Some fitness watches are appropriate for those who have just started running and doing sport. They just need a simple functionality. But for those who consider themselves to be a professional runner, some gadgets provide an almost scientific approach to training.
A few years ago the best running watches were those that provided accurate GPS. But nowadays the focus of manufacturers and consumers is another. It requires biometric data. Many modern running watches have a built-in pulse sensor. Moreover, they can connect a chest strap sensor for more intense training.
Here we present the best GPS multisport watches and smartwatches to buy in 2019. Knowing the heart rate, runners have the opportunity to adapt their workouts to specific heart rate zones. Besides, it helps to evaluate the effectiveness of the workout.
Also, a lot of running watches have recovery features include. So, they can help prevent injury. Using heart rate data gives you the necessary time for rest and recovery. Besides, it assesses how your body adapts to your workouts. The best fitness watches also monitor fitness information while running. So, at the same time, it evaluates the data per minute and body shape.
5 Best Fitness Watches
Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS watch
Garmin has a lot of cool chronometers for every taste and budget. The leader of the global market of GPS-navigators managed to make a lot of different and good devices in this area. Check also Garmin 010-01591-11 Index Smart scale to measure your progress.
Garmin Forerunner 10 – standard and cute version. Different stores estimate the “top ten” in the amount of $ 80 to $ 130. But on Amazon, you can find it for $ 99. It is a very light watch with a large and contrasting display. The display is big. And it is controlled by only two large buttons on the case. By the way, a line of multi-colored straps and cases was developed for girls and hipsters. There are black, orange, pink, lime, purple and gray.
What do they do? They fix and save your coordinates, count the calories burned and record the speed of movement. Compare your results (speed, footage, calories dropped) with the goals initially set. They ran less than necessary or slower. They break you for it right while jogging. For typical use (with GPS for 30 minutes per day), the battery life is ten days. If you use GPS continuously, the battery charge is only 5 hours. Although, do you survive a 5-hour run? One of the nice bonuses – these watches are suitable for lovers of cycling. But the pulse sensor is not enough for them … It beats both the image and the functionality of the device.
People love the simple and stylish “top ten.” But in the reviews, we still could find a couple of comments addressed to them.
“Battery life can be a big problem if you want to use the watch all the time. These are not watches for home and work. But I would just use them during jogging! Well, in the office you can charge them from time to time if they so need a whole day “, – writes RnR.
And Katie S. criticized problems with satellites in big cities:
“I had problems with the signal near the skyscrapers and even while jogging in Central Park. They disappear. They are true. Maybe it’s a fault of my device …”
Garmin Forerunner 310XT
Below the list, we have Garmin again. In principle, we could list only Garmins on this list of good watches. They have models for different tastes and purses. But we are afraid of suspicions in advertising. So, after 310XT we will return to this brand one more time only …
Firstly, you can think that you have some kind of small onboard computer or space flight control system in front of you. The screen is divided into three sections by a frame, each of which displays separate information. Moreover, these are literally clogged with digital information. They show on-line everything they can. A bold decision: competitors’ watches prefer to show in parallel no more than two indicators. And then, if you request them at the touch of a button.
But the big screen and the abundance of information is a secondary question. So, the most important thing for us is the ability of the gadget: features and its price.
Now you can buy a Forerunner 310XT for $ 170. Almost twice as expensive as the “ten,” but they have refined many of the shortcomings of the predecessor.
Thus, the model has a pulse sensor. But you can buy it without it. So, it will be $ 20 cheaper. Besides, Forerunner 310XT has water resistance at a depth of 50 meters. Yes, you can already call this watch as one for swimmers and triathletes! It is increasing battery capacity! It keeps up to 20 hours of work from a single charge with the navigator turned on.
The 310th confidently tracks the bike ride (you can buy branded steering accessories). Also, it can transfer data wirelessly and “post” them to social networks. Calorie counter, accelerometer and other things he inherited from the past “Forraer.” But they added a couple of extra grams and centimeters of volume (minus), as well as a one-year warranty (plus).
These changes did not escape the attention of attentive consumers.
Russell K. Jensen writes:
“The functionality is great. But Garmin synchronizes too slowly with the computer, transfers data for a long time … and the software hangs from time to time.”
