic Test can anticipate if you are already ready to train again.
How To Get The Most From Your GPS Watch
Using a GPS running watch, such as Garmin Forerunner 35, can help you in becoming a better runner. The dilemma is after spending a lot on your newest wearable tech, you fail to use it to the fullest. In reality, your running watch can do a whole lot more than just telling you the distance and time of your runs. Utilize it appropriately so that it can become your digital coach and help you achieve your goals.
Identifying when to workout and when to rest is essential in making your training plan successful. However, it’s very hard to determine whether your body or brain is already exhausted. At this point, you can make use of the heart rate monitoring from your GPS watch. The Polar V800 features an orthostatic test which determines how your heart rate reacts to training, sickness, and stress.
The latest GPS watches include a heart-rate zone training feature for making you run or workout effectively. Clinging to your heart rate zones faithfully can help you in adjusting your training just like a pro. Sometimes frequently glancing your BPM at your watch can be tiresome. In order to make life much easier, set a heart rate alert to vibrate every time your BPM is running low.
Choosing the best GPS watch can be a bit tricky, just like choosing the perfect pair of running shoes. Back in the days, it would have been easier. But nowadays, there are myriad brands and features to choose from. The most important thing is knowing what features do you really need. Running is not only an excellent exercise but it can also be used to raise awareness for breast cancer, just like what Davina McNaney did.
Nash Gibson is one of the owners of the Skateboarder community and a friend of James Haden. Aside from his corporate day job as an article writer, he is also gadget buff and an amateur photographer – he is planning to take his photography and videography to the next level through formal education. James and he love to share stuff on their blog which is now a collection of vibrant shots and articles to its many readers.