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Top sports watches for 2020 Multi-sport GPS watches for all budgets

Top sports watches for 2020 Multi-sport GPS watches for all budgets

, by Raj, 17 min reading time

A good sports watch can charge you up to run that extra mile. Whether you are a beginner all set for your first marathon or a pro who has done it all, a sports watch will be a great companion to keep track of your performance while you run. The good news is that the new sports watches can do more than just measure your steps.They also monitor your vital signs such as heart rate. They can also track your other sports activities, like swimming or cycling. We have tested the sports watches available in the market. This article will guide you through the watches that we tested.

Best running watch

You can go through the details of our picks with the videos we put together with The Running Channel.

Garmin Forerunner 45

  • Garmin Forerunner 45 is an easy-to-use running watch with
  • Silicone strap
  • 26.3mm display size
  • A sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) display type
  • Weighs 36g
  • 5ATM water rating
  • VO2 Max GPS to track pace, distance, and intervals
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Personalized training plans through Garmin Coach
  • Smart notifications for incoming texts and calls on your phone
  • Controls for the music playing on the phone
  • Accident assistance by alerting emergency contacts
  • Apps for running, cycling, yoga, and many more activities
  • Battery life up to seven days in smartwatch mode and thirteen hours in GPS mode, on a single charge.

Price when reviewed: 21,000 INRGarmin Forerunner 45 is an all-rounder, and is not the cheapest sports watch from Garmin. Its predecessor, the feature-packed Forerunner 35 is still available in the market for a lesser price. With VO2 MAX on board, the Forerunner 45 gives you the best running metrics and advanced analytics to help you monitor and improve fitness.It has a round dial that comes in two sizes, 39mm and 42mm. The display is the same as any other Garmin watch. The watch is compatible with both Android and iOS phones. While running and cycling are the main activities tracked, it has a 5ATM waterproofing as well for swimming. The optical heart rate monitors can keep an eye on your hearts health.The satellite mapping support for tracking is combined with core metrics and some advanced features like VO2 Max. Sports features aside, the smartwatch features included in the Forerunner 45 are smart notification and Connect IQ compatibility that lets you customize your watch face. If you are new to sports and do not want to spend too much on a sports watch, Garmin Forerunner 45 is an excellent choice.

Garmin Forerunner 245

  • While music and advanced training features are the highlights, the other features included in the Forerunner 245 are
  • Performance monitoring features
  • Running, biking, swimming, gym workouts trackers
  • Heart rate monitor
  • VO2 Max
  • Music playback, 500 songs storage
  • Sync with Spotify
  • Free adaptive training plans from Garmin Coach
  • Advanced running dynamics
  • Built-in incident detection
  • Battery life of 7 days in smartwatch mode and up to 6 hours in GPS mode with music on a single charge

Price when reviewed: 32,000 INRThe most popular Forerunner has been given an upgrade to the latest generation. This watch is the best for music lovers, considering the budget. You can sync your playlists from select music streaming services like Spotify or Deezer to your phone for ad-free music.Once the Bluetooth headphone is paired with it, all the controls can be operated from the watch without having to take out your phone. You can also store up to 500 songs on your watch. Forerunner 245 is an impressive running watch. The watch has everything you need for this purpose, like GPS and a built-in heart rate monitor.Battery life is around seven days on smartwatch mode. With GPS and music, the battery life is only around six hours. The watch does not have payment support or an altimeter. On the whole, this is a great running watch.

Apple Watch Series 5

  • The company says that it is made for all the ways you exercise. Its features are
  • 42mm and 44mm case sizes
  • Advanced workout metrics
  • Heart rate monitor
  • 50 meters swim-proof
  • Distance, time, pace, and cadence trackers
  • Third-party apps from Strava, Runkeeper etc
  • Fall detection

Price when reviewed: 50,000 INRWhen the Apple Watch first arrived, it was not popular as a running watch. But with Apple Watch Series 5, if you are looking for a smartwatch which is also a good running watch in 2019, Apple is the best option. The built-in GPS is accurate in tracking. Apple also lets third-party apps like Strava access sensor data on pace, time, distance and heart rate. The activity tracker tracks your progress and inspires you to keep moving and exercise every day.You can even compete with others in fitness challenges. Syncing your Apple Music playlist is quite easy. Also, it has Apple Pay payment support. The addition of LTE has made streaming tunes on the go easy, and you can make calls as well. In the Apple Watch Series 5, there is nothing groundbreaking as far as running is considered. The Series 5 has an always-on display that lets you access the phone easily without having to touch the screen.But it is recommended that you disable the feature when tracking a run, especially if you are going long distance. That heart rate sensor of the Series 5 did incredibly well during our testing. It is not perfect but does a decent job in returning useful data, training within zones, and getting feedback on HIIT sessions.

