It has been 70 years since the earliest general-purpose computer was invented, and technology continues to advance at exponential rates. Computer scientists have continued to push the boundaries of what was previously believed to be possible, increasing computing capabilities, functionalities and efficiencies. Technology continues to change our lives and, now, it is influencing how we work, relax and exercise. Smart watches are replacing personal trainers, motivating us to work out, recording our heart rates and keeping us on our jogging paths with stunningly accurate GPS. With so many smart watches on the market, it’s important to research which running watch is best for your routines before making a big purchase.
Apple Watch Series 2
The Apple Watch Series 2 is the future of smart watches. Like the TomTom Mulit-Sport, the Series 2 has both GPS and heart-rate sensor capabilities. However, it lacks a built-in convenience of the cadence sensor, speed sensor and altimeter. New Series 2 watches start at a more expensive $399.99, mainly because of the innovative technology used to produce a better athletic watch than its predecessor, the Series 1. The Series 2 has a dual core processor that is 50% faster than the Series 1, making its GPS capabilities extremely fast and efficient. Boasting the watch as being extremely multi-sport, Apple was forced to redesign the Series 2 speaker to use sound vibrations to force water out of the speaker after swim workouts. As always, Apple is focused on being at the peak of innovation, inventing major tech modifications to make the watch waterproof (up to 50 meters) without sacrificing the speaker.
Garmin Vivoactive + GPS + HRM Strap
The Garmin Vivoactive is the perfect running watch for you if you’re looking for high-speed technology with a slightly less expensive price tag. At only $204.99, the Garmin Vivoactive smart watch has similar GPS and heart-rate monitoring capabilities when compared to both the TomTom Multi-Sport and the Apple Watch Series 2. According to Garmin, the watch has an impressive 8-day battery life when using basic features and a 13-hour battery life when using GPS mode. It is waterproof up to 5 meters, an industry standard for today’s high-functioning multi-sport watches. In addition to basic capabilities like time display, this Garmin smart watch includes extremely helpful features like a calendar, daily alarm, stop watch, timer and even an accelerometer, calculating distance during indoor workouts without the need for an expensive foot pod.
TomTom Spark 3
TomTom makes our list with their Spark 3 smart watch. Priced at $185.03, the Cardio + Music Bundle includes 3 GB of song storage, GPS tracking, 24/7 Activity Tracking, a built-in heart-rate monitor, and much more. It is a multi-sport smart watch like the others on the list, with sport modes capable of tracking any workout including indoor and outdoor running, cycling, swimming and freestyle. If the extra 3 GB of music storage isn’t important to you, you can get the Spark 3 without the music bundle for an affordable $189.95.
2016 was an exciting year for Fitbit as they remained the leading wearables brand ahead of Apple, TomTom and Garmin. The company’s popularity is consistently growing as more and more people discover the benefits of fitness tracking. In order to compete with the competitors on this list, Fitbit began developing new models with large display screens and high processing similar to the Apple Watch. You won’t be disappointed by the Fitbit Surge’s capabilities, including 8 activity-tracking sensors: 3 axis accelerometers, gyroscope, compass, ambient light sensor, GPS and heart rate monitor. Its 7-day battery life is perfect for multi-sport adventures when you may not be able to get to a power outlet for a couple days. And it perfectly syncs to your phone so you can receive text, call and music notifications, as well as send your workout data straight to your phone through the Fitbit dashboard.
Imagine that you’re jogging down a beautiful greenway on a perfect spring day. You get off your normal path because you want a change of scenery, but you have no idea the distance of the path or where it ends. Luckily, your new TomTom Multi-Sport can answer all of your questions. It quickly tracks running, cycling and swimming metrics and includes a Graphical Training Partner to help you train. Because it has these multi-sport capabilities, this TomTom is waterproof up to 50m, making it perfect for triathletes looking to wear their smart watch while swim training. It’s QuickGPSFix technology is lightning fast, so you don’t have to worry about anything slowing down your workout. And starting at only $140.99, there’s no surprise that the TomTom Multi-Sport is one of the best running watches on the market.