10 Best GPS Smartwatches for running 2017
Considering the ample and always growing variety of GPS smartwatches for running, choosing the best can be confusing. At least it will take you a long time to search for each of them and their features to come up with the best.
Let me help you presenting you a quick overview on the best and preferred smartwatches with built-in GPS.
Top List – GPS Smartwatches for runners
Samsung Gear S2
The Samsung Gear S2 is one of the best Android compatible smartwatches. It comes with the Super AMOLED circular screen, one of the sharpest screens on a smartwatch.
The battery duration is of 1.5 days, longer than most competitors and it can be recharged wirelessly.
The innovation of this Dual-core 1.0 GHz smartwatch is its rotating bezel, not to mention the Tizen OS system. You can pair it with your phone or use it independently. You need to be connected to the Internet to use the GPS.
- Classic style with a ceramic bezel and 20mm Genuine leather band
- Intuitive circular interface and rotating bezel for easy navigation, Access to important notifications, texts, and updates at a glance
- Connectivity - Wi-Fi : 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHZ, Bluetooth : Bluetooth v4.1, Bluetooth Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP
Unlike most Garmin smartwatches that were designed focusing on sports and navigation, the Garmin Vivoactive integrates more typical smartwatch features.
It keeps the traditional fitness stats, counts on the best GPS functionalities, and adds improved connectivity and real-time notifications such as email, incoming texts, and calls, Twitter and Facebook notifications, etc.
Gather all those features in a modern and attractive design, and you will find the Garmin Vivoactive a highly interesting option. As arstechnica states here, the battery will last around 13 hours with GPS switched on.
- GPS smartwatch with a sunlight-readable, high-resolution color touchscreen
- Built-in sports apps include GPS-enabled running, biking, swimming and more - no phone connection required
- Customize with watch face designs, widgets and apps from Connect IQ store
Garmin Forerunner 220
Garmin’s Forerunner 220 is a solid GPS smartwatch that comes with the needed features and at a reasonable price.
It is a smart choice, especially for runners. The GPS is fast, tracks and maps out your runs, and logs distance, speed, and pace.
The Forerunner 220 can sync wirelessly, making it easy for you to see your tracked info in the Garmin app. The Forerunner is different from the sophisticated concept of the Vivoactive we just mentioned.
- Just like a coach, Forerunner 220 provides the motivating feedback you need to guide your training. You can even get post-run encouragement from friends and fans, thanks to the 220's connected features like real-time live tracking and social media sharing via the Garmin Connect Mobile app.
Sony Smartwatch 3 SWR50
With a minimal design, the Sony Smartwatch 3 SWR50 offers the most comprehensive range of features.
This Android smartwatch comes with built-in GPS, an accelerometer, gyroscope, digital compass, ambient light sensor, voice recognition, voice to text translation and instant notifications for incoming calls, texts, emails or personal reminders.
The battery life with the GPS on if less than a day, otherwise it can last up to two days.
- Compatibility: Android 4.3 (JellyBean) and later
- Capacity: Quad ARM A7 - 1,2 Ghz, 512 MB RAM, 4 GB eMMC
- Sensors: Ambient light sensors, Accelerometer, compass and gyro, GPS, BLE
- Battery: 420mAh, 2 days usage
The Fitbit Surge
The Fitbit Surge is a combination of a typical fitness tracker with a smartphone.
It provides all the mandatory fitness tracking functions and more while delivers smart notifications and allows controlling the music playlist on your phone. It comes with a 50m water-resistant capability, though Fitbit doesn´t recommend swimming with it.
The battery can last up to 5 or 6 days, however, if you turn on the GPS, it will go down in 5 hours. Check out the differences between the Fitbit Surge and the Fitbit Charge HR here.
- GPS Tracking- See distance, pace and elevation climbed & review routes and split times
- Get continuous, automatic, wrist-based heart rate and simplified heart rate zones
- Track workouts & view workout summaries; plus all day activities including steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes
Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire
The notable Fenix 3 Sapphire (detailed Fenix 3 Sapphire review here) should be your instant choice if you are active and love outdoor adventures.
This waterproof, shock-resistant smartwatch with high GPS capabilities can track numerous sports and activities, from paddle to skiing or hiking. Besides its strong resistance, unrivaled GPS and tracking features, this smartwatch lets you receive updates and notifications from your smartphone.
- CHROMA DISPLAY - 1.2" sunlight-visible high-resolution color Chroma optically-bonded display
- SAPPHIRE LENS - High-strength scratch resistant domed sapphire lens (Sapphire version only)
- EXO ANTENNA - Omni-directional steel EXO antenna, when paired with GLONASS and EPO, provides an even faster fix and accurate position than GPS alone
Samsung Gear S
The Samsung Gear S has not only a broad range of features, but also an amazing appearance, which stands out among the futuristic looks of most gps smartwatches.
It has a traditional watch-like appearance with its curved touchscreen that follows the line of your wrist. One advantage of this excellent device is that you can pair it with your smartphone or use it as a standalone with its own NanoSim card.
- 2G: GSM 850 / 1900, 3G: HSDPA+ 850 / 1900
- 2" Super AMOLED Capacitive Multi-Touchscreen
- Tizen-based wearable platform, Dual-Core 1 GHz Processor
- S-Voice Command, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.1, microUSB v2.0, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
Motorola Moto 360 Sport
This robust GPS smartwatch is fully equipped for indoor and outdoor running. And its Moto Body app allows you to check your data on the move quickly.
The Motorola Moto 360 Sport is the sportier version of Motorola’s latest smartwatch, and it is aimed at running fans and professionals give its complete package of accurate tracking features, all housed in a reliable wristwatch that looks and feels like a regular digital watch.
- All healthy relationships need space. Including the one with your phone. That's why there's the new Moto 360. It streamlines your mobile life by delivering the information that matters to you, giving you more time to do the things you love. With designs made specifically for men or women, it's easy to find the color, size, and style that fits you best. Because you deserve choice when it comes to what you wear on your wrist.
TomTom is well known for sponsoring extreme obstacle races like Spartan Race with its helpful GPS smartwatches.
Aimed to please the running public too, the TomTom Spark comes with a built-in GPS, boasts all the usual running metrics, comes with a heart rate monitor, and plugs into almost any running application.
It enhances the enjoyment of running thanks to its 3GB storage capacity, and its ability to play MP3 music to wireless headphones via Bluetooth.
- Calorie Counter: yes, calories burned
- Target Heart Rate Zone: yes
- Training Program: yes, Race, Goals, Zone, and Lap training modes
- Odometer: yes, distance via GPS tracking
- Computer Compatible: yes, connects via USB to Mac and PC, works with both iTunes and Windows Media Player
The Polar V800 is a perfect training smartwatch for swimmers, bikers, and runners. It tracks all you do on your feet or two wheels, both in land and water.
It provides comprehensive tracking under the most demanding sports conditions. Besides keeping track of your performance, helping you improve with the online coaching tool, it lets you stay in the know whenever and wherever you are.
The V800 allows seeing incoming calls and texts, alerts you about your calendar appointments, and keeps you social sending the latest social media updates to your wrist.
- Built-in GPS keeps track of your ride, run or hike measuring your speed, distance and route
- Create and customize profiles for different sports and get exactly the data and guidance you need for each
- Combines training load with 24/7 activity data for true recovery status
The list of smartwatches could go on and on. Currently we just intended to show you the most representative, high-quality and valuable GPS smartwatches for running that could suit your needs.
See which one fits your needs!