Best running watches 2020: the perfect GPS companions for your workouts

When you’re into working at any degree a working watch is a wise and helpful buy. With one strapped to your wrist you’ll have the ability to maintain monitor of your working information that can assist you enhance your health or compete at a greater degree.

The issue is, working watches are plentiful and it’s laborious to choose which is greatest for you. They arrive in a variety of styles and sizes however extra importantly, worth. That’s why on this listing of the perfect working watches we’ve chosen a spread from a variety of costs that can assist you decide which one is greatest on your wants and price range.

Excessive in your precedence listing ought to be extremely correct GPS, idiot-grade usability for when your working mind will get drained, and top-notch associate apps that can assist you be taught out of your stats and keep motivated.

Extra conventional smartwatches just like the Apple Watch 5 will suffice for the extra informal runner however if you happen to’re trying to practice for a marathon or comparable occasion you then’ll need to take into account a watch from the likes of Polar, Suunto or Garmin – firms whose watches focus solely on working and don’t have many different features.

Whereas we’ve picked the perfect of the perfect, it’s additionally price taking into account if you need to put on the watch – some are fairly vibrant in color and may not minimize it in an workplace surroundings. 

New fashions are being launched on a regular basis and we assessment a load of them right here at TechRadar, so verify again quickly for updates to this listing. For now, these are the ten greatest working watches on the earth. 

Greatest working watches 2020 at a look:

  1. Polar M430
  2. Garmin Forerunner 235
  3. Garmin Vivoactive three
  4. Fitbit Ionic
  5. Samsung Galaxy Watch
  6. Suunto Ambit3 Vertical
  7. Polar Vantage V
  8. Apple Watch 5
  9. Garmin Forerunner 935
  10. Garmin Fenix 5 Plus

Word: we have ranked our greatest working watches from most cost-effective to most costly in response to costs at time of writing. We’re presently testing lots extra – so maintain coming again to see if different choices make it into the listings!

Best running watches

Picture Credit score: Polar

1. Polar M430

Polar’s best-selling tracker with a HR improve

Good battery life

Straightforward to make use of

Annoying charging lead

Not the perfect trying

Polar’s fuss-free M400 was Europe’s greatest promoting working look ahead to a purpose. Easy, efficient and at a great worth, the corporate was clearly onto a winner.

Fortunately with the brand new Polar M430 they’ve heeded the outdated adage ‘if it ain’t broke’ and stored most of what made the M400 a favourite however added some helpful new abilities.

Nonetheless straightforward to make use of, with a sturdy, if unremarkable design, the most important improve is that the M430 now comes with built-in coronary heart fee (HR) monitoring for zone coaching and steady HR monitoring off the wrist, so you may monitor your resting coronary heart fee and your health progress.

There’s additionally sleep monitoring and sensible notifications and the good thing about the ever-improving Polar Move app, which lets you add sensible teaching to your wrist for coaching that’s tailor-made to your skills and targets, in addition to offering probably the greatest ‘see your day’ views of every part you have performed.

By some means the wizards at Polar have squeezed in these further smarts whereas nonetheless providing an honest battery lifetime of as much as 30 hours of coaching monitoring. Whereas it lacks among the deeper working dynamics you’ll discover on the Polar V800 or Garmin Forerunner 935, this can be a very achieved working watch at a really cheap worth.

Learn the complete Polar M430 assessment

Best running watches

Picture Credit score: Garmin

2. Garmin Forerunner 235

Good for severe runners on a price range

Resting coronary heart fee insights

Sharp appears to be like, light-weight design

Intermittent sync points

A bit plastic

This fairly inexpensive watch affords every part the world of Garmin has perfected for runners, in compact kind. Meaning GPS monitoring for 11 hours and exercise monitoring 24/7 for 9 days on a single cost.

It additionally means you get wrist-based steady coronary heart fee and Garmin’s many apps for issues like customized watch faces or marathon-specific coaching apps. You’ll be able to get pleasure from smartphone notifications, audio prompts, reside monitoring and naturally the Garmin Join app for an in-depth evaluation of your efforts.

Whereas out on a run you need to use info like cardio Coaching Impact to make sure you don’t push your self too far and hinder coaching, all whereas powering by means of coronary heart fee zones to make sure progress – and following that, monitoring your VO2 Max will present the way you’re getting fitter (though pay no heed to the totally inaccurate race time predictors). 

One other good function: if you happen to ever get misplaced you need to use the Again To Begin function to be guided proper again to the place you got here from.

