The best GPS running watches

Whatever your needs, check out our selection of top running watches
The best GPS running watches

The best running watch or GPS sports watch is a personal choice and much depends on the amount of detail you want from your runs.

Beyond just simple tracking and pace information, the latest watches will feed back everything from heart rate information to detailed observations of your running style. In short, GPS watches are becoming essential tools in the runner's arsenal.

Essential reading: How to use your watch to be a better runner

Some are pricey, some more affordable. There's a handful with heart rate monitors built in and a clutch that'll even help out with your swimming and cycling needs too.

Of course, there's no one perfect watch, so we've highlighted our top pick below but followed up with other devices that have impressed during our tests and that might suit different budgets and preferences.

Stop press!

Apple Watch Series 2

The Series 2 (not the Apple Watch 2) is more sporty smartwatch than its predecessor and that's because it's finally throwing built-in GPS into the mix. That means you can track runs (distance pace and speed) as well as cycling sessions. The waterproof design means you can go take it for a dip in the pool or the ocean as well. Set to be available in the same 38mm and 42mm watch cases, the Series 2 also comes in a new Nike+ edition, which adds a perforated rubber strap that appeared on the Apple Watch Sport. It comes with custom software and watch faces and it'll provide coaching plans to get the most out of your running sessions. Stay tuned for our full Apple Watch Series 2 review.

TomTom Spark 3

Our current top running watch pick is getting an upgrade, although you wouldn't know by looking at it. The Spark 3 sticks to the same design as the original Spark and still includes a built-in music player so you can listen to music without your phone. Along with a redesigned strap that should make it more comfortable to wear for 24/7 activity tracking, it now includes a compass which means you combine with the onboard GPS to enable route tracking. It works with GPX files, which you can upload to the watch and view routes to make sure you don't get lost out on your running adventures. We're busy testing the running watch right now, but you can check out our early verdict on the TomTom Spark 3.

Garmin Forerunner 35

Garmin's has new entry level running watch might be cheap, but it brings optical heart rate monitoring to the wrist. An upgrade to the Forerunner 25, it offers pace, distance and time data, as well as a real-time readout of heart rate and heart rate zone. It's all the basics even accomplished runners need. You'll get 9 days of battery life in non-GPS mode, and 13 hours of tracked running, which is a pretty impressive figure when you consider the price. Until we've got one in for review, you can check our Garmin Forerunner 35 hands-on to see if it makes a good first impression.

Polar M600

While we only truly recommend devices we've tested, it would be remiss of us not to tell you about the Polar M600, which this month. Polar's new device runs Android Wear, which makes it a proper smartwatch. Polar's added GPS, its proprietary optical heart rate sensor tech, which uses six LED lights to generate wrist-based readings and its own running programmes. This means on paper at least, it's a beast for running. Android Wear also offers built in music (there's 4GB of storage on board) and third party apps from Google Play. Keep a look out for our Polar M600 review in the coming weeks.

Wareable's top pick

TomTom Spark

We've tested and used the TomTom Spark extensively at Wareable, and it's a firm team favourite. It has its issues, and the Spark's a bit rough around the edges, especially when it comes to pairing (we actually do this via a cable to our PC/Macs now to save blood vessels popping). But its solid stats, great heart rate sensor and extensive list of extra features earn the Spark its place at the head of our best running watches list.

As well as the usual running metrics (distance, speed, time), its optical heart rate monitor aced our tests, and it plugs into nearly every running app going. But it's perhaps the storage for MP3s, which it'll play via a pair of wireless headphones, which tips the Spark for us. The feeling of running unencumbered by your phone isn't to be underestimated.

We also love the watch's option to race yourself on previous routes, adding a competitive edge to your training. While a Garmin or Polar may suit you better, the TomTom Spark is a lot more fun to train with than any of its peers.

In depth: TomTom Spark review

$249.99, tomtom.com | Amazon

Best for 24/7 fitness

Garmin Forerunner 235

The Garmin Forerunner 235's mix of features is perfect for intermediate runners looking to step up their training. The key feature here is the optical heart rate sensor on the back, which is capable of tracking steady runs, but you'll want to to don a chest strap for higher intensity workouts.

For those looking for a general picture of overall health, the daily activity stats and resting heart rate tracking is superb, as are the notifications and battery life.