“I really like these watches. They are not killed, which is important for sports. I dropped them, beat them and drenched them. And they still work. The accuracy of the data does not cause problems. And it does not spoil the overall impression. “
Unfortunately, this watch does not have a pulsometer. Also, it is no such a big brand like Polar or Garmin. But many nice things have turned them into a super sell model. The creators of Runner`a just wanted to make the most convenient for a human watch – and they did it.
You must know that they have the coolest display among all the watches of our rating. It is shockproof and scratch resistant. Also, it almost does not glare in the sun and displays only the necessary information. And the most important thing! It is a vast and contrasting display: practically one and a half inches diagonally!
Furthermore, it is the first GPS watch with a “smart button,” rendered from the case to the top of the strap. It not only “clicks.” But also freely turns into a joystick. With it, you can execute simple up-down, left-right commands to navigate through the rich Tom-Tom menu. Why did nobody come up with anything like this before?
They are two times thinner and much lighter than all Garmin `s. And much cheaper. TT Runner costs $116. And it is only 20 dollars more expensive than Garmin-10. And how much cooler is its appearance and function?
No, the basis, of course, is the same: fixing speed, counting steps and body movements, calories burned … But here is something new about them. TomTom Runner has the ability to read all the parameters at workouts in the gym, for example, on a treadmill. Besides, it has the accelerated launch of the GPS sensor. So, you do not need to wait until it “sees” you. You can just turn it on and run right away.
Moreover, the watch has a vibrometer that helps you maintain the rhythm of running and breathe correctly. Best waterproof fitness tracker for swimming and running also has these features. And we would not forget about a twice more tenacious battery for 10 hours of work with GPS.
And TomTom Runner already has a water resistance of 50 meters – just like the Garmin 310! Well, do these advantages outweigh the difference of 16-20 dollars? It seems to us that yes. But let’s see the users review:
“Huge advantages: a huge display, good infographics illustrating your performance, a handy button and tracking in the gym. I prefer to run on the simulator. And other GPS watches on it are often stupid. One jamb is a bad site and switching to the network. But the developers promised to improve their portal. And I believe them! “
Once this gadget was created as a heart rate monitor with the functionality of a GPS clock. But it turned into a cool GPS-watch with a pumped pulse sensor.
The price of the Polar RCX5 is pretty hight – from 217 to 300 dollars. The cost is not low. But it is considered a professional gadget for triathletes. And almost all the charms of this device refers to its pulse meter.
Pay attention!!! The sensor is mounted on the host’s chest, without causing much discomfort. And it is cool. The watch tracks the heart rate even under water. And it makes the Polar a good choice of any swimmer. Imagine that you came to the pool, swam for an hour. And the gadget told you which lap was the best, how fast you could swim and how your heart relates to water loads. Awesome!
Also, the gadget software allows its owner to start dozens of sports profiles. You can use them both for sharing everything by family or by a group of friends. And in order not to mix the results of different workouts. You start one profile for a trainer, the other for running in the woods, the third for swimming. Conveniently enough.
Moreover, Polar RCX5 has amazing program-coaching. It monitors the intensity and nature of training. Also, the program teaches how to become stronger and much more. And this function puts the Polar RCX5 on the same level as the best fitness trackers and smartwatches. Check also Forerunner 35, Garmin Fenix or Apple watch series.
The main disadvantage of the model is that you buy it without a GPS sensor in the basic configuration. You need to buy it separately. On the Internet, you can find a list of sensors that are compatible with this watch. Here you just have to configure them and switch yourself. It is not very cool, considering how many modern users like simplicity and usability. Fans of the model are waiting for the corresponding update from the developers. But those in response to their questions are still silent…
Also, there is almost an abundance of negativity in user observations. Swimmers actively praise the device, but the fans of the run – curse.
“I had this watch for a year and a half. They admired me in the pool. Yes, they could have made a more prominent display. After all, the water would distort the picture … But otherwise, they were fine with me. But when I left the pool and played sports on the ground, the nightmare began. They do not take into account the elevation changes. They do not actively track activity … they make mistakes … And they also have an ancient site and services. Of the good, only the pulse meter and the pool mode.”
