Best GPS Watch Reviews 2018

Are you looking for the best GPS watch? If you like to keep a precise track of your performance on the track to have the ability to view and compare your stats at a later time, a GPS watch is a must-have! Some GPS watch capabilities even extend to embedding GPS data into your photos and maps to let you know exactly where you are and the distance from your starting point. Given the surge of appeal in GPS watches, the market is literally flooded with options. We’ve researched and put together the best 5 GPS watch brands today.
Overview
PROS
CONS
Our Top Choice
Garmin Epix GPS Map Watch with 8GB Internal Memory
If a company claims they’ve sold 100 million GPS devices sold worldwide, you ought to take them seriously and with the chart topper Epix, we definitely do!
Accurate GPS and maps. Ability to track daily activities like steps and sleep. Can display notifications from Android and iOS devices. Comprehensive activity support.
Big in size. Interface needs getting used to.
Best Value
TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio Waterproof GPS Watch with HR Monitor
TomTom has sold over 78 million PNDs since 2004. Its mission is to develop superior GPS products, such as the TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio.
Wrist-based heart rate monitoring. Comfortable to wear. Great list of GPS enabled tracking features. Multiple holes on straps to ensure watch fits all wrist sizes.
Slow GPS lock. No smartphone notifications.
Polar V800 Waterproof Sports Watch with GPS Functionality
Polar has been using GPS technology to create groundbreaking products since 1977, including the Polar V800 GPS watch.
Designed for serious sports enthusiasts. Integrated GPS. Sports-specific profiles. Polar Flow. Sensor compatibility. Running cadence. Ability to import new routes. Onboard heart rate sensor.
Annoying charging/syncing connector. Bulky design.
Epson Runsense SF-810 Waterproof GPS Watch with HR Monitor
Epson is a company hailed for its printers and scanners, but it makes great fitness watches too. This includes the Runsense SF-810B.
Accurate heart rate and GPS tracking. Easy-to-read display. Long battery life. Can be worn in the shower or the pool.
Mobile app is somewhat slow. No all-day activity tracking.
Fitbit Surge Waterproof GPS Watch with HR Monitor
Founded in 2007, Fitbit has grown to be one of the leading names in the wearable fitness space. It boasts an exceptional portfolio, in which the Surge leads the pack.
All-day fitness and heart rate tracking. Onboard GPS to track a range of activities. Onsite heart rate tracking. Excellent software.
Limited notifications to just texts and calls. Might not be the best choice for serious athletes.

(Updated )
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Watch Our GPS Watch Review

How Do I Choose the Best GPS Watch?

Fitness trackers are designed to monitor movement as it relates to target health indicators such as heart rate and calories burned, but GPS watches step it up a few notches by locating you anywhere in the world regardless of the activity. Unlike accelerometer based fitness wearables and wrist based heart rate monitors, GPS watches communicate with satellites to determine your exact location as you walk run, hike, bike and move through a workout. This detailed information allows this type of watches to accurately track speed, altitude, pace and more, making it a great choice for serious athletes and outdoor enthusiasts.

Battery life plays an important role when buying the best GPS watch. Reason for this is that unlike barebones fitness trackers that can track steps, calories and distance, GPS watches acquire and maintain a GPS signal for premium performance features resulting in more battery usage. Most GPS watches are fitted with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that generally is good for 10 hours or more and up to an astounding 5 weeks in watch mode (with GPS turned off).

A good GPS multisport watch should offer some level of water resistance to track your performance in inclement weather conditions. Since most GPS watches aren’t designed for intense water activities such as scuba diving if you expect to participate in water activities, look for a GPS wearable that you can take in the pool and in the rain (50 meters of water resistance). Or you could opt for a watch designed specifically for diving but keep in mind that while waterproof, many of those don’t offer GPS functionality.

Some of the best GPS wearables even offer you full color maps right on your wrist. These maps can generally be downloaded from the manufacturer website or third party sources and viewed on the enlarged display. Speaking of display, choose a GPS watch that is preferably touchscreen and is appointed with a backlight to view in low light conditions. And lastly, good GPS watches must perform well, but also be light and comfortable to wear over extended periods.
Price
The price of GPS watches completely depends on the features you choose. If you want a device with an integrated optical heart rate monitor, be prepared to pay a few dollars more than a cheap GPS watch. Most GPS watches are able to tracking running performance, but if you’re going to be exploring new heights, you will need a wearable with an onboard barometric altimeter to measure changes in elevation.

