The 6 Best GPS Watches of 2020

Wear these devices whether you're running, golfing, hiking and more

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The Rundown
"Slim and smart enough to be used by yogis, gym lovers, and step counters alike."
"The Bip includes GPS location tracking right out of the box, and they’ve also thrown in the satellite-based GLONASS tech as well. The Bip also includes a heart-rate monitor and a real-time activity tracker."
Runner-Up, Best Budget:
Garmin Forerunner 35 at Amazon
"The Garmin Forerunner 35’s combination of slick design, high-end features and a relatively affordable price tag makes it the best GPS watch on the market."
"Garmin has loaded up the watch with internal storage so you can transfer up to 500 songs onto it and listen directly from the watch, no smartphone required."

If you're headed into the great outdoors you'll want a wearable that does a little more than just step tracking, our collection of the best GPS watches can provide you with comprehensive fitness tracking info as well.

Foremost, you'll want a watch that's comfortable to wear; ideally, all day or even when you're sleeping to take advantage of sleep tracking features like the Apple Watch Series 5 at Amazon. The next thing you'll want to look for is battery life, models like the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music at Amazon can last for up to 7 days on a single charge.

If you're looking to get in shape, make sure to read our roundup of the best couch to 5K Apps. Whether you're venturing into the wilderness or just around the block, our collection of the best GPS watches will help you stay on track with all of your fitness goals.

Best Overall: Garmin Forerunner 645 Music

Garmin has upped the wearable game yet again, with the Forerunner 645 Music GPS watch. This new wearable features storage for up to 500 songs, allowing you to leave the phone at home when going for a run. It can even sync music from streaming services like Spotify for offline listening. The 645 also brings convenient smartwatch features to the table like contactless payment, pairing them with excellent fitness tracking capabilities

The display features extensive customization options, allowing you to switch out widgets, backgrounds as well as activity profiles, and fitness data. The 645 Music also features extensive battery life, lasting for up to 7 days in smartwatch mode, or providing up to 5 hours of continuous music playback with GPS mode turned on.

Most Popular: Garmin Forerunner 45

Despite being made for runners, the Garmin Forerunner 45 is slim and smart enough to be used by yogis, gym lovers, and step counters alike. This budget fitness tracker helps you monitor your health and exercise habits and uses GPS to track your pace and distance so you can get accurate information about your workouts and progress. Connected to your smartphone, it can deliver notifications and monitor a variety of metrics including your steps, calories, and “body battery,” or how much you're physically charged for your upcoming workouts. If it senses your stress level spiking, it will guide you through a relaxation exercise and comes with a Garmin Coach training plan that brings personalized advice to your wrist.

The Forerunner 45 has up to a week of battery in smartwatch mode, and up to 14 hours in GPS mode. It is available in four colors — purple, white, black, and red — and two sizes, 35mm and 42mm, for the same price.

Best Budget: Amazfit Bip Smartwatch

If you want a smartwatch with GPS for under $100, you're going to wind up looking through some less well-known brands. We poked around and found the Bip from Amazfit that actually offers many of the same features as a Garmin but at a fraction of the price.

The Bip includes GPS location tracking right out of the box, and they’ve also thrown in the satellite-based GLONASS tech as well. The Bip also includes a heart-rate monitor and a real-time activity tracker for more specific fitness needs, plus it syncs up to your smartphone, which expands its tracking functionalities. The manufacturer promises the battery will last up to 45 days on a charge, and they’ve even marked it at the IP68 dust- and waterproof standard. The best part? With a stylistic nod to the Pebble Steel, the design looks surprisingly stylish for the budget price. Choose from a few different colors including Onyx Black, White Cloud, Kokoda Green, and Cinnabar Red.

Runner-Up, Best Budget: Garmin Forerunner 35

The Garmin Forerunner 35’s combination of slick design, high-end features and a relatively affordable price tag makes it the best GPS watch on the market.

The device comes with a rectangular face that features a high-resolution screen, so you can easily view content day and night. And since the device connects to your Android device or iPhone, you can also interact with Garmin’s Connect Mobile app to share data back and forth.

The Forerunner 35’s built-in GPS will “quickly” track satellites, according to Garmin, and will work wherever you are, including under trees. Best of all, it comes out of the box with 24/7 heart rate monitoring that won’t require an additional strap to get the job done.

And just in case you’re a runner, the Forerunner 35 has an auto-pause and auto-lap function, as well as a step counter so you can keep track of your movement and see how far you’ve gone.

Best for Music: Garmin vívoactive 3 Music

Garmin’s a brand known for providing GPS-centric devices — they’ve been doing it for years. So it’s no surprise to see this brand at least a few times on this list. The Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music, one of the brand’s latest offerings, rounds out some amazing core features with a great add-on for music lovers. First, the watch comes with built-in GPS, which powers the included fitness apps that’ll cover you from morning runs all the way to evening yoga. (Note that the battery will only last about 5 hours with GPS use, though.) If you want to add more customization, you can download thousands of free apps and watch faces from the Connect IQ store.

But what about those music features? Garmin has loaded up the watch with internal storage so you can transfer up to 500 songs onto it and listen directly from the watch, no smartphone required. You can also download some streaming apps to use on the watch. The glass face is made from chemically strengthened glass, and the display itself looks pretty sharp at 240 x 240 pixels. It’s a great smartwatch if you’re looking for a music player and a GPS tracker.

Best Apple: Apple Watch Series 5

Anyone that was sufficiently impressed by the series 4 will find plenty to love about Apple's latest wearable. Pound for pound, the series 5 bears a striking resemblance to last year's model but adds an always-on display, additional battery life as well as added health tracking features.

The Series 5 has automatic exercise detection, which lets you in case you've forgotten to turn on fitness tracking prior to your run. While it does feature GPS capability, it doesn't quite have the same level of detail as some of the other contenders on our list. The battery also tends to diminish quite quickly during exercise tracking, making this wearable more suited to short excursions rather than extended treks.

Final Verdict

Provided money is no object, our top pick for a GPS enabled watch has got to be the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music. Massive battery life and onboard music storage make this wearable an awesome accessory for any fitness fanatic. However, for a more budget-conscious option, we'd have to recommend the Amazfit Bip Smartwatch for features and more affordable price point.