Garmin Forerunner 920XT
Our attention was drawn by the price tag. It costs … as much as 500 dollars! Gold, not watch … Well, the user rating of this device is very, very high – almost five stars. Apparently, behind these nondescript watches with a mediocre design, is something exciting hidden?
The most sophisticated model of the Garmin family can assess the efficiency of your workouts. It naturally predicts what results you will achieve today, and what ensues tomorrow. Also, it is a kind of motivation. It is always pleasant to break off a gadget and squeeze out a little more than you are capable of …
Garmin Forerunner 920XT is the first device in our review that can measure the indicator with the complicated name “vertical oscillation angle.” The watch looks at how well you run. And then it directly informs the owner how his running technique affects health. Another innovation is the measurement of the time of contact with the earth. That is, the clock will tell you how often you take your feet off the ground and whether they do it right.
They have the full functionality of “smart watches.” Therefore, the gadget accepts messages from the smartphone and e-mail. Besides, it displays calendars and reminders from external devices on the screen. Moreover, the watch displays even signal incoming calls to a mobile phone. Convenient for busy people who, even during a workout, want to stay in touch with the outside world. And for people, who do not want to run with a smartphone clamped in their left hand.
Even social functions have reached a new level here. Garmin Forerunner 920XT does not just share your results on social networks. With the help of a particular application, your friends and family can follow your friend’s training progress! A broadcast is online. Almost like on the Eurosport channel.
These watches are great for swimming and cycling. They even analyze the frequency of pedaling (pedal rotation). And still, 920-HT follow the rest of its owner. Based on the pulsometer, they prescribe him a few hours of relaxation and aerobic gymnastics. Here is such an unexpected concern.
It is clear that not all of our readers decide to buy such a device for regular workouts. But those people who have spent half a dollar on this beauty, as a rule, do not regret their choice.
SUUNTO 9 BARO TITANIUM
“Up to 120 hours of a workout without recharging”!!!
Suunto 9 Baro is a continuation of the Suunto Spartan pulsator line and Suunto Spartan Ultra models. The model that won many awards at the exhibitions. And the model, which has grown fond of ultra-marathon runners, was even better.
- Has a pulse sensor on the wrist
- Increased working time with the help of new power saving modes without loss of recording quality
- Changed modules on GPS – now instead of SIRF put Sony
- New navigation mode – FusedTrack
- Made the mount strap universal under 24 mm.
Externally, the Suunto 9 is similar to the Suunto Spartan Ultra. But it has some cosmetic changes. Therefore, the design of the edging has changed, and the buttons have become slightly more significant. The mass of the watch is 81 g, the Spartan Ultra has 76.
The diameter of the clock is 50 mm – the same for Ambit 3 and Spartan Ultra. Fiberglass, polyamide and steel housing. The straps are made of rubber. But they are easy to replace with any other material.
The package does not differ from other Suunto models. Familiar from previous models Suunto box, charging cable, manual.
Screen color and touch. For classes in the pool or the winter on skis, you can turn it off and control the buttons. It is a very convenient feature for universal athletes.
Functional Suunto 9 Baro has all the functions of previous models of watches. It is a gentleman’s set of any top watch models.
- Pulse tracking.
- Calories and steps.
- Setting daily activity goals.
- Duration and quality of sleep.
- Notifications from the smartphone.
- FuseTrack – track adjustment with accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope.
- Route planning, return trip.
- FusedAltiTM – accurate altitude measurement from altimeter data and GPS.
There are a route and waypoint navigation. But it is a bit dated for 2018. Late in response to the departure from the route and does not display a full map, like the Fenix 5x, for example. Navigation accuracy is generally comparable with Fenix 5x, Fenix 5+ and Garmin 935.
The most exciting thing about Suunto 9 navigation is the FuseTrack feature. It is a huge step forward in sports navigation technology. In the GPS recording mode, every 2 minutes the watch memorizes the recording points. And the distance between them is laid using the accelerometer, compass and gyroscope data. On tests, this function was excellent. Almost 120 hours of the track on one battery charge!
- Sunrise and sunset times
- Thermometer, atmospheric pressure
- Storm warning
Suunto 9 received a new generation optical pulse sensor. It has much more features than previous models. They will be with new firmware. The information about how to become a marathon runner will help you to keep your pulse under control.
