The Garmin Forerunner 230 Black/White is our best GPS running watch which has a battery life of 16 hours with its training mode. The watch mode can last up to 5 weeks of battery and the laps and lap times can be sent to your smartphone when connected and has audio notifications. It also shows you e-mail, call alerts, text messages, reminders from your calendar straight from your smartphone that is compatible with this GPS running watch and it easily monitor your calories, steps and daily distance. It comes with a vibration alert if you sit for too long.
Top Pick: Garmin Forerunner 230
Our step-up pick is the Garmin Forerunner 235 Black/Gray and it has smart notifications such as calendar reminders, call alerts, e-mail, text messages and more and can last up to 12 weeks when in watch mode. The training mode offers 12 hours of use in battery life and a larger screen than the 225 model. It comes with a heart rate sensor that is wrist based in which display size is 1.23 inches or 31.1 mm.
The budget pick is the TomTom Runner Cardio Watch which is a one size fitting GPS running watch and has a color combination of green and white. It is highly great for GPS tracking and personal training and uses QuickGPSFix technology to monitor your heart rate which also tracks your footsteps. It tracks time measurements, burned calories and distance traveled
A Little Background
A GPS running watch is an ideal running buddy or some accomplice when it comes to sporting or outdoor activities, especially those who are athletes or just want to keep themselves physically fit. It is not just for those who are engaging in a sport but also for those who want to slim down and set a goal for themselves by running farther distances at longer times and it enables you to keep track of your workout and daily activities.
Safe to say, a GPS running watch is a very great companion that allows you to gain control over your fitness training and schedule. It is also equipped with a GPS that allows you to track and / or navigate your current location that is much more accurate than phone GPS because it obtains data directly from satellites.
Most runners, cyclers, swimmers, hikers and other athletics often use a GPS running watch to monitor their daily training regimen as well as their other physical activities. A GPS running watch can also be used for monitoring the therapy of most patients.
How We Picked
When we picked the best GPS running watch, we took in mind the following criteria:
What is the price of the GPS running watch? Most GPS running watches are pretty expensive because of their GPS features and especially their heart monitoring features that allow for hassle-free tracking of your heart rate during training, other than the steps you take or your current location. These GPS running watches mostly range from $100 to $300 or more depending on the brand and features.
Are there flaws that can mean to break the deal? For instance, there could be issues to the software and the tracking ability. Always read all of the possible customer reviews before coming down to a decision as to which GPS running watch is the best for you to buy at a friendly price.
What are the features of the GPS running watch? Do know which it can show you such as calories burned, steps taken, distance traveled and current location and you should know whether it also detects elevation and heart rate as well as other important things you need to track.
Can it monitor the heart rate of a person at a very convenient manner? Some simple GPS running watches are so simple that they do not have an option for monitoring the heart rate of a person but on the flip side, these GPS running watches are quite cheaper than the ones with a heart rate monitoring system, so it roughly depends on your budget.
Are the data it can throw very accurate? A GPS running watch must be super accurate compared to phone apps, and this is why they are super expensive.
Is it highly compatible with a lot of smartphones and platforms? A GPS running watch must be compatible for syncing with your mobile device, whatever brand that is. Any GPS running watch will mostly allow you to sync data such as phone calls, text messages, e-mail, social media accounts and activity, calendar events and other notifications.
How long can the battery last and is it replaceable? Most GPS running watches will have super long-lasting batteries that allow you to work out even for days or weeks, depending on which features you activate, since GPS is usually a battery-consuming feature. Some of these GPS running watches are also well-built for marathons with a longer-lasting battery.
Does the screen dim in sunlight or is it just right? Most people complain that their GPS running watch does not stay bright in the day and this is why the GPS running watch must be highly adjustable with its screen brightness.
Can you see almost every kind of accessible information that you need on the GPS running watch? It must have a user-friendly and convenient display as the GPS running watch is an everything-you-need watch that shows you the data you need.
Does it allow you to download more apps for the GPS running watch so you can customize your fitness activities and running experience? Some GPS running watches also have customization options such as watch faces and other apps.
Can the GPS running watch fit on most wrist sizes? You have to know if the GPS running watch has options for small, medium and large or extra large sizes.
