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What most runners look for in their GPS companion is a set of features an athlete would require on his daily run. A runner's GPS is a lightweight wrist mount that straps onto your hand like a watch, so they're often also called running watches.

What features are useful?

Then, there's the speed and distance tracker that is a great advantage to almost any fitness oriented person. Say you want to keep track of exactly how consistent your pace is or how many kms you cover on an average, the GPS not only records this but also maintains a history of your daily run for as long as a year, so you can actually check on your gradual progress.

A dedicated running GPS or one meant for athletes generally has a heart rate monitor to make sure you're not overdoing your workouts. The calorimeter is another great favorite for many who for health reasons or motivation, like knowing how many calories they've burned.

In general a GPS meant for running also offers features suitable for other outdoor activities like cycling, swimming or hiking. So if you're a triathlete you get to switch between the modes for whichever sport you need.

Lastly, you need to consider what amount of battery life you may require. Most of the best running GPS units give you anywhere in the range of 8 to 20 hours and how much battery power one needs is a matter of preference.

As far as the build goes it's best to look for a GPS that won't weigh your arm down, weight limits are relative from person to person. Touchscreens are by far the best interfaces you can get today and wrist mounts generally have around 1 to 2 inch screens which are glove friendly. Today's GPS watches also have ports for connectivity to your computer.

Coming to your choice of brand, highly recommendable options are available from brands like Garmin, Tomtom and Motorola which you can check out in our listing below.

A heads up before you buy- Even the best GPS units for running are dedicated to your fitness routine at the cost of good navigation abilities. Although they provide pretty good basic navigation these GPS devices can not be used as a driving GPS and the likes.

Browse All Top GPS For Running »

Garmin Approach S3

Garmin Approach S3 GPS Receiver


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#5

Garmin Approach S3
Motorola MOTOACTV
Garmin Fenix
Garmin Forerunner 610
Timex Marathon
Garmin Approach S3 GPS Receiver
Motorola MOTOACTV GPS Receiver
Garmin Fenix - GPS Receiver
Garmin Forerunner 610 GPS Receiver
Timex Marathon GPS Watch
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Release Date
Apr 2012
Mar 2012
Aug 2012
May 2011
Mar 2012
Designation
Outdoor, Watch, Golf
Outdoor, Watch
Outdoor, Watch
Outdoor, Watch
Watch
Map capabilities
Internal
Internal
Internal
No
Form Factor
Watch
Watch
Watch
Watch
Watch
Input Method
Touch Screen
Touch Screen, Keypad
Buttons
Touch Screen
Buttons
Screen Size
1.0 inch
1.6 inch
1.7 inch
1.0 inch
User interface
Touch Screen
Touch Screen, Keypad
Buttons
Touch Screen
Buttons

  • The Garmin Approach S3 is the touch screen GPS golf timepiece that gives simple, instant and precise calculations of the course.

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    Rugged and waterproof, the Approach S3 golf watch is another benchmark for GPS within the golf market. Packed with 27,000 plus worldwide courses without subscriptions or fees, S3 displays yardages to the front, back and middle of greens. The S3 also introduces a high-resolution, glove-friendly touchscreen display, Green View with manual pin positioning, distances to doglegs and layups, customizable yardage points and printable digital scorecards for Stroke play and Stableford.

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    When the S1 gps watch came out I admit to being blown away by the ease of use, although it was limited in the information.

    The Garmin Approach S3 takes things to an entirely different level. You can get most of the information you would have on a regular full-size gps right there on your wrist. No fumbling around your pocket or golf bag. The yardages you need are just a glance away.


  • Motorola's incredibly capable MotoActv fitness device can tackle just about any fitness task--such as tracking workouts via GPS and connecting to headsets via Bluetooth--and it serves as a very tiny digital music player. Yet, if you're looking for a simple tool to measure daily activity and provide holistic advice on how to shed some pounds, this training tool isn't for you.


  • Motorola's MotoActv cleverly correlates and displays data from your workouts, such as the map of your route and your pace during each song on your playlist. Among hybrid music player-fitness tracking devices, though, it's on the pricier side.


  • A personal trainer on your wrist, the MotoACTV tracks and analyzes your workouts--and provides motivation, too.

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    The fenix is a good solution for those wanting a hands-free backcountry GPS or long battery life. I found it surprisingly easy to use, and have been pleased with the speed of firmware updates and the improvements that have been made in them. Hopefully Garmin will give us offline maps for the BaseCamp Mobile app and bring said app to Android. If they can do those things, they'll have a solid offering with the fenix. In short, I like it and look forward to what they will be able to do with the fenix/BaseCamp Mobile app combo.


  • The Garmin fenix is packed with useful functions for the serious hiker or mountaineer, although it does have a major drawback â?? its price. At £349 for the watch on its own, or an extra £30 for the Performer Bundle, itâ?? s more expensive than any of Garminâ?? s Oregon range, where the latterâ?? s touchscreen and topographic map-viewing abilities make them more appropriate for general orienteering and hiking. But if your outdoor activities require the long battery life, exercise features and convenience of the fenix, itâ??


  • While $399.99 may seem to be a lot to pay when compared to a couple $5 smartphone apps, when contrasted with the price of a rugged, handsome watch, it's not so bad. And when you compare it to a $4,500 fashion watch that does little more than tell the time and look expensive, the fenix is an amazing bargain.


  • The Forerunner 610 is a touchscreen GPS watch from the Garmin company. Featuring a waterproof design for confident all-season use, this model incorporates a customizable interface for a multitude of practical applications.


  • The Garmin Forerunner 610 is the best sport watch we have reviewed to date. This versatile, responsive, accurate and well-designed watch is aimed at the high end of the market and has a price tag to match. We would love to see a faster charge time and a waterproof casing but, put simply, this is the best GPS sport watch on the market today.


  • The Garmin Forerunner 610 is a watch that's filled with useful features and statistics-tracking gizmos. If you're the kind of person that wants to find out every last detail about their exercise routine - why it is you slow down on that hill, or where you could push yourself a little harder to make up lost time, or to mark where that annoying dog lives - it's got everything you need. The bundled software and Internet features are more than capable enough, and we couldn't think of anything extra we'd want to add in.

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    This watches target audience is those who don't want to spend a ton of cash, but still want a dedicated non-phone device for tracking their runs or bikes. Within that category, it's a great little watch. It keeps track of pace, distance and time easily.


  • The Timex Marathon GPS is a great introductory GPS running watch. It's affordable, extremely accurate and simple to use. For the price, the Marathon is the best watch currently on the market, lacking only the heart-rate monitor functions and advanced workout management settings of higher-end watches.


Top 5 gps for running:

  1. Garmin Approach S3 GPS Receiver
  2. Motorola MOTOACTV GPS Receiver
  3. Garmin Fenix - GPS Receiver
  4. Garmin Forerunner 610 GPS Receiver
  5. Timex Marathon GPS Watch