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Top 10 GPS Watches 2017

Whether you're planning a camping trip, fitness activities, hiking, cycling, or skiing, it pays to realize where you are at all times - and how to get back home. Our selection of GPS watches will guide you safely, and many additionally include advanced functions, such as swim training tracking and sleep monitoring.

Garmin Fenix 3 HR, GrayPolar M400 GPS Smart Sports Watch with Heart Rate Monitor (Black)Garmin Forerunner 920XT Black/Blue WatchPolar V800 GPS Sports Watch Special Edition with Heart Rate Monitor, BlackTomTom Spark Cardio + Music, GPS Fitness Watch + Heart Rate Monitor + 3GB Music Storage (Large, Black)Suunto Ambit3 Peak Running GPS Unit, BlackSuunto Unisex Quest Running Pack Black WatchGarmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPSTomTom Runner GPS Running Watch (Grey)Garmin vívoactive HR GPS Smart Watch, Regular fit - Black

GPS Watch Versus A Smart Phone


With the prevalence of smartphones, some may think there is no need for a GPS watch, but they actually offer many benefits over using a smartphone for fitness tracking. The four biggest benefits are accuracy, battery life, durability, and size.

It's no secret that fitness tracking apps on smartphones are often wildly inaccurate. A recent study by the University of Toronto concluded that smartphone fitness tracking apps are "neither valid nor consistent in measuring step counts". This is because many of the sensors in smartphones are sub standard when compared to dedicated fitness tracking devices.

Most smartphone users struggle with battery life when just performing daily activities, like making phone calls and browsing the web. Battery life is even more of an issue when using GPS fitness apps. Some estimates state that the average battery life for a smartphone using a GPS fitness app is approximately three to four hours. So unless one has the time to recharge the phone for a couple of hours after exercising, they will most likely be left with a dead phone for the rest of the day.

When it comes to durability and size, GPS watches are the hands down winner. Getting caught in the rain while running with a smartphone can be disastrous, but many GPS watches are waterproof, and nearly all are water resistant. Taking a smartphone along for swimming laps is an impossibility, but not only can many GPS watches be worn when swimming, some even count strokes and laps. For those who find the large size of a smartphone inconvenient to carry when running, a GPS watch offers a compact solution.

Choosing The Right GPS Watch


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The most common uses for GPS watches are running and hiking, but many people also find them beneficial for swimming, skiing, kayaking, and cycling. One who intends to use their watch for running has different needs than one who will be taking their GPS watch swimming and kayaking. If you are on the fence about what you will be using your watch for the most, it is best to buy one that has more features than you think you need, to cover all of your bases.

For those who want to take their watch on extreme excursions and during water-based activities, it is important to look for one with a durable and waterproof case. There are some models designed specifically with triathlons in mind that can can switch quickly from one sport to another.

Battery life for GPS watches runs the gambit from 5 hours to over 50. The more features and sensors it has, the shorter the battery life generally is, but there are some very high-end models packed with features that still get an impressive battery life. One should also take into account the screen size. Some may find that a smaller watch is more comfortable when running, but others may find the small screen inconvenient when trying to read exercise data.

Different watches also offer varying levels of data tracking capabilities. Some may only track speed and distance, while others track heart rate, elevation, calories, vertical speed, temperature and more. The more data tracking features you get, the more you pay, so determine which features are most vital to you. For somebody who often runs indoors, a built-in accelerometer and indoor run option are necessary, while outdoor runners may find them extraneous. Swimmers will want a GPS watch that counts swim strokes and laps.

Take the time to closely examine all of the additional features of the watch you are considering and compare it with other options. Some offer onscreen maps, beep or vibration alerts, programmable interval workouts, off-the-shelf training programs, and feedback on running form.

History Of GPS


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GPS is a network of satellites that orbit the Earth which are capable of sending and receiving signals to and from anyone with a GPS device, no matter where on Earth they are located. It was initially created with military applications in mind, but has since been opened up to consumer use.

The United States was motivated to create the GPS system during the Cold War after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957. After Sputnik was launched, the United States set their mind to launching their own satellite, and by 1960 they launched Transit, a five satellite system that allowed U.S. Navy ships to take a reading on their position once every hour.

A decade later, the Timation satellite system was launched to replace Transit. Animation satellites had more accurate atomic clocks, which made them able to more accurately determine a GPS receiver's location on Earth. In the seven years between 1978 and 1985, 11 new satellites were launched into the Timation system.

Under the Reagan Administration, the United States decided to open the GPS system up to commercial and consumer use after the the Soviet Union shot down a Korean passenger jet who strayed too close to their borders. Until then, commercial flights had no way of accurately determining their exact location.

In the mid 1990s, the 24 satellite Navstar system replaced Timation and is the system currently in use. Currently a 30 satellite GPS system known as Galileo is being created by the European Union, of which 14 satellites are already in orbit.


