The 5 Best GPS Watches of 2019

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

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Most Popular: Garmin Forerunner 45 at Amazon

"Slim and smart enough to be used by yogis, gym lovers, and step counters alike."

Best Overall: 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."

Best Budget: Amazfit Bip Smartwatch at Amazon

"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."

Best Design: Polar V800 GPS Sports Watch at Amazon

"It comes with a variety of training profiles you can use to guide you through your fitness regimen."

Best for Music: Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music at Amazon

"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."

Our Top Picks

Most Popular: Garmin Forerunner 45

4.3

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 Overall: Garmin Forerunner 35

Garmin Forerunner 35
Courtesy of 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.

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 Budget: Amazfit Bip Smartwatch

4.4

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.

Best Design: Polar V800 GPS Sports Watch

Truth be told, most GPS watches don’t think about design first. But the Polar V800 is one that does.

The device comes with a more traditional smartwatch design and has a rectangular screen that sits flush against the wristband. It tracks your laps and other critical functions when you’re running and with help from its GPS integration, will easily keep track of where you are, how fast you’re going and more.

Indeed, Polar is pitching the watch as a training device. And it comes with a variety of training profiles you can use to guide you through your fitness regimen. Best of all, it comes with a heart monitor so you can see how all that effort is affecting your health.

The Polar V800 is a full-featured watch. But be ready to spend some extra cash to strap it on your wrist.

Best for Music: Garmin Vivoactive 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.