GPS is one of the most amazing inventions ever. It is so useful that almost that it can be used in almost every aspect of life. With the help of its service, you will never lose track of your destination. Thanks to the continuously developing technology manufacturers are able to integrate it into wearables.
Who needs a standalone receiver when your wristwatch can perform all the tracking and navigation? Modern world watches have GPS and other important sensors that are quite useful when it comes to workouts or other tasks. However, it can be a challenging task to choose your first watch with GPS. In order to cope with this problem and help you, we have done in-depth research for you.
During our research, we were able to find some of the best watches with GPS. We have compiled a list of the top ten based on their performance, features, and expert opinions. There is also a small buyer’s guide at the end of this article. The buyer’s guide will help you choose the best GPS watch for yourself. Even if you do not have any experience with GPS smartwatches, after reading this article you will know more than enough.
Our Top Picks For Best GPS Watches
Below we present all the watches that we and many people recommend!
Apple Watch Series 3
Starting our list with the Apple watch series 3. Due to the advancement and latest trends in technology, Apple felt it necessary to add GPS. It is due to many reasons for instance the GPS functionality makes it a great smartwatch for cycling. Many people buy this smartwatch for running, jogging, and other activity.
However, here is why you should consider buying it. Besides a great smartwatch with GPS, the Apple series 3 has an optical heart sensor. The sensor allows you to monitor your heart rate daily and helps you keep track of your health. This also helps the watch to be one of the best fitness smartwatches.
Two other important sensors are the gyroscope and the accelerometer. These sensors come in handy when performing activities such as sleep tracking. They are also super helpful when counting footsteps. These sensors can also be utilized by different apps to perform other important tasks.
The Dual-core s3 processor makes the smartwatch perform daily tasks without any issues. You will not face any problems during music playback or other app running. A watch with GPS functionality and a 5 ATM water-resistant design can also be perfect for swimmers.
Apple Watch Series 5
If you are looking for an upgraded version of a smartwatch with GPS then this is a perfect choice. Apple has done a remarkable job by introducing its new series 5 smartwatch. The Watch covers all the necessary items that its previous versions should have.
This time they have worked on their GPS receiver making it much more accurate. They have also included an Always-on Retina display which is one of the main features. It gives a pleasurable sensation as you look at the watch’s face. However, if you are worried about battery life then you should not.
It is because Apple knows what they are doing and they are professional at it. The watch possesses a decent long-lasting battery that will not give up on you. The watch also features an ECG app that can help you track your heart health pretty much accurately.
The series 3 had only an optical heart rate sensor which had some shortcomings. Taking it into account the manufacturers have added both electrical and optical heart sensors. The electrical and optical combo makes the sensor much more accurate. It is now much more reliable than the previous versions.
You can use the built-in compass to navigate your way or find directions. It can be useful in those areas where there is no clear line of sight to GPS satellites. You can also now check the elevation profile of an area with the help of its elevation reading sensor.
If you are looking for a GPS watch with long battery life consider the Garmin Instinct. Being a Global Navigation Satellite Systems expert I have tested many Garmin products. They are well known for their accurate GNSS receiver. The Garmin Instinct is one of my favorite smartwatches. It has a rugged design that makes it suitable for outdoor activities such as camping and hiking.
It can also be the best smartwatch for the military because of its super reliable GPS. The watch is designed according to the US military standard 810G. You can take it out with you if you are going for an operation.
Besides an accurate GPS, the watch also possesses a 3-axis compass. The compass can be useful in different situations where GNSS signals are weak. If you are up for calculating the pressure or elevation profiles of an area consider using its barometer and altimeter.
The watch not only gets signals from GPS but also from other GNSS constellations. Multiple GNSS access makes it much more reliable and accurate as compared to other smartwatches. This can be a perfect choice if you are looking for cycling smartwatches with GPS.
We recommended this watch in our many articles like cycling or hiking. I am pretty sure if you invest more money in this watch you won’t regret it. Necessary, to check watch reviews on Amazon.
