It is thought that If a run isn’t tracked, did it really happen? Of course, it did. But the chorus of beeps at the starting line of any race – from a park run to a marathon – as everyone fires up their GPS-tracking should tell you something. So, you need a wearable that can record that data and make it all accessible on your wrist.
What you need now is a GPS running watch. GPS running watches are designed to track your every move and position. The GPS running watches are now as much a part of our essential running kit as trainers. Well, almost.
These days it’s not just about using GPS Running watches to track pace and distance, either. GPS running watches now gives a huge option of features to help you increase your performance and chase personal bests.
For a couple of hundred quid, you can buy yourself a GPS Running watch that offers insights on everything from when and how hard you should run, to which aspects of your running form need work and at which places you had run before – both in real time and against personal bests. Watches even tell you how long you need to recover from your last sweat session before going out and do it all again.
If you’re looking to supercharge your run with one of these great gadgets, here’s our list of the best GPS running watches you can buy right now. Plus, what to look out for while you’re choosing your perfect run partner.
Best GPS Running Watches 2023 Comparison Table
1. Garmin Forerunner 235 – For Hardcore Runner
The Garmin Forerunner 235 is a GPS Running fitness watch and activity recorder that goes on the far side what most other brands are providing. The watch monitors distance, time, pace, and pulse while the wearer is running indoor or outdoor, walking, biking or sleeping.
While the watch can be worn while swimming as it is water resistant up to 164 feet, it will only be able to monitor time. The watch even works for high interval training however, there are some questions related to the heart rate monitoring for changes in heart rate. Overall, though, the Garmin Forerunner 235 works well for several activities, specifically running. it has a battery life of 11 hours.
- Contains Elevate – Wrist-based heart rate technology that is the best feature of this watch.
- High-quality GPS and GLONASS based position locator is present in it.
- Best and Advanced workouts and laps.
- Built-in Connect IQ store – Store of watch faces, apps, and widgets.
- Its Heart rate might not be so accurate for some interval workouts.
- The worst thing about it is that the Garmin Connect app is not intuitive.
2. Coros APEX Premium – Multi-Sport GPS Running Watch
Packing precise GPS chase and insane battery life into a compact package, the Coros Apex could be a top-tier multisport look forward to beginners and elites alike. The Apex keeps the unnumberable metric combos found within the Pace, the brand’s previous sports watch, whereas group action some exciting new options that runners can embrace.
Like several high-powered running watches, the Apex features an integral vital sign monitor, altimeter, and compass. It also acquires a satellite fix quickly. In side-by-side tests with the Pace, the Apex was the clear winner, connecting to satellites in 5-15 seconds. One of the favorite features is the Coros is the Intelligent Stride Algorithm.
This records your vary of motion throughout an out of doors run, then uses that data to determine your pace and distance when running indoors or through areas with poor satellite signal, like in a narrow tunnel or between town skyscrapers. While the Pace had a similar tech, data collected was usually under-calculated by a noticeable amount.
The Apex was solely off by ten percent of a mile once worn throughout a 30-minute treadmill elbow grease at varied paces. A run next to a steep rock face had weak GPS but the pace listed on my wrist was only off by about 15 seconds. When power matters, pick up the Apex. A two-hour run only knocked five percent off the charge, If you need even more life, you can set the watch to UltraMax mode and stretch its life up to 100 hours.
- The best feature of this GPS running watch is its Super-long battery life.
- Reasonable price, especially compared to other GPS running watches in the market.
- Has a Wrist heart rate, and unique ways to use HR during runs and to monitor fitness.
- The Best feature is that it contains a clear and color display.
- It is Simple and easy to use.
- It has No major sticks out.
- Many Customers found the band hard to comfortably tighten.
- No COROS software to view activities on a computer – need a 3rd party app like Stava.
3. SUUNTO Ambit3 Peak HR – Best Hiking GPS Watch
This GPS running watch delivers Stable and accurate altitude and weather information with full navigation in a robust casting. It includes a built-in altimeter, barometer, compass, and GPS with 100-meter water resistance.
One of the best features of this GPS running watch is its competitive battery hours in the market, 200 hours with 1-minute accuracy. Case material – Polyamide Ambit 3 peak Connects with your smartphone for syncing your activities, customizing on the go and seeing calls and notifications on the watch.
It Can add Photos in movement and create a Suunto Movie with the highlights of your Adventure to share with your friends.
- Synchronize with a smartphone for added features.
- Receive’s call notifications and text messages of the phone.
- GPS system of the watch is very accurate which is the best thing about it.
- Durable Body and rugged exterior.
- Some users found its initial setup to be frustrating.
- The main defect of this GPS running watch is that it does not count steps with a pedometer.
4. Garmin Forerunner 935 – Best for Outdoor cardio Workouts
Premium GPS running watch with wrist-based heart rate and Strap material silicone and compatible with iPhone, Android, Windows.
The weight is only 49 grams and offers advanced running and multisport Features in a comfortable watch you can wear all day. It provides elevation changes with a built-in barometer, altimeter and electronic compass which helps you keep your bearings.
It offers additional performance monitoring Features and evaluates your training status to indicate if you’re undertraining or overdoing. Garmin Forerunner contains advanced dynamics for running, cycling and swimming, including ground contact time balance, stride length and more.
