Guardian guide to running: GPS watches reviewed

Low- to mid-range running watches

Garmin Forerunner 10, £99

Pros: Good price, simple watch with good basic functionality. Ideal entry-level watch. Easy to use, nice and small, which is also good for women's smaller wrists. Waterproof.

Cons: Not many added extras, but hardly fair to gripe when that's clearly the aim of the watch

In-depth review from DC Rainmaker can be found here

Nike+ Sportswatch GPS

Pros: Amazingly quick to find GPS signal – fastest of all watches tried. Stylish design. Waterproof. "Tap to lap" feature. Would suggest this, along with Garmin Forerunner 10, as good entry-level watches.

Cons: Can't change programme on the go, has to be done via computer. Fairly limited "in run" data or ability to change fields.

In-depth review from DC Rainmaker can be found here

Higher end running watches

Garmin Forerunner 610, £279.99

Pros: Easy to use, with a great user interface. Touchscreen. Vibrate alerts (eg on autolap after one-mile intervals). Great features that can be used on the go, such as the ability to create an interval session. Small enough to wear as a normal watch all day. Wireless download. The Garmin Connect software is easy and helpful to use. Definitely my running watch of choice.

Cons: Fairly limited battery life. Apparently not fully waterproof but I have not tested this.

In-depth review from DC Rainmaker can be found here

Polar RCX3 with GPS armband, £259.50

Pros: Great lightweight, thin design which makes it comfortable for all-day wearing. Finds GPS position pretty quickly. Fantastic battery life.

Cons: GPS is not integral, so you have to wear the armband. This would create some very odd tan lines if you ran a lot in summer wearing it – and yes I know that sounds a bit vain, but it would.

In-depth review from DC Rainmaker can be found here

Timex Run Trainer 2.0, £274.99

Pros: Some unique features, eg eat/drink alerts, which no competitors have. Waterproof. Nice design, finds GPS quickly, though I had some problems with accuracy (tracked a half marathon at 10.6 miles, though this could have been my error as it was the first time I had used it). Easy to customise the display.

Cons: Odd interface: slightly old fashioned, and calls things by odd names ("Chrono" and "Blockers" for instance), which can make it a bit baffling at first to use.

In-depth review from DC Rainmaker can be found here

High-end multisport models

Garmin Forerunner 910XT, £359.99

Pros: Impressive features for a triathlon watch, boasts ability to record distance/speed and stroke while swimming, for instance. For running, has all the usual excellent Garmin features.

Cons: Chunky design makes it hard to wear as a normal watch. Battery life also limited (around 20 hours). Only one profile can be set up on each watch, so you can't share itwith a partner.

In-depth review from DC Rainmaker can be found here

Suunto Ambit

Pros: Very nice simple, stylish design. Easy to use. Amazing list of sports it can be used with. (Disclaimer: the Guardian churlishly refused to send me mountain climbing or skiing to test these features. Spoilsports.)

Cons: Quite large and heavy, particularly for small wrists. Limited use for serious urban runners, definitely best for off-roaders, trail and fell runners.

In-depth review from DC Rainmaker can be found here

Wearable heart-rate monitor

Mio Alpha, £179.99

Pros: First wrist-wearable heart rate monitor. Picks up heart rate quickly and displays it clearly. Easy to view while running. Also very easy to set up initially. Good battery life.

Cons: No other features – the unit doesn't claim to do anything other than display your heart rate. Expensive, therefore, for what it does. Doesn't record data – only displays an average heart rate for your last run/workout. Could do with smaller band for small wrists.

In-depth review from DC Rainmaker can be found here

Thanks to who have provided this article. View the original here.


comments powered by Disqus