Garmin Forerunner 235
The Garmin Forerunner 235 is another great GPS smartwatch. Its accurate heart rate sensor makes it super useful for those who work out daily. You can easily use it to track your heart rate performance 24/7. The smartwatch features a 44% larger display that makes it easier to read the screen.
If you are a fan of long battery life smartwatches then Garmin is the best fit for you. The Garmin Forerunner 235 has long-lasting battery life. It will last 12 weeks in watch-only mode. However, if you are using training mode it will last for 12 hours.
It also receives audio prompts from your smartphone that can be super useful for workouts and cycling. With the help of its smart notifications, you can now read your messages, emails, or even other smartphone notifications. It can easily be connected to your smartphone due to its compatibility with iOS and Android.
If we talk about its design the Garmin Forerunner 235 has a stunning look. Its silicon-based straps are pretty comfortable to wear. It is also designed in such a way that you can wear it with almost any clothing style. You can use it for pretty much everything you want.
The watch will track your heart rate, VO2 max consumption, and distance. These features make it useful for fitness and workouts.
Garmin Descent Mk1
The Garmin Descent Mk1 features a stunning design that makes it stand out from the crowd. It is available in three different band colors thus giving you the freedom to select your favorite color. The Watch face is also pretty sleek in design. Its unique features make it one of the best smartwatches for swimming.
Garmin has done a splendid job by adding a dive computer to the smartwatch. It will activate the moment you touch the water and start calculating the depth. It will tell you accurately about the depth you are diving in. You can now dive freely no matter in fresh or saltwater.
No matter if you are breathing nitrox, trimix, or holding your breath while diving. The Mk2 is going to be your faithful companion. It has also remarkable navigational results on the surface that make it the best smartwatch with GPS. It is because of its useful sensors.
The Mk2 not only receives a signal from GPS and GLONASS and performs navigation. It also uses its 3-axis compass, gyroscope, barometric, and altimeter. Combining all these sensors the watch can be super useful and accurate when it comes to smartwatch outdoor activities.
The Polar Ignite is one of the best smartwatches with GPS. Its stunning design makes it able to use anywhere with any clothing style. The splendid display is so bright that you will be able to read the watch no matter what the lighting situation is.
The straps are available in different colors which gives you the freedom to choose your favorite. However, the watch face is not customizable which can be a serious drawback for some people. Besides that, it has so many other features that overcome the nation’s customizable drawback.
The stainless steel bezel of the smartwatch gives it a sleek and premium look. You can not only wear it for workouts but also on a date, at parties, and during business meetings. It will give you a cool look. The watches with built-in GPS will make you able to track your daily exercise routine as well as your destination. It can also be pretty useful for cyclists and swimmers.
Besides a GPS sensor, the watch also features other useful sensors such as an altimeter, heart rate sensor, etc. You can use it to play the music of your choice. It is possible due to its integration with Spotify.
Withings Steel HR
Withings Steel is also a good GPS smartwatch for fitness. Many reasons will make you invest in it. Some of its cool features include an accurate GPS sensor and a reliable heart rate sensor. The watch will be useful for those who love to work out as you can easily track your VO2 max consumption with its help of it.
The Smartwatch features a workout mode with the help of its GPS sensor. The workout mode will make you able to track your destination, and distance covered. If you are a cyclist you will get benefitted from the help of its accurate navigation. Now you can maintain your fitness level with the help of Withings Steel HR.
The sleep tracking sensor will help you track your sleep much more accurately. You will get proper information about different sleep phases such as deep, light, and REM. The watch is also 50 m water resistant which makes it suitable for swimmers. It is not only helpful for runners and cyclists but also for swimmers as you can utilize its feature inside the pool.
Another cool feature of the Withings Steel HR is its fast charging. The watch can be charged to 100% just in 2 hours while it is 80% in only one hour. Once you charge the device you can use it continuously for about 5 days in workout mode. If you want to use it in power reserve mode the device will keep working for 20 days straight.
continuously for about 5 days in workout mode. If you want to use it in power reserve mode the device will keep working for 20 days straight.
