Best GPS Running Watches of 2021
Choosing the Best Running Watch in 2021 could be quite a difficult task. At the moment not only there are many smartwatches with GPS, but most watches can monitor races and other sports activities that require the use of GPS, such as cycling or mountain races.
Each of these watches is feature-rich and will record different data, some of which will serve novice runners better, while professional athletes will need more advanced metric watches to boost their workouts and improve performance.
In this post, we have compiled some of the best running watches on the market, although we have also included some cheaper models for those who have just started in this sport and need something more basic, but just as effective.
Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Running Watch
Considering that most GPS sensors offer high precision, the most important aspect to look at is the biometric data. Many running watches incorporate heart rate sensors, as well as support to work with external chest straps. These bands are primarily used to get very accurate heart rate metrics during high-intensity workouts.
Heart rate sensor
Aside from being able to tailor your sessions to specific heart rate zones, the heart rate data could also show you VO2 Max (aerobic capacity), as well as determine the effectiveness of each of your workouts.
Many watches now emphasize the payback period. Knowing the recovery period is very helpful to avoid potential injury risks. In this way, using metrics known as ” heart rate variability “, some of the best running watches on the market will indicate the optimal rest time. You will also receive information on how your body adapts to training sessions.
Finally, some high-end devices will be able to display other interesting details about your running sessions, including steps per minute (a metric known as cadence ), vertical oscillation, and ground contact time.
Beginner or professional?
The running watches that are currently on sale cover different prices and features. Depending on the level of your training, and depending on the needs you have, you could opt for more expensive and complete watches, which will allow you to train, for example, for triathlons or long-distance races with advanced recording and statistics on your sessions, or cheaper and more basic watches if you just want to access simpler data about your running sessions.
The last case is more suitable if you have just started in the world of running and do not want to complicate yourself with very advanced metrics that at first could confuse you more than help you improve your abilities.
10 Best GPS Running Watch to Wear in 2021
Garmin Forerunner 945: Best GPS Smartwatch for Running
To start with this compilation, we have the Garmin Forerunner 945 as one of the best GPS smartwatches for racing that can be found today in the US market. This, in addition to being one of the most complete options for running, is also one of the most advanced watches of the brand, so it has a lot of features and functions to offer.
This wearable comes with four available running profiles: running, indoor track running, treadmill running, and trail running. It is capable of obtaining metrics such as distance traveled, time, and pace based on the measurements that the integrated GPS can carry out.
It also has advanced features such as Vertical Oscillation and Ratio, which measures the degree of “suspension” during the movement you make while running and the cost-benefit ratio with the length of the stride, and the Time of contact with the ground and balance, It shows how long your feet are on the ground, instead of suspended, during the movement you make while running and allows you to check your symmetry during the race.
The Forerunner 945, on the other hand, is capable of measuring cadence (number of steps per minute in real-time), obtaining user performance metrics per session, and recording lactate threshold, a function that estimates the point at which your muscles start to tire quickly, among other things.
Of course, this smartwatch is capable of measuring heart rate and stress, monitoring sleep quality and offering training sessions, as well as having a water resistance of 5 ATMs (50 meters), and offering a wide variety of other functions. other sports and activities.
It comes with Bluetooth LE, Wi-Fi, and ANT + connectivity for connection with external sensors. In turn, it has a memory that can store up to 200 hours of activity and 1,000 songs for control and playback, and its autonomy is up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode; up to 10 hours in GPS mode with music; and up to 36 hours in GPS mode without music.
Polar Grit X: Best Rugged Outdoor Smartwatch
This is one of Polar’s most advanced smartwatches, as well as being one of the most accurate GPS smartwatches for measuring and recording metrics for sports and activities such as running, hiking, and hiking.
The main features and technical tracking specifications of this wearable include heart rate monitoring functions, and running power and cadence sensors, as well as cycling power, cadence, and speed sensors. To this, we must also add an integrated GPS module with A-GPS for greater precision, GLONASS, Galileo, and QZSS. There is also a barometric altimeter and gyroscope for other data.
On the other hand, the Polar Grit X has a round-format color and touch screen. This is protected by a Corning glass that, in turn, is anti-fingerprint. In addition to this, it is 1.2 inches in size and produces a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels. It has a water resistance of 100 meters and a MIL-STD-810G military-grade certificate that makes it highly resistant to extreme conditions.
Another strong point of this smartwatch is its autonomy, which is provided by a 346 mAh battery capacity. This battery can offer up to 40 hours of use with GPS and heart rate enabled or up to 7 days in watch mode with continuous heart rate tracking.
