5 Best GPS Running Watches in 2020

Fitness and health are closely intertwined with our lives today. In order to remain fit or healthy, it is crucial to eat healthy, exercise, or just go on runs everyday. However, knowing how much you’ve run is just not possible without a smart device. While we saw how people would strap their phones onto their arms while running, technology no longer demands such difficult situations. You can simply invest in smartwatches that come with GPS tech built-in. But finding the best GPS toting watch is not as easy as you think.

ProductBrandNamePrice
TicwatchTicwatch E SmartwatchCheck Price on Amazon
GarminGarmin Forerunner 235, GPS Running WatchCheck Price on Amazon
POLARPolar M400 GPS Sports Watch and Activity Tracker with Heart Rate MonitorCheck Price on Amazon
GarminGarmin vívoactive 3, GPS SmartwatchCheck Price on Amazon
SUUNTOSuunto Spartan Sport Wrist HRCheck Price on Amazon

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While we consider GPS running watches, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Firstly, the battery life of the device, especially if you’re going on longer than usual runs every day. Secondly, and probably most importantly, the GPS accuracy that it can provide.

Well, thankfully, we have come up with five GPS running watches that pretty much excel in these areas. Some of them are slightly expensive than the others, but we’ve been sure to include a good spread of watches.

5 Best GPS Running Watches

Garmin Forerunner 235

This should come as no surprise to anyone, but the Garmin Forerunner series has been very impressive. The 235 comes with a brilliant circular display on the front which can provide continuous GPS tracking, heart-rate monitoring, as well as smartphone notifications (including calls and texts). The battery life is always a question with GPS monitors, and Garmin mentions that this offering can last for up to 9 days as an activity tracker and a smartwatch. However, when you turn GPS on, it can only run for 11 hours at a time.

This might seem like a disappointment, but offering 11 hours of continuous GPS navigation on your wrists is quite a big deal for a device as small as this. The Forerunner 235 can also receive audio prompts from your smartphone, which can be helpful during runs or workouts. You can also get a bike mount for this watch, which is ideal if you like tracking your cycling distance. The Forerunner 235 is available in Black/Gray, Frost Blue and Marsala colors with a price tag of $246.98.

Ticwatch E

Perhaps the surprise entry on this list, the Ticwatch E comes with a fairly decent hardware and the fact that it runs Android Wear is really good news for Android device owners. It means the watch will receive timely updates, and access to a wide array of apps that are only usable on the Wear OS platform. It also comes with a built-in GPS which can take quite a beating on the battery life, but given that it’s marketed as an entry level smartwatch, we welcome the addition of GPS here.

All your workouts and runs can be tracked and synced between devices using Google Fit, which is available by default on this wearable. The smartwatch also supports Google Assistant, so feel free to shoot off with random queries or just to have a normal conversation with an AI robot. The Ticwatch E is available in six attractive colors, spoiling you for choice. The Ticwatch E is priced at just $129.99, making it one of the cheaper GPS smartwatches available today.

Polar M400

Polar is a popular name in the community as one of the premier makers of health and GPS equipment. Known for a wide range of heart rate monitors and fitness trackers, the company is no stranger to GPS tracking on a watch. The M400 is slightly larger than the conventional watch, but that can work to its advantage sometimes. It also supports smart notifications, giving you quick alerts from your phone as you’re running or working out. The large display is ideal for running or cycling though, as it can give you a detailed look at your lap timings as well as split timings.

Polar also has a pretty decent running program which motivates you to do better with each run. This in turn improves your speed and performance each day, thus keeping you fit in the long run. The Polar M400 can last for up to 24 days with only activity tracking and time display. If you turn on GPS, however, the battery comes down to just 8 hours, which is understandable. The M400 is available in Black and White offerings with a price tag of $150.

Garmin vívoactive 3

The second watch by Garmin on this list should tell you how popular a brand it is. The vívoactive 3 looks pretty much like a proper smartwatch with a circular display, and even acts like one given the features it packs on board. What makes it handy is the 15 preloaded GPS oriented apps for indoor and outdoor activity, helping you stay on your feet at all times. It can hold up to 14 days of activity tracking data in one go, along with 7 timed activities at a time. Thankfully, smartphone syncing allows you to have unlimited record of your recent runs.

The watch also supports smart notifications from your smartphone, which is a prerequisite among most GPS watches today. Moreover, the vívoactive 3 also supports Garmin Pay, its wireless payments system that is supported by multiple banks. The wearable is available in multiple colors for a price tag of $236.

Suunto Spartan Sport

This might be a new name for most users, but Suunto is known for sports watches as well as navigation equipment like compasses. This is a completely packed smartwatch, and looks quite bulky too. However, it’s quite durable and can last even in the harshest of weather conditions. With resistance to barometric altitude and water proof for up to 100m. The device offers support for up to 80 sports with GPS/GLONASS navigation built-in by default.

The best part here is the battery life of up to 40 hours with GPS turned on. That’s unprecedented in the industry and something that makes the Spartan Sport an excellent companion for adventure sports. The watch supports smart notifications from your smartphone as well. However, at $350, it’s not exactly the cheapest offering out there. It is available in multiple colors on Amazon.

ProductBrandNamePrice
TicwatchTicwatch E SmartwatchCheck Price on Amazon
GarminGarmin Forerunner 235, GPS Running WatchCheck Price on Amazon
POLARPolar M400 GPS Sports Watch and Activity Tracker with Heart Rate MonitorCheck Price on Amazon
GarminGarmin vívoactive 3, GPS SmartwatchCheck Price on Amazon
SUUNTOSuunto Spartan Sport Wrist HRCheck Price on Amazon

* If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.