Looking for the best GPS running watches today? Whether it is keeping track of the calories burnt, how far you’ve gone, or your overall activity – a GPS watch has it all. Here is a review of some of the best ones you can get today.
Related: The Best Running Shoes for Women Under 100 Dollar
Top GPS Running Watches on the Market
1) TomTom Spark 3
A smartwatch launched by Mapping Technology company, TomTom, the Spark 3 Cardio is the successor to the very popular TomTom Spark Cardio. The Spark 3 has been widely regarded as a very good all-around Fitness Watch which also functions as a Smartwatch. Operated by a nifty touchscreen display, the TomTom Spark 3 comes equipped with all the features you’d come to expect from a fitness watch and more and retails at a reasonable price.
- 3 GB Built-In Storage
- Music Player
- Multi-Sport Mode
- 24/7 Activity Tracker
- Route Exploration
Pros & Cons
- Fairly Durable
- Route Exploration Feature works Great
- Built-In Storage and Music Playback are stand-out features
- Bluetooth Headphones work well
- GPS Response is a bit slow and sometimes takes too long to find a route.
- Improvements over Previous Generation but not worth the price increase
- Heartbeat Sensor is not always accurate, needing you to rely on an external sensor.
- Activity Tracker works but sometimes misses the mark.
- Battery Life slightly on the lower side.
Overall, the customer reviews are positive but there are some who are disappointed with its lack of new features over its predecessor, the Spark, and its slightly inaccurate Heartbeat sensor.
Conclusion: The TomTom Spark 3 is a decent improvement over its predecessor and competes well with other products in the market but it’s a bit expensive compared to the features it offers over its predecessors.
2) TomTom Runner GPS
The TomTom Runner is a cheaper alternative to the TomTom Spark series and is primarily made for tracking Running/Jogging activity. It comes with a decent set of features at a wallet-friendly price of $92.3 on Amazon and will suit all your needs so long as you stick to running.
- Indoor Tracker
- QuickGPSFix Technology
- Bluetooth Support
Pros & Cons
- Lightweight and Practical Design that fits comfortably on the wrist.
- QuickGPSFix Technology works great and helps with really good GPS Reception
- Indoor Tracker is a useful tool for people who like to use Treadmills often
- Decent interface and animations
- Detachable Interface and Rubber
- Lack of a built-in USB Charging feature
- Interface of the Web-Tool is a little too barebones and minimalistic
- The watch doesn’t properly fit in the strap, which can lead to a worry of it falling off.
The customer reviews are mostly positive but some have given negative reviews based on minor malfunctions with the QuickGPSFix technology and the lack of an option to pause the run.
Conclusion: The TomTom Runner GPS is a very solid product overall but falls short in the quality department and some of its features don’t quite function as advertised. A very decent pick if you’re an amateur runner though.
3) Suunto Ambit3 Peak HR
The Suunto Ambit3 is a fitness watch that is equipped with a number of features that even professional fitness experts would love. It’s expensive, loaded with features that are purely for fitness assistance and beams with quality. If you can afford the hefty $329 price tag on Amazon, you’re getting pretty much everything you would ask for.
- Large number of sensors including Altimeter, Compass and Water Resistance
- Extremely Accurate 5-Seconds GPS System
- Long Battery Life of 30 Hours with GPS and Up To 200 Hours Without GPS
- Recovery Time indicator
- Movescout Training Programs
- PhoneSynch and MovieMaker
Pros & Cons
- Top-Notch Build Quality
- Large Number of Features and Fitness Tools
- Extremely accurate sensors and GPS
- Quick GPS Reception
- Altitude and Weather Condition Indicators
- Long Battery Life
- Expensive but feature packed
- Battery life not always as long as advertised
The customer reviews are mostly positive as this watch comes packed with features and quality and does not disappoint, despite the seemingly high price tag.
Conclusion: The Suunto Ambit3 Peak is everything a Fitness Enthusiast would expect of a wearable Fitness Assistant and is packed to the brim with features and quality. The catch though is the price which you’ll find is very justifiable once you buy the product.
4) Garmin Forerunner 920XT
The Garmin Forerunner 920XT is your standard Garmin Forerunner Fitness watch with as many bells and whistles you would expect on a Garmin Mid-Ranged product. Available on Amazon for $259, the Forerunner 920XT makes up in quality and user-friendliness for being on the more expensive than the competition. It has accurate sensors and is rather easy to use with some convenient features.