In depth: Garmin Forerunner 235 review

$329.99, garmin.com | Amazon

Best on a budget

Polar M400

Best running watch

Basically a more affordable take on the Polar V800, the M400 is a brand new watch that tracks pace, distance and altitude via built-in GPS. But that's not all, as this beautiful looking running companion comes with some special skills too.

On top of 24/7 activity tracking that means you can ditch your fitness band, there's a whole host of running-specific innovations to keep you moving and motivated. There's an interval timer that can be tuned to time or distance for custom training session, plus it'll even give you an estimate of when you'll finish your run based on your current pace.

For those who get lost easily or often run on their travels, there's a cunning back-to-start option that'll directs you to your starting point in the shortest distance possible.

If you're looking for improved performance – and most of us are – the Polar Running Index calculates how you're (hopefully) improving over time based on heart rate and speed. It'll also tell you the training effect of every single run.

In depth: Polar M400 review

$183.73, polar.com | Amazon

Best for multisport

Garmin Vivoactive HR

The Garmin Vivoactive HR really does it all. Run, bike, pool swim, golf, walk, row, SUP (paddle board) ski, XC ski, run indoor, bike indoor, walk indoor and row indoor – it's a formidable sports watch for those who don't define themselves as runners or cyclists.

The GPS based sports are all well catered for and while it's not a patch on a dedicated golf watch, you can get your distances to the pin and hazards, as long as you download the course via Garmin Connect.

Smartwatch style notifications and the ability to read emails and messages are the order of the day, and of course, the built-in HR makes for much richer data, especially from niche sports. Yes, it's a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, but it's one of the best sports watches out there, as long as you don't expect maximum detail in your results.

In depth: Garmin Vivoactive HR review

$249.99, garmin.com | Amazon

Best for tracking your recovery

Garmin Forerunner 630

Garmin's flagship watch now adds smartphone notifications on the wrist as well as a host of new metrics. You can view data on stride length and vertical ratio which can be used to boost running efficiency, and there's a renewed focus on recovery.

The Forerunner 630 rates lactate threshold and performance condition to try and prevent overtraining, and warns you when you're pushing things too far. It's strictly for the hardcore runner who also wants great smartwatch-inspired features.

Downsides include a lack of built-in HR monitor, which means you'll have to wear a chest strap if you want the extra data. In an ideal world we'd rather have the option for both, but there's no option for that which offers the same breadth of data as the Forerunner 630. If you've got the money to spend, it's one of the best running watches available.

In depth: Garmin Forerunner 630 review

$399.99, garmin.com | Amazon

Best for high-end data

Polar V800

The perfect training timepiece for swim-bike-runners, the Polar V800 tracks everything you do on two wheels, two feet, in the water or on dry land. Pace, distance, fat burn calories and max heart rate are all covered on super clear screens that are brilliantly customisable.

Pair it up with a Polar H7 heart rate monitor and you can also unlock the V800's zonal training smarts, making sure you're sweating it out to achieve the right effect. Hook it up to a shoe pod and it'll also give you cadence, stride length and other insights to help hone your Mo Farah running form. Wannabe Wiggos can also opt for a range of cycle accessories to increase the stats haul from two-wheeled training.

What it reveals while you workout is one thing but this smartwatch keeps giving long after you've sunk your post-workout protein shake. The Recovery Status and Orthostatic Test features predict when you'll be ready to train again. There's also a running program that adapts if you can't fit in a run and includes exercise routines to aid recovery. V800 also doubles as an activity tracker and lets you see whether your daily calorie burn comes from just being alive, workouts or general activity.

Read all about it: Polar V800 review

$338.99 polar.com | Amazon

Best companion app

Fitbit Surge

Fitbit's most powerful wearable to date is looking to take on the smartwatches by adding smartphone notifications, but it's still the Surge's fitness prowess that wins out here.

Onboard GPS makes for accurate route tracking, a week long battery keeps you going without the need for a charger and the rubber construction is durable, if a little on the itchy side. It's also the first Fitbit device to pack an actual display, even it is only a monochromatic touchscreen.

However, it's the app that really shines. Running data has never been so easy to digest, with graphs on your performance. What's more, the data will be seamlessly added to your daily goal, so you get the full benefit for your workout.