#10.Garmin vívoactive HR GPS Smart Watch, Regular fit - Black


Run, bike, swim, golf, ski and more with vivo active HR, the GPS smartwatch with Elevate wrist heart rate technology. Outside of your more active moments, its built-in activity tracker counts steps throughout the day and measures calories burned. The sunlight-readable, high-resolution touchscreen features smart notifications such as call, text, email, social media alerts and more. Customize your watch with more than 1,300 apps, watch face designs, data fields and widgets from our Connect IQ store. Battery charge lasts through all your activities with up to 8 days in watch/activity tracking mode (no GPS) or up to 13 hours using GPS.


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#9.TomTom Runner GPS Running Watch (Grey)


I previously had the Nike sports watch which I loved. However, I was only able to use it five times before the watch broke. After speaking with Nike I returned the watch to them and was told that I would get a new watch emailed back to me. However, they had discontinued the watch and had run out of their own supply. Instead of receiving a new watch they gave me a voucher. As much as I enjoyed that watch my experience with it and made it so I didn't want to get a new one. After a lot of research, I decided to buy a tomtom runner GPS watch. I really do love this watch. I used it indoors as well as outdoors and I have had no issues so far. I love that I can use it indoors on my elliptical and I don't need any extra equipment. With the Nike watch, I needed a shoe pod in order to run inside. This watch is perfect for your average runner


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#8.Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS


The Foretrex 401 is a slim wrist-mounted GPS navigator perfect for outdoor activities that require the use of both hands. Foretrex 401 combines a high-sensitivity waterproof GPS receiver, electronic compass and barometric altimeter into a lightweight device ideal for hikers, skiers and campers. To share data easily, you can connect Foretrex to your computer with USB or just send data wirelessly to another device.


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#7.Suunto Unisex Quest Running Pack Black Watch


Suunto Quest package includes Suunto Quest, Suunto Movestick Mini, Suunto Dual Comfort Belt, and Suunto Foot POD Mini.

There’s nothing like it. Being out amongst nature, doing the sport you love best. Constantly searching for the perfect trail. Training for your next big event. Enjoying every moment of it. It’s what you live for. It’s what you were built for.

The outdoors is your gym. Whether you’re training for competition or fun, you need a watch you can rely on. With Suunto Quest, you can personalize and download your programs. Monitor your heart rate, speed, distance, running cadence and laps in real time. And even share, plan, and analyze your results. All crafted in a distinctly rugged design you can wear every day. Ensuring your life in the outdoors is always on track.


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#6.Suunto Ambit3 Peak Running GPS Unit, Black


The journey to your summit is what it’s all about – whether it’s a mountain or a personal best. The Suunto Ambit3 Peak is your ultimate GPS watch for sports and adventure. It guides you every step of the way, providing all you need to progress and stay safe on your quest. Connect your watch wirelessly to your smartphone and use the free Suunto Movescount App to adjust the watch on the go and visually enrich, relive and share your adventure. There is no better companion out there to make every Move count.


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#5.TomTom Spark Cardio + Music, GPS Fitness Watch + Heart Rate Monitor + 3GB Music Storage (Large, Black)


Train to the rhythm of up to 500 songs and the beat of your heart on your wrist. Store your playlists on your wrist and listen to them wirelessly during your workout with preloaded songs from Ministry of Sound. Track your heart rate with the built-in 24/7 heart rate monitor. No chest strap needed. Capture every active minute of your day. Sprints, strolls, stairs, steps. Every active minute counts. Tracking your moves all day, it all adds up to time, distance and calories burned.


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#4.Polar V800 GPS Sports Watch Special Edition with Heart Rate Monitor, Black


Watch is nice and I like it! I bought the black color set Dec-19 and just open it. BUT, where is the cadence sensor?:( watch is nice but what should i do? If the seller can send the cadence sensor to me instead of replacement, it will be perfect since I want to use it now!


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#3.Garmin Forerunner 920XT Black/Blue Watch


Forerunner 920XT packs a fleet of high-end training features into a sleek watch that is wet suit-friendly and about 15 percent lighter than its predecessor, the Forerunner 910XT. It boasts a high-resolution color display; flexible, hinged bands and a watch mode, so you can wear it all day. The activity tracking feature measures your steps, sleep and calories burned all day, giving you a complete picture of your daily activity.


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#2.Polar M400 GPS Smart Sports Watch with Heart Rate Monitor (Black)


Developed for runners who want a comfortable and durable running watch with a sporty design and advanced GPS and training features. Track and record running as well as your other exercise, and monitor your performance accurately. Connect with the Polar Flow mobile app and stay active and motivated.


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#1.Garmin Fenix 3 HR, Gray


Fenix 3 HR combines rugged good looks with fitness training performance, which includes Elevate wrist heart rate technology. With uncompromising construction details like stainless steel bezel with fully integrated EXO antenna which, when paired with GLONASS and EPO, provides faster fixes and more accurate position than GPS alone. With a sunlight-visible high-resolution Chroma color display, Fenix 3 makes a statement on the trail and off. A full set of fitness training features, plus outdoor navigation capabilities offer the outdoor adventurist every option for training activities and competitions. Connect IQ lets you customize your Fenix 3 with a variety of downloadable watch faces, data fields, widgets, and activities. When paired with a compatible smartphone


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