GPS watches are the most recommended accessories today. With them, it is possible to perform many useful actions on a daily basis and, especially, when doing sports. The fact is that not every smartwatch on the market offers this option, but if you are thinking of getting a model that does offer the corresponding hardware inside, we indicate what it is that you should look for , to make a suitable choice for you .
The great use that is given to GPS in this type of devices is sports. Thanks to him, the clocks can be used as if they were a pedometer since they allow the user to be located in the place where the activity begins and, subsequently, the advances that are made are detected with great precision. That is to say, that a follow-up is executed that is positive to have complete data of what is done (either running or cycling).
By the way, today there are more and more wearable accessories that we talk about that integrate this hardware. And the reason is very simple: to improve everything that has to do with the use of the location (including the automation of tasks when arriving at a site, such as the office). Even, it is already considered as something important to simply be able to count the steps that are taken – and establish a good summary of the physical activity that is done daily and its corresponding link with applications such as Google Fit-.
- GPS use in watches
- The least positive of GPS watches
- Details that may be minor, but that are of weight in GPS watches
- GPS Sports Watches
- Watches with multipurpose GPS
GPS use in watches
Until not long ago, it is normal that if a model with this option was sought, those that are intended to be a basic accessory in sports practice should be accessed, but now this is not the case. Therefore, you have to be clear about what you are looking for when choosing a GPS watch, since the offer has increased exponentially. What you have to have is a very clear thing: the inclusion of the necessary hardware has positive aspects and, others, that are not so much … so you have to properly assess everything.
Among the positive is that if you have an accessory with access to GPS (or GLONASS, which is a similar service), existing synchronization applications are much better used. This is because route summaries are common. In addition, other developments such as Maps themselves, also benefit from the inclusion of this hardware. We have already commented that everything that has to do with physical activity data is also improved, since the pressure is much better.
In addition, having some of the GPS watches on the market allows you to save an extra accessory when going out to practice sports (the one that allows you to know the position). Therefore, we also talk about optimizing the outputs when running or going out with the mountain bike since it goes with fewer devices that can disturb and, even, you can do without carrying the smartphone on it since this is not necessary to be able to establish the location precisely with a percentage of approximate failure of a maximum of 3% – always depending on existing obstacles.
The least positive of GPS watches
We always speak due to the use of the necessary antennas to perform the triangulation that allow us to establish an exact point where it is. The most obvious is the energy consumption that is quite high when compared to the rest of the hardware that exists in the smartwatch. So much so that, if GPS is activated on a device, it is practically impossible to reach more than one day of use since a signal is constantly being emitted to establish the position. This is something that has to be taken into account.
Other options to look at these accessories
Given that one of the great uses that are given to GPS watches is to accurately measure the physical activity that is performed, it is worth knowing that other sensors that are important are included. One of them is the gyroscope , which allows to detect movement and increases accuracy. Other options are also a compass to establish the position in more detail and, in the case that you intend to play sports in different places, an altimeter is quite useful since you can know how the performance is depending on whether it is at the level of sea or height. With all this, it is also certain that the recognition of the beginning of the exercise is done quickly and, therefore, no steps or strides are lost (below 300 milliseconds you can already be more than calm).
By the way, it is vital that a sensor that measures the heart rate is not lacking to know the body’s response to an increase in activity and, consequently, effort. This, apart from its main function, if the synchronization software allows it, it will also be able to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood and, thus, prevent difficulties when exercising or being quietly at home.
Other options that a GPS watch should always have due to its objective use are to offer adequate protection against water and dust, in the first case it is ideal that it supports 5-atmosphere dives so that it is also a companion when swimming And, with regard to manufacturing qualities, that the sphere is made of metal is positive. But the really important thing is that the strap is made of silicone or a similar material so that it does not suffer wear when running, for example.
Details that may be minor, but that are of weight in GPS watches
One of them is that the battery has the highest possible amperage , since in this way there will be no surprises when carrying out heavy work loads for a long time. The clearest example is to run a marathon. Some models are not able to withstand the time needed to finish it with just one load. And, this can be a problem. Ideally, at least, the brand reaches 250 mAh .
When it comes to connectivity, it is important that options such as Bluetooth and WiFi are included . The first ensures that even accessories such as headphones can be used to listen to the music that is stored on the smartwatch (where it is necessary to check that 4 GB is included, which is an appropriate brand). The second option, WiFi, is less important but it does not hurt that it is included and activated or not depending on each need.
It is also not a bad option to integrate a microphone into the device. Not so much to count calls, but also to be able to access voice assistants such as Google or Alexa and, thus, be able to execute actions. This is much more important if you carry the smartphone.
