Top 10 Best GPS Running Watches – Reviews And Buyer’s Guide

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When choosing a running watch, it usually comes down to not only the amount of details you want, but also personal choice. Apart from the usual tracking data, the latest running watches will give detailed information of your particular running style, among many others. You need to put various factors into consideration. Some factors to consider include:best running watches 2017
Design: What type of design appeals to you?
Features: Do you want Bluetooth, do you want a swim friendly, waterproof smartwatch?
Battery life: How long does the battery last?
Apps: Type of apps it runs and what ecosystems is it compatible with?

We have penned down a handy list that contains the best running watches in the market, to make things easier for you, alongside their brief reviews and features to help you have a better understanding of what you are about to buy.

Running Watches Comparison Chart

fitbit-surgeFitbit Surge
garmin-vivoactiveGarmin Vivoactive
polar-v800Polar V800
sony-smartwatch-3Sony Smartwatch 3
polar-m400Polar M400
moto-360-sportMoto 360 Sport
garmin-forerunner-225Garmin Forerunner 225
garmin-forerunner-630Garmin Forerunner 630
garmin-forerunner-15Garmin Forerunner 15
tomtom-multi-sports-cardioTomTom Multi Sports Cardio

Running Watches Reviews

Fitbit Surge: Best Running Watch With GPS

fitbit surge running watchFitbit Surge is considered as an intelligent and highly connected gps running watch which is seamlessly connected to your mobile app and to any third party device. It is considered one of the most user-friendly running device and at the same time satisfies the training needs of the most demanding fitness enthusiasts. Some of the basic features that endears it the new age athletes are 3-axis accelerometer & gyroscope, digital compass, 3 watch display options, optical heart rate monitor with continuous automatic wrist-based tracking, barometric altimeter, Ambient light sensor, Vibrating silent alarm and so on. Fitbit Surge has all the features to be the best device for the basic needs of a workout.

Garmin Vivoactive: Best Running Watch With Heart Rate Monitor

garmin vivoactiveFinding the perfect fit for a serious fitness enthusiast has been difficult within a reasonable price tag – but, the new running watch from Garmin, Vivoactive delivers a full array of notifications and whole suit of sports tracking – all at a reasonable price tag of $249. With an extremely accurate GPS integrate into its soul (Garmin genes), running, cycling, walking and swimming are all tracked, and with the accuracy of a super accurate GPS system. The differentiator for the VivoActive is the inclusion of Golf tracking – leveraging the built in Garmin GPS, and complemented by an unmatched repository of 38000 golf courses. VivoActive combines the goodness of the huge range of dedicated sports wearables from Garmin – serving the basic needs of most of the sports enthusiasts. VivoActive very uniquely combines as the fitness tracker and a Smartwatch – while giving a complete analysis of your daily workout as well as the sleep quota.

Polar V800: Best Running Watch With Bluetooth

polar v800The Polar V800 tracks a wide variety of sports – running, sports, swimming, dance and even Cross-Fit – including the day-long tracking of steps taken and calories burnt. The price tag is slightly on the upper range – and this includes heart-rate tracker that tracks your pulse for activities on land and in water. It is one of those few GPS running watches that can monitor your heart-rate under the water. The V800 does provide advanced metrics for runners and cyclists, such as distance, pace, cadence, speed, heart rate and elevation. The Polar V800 comes in two accents – Black & Grey AND Blue with Red accents. The slight inflated design is not ideal for slender wrists and that makes it less fascinating for a large number of fitness enthusiasts.

Sony Smartwatch 3: Best Running Watch With Music Streaming

sony smartwatch 3The Sony Smartwatch 3 has a balanced mix of features that serves the basic needs of workouts – with a pleasant screen and decent battery life. The aesthetics might not impress everybody but the running watch adds a lot of punch by running on Android Wear. It has a very sturdy 1.2GHz quad-core processor and backed by powerful 512MB of RAM –The built-in GPS delivers a fully-functional fitness accessory is a good mix of useful workout features. The price tag of USD 250 is in the mid-range of GPS enabled running watches. The Sony SmartWatch 3 has a 1.6-inch 320 x 320 transflective display – making it easier to read in direct sunlight than most competing smartwatches.

