If you are looking to new technology to help you to track your health and fitness routines, then a GPS sports watch should be near the top of your must-have list of products.
They come with a multitude of functions to help track your progress, with GPS tracking allowing you to check data such as your speed and distance.
There are lots of GPS sports watches to choose from, so the help you choose we are going to review 5 of the best GPS sports watches currently available, including their most important pros and cons.
Top 5 Picks
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music GPS Smartwatch
No review of products related to sports would be complete without at least one from Garmin, one of the world’s leading sports accessory brands. Their Forerunner 245 watch may appear simple, but it is packed with many features that fitness enthusiasts will love.
This is a smartwatch that has what many will regard as the perfect combination of for a watch, and that is sport and music.
With regards to the music, which we know many people love to listen to when taking part in activities, you can sync this watch to several music streaming services and that includes Spotify. You can also store music files to listen to as you exercise, plus there is always the option to store and listen to motivational recordings too.
When it comes to fitness-related features, there is obviously GPS, which allows you to track your activities. But it goes much further than that with an array of performance analyzing features that include personalized training evaluations, recovery insights and performance indicators.
Those for whom running is their main form of exercise have an even greater array of tools to help them, albeit some of them may require an additional fee. They include running trackers such as Running Dynamics Pod and HRM-Run which can provide detailed data that can even analyze your running stride and cadence.
You can also access free training plans from Garmin Coach, which you can adapt to suit your own needs, and there is also an option to create customized workouts.
- Syncs with music services
- Stores and plays audio files
- Detailed analysis of running metrics
- Customized workouts
- Multisport tracking and activity profiles
- Battery life is below average
- No display brightness control
Looking for more information on Garmin Forerunner 245? Read our detailed review here.
Coros Vertix GPS Adventure Watch With Heart Rate Monitor
Coros is well-known for producing products that are popular with those who love physical activity, and that is true of their Vertix GPS Adventure watch, which looks like the quintessential watch for outdoor pursuits.
The Coros Vertix is what we have to describe as premium watch, given the quality of the materials used to make it. Its main bezel is made from titanium, and it has a sapphire crystal which means the level of protection from scratching is exceptional.
Beyond that, the battery life offered by this GPS watch is staggering. For normal use, you can expect up to 45 days (Yes, days!), and even if you have GPS on constantly, it will still give you an amazing 60 hours between charges.
It certainly doesn’t lack features for those who take the outdoors for fun and exercise, and if that includes water sports, then the fact that it is waterproof to 150 meters, will be hugely popular.
For those who like taking on challenges such as climbing, then the blood oxygen monitoring, which runs 24/7, helps you to become acclimatized to altitudes. Incidentally, it will still function at extreme temperatures as low as -4°F.
If you like to analyze your activities, there is an app that enables you to assess you performance, provides recovery advice and provides over 200 workouts created by professional coaches which you can download.
- Titanium bezel and sapphire crystal
- Extraordinary battery life (45 days)
- Measures blood oxygen levels
- Waterproof to 150 meters
- Access to 200+ workouts
- Very basic display
- No music functions
Polar Grit X Rugged Outdoor Watch With GPS
With a name like Polar, which is regarded as one of the finest producers of outdoor and fitness products, the Grit X, has lot to live up to, but once you see the range of features it has, you’ll soon see that it does so with flying colors.
Let us start with a feature that many sports watches sadly lack, and that is durability, especially given that as they are used during physical activity, they are more likely to be knocked or damaged.
The fact that the Grit X is built to military-grade standards to resist impact damage, humidity, extreme temperatures and is water-resistant to 100 meters, it bodes well for it lasting you a lot longer than many other watches would.
It comes with built-in GPS so that you can track your location, and this is further enhanced by the compass and altimeter which the watch has, meaning even if you exercise far from home, you should always know where you are and able find your way back.
For those who like to plan their training in advance, there are options to do, including route planning, and it even gives you the weather forecast so that you can wear the correct attire.
As well as monitoring your exercise, the watch also shows how well you are recovering and tracks your sleep so that you can make adjustments to your routine accordingly.
One last feature we must mention is ‘FuelWise’ refueling, which is nothing to do with putting unleaded in your car, but instead, estimates how many carbs you have burned, and reminds you to take on fuel such as water.
- Compass, altimeter, and barometer
- Military-grade durability
- Recovery and sleep tracker
- ‘FuelWise’ monitors carb burn
- Provides 2-day weather forecast
- Not the greatest battery life
- Touchscreen can be unresponsive
Polar Vantage V Premium GPS Multisport Watch
Our second Polar watch is their popular Vantage V, which comes with an impressive number of features and is available in 5 different colored wristbands.
For those who love swimming and other water sports, the Polar Vantage V is waterproof so not only can you wear it while you have fun and exercise, as you do so, it will track your speed and distance. In addition, it will measure the number of strokes you swim.
If you like running or cycling in terrain such as hills, the watch can measure barometric altitude, as well as tracking inclines, ascents, and descents, all assisted by the GPS function.
GPS is also utilized for more down-to-earth activities such as normal running and cycling, with your distance and speed being tracked, and as you exercise the watch’s heart monitor keeps track of your pulse.
While swimming, running, and cycling are all excellent exercise activities, they are not the only ones, which is why this watch has at least 130 various sports profiles, allowing you to use to track your progress in all of them.
Much of the functionality is linked to Polar’s apps which include Polar Pro, Training Load Pro, and Recovery Pro, with the latter being one that can assess your recovery and thus help you make adjustments to your routine.
- Suitable for 130 sports
- Distance and speed tracking
- Multiple data points
- Built-in barometer
- Excellent display
- Buttons often slow to respond
- Not the easiest display to view
Garmin Forerunner 945 Premium GPS Smartwatch
Our fifth review looks at the Garmin Forerunner 945 which many people regard as a mini-computer on their wrist given the large array of functions and features that it has to offer sports and fitness enthusiasts.
For runners and triathletes who want to plan their routes in advance, plus track their location, speed, and distance as they go, the advanced GPS in conjunction with pre-loaded full-color maps, give you everything you need to do so, other than the push out of your front door to get started.
One important feature is the emergency locator which alerts the emergency services of your location should there unfortunately ever be an incident where they are required.
In terms of monitoring your performance and developing workouts that maximize the physical and health benefits to you, the Forerunner 945 produces personal insights that you can assess and use to plan your next exercise routine. It also monitors your recovery which you are can then take into account when making those plans.
Beyond exercise, this watch also allows you to stream music from sites such as Deezer and Spotify so while you are out hitting the pavement as you run, you can also listen to your favorite hits as you go. The storage capacity is an awesome 1,000 songs so you are going to have to run a fair number of miles to listen to them all.
- Built-in color maps
- Personal performance insights
- Recovery monitoring
- Workouts and training plans
- 1,000 music track storage
- Indoor tracking unreliable
- Charger inlet is in a poor position
In terms of choosing our best GPS sports watch, the quality materials used to create Coros Vertix allowed it to come very close, but as we are reviewing mainly for GPS and fitness functionality, we have instead opted for the Garmin Forerunner 945 Premium GPS Smartwatch.
For any runner or athlete, the number and usefulness of all the functions it has, allowed it to beat every other watch we reviewed. In particular, the built-in maps, plus the tracking, and monitoring functions are superb.