By combining the accuracy of clocks, measuring time and with GPS location, you can obtain the traveled distance, speed and other important information for when you are exercising. If you are looking for a watch to keep up with your physical activity, here are some of the best GPS watches options to help you choose the right model while maintain a healthier lifestyle. With a plethora of features, modern watches are becoming increasingly complex. If this is your first purchase or if you want to exchange your analog model for a GPS watch, check out this list:
1st – M430 GPS Watch – Polar
Ideal for runners and enthusiasts, the Polar M430 model integrates all the functionality of a good digital watch with GPS innovations, allowing for a high distance, speed and altitude control.
It also has a Sleep Plus function to control your wellbeing and health while you rest and provides smart notifications of other devices on your watch.
Polar monitors activity during the day. Alerts when you are long standing / sitting (varies from person to person). The goal for the day is also adjusted according to the person’s profile and Polar shows % of their compliance. What strikes me as odd is the step count and calories burned (I think Polar is too optimistic, but since I don’t use that information for anything, it doesn’t bother me personally).
The GPS signal is acquired very quickly (less than 10 seconds). The cardiac reader on the wrist has always been very close to my heart rate values and I didn’t see strange peaks either. The pace seemed to me to be quite right, as well as distance. The cadence is different from Garmin (half), but apparently Polar has the right definition of cadence… I just didn’t see information about stride length (the calculation would be distance divided by cadence). But it’s not relevant, at least for me.
2nd – Amazfit Stratos 2 GPS Watch – Xiaomi
Xiomi’s Amazfit Stratos 2 falls into the smartwatch category with integrated GPS, offering VO2max fitness level analysis with an always-reflective color display.
It is constructed from premium quality materials with a carbon fiber frame, ceramic trim and 2.5D glass covered front with Corning Gorilla Glass scratch protection. The 3 buttons on the right side are in steel and the strap is in silicone, 22 mm. On the rods holding the strap outside, there is a flange that allows locking the tabs of the charging base.
The silicone strap has a coating that gives it (apparently) better quality and better grip on the arm but will wear out with use.
The GPS is able to accurately track your exercises in walking, running, mountain biking, and even swimming, and can withstand a level of 5 ATM water resistance.
It has a 1.2 GHz dual core processor, 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of internal storage, of which 2 GB is available for music storage. It does not play sound and notifications are triggered by vibration.
Bluetooth 4.0 is used with the smartphone, connecting sound reproduction accessories and communication with external devices such as a heart rate, a new feature in this version. It also has Wi-Fi connection which it uses for activity sync and downloadable updates.
3rd – Forerunner 235 GPS Watch – Garmin
Perfect to accompany you on your workouts, the Garmin Forerunner 235 lets you monitor your stride pace, distance and heart rate in real time.
This watch uses an optical sensor that measures your heart rate on your wrist, giving you the option of running without a strap. Its color indicator identifies the heart rate zone and beats per minute in real time.
The model monitors distance, time and heart rate and helps runners keep pace for their next personal records. It might be even useful for horse racing enthusiasts, especially with the Breeder Cups results around the corner.
The machine can obtain your estimated maximum VO2, predict race finish time and act as a recovery assistant, informing you how much rest time will be required before the next workout.
It also has calorie and sleep control while being able to connect to other devices with audio notifications and allowing you to save and upload your information for greater control of your physical activity.
4th – Spartan Trainer GPS Watch – Suunto
Specially designed to accompany you during your physical activities, Suunto’s Spartan Trainer takes full advantage of GPS technology to give you greater control over your performance.
The model even offers heart rate meter and its battery can last up to 10 hours with all features active and up to 14 days working just like a traditional watch.
This new model, released in March 2017, takes the Spartan Sport and adds wrist-based heart rate sensors. It uses the world’s best HR sensors from Valencell for accurate off the wrist recording.
For those who want any of the following main features: barometric pressure sensor, more than 8 hours battery life (in GPS recording mode), thermometer and sapphire crystal glass then your best bet might be the next model up, the Suunto Spartan Ultra.