In depth: Fitbit Surge review

$249, fitbit.com | Amazon

Best for the trails

Suunto Ambit 3 Sapphire Peak

For the serious athlete, Suunto's Ambit3 boasts accurate tracking capabilities thanks to GPS and some nifty connectivity tech. Pair the watch up with the Suunto Movescount app to alter settings and check progress on your phone. The watch itself is jammed full of sensors, from a compass to a heart rate monitor (that even works during swimming) and altitude checker plus of course it uses the GPS to give you route guidance.

$379.99, suunto.com | Amazon

Best for triathletes

Garmin Forerunner 735XT

The recently announced Garmin Forerunner 735XT features advanced metrics for running as well as the pool, and will keep tabs on your stroke type and efficiency in the water. It's waterproof to 50m, combines with the companies' high-end bike sensors and offers 24 hours of GPS tracking.

Wareable verdict: Garmin Forerunner 735Xt review

$449, garmin.com | Amazon

Best for adventurers

Garmin Fenix 3

The update to Garmin's previous all-action sports watch, the Garmin Fenix 3 is perfectly suited to runners that have broken beyond the confines of the pavements. Cycling, open water swimming and even cross-country skiing are all supported, but it's running where the Fenix really earns its stars. When paired with the heart rate strap accessory, the Fenix 3 tracks distance, elevation, cadence, vertical oscillation and V02 max, and the Garmin Connect software is simply brilliant. If you fancy something a little more luxurious, you can always spend big on the upcoming Garmin Fenix Chronos collection.

In depth: Garmin Fenix 3 review

$549.99 (with heart rate strap), garmin.com | Amazon

Best smartwatch for running

Moto 360 Sport

If you don't fancy the SmartWatch 3, the Moto 360 Sport is well equipped for indoor and outdoor running sessions. It's robustly built with a silicon case and band and features an AnyLight LCD touchscreen to swipe through and easily view your stats in the bright outdoors or at night.

Motorola's Moto Body app is also surprisingly well designed, making your data easy to digest on the move.

In depth: Moto 360 Sport review

$299.99, motorola.com | Amazon


Shop for recommended running watches on Amazon

Garmin Forerunner 235
Garmin Forerunner 235
$329.99
TomTom Spark Music + Cardio
TomTom Spark Music + Cardio
$196.99
Polar V800
Polar V800
$399.99
Fitbit Surge
Fitbit Surge
$219.99

Wareable may get a commission

75 Comments

  • stpmcd says:

    How do you completely leave out the Fitbit Surge?

    • Danjames23 says:

      really? They did mention it

    • xcdcl says:

      You must have missed it. It's the sixth one listed from the top..

    • KRunner says:

      accuracy problems

  • JDebo44 says:

    I prefer the Garmin Forerunner 620.  Check out www.gadgetrunners.com.

  • nope303030 says:

    There is a pretty inappropriate typo in the first line of the Garmen Forerunner 15 discription.  

    • SwimMomRuns says:

      Well, your description of the typo in the text about the Garmin 15 is far worse, as "discription" is not even a real word. In the context of things, I cannot believe that was worth a comment. "Inappropriate" isn't even the best word choice for the issue at hand. It was just a word-tense issue. I read the article for a review of running watches, not because I was concerned about writing style and grammar.  

      • Mark17 says:

        Not to mention misspelling "Garmin." :)

        • mar says:

          Right, what a waste! as for me, I prefer the old school way of running. With an arm support iPhone. First I used Nike's running app, but after a while, I realised it has serious problems and it doesn't fit my needs. So now I use SportMe and I'm ok with it for the moment, I'll see how it goes.

      • xcdcl says:

        Hahaha!!! Everything about this thread is funny ;-)

  • rsmith1987 says:

    Can anyone suggest a decent entry level or all rounder that works well with Strava?  Anything up to about £150 is OK.  

    • Dominick says:

      hi, tomtom works out of the box with strava and they are great watches but lack 'return to start', I do trail running myself and need that feature so i use a suunto r. Suunto usses movescount but in the web interface you can add a connection to strava. 

      In short: know how to get home: go with tomtom, if not Go with suunto

      • Nturner says:

        I'm looking for a watch for my husband and was wondering if any or all of these watches show you your exact route and pace? He runs trails and would like to see where he was. 