- Compatibility with Bike Power Meters
- Advanced Running Dynamics Tracker which tracks Verticle Oscillation and Ground Contact Time
- Can be paired with a large number of devices including Action Cameras
- Smartphone Notification System
Pros & Cons
- User-Friendly interface that is smooth and responsive
- Bike Power Meter Compatibility is a nice touch, making Biking Experiences more immersive
- Finds GPS Signal relatively quickly
- Smartphone Notifications are a nice touch
- Swim Tracker is effective and accurate
- More expensive than the competition
The customer reviews are mostly positive and their customers don’t generally have much to crib about other than the price which, while higher than the competition isn’t a deal breaker.
Conclusion: The Garmin Forerunner 920XT is a very solid fitness watch which offers a plethora of features for its higher than average price. There’s not much room to complain other than the comfort aspect of it which is very tolerable to deal with.
5) Garmin Forerunner 310XT
The Garmin Forerunner 310XT was once widely regarded as the perfect budget running watch. It may be ordinary and simplistic in nature but that is exactly what works in its favor, as it delivers on what it promises to deliver and has just the right features for its price, $129 on Amazon.
- Can time swims in lakes and pools as it is waterproof up to 50 meters
- Seamlessly switches between activities allowing you to track data from multiple sports without looking at your watch.
- Integration with Cycling Power Devices
Pros & Cons
- 20 Hour Battery Life with a bike power integration allowing for convenient usage for long durations.
- Waterproofing is a nice addition over the previous Garmin 305, allowing you to track Swim data.
- Easy-to-read display
- Multisport mode allows for seamless transition between different activities at the press of a button.
- Heart Rate sensor is optional
- Display is a bit too minimalistic and old-fashioned
- Issue with flooding and waterproofing doesn’t always work as advertised
The customer reviews mostly indicate that the watch has issues with its optional heartbeat sensor and questionable waterproof capabilities. There are a lot of positive reviews as well.
Conclusion: The Garmin Forerunner 310XT may be barebones to look at but its no-nonsense frugal approach towards Fitness Assistance is nothing to scoff at and is still a solid if a bit outdated pick.
6) Garmin Forerunner 630
The Forerunner 630 is Garmin’s high-end Fitness watch which has a plethora of advanced features and demands a hefty price tag. It comes with high-end sensors and navigation system and boasts of superior quality. It looks trendy and has a high-tech color display.
- 2nd Gen Running Dynamics which measures 6 advanced running dynamics
- Physiological Measurements including stress performance, lactate threshold, and performance conditions
- Wireless transmission of data to compatible devices
- Long-lasting battery life
- Customizable high-resolution touchscreen
Pros & Cons
- Accurate and Quick GPS
- Solid Battery life
- Long list of features and sensors
- Stress performance measurement is a nice feature to have
- Customizable Interface lets users define how it works best for them
- Not the most responsive touchscreen on a Fitness Watch
- Some synching/pairing issues with devices
The customer reviews are mostly positive but do point out issues with its touchscreen being unresponsive.
Conclusion: If you can get past the unresponsive touchscreen and pairing issues with some devices, the Forerunner 630 is a very competitive flagship Fitness Watch by Garmin but it does have some stiff competition to deal with from other high-end Fitness Watches.
7) Garmin Vivoactive Smartwatch HR
Garmin’s contribution to the Smartwatch category, the Vivoactive HR is Garmin’s top-level touchscreen fitness watch and comes with a bunch of features, primarily to compete with the TomTom Spark 3. It costs $199 on Amazon and is equipped with features that justify the price tag but could do with some improvements.
- High-Resolution touchscreen with sunlight readability
- Regular Fits wrists of any size with ease.
- Smart Notifications
- Advanced Trackers for Multiple Sports and Activities
- Customizable Alarms
Pros & Cons
- Smart Notification system is really good and syncs well with phone
- Replaceable Watch Band that fits easily on any wrist size
- Customizable alarm system is a nice feature that lets you set multiple personalized alarms
- Tracks nearly every kind of movement and activity
- Clunky Design
- Gimmicky Touchscreen that isn’t always responsive
- Heartrate Sensor isn’t the most accurate during vigorous exercises.
As per customer reviews, this watch has a small number of cons but makes up for it in sheer all-around capability by providing a large number of features for multiple types of fitness activity. A decent training assistant.