- Contains long battery life making it perfect complement to ultra runners.
- Multi-activity monitoring makes the best deal for athletes, whether they can run, cycle, swim, golf, and more.
- 5 atm water resistance rating makes it safe up to approximately 50 meters deep and it is most suitable for swimmers and triathletes.
- Has quick and reliable connectivity in virtually all scenarios.
- Has a built-in sensor that allows getting an accurate temperature, compass, and elevation readings.
- Very costly as compared to other watches in the market.
- Some swimmers are not impressed with its connectivity for open water.
- Face of watch is easily scratchable, making it difficult to read the face but this is, by far, not the average user experience.
5. Garmin Fenix 5 – Perfect Activity Tracking Watch
The Garmin Fenix 5 can be used for just about every activity you can think of rucking, running, biking and even swimming provided you keep it above 50 meters. It’sUltratrac battery even makes it so that you can wear it overnight for sleep tracking even with the GPS on.
This watch was designed for cyclists, swimmers, skiers, and snowboarders in mind, so it has an application for each sport respectively and tracks entirely different metrics.
On top of that, Garmin went ahead and added on apps such as TruSwing, and Greenview for the golfers out there. If you’re a swimmer or diver though, there’s no depth meter built into this watch, and while it’s not impossible to think one won’t be made for download at a later date, this should be a concern for anybody who swims deeper than the suggested depth level (less than 50 meters).
The battery life on the Fenix 5 ranges from incredible to manageable depending on how you use it. It can last in the standard smartwatch mode for as long as two weeks, and if you’re intent on using the GPS for a prolonged period of time it’ll last you about 24 hours. What’s interesting about this watch is the Ultratrac Battery saver mode, which is meant to be used for activities that’ll exceed 8 hours.
- 3 different sizes and options to choose between silicone or metal band make it the best choice for people.
- The Best feature of this GPS running watch is that it allows lightning fast connections speed.
- Contains long-lasting battery is also a plus point for this watch as compared to other watches in the market.
- Option of the HRM strap for swimmers is available in this watch.
- The price of this GPS running watch is very high as compared to other watches with the same specifications in the market.
- Some users reports about bugs with the iPhone.
Things To Consider Before Buying GPS Running Smart Watches
When it comes to buying a GPS running watch, there are several questions that will come to your mind. It’s important to do your market research before investing this amount of money. Back in the day, there wasn’t much variety to select from when it came to fitness devices. There was the old Casio, Polar or Garmin’s stopwatch. Now, there is a huge variety of products in various brands to choose from.
Whether you want to buy the watch for general fitness or you’re a member of Marathon Club, by tracking your stats you will be able to increase your performance and get your daily dose of motivation as well. However, just like picking out the best tracksuit or running shoes can be tricky, buying the perfect GPS running watch that fills in your requirements and expectations can be tricky too. Lucky for you, we have done the research for you so you can choose the best device that works well for you.
They are so many factors to consider before buying a GPS running watch. But we believe all the focus should be narrowed down to these 4 basic questions before looking at other aspects.
What’s my location?
One of the main purposes of a GPS watch is to tell you where you are located. The navigator guides can vary from a compass’s needle which displays directions to you so you can reach your destination or get back to your starting point or a highlighted track, preloaded on the map. Colored maps are displayed by Leikr and Epiz, while Finex 2 and Motoactv display maps containing names and roads.
What’s my pace?
The average pace and time are calculated through time and distance. However, runners usually wish to grasp what’s their current pace. The GPS system isn’t that smart at displaying current speed therefore, for the accuracy of speed, you wish a Footpod. Racers need to know their accurate pace at various distant point and the feature is important for training programs that require you to run at a certain pace.
How much distance did I cover?
This feature needs GPS accuracy and is one in all the only real reasons why you purchase a GPS watch. Runners want to know where they are as it helps them achieve certain goals. Most watches are good at displaying current location while the route is straight; however, the results become shaky when the route gets twisted and complicated. You can prefer buying a GPS watch with a built-in accelerometer that fills in the gaps created by GPS.
What is my current cadence?
There are watches being invented which display the current cadence even without external devices. The watches have an internal accelerometer and sensors to detect the current cadence by which you are running or cycling. Most watches, however, want devices hooked up like a foot pod to your feet or crank arm sensors to your bicycle. Garmin watches use the technology of Dynamics vital sign strap. There’s a useful feature in watches these days called a “cadence” alert which will help you maintain your cadence range.
If the watch offers answers to these, it means it fills its purpose. Best of Luck to get your desired GPS Running Watch.
Choosing the best smartwatch is a little bit difficult.it varies from person to person because every person needs different features. If it just comes to battery and Accuracy of GPS system than germin Fenix 5, Gramin forerunner 935 and coros apex are the best choices. if you need to receive notifications of calls and SMS then sen to ambit 3 peak is the best choice and so on.
The best watch nearly with all the super and cool features is Garmin Fenix 5 as because It has 3 different sizes and options to choose between silicone or metal band. The best feature of this GPS running watch is that it allows lightning fast connections speed. It contains a long-lasting battery which is also a plus point for this watch as compared to other watches in the market.it also has the option of the HRM strap for swimmers.