  • sneffels says:

    I've had a Garmin 620 for about a year now and it's very good. I was marathon training and it's perfect for that IMHO. I just treated myself to a Garmin VivoActive and am very impressed thus far. I bike, golf, swim, and run and this thing seems to do it all. Haven't tried it for swimming yet, but have the other 3 done this week with good results. Recommended. 

  • Philippe says:

    How is the SMARTWATCH 3 working with MAPMYRUN and other swimming app? I have a SONY XPERIA phone and would like to stay within the same platform but would also like to keep all my previous records with MAPMYRUN?

  • Francis says:

    Hi ,

    Very perplexe regarding running watches. Bought the Adidas and never again. Any suggestion ? Looking into forerunner 225 or vivoactive? Love my running and biking. 

  • Rocape says:

    I've had a Garmin610 since January 2013. It has been great. It is very accurate and the touch screen is easy to use on the run. On the down side it has a pretty short battery life and sometimes it takes up to 5min to get a GPS signal. Unfortunately it stopped working October 2015 which means I only had only 2,5 years use from it. Which at $300 is pretty pathetic. Took it to Garmin Repair service who said they can't fix it. Will I buy garmin again? No...it seems to be poorly manufactured and unreliable if it lasts for less than 3 years.

    • malcs says:

      What would you buy next? (ditto my Garmin Forerunner 10, strap came off after 2 years, and a replacement set is like 25% of the cost of the watch)

  • charlotte102 says:

    I'm not off the treadmill yet so I don't need GPS.  I am hoping to capture also the walking around and moving with a sit/stand workstation and a stationary bike  Monitoring sleeping (or lack thereof) would be nice also.  Suggestions?

    • j.stables says:

      Moov would suit you well.

  • Geooprit says:

    I'm looking to invest in a decent watch and I'm looking at buying the Garmin 620... I'd just like it to measure my speed and distance and anything else is just a bonus also I'd want to be able to wear it just as a standard watch too. Any feedback would be great thanks :D 

  • Tigs says:

    I wanted to make a correction about your comment regarding androidwear not having GPS.  I have the Samsung Gear S and not only has built-in GPS and heartrate monitor (from the wrist), but you can add a data plan and phone line to it so you can leave your phone at home.

  • kdthatsme says:

    Which is better for a runner... TomTom Cardio or Garmin 225? 

  • Wicax says:

    im using apple watch & tom2 cardio.. If marathon i just wear the tom2 coz apple watch gps need the phone its unlikely heavy.. 

    So frankly everyday i track my activity with apple watch, even for 10k practice running in the field or in the treadmill.. But when it comes to race on marathon i will use my tom2 cardio.. It's pretty good, now i can hold my run 11.5km/h from for 2 hours.. (2 months ago 10.5km/h)

    But i still want to know about vo2 max fitur? Do i need that? Do i need to buy the watch that have the vo2 fitur? Coz i still want to improve my marathon speed to 12-13km/h.. (I am 169cm & 83kg, really over heavy)

  • Espartak says:

    Hello people!

    Can you update this post? I think it is very useful, but it has to be updated often. The GPS running watches are changing like the speed of light! :)

    Thanks,

  • Swissy says:

    I'm looking at buying my husband a GPS runners watch for Christmas and wondered which was best? He often gets lost on his adventurous runs so was thinking this would be useful. Does the GPS say the route out loud like with a normal car navigation system? Thanks, I'm totally clueless here...

    • j.stables says:

      Most don't do routes. GPS refers to tracking rather than guidance. However, Garmin devices let you set routes and the top top end ones like the Fenix 3/Epix have a compass built in to offer SOME support. But it's not quite turn-by-turn. 

    • TimHarrod says:

      @j.stables - Suunto Ambit 3 both the Peak and Sport support tracks, the app is easy to use and you can map a route with way points or just steal someone else's. Once sync'd with the watch it's easy to bring up a route and watch the scaled route and indicator arrow on your wrist to know where your going, I have successfully many times.

      Suunto are not cheap, but good things, with the higher end build quality aren't, but so so worth it.

  • Running-Dad says:

    if you want music and don't want to run with a phone, seems your only choice is a Tom tom spark. Are there any other options. Is the spark worth the cost?

    • sanmd says:

      I believe you can do the same with Sony Smartwatch 3!

  • KerriM says:

    Can I use any of these watches to track my mother in law whom has dementia while she is out on a walk with my phone?  Can I locate her?  She is in denial so I want her to think it is for fitness (which it is) but also incase she loses her way we can also loacte her.