Polar Ignite

  • Polar Ignite is a multifaceted workout partner that does the planning for you and has the following features:
  • 3mm case size
  • FitSpark workout analysis
  • Optical heart rate
  • 17 hours of GPS tracking

Price, when reviewed, was 57,500 INRThe slender frame of the watch makes Polar Ignite a good running companion. The price of Ignite is much lower than the price of Polars Vantage series. Ignite has a 43mm case and weighs 35g. It is 8mm thick, which makes it a great fit for slimmer wrists. Though slender, the Ignite has almost everything required in a running watch.It has a colour touchscreen display to view your metrics and a solid heart rate monitor. It is not a great smartwatch though, with only a few smartwatch features like notifications. Ignite is iPhone and Android compatible. It is a decent fitness tracker. The commendable feature is FitSpark, which analyzes your workout data and offers recommendations and advice.This means that if you had an intense workout, it will recommend exercises to help you recover. The battery life is around four or five days in smartwatch mode, and it comes down to 17 hours with GPS use. The price is alluring and Ignite is a good looking watch that is an alternative to Forerunner 45 -- in case you want something lighter on your wrist.

Garmin Forerunner 945

  • Chasing down insane goals. It is what you do, is what the company promises with Garmin Forerunner. It is packed with features like:
  • Triathlon tracking
  • 47mm case size
  • Heart rate monitor
  • ANT+
  • Advanced analytics
  • Running Dynamics with Running Pod
  • Smartwatch notifications and Garmin Pay
  • Spotify syncing and offline music (1000 songs)
  • 36 hours of GPS tracking, 17 hours with music

Price when reviewed: 63,000 INRThe Forerunner 935, the predecessor to Forerunner 945, had been ranked as the top running watch by Wearable since its launch in 2017. It is quite natural that Forerunner 945 has taken over its place. This watch is one of the top in the Forerunner series and, as the name suggests, it focuses more on tracking your runs.It has packed in all the features that you get from Fenix multi-sport watches and a few extras like Garmin Pay Support, music playback, navigation features and colour maps. It tracks your treadmill to trail running, with plenty of metrics. Forerunner 945 is compatible with Garmins Running Pod which adds additional data like vertical oscillation, ground contact time, stride length and lactate threshold.It has a good battery life, built-in heart rate monitor, Training Effect, Training Load and focus features to make sure you are not overexerting during your workouts. Forerunner 945 is a watch for pro users. But if you want a less feature-packed, less expensive watch, then this is not it.

Garmin Fenix 6S

  • The rugged multi-sport Fenix watch has
  • A huge array of tracked sports
  • 42mm case
  • Optical HR + ANT+ support
  • Advanced running analytics
  • Pulse Ox sensors
  • PacePro
  • TOPO mapping
  • Connect IQ apps
  • 1000 songs + Spotify syncing

Price when reviewed: 80,000 INRFenix 6S is the best watch for pro athletes with thin wrists. Fenix 6S has the same features packed into three variants with 42mm, 47mm and 51mm cases, just like the Fenix 6 and the Fenix 6X. The watch comes in a Sapphire and pro editions with the latter having a built-in music player, mapping and Wi-Fi connectivity. Both the Fenix 6 and 6X models have 1.3-inch displays, which is bigger than the 6S.The display of the 6S is protected by Gorilla Glass 6, and for its Sapphire version, there is a scratch-resistant Sapphire Crystal coating on the top. The watch has the latest version of Garmins OS, which has had considerable improvements made to the UI and to data fetching. An improved heart rate monitor, Garmins new PacePro feature for runners, and new battery modes for an already impressive battery life, are the added features that are noteworthy.There are plenty of sports tracking options available as well, with advanced metrics and features like payments and built-in music player for the Pro model. It may not appear to be a huge leap from the 5S, but altogether Garmin has made its outdoor watch better and comfortable to wear all day. Fenix 6, 6X and 6S have essentially the same features. For those who want a feature-packed running watch, this is the one to go for.

