You might have heard of the Apple Watch series and the Fitbit Ionic products. The truth is that there is so much more out there to choose from. Whether you want once for sleep tracking, for logging your progress when exercising, to keep track of your running metrics, optical heart rate or just receiving notifications from your smartphone, there is an option out there that you are likely to love! We have put together a list of the best running watches, including budget picks, to help you find what you are looking for.
Running watches are electronic gadgets made to simplify your life, but also to help you keep track of your health. It is an excellent motivator to go out there and exercise, and an individual fashion statement at the same time.
View The Best GPS Running Watch Below
1. Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit
If you are on the hunt for the best GPS running watch – this Garmin watch is guaranteed to interest you! It has a silicone wrist strap that keeps this watch for runners right in its place, even if you tend to run fast and aggressively.
These running watches only weigh 49 lbs, which is a lot lighter than many rivaling brands. It makes is it the kind of fitness tracker you can wear for any physical activity without it holding you back. A big plus is that it is compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows Smartphones, as Garmin understands that a device such as this should be available for everyone.
+ Compatible with iOS, Android and Windows
+ Available in both black and yellow
+ Built-in barometer for elevation changes
+ Stride length and ground contact time balance
Why We Like It – The comfortable and waterproof silicone wrist band, together with its lightweight, makes this GPS watch an obvious choice if you are looking for the best GPS running watch.
2. Coros Pace GPS Watch
Perhaps this sportier rate monitor is more up your alley? It allows you to receive Smartphone notifications that would otherwise only appear on your phone. Alerts such as incoming calls, social media updates, emails, and much more. Your heart rate is conveniently measured right there in the wrist area. This sports watch uses GPS, BDS, and GLONASS technologies to give you the most precise location tracking possible.
With a device like this Coros Pace, you will have everything you need in the same place. You will be able to track all your physical activities, while also keeping up to date with your incoming electronic correspondence.
+ Built-in barometric altimeter
+ BDS, GPS and GLONASS for location accuracy
+ 30-day battery life in standard mode
+ Wrist-based heart rate monitor
Why We Like It – The wrist heart-rate measuring feature along with the unique and sporty design makes this an excellent choice for someone who wants to make a statement with their fitness watch.
3. Fitbit Versa Smart Watch
This product syncs with iPhone 4S and newer iPhones, with iPad 3gen and up, with more modern Windows devices (10 and beyond) and with Android 5.0 or more recent models. You can also sync it with your Apple computer. The Fitbit Versa is an excellent watch for running, swimming and other sports, no matter what electronic device you have to sync it with.
The design of the Fitbit Versa is slim, elegant, and comfortable to wear to any type of event. It tracks your sleep stages, does activity monitoring, and tracks your heart rate all around the clock. The battery life is approximately four days, depending on how much you use it, and how you use it. Keep the watch active until you can charge it again. It has over 15 exercise modes, making it one of the best multisport watches available.
+ With female health tracking
+ Syncing range of up to 6.1 meters
+ Water-resistant down to 50 meters
+ 15+ exercise modes to choose from
Why We Like It – The color of the Fitbit Versa is hard to resist, and it has unique features for women, where you can track periods and more!
Shopping for a child? Consider a kid’s smartwatch or GPS watch for kids instead.
4. Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS Running Watch
Garmin watches have an excellent reputation, thanks to the many unique functions, the design, and their durability. This model comes in the colors Lime, Black, White, and Frost Blue to accommodate all preferences. It has excellent coverage thanks to the built-in GPS (which quickly establishes satellite contact even in wooded areas with obstructing trees).
The high-resolution display makes it easy to see when Smartphone notifications and more come in, and it tracks your heart rate 24/7. A great feature is the vibration alerts, as this allows you to keep track of crucial incoming correspondence also when you are out running or swimming.
+ No phone required when using
+ With automatic updates and music controls
+ Waterproof and with excellent battery time
+ Transflective memory in Pixel
Why We Like It – If you are looking for heart tracking, great GPS acquisition, training planning, and more, this watch series is for you!