Also, it measures your pulse at a workout and monitors 24/7. Pulse measurement is also made more “clever.” The heart rate monitor itself turns on and off, while there are no gaps in the pulse graph. You can view the pulse chart for the last 12 hours in reports for hours. But it is not displayed in the Suunto program yet.
The pulse sensor on the wrist in the watch for ultra runners is a controversial decision. Suunto 9 is compatible with external sensors Suunto Smart Sensor (not included). And you can turn off the optical one.
In the watch, you can swim and dive. The moisture protection of the watch is made according to ISO 6425 and will withstand a 100-meter dive.
Battery, autonomous operation and charging
The most severe improvements affected the autonomy:
- change of energy consumption modes directly during training.
- intelligent discharge warning system the day before a long workout or competition.
- up to 120 hours in training mode and 14 days in hours mode.
In Suunto 9 power consumption modes are made independent of activity.
In total there are three modes:
- productivity – record every second – 25 business hours.
- endurance – recording every 60 seconds – 50 hours of work.
- ultra – recording every 120 seconds – 120 hours of operation.
Note! When the route guidance and optical sensor is enabled, the running time will decrease. To increase it disable the sensor on the wrist and use the chest.
During the workout, the watch will notify you of the discharge, show the remaining work time. Besides, it will switch to a more economical mode. They do not turn off even when almost completely discharged. The super economy mode turns on and displays the workout timer.
Smart battery status notifications. Watches remember the days when long workouts or trips take place more often and remind you of the battery charge. For example, if long hours are always on Sundays, the watch will tell you of charge on Saturday.
Compatible with Android and iOS
Compatible with most Android and iOS smartphones. They work both with the new Suunto application and with Movescount. Applications are synchronized with Strava, TrainingPeaks, MapMyFitness, and others.
Bluetooth Smart technology to attach additional devices. Also, software update takes place without the use of wires.
Suunto 9 Reviews
Big battery, rugged case, and many features. With this watch, you can ride a bike and ski, swim, run, go hiking. Pros:
- Amazing 120-hour battery life
- Durable and wear resistant.
- Powerful learning opportunities.
- The screen can be hard to read.
- Sometimes confusing menus.
- Both applications need improvement.
A good watch for people leading an active lifestyle and watching their health. It looks excellent. But you still do not wear a classic shirt. The watch is uniquely sporting, although progress is relative to ambit on the face. Personally, the watch pleased me. Sleep monitor, calorie count, sport modes, moisture resistance, pulse and distance in the pool. I think today it is the best in its class. The previous hours were not ambitious to be killed by anything 2. Pros:
It copes perfectly well with their important sporting appointment. For people actively involved in sports that is necessary.
Dim screen, hard to read. Everything else is implemented merely and great.
People designed the Suunto 9 Baro is designed for ultra runs. And all the functionality has been developed for it. There are the most extended battery life, track accuracy in power saving mode, accurate altimeter and reliability. In everything that lasts more than 32 hours, Suunto is the unequivocal leader. It is a multi sport, multi-day race like TransUral or Crimea X Run.
In the functional analysis of training, connecting sensors, different software “chips” Garmin went far ahead. Suunto has a very raw application. On past models, there were problems with synchronization. Suunto admits that there are not enough resources to compete with Garmin. So, they went into a narrower specialization and created Suunto 9 Baro.
5 Best Fitness Trackers
How to choose a GPS watch for running?
It is easy to understand the answer. Probably, not one technological solution has not yet made life easier for runners. But the emergence of a satellite navigation system in their wrist chronometer did. For “running people” GPS-sensor is no less important than for motorists and fishermen. Runners love the watch with GPS because they still, choosing between a fancy fitness tracker and watch, take the last one for a run. They make such a decision because a fitness watch has the most important for them “gadgets: a stopwatch, a chronograph, and GPS.” What else to dream?
Is the watch useful?
The navigation sensor is used in wristwatches for different purposes. For example, in the children’s watch, they are placed for parents to monitor restless crumbs. Some of the business-class men’s and women’s chronographs use GPS for a comfortable orientation in space. Something like a personal navigator is obtained. People have already come up with suitable software for this business. But running watches are another story.