Coros Apex Pro

  • Coros Apex Pro is a versatile watch for endurance athletes who train both on the road and in the mountains. Its features are:
  • 1.2-inch screen
  • 240 x 240 pixel resolution
  • Optical Pulse Oximeter
  • Optical heart rate monitor
  • Barometric altimeter, accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, thermometer
  • Waterproof rating of 10ATM
  • 40 hours in Full GPS mode
  • 100 hours in UltraMax mode

Price when reviewed: 50,000 INRCoros is a small player in the GPS, running watch world. But its Apex Pro is comparable with the Garmin Fenix, considering that it is available for a much lower price. Coros Apex Pro is a multisport watch which is good for trekking, walking, and, of course, running. It has an excellent battery life and some specific features for running.It has a touch screen, modified design features, an additional button, and an oximeter compared to its previous model. The Track Mode is a special attraction for serious runners. It uses GPS data to give detailed analysis of your running performance. The watch includes a heart rate monitor, barometer and atmospheric sensors.The built-in HR sensor in Apex Pro can tap into its own recovery metrics in the shape of an AI Trainer. It shows a Stamina percentage and aerobic or anaerobic training effect numbers (0-6) to show your level of recovery. Altogether, Apex Pro does a decent job with its tracking and display of training data and everything at the price, 50,000 INR.

Polar Vantage V

  • Polar Vantage V is a premium multisport watch designed for pro athletes and for anyone who trains like a pro. The features include:
  • 46mm case
  • Up to 40 hours GPS
  • FitSpark training insights
  • Optical heart rate sensor
  • Bluetooth support for external heart rate straps
  • 5ATM water resistance
  • Recovery and sleep stats

Price when reviewed: 87,000 INRPolar Vantage V comes as a replacement for Polar V800 with new metrics and is a different proposition altogether to any sports device out there. It has a great heart rate, pace and distance trackers. In addition to these, the Vantage V tracks your running power without the use of a foot pod.Running power is the most sought after feature in sports watches these days as this helps runners attain their target pace with the metrics being measured from physiological effort rather than the heart rate or pure pace. The wise use of this will help you conserve your energy during your long runs and races and trains you to use your reserves intelligently. This watch which focuses on recovery is the best choice for people interested in high-intensity training and for those who are Personal Best hunters, chasing their own goals.Polar has recently released a software update which introduces improved sleep tracking features, and better satellite support. It will also get a FitSpark feature by the end of this year. Polar Vantage V has a long battery life of forty hours. The watch looks better than V800 as well as it has all the metrics that a serious runner would dream for.

Garmin Fenix 6

  • You can take any challenge in stride with this rugged multisport GPS watch which lets you add mapping, music, intelligent pace planning and more to your workouts.
  • 47mm case
  • 1.3-inch screen display
  • Optical HR + ANT+ support
  • Tracks almost anything -- hikes, runs, cycling, weight training, yoga, pilates
  • Advanced running analytics
  • PacePro
  • Navigation tool (topo maps, altimeter, barometer, compass)
  • Connect IQ apps
  • Waterproof
  • 2000 songs + Spotify syncing

Price when reviewed: 80,000 INRThe Garmin Fenix 6 is the ultimate running watch which tracks all types of outdoor sports. There are modes for normal and trail running as well as for hiking, SUP and even skydiving. This is the best Garmin watch when it comes to running and includes VO2 Max, recovery time, race prediction, Training Effect (for aerobic and anaerobic workouts), and Training Load with reminders for a break -- all these derived from its built-in optical sensor.The onboard TOPO map is an upgrade for models Fenix 5 and up, and this helps you explore your runs. You can upload GPX routes as well. The Fenix 6 is Android and iOS compatible. The music features are similar to that of the Garmin Forerunner 245 and the Forerunner 945. Your music playlists and podcasts can be dragged and dropped onto the watch. There is enough storage space for 2,000 songs and the benefit of apps like Spotify and Deezer.This will let you listen to your playlists while offline and even without having your phone around. This smaller and lighter watch which is around 80g is comfortable to run with. The battery life is much better and Fenix 6 has more power-saving modes. The Pro Solar gives this watch some battery charging capabilities. The music streaming will reduce battery life.