Finally, it has functions such as Fuel Wise, which sends automatic reminders to eat and drink during longer sessions; Hill Splitter, which automatically detects the ups and downs during a route; and Koomoot, which is a community for adventurers and cyclists.
Polar Vantage V2: Best Multisport GPS Watch
The Polar Vantage V2 is another good smartwatch for race detection and tracking. Launched in October 2020 as a complete smartwatch with integrated GPS, it has been noticed in the brand’s catalog and the market as one of the most advanced and suitable for running.
It has a color touch screen with the Always-on Display function and also produces a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels. Also, it comes with Bluetooth low consumption, integrated GPS, and assisted with A-GPS and GLONASS. It also comes with a heart rate sensor and accelerometer, and it is waterproof.
Some of its main functions for tracking running and other activities include distance traveled, steps taken, calories burned, and quality of sleep. It can also record advanced metrics for activities such as cycling and swimming, with more than 100 sports modes and profiles available.
It also has a FitSpark daily training guide, which offers you daily training plans based on your recovery, disposition, and training history, as well as Fitness Test, which checks your fitness level easily in 5 minutes without exerting any effort.
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar: Best Solar-Powered GPS Watch
Along with the Garmin Forerunner 945, which is the first watch described in this compilation, the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar is one of the most advanced of both the brand and the market, being a smartwatch with a fairly extensive repertoire of functions and features. , and one that has solar charging, something that we only see in a few models.
Its appearance is rugged, but at the same time elegant. The 1.3-inch circular screen with a circular format that it has is of the pixel memory type and is covered with a resistant glass called Power Glass. Its water resistance is 10 ATMs, which is 100 meters.
Something that more than one runner will like, in addition to the GPS to obtain precise running metrics such as distance traveled and more, is its storage, which is 32 GB and serves to store thousands of songs.
The other thing is that it has a heart rate monitor, counter of calories consumed, steps taken, distance traveled, floors raised, and a stress monitor. Specialized running functions include profiles such as running, indoor running, indoor track running, trail running, virtual running, as well as stride length, training sessions, cadence, ground contact time, and balance.
However, the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar not only specializes in running track, but is also capable of detecting and analyzing sports and activities such as cycling, swimming, and outdoor leisure, among others, in an advanced way.
Its maximum autonomy is 48 days (+32 days with solar charge). In GPS mode it is 36 hours (+4 hours with solar charge), while in GPS with music, it is up to 10 hours. In turn, in smartwatch mode, the watch can be in operation for up to a maximum of 16 days.
Garmin Forerunner 645 Music: Best Music GPS Running Watch
The Garmin Forerunner 645 Music is a more advanced version of the Forerunner 245 Music. This smartwatch also comes with music storage (up to 500 songs) and makes use of the same Bluetooth LE, GPS, ANT +, and Wi-FI connectivity sensors found in the aforementioned Forerunner 245 Music.
At the running level, it is capable of obtaining the same metrics as the Forerunner 245 Music, so it has the same running profiles and can be done with data such as cadence, calories consumed, final performance after training sessions and races, blood oxygen saturation, ground contact time and balance, stride information, distance traveled and more. It is compatible with other sports and activities such as cycling and swimming.
It also has a water resistance certificate of 5 ATMs (50 meters) and its autonomy is up to 7 days in smartwatch mode; up to 14 hours in GPS mode without music; and up to 5 hours in GPS mode with music.
Apple Watch Series 6: Best GPS Watch for Runner
It is not necessary to make a presentation to this smartwatch, as it is the most popular in the world and, by far, the best-selling and successful as well. This is not the most used for nothing; its advanced characteristics and technical specifications, which beyond offering monitoring of running activity and other sports and activities, offers what is necessary (and more) for the day-to-day life of any user, athlete, and athlete, with numerous functions for everything.
Some of its main features include an ECG monitor for heart rate tracking, a SpO2 monitor for blood oxygen level measurement, GPS with A-GPS, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC for contactless payments with Apple Pay, and connectivity. 3G and 4G LTE. It also comes with a battery that can be charged wirelessly, 50-meter water resistance, and 32GB of internal storage space for music, apps, and more.
The Apple Watch Series 6 has basic and advanced functions for running. These include a counter for steps taken, distance traveled, automatic race detection, pace, cadence, and last-leg pace warnings, among others. Besides, you can monitor other sports and activities such as cycling and swimming. On the other hand, it has a 1.78-inch OLED screen with a resolution of 448 x 336 pixels and a density of 326 dpi.