Polar M400: Best Running Watch With Distance Tracker

polar m400The Polar M400 delivers a very balanced activity tracking from your wrist – walking, running, climbing the stairs or just ambling along the subway. The running watch can flaunt some of its multi sport capabilities with aplomb, but is designed to be a highly intelligent running watch. If you are looking for a lot of pairing, then M400 does not fit the bill and your idea of 360* connectivity has to be abandoned – but it makes up with a highly sensible and aesthetic design. The USB based charging is highly convenient and lets us do away with the fidgety cable or dock. The versatility of the device in underwater conditions is extremely attractive for swimmers and is fully water-resistant for up to 30 meters.

Moto 360 Sport: Best Running Watch For Beginners

moto 360 sportThe Moto 360 Sport is a smart running watch built on Android Wear endowed with GPS and heart rate monitor. This fitness-centric watch is encased in all-in-one silicone strap and is built for ease-of-use rather than on style only. The case size is 45mm which is a bit smaller than the larger Moto 360 but the watch is slightly thicker at 11.5mm. Its weight of 54g makes it a great wearable for rugged fitness practitioners. Like its other predecessors Moto 360 boasts of a hybrid screen – photo chromatic experience which is friendly for both indoor and outdoor display. The battery does need to be recharged every night.

Garmin Forerunner 225: Best Running Watch For Experience Runners

garmin forerunner 225The Garmin Forerunner 225 comes with a round dial of its predecessor and also with the same LCD color display – in toe with the same side button controls. The soft silicon strap is comfortable for a long and sweaty workout. The running watch manages to blend style and performance and delivers all the goods while looking good – the red detailing gives it a suave look. Forerunner 225 is water resistant for up to 50 meters – so it can be taken to the pool or under the shower without any fear of wear and tear. The five buttons and the menus are easy to get used to – making it a good choice for basic workout needs.

Garmin Forerunner 630: Best Budget GPS Running Watch

garmin forerunner 630The Garmin Forerunner 630 is designed primarily for runners although it also supports cycling features because of the presence of the bike / cadence sensor. The simplicity of this running watch makes it one of the most popular ones in its segment – you just need to select your running mode – the almost perfect GPS requires less than half a minute to calibrate. The FR630 is accentuated by a 1.23 inch high resolution color touchscreen display – including backlights for evening run away into wilderness. It is built for the comfort of long workouts and extended running activity. It is water resistant for up to 50 meters under the water.

Garmin Forerunner 15: Best Running Watch With Spotify

garmin forerunner 15It’s exciting to own a robust running watch like a Garmin Forerunner 15 for the price of an entry level running watch – it’s a great combo for runners who need a tracker and who do not want an additional device for fitness tracking. So, it’s an affordable sports watch that also acts as a fitness tracker. It accurately tracks and reports your distance, pace and time – and also comes with an optional heart rate. The watch will push you beyond you comfort boundaries hence help you surpass your set goal each day. Even though the Garmin Forerunner 15 does not have wireless syncing, it is still the best running watch for those who want to improve on their running and active sports.

TomTom Multisports Cardio: Best Sports Watch For Running

tomtom multi sport cardioThe TomTom Multisport is a four-in-one running watch designed to cater to multi-sport activity with the same level of accuracy – allowing you to change the exercise track without breaking the rhythm. The one-button control makes the navigation across the menus extremely simple – and it is complemented by a touch-sensitive strip on the watch face that activates the backlight, helping you in your after-sunset workout. The multi-sport strap is very comfortable for any type of activity and latches on to your wrist with a dozen of holes for letting the air through.

Buying Tips

Although it is possible to find a good number of GPS running watches on the market, they are going to vary in cost considerably. Nevertheless, the priciest gadgets might not be according to your preference. In this article, we have mentioned some aspects to consider which will help you to select your ideal gadget.

GPS Running Watches vs. Fitness Trackers

Using a GPS running watch, it will be possible to observe precisely at exactly how far you have actually gone and also how quickly you’re moving while jogging. You’ll also be informed by the watch regarding whether it has lost the GPS connection. Moreover, due to its simplicity, anyone can use the interface of a GPS running watch whilst running. Most of them allocate buttons to widely used functions, and whilst you’re perspiring, those are usually less difficult to use as opposed to a touchscreen.

By using these running watches you will be able to display as many as 4 total stats simultaneously for speedy feedback on other essential measurements like split time (for every mile or any other measure), pulse rate (if combined with a chest strap or optical sensor), as well as total time elapsed. Apart from this, more high-level metrics are provided by these GPS watches, such as VO2 max score or step cadence, which might not be of that importance to the majority of the individuals but can be helpful to monitor if you’re practicing for a marathon or any other competition.