Conventionally, we can divide them into three categories. There are simple electronic watches with a GPS sensor, smart watches (they can be switched with a smartphone and a tablet) and activity trackers with a display for time display. But there is an exception to all three categories – fitness tracker Stryd with GPS.
Best things for runners
First, it is the GPS that allows runners to determine the speed of their movement. In most running watches, this function is pumped very well. Gadgets provide constant and accurate readings. For professional athletes, this information is essential like the air they need. And in the case of amateurs, the indicator of speed is a good motivator. For example, tomorrow you have to run faster than today. And you have a reason to brag to your friends.
Also, GPS helps to calculate the number of laps passed accurately. Besides, it also refers to the specific distance that the athlete runs. The error will be minimal especially if you compare it with the banal pedometer and other accelerometers. Check the review on resistance parachute for running.
Secondly, today every second model of GPS-watch has a built in heart rate monitor. And it does not give a person image, but vital knowledge. Is your heart ready for a marathon? Or is it more comfortable for it to run at short distances? Heart rate analysis protects the runner from unnecessary health problems. Moreover, it indicates when you need to stop training and when you can run a little more.
What about navigation? After all, it is the main feature of any satellite system. In the fitness watches for running, it is VERY RARE to find the built-in maps and programs for orientation in space. Well, why does a regular card runner have a watch? Is it possible to get lost in your favorite park or at the city stadium?
Another thing – fans of triathlon and orienteering. They are looking for navigation services in the GPS-clock. Search – and find. Although more often this chip is implemented through the function of “its zone.” In the watch settings, the coordinates of the location in which the person wants to train are set. And as soon as he leaves it, the watch will alarm anxiously. For example, not to get lost in the near forest 🙂
There are a lot of other cool chips in the running watches. For example, a bunch of accelerometer + GPS sensor allows you to find out if you are moving correctly at a particular speed. A built-in coach will tell you how many hours before a run you need to eat and drink. Social services are insanely popular now, such as the function “share the result with a friend” and “rating of all runners.” And the best of the best can change the “running” mode to the mode of sports walking, cycling and even swimming! Hence the gradual increase in the popularity of GPS watches among fans of other sports.
Functions that every running watch must have
Before buying an outdoor running watch, together with running shoes, decide which functions you need them for. In most modern models, there are quite a lot of them. But will you use them all? If not, why do you need to pay more? If you cannot make a choice, see the guide on how to choose the best accurate fitness tracker in 2019. You can buy a simple GPS running watch with essential functions.
- Speed. GPS Distance
Fitness watch for runners shows the distance athlete ran. And it shows how much time he spent on it. Also, they can draw your route and calculate the tempo.
- Heart rate monitor
Every fitness tracker must have this function. It is essential and useful. It helps to control one’s well-being, to adequately assess one’s physical abilities. Besides, it let you understand how effectively the training goes. There are different models of running watches with a heart rate monitor. Therefore, you can choose one with a breast cardio sensor in the kit. Or buy the one with a built-in LED sensor that measures the pulse on the wrist.
- Pulse zones
If an athlete knows his pulse zones, he trains more efficiently. Running watches determine your maximum heart rate. And thanks to this data, you selects pulse zones. But remember that not all watch models for runners can specify the maximum pulse during a workout. So, to find out about it, you can take a particular test, for example, in a sports center.
- VO2 max measurement
It is the formula for the maximum amount of oxygen you consume. The longer and faster an athlete can run, the higher the formula. You can find these formulas by making a test in the laboratory. Or you can use such a function in a sports watch. If VO2max increases, endurance, and training efficiency increase.
- Recovery time
Watches for runners can analyze indicators and predict how much time an athlete needs to recover after a workout. If a person runs a lot, this function is necessary. But if one runs not often and short distances, he can do sport without this function in the watch.
- Calorie counter
This function is available in almost all models of running watches and fitness bracelets. It will help those who run to lose weight or control their weight.
- Auto pause
It is necessary for those who run along the city streets and must make stops from time to time, for example, in front of a traffic light. In this case, you should put the timer on auto pause.