Top Pick: Garmin Forerunner 230
With our best GPS running watch, the Garmin Forerunner 230 Black/White, laps and lap times can be sent to your smartphone when connected and has audio notifications. In addition to that, it also shows you e-mail, call alerts, text messages, and reminders from your calendar straight from your smartphone that is compatible with this GPS running watch.
The Garmin Forerunner has a battery life of 16 hours with its training mode and in addition to that, it comes with a vibration alert if you sit for too long. You can totally and easily monitor your calories, steps and daily distance and in addition, the watch mode can last up to 5 weeks of battery.
The Forerunner 230 is made and sold by Garmin. It is also available in black/white, force yellow and purple strike color combinations.
The screen is quite large and an upgrade from the 220 model and as this is a one size GPS running watch, the battery type is a lithium ion. When it comes to its interface, the display size is 180 px by 180 px and when it comes to its watch weight, it measures 0.09 lbs.
Being a very waterproof GPS running watch that can be taken in the shower, while doing dishes or while swimming, the Garmin 230 is very ideal when it comes to all-purpose running and tracking and it also has a phone finder feature in case your phone gets lost. It also uses GLONASS GPS satellite that is very quick and ideal for running and in addition, you can sync via Bluetooth or wireless.
Its satellite capturing is done within seconds as compared to older models and furthermore, it is also highly equipped with the best smart features such as activity tracker and smartphone pair. The watch faces can be easily downloaded via Connect IQ and adding to that, it also allows for attachment of heart rate monitor where you can also monitor the heart rate zone and VO2 max estimate.
Overall, the Garmin Black and White 230 GPS watch great training buddy in which the total weight is 1.4 oz and the shipping weight is 7.2 oz with dimensions of 0.5 x 1 x 1 in and it also highly ranks at #8 in Running GPS Units category of Amazon.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
The only complaint about the Garmin 230 Forerunner Black and White is that it is not as bright as other GPS running watches but okay if you are considering the generous amount of battery life.
Garmin Forerunner 235 Black/Gray
As for the Garmin Forerunner 235 Black/Gray which is our step-up pick, the larger screen than the 225 model and also, the display size is 1.23 inches or 31.1 mm. This GPS running watch has smart notifications such as calendar reminders, call alerts, e-mail, text messages and more.
In addition, the training mode offers 12 hours of use in battery life and it can last up to 12 weeks when in watch mode. It also comes with a heart rate sensor that is wrist based. This watch is available in black/gray, frost blue and Marsala colors.
With the Garmin 235, you can be able to track your heart rate 24/7 continuously. Its LCD screen has a size of 180 px by 180 px and the watch weighs 0.1 lbs.
As a great feature, it is highly water resistant in which the water rating is 5 ATM, meaning it can be submerged up to 50 meters deep. In addition, swim tracking apps can be available from the Garmin Connect IQ and it also has an activity tracker as well as live tracking and audio notifications.
You can easily customize your watch with watch faces from Connect IQ with the Forerunner 235 and run without any strap with its profound heart rate measuring system.
TomTom Runner Cardio Watch
The TomTom Runner Cardio Watch is our budget pick which has a color combination of green and white and being a one size fitting GPS running watch, it conveniently tracks time measurements, burned calories and distance traveled.
This Runner Cardio Watch uses QuickGPSFix technology to monitor your heart rate which also tracks your footsteps and it is also highly recommended and great for GPS tracking and personal training. It keeps your workout at your own pace and it can be used even on indoor treadmill workouts when it is freezing outside and you can’t run outdoors. You can set yourself free from strap heart rate monitors because of this GPS running watch’s versatile design.
The heart rate monitor is super high in accuracy and was tested in electrocardiography and in addition, there are 5 intensity zones that you can set. Furthermore, it comes with the TomTom MySports web tool for syncing online data to share with your friends and seeing your running route.
The TomTom Watch is also available in black and red color combination and most people also use this for cycling other than running. In addition, it also has track elevation, which is why most people use it for cycling as well and displays an elevation graph.
Best GPS Running Watch for Tracking Elevation
Fitbit Surge Fitness Black Small Superwatch
The Fitbit Surge Fitness Black Small Superwatch is available in black and tangerine colors and it comes in small, large and extra large sizes. It is made and sold by Fitbit and highly compatible with over 150 smartphone brands and models.