Furthermore, a GPS running watch will prove to be useful for other sports activities such as distance swimming, trekking, biking, or cross-country skiing where distance monitoring matters most. Also due to the presence of the innovative pre-installed ANT+ receivers, it is possible to add things like cycling sensors for showcasing cadence as well as speed or a committed heart-rate monitor strap.

A fitness tracker will be able to estimate running distances utilizing your steps plus an accelerometer, and for that, you must indicate to it that you are about to start a workout. However, this estimate is not easy. In spite of their reduced size, some more recent fitness trackers include GPS circuitry. Nevertheless, the already recognized and dependable (as well as larger) hardware within a GPS running watch will deliver much better results as compared to the small chipsets crammed into these trackers.

Heart Rate Monitor

Despite the fact that they can be more expensive, some GPS running watches feature integrated optical heart rate monitors which provide you with much more information as well as comfort. As a matter of fact, both the Fitbit Surge as well as the TomTom Runner Cardio feature pre-installed heart rate trackers. Although many cheaper watches do not have any integrated heart rate monitor, it is possible to combine them with a chest band.

Water Resistance

It is essential for a typical GPS running watch to stand up to the elements. Many, if not all, are at the very least splash-proof, but even a few of the most affordable devices provide more protection. For instance, it is possible to immerse the incredible Garmin Forerunner 10 under 166 feet of water. On the other hand, you can submerge the more recent Garmin Fenix 3 in as much as 332 feet of water. However, protection isn’t the only purpose of water resistant watches.


More precision is going to be provided by a pre-installed barometric altimeter in order to attain fresh heights. It’s a sensor which calculates adjustments in elevation by calculating barometric pressure, working along with elevation tracker of the device. In case you happen to be a regular hiker or you do lots of biking plus off-road running, this will calculate the height of your ascend during every single workout. It is quite natural that devices featuring altimeters will be more expensive.

Music Playback

Since GPS technology is already integrated into the smartphones while exercising you won’t need both a GPS running watch along with a smartphone. Nevertheless, you might need a smartphone for listening to songs while sprinting and regrettably, music controls are not offered by the majority of the GPS watches. This is actually a common feature of a smartwatch, found in all-purpose gadgets such as the Fitbit Surge. The impending Garmin vívoactive, which includes GPS, will also function as an effective music controller.

Battery Life

You will usually come across a couple of battery life ratings when it comes to GPS running watches – one during active and the other during standby GPS monitoring. Interestingly, some gadgets, like the Garmin Forerunner 15 will be able to last as straight watches for several months. Nevertheless, it is undoubtedly a challenging task interacting with satellites which significantly minimizes the battery life when the feature is utilized constantly. In the GPS mode, it will be possible for the Forerunner 10 to survive as much as 5 hours on just one charge.

In case of the multipurpose gadgets, power is utilized to support features like heart rate tracking, activity monitoring, and smartphone notifications and, consequently, they tend to have even shorter longevity. Although the Microsoft Band commences with just 2 days of battery life, in case you are using GPS continuously that period is diminished to only a few hours.

Gadgets like the TomTom Runner GPS as well as Garmin Forerunner 15 watch are perfect for runs, day hikes, as well as bike rides since they are able to get a minimum of 5 to 9 hours in the GPS setting.

The breathtaking Garmin fēnix 3 and other similar timepieces which are actually intended for more severe outdoor activities can last as much as 20 hours in the GPS setting.


Truth be told, Bluetooth isn’t very common when it comes to GPS running watches. Wifi syncing is not supported by low-end gadgets like the Garmin Forerunner 10 and it is required to link up this timepiece to your computer if you would like to transmit activity information to a Garmin account. Bluetooth is not common even for the more expensive watches. The Garmin Forerunner 15 will only sync wirelessly to add-ons like chest straps and foot pods, and not your smartphone for data syncing. Units such as the Fitbit Surge will offer you much more flexibility by allowing you to sync data wirelessly.


GPS running watches could be quite expensive and, consequently, it is essential that you comprehend your goals prior to purchasing. In case you want to use a basic GPS running watch only while running, a cheap gadget within the $100 to $200 range should be appropriate for you. Nevertheless, purchasing a top notch gadget will be worthwhile if you like to perform other pursuits and sports while monitoring your progress.

ALSO READ: Top 5 Best Body Fat Monitors – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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