5. Casio STR300 60lap Sport Running Watch
The water-resistance of these GPS Smartwatches is advanced enough for you to use it when swimming, but should not be used for diving or snorkeling. It has revolutionary tracking features and hours of GPS tracking time. This Casio has a buckle closure and a resin band, a large digital display and pace alerts.
The color is discrete and black – looking just like any digital watch. If you want running gear that can also be used in other settings, such as when going out or lunch or to work, versatile GPS running watches such as these will work perfectly to cover all of your needs. The slightly asymmetrical design makes it quite the eye-catching heart rate monitoring device, and a must for anyone who wants to track their health and fitness progress.
+ 4 daily alarms with snooze function
+ 60-lap memory stopwatch
+ Sophisticated pace calculation
+ Digital display with Japanese quartz movement
Why We Like It – The design is excellent, and it offers that sporty look. The Casio STR300 has a unique twist that will have people look twice at your shiny, new wristband heart rate watch!
Did you know? You can buy quite a decent Casio watch for under $50 in our other review!
6. Garmin Forerunner 735XT
When you pick Garmin Forerunner, you get a heavy-duty watch. The Garmin Forerunner is ideal for all kinds of outdoor sports, such as running, climbing, swimming and even contact sports! It has advanced functions that allow it to measure stride length, ground contact time balance, heart rate, and more. It can be used with chest straps and a heart rate monitor, has Garmin Connect, smartphone notifications, and live uploads.
You can get this Garmin Forerunner 735XT in a few variations of black and blue. It has a beautiful large screen where you can see both registered data as well as your incoming text messages, emails, social media notifications. You can also set alarms. This watch can be customized with third-party apps directly through the IQ Connect store.
+ Heavy-duty and shock-resistant
+ More than one color available
+ Compatible with chest strap heart rate monitor
+ Automatic upload and live tracking
Why We Like It – Extreme sports and activities require more from your activity trackers. Luckily, this GPS watch for running, cycling, and more, is made to resist tough usage, as it is shock-resistant and made with durable materials.
7. Garmin Forerunner 235
The screen of this watch is a total of 44% larger than the Garmin 225. This screen size increase is a significant upgrade that many have been waiting for. It has excellent GPS accuracy, is excellent for trail runs thanks to resisting interference caused by trees and other obstacles you might encounter.
You can see notifications for your emails, alarms, incoming calls, and general smartphone notifications, and this watch is compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows. It can also receive audio prompts, and you can buy it with an additional bike mount if you are someone who enjoys spending time on a bike. In Smartwatch mode, the battery can last up to 9 days, and in GPS mode up to 11 hours.
+ Superior GPS and tracking accuracy
+ With a larger and updated screen
+ 9 days of standby time in Smartwatch mode
+ Bike mount sold separately
Why We Like It – It is almost impossible not to like a heartrate monitoring product such as the Garmin 235, as it has a larger screen and more functions than older models of the same product.
8. FITVII GPS Running Smart Watch
Heartrate tracking is beneficial for those who want t better their health and keep track of their process, and this Smartwatch is one of a kind! It has a total of 17 sport modes, which can record, analyze, and track your workout sessions. It can sense whether you are out for a run, or if you are participating in a ball sport. This makes this FITVII a highly useful gadget both for professional athletes and for the average Joe who simply needs some extra motivation!
The FITVII features a large touch screen, built-in GPS, three professional swimming modes, a remote camera, fatigue tests, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. It is the Amazon customer favorite that has it all. It also has a sleep monitoring function and can be synced with most newer iOS, Android, and Windows devices.
+ Three swimming modes
+ Large touch screen
+ Total of 17 sport modes
+ 30-day guarantee
Why We Like It – The highly responsive touch screen makes controlling your smartwatch so much easier, and it has a unique design that goes with any style!
