GPS watches are very useful devices for sports but also for activities such as trekking and mountain hiking. These allow, thanks to the GPS antenna, to keep track of your position, as well as provide many extra functions such as a heart rate monitor, pedometer, and calorie burned indicator. In this ranking we have collected the best GPS Watches for running, trekking and sports in general.
Best GPS Watches
A GPS watch is a special device that uses the GPS signal to constantly monitor the position and to provide useful data in real-time. These can be used both for orientation during walks, trekking, and excursions using the many maps available, and for numerous other sports such as running, swimming, gym, or cycling. These multisport watches in fact, they have many useful functions to keep your physical parameters under control by measuring your improvements. Among the most common functions, there is for example the heart rate monitor, which allows you to keep track of the beats during the performance or the indicator of calories burned. By combining the GPS antenna with the pedometer it is possible to save the route taken and keep track of your improvements in terms of travel times and kilometers.
Wrist GPS often also includes functions that concern vital signs such as sleep monitoring, to view how many hours you sleep during the night, or that which allows you to view the amount of oxygen in the blood. In short, you can use them as multifunction watches, as real GPS navigators, and as fitness trackers.
In the last period these watches have witnessed a widespread diffusion and just take a tour online to see how many different models there are on the market. In this guide, we will see the models of the best brands such as Garmin, and more, with specific reviews for each, to help you find the right one for you.
Best GPS Watches | Comparison Table 2024
Top Quality | 5- Star Picks | Great Prices
|Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Features Glonass and Galileo, Heart Rate Monitoring and 3-Axis Compass, Graphite
|Garmin 010-01689-00 Forerunner 35; Easy-to-Use GPS Running Watch, Black
|Apple Watch SE (GPS, 44mm) - Space Grey Aluminium Case with Midnight Sport Band - Regular
|Blackview Smart Watch, GPS Running Watches for Men Women and Kids Fitness Tracker Heart Rate Monitor 5ATM Waterproof, Smartwatch Compatible iPhone Android Phones
|TecTecTec ULT-G Stylish, Lightweight and Multi-Functional Golf GPS Watch, Durable Wrist Band with LCD Display, Worldwide Preloaded Courses - Black
|Garmin 010-02028-00 Approach S10, Lightweight GPS Golf Watch, Black
|4G GPS Kids Smartwatch Phone - Boys Girls Waterproof Watch with GPS Tracker 2 Way Call Camera Voice & Video Chat SOS Alarm Pedometer WiFi Wrist Watch Birthday Back to School Gifts for Students,4G Blue
|Garmin Vivoactive 4, GPS Smartwatch, Features Music, Body Energy Monitoring, Animated Workouts, Pulse Ox Sensors and More, Black
|Timex Unisex TW5M11800 Ironman GPS Black/Gray Silicone Strap Watch
Best GPS Watches | 2024 Products Overview
The product is a rugged GPS watch designed to withstand tough environments, meeting U.S. Military standard 810G for thermal, shock, and water resistance (up to 100 meters). It features a 3-axis compass, and barometric altimeter, and supports multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, Glonass, and Galileo).
The watch monitors heart rate, activity, and stress, with preloaded activity profiles. It offers smart notifications, automatic data uploads to Garmin Connect, and a trackback feature. The Garmin Explore website and app help plan trips, and the battery life ranges up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, 16 hours in GPS mode, and 40 hours in Ultratrac battery saver mode.
2. Garmin Forerunner best GPS Watch for running
The product is an easy-to-use GPS running watch by Garmin that tracks distance, speed, and route during runs. It features Garmin elevated wrist heart rate technology for 24/7 heart rate monitoring. Connected features include smart notifications, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, live tracking, and music controls when paired with a compatible smartphone.
The watch also provides all-day activity tracking, estimating steps, calories, and intensity minutes, with reminders to move. Data is automatically uploaded to Garmin Connect, a free online fitness community for goal tracking and insights.
3. Apple GPS watch for kids
The product is an Apple Watch that allows users to stay connected with calls, texts, and emails, even without their phone. It enables streaming of music, podcasts, and audiobooks on the go, independent of a phone.
Features include Family Setup for managing multiple watches, the ability to take calls and reply to texts directly from the watch, fitness tracking with new workout options, a built-in compass, real-time elevation readings, heart rate monitoring, fall detection with automatic emergency service calls, and Emergency SOS for calling for help when needed.
The Blackview Smart GPS Running Watch is a fitness-focused wearable device designed to provide comprehensive tracking and analysis for runners. With built-in GPS functionality, it accurately records running routes and distances, allowing users to monitor their performance with precision.
Additionally, it offers features such as heart rate monitoring, step counting, calorie tracking, and sleep monitoring, providing users with valuable insights into their overall health and fitness. The watch also boasts a durable design, water resistance, and compatibility with smartphone apps for further data analysis and customization.
The ULT-G Golf GPS watch is a sophisticated device designed to enhance your golf game. With Bluetooth connectivity for free course updates, it features a simple four-button navigation system and automatic satellite connection. The watch measures distances to the front, back, and middle of the green, tracks shot distances and offers information on over 38,000 courses worldwide.
Durable, water, and dust-resistant, it boasts a 2.5-round battery life, a one-year warranty, lifetime software support, and a money-back guarantee within 30 days. The ULT-G watch requires a one-time purchase with no subscription fees for continued service or updates.
The product is a golf watch with a sleek and lightweight design, featuring a high-resolution, sunlight-readable display. It provides yardages to the front, back, and middle of the green, as well as hazards and doglegs on over 41,000 preloaded courses worldwide.
Users can keep score on the watch, tracking round summaries, total distance played, and total time. The watch has a rechargeable battery lasting up to 12 hours in GPS golf mode, and scorecards can be uploaded to Garmin Express for round tracking.
