So you are a sport person and looking for the best GPS watch so that you track and improve your performance by comparing your results.
But you are unaware of advance features of a GPS and you don’t have time to read all those details you just want and overview of features you want in your new GPS watch and you don’t want any GPS watch you want a perfect that’s right for you.
GPS watches come in a variety of styles, prices and abundant features, and have been designed for different sports such as runners, bikers, hikers and triathletes.
In this article we tried to explain everything you want to know about a GPS watch and listed some of the best GPS watches for a particular sport.
What is a GPS watch?
GPS (Global Positioning System) is a commonly used feature by people worldwide. It is used to calculate the precise timing and location within seconds by using the satellites which have been set up in the orbit by the Department of Defense of the United States of America. It is one of the wonders created by the human brain which has greatly helped in the fields of transportation, marine navigation and even disaster management efforts.
One of the most popular gadgets which have GPS application is the watches which carry this facility. GPS watches are made with built-in GPS receiver and are much in vogue among the outdoor travelers, bikers, hikers and the sports person alike.
Besides being a convenient mapping device for outdoor enthusiast, the GPS watches also have inbuilt chronograph, altimeter, compass, barometer and thermometer. Some of the models of these watches also feature a calendar, stopwatch, telephone, alarm and even a back-light for emergencies.
How a GPS watch work?
GPS watches utilize a network of global positioning satellites to precisely track how far and how fast you are running, hiking, biking, or swimming. Anytime. Anywhere in the world. It will measure your real-time speed, average speed and maximum speed. It calculates your pace, average pace and best pace, tracks your workout distance, and also functions as a continuous odometer. Whether you’re buying one for yourself or purchasing a gift for someone else, we’re here to help you understand what you’re buying. We’ll guide you to match the right technology for your intended use or to maximize your training or exercise experience.
Here’s a tip, every model of GPS sports watch has its own individual strengths and negatives. For you to decide the one with the greatest options; you want to do your own research and therefore the web is the correct place for this. So; the better brands come from manufacturers like Suunto and Garmin who have together established themselves in their undertakings have both developed numerous very high end, feature rich coaching watches.
Once you have selected your desired GPS Watch; jot down the features you need from them and then place these from the foremost significant to the least imperative.
As an example, if you’ll be trying for GPS sport watches with a heart velocity monitor then try the maker of your choice that do have the simplest options during this facet and compare. Or, if you wish the GPS feature the foremost, simply do the same comparison.
As a tip, you’ll be accustomed to the devices distinctive options not solely on the products description however on the client’s reviews and comments of the products. It is often best to appear at merchandise which has a high user experience.
What I mean by this is look at the models where there are lots of positive reviews and client feedback. This info will help you create up your mind as you will have the experiences of folks who are already using these devices on a daily basis.
Features of GPS watches
So to give you a head start, here is a list of presumably important features of a GPS watch that every self-confessed adrenaline junkie would definitely look for:
- Strong GPS Signal – You wouldn’t want to miss a spot when you’re in a bushy part of the trail during a triathlon event. Basically, no GPS tracking wristwatch can claim an accurate mapping of your location. However, it is best to find one that can easily get signals even in the worst of the environment.
- Lightweight – Being a watch that doubles as a navigation and training device, a wrist-worn GPS system is generally bigger than the ordinary wristwatch. Even so, you still have the option to choose among the lightest GPS watches in the market, which typically vary by brand. Pick the one that doesn’t give much weight on the wrist for a comfortable wear.
- Fitness Tracking Features – Another breakthrough in the history of sports watches is the integration of settings that enable the users to measure their heart rate and the amount of calories burned throughout their training. Such features are very helpful especially if you are setting a goal to get fit. Choose the one that can also log your progresses in its memory for assessing your performance later.
- Water-Resistant – If you are training for a triathlon event, you will need a tracking device that can still work fine even after being submerged in the water. Just a reminder, though: a GPS wristwatch is not generally endorsed for water sports since it can have a hard time locating signals underwater to measure your laps.
- PC Connectivity – Most GPS-enabled watches today now feature either wireless or USB technology for transferring data to the PC. This is included so as to give users an option for analyzing their training history that the device has previously saved.
- Long Battery Life – We saved the best for last. More than anything else, a GPS watch must have at least 10 hours’ worth of juice in order to catch up with your training.
Check out the list of Top GPS Watches
TomTom Spark 3
The Spark 3 is a great GPS running watch that has lot of features for just $130. At the same entry price than many other competitors you get great GPS tracking capabilities and a water-resistant watch that tracks swimming and running as well.
Garmin Forerunner 230
The Forerunner 230 is the “Goldilocks” of running watches which is priced at a just $249 but easily found online for less – features lightning fast satellite-locking and useful information such as VO2 max estimation and smartphone notification. It does not have a wrist-based heart rate monitor so you’ll have to add a chest strap for that information. Or you can upgrade to the Garmin Forerunner 235, which adds the wrist sensor but comes in at $329.
Garmin VivoActive HR
The VivoActive HR is a fitness tracker: meant to be worn all day it will track all your activities and thanks to the HR sensor will measure things like calorie expenditure quite accurately. Coming from Garmin, it has very reliable GPS tracking and even the GLONASS option.
Priced as a mid-range GPS watch comes the VivoActive HR from Garmin. At this price you get a very solid GPS watch for running which includes wrist heart rate sensor. It’s swim-proof and can track cycling, swimming (indoors), skiing, golfing and of course your 24/7 activity, sleep included.
If you want a fitness tracker that you can also use to track your running in an accurate way, this is a great purchase.
TomTom Runner 3 Cardio
This watch can be get for less than $200, which can easily be mounted on a bike, measures HR from the wrist and is swim-proof up to 50 meters. Similarly to its non-cardio counterpart, this value is extremely hard to beat. This watch is a great for multi-sport athletes.
Best GPS Watches for Hiking and Outdoors
A hiking watch should have features beyond those of an ordinary running watch. Features that every hiking watch should have are barometer, altimeter and compass.
Suunto Ambit 3 Peak
Suunto has been doing Hiking watches since before it was cool. They absolutely know what they are doing and the Ambit 3 is a great watch. It tracks an incredible amount of activities and has extremely precise sensors. Long battery life, upload-able routes through way points.
TomTom Spark 3 Cardio
The Spark 3 Cardio is basically the same watch as the Spark 3 but with added wrist heart rate sensor. For less than $200 it will track your running, cycling and swimming. It’s (obviously) waterproof and can be easily mounted on a bike by swapping the band.
Garmin Forerunner 920XT
The Forerunner 920XT is a seriously impressive running/multisport watch. It includes all of Garmin’s most advanced metrics measurement such as cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time. The list of features is extremely long.