Conclusion: The Vivoactive Smartwatch is a decent fitness watch but not without its issues. It has a lot of capabilities and functions but it doesn’t always deliver as per expectations. All said and done, it is a very capable product in the Smartwatch department.
8) Garmin Forerunner 235
A nifty little fitness watch with a long feature list on offer for a very reasonable price tag, the Garmin Forerunner is a very potent training assistant that has a lot going for it and doesn’t give its users a lot to complain about. One of the best fitness watches out there in the market for around $326 which puts it in the high-end category.
- Customizable Interface
- Sunlight Readability
- Audio Prompts from Smartphone Companion App
- Smart Notifications
Pros & Cons
- Accurate, practical and quick to respond GPS that works joyfully
- Nimble and practical dimensions
- Easy to use and customizable interface allowing for a personalized user experience
- Decent quality and durability
- Accurate Heart Rate sensor
- Not the best Battery Life
- App isn’t exactly user-friendly
- No built-in storage at its price tag is a questionable decision
The customer reviews mostly indicate how this watch is a solid fitness assistant and works how the expect it to work. The issues are mostly with the app which sometimes causes problems but not too often.
Conclusion: The Forerunner 235 is a slightly expensive but well-rounded Fitness Watch which has very useful, accurate data mining capabilities. The feature list is long but not comparable to the price tag. It isn’t exactly trendy to look at but other than a few issues with application connectivity, there is little to complain about with the Forerunner 235 as it joins a number of Garmin products on this list.
9) Garmin Forerunner 620
The Garmin Forerunner was a former Garmin Flagship running watch, taken over by the Forerunner 630. The 620 still has a lot going for it, though and is a cheaper, more practical option to the bulky Forerunner 630. Currently sitting at $300 on Amazon, it offers plenty of features for the price and comes in the form of a compact design.
- A large number of sensors that constantly monitor the wearer’s fitness level
- Instant upload to GarminConnect
- Advanced GPS System
- Built-in Accelerometer
- Indoor Tracking
Pros & Cons
- Lots of trackers and sensors that accurately track every detail of your running
- Instant WiFi sync using just a single button
- Garmin Connect experience is effortless on this watch
- More practical dimensions than its successor
- Unresponsive Touchscreen that can sometimes get frustrating to use
- Unreliable Heart Rate sensor that connects only via ANT+
- A bit uncomfortable to wear as the straps can be a bit itchy.
The user reviews are full of positive comments. Back in its day as a flagship, the Forerunner 620 was nearly flawless and offered everything serious runners looked for in a fitness watch. It may have lost some of its flair with the newcomers in the market, including its successor but it still has plenty of stuff going for it.
Conclusion: The Forerunner 620 is a former flagship product that still attracts a lot of buyers and for good reason. It offers a good set of features for its asking price which happens to be cheaper than its successors and it offers a more practical, comfortable design but with fewer bells and whistles than its fancy successor, the 630.
10) Nike Sports Watch by TomTom
Of course, Nike had to participate in the Fitness Watch competition so it collaborated with TomTom to come up with a product of its own, which results in the Nike Sports Watch, available on Amazon for a very affordable $159. For the price, it offers a decent set of features but it seems to offer very little to distinguish it from TomTom’s fitness watches. It does look prettier, though.
- Water Resistant with Swim Trackers
- Accurate Running Trackers with Advanced Sensors
- NikePlus Challenge Synchronization
- Optional Heart Rate Sensor offered by Polar
Pros & Cons
- User-friendly design with decent fitting and practical dimensions
- NikePlus is a decent feature that lets you aspire to compete with challenges online
- Decent Battery Life
- Well Priced at $159
- Appealing design that feels nice to look at
- A bit too similar to its TomTom counterparts
- Some GPS problems and it isn’t the most accurate out there
The user reviews are quite positive as Nike offers very reliable customer service and a community that constantly encourages the wearer to achieve fitness. The watch, for its price, may not be the most feature-packed one but is definitely very reliable to use.
Conclusion: The Nike Sports Watch may leave a lot to be desired in terms of individuality, but if you like TomTom products, you will love this one as it offers all those features along with Nike customer service and reliability as well as access to the NikePlus community which is really encouraging.
Related: The Best Fitness Trackers: 10 Top Activity Bands To Buy Now
Which One Should You Go For?
It all depends on what you want to do – do you want a GPS watch or something more? Have a look at the list and decide for yourself.