    • tiat says:

      I need to know too.. Did you have any luck figuring it out?

    • pond83 says:

      Hi KerriM,

      Don't know if you have had any luck with this yet, but an activity tracker like Endomondo allows you to see the location of someone while they are out on their run/walk.  The app can be used on iphone/android phone and the Sony Smartwatch 3.

  • Gtpet says:

    hi,

    I'm looking for the best gps watch that will also measure heart rate from the wrist and not require a strap. Any suggestions???

  • runner says:

    I bought the Garmin 620, thought it would be good. But I can't keep a signal. at first I thought it was where i lived, and just dealt with it. Till i did several races where there wasn't anything blocking the GPS. So i contacted Garmin.....support is horrible! No they will not replace the watch and that's $420 down the drain.

    • MarathonGirl says:

      Same issue for me. Can't get or keep a signal. What a huge waste of money. Don't feel confident to buy another watch now so will just run with my trusty stop watch.

  • Minotauro says:

    Hi,

    What is the best fitness tracker to use in the soccer? After the game I need to analyse the player position in the field during the game and the heart rate.

    Thanks.

  • fldude says:

    How does the Samsung Gear S2 stack up here?

  • Emansonator says:

    I'm looking for a watch that does GPS tracking, mapping, pace, elevation, HR and music. Suggestions?

  • Runner1967 says:

    4 years ago I got a Motorola; Motoactv, until today is still the most complete watch ever produced.  side by side there is no other watch that have all the functionalities:

    GPS, Radio FM, 8-16GB MP3 Player, Altimeter, bluetooth, Wifi, Cadence sensor, Power sensor (Via ANT+ Sensor) , calls alert, Texts alets, calendar Alerts. Heart rate monitor, pedometer, indoor tracking, touch screen, light sensor that adjust the screen. 

    Too bad Motorola never produced a second generation, After 4 years the battery last for a full marathon while is playing music. 

  • Biggie says:

    The Garmin Fenix 3 now has an option to include the same HR monitor as the 235, DCRainmaker seems to rate it.....bit on the pricey side mind and not much availability! 

  • LauraP1 says:

    I want a decent gps running watch with heart rate monitor. Training for marathon. But I also do indoor workout & cross training so want heart rate monitor to judge my efforts & calorie burn. Is there a watch which will be awesome for running tracking but also for just heart rate only monitoring?

  • Sseman says:

    is there any that doesn't count moving arms normally and not walking. Fitbit and garman both very inaccurate counts steps when not walking 

  • ranners79 says:

    hi everyone, At the moment im using a phone with a scosche rhythm hrm on the arm but I'm not very pleased with this setup. So im looking for a GPS watch with a built in mp3 player with a non chest strap hrm.  Any ideas

  • wokkawokka says:

    You would think for "running and active" watches they would include MP3 storage to hold songs to play music with bluetooth headphones. GET IT TOGETHER ALREADY!

  • caroline12 says:

    I'm a soccer and rugby referee and want to buy a watch that will track my milage and positioning on the field during games. Is there a watch that will accurately track this for me.

  • caroline12 says:

    Hi I'm a soccer and rugby referee and am looking for a watch that will track my milage and positioning on the field during the games. Is there a watch that can accurately do both for me.

  • juliafig says:

    Hello, considering I need a watch to record: distance and HR in Running and Cycling and HR in indoor sports, with HR on the wrist and sync with the Strava, witch is the best: FR225, TT Cardio or another?

  • Kayzee says:

    I want a running watch to replace my ancient Garmin 201. My ONLY complaint with it is that it loses the satellites too much. However, it has interval training capability (I can see work distance or time/rest distance or time, number of intervals and press GO.) I can drop "breadcrumbs" to get back to my start by reverse route or directional, I can see elevation of run. I can set pace alarms. Nothing I've sermon the market does this.  I don't give a (hoot) about heart rate, stride length, Bluetooth sync or shining my shoes.  Advice?? 

  • btr1976 says:

    I want a GPS fitness tracker that tracks steps, running stats, distance, pace, calories  and other activities. I don't care about heart rate or text, phone, email alerts.  If it plays music, all the better because I don't have to have my phone with me.  What's the best option under $200? 