Suunto 9

  • Suunto 9 is a multisport GPS watch designed for athletes who demand the best from their sports watch. The features of this durable watch include
  • Intelligent battery modes
  • Smart connectivity
  • Over 80 sports modes
  • 100m water resistance
  • Wrist heart rate
  • Up to 120 hours of continuous exercise tracking
  • FusedTrack
  • Recovery data
  • 50mm case
  • 25h / 50h / 120h GPS modes

Price when reviewed: 44,000 INRGPS draining the battery heavily during long runs is a constraint that makes the recording of metrics difficult. Suunto 9 has a FusedTrack algorithm that combines GPS and motion sensor data to improve accurate tracking of metrics like distance and pace.This allows longer battery life by lowering the GPS power requirements without compromising much on the accuracy of your run data. Suunto 9 is designed and built to meet the demands of professional athletes. It is a sports watch with a USP and only ultrarunners could apply for the membership of the Suunto 9 club. In addition to running, there are over 80 modes of sports that are tracked, like cycling, hiking, and swimming to name a few.The intelligent battery modes can predict how long the battery will last during your workout and prompts you to charge if required. However, the apps and the analysis are not praiseworthy. The interface is also not quite user-friendly. So unless you are someone who needs a long battery life with GPS, we would recommend one of the Garmins above.

Fitbit Ionic

  • Fitbit Ionic is a smartwatch from Fitbit and has
  • 39mm case size
  • Lightweight
  • 2.5GB storage
  • Notifications
  • Built-in GPS
  • 10 hours of GPS tracking
  • Pace, distance and calorie metrics
  • Wide variety of activities are tracked

Price when reviewed: 25,000 INRThe Fitbit Ionic is the only Fitbit watch with built-in GPS. This watch is comparable to the basic Garmin watch and measures pace, distance, and calories. Many advanced metrics like cadence are missing. The Fitbit Ionic is a simple sports watch which will suit the weekend runners more than the serious runners.Like in the Apple Watch, the fitness tracking features of Ionic is outstanding. The app is efficient and it can give complete and accurate data on your health. You earn badges for keeping up to your running goals, and it gives a detailed assessment of your weekly activity. Battery life is satisfactory. On a single charge, you get around five days of battery life with ten hours of GPS tracking.This is better than the Apple Watch Series 4, which is the main competitor for Ionic. If you are not happy with the looks of the Ionic but still long to own a Fitbit, you can go for the Fitbit Versa. Even though Versa does not have a GPS, if you run with your phone, you can use the phones GPS to map your running routes. The main advantage is that it is cheaper than the Ionic.

Amazfit Stratos

  • Huamis Amazfit Stratos is a multi-sport GPS watch with a few features of smartwatches.
  • Large display
  • Notifications even from third-party apps
  • Sleep tracking
  • Running, swimming, cycling
  • 50-metre water resistance
  • VO2 Max
  • 35 hours of GPS tracking
  • Music storage 2GB
Price when reviewed: 25,000 INRStratos may seem to be a Garmin copycat. Stratos tracks running, cycling, triathlon, elliptical, trekking, trail running, soccer and skiing. It does not have a dedicated tracking mode for strength training, gym sessions and other activities such as Pilates and yoga, which are available in other fitness-oriented watches.It has a built-in GPS and GLONASS(which is a Russian equivalent of the GPS that provides real-time position and velocity determination for military and civilian users and offers a fast lock-on) support. Amazfit has signed up FirstBeat who does all the metrics for Garmin. This means you get VO2 MAx data for a lesser price. The optical heart rate monitor onboard does not work as effectively as Garmin, Apple, etc., But with a chest strap, it can give more accurate data.The features never stop coming to Stratos -- GPX files can be added, which will help trail runners. The app experience is not too great. The new Amazfit Stratos 3 is on the way, with better features like longer battery life ranging from 35 to 70 hours with GPS tracking.

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