Apex Choirs: Premium Multi-Sport GPS Watch
The Coros Apex is another GPS smartwatch ideal for racing, as it is equipped with a good repertoire of sport and activity tracking functions for running and other activities such as outdoor leisure.
This model, among many other things, can accurately determine the general effort made in the races, broken down into resistance level (0-100) and training effect (0-6), to avoid possible injuries and warn when you have to rest. Based on effort level and training history, it will display a recommended recovery window before starting the next activity or run.
Thanks to the GPS and track navigation features, it’s hard to get lost with this smartwatch. This connectivity sensor also helps improve the accuracy of functions such as counting calories burned, steps taken, trajectory traveled, and strides, both in indoor and outdoor races.
It also features a VO2max meter to calculate how much oxygen saturation is present in the blood and a history that can store data from races and training sessions. With Coros Training mode, you can create, share, and even download workouts from professional athletes and coaches, which can go a long way in increasing your racing performance.
In turn, by working with the Coros Performance Optimization Device (POD), the Coros Apex can provide advanced real-time tracking and execution metrics, including power and form data to help you become a smarter and more efficient runner.
It comes with music control and the water-resistance that it boasts is up to 100 meters, while the maximum autonomy it can offer is up to 100 hours with the maximum energy saving mode, while the standard of duration with use average round the day and a day and a half.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Best Fitness Tracker with GPS
This is currently Samsung’s most advanced smartwatch and the direct rival to the already described Apple Watch Series 6. Therefore, we can expect a lot. The Galaxy Watch 3 is a smartwatch that, like the Galaxy Watch Active 2, has an ECG sensor and numerous sensors such as an accelerometer, barometric altimeter, and gyroscope, among others.
That is why you can track sports and activities such as running; It is capable of detecting up to 7 different running modes automatically thanks to the Running Coach function and it can calculate trajectories, distance traveled, calories consumed during running, cadence, steps taken, and more.
The watch, how could it be otherwise, is also waterproof and, in addition to coming with GPS with A-GPS, it has connectivity features such as Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n, and NFC for payments with Samsung. Pay.
Also, it has military-grade resistance, the function of fall detection, 8 GB of RAM, and a circular screen of Super AMOLED technology of 1.4 or 1.2 inches depending on whether the variant of 45 or 41 mm, respectively, is chosen, which also they have somewhat different designs.
Fitbit Charge 4: Best Activity Tracker with Built-in GPS
Although this wearable is not a smartwatch, a smart band, it is worthy of belonging to this post since it comes with integrated GPS -something not very common in fitness wristbands- and multiple career tracking functions that make it ideal for athletes and athletes.
Thanks to its various sensors, it offers up to 15 sport modes, in which racing is clearly included. This bracelet can provide data on cadence, distance traveled, calories consumed during the session, and more. It comes with a heart rate monitor and VO2max sensor for calculating oxygen in the blood, as well as a sleep monitor.
It does not have storage space for music, but it does have control over its playback. The battery with which it is equipped can provide a range of up to 7 days with average use and up to 5 hours with GPS activated. It has a water resistance of 5 ATMs (50 meters).
Fitbit Sense: Most Advanced GPS Smartwatch
Launched in August along with the Fitbit Versa 3, the Fitbit Sense is another good smartwatch with GPS for running that we list in this collection, and not because it is the last one is the least advanced.
This one comes with a 1.58-inch AMOLED screen that is tactile and is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 glass, GPS, GLONASS, NFC for payments with Fitbit Pay, Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n, Bluetooth 5.0, and sensors such as an accelerometer 3-axis, ECG monitor for heart rate, altimeter, SpO2 sensor for stress level measurement, gyroscope, ambient light and EDA sensor for stress level calculation.
It has a water resistance of 5 ATMs (50 meters) and autonomy of up to 6 days with average use. It also has more than 15 sports and activity modes and functions that help track exercise routines and more, and the Stress Management Score function, which measures the body’s reaction to stress, among others.
In turn, it comes with a counter for calories consumed, distance traveled, steps taken, cadence, and a sleep quality monitor. Finally, it comes with the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants, and a pre-installed Spotify App.
We hope this article has helped find the best running watch 2021 to track your runs with accurate GPS for your needs. Many other models on the US market would surely be worth trying. If you have questions or suggestions, do not hesitate to leave us a comment through the section below.