  • mjc154 says:

    I'm looking for a GPS watch to help train for half marathons and marathons. I currently have the Magellan echo fit and like that I'm able to use it as a remote to my smartphone. Unfortunately, I have had this watch for just over 1-yr and the battery life is weak and it has recently froze becoming non operational.  I use map my run and would like a watch that's able to be used in this manner with map my run. Anyone know of a watch similar to the Magellan echo fit?

  • Olek says:

    I saw the comment that someone wanted to buy her husband a watch Which has a navigation system like in a car. The Garmin Epix is a good one because it is an all rounder and even has GPS and glonass. The poor thing is that it looks kind of bulky and can cost up to $600

  • kitkat says:

    Which one would be best for a high school cross country runner - looking for something more on the entry level for now as a gift for my son. Also, I saw something called an Adidas Fit Smart at Amazon:  specs....

    • New - all day activity: set goals and track steps, calories and distance all day.
    • Our adidas fit smart provides visual coached guidance for workout intensity to keep you on track, motivated and training smart and effectively
    • The Fit Smart watch has an integrated accelerometer tracking pace, distance and stride
    • This sports fitness watch syncs wirelessly with miCoach train & run app
    • Fit Smart with Mio wrist based continuous heart rate technology
    • Doolie2007 says:

      Check out the TomTom Runner. Under $100. Great for high school xc runners.

  • fitnessmom says:

    I am looking for advice on which watch to get.  I run and i recently started training with a personal trainer at gym.  Which watch is best for this?  I really like the look of the Garmin Vivoactive as i can wear it throughout the day but not sure if this is the right watch to track my gym activities.  I also have been told that the Tomtom runner 2 and the Polar M400 is good.  What are your views?

  • thejone says:

    It's complete codswallop that the Fitbit surge's battery lasts a week. You;re lucky to get a day out of it, if you do any kind of GPS tracking. Their recommendations for extending battery performance means using nearly non of the features. 

    Credit to Fitbit's support staff they are amazing and are super helpful. but to advertise this tracker's battery life as 1 week is pure fantasy.

  • madsrg says:

    I just bought the new TomTom because I had the previous Nike+ watch that was made by TomTom, and was very pleased with the old one. Unfortunately I am really not happy with the new watch by TomTom :/ The button on the wrist is terrible to use. You have to push really hard for it to react, making it a pain when it is strapped on. And you have to push in the wrong direction (up to go down in menu and vice versa) and push left to go right. I wish I had started using it before my 30 day money back guarantee had expired :/ I used it today for the second time, and it froze when I switched menu while running. Main problem is the wrist button, what a terrible design.

    • iagommc says:

      Hey, i'am almost buying the Nike Sportwatch, why bought another, is the Nike Sportwatch not good anymore or something?

  • tonymahony says:

    does anyone know whether it is possible to use zombie run with any of these watches without having to cart round your phone? i know they provide phone free running. personally im really enjoying the app so would like to keep it going but im fed up of carting my phone round the arm strap annoys me immensely and im one of these runers who needs everything in place so i can concentrate on the run. 

  • Brick says:

    TomTom Spark i returned because i could not sync the data to the App on my iphone 6p. The watch Itself had some good features for the price.

  • fb_007 says:

    what is best smartwatch?

  • GMan185 says:

    I really love the concept of lactate threshold estimation in the FR630 & Fenix 3 HR. No other devices interest me without such running metrics. Does anyone know whether a movescount app and a compatible ambit 3 can do the same thing & if so does it need to be paired with a smartphone while running?

  • 10KstepsDaily says:

    I think the Garmin 920XT should be mentioned.  The watch band IMO is the best, most comfortable out there.  I would certainly rate the watch above TomTom's.

    I wrote a rather long article on the Garmin 920XT.  Right now it's definitely my favorite.

    Garmins in general have a much faster GPS connect time than any other watch I have used.  I run with about 16 guys and they have various watches, but the ones who have garmins always connect first.  I have a Polar M400 and V800 and they always lag in initially connecting.

    The other thing that needs to be mentioned is battery life.  The 920XT lasts a long time.  I can wear the watch for 2 to 3 weeks before I have to charge it and that is using it every day.

    IMO don't waste your money on cheaper watches, get a great one from the start.  