If you’re a cycling enthusiast, a frequent hiker or do a lot of off road running, the barometric altimeter will work in conjunction with the elevation tracker of the GPS watch to measure your elevation during each workout. And if you’d like Bluetooth connectivity and smartphone notifications, you’re going to pay premium price for a top notch GPS watch.
Features
When looking for a GPS watch, one important thing to look for is a watch with an easy to read display and one that renders statistics just as easily such as distance, time, speed, calories burnt during a workout.

GPS watches can be had with basic or top notch features depending on how much you’re willing to spend. That said, here are some of the common features to look for in a good GPS watch.
  • Integrated heart rate monitor
  • Auto pause and auto lap function
  • Easy to read interface and intuitive app interface
  • Backlight for reading in low light conditions
  • Great battery life up 8 hours in GPS mode and 5 weeks in watch mode
  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear
  • Able to track a wide range of activities and deliver accurate results
  • Operating temperature range between -10° C to 50° C
It is highly recommended that you invest in a device that has features you will actually use, because the more the perks, the higher the price.
Construction and Design
Most modern GPS watches are relatively compact, and the ideal size is basically what you think will look good on your wrist. Look for a GPS wearable that isn’t bulky, and is comfortable to wear over longer periods. The weight of the device will also depend on its features and the materials used in its construction. But choose a watch that serves you well rather than one that simply looks good on your wrist.
Performance and Ease of Use
All GPS watches will of course be outfitted with GPS receiver technology. If you’re going to be hiking in the wilderness, look for a GPS watch that offers onscreen maps to let you know exactly where you are at any given time. Adding to this, most GPS wearables allow you to create custom workouts to help you achieve your goals and more precise training. And lastly, look for app connectivity and how easy it is to view your stats and track your performance.

One final note worth mentioning – if you are someone who participates in a specific sport or activity, you may way want too invest in a GPS fitness watch that is designed with those needs in mind. For example, there are golf GPS watches and running GPS watches.

What is the Best GPS Watch?

Now that you’re aware of what to consider and the GPS tracking features available in today’s Smartwatches, you should be well equipped with the information you need to make a great buying decision. So without further ado, let’s get right to what we think are some of the best GPS multisport watches around. On a side note, if you have a certain sport in mind and don’t see what you need here, we have reviews for watches designed for specific activities such as golf, running, swimming and diving.
Our Top Choice
The Garmin Epix is inarguably one of the best map enabled GPS watches to hit the shelves. But if you’re looking for an equally capable multisport, rugged military style GPS watch designed specifically for outdoor navigation and optimized for night vision goggle albeit without mapping features, the Tactix Bravo is worth a second look.
Garmin Epix GPS Watch with Real Time Mapping - Preloaded US TOPO Maps and Smart Notifications

Garmin GPS Watch 010-01247-00


Features
Garmin is committed to producing industry-leading products in several sectors, including aviation, automotive, outdoor, marine and of course fitness markets, key areas of people’s lives. One of Garmin's noteworthy traits is its vertical integration business model. It performs the same tasks carried out by trade buyers and suppliers, so it can keep all the design, manufacturing and distribution processes in-house and have more control over timelines, quality and service.

The Garmin Epix provides you with built in maps right on your wrist so whether you venture out into the wild or a walk in a not-so local area, you can trust this complete mapping solution to get you to home. It is the first watch to disembark from the company hangar that provides both all the features of all its sports watches and wrist based GPS mapping devices.

As a premium GPS watch, the Epix boasts an extensive list of features, but here are a few that make it worth a second look:
  • 1.4 inch color touchscreen with 205 x 148 pixels with backlight for low light conditions
  • US maps included with the watch but other maps can be downloaded separately from Garmin’s site or for free 3rd party sources and saves on the internal 8GB storage
  • Although a bit bulky, the Epix is a joy to wear even for longer periods and backs its rugged looks with its actual capabilities
  • Equipped with 5 buttons located along the watch’s edges that provide easy access to most of the functions
  • Ability to track a range of sports, including swim training, skiing, golfing, rowing and paddle boarding
  • Ability to answer phone calls right from the watch
  • Fully water resistant up to 5 ATM so you can hop in the shower with it or take a plunge in the pool
  • Preinstalled USA TOPO maps shows comprehensive street level details, and altitude for mountains
  • You can even save locations you find along your way, great for marking locations such as where you parked your car
  • Onsite altimeter to track your day to day walk about and cadence information, barometer, thermometer and compass
  • Move Alert if you’ve been sedentary for too long
  • Displays notifications from your iOS or Android device. Can connect to Garmin’s exclusive Connect IQ third party app store to download watch faces, data fields, applications and widgets
  • Support for GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System or Globalnaya Navigazionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema in Russian
  • Can be paired with a HRM monitor, a foot pod, bike speed and cadence sensors and power sensor
  • LiveTrack allows others to track you through Garmin Connect
  • Can be paired with ANT+ speed and cadence sensors, which is especially great for cyclists
  • Battery life clocks in at 50 hours in UltraTrac mode with 24 hours with GPS engaged, and roughly 16 weeks in smartwatch mode
Best Value
The TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio is a great GPS watch designed to track several activities. But if you’d like to step it up a few notches with a multiport GPS watch that offers an integrated music player and allows you to discover new routes and see real time info like 3D distance and altitude, the TomTom Adventurer is what you should be looking at.
TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio GPS Training Watch for Running, Cycling and Swimming with Built-in Heart Rate Monitor