Software, that important element but little valued
Here is one thing that must be very clear: it has been shown that, currently, it is not necessary to have an integrated operating system that allows the installation of applications. It is not bad that this is possible, although it is generally advised of energy consumption. The fact is that proprietary developments such as those offered by Huawei or eminently sports brands such as Garmin or Polar (with options such as Connect and Flow), perfectly take advantage of the smartwatchs we are talking about.
By the way, there is something that is vital: synchronization jobs must be compatible with the use of maps . In this way, GPS watches show their possibilities to the fullest since they can show at all times the places that have been visited or the routes made when running. In the case that it is not, it is not a bad idea to get hold of third-party developments, such as Google Fit or Endomondo.
Models that should always be considered
To make an appropriate choice, we will divide the options we think are recommended in two. On the one hand, they are clearly sports , which are ideal for exercise. Then there are the multipurpose , which are also options that serve for day to day in a much more efficient way. They are the following:
GPS Sports Watches
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
A really complete model that offers many positive things. With excellent overall protection, such as water, your recognition of physical activity is excellent. It offers such striking options as being able to make purchases are it since it includes NFC. Its weight is only 81 grams, and it does not lack a large number of pre-installed maps that include even ski resorts. An excellent option.
Polar Vantage V Titan
One of the things that attract the attention of this device is that it offers a pretty attractive design to be a model specially designed to be a companion when doing sports. Finished in titanium, one of the things that are positive is that it offers a range of 40 hours, a brand that is available to very few. It weighs only 59 grams, and its compatibility is excellent when combined with smartphones.
Suunto 9 Baro
It offers a lot of possibilities, with advanced options such as FusedTrack that allow physical exercise to be recognized very accurately. It does not lack altimeter and barometer, so we talk about one of the most striking sports GPS watches of all there is today. Excellent recognition of activities, since it is able to automatically detect more than 80.
Garmin 735XT Forerunner
There is no problem to use this wearable accessory to practice from running to swimming, since its protection is high and works excellently by recognizing what is done. With positive details such as knowing the amount and oxygen in the blood or managing lactate2, its 1,233-inch screen is an excellent bill. The weight is not exactly a problem in this model because it stays in only 45 grams.
With a sober but effective design, metal is the manufacturing material used in the dial which gives it a very attractive appearance. Able to record all kinds of physical activities and also the quality of sleep, it is even necessary when measuring the recovery of physical effort made thanks to the integrated sensors. It is one of the lightest GPS watches on the market, only reaches 35 grams, and offers good notification management.
Suunto Spartan Sport HR
A multipurpose model that is quite recommended. It is not particularly expensive and offers a high number of possibilities, such as being able to recognize the start of the exercise automatically. GPS accuracy is excellent, and there is no lack of compatibility with GLONASS. Its autonomy reaches ten hours, which is a good fact, and the water resistance it allows is 100 meters. Excellent.
Watches with multipurpose GPS
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2
This model, with Tixen operating system, offers a really high number of options. It does not lack an adequate functioning when doing sports, since it is able to recognize it automatically. Additional applications can be installed, and its weight is only 45 grams. It allows mobile payments and its dimensions make it a perfect solution for all types of users. Its basic autonomy exceeds 60 hours, an excellent brand.
Huawei Watch GT2
One of the current multipurpose GPS watches that attracts the most attention. The reason is that it offers an excellent set of options, such as, for example, it offers a high quality screen or an autonomy that can reach a week of use without any problem. It does not allow the installation of applications and, of course, does not automatically recognize the start of sports. Water is not a problem for this smartwatch.
Apple Watch Series 5
You could not miss a model of the Cupertino company that, at the moment, is one of the best results in the market for smart watches. The recognition of the exercise that is performed is excellent, and the combination of information together with the watchOS operating system is done very accurately. With an attractive design and broad connectivity, its autonomy is not exactly the longest in the market.
This is an example of a model that does not have a crazy price to be a GPS watch. Its design does not clash, with a circular sphere that is not especially large, so it offers excellent ergonomics. Integrate or system operating owner, so nothing to install applications. The monitoring that is carried out is not of poor quality, and it does not lack a useful and complete protection against water.
The operating system inside this wearable is Wear OS, the development of Google. Therefore, if the software used does not convince, it is always possible to install additional applications. It allows payments through NFC, and has no problems with sweat and rain, so sports use is possible along with the GPS it integrates. A good detail to keep in mind: it offers an autonomy that can reach 30 days.
Fitbit Versa 2
A really full smart watch. It offers recognition of sports activity; It has a large number of sensors; mobile payments can be made with it; and even has an operating system that allows the installation of applications (being proprietary). It is even able to measure the quality of sleep, and inside you can store up to 300 songs that combine perfectly with Bluetooth headphones. Its protection against water is complete, so this is not a problem.