Apple’s new smartwatch works great as a fitness tracker. But for runners, the much-hyped device lacks several key features, not least built-in GPS to map workouts with real accuracy. That’s not a problem with dedicated running watches, though. Here are four of the best.
By Laith Abou-Ragheb
TomTom Runner Cardio
This TomTom running watch has a ton of great features, but by far the most innovative is its integrated heart rate monitor that tracks the flow of blood through your wrist, doing away with the need to strap a bulky sensor to your chest. And unlike the Apple Watch, it’s waterproof to 50 meters.
The bottom line: TomTom has combined its GPS expertise with some great hardware to produce one of the best running watches on the market.
It might not have the mainstream recognition of other brands featured here, but for serious runners, Suunto has long been a byword for technical excellence. The Ambit 2’s rugged and durable exterior houses a vast array of clever monitoring technology, which tracks everything from GPS location and speed, to weather conditions and altitude.
The Bottom Line: With these sorts of specs and build quality, there’s no gambit to taking on a Suunto Ambit.
Nike+ SportsWatch GPS
Nike has started to focus more on developing its Apple Watch running app than its own range of fitness trackers. Which is shame, really, as the Nike+ SportsWatch GPS has built up a strong following due to its ease of use and great range of features like automatic run reminders. It also comes in a range of eye-catching colors, like this neon green Volt version.
The Bottom Line: Even though it’s starting to show its age, Nike’s SportsWatch GPS remains a dependable and simple-to-operate device.
Garmin Forerunner 620
No list of running watches would be complete without Garmin’s all-conquering Forerunner 620. Besides doing all the basics brilliantly, the device also helps you train smarter by offering recovery tips and providing detailed data on your cadence, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation.
The Bottom Line: For runners looking to up their game, the Forerunner 620 promises to help enhance their training and performance considerably.