6 greatest health, working GPS watches in 2023: Evaluation

6 greatest health, working GPS watches in 2023: Evaluation

Greatest health watches, in line with a aggressive distance runner (Getty).

There was a time when one of the best athletes on the earth clocked their runs with palm-sized cease watches, often held by a tracksuit-wearing coach on the sidelines. Again then, tempo per kilometre and real-time working velocity — to not point out vertical oscillation and blood oxygen ranges — had been forcibly left to the creativeness. However on this age of information, timing units have advanced far past the $10 hunks of plastic we might fish out type the underside of a cereal field — sorry, Tony the Tiger. Most working watches in the marketplace at the moment are additionally coronary heart fee screens and GPS units with an array of capabilities; they’ll pay for stuff, take calls and do largely every thing {that a} mobile phone can. Critically, I’m satisfied that if I had been caught on a abandoned island with the Apple Watch Ultrait will discover my approach off of it.

The watch market is now crammed with large choices that won’t solely monitor your time, tempo and distance as you stroll or run, but in addition offer you swaths of biodata that can assist you perceive what your physique is doing whereas it exercises. These marvels of know-how come at numerous worth factors, and every have their very own distinctive quirks and options. Learn on to seek out out which of those six GPS watches could be a superb match for you.

With a glossy interface and of options, the Extremely is probably the most refined Apple Watch to this point.


  • 🍎 Seamless expertise for Apple customers

  • 🏃‍♂️ Personalised exercise strategies

  • 📧 Easy accessibility to e-mail, social media, and textual content

Full disclosure: Whereas I attempted my first Apple Watch this 12 months, I’ve used the corporate’s merchandise for nearly a decade. So, for somebody like me who has spent the higher a part of his twenties gazing iPhones, the person expertise was seamless as a result of my Siri, iCloud, Apple Pay and Apple Music all synced onto my wrist. The Extremely’s massive contact display, in the meantime, permits me to simply toggle between exercise and leisure mode all through the day.

Traditionally, I had used Garmin watches for exercises, and was afraid the Extremely could be too difficult to navigate on the run. However I used to be pleasantly shocked on the straightforwardness of its exercise features: The watch used my health knowledge over time to supply personalised exercise strategies, which made sense and weren’t far departures from what my previous coaches had instructed. For that purpose, I belief this look ahead to exhausting runs, particularly on days once I can’t totally disconnect from work and wish fast entry to e-mail.

The Extremely’s 36-hour battery life, its At all times-On Retina show, and responsive interface with a crisp OLED display makes it an absolute powerhouse at work and on the trail. These silky options, nevertheless, come at a worth: Be able to dish a strong grand.


Understated and versatile, The Collection 8 is a well-liked choice for round the clock health nerds.


  • 🏃‍♂️ Customized exercise function

  • 🍎 Seamless expertise for Apple customers

  • 💰 Half the value because the Apple Watch Extremely

The Collection 8 occupies the second rung on Apple’s three-watch totem pole, and boasts most of the Extremely’s options for half the value. Like its sister watch, this wrist piece is a health data-collecting machine, with sensors for blood oxygen and temperature ranges, stride size calculators, and even vertical oscillation measurements that let you know how bouncy you’re on the run. Its working energy goal, which screens your effort, is useful to inexperienced persons, weekend warriors, and anyone vulnerable to being a exercise hero.

With the Collection 8, seasoned runners can effortlessly keep on monitor with out pondering over their tempo. Its customized exercise function and voice directions take the considering out of powerful runs and require no screen-checking in any way. My latest interval session with it felt as senseless as working watch-less. The bonus? I completed it armed with a complete rap sheet of biodata.

The SE can be a tremendously fashionable life-style watch. Whereas the Extremely’s huge display makes it a press release, the Collection 8 is smaller and understated — excellent for somebody who desires Apple’s performance with out drawing an excessive amount of consideration.


Apple Watch Collection 8 GPS 45mm Good Watch with Midnight Sport Band.

$555 at Amazon

Probably the most inexpensive of this 12 months’s Apple Watch fleet, the SE packs a punch and has all of the connectivity of its siblings.


  • 🏃‍♂️ Customized exercise know-how, minus a number of bells and whistles

  • 🍎 Seamless expertise for Apple customers

  • 💰 Most inexpensive Apple watch

The SE is for individuals who need an Apple product on their wrist with out paying for all of the frills. And but, this watch is way from being barebones: Save for the blood oxygen detector and some different sensors, it packs an identical punch to the Collection 8. It has all of the customized exercise know-how, stride size and bounce measurements, and cloud integration of its siblings, and a great deal of different tech that enable you race towards your self. Utilizing Apple’s Exercise app, which is a good different to fashionable health monitoring app Strava, the SE tracks your repeated routes and allows you to compete towards your earlier greatest outcomes. The automated monitor detection know-how, in the meantime, makes the watch extra correct at measuring distance when rounding the monitor than most of its rivals. Sure, monitoring the gap on an oval, for many GPS machines, is extremely exhausting.