Coros APEX Premium
The Coros Apex Premium Multisport GPS Watch is a great fit for cyclers who are looking for GPS watches. The Watch features a remarkable design and is available in different colors. The availability of different colors gives you the freedom to get your favorite one. It has an accurate heart rate sensor that will monitor your heart rate.
It can be pretty useful when you are going out sprinting or cycling. The manufacturer has done a splendid job by making this smartwatch fit enough for those who work out. The COROS trainer and support of ANT+ accessories will make your daily exercise routine much more effective.
Keeping its GPS feature highlighted the smartwatch is best known for its navigation. It has got breadcrumb navigation with zoomable tracks. Next time you want to go out on cycling you can simply track your destination and zoom it for better analysis. It also features some of the coolest functions such as back-to-start and off-route alerts.
The Coros APEX has a solid-performing battery that lasts for up to 80 hours. This can pretty useful for runners, campers, or hikers. You can use the watch continuously for 25 hours in GPS mode.
SUUNTO Ambit3 Peak
The SUUNTO Ambit3 is a tactical-style smartwatch with GPS. It is perfect for military personnel, pilots, adventurers, and those who work out daily. The watch features a smart heart rate sensor that allows you to track your heart rate efficiently. Its accurate GPS receiver makes it much more useful. You can use it to calculate your destination and track your activities.
The integrated barometer will tell you about the pressure level of your surroundings. This can be pretty useful if you are out camping. You can simply check the pressure and elevation profile of an area with the help of its reliable sensors.
If you are concerned about the battery life the SUUNTO Ambit3 has a durable battery. The power system allows it to run for longer durations on a single charge. You will never lose track if you are out on an adventure. The built-in compass can come in handy if you are in the woods where GPS signals are not working properly.
If you are a cyclist you can connect the watch to your smartphone. This will make you able to read the notifications right from your wrist. The water-resistant design also allows you to take it out for swimming. It will accurately measure your heart rate even if you are in the water.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 is one of the latest smartwatches. The wristwatch comes in two different sizes i.e 40 mm and 44 mm. It is also available in both Bluetooth and LTE versions. The smartwatch itself is available in different colors.
It features a nice and bright LED display that will work in all kinds of lighting. It also has a rotating bezel that is not physically rotating just like other Samsung watches. The bezel is a touch-sensitive strip that you can use for scrolling. With its help of it, you can easily scroll through different menus such as notifications, etc.
Now the touch bezel is pretty easy to control thus making the smartwatch user-friendly. Beneath the screen, you will find upgraded accelerometers and heart rate sensors. With the help of these sensors, you can keep track of your activities more accurately.
Besides such cool upgrades, Samsung has built in some new integrations. For example, there is better Bixby support now with which you can activate workouts. It can also control smart things and gadgets. Spotify integration makes it useful when playing music both online and offline.
Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best GPS Watches
Here is a quick buying guide that will make you an expert when buying a watch with a GPS function.
Before you invest in a smartwatch there are some important points that you should consider. The first and most important point is the accuracy of the watch. Some smartwatches claim to have GPS but their accuracy is so horrible and unreliable. It will not help you track your way and gives you trouble almost all the time.
But I am not an expert. How will I know about the accuracy?
You might be thinking that you are not an expert. How will you be able to tell about the accuracy of a GPS smartwatch? You don’t have to be an expert. It is simply not necessary all you have to do is to take a look at the specs.
If the smartwatch can get a signal from multiple GNSS constellations it will be more accurate. Nowadays many smartwatches support GPS, and GLONASS and some of them even support BDS, QZSS, and Galileo. The navigation is based on the number of available satellites.
We need at least 4 satellites visible to our receiver so it can perform trilateration and help us navigate. The higher the number of visible satellites the more will be its accuracy. Smartwatches that support multiple constellations are accurate because they receive the signal from the maximum number of satellites.
The next thing that you should keep in mind is battery life. If you are using a smartwatch that is pinpoint accurate (which is not possible in reality) but it lacks a good battery then it is of no use. Always double-check the battery performance of a wristwatch. Long-lasting battery life will decide the application of your smartwatch.