Learn the complete Garmin Forerunner 235 assessment

Best running watches

Picture Credit score: Garmin 

three. Garmin Vivoactive three

Garmin’s most fashionable sensible working watch exercise tracker but

Tracks a variety of actions

Garmin Pay for cashless transactions

Not as feature-rich as flagship Forerunners

Cannot select which apps get alerts

Is it a smartwatch, is it a GPS sports activities watch, is it a style watch? It’s all three in a single. That is the primary Garmin watch that’s actually clearly gone for the design-loving runner, going up in opposition to the likes of Apple Watch and Android Put on units.

As you may in all probability think about it’s obtained all of the Garmin smarts, which means GPS and coronary heart fee monitoring, multi-sport help and even Garmin Pay, which lets you make contactless funds even with out your telephone. 

All that and battery life lasts a hefty seven days of regular use or 13 hours of GPS coaching. On the design facet of issues this options a stainless-steel bezel and comfortable rubberized strap that may be swapped out to swimsuit the event. 

An enormous choice of watch faces and app choices can be found on Garmin Join, which is open to builders, which means extra cool new additions on a regular basis.

Learn the complete Garmin Vivoactive three assessment

Best running watches

Picture Credit score: Fitbit

four. Fitbit Ionic

The primary ever Fitbit smartwatch with health at its coronary heart

Multi-day battery life

Telephone-free music

Scarcity of apps

Aged design

A fitness-focused smartwatch with out a lot of the auxiliary digital distractions you get from an Apple Watch, the Fitbit Ionic is the corporate’s first smartwatch and is an accessible alternative for runners. 

There’s multi-day battery life, steady heart-rate monitoring, GPS, personalised voice teaching, sleep stage monitoring and the flexibility to retailer music for offline listening by way of Bluetooth headphones.  And for individuals who prefer it, there’s auto pause to routinely spot if you’ve come to a cease at site visitors lights.

With the Fitbit Coach App you may entry a variety of expert-led working audio exercises for the treadmill and outside runs, designed to enhance endurance, velocity, and kind. 

Whereas it doesn’t have the vary of third get together apps you will discover on the App Retailer or Google Play Retailer, you may entry a smaller vary of fashionable apps by means of the Fitbit OS, whereas your whole stats are synced again to the all-conquering Fitbit app. 

There are cheaper Fitbits on the market however if you happen to run and go to the fitness center recurrently, or wish to run on a treadmill, the Ionic is the perfect all-rounder possibility.

Learn the complete Fitbit Ionic assessment

Image Credit: Samsung

Picture Credit score: Samsung (Picture credit score: Amazon)

5. Samsung Galaxy Watch

A smartwatch with good working abilities

Nice battery life

Good smartwatch software program

Bixby not nice

The Galaxy Watch is Samsung’s most refined smartwatch but because of its good health monitoring options and four-day battery life. (You will solely get the complete 4 days if you happen to go for the bigger 46mm dimension that we appreciated and advocate in our assessment.)

All the watch’s nice options are packaged inside a sophisticated-looking round silver-and-black smartwatch that has a rotating bezel for easy menu navigation. Be warned, third-party apps are missing and its iOS help is proscribed if you happen to’re utilizing an iPhone. Meaning that is greatest for Samsung followers.

The Galaxy watch has automated train monitoring for some exercises, most notably working and strolling, which it identifies after a couple of minutes in our testing. 

It handles runs properly, offering a wealth of information and easy-to-control performance as you are pounding the pavement. 

Learn the complete Samsung Galaxy Watch assessment

Best running watches

Picture Credit score: Suunto

6. Suunto Ambit3 Vertical

Rugged working watch concept for hitting the paths

Wonderful suite of off-road sensors

Good battery life

No optical coronary heart fee

Fairly cumbersome

One other nice look ahead to athletes who care concerning the literal highs and lows of working. The Suunto Ambit3 Vertical contains an altimeter, barometer, compass, GPS and a thermometer to trace your whole outside exploits in exhaustive element. 

With its rugged off-road appears to be like, glorious navigation and large wealth of options, the Suunto Ambit three Run is a good trail-running look ahead to athletes who care concerning the literal highs and lows of working.

On board, there’s an altimeter, barometer, compass, GPS and a thermometer to trace your whole outside exploits in exhaustive element. Additionally it is appropriate for the town, however there are in all probability higher road-running choices on the market.

The watch additionally options restricted smartphone notifications (together with caller ID and electronic mail help) because of Bluetooth pairing. It could solely have a monochrome show, however that pays dividends in battery life, which can final a number of days even with common GPS utilization. One draw back, in order for you coronary heart fee readings you’ll want a further strap.

