If you're in the market for a GPS watch, these are the most important things you will need to consider before buying. This GPS Watch buying guide will take you through the range of features so that you'll be better able to make a choice on which ones will suit you best

GPS watches which are purposely for runners have become increasingly popular with more and more options to choose from, capable of giving you as much or as little data about your workout; ranging from entry level to advanced in terms of features offered and data reported on.  No matter which brand or device you choose, there are several key features to consider before making a decision. 

Here are the GPS Watch Buying Guide whereby we put together our list of must have features below.

1. Design

This is a matter of personal taste.

2. The basics phone support

  • a)  Speed, Distance, Time, and Pace - No doubt, you'll want to know how far you've run, at an average pace, and how long you've been out on the roads or trails. Also you'll need Bluetooth 4.0, and your phone and OS need to be supported.
  • b)  Is it waterproof, or swim-friendly?
  • c)  Battery life
  • d)  What apps does it run?
  • e)  Color screen, or black and white, or something else, or none at all?
3. Advanced:
  • a) Heart Rate Monitoring - This may or may not be a must have, depending on what you're looking for. 
  • b) Alerts - Time, Pace, or Distance- The ability to set alerts when you've hit predetermined limits is incredibly useful.  . 
  • c) Lap Splits - Particularly useful if you're doing track work or mile repeats.
  • d) Social Sharing-  With the popularity of Strava and MapMyRun, it's never been easier to share your workouts with your family and friends. 
  • e) Multi-Sport Capability- Some devices have multi sport mode, meaning if you run, bike, or even swim (in some devices) you can use your device for all of those activities, perfect for triathletes.
4. Price:

Depending on your list of must-have features, you can expect to shell out between $100-$450, with different features available at different price points by different brands.  

  • $100 - $120- Expect all the basic features, with ability to upload your data to a variety of social platforms (not via Bluetooth)
  • $120 - $200- This price point will have all the basic features you'd ever want, with a few advanced options thrown in, such as daily activity tracking and wireless syncing. 
  • $200- $450- Expect all the bells and whistles at this price point.  These devices will be able to track anything and everything about your workout, including all beginner and advanced features, including heart rate, multi sport mode, lap splits, and Bluetooth connectivity. 

Conclusion. There are quite a few GPS watches to choose from and quite rightly the most expensive devices may not be the best fit for your needs. So the GPS Watch Buying Guide here is what you need to know before investing in a GPS watch.