Modern sports GPS watches have extremely complex functionality and get expensive
quickly. But there is great value to be had at lower prices, too, both from watches that simply
tell you elapsed time and record lap splits to GPS trackers that are dead simple to use. Here are
some of the best models that help you keep tabs on the essentials of your run.
Even if you’re opting for a more basic watch over an advanced model, there’s still a lot to consider. The most important thing to think about is what features you need, and how you plan to use it. Is GPS-functionality a must? Does a wrist-based heart rate monitor top your wish list? Do you plan to use the watch for running only, or would you prefer cross-training features as well? Nailing down what you want your watch to do for you will steer your search, and also help pinpoint an expected price.
There is no "golden rule" for the concept of classifying a sports GPS watches as basic or advanced, but in general, you can expect a simpler watch with fewer additional features, easier to use, and a lower dollar sign. If you are not sure if you want to enter a higher price range, ask yourself how often you use your watch and the extra accessories it may have. For example, do you plan to use it twice a week for a quick run, or do you wear it for every workout every day? When you sweat, do you want to continue using other non-running features for the rest of the day? Many advanced watches offer savvy services such as contactless payment, barometers, gyroscopes, voice control and LTE cellular services. Some even let you order Starbucks, sync your complete music library, upload it to Strava's running route wirelessly, or create a customized training program.