  • kurtbarker says:

    Really surprised not to see the Garmin Vivoactive HR on the list (and even more surprising to see the TomTom Spark take the lead). I've been looking for a wearable for a few months, and I read (on several sources) that the TomTom spark had really bad connectivity and syncing issues, and the music playback was very fussy (almost to the point of not being able to use it). Have you used it, if it's just from a feature list it's quite misleading. I bought my Vivoactive HR today. I still wear my phone on my arm, and the fact it has music control, and control for any app (including spotify), i'm pretty happy. It's also getting great reviews, and no complaints from me just yet.

    • j.stables says:

      I use the Spark for every run, and there are elements of truth with the fussiness of connecting headphones, although I've overcome them now and don't have any problems. Syncing has also not been a problem. Check the full review for full thoughts. The reason it's our #1 choice is mainly the accuracy of the HR and the ability to use it for music. It's liberating.

  • LCL999 says:

    TomTom Runners GPS Watch – It’s a fail – I give it 4 out of 10.

    I recently bought one of these but I’m pretty disappointed. It does not do the most basic of all tasks. It does not tell me what my time was at the end of a run! To be fair, it also has some nice features. Let me walk you through it.

    My old GPS watch is a Garmin Forerunner. It worked reasonably well but had a couple of annoying deficiencies. I can download a run to my computer using their software package and see a table of times, distances, and even altitudes for each lap, as well as the totals. But the display was not enabled for cut and paste; so to transfer the data into an Excel spreadsheet it had to be manually keyed. I expected the TomTom to be better, and it is. The TomTom’s display is also bigger and higher contrast, which is great for old eyes like mine. Also the Garmin was very slow to lock onto the satellites, the TomTom is much much quicker.

    Now as to using the TomTom. It has one big fat button which is effectively four buttons. You can select options by pressing up, down, left, or right. The screen is also sensitised so touching it usually (but not always) turns on the internal light. The UP/DOWN buttons scroll through various displays of information, the LEFT/RIGHT buttons are for selecting options and starting/stopping. A lot of the options are for “training” which means setting targets for things like time or distance or pace, or running against the times of a previous run. I have not explored these functions, but they seem to be where most of the development effort went, to the detriment of basics.

    This is the procedure to time a street run, complete with “laps” defined by various landmarks such as corners and intersections. Starting from the time-of-day clock press RIGHT. This has “RUN” as its default. Press RIGHT again. The screen now shows “Please wait” until it has a satellite fix, then it changes with a buzz to “GO”.Pressing RIGHT again starts the clock and I start running. The display shows elapsed time in nice big numerals, and I can press DOWN or UP to scroll through other info such as distance, pace etc.So far so good.

    The LAPS mode I have preset is MANUAL (The alternative lap modes are fixed times or fixed distances). Oddly, one signals the end of a lap by touching the screen, a function which normally turns the light on. As well as being non-intuitive (pressing RIGHT for lap end would be logical) the screen has a mind of its own. It can be oversensitive and will register in the bush if I brush off a cobweb or push through some foliage. Sometimes it refuses to register no matter how hard or often I tap or wipe it. This happens when I’m running in the rain and my fingers and its face are wet. Similar to the Garmin, the display shows the lap count for five or ten seconds, which for me is irrelevant and denies me the time when I passed the lap marker. Better would be the option to show lap time or total time for the ten seconds. Best would be to briefly freeze the display to whatever it had been scrolled to.

    There is no option, or no simple option, to pause the clock and then restart it. For example if one wants to exclude waiting at the lights to cross a road, or stopping to retie ones shoelaces. This should be a LEFT click to pause, RIGHT to restart; but it isn’t.

    Now comes the killer. At the end of the run there is no simple way to stop the timer, and no way at all to show the final time in big numerals. As far as I can it work out, the procedure is to press LEFT twice (pressing just once changes the display but the timer keeps running), or perhaps one long press. If I get it right, which is seldom, this brings up a symbol, two fat vertical bars like the stop symbol on a CD player. Pressing UP brings a displays in very small print five metrics of the run. Total time, distance, number of laps, pace or speed and calories. All very nice for 25 year old eyes in broad daylight, quite useless for old eyes in the gloaming. I just want to see the time I ran in big numerals to tell the registrar. My reading glasses are five minutes away locked in my car, or an hour away at home.

    It gets worse.Pressing LEFT multiple times stops the timer, but press it once too often and one gets back to the time-of-day display; and the run time is lost! Truly, the watch will not now display the time you just ran. It’s hidden inside and can be recovered when you transfer the run to a PC (or smartphone I’m told). So some hours later when I get home I can find out the time I ran. Great!