TomTom GPS Watch 1RH.001.01 - Black


Features
TomTom, a Dutch startup company, boasts a global footprint across 35 countries and 58 offices worldwide. It has hundreds of millions of probes that contribute to its traffic service, and navigable maps that cover 35 countries and reach out to an astounding 4 billion people.

The TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio is not only a great-looking GPS watch, but also a highly accurate one. The original Multisport could be paired with a standalone heart rate monitor, but the latest Multisport Cardio lets you know your heart rate in real time right on your wrist. Like its predecessor, the Multisport Cardio is focused on running, but it can also track cycling and swimming activities and be paired with TomTom’s wheel mounted cadence tracker.

Here are a few of the features that make this watch a great buy:
  • Up to 8 hours of battery life with GPS and HR engaged, and up to 10 hours with only GPS
  • 22 x 25mm, 144 x 168 resolution monochrome display can show you distance, duration, clock face, pace, average pace, speed, calories burned, heart rate and heart rate training zone
  • Integrated heart rate monitor on the rear reads your heart rate via your wrist and transmits to the screen in BPM (beats per minute)
  • Choose one of five training zones based on your age, ability and resting heart rate to reach your workout needs
  • Large joystick-like keypad allows you to navigate menus easily
  • Removable and swappable strap for a small range of signature colors
  • Can be paired with TomTom’s cadence monitor to gauge pedal stroke and wheel rotation for cyclists
  • Included USB cable to charge the unit and sync activities via your computer (PC or MAC)
  • Waterproof up to 40 m/131 feet (5 ATM) so you can take it for a swim or a shower
  • Onboard swimming, treadmill (with HR monitoring but no GPS), freestyle (GPS and heart rate monitoring), and stopwatch (HR monitoring with no GPS) modes
  • Package includes GPS watch, desk dock, bike mount and user guide
  • Available in four different colors: black, bright green/white, black/red and light gray/white
Although the Polar V800 has most of the features found in higher-priced GPS watches, it falls short in the cycling department. If you’re an avid cyclist looking to track your performance on the trails or any other bicycle travels, the stylish and highly customizable Polar M450 bike computer is what you need to buy.
Polar V800 GPS Sports Watch - Compatible with Cycling Sensors, Comes in 3 Colors, Available With or Without HR Monitor

Polar GPS Watch 90050554-P – Black w/ HR Monitor


Features
Polar training devices are specifically designed for you to make the best of your training. Its product portfolio caters to all levels of fitness. Whether you’re a novice just looking to track a handful of basic activities, or a fitness enthusiast seeking premium features such as HR monitoring, you can bet Polar has the right device for you.

Launched in 2014, the Polar V800 is still a go-to GPS watch for hardcore runners, cyclists and triathletes for several reasons. Apart from its superb battery life, this rugged multisport watch takes the stage with premium features, including wrist-based heart rate monitoring and myriad smart coaching modes. It even supports Polar’s new running program.

This class-leading GPS watch has an extensive list of features, and here are a few noteworthy ones:
  • Waterproof up to 30 meters
  • 128 x 128 pixel resolution monochrome display complete with Gorilla glass protection
  • New software update allows smartphone notifications such as incoming calls, messages and social media alerts right on the device screen
  • Backlight for nighttime sports activities
  • Can be paired with the Polar H7 chest strap, power meters, stride, bike speed and cadence sensors
  • All new running program lets you create more personalized routines
  • Onboard 350mAh battery delivers juice for 13 hours of training with active GPS, 50 hours in low GPS power mode, and 30 days if used as a step counter
  • Triathlon-focused specific sports profiles include cycling, running and swimming
  • Screen displays laps, distance and pace as standard, and you can also create customized screens with the Polar app
  • Can get smartphone alerts streamed from your Android or iOS device
  • Can be ordered with red or black strap
The Epson SF-810B has a wide range of premium features, such as onsite heart rate monitoring and advanced training modes. If you want a basic GPS watch that will measure daily steps, calories burned and other data, the SF-110 is worth exploring.
Epson SF-810B Runsense GPS Watch with Built-In Heart Rate Monitor and Long Battery Life – Available in Two Colors