- Training plan
Individual applications help to load a workout plan during running hours. And you can view it if you have forgotten something.
- Water resistant
If you plan to run in spite of even rainy weather, buy models of watches made of waterproof materials. By the way, you can take a shower and swim using such watches.
How to set up a fitness watch for running right
Scheduled pace and heart rate tracking are just as important on a race as are comfortable sneakers, windbreaker, or tights. Therefore, it is almost impossible to do sport without a fitness watch for a modern runner. Although, there are times when such watches only interfere you. So, how to avoid such situations? Remember the tips of experienced runners and experts written below!
- Try out new running watches exclusively during training! Take a watch that you are used to at a distance of a marathon or other race. You should know their functionality, all the buttons, etc. New watches may surprise you at the wrong time. For example, suddenly at the first kilometer, you will understand that the measurement of the circles goes in miles. Or that the reconfiguring the device on the run is another test. Do not take risks!
- Charge the watch! For example, after the party, you can forget that you need to charge the watch for running. Sometimes with old models, it happens that they seem to be only charged. And they again require “energy.” So, be sure to check to charge. And do not forget the “watch in the outlet.” Such situations also happen. If you are running in another city, do not forget the charging cable. But it is better if you have two of them.
- Disable unnecessary features. The more options are enabled – the faster the battery will discharge. What should you turn off before a race in the city? Illumination and wi-fi you just do not need. To check how quickly the battery in modern running watches gets a low charge, connect alerts to the phone. Or help friends keep track of you through the application, check the device for “endurance” in advance. Turn on all the necessary functions for the training. And you will understand what a minimum charge in this mode will take for several hours of running. You can also do training with the fitness watch that includes all functions. Compare the results.
- Measure the strength of the GPS signal at the launch site in advance. Determine how many seconds or minutes it takes for the watch to be in GPS readiness mode. And you do not panic at the start because there is no signal.
- Increase the watch standby time. It happens that you found the GPS. But the start was delayed and the device during idle time returned to the clock mode. Press the button again. GPS does not catch right away. In general, the situation is not pleasant. Usually, watches keep GPS ready for 5 minutes. But in some models, the interval can be extended to 25 minutes.
- With or without GPS, decide how you will run in advance. To some people, this advice may seem ridiculous. But there are cities where GPS because of the high-rise works very poorly. The signal disappears or shows the wrong numbers. If the GPS catches badly on the street among high buildings, you can turn on the “Running indoors” mode and rely on the accelerometer. It shows relatively accurate figures. And in some cases, it is better to rely on it. Especially in cities like Tokyo or Chicago.
- Adjust the circles and decide one thing. Whether you will be guided by kilometers by the watch or according to the signs of the organizers. You can turn off the circles in the clock and press “LAP” manually. The main thing is to make sure that the signs on the track are installed at every kilometer and visible.
- Do not block the chip with your hand. At the start and finish, hold your hand while turning further away from the body. Or press the button in front of the mat or immediately behind it.
- Turn off autostop. If you train with stops, then the clock can be turned on automatically to pause the timer for the period when you are not moving. At the marathon, your time goes, despite the stops. So, you should know the same time that the official timing counts.
- Customize data screens. Place on one screen the data you need during the marathon. For example, it can be pulse, time, distance, pace. If this option seems inconvenient to you, set up each on a separate screen or set to auto-scrolling.
- Download track. Many watches have built-in maps. But you can also download a path and follow it. You need this option for ultra trail rather than urban racing. But it is useful because the clock can show the height difference and calculate your finishing time.
A watch with a GPS sensor is by no means a massive gadget. It is clear that this product will always be inferior in sales ratings to simple “smart watches” and fitness bracelets. At least, for the reason that not every one of us is ready to more or less seriously engage in sports. And these devices can be useful only for indeed sports people. Such as Michelle Jenneke – the Australian runner who conquered the world by dance.
If you belong to this category of geeks – then treat yourself. All seven heroes of our review received a user rating higher than four on Amazone. And it means that the vast majority of buyers were delighted with them. “People’s Mark of Quality,” which you should believe no less than the most authoritative reviews.
At a minimum, they will all cope well with their primary tasks. Everything else is a matter of your taste and love for additional services.