In 1988, pioneer inventor Steve Mann, designed and developed the very first Linux smartwatch. For his invention, Mann was named “the father of wearable computing” in 2000. Today’s smartwatches are nothing less than a smartphone you can wear on your wrist and make calls, receive messages, navigate using GPS, and even sync your calendar.
If you are an avid runner, you’ll definitely need a good GPS running watch to keep tabs on your stats and know how your training is going. However, with so many options available today, it can be daunting to pick the best one.
Here is the list of the ten best smartwatches for runners.
Apple Watch Nike+ is an amazing device, with light and breathable straps and built-in cellular. You can receive notifications and listen to your favorite music. It has some amazing features like GPS and altimeter, all of which are able to take your running experience to a whole new level. The watch is waterproof and can be worn during swimming too. At the gym, you can pair it with the equipment on which you are training to see your progress.
Garmin Forerunner 935
Garmin Forerunner 935 is a perfect choice for the serious runner. It has a very attractive design, although I didn’t much care for its thick bezels. With its comfortable feel, you’ll barely notice that you are wearing a smartwatch. The features include GPS, activity and sleep trackers, an altimeter and compass, and a heart-rate monitor. This multi-sport tracker is versatile and is perfect for any kind of athletic activity. It offers impressive battery life that can last for more than 2 weeks on a single charge.
Fitbit Charge 2 is a very popular name amongst fitness enthusiasts. Just like any other activity tracker, Fitbit Charge 2 gives you step count, distance traveled, heart rate, calories burned, stairs climbed, and even sleeping patterns. All this information can be made available as notifications. The device is water-resistant but not waterproof. This means it can handle some splashes of water but don’t swim with it.
As a result of the digital revolution in the health and fitness industry, Huawei Band Pro 2 is one of the most capable wearables of its size. You’ll like the appearance of this minimalistic smartwatch, which has a face of the same width as the band. This 50-meter water-resistant band serves as a fitness tracker, heart rate sensor, sleep monitor, and GPS positioning device. The battery can last more than 3 weeks on a single charge.
This is a fantastic budget watch for those who want to track their performance during cardio exercises. TomTom Spark 3 Cardio features a built-in heart monitor that captures your heart rate during cardio, not only outdoor but also indoors. You can sync the Android and iOS compatible device with your treadmill or a cardio machine to track your progress. Just like other smartwatches, this device too captures your step count and calories burned. Not just that, you’ll get live statistics on your pace, time, and routes. The only drawback is its poor battery life, which doesn’t exceed more than 9-10 hours when the GPS and heart rate monitor are used together.
Sony SmartWatch 3 SWR50 is an amazing smartwatch that features an accelerometer and a gyroscope to track your movements and pace. The in-built GPS technology lets you know your exact location and possible routes. There is no chance of getting bored during your run since you can listen to music and receive notifications on this Wi-Fi-compatible Android watch. This device comes with two-day battery life and you get to choose from five color variants.
Another device for the serious runner, Amazfit Pace comes with a heart rate monitor to keep you in your targeted training zone. If you are really fond of listening to music while you run, store your favorite tunes in the built-in music storage. This one is my favorite smartwatch for one more reason – it boasts a five-day battery life on regular use. If you use only the basic features, the device can manage for more than 10 days. It is dustproof, dirt-proof, and waterproof to a large extent.
I have realized that there are some people who really like the feel of a bulky device on their wrist. If you are one of them, Garmin Fenix 3 can be an excellent choice. An undoubtedly big smartwatch, it boasts a hard-wearing frame and is designed for hardcore athletes and fitness enthusiasts. The device features a well-designed and quick user interface that makes operating it bliss, along with versatile GPS tracking and excellent battery life. The smartwatch comes with a hefty price tag, which is seems justified by its amazing features.
If you want something more than a heart rate monitor in your smartwatch, Polar M430 is the one for you. This reliable and accurate smartwatch has sensors to pick up your pulse, and GPS mode, and even offers decent battery life. The device also has a stopwatch. You can get statistics of the estimated finish time as well as interval times with Polar M430. Just like most smartwatches, this device too has a sleep tracker.
Garmin Forerunner 235
Ending my list is an attractive smartwatch again from Garmin, a company known for its GPS products worldwide. Garmin Forerunner 235 is a great option if you are on a budget. Since it is a Garmin product, a lower price doesn’t mean compromises. In this lightweight smartwatch, runners will find the best GPS and activity tracking, apps that are specific to marathon training. The device offers concise charts, maps, and graphs, which are easy to understand and extremely helpful in tracking progress. It has a “Back to Start” feature, which can help you trace back your route, in case you got lost.
So, go ahead and achieve all your running goals and have fun doing so with the best smartwatch.