    It’s a shame really, because there is much to admire in the watch. For example; the big easy-to-read numbers (except at end-of-run), the buzz to confirm button pushing and satellite fixing, the quick time-to-fix, the excellent zoomable map of the run that comes up on my PC, the wide comfortable strap, the long battery life (you can use it as your normal day-to-day watch). From reports I read the various training options are good for those wanting such functions.

    There are some minor but forgivable annoyances. I can set the time-of-day display to 12-hour mode, but the next day it has reset back to its default 24-hour display. Times over the hour are shown as hours and minutes, with seconds in script so tiny as to be unreadable. I would love the option to omit the hours and show times all in big digits up to 99m 59s, or even better up to 999m 59s. The PC graphical display graphs altitude quite well, but the pace graph is so higgley-piggley as to be useless. It needs a better smoothing algorithm. There is an altitude number for the whole run that doesn’t match total height climbed (measured off the graph) or anything else.

    But as for, at the end of a run, seeing how long you took and how far you went, forget it.

    • j.stables says:

      One TomTom annoyance is the lack of a digest at the end of a run, but if you go the run option and press UP to the calendar icon, you can see details for the last 10 runs or so. It's a bit weird there's no summary screen automatically displayed at the end of the run, but that's how you find the details you're looking for.

  • Morg81 says:

    Hi

    Bought a Garmin Vivoactive HR 10 days ago: was looking for a GPS smartwatch with an ALTIMETRE/BAROMETER: apart from the most expansive watches (Suunto and Garmin Fenix) this Vivoactive HR is the only one that includes one.

    So if you want to keep an acurate track of your elevation during your runs/rides/trails etc. this Vivoactive HR is a must.

    I'm also quite happy with the battery: almost a full week before having to charge it, with a 24/7 use including push notifications from an iPhone, 2 hours of run (GPS on) and 3 hours of working out (GPS OFF).

    The "real" test will be next October: I'll use it for 2 obstacles races (Spartan Beast and Super), we'll see if it survives these 8ich hours of effort ;-)

  • Eline says:

    Does anyone know an activity tracker with GPS that is suited for woman's wrists? My wrist measures barely 14 cm and even the garmin vivosmart is huge in comparison to my wrist.

    • j.stables says:

      Vivosmart HR+ is about as good as it gets I think. It is quite chunky. Obvs if you're willing to take a phone along Moov Now is quite dainty. Sorry, not much help.

  • JaySoprano says:

    Please does anyone have an answer to the comment by KerriM ? (Dated 25 Nov 2015)

    "Can I use any of these watches to track my mother in law whom has dementia while she is out on a walk with my phone? Can I locate her? She is in denial so I want her to think it is for fitness (which it is) but also incase she loses her way we can also loacte her"

    i have a similar problem. if its possible , which is the best for this problem? thanks.

    • SurfDog says:

      Garmin's LiveTrack lets you track activities in real time for free using Garmin Connect Mobile when you pair the app with a compatible Edge or Forerunner device. If you use iPhones, you can track someone via Apple’s “Find my friend” app. Or check out the Glympse app available for both iPhone and Android. It's specifically for tracking family members on the go.

  • fran says:

    I think another very deserving watch to be on this list is the garmin 735 XT. Looks great. High quality with heart rate monitor built in and accuracy is very good. The only thing I will say it's the battery is only for 14 hours with gps on, which might be too short for some. I find it totally fine, but if you're looking for long battery with gps on, maybe look at the 910XT instead.  

  • yogibimbi says:

    oK, now the Apple watch Series 2 is out, the question is: how long do the other watches still have?

  • doris95 says:

    contact [email protected] for any type of hacking, he is a professional hacker that specializes in exposing cheating spouse,and every other hacking related issues. he is a cyber guru , he helps catch cheating spouse by hacking their communications like call, Facebook, text, emails, Skype and many more. i have used this service before and he did a very good job, he gave me every proof i needed to know that my fiancee was cheating. You can contact him on his email [email protected] to help you catch your cheating spouse, or for any other hacking related problems, like hacking websites, bank statement, grades and many more. he will definitely help you, he has helped a lot of people, contact him and figure out your relationship status. i wish you the best too

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.