GPS Running Watch Buyers Guide
The world is becoming increasingly digitalized, and it should come as no surprise that this has now spread to the watch. It is no longer just a fun thing for people to stay connected continuously, as it has become almost a necessity. A quality running watch gives you a chance to receive emails and other Smartphone notifications while working out. At the same time, track and analyze the progress of your workouts and physical health. These fun little devices are synced with SmartPhones, tablets, or computers. They monitor your heart rate, sleep rate, and much more.
If you have never owned a smart running watch before, it is easy to think that only athletes can benefit from having one. But this couldn’t be more wrong, and we will tell you why! A running watch is an incredibly useful device that makes it easier to manage your work and commitments, also when you are out and about. To get the most out of your watch – you need to know what to look for when shopping. Here is a quick buyers’ guide to help you make a choice that will work for you!
What To Look For When Buying a GPS Running Watch
If you plan to be using your smartwatch for exercise and sports, then you need to look into the sensors the product of your choice has. The latest models usually have sensors that allow them to measure heart rate and other vital signs. This will tell you a lot about your physical condition and progress. Heartrate, for example, can help make a more accurate calculation of how many calories you’ve burned during a workout. White, in turn, can help set up a plan for how you can improve your training sessions for better results.
You may notice when you check prices that a product with more sensors is more expensive, which could lead the unknowing buyer to choose something cheaper. This is something that could quickly turn out to be a mistake. It is worth the extra investment, so don’t look past a pricier product until you fully understand what they are charging you extra for.
Media Playback Support
For runners, it is very convenient to have to option to play music directly through the smartwatch, so that you don’t have to be dependant on your phone when out exercising. Many Smartwatches will feature the possibility to connect it to WiFi, or even have cellular data, and others may come with Bluetooth or NFC. This means you can use wireless headphones and enjoy the hasslefree listening experience while working out. No more tangled cables large phones to carry with you while you run. So, if this is something that sounds like it would make your life easier – make sure the running watch you choose feature media playback support.
There was a time when voice commands were nothing but a fantasy; something mentioned in sci-fi movies and laughed at as if it was unreachable. This has changed dramatically, and voice command is now something we are used to finding on cellphones, and with gadgets like the Alexa and the Google Assistant. Smartwatch companies haven’t missed this, and it is now a regular feature also on these devices, but it isn’t available on all smartwatches yet.
The benefit of having voice command is that you can easily control your watch while busy doing something else. You can tell your running watch to open and read an email or a text message to you so that you can continue focusing on your current activity.
Something you can’t forget to check is whether your future running watch is compatible with whatever device you hope to sync it with. Nowadays, most modern watches can be synced with all the more significant operative systems, but you shouldn’t take this for granted. Check whether your phone, tablet, or laptop uses iOS, Android, or Windows, and compare this to the product specifications of the product of your choice. Don’t forget to take the model of your syncing device into consideration as well, as it may not be compatible with older and outdated models.
The display is not as big of a deal as one might think. Some smartwatches, like the Apple watch, use a retina display while others have LCD screens with large AMOLED displays. While these words may seem confusing, the difference in quality lies more in the overall construction of the watch. The size of the screen is also considered, rather than in the type of display your smartwatch has. This means that the specifications for the display are probably one of the few things you don’t have to be too concerned about.
Can I swim with my GPS running watch?
Yes, provided that you choose a waterproof product. Check how deep you can go without putting your smartwatch at risk (specified in the product description). A watch may be apt for regular swimming, but not snorkeling or deep-water diving.
How long does a GPS running watch battery last?
This depends entirely on the product and on the mode you are using it in. GPS mode uses up more battery than anything else, in most cases, so check this before you make a purchase.
Technology can often make your life easier, and a running watch is the perfect electronic gadget for someone who likes to exercise and work out. Or for someone who wants convenient access to emails, text messages, and more. The market has exploded in recent years, which means you have hundreds of products to choose from, both great products and those that are not so great. This running watch review is intended to make it easier for you to find a product that will live up to your expectations, and fulfill your needs.
Knowing what you hope to use your running watch for will make it easier to narrow down the options, and to find a watch that works for you.
Did You Know?
Running watches first entered the market somewhere around 2010.
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