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.
- Send and receive texts, calendar notifications, news updates and more right on your wrist.
- With rotating bezel and unique circular interface, easily access your apps and notifications.
- With a circular design and stainless steel construction, the Gear S2 matches your style.
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.
- Built-in sports apps, including GPS-enabled running, biking and golfing plus swimming and activity tracking¹, let you view your stats even when away from your phone(Check User Manual in Product Information before use)
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.
Sony SWR50 1.6-Inch Transflective Display SmartWatch 3 for Android wear Android 4.3 and onwards - Black
- Black Classic Band, Water Protected, IP68 rated. 2 days battery life.
- Sensors: Ambient light sensors, Accelerometer, Compass, Gyro, GPS.
- Notifications, Voice Commands, Lifelong, Impressive stand-alone functions
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.
- Operating System: Tizen
- Compatible Operating System: Android
- Storage Capacity: 4GB
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.
- Displays Notifications, Cards, and More, LCD Touchscreen with Gorilla Glass 3
- Button-Free Voice Control, Turn-by-Turn Navigation
- Heart Rate & Activity Monitoring, GPS, Customizable Watch Faces
- Water Resistant to 3-ft, Wireless Charging with Included Dock, Just tell your Moto 360 Sport where you want to go, then let the step-by-step navigation instructions in the watch display guide you to your destination. Navigation instructions that you set up on your phone will also appear in your watch display.
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.
TomTom Spark Cardio + Music, GPS Fitness Watch + Heart Rate Monitor + 3GB Music Storage (Small, Black)
- GPS Sport Watch and Bluetooth Music Player: Workout with music, not with your phone. Wirelessly connect and train to the tune of 500 songs and the beat of your heart
- Waterproof Sport Watch and Heart Rate Monitor: Get accurate heart rate information on your wrist, use Multisport Mode to mix up your training. Run. Bike. Gym. Swim. Treadmill.
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.
- GPS SPORT WATCH: Advanced multisport GPS Watch for serious sports enthusiasts and professional athletes who want to reach peak performance, the built-in GPS keeps track of your ride, run or hike measuring your speed, distance and route
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!