Wearable devices have transformed the way people use technology in their day to day life. From GPS watches to fitness trackers, the market for wearable devices is growing steadily. One of the most popular categories of wearable devices is the GPS watches. As the name suggests, the GPS watch has a built in GPS device. Thus, it will not only count your steps accurately but also map your path, speed, actual route travelled and more. As the device has a built-in GPS, you do not need to carry your mobile phone on the run.
Having a watch track your workouts like running is the best motivator you can have. While you do the hard work running on a treadmill or a park, these devices will accurately track what you have done. Thus, you can set goals, monitor improvements and track your overall progress.
Often people tend to get confused between fitness trackers and GPS watches. Well, even though they may seem same, there is a significant difference between the two. Fitness trackers are mainly used to monitor your daily activities, sleep patterns and more, GPS watches are mainly geared for runners. This is the reason they are also popular as running watches. These watches not only track distance and speed, but are packed with a load of other powerful features.
You don’t have to be a professional runner to own a GPS watch. It can be used by anyone irrespective of their workout levels. These watches give you a complete picture of your running schedule and help you track the improvements. You can also find special kids gps tracker watch in the market.
How to Choose a GPS Tracker Watch?
A GPS watch is an investment and can become your reliable training partner. So, it is really important that you find the best gps watch that suits your need and budget. The options for GPS watches available in the market are endless. So, choosing a watch may seem to be a tedious task. Here are the factors that you need to consider while making a choice
- Frequency of use Do you run daily? Or do you running sprints on weekends? The frequency of your run directly influences the choice of your GPS watch. How often and how far you run will determine if you need a basic GPS watch or an advanced one.
- Activities Do you need a GPS watch to track your runs? Or do you take up different activities like cycling, swimming or hiking? GPS watches can be used to track any outdoor sport. So, choose a watch that efficiently tracks the activity you are interested in. For example, if you love trekking, you need a GPS watch that record barometric pressure.
- Features There is a vast difference in the features of various GPS watches present in the market. Apart from distance and speed in real-time, GPS watches also have advanced features like heart rate monitoring, navigation and more. If you love to explore new trails in every run, go for a watch that offers navigation. Look for the difference in features between different models and choose the one that suits you best.
Top 10 GPS watches on the Market in 2018
A successor of Polar M400, the Polar M430 is a simple, effective and fuss free GPS watch.
- Compatible with latest versions of Windows and Mac
- Heart rate monitoring
- Tracks metrics for indoor activities
- GPS integration
- Tracks activity and sleep
- Easy to use anytime
- Offers a good battery life
- Reasonably priced
- Not visually appealing as compared to other models in the market
Garmin's Forerunner 645 Music
If you are looking for an advanced GPS watch with workout training features, Garmin’s Forerunner 645 Music is all you need.
- Built-in GPS
- Tracking of Advanced workout training statistics
- Space for up to 500 songs
- Heart rate monitor
- NFC to do mobile payments
- 5 hours of battery life with music
- Water resistance up to 165 feet
- Offers smartphone notifications
- Pricing on the higher end
Apple Watch Series 3 Nike Plus 38mm Smart Watch
When you have just started workouts or running, you cannot invest in a high end GPS watch. You need a smart watch that is versatile. The Apple Watch Series 3 is the best option.
- Barometric altimeter and GPS tracking
- Intelligent activity tracker
- Can be used during swimming in ocean or pool
- Ultimate Sports Watch
- Meet daily goals of steps covered
- Use as a smartwatch if running habit does not stick
- Great looks
- Battery life reduces with GPS or calls
- Requires iPhone or iOS device to pair with
One of the most popular watches in the advanced GPS watch segment, Suunto 9 is a multi-sport watch.
- Smart reminders
- Intelligent battery modes
- Weather trend, storm alarm and times for sunrise and sunset
- Smart Bluetooth and USB connectivity
- Battery lasts for days
- Can track multiple sports activities
- Support for over 80 activities
Garmin Fenix 5
The topper in advanced GPS watches by Garmin, the Fenix 5 is very durable and efficient.
- GLONASS and GPS
- Interchangeable wrist bands
- Advanced tracking features
- Syncs with Windows, Android, iOS, Mac
- Outrageously high priced
The first complete smartwatch by Fitbit Ionic with heart rate and other fitness features
- Personalised voice coaching
- Constant heartrate tracking
- Sleep cycle tracking
- Phone-free music
- Battery that lasts multiple days in a single charge
- Limited apps available
Timex Unisex TW5M11700 Ironman GPS Black Silicone Strap Watch
The best option if you are looking for basic features GPS watch.
- Silicone body
- Lightweight slim design
- Micro USB charging
- 12 hours battery life
- Easy to use
- Old design looks
Samsung Gear Sport Smartwatch
Powerful watch loaded with features for fitness tracking and more
- Counts steps, elevation gain, heart rate and more
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Data is visible in a clear and organised way
- Auto pause feature for red lights
- Access to Spotify and other apps
- Attractive design
- Battery life reduces with use of apps
Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR
Do not like GPS watches as they do not look good on your small wrists? Well, the Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR is just the GPS watch you need.
- Wrist heartrate monitoring
- GPS tracking
- Can be used in gyms or in water too
- Compact and durable
- Versatile training
- Lightweight and slim
- Other watches offer more value for money
If running is your only outdoor activity that needs tracking, the TomTom Runner is the best one for you.
- Measures pace, time and distance
- Ultra slim design and lightweight
- Especially designed for runners
- Silicon belt
- More options available in similar price range
Cost of a GPS watch is usually tied to the number of features it offers. Look for the hardware, data tracking and other features offered by the watch. Compare the features with other watches in same category and then make your choice.