The featured product is a 4G multifunctional digital watch designed for children. In addition to GPS positioning and SOS capabilities, it supports calling, step counting, voice/video chatting, weather checking, cameras, games, and more. The watch serves as a cell phone alternative for kids, featuring 2-way video calling and voice chat functions.
It ensures kids’ safety with real-time positioning and a SOS button for emergencies. The watch operates globally with GSM networks, requiring only a SIM card. Made from high-quality materials, it is durable and comfortable for children to wear. A thoughtful gift for boys and girls, it offers a range of features similar to a mobile phone.
The product is a versatile smartwatch with features such as tracking energy levels, Pulse Ox (non-medical), respiration, menstrual cycle, stress, sleep, heart rate, and hydration. It allows easy song downloads, supports various sports apps, offers animated workouts, and has a battery life of up to 8 days.
Personalization options include free watch faces and apps, while safety features include incident detection and assistance. The watch also provides smart notifications and access to Garmin Coach for free training plans.
The product is a golf watch with a large 1.3″ color touchscreen display, featuring a scratch-resistant ceramic bezel and interchangeable QuickFit bands. It includes over 41,000 preloaded CourseView maps worldwide, a Virtual Caddie that suggests clubs based on various factors, and a Hazard View for quick navigation through course hazards.
Additionally, it comes with a sensor for automatic shot tracking on any club, paired with compatible Garmin golf watches to record locations, distances, and club types. The collected data allows users to analyze strokes gained and other statistics used by professional golfers. Stats for each club with a sensor are displayed on the Garmin golf watch after pulling the club from the bag.
how to choose a GPS watch
After seeing the best models and their reviews it is natural to be slightly confused and not know which product to aim for. Many models have specific characteristics that make them better than others and, in order to choose the best, it is essential to know them.
Precisely for this reason we have collected all the decisive aspects to take into consideration when choosing a best GPS Watches
Satellite or GPS navigation system
The first thing to check is of course that your watch has a valid satellite navigation system . This, also called GPS (Global Positionins System) , is a system that allows your device to always be in contact with a satellite in order to quickly and accurately locate your position. In this, the watches are very different from common smart bands for which we invite you to read the specific guide.
Watches equipped with GPS are therefore used for trekking in the mountains or in areas where the normal telephone signal is poor or absent. The best models also allow you to memorize the roads and paths traveled so as not to get lost.
Some watches also use GLONASS technology (Global Navigation Satellite System) which uses Russian satellites and operates in parallel with GPS for an even better result.
Features for health and fitness
In addition to the GPS system, these watches stand out for the large amount of functions they often provide. Below we will list the most common ones and to look for in a good model.
Heart rate monitor: certainly the most common function allows you to monitor the heartbeat both at rest and during training. Some models use a handy wrist sensor while others use a band.
Pedometer: a function that allows you to monitor the distances traveled, perfect for walking, running or simply to keep an eye on your activity.
Calories burned indicator: another function designed for fitness that lets you know how many calories you have burned during training. Ideal for monitoring your progress.
Sleep Quality: A feature found on the most sophisticated devices. It allows you to track your sleep so you know how many hours you have actually rested.
Compass, barometer and altometer: these functions are often combined as indispensable for those who love long hikes at high altitude.
Water resistance: essential for those who use the watch in the water (eg swimming or snorkeling). Good waterproofing is around 30/40 meters.
Battery and autonomy
A key aspect when evaluating a good GPS watch is battery life . In fact, these devices need to be recharged, like a common smartphone, and autonomy can make the difference when you find yourself away from home for many hours.
Battery life can vary greatly if you use the watch in standard mode or if you activate GPS , which clearly consumes more power. The advice we give you is to focus on models that have an autonomy of more than one day in standard mode and about 20 hours in GPS mode.
The displays of the various watches present in the ranking differ from each other for the characteristics they present. There are some very simple ones in black and white, others in color and others that also include nice animations for the exercises.
Normally a good display should be large enough and easy to use so that you can immediately locate the information you need most. Also consider whether we are talking about touch screens or not as not all watches come with them as standard.
Although connectivity is an important factor in choosing a GPS watch. In particular, most of the models have Bluetooth connectivity so you can easily connect to any device equipped with this technology. Some also feature Wifi connectivity.
The important aspect of being able to connect your watch with your smartphone is that you can view notifications and calls directly from your wrist. In addition, many models have dedicated Apps through which you can view graphs relating to your improvements, set the various settings and adjust the system in order to make it perfect according to your use.
Materials and weight
The best GPS Watches are generally made of fairly durable , waterproof (as mentioned earlier) and hypoallergenic materials. This makes them suitable for practically any user. The thing that we invite you to evaluate is, in addition to the actual resistance, also the weight.
Especially if you use it for sports it is advisable to opt for models that are as light as possible and that, therefore, do not bother you during the activity.
The brand is a factor that can make a difference. Watches from more reputable brands are often a guarantee of higher quality. Among the best brands we definitely point out Garmin which ranks as the undisputed leader in the sector closely followed by Polar.
Other interesting brands are Samsung , especially for sports-oriented watches, Suunto and Fitbit.
Best GPS Watches | Video Explanation
Finally, let’s talk about the price and how much a watch of this type must cost to be considered of a good standard. The cost of the model you are going to choose will naturally depend on the various functions it presents and on the brand.
In principle, however, there are three different ranges to choose from: the economic models with prices below $ 100 , the mid-range ones (the most recommended) with prices between $ 150 and $ 350 and finally the products of high-end that can even exceed $ 500.
In particular, we recommend the latter only to those looking for specific functions that others may not have.