A new year means new resolutions, and with 2015 only being a few weeks away why not give the gift of a GPS sport watch this holiday season? Some of the most common New Year’s Resolutions are to get in shape, run a race, or lose weight. GPS watches are perfect gifts for people aspiring to better their health because it is standard on all the best GPS watches to record distance traveled, average pace, current pace, calories burned, automatic lap timers, and total time spent exercising. The five watches included in this article were some of the most popular watches this past year. They are made for beginners and experts, runners and triathletes, and anyone on any budget. A GPS watch is not just a gift, it is encouragement, and by giving one to a loved one you will forever change their life.
Garmin Forerunner 620 and 220
Garmin is a company known for its expertise with GPS technology. They have been designing sport watches for many years, and their work has shown with the Forerunner 620 and 220. They both have a color display, the ability to connect to your computer or smartphone, an accelerometer, pace alerts, auto pause, and training plan support. The 620 however contains many more features that any experienced runner would appreciate: VO2 max estimate, recovery advisor, race predictor, running dynamics, and a touch screen. The 620 is described by Garmin as a “coach”. With the ability to critique form and stride, but also tell the user how much time there should be between the next workout or how much effort to put into it. Both are available on Garmin’s website the 220 is priced at $250 without a heart rate monitor, and the 620 for $400 without a heart rate monitor. Read more about the similarities differences on the Forerunner webpage.
Suunto Ambit3 Sport GPS Watch
The journey to your summit is what it’s all about – whether it’s a mountain or a personal best. The Suunto Ambit3 Peak is your ultimate GPS watch for sports and adventure. It guides you every step of the way, providing all you need to progress and stay safe on your quest. Connect your watch wirelessly to your iPhone and use the free Suunto Movescount App to adjust the watch on the go and visually enrich, relive and share your adventure. There is no better companion out there to make every move count. Head over to the Suunto Website for more great GPS watches.
Bia Watch + GPS GoStick
The Bia watch has only been on the market for a few months now after its KickStarter campaign ended successfully. What I think brought the Bia Watch great success was it’s innovative SOS distress mode. A simple 3-second hold of a button will update your family and friends every minute with your exact location until the alert is cancelled. There is no subscription required for the SOS mode, all the watch needs is a 2G cellular connection and it will work anywhere in the world. The watch isn’t just for running, it’s waterproof to 50 meters, and has a 17 hour battery. With a battery that strong the watch is able to support many different functions: a touchscreen interface, open water and pool swim, full triathlon and multisport race mode, live tracking, race day, and anytime tracking. Compatible with all ANT+ heart rate monitors. Available on their website for $279.
Nike+ SportWatch GPS
For anyone who wants a simple user interface, the Nike+ SportWatch is the ticket. The infamous sportswear company partnered with TomTom to design it. The watch is controlled by two separate buttons that allow the user to navigate through five different categories: clock, run, history, records, and stopwatch. You’re not only buying the watch when you purchase the SportWatch. Nike designed its own social website for runners. The site is much like Facebook, but instead of photos and statuses the site shares mileage and routes of you and your friends. This is a very motivating strategy for it allows others to see how they are doing against their friends. Don’t worry, if you forget to charge your watch you can still keep up with your friends, for Nike has a running app available for both Apple and Android that will keep track of their miles. Most sets include the Nike+ foot sensor which more accurately judges distance, but also counts steps and mileage indoors. The Polar Wearlink Transmitter can be used to track heart rate, and is sold separately. The watch starts at $129 dollars, but is currently unavailable on Nike’s website, so use TomTom instead.
Timex Ironman One GPS+
Not just a GPS watch, the Ironman One GPS+ by Timex is the first smart watch that does not require the users phone to be in the vicinity while using its features. It is the all-in-one solution that gives the user GPS fitness tracking, 4GB of storage for bluetooth music, the ability to communicate, and a colorful touchscreen. Currently the mobile data service is only through AT&T, but in the future there will be more network options. A one year contract is included. Bluetooth technology not only allows the user to play their music in Bluetooth headsets and speakers, but also can sync up with heart rate monitors and foot pods. An SOS mode is included and works just Bia’s. Water-resistant to 50 meters, but don’t expect to use the GPS, Bluetooth, and cellular features underwater because they are not designed to work there. Check it out at their website.
TomTom Runner GPS Watch
A watch designed with simplicity. The TomTom Runner GPS watch features an extra-large display to keep your a running stats a glance. The large display is able to show the user how he or she is doing compare to a previous run. This creates the effect that they are racing someone, which is perfect when trying to go for a personal best. It’s slim design has but one button to navigate through menus to get the runner off on their run a little more quickly. It’s waterproof to 165 feet and is extremely durable able to take just about any kind of torture. No special foot pod needed to run indoors or on a treadmill thanks to its accelerometer that measures your arm carry and swing. It is also heart rate monitor compatible. Starting at $129 the watch is available in a wide selection of colors on TomTom’s website.
This list does not represent a ranking.