The SE additionally works properly as a round the clock watch. Its exercise rings, which monitor motion, train and standing time over the course of a day are a visible reminder to remain shifting. It additionally conceals extra highly effective audio system than its predecessors, and is the only option of all Apple Watches on this checklist for individuals who like a easy, apparent person interface.


Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen) GPS 40mm Good Watch with Midnight Sport Band.

$319 at Amazon

The Peak Professional 9 is rugged and sturdy sufficient to help you thru probably the most excessive of health outings.


  • 🏔️ Greatest decide for lengthy, distant and hardcore path runs

  • 🌊 Waterproof as much as 100 metres

  • 🔋 170 hours of battery life

Whereas the connectivity of the Apple Watches is hard to rival, the Suunto 9 Peak Professional dominates on lengthy, distant and hardcore path runs. Its rugged skeleton, water resistance as much as 100 metres deep, and staggering 170 hours of battery life makes it the perfect reward of your good friend who’s taking up an ultramarathon — or occurring Survivor.

And but, the great thing about this watch is that behind its ready-for-war exterior hides a fleet of refined bio-tracking applied sciences. The Peak Professional makes use of algorithms to detect its proprietor’s sleep high quality, stress ranges and estimated coronary heart fee variability, after which gives exercise and life-style strategies for optimum restoration and efficiency. It then delivers all of this data on a crisp interface that frequently screens altitude and steps taken in a day.

I’ve loved the Peak Professional for working and biking exercises up to now, as a result of the precise train settings are entrance and centre; and never barely buried below different functionalities like with the Apple Watches. This one retails at an identical worth level to the Extremely, and I take into account it to be as versatile. Right here is how to decide on between the 2: An Apple shopper who can sync knowledge throughout units will get extra out of the Extremely. In the event you’re not on Workforce Apple, the Suunto will get you every thing you want, with an added bonus of needing barely one cost per week.


Suunto 9 Peak Professional: Premium GPS Working, Biking, Journey Watch.

$480 at Amazon

The Forerunner 55 has glorious battery life, an easy-to-use interface, and a confirmed monitor file – all for a low worth level.


  • 👍 Sturdy, inexpensive and dependable

  • 🧠 Easy, user-friendly settings

  • 🏃‍♂️ Greatest for pre-existing Garmin customers

In the event you don’t actually care to know your blood oxygen ranges when strolling to the grocery retailer within the morning, and primarily worth a GPS look ahead to being a GPS and, properly, a watch, the Garmin Forerunner 55 is your jam. I purchased one in all its predecessors, the Forerunner 35, again in 2017, and it nonetheless works completely. The 55 is lower from the identical material: Sturdy, inexpensive and dependable.

It’s not that Garmin’s product doesn’t supply most of the identical glitzy options as its rivals — it measures coronary heart fee, stride size, cadence, and bounce; and comes with built-in coaching plans and might hyperlink to your smartphone for calls and texts. Reasonably, the 55 looks like a working watch first, and a sensible machine second, in one of the best ways. I by no means get misplaced within the settings, or have my run interrupted by extraneous notifications or knowledge: On the highway or monitor, it’s simply me and my stopwatch.

I’d encourage Garmin customers who wish to improve their mannequin to attempt the 55. That approach, they’ll stick with the user-friendly Garmin Join app, which lets you set objectives and be a part of challenges with different runners of comparable speeds.


Light-weight and high-performing, the Pacer Professional could also be Polar’s most accessible and fashionable product to this point.


  • 🏃‍♂️ Personalised exercise and coaching plan choices

  • 🫀 Constructed-in coronary heart fee monitor

  • ⌚️ Related high quality to Apple, Garmin & Suunto

Within the 2020s up to now, I’ve seen 4 firms persistently come out with high of the road GPS watch merchandise 12 months after 12 months: Apple, Garmin, Suunto and Polar. The latter tends to be overshadowed by Apple’s “wow” issue and Suunto’s apocalypse-ready machines, however the Pacer Professional comfortably retains up with its rivals.

It options all of the anticipated garnishes like an correct GPS, personalised exercise and coaching plan choices, and an interactive sister app that helps you retailer your exercise knowledge and set objectives. I’ve significantly loved its Coaching Load and Restoration Professional options, which monitor your effort ranges and gives exercise strategies of acceptable difficulties. To ensure it nailed down my health degree, I underwent the watch’s efficiency take a look at that assessed my present form, and located the exercise choices to match what I may do.

As a bonus, the Pacer Professional additionally has a built-in coronary heart fee monitor, which permits Polar customers to maneuver away from the corporate’s traditional however at instances cumbersome chest strap. In the event you put money into the Pacer Professional, count on to pay a middling worth level for a top-notch machine.


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