Epson GPS Watch E11E209022 - Black


Features
The first things that comes to mind when you hear the brand name Epson are projectors, scanners, ink, paper and media. However, the company is also moving into the GPS wearable fitness market with its Runsense range, and it’s no surprise that it's performing excellently in this space.

The SF-810B belongs to a range of GPS fitness watches that have superior battery life, and render accurate pace and distance measurements. Although fairly new to the GPS fitness arena, the top-of-the-line SF-810B Epson is enjoying an immense surge of appeal, and is even the go-to GPS fitness watch for Olympic marathon silver medalist Meb Keflezighi.

The Epson SF-810B is a pure GPS enabled running watch. Although you won’t get smartwatch-like features, here are a few that make it stand out in its segment:
  • Lightweight strap with spring-like design makes it comfortable to wear over longer periods
  • 5 ATM water resistance rating translates to 50 meters, so it can be worn in the pool or shower
  • LCD screen is easy to read in bright sunlight
  • Impressively bright backlight lights up for 10 seconds for low light conditions
  • Integrated heart rate monitor makes it easy to monitor, measure and control the intensity of your workouts
  • No complicated menu to deal with; simply press the start button, get a signal, then press the start button again to begin tracking
  • Four customizable display screens and 35 different data points
  • Can display calories burned, lap distance, heart rate, max heart rate, and total ascent and descent among other info
  • App available for Android and iOS devices
The Fitbit Surge can be considered an all-rounder in the wearable fitness department, but it does lack a few features, like wrist-based email notifications. If this is what you’re looking for, you can have it with the Blaze, another bestselling Fitbit GPS fitness wearable with email alerts.
Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch with Onsite GPS and Sleep Tracking – Available In 3 Colors and 5 Sizes

Fitbit GPS Watch FB501BKL – Black, Large


Features
Fitbit is a company that’s been hailed as the biggest success story in this arena. It's gone from a hopeful startup to generating an astounding $4.1bn IPO in 2015, and has sold over 18 million wearable fitness devices in a single calendar year without a new single product.

The Fitbit Surge is one of the first devices to incorporate GPS, all-day-fitness tracking, an optical heart sensor and smartphone notifications in one neatly packed device. Although there are several other devices that offer the same features, the Fitbit Surge is still a great choice for active consumers for several reasons, including the Superior Fitbit software.

Here are some features that make it a great deal for avid athletes:
  • Touchscreen monochrome LCD display with backlight for low light conditions
  • Quick GPS takes roughly 60 seconds to lock onto a signal and then map out your run
  • Waterproof up to 5 ATM or 50 meters and rain, sweat and splash-proof
  • Sensors include digital compass, vibration motor, altimeter, 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometers
  • Long battery life: up to 10 hours with GPS engaged and 7 days without
  • Wristband made of durable and flexible elastomer material, and buckle made of surgical grade stainless steel
  • Ability to monitor sleep and set silent alarm
  • Automatic wrist based heart rate with dedicated and simplified heart rate zones
  • Tracks distance, steps, floors climbed, calories burned, hourly minutes, active minutes and stationary time
  • Tracks rides and runs and other workouts with multisport modes, and can even automatically record results with SmartTrack
  • Syncs data wirelessly and automatically with compatible Android and iOS devices
  • Available in 3 colors: black, blue and tangerine
  • Package includes Fitbit device, charging cable and wireless sync dongle

Get the Best GPS Watch of 2018!

Ultimately, you have to decide on the features you want most from this handy-dandy gadget. Fitness enthusiasts may need one set of features while off-road hikers and explorers may need something else. Whichever you are, we hope you were able to find the best GPS watch for your needs among our top 5 selections.

Our Top Choice
Garmin Epix GPS Map Watch with 8GB Internal Memory
Best Value
TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio Waterproof GPS Watch with HR Monitor
Polar V800 Waterproof Sports Watch with GPS Functionality
Epson Runsense SF-810 Waterproof GPS Watch with HR Monitor
Fitbit Surge Waterproof GPS Watch with HR Monitor