Which GPS watch should I buy? (2021)

The level of tech that can be strapped to your wrist is incredible. But what are the essential features and key factors to consider when choosing your GPS watch? Let’s take a look…

Which GPS watch should I buy

by Ben Weeks |

Things to consider

SIZE

Some GPS watches are particularly chunky, while others are more slimline, and some others are available in a range of sizes. Consider how the watch will sit on your wrist, particularly if you intend to use it as an everyday watch too.

MAPPING

Some watches can show detailed mapping on their screens. Although not great for route-planning (even the largest watches have relatively small screens), it can be a helpful extra navigational tool.

BATTERY LIFE

Battery performance has increased dramatically over the past few years. Check the watch’s spec for battery life, paying attention to the times stated with GPS turned on and any battery-saver modes that might reduce features.

SENSORS

In addition to GPS, these little watches can contain a range of sensors, including an altimeter, barometer, accelerometer, compass, pulse monitor, blood oxygen and more. Make sure your choice has the sensors that are important to you.

FITNESS & SPORTS FEATURES

Do you just want a watch that gives a grid reference, or one that can also track your walks, runs, swims, or even your golf? Most GPS watches now offer some level of multi-sport function, but the specifics vary.

SATELLITE COMPATIBILITY

GPS is just one global satellite network (American). The four others are GLONASS (Russia), Galileo (Europe), QZSS (Japan), and BeiDou (China). The more your watch is compatible with, the more accurate it will be.

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5 to choose from

HONOR GS PRO

HONOR Watch GS PRO

Buy now

Honoru2019s GPS watches cram a huge number of features into an excellent price. Built to comply with 14 military-grade standards, the GS Pro offers impressive battery life, a full set of sensors, 100 training modes and can be used as your phone! Watch face width 48mm | Weight 55g | Max battery life 25 days | Constant GPS tracking battery life 48 hours | Satellite compatibility GPS, GLONASS

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Casio G-Shock GBD-H1000

Casio G-Shock GBD-H1000

Buy now

Featuring a heart rate monitor, Bluetooth, and a range of sensors, the G-Shock is a great adventure watch. Its chunky case is tough, water-resistant to 200m, and works to -10u00b0C. Watch face width 63mm | Weight 101g | Max battery life 12 months | Constant GPS tracking battery life 14 hours | Satellite compatibility GPS, GLONASS, QZSS

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Coros APEX Pro

Coros APEX Pro

Buy now

Despite its light weight and slimline design, the Apex has a long-lasting battery, all the key sensors (plus 24/7 blood oxygen monitoring with Altitude Mode) and a wealth of fitness features. Also has a touchscreen for ease of use. Watch face width 47mm | Weight 59g | Max battery life 30 days | Constant GPS tracking battery life 40 hours | Satellite compatibility GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou (Galileo via future firmware update)

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Suunto 9 Baro

Suunto 9 Baro

Buy now

The Suunto is compatible with all five Global Navigation Satellite Systems. Its FusedTrack algorithm combines GPS and motion sensor data to improve track and distance accuracy, allowing the user to extend battery life without reducing accuracy. Watch face width 50mm | Weight 81g | Max battery life 14 days | Constant GPS tracking battery life 25 hours | Satellite compatibility GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, BeiDou

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Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar Edition

Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar Edition

Buy now

The feature-rich Fenix offers functions for almost every sport you can think of, and a battery life (boosted by solar charging) that makes it the ideal companion for multi-day adventuring. Watch face width 51mm | Weight 82g | Max battery life 80 days (excluding solar top-up) | Constant GPS tracking battery life 60 hours (excluding solar top-up) | Satellite compatibility GPS, GLONASS, Galileo

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