With the Fitbit Surge, you can sync your running and activity stats to your computer as well as it comes with a sleep monitoring system that lets you wake up with a silent alarm. The touch screen display can also show you text notifications and call notifications and it easily summarizes your workouts and track them. You can totally take control of your workout by seeing your daily steps, burned calories and distance traveled.
You can easily track GPS even at higher routes and in addition, it uses PurePulse heart rate monitor. The Surge Fitness watch has an auto sleep feature that comes with the silent alarm and it also comes with multi sport and SmartTrack feature.
With the Fitbit Superwatch, you can analyze track progress trends and share them with friends and you can also earn badges and try on new challenges online. The battery life is up to 7 days or 10 hours when used with GPS use and you can counts floors climbed. It also has an ideal clock function and shows active minutes as well as the fact that it shows continuous heart rate monitoring.
The Surge Fitness Superwatch has GPS tracking that is accurate and you are able to control music and has notifications. You are also able to track the elevation climbed, distance traveled, split times and running routes and it also has a heart rate monitoring system that is wrist-based, automatic and continuous with heart rate zones that are simplified.
It comes with activity tracking and has a sleek design super watch great for fitness training. The Surge Fitness GPS watch requires 1 lithium ion battery and weighs 1 lbs. It ranks at #5 in Running GPS Units category of Amazon.
Best GPS Running Watch that Monitors Sleep Quality
Microsoft Band 2 Medium
The Microsoft Band 2 Medium is made and sold by Microsoft. You can get call alerts, calendar notifications, text and e-mail notifications and tracks activities for golf, biking, running and other sports.
It is available in small, medium or large size and the medium size fits 6.3 inches of wrists up to 7.5 inches of wrists. It is highly compatible with Android phones, Windows phones and iPhone. You can easily monitor your sleep quality; burned calories, heart rate and the batteries are included in the equipment and uses lithium battery.
With a colored black finish, this GPS running watch has 2.05 lbs of weight. It highly supports e-mail and includes 2 lithium ion batteries. The Microsoft GPS running watch Band 2 weighs 2.1 oz and it also displays your VO2 max. The magnet based clip provides great security.
This watch band is very comfortable to wear and quite slim and it has a sharp screen resolution and even works on all kinds of lighting condition. It is very accurate when it comes to heart rate monitoring and also, the barometer feature is useful for curls and squats. The easy text reply and e-mail reply is very convenient. It also has a barometer and a UV monitor for outside world use and you can easily control your music from this GPS running watch band and is highly compatible with a lot of phones, platforms and apps.
Best GPS Running Watch Running Bundle
Garmin Forerunner 735XT Run Bundle
The Garmin Forerunner 735XT Run Bundle comes with a midnight blue and frost blue GPS running watch and is also available in base model and tri-bundle aside from this run-bundle and also available in black and gray.
Easily get notified with call alerts, text notifications, social media notifications and other phone reminders with vibration as it also has live tracking, upload content to Garmin connect, social media sharing, smart notifications, control over music, audio prompts and heart rate monitoring at 24/7 constant pace.
It also has an elevated wrist heart rate that does not require you to go for an additional strap and it is ideal for running, swimming, cycling, hiking, XC skiing, multisport, paddle sports and other strength and cardio workouts. The shape of the watch is like a traditional one with bands made from soft and comfortable silicon material.
The Garmin 735XT is super lightweight watch material great for multi-sport and an easy press of a button lets you move from one sport to another. Being very small and convenient, it only requires and includes 1 lithium ion battery.
Ideal GPS Running Watch for Tracking Activity
Garmin vivosmart HR Activity Tracker
The Garmin vivosmart HR Activity Tracker is a GPS running watch in which the heart rate detection is wrist-based and provides more information in tracking the burned calories. The right band size can be chosen from a comparison chart and can track your floors climbed, heart rate, distance traveled, steps, calories and minutes of intensity as well as the time of the day.
It is highly recommended by World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the AHA or American Heart Association and the smart notifications let you check e-mail, texts, calls, social media, games, music and others with vibration notification.
Being available in various colors such as black, imperial purple and midnight blue, you can choose between regular and x-large sizes and it is waterproof up to 150 feet so you can take it to swimming and showering. HIt is great for tracking your daily activities as a runner, athlete or just someone who wants to be physically fit and in shape.
