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

Honoru2019s GPS watches cram a huge number of features into an excellent price. Built to comply

HONOR Watch GS PRO
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Featuring a heart rate monitor, Bluetooth, and a range of sensors, the G-Shock is a great

Casio G-Shock GBD-H1000
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Despite its light weight and slimline design, the Apex has a long-lasting battery, all the key

Coros APEX Pro
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The Suunto is compatible with all five Global Navigation Satellite Systems. Its FusedTrack

Suunto 9 Baro
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The feature-rich Fenix offers functions for almost every sport you can think of, and a battery

Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar Edition
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For the latest reviews - including extra photos and kit that won't appear online - pick up a copy of the current issue of Trail magazine!

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