When it comes to owning a GPS running watch, there’s a lot of extra features that are needed in comparison to your average watch. It needs to have a long battery life, provide live performance insights and offer highly accurate GPS.
A GPS running watch will aid any serious runner by telling you exactly where you are and how you can improve your performance, so investing in a sturdy and reliable one is a no-brainer.
1. Garmin Forerunner 235
Great for the price, the Garmin Forerunner 235 offers 11 hours of GPS tracking, resting heart rate insights and provides performance data for nine days in a row on a single charge. It’s a compact piece of tech that works just like a smart watch with its mobile notification features whilst still providing data such as the aerobic Training Effect which ensures you don’t push yourself too far.
2. Suunto Spartan Ultra
The Suunto Spartan Ultra is the big boy when it comes to GPS running watches. It contains an 18 hour battery life – perfect for when you’ve got three days of intensive training whilst being water resistant up to 100m for that ‘tough mudder’ experience. With inbuilt sapphire glass and titanium 5 / steel bezel, it’s a tough piece of kit.
Following the slogan of “beyond logic” the Suunto Spartan Ultra sets out to be the GPS running watch for the athletes and adventurers that push themselves.
3. Samsung Gear Sport
A strong contender comes from Samsung with the Samsung Gear Sport. With a vibrant display and wristband, this GPS watch focuses on not just running but general healthier living.
Having most of the features you would expect, the Gear Sport also allows you to connect to a fitness app and train with your TV, suggests stretches when you’re on a long commute as well as make purchases with Samsung Pay capabilities.
4. Polar M430
Considerably lower on the price range scale and one for those on a budget. The Polar M430 is a comfortable GPS running watch that provides rich and variable insights into your performance through the Polar Flow App. The watch features most of what you would expect in regards to performance data but also has a useful ability to build out structured work outs on a calendar basis.
5. FitBit Ionic
The FitBit Ionic is the very first smartwatch for the brand and works without the use of your mobile phone like most FitBits. Unlike your usual FitBits however, the Ionic includes a relative SPO2 sensor which detects your blood oxygen levels which could be useful in the near future for sleep apnoea tracking.
The Ionic can also store 2.5GB of music and FitBit Pay, however all of this and the above come at a price of £239.99 which some might consider steep in comparison to what our other contenders have to offer.