The battery used is lithium ion and the vivosmart HR weighs 1.1 oz. The Garmin Connect allows you to wirelessly sync to the community to save and share your fitness challenges and the results and it does not glare or dim in sunlight. It currently ranks at #3 in Running GPS Units category of Amazon.
Long Battery Life GPS Running Watch
Garmin vivoactive HR GPS Smart Watch
The Garmin vivoactive HR GPS Smart Watch is available in regular fit and extra large fit. It is GPS enabled with a long battery life of up to 8 days with normal use of watch and activity tracking mode.
It is currently made and sold by Garmin and has smart notifications for social media and phone notifications syncing. In addition to that, you can download apps, watch faces, widgets, data fields and more with Connect IQ. The no strap required heart rate has an elevated wrist technology 24/7 constant.
With a high resolution touch screen and a black finish color, the Garmin HR GPS Watch requires and includes a lithium ion battery and it ranks #1 in the Running GPS Units Amazon category.
It is ideal and great for running, biking, playing golf or even intensity training and also great for both indoor and outdoor running use. It is also ideal for snowboarding, skiing, rowing, activity tracking, paddle boarding and other sports or physical activities.
With a colored touch screen, this wrist-based heart rate monitor is GPS enabled and has move IQ feature and it also has an auto step goal feature. It easily and accurately measures steps and distance in total for a great GPS Smart Watch.
Colorful Tangerine GPS Running Watch
Fitbit Surge Tangerine Small
The Fitbit Surge Tangerine Small has a striking and vivid and fashionable tangerine color and is on a small size. This GPS watch has call and text notifications and can monitor the heart rate with wrist-based and continuous technology.
It is applicable for burning calories, training zones and workout intensity without the need for chest straps and with over 100 smartphone models and your computer can be synced with data, the heart rate can be easily tracked as well as climbed floors, burned calories, active minutes and steps.
Also, the Surge Small monitors heart rate 24/7 as it is made and sold by Fitbit. With dimensions of 1 in x 0.6 in x 6 in, it weighs 2.7 oz and has a shipping weight of 8 oz. It also has activity tracking, music control, call notifications, text alerts, detection of automatic sleep and many other features, has a silent alarm with an auto sleep function.
Simple and Affordable GPS Running Watch
Garmin Forerunner 210 GPS Running Watch
The Garmin Forerunner 210 GPS Running Watch is water resistant, enables GPS and has a simple and retro design. It is certified refurbished product without heart rate monitor and has a 1 year warranty.
The satellite prediction by HotFix provides accurate information and the rating of its waterproof capabilities is IPX7. It is also shock resistant and you can review and plan and also share results via Garmin Connect. It is also available is a version with a heart rate monitor and is made and sold by Garmin. It is also made for interval training as it weighs 3.2 oz, has dimensions of 6 in x 3 in x 6 in and with a shipping weight of 3.2 oz, it ranks at #16 in Running GPS Units Amazon category. The battery can last 2 days approximately and you have the option to choose between miles or kilometers.
GPS running watches that did not make it to our list are too expensive or lacking in features such as accuracy and heart rate tracking or other features.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the many uses of a GPS running watch?
A: According to Wikipedia , they are important for navigation and they are great for fitness training for various activities such as swimming, running, cycling, walking, hiking or other physical activity. They are also great for sports that require special data and elevation such as when playing golf and the GPS watches can also be used for finding children, adults or other people with intellectual disabilities when they wander around a certain place.
The battery life can be long enough to withstand marathons and swimming tracking uses accelerometer that even works during indoor swimming and some GPS watches are also capable of sensing cycling power and cadence. The heart monitoring is one of the most important uses of a GPS watch and the accessibility features such as phone sync and notifications. In addition, it can also display the map other than your exact location via GPS
Q: What is the importance of a GPS running watch?
A: According to Geek Fitness , it is for knowing how fast you are going and good for motivating yourself and staying fit. It has higher accuracy of GPS compared to phone GPS and you can easily monitor your training schedule as it can display data for your burned calories and distance traveled.
Wrapping It Up
The winner, the Garmin Forerunner 230 Black/White is our best GPS running watch due to its affordability, high accuracy in pinpointing your location and its other great tracking features.