Learn the complete Suunto Ambit three assessment

Best running watches

Picture Credit score: Polar

7. Polar Vantage V

Nearly like having a coach in your wrist

Light-weight and classy

Monitoring working energy

No music

Strap could be uncomfortable

Maybe our favourite Polar watch ever is right here, and it is known as the Vantage V. It is a much more light-weight and classy design than you will get from loads of different merchandise the model has created.

It is probably the greatest for monitoring numerous stats together with restoration and coaching insights that not each working watch means that you can see. It is also significantly distinctive for its perception right into a working metric known as Energy.

Energy is a strategy to monitor the quantity of effort you are placing into your run, and that may be significantly helpful for anybody coaching that does not need to overdo it and run the chance of an harm.

Most athletes will discover one thing helpful on the Vantage V, and with a battery life that may deal with 40 hours straight of steady exercise coaching you’ll possible be pleased with what this watch gives for the worth.

Learn the complete Polar Vantage V assessment

Best running watches

Picture Credit score: Apple

eight. Apple Watch 5

For informal runners who wish to jog in fashion

Run with out your telephone or your pockets

All the time-on show


Exercise app lacks element

Battery life impacted in new mannequin

The Watch 5 appears to be like equivalent to final yr’s discontinued Watch four however provides an at all times on show that’s good for health. There’s additionally further well being options, in addition to higher battery life. 

It’s our favourite all-rounder smartwatch and a fantastic working companion in addition, particularly if you happen to get the mobile model that permits you to stream Apple Music to wi-fi headphones on runs with out your telephone. 

It has automated train detection, which is nice for maintaining with you if you overlook to start out one thing and you will get an alert telling you that there is an train in progress and asking if you wish to monitor it.

This has continually labored in our testing (aside from the very first run), permitting us to save lots of the exercise as much as that time – that is helpful and picks it up properly, though will not cease till you have stopped for a couple of minutes.

Though it is price mentioning that the info it collects earlier than it notices the run is not that correct – we frequently got here up shorter on distance with the Apple Watch, which is sensible given it would not await true GPS lock firstly.

A draw back is that in comparison with among the different watches on this listing, over the course of the day the battery diminishes faster – so it isn’t the improve from the Apple Watch four we hoped it is perhaps in that respect.

Learn the complete Apple Watch 5 assessment

Best running watches

Picture Credit score: Garmin 

9. Garmin Forerunner 935

Superior monitoring device for goal-chasing amateurs and severe athletes

Detailed working stats

Lengthy battery life

No music playback


A bit like having a Fenix 5X crammed right into a slimmer physique, with the Forerunner 935 Garmin has taken every part it discovered from years of constructing GPS working watches and utilized all of it to this one do-it-all gadget, producing what we’d counsel is probably the most full working watch we’ve seen thus far. 

It is a device for severe runners and triathletes.

Along with the dependable GPS you’d anticipate, there’s an enormous vary of superior working metrics together with cadence, floor contact time, vertical oscillation, VO2 max, restoration time steering and extra.

The emphasis right here is on utilizing your run information to adapt your coaching, make alterations to your kind like shortening your stride, and control your total coaching load within the build-up to your subsequent massive problem.

You additionally stand up to 50 hours of UltraTrac GPS coaching on a full cost, sensible notifications from a related telephone, plus the choice to customise your watch’s options by including to it from the numerous apps on Garmin’s IQ Join software program.

Learn the complete Garmin Forerunner 935 assessment

Best running watches

Picture Credit score: Garmin 

10. Garmin Fenix 5 Plus

Vary-topping multisport Fenix will get a formidable improve

Actually sturdy

Rugged, handsome design

Numerous multi-sport options


Diminished battery life

When you’re searching for a top-performing multi-sports and journey watch, this newest, refreshed model of Garmin’s Fenix line is pretty much as good because it will get. It is packed full of recent options, together with built-in music, contactless funds and absolutely routable shade topo maps.

One of many main downsides of this gadget is that it is missing in a long-lasting battery. We might have appreciated to see each extra battery and energy and working dynamics baked in. 

However in our eyes, that is nonetheless the working watch to beat. However then once more what did you anticipate for that tremendous excessive price ticket? With that in thoughts, it’s good to be actually severe about efficiency and actually into your swims, bikes, runs and hikes to even take into account such a premium possibility – if you happen to’re simply working round your metropolis this could be a waste of your cash and this watch’s abilities.

Learn the complete Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Evaluation

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