Buying Guide

GPS watch and sports gadget purchase recommendations


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Looking for the latest information? I just published the guide for 2019 with a lot of new recommendations.

Click here to access the latest entry

It's time to update the latest list of recommendationsYou don't have that much time, but there are already new products on the market and updated prices for products that were already on that list, so there are variations in what I am usually recommending.

What you see below are the watches and gadgets that I think are the best in their price range, or that will best fit the use that will be made of them. Those models that when someone asks me what to choose, are the ones I turn to.

If you buy it through the link I provide, know that you will help the maintenance of this website and, above all, the purchase of new devices so you can continue doing those tests that you like to read so much.

Let's go with the list.

GPS running clock

Photo by srgpicker

This is the category where you have the most choice, the differences between models in the same range are minimal and the competition is fierce. These are mature products, so you will have to pay attention to small details when choosing.

Economic range: TomTom Runner

The reason is simple, TomTom designed this model to try and compete with the mid-range, but the mid-range gets away with performance. The Dutch have chosen to reduce the price. The TomTom Runner is a GPS watch for the occasional runner who has two or three runs a week and does not have a great need for scheduled training series or target intervals. You can do these, but not at the level of the mid-range models. In return it offers good GPS (with satellite caching), Bluetooth synchronisation, a simple to use menu and good resolution screen where viewing the data is very easy.

You can see the proof of his brother, the TomTom Runner CardioThe functionality as a watch is the same, but the Cardio incorporates an optical pulse sensor (and is reflected in the price).

Medium range: Polar M400 (or Garmin 220 if on offer)

The mid-range still belongs to the Polar M400It's not just a running watch, it also allows you to set up other sport profiles, such as cycling or fitness, but it doesn't have swimming metrics. Polar continues to update its flagship product and is set to receive updates to show notifications from your mobile phone and to use the internal accelerometer to record your cadence (and therefore also pace and distance in treadmill training).

The only thing we can miss in the M400 is the vibration, but I supplement it with an activity monitor that works quite well. You can read the test of the Polar M400 here.


If you are into pyramid interval training, the Garmin 220 you'll find a partner that's more suited to your use, mainly because of the workout settings and the vibration warnings. Click here to read the test.

Which of the two would be my choice? If you're into constant series training and pace changes, the Garmin 220. For everything else, the Polar M400.

The most complete option: Garmin Forerunner 620 / Suunto Ambit3 Sport

Here I have many doubts to give a clear winner. In the previous list of recommendations, the Garmin 620 Why it's simple, for the asphalt runner Garmin offers absolutely everything a runner might need in a watch, and a few more functions. The 620 approximates your VO2Max value and thus estimates your running times, and with the HRM-Run sensor you'll have data on your technique. The problem is that its price remains stable and the competition pushes it with very good products. If you're a continuous trainer looking for a simple, lightweight watch, the 620 will best suit your requirements.

But the problem is that it's at prices Suunto Ambit3 SportThe new Suunto is a multisport watch (swimming included) with full navigation for your mountain routes. As for materials, Suunto offers more quality, but you will have a heavier and more flashy watch with no vibration for warnings.

And the Ambit3 Run? With the prices at which you can already find the Sport, and given the novelty of the Run, it is still not interesting. Even if you do not go swimming or use cycling sensors, the difference in materials is substantial.

Trail/Ultra trail: Garmin Fenix 3

You know that trail or ultra trail runners are special runners, and as such they demand special products. A trail runner does not worry about taking a minute more or a minute less to cover the 10 kilometers. For them the important thing is to get home before it gets dark or the front end runs out of battery.

Therefore they demand specific navigation functions, barometric altimeter and above all a range capable of withstanding the longest tests, i.e. you are not looking for a GPS watch to mark rhythms, but rather a tool.

Here the choice is very clear: Garmin Fenix 3For performance, functionality and quality of materials. Today no other brand's watch can beat it. Perfect for sailing, running, swimming or cycling. The range is brutal and undeniably beautiful. And as a smartwatch, thanks to Connect IQit doesn't disappoint.

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GPS Triathlon / Multisports watches


Here we put in watches that are not only capable of having profiles of different sports, but must have a specific mode for triathlon (or duathlon), capable of switching quickly from one sport to another and also measuring the transition times.

The economical choice: Garmin Forerunner 310xt

It's big and it's been on the market for years. But the truth is that because of what they're asking for this watch, the Garmin Forerunner 310xt is what we can call a master purchase. If you're new to triathlon and your budget is already stretched by buying a bike, jumpsuit or wetsuit, the FR310xt can save you the ticket with more than enough performance. The only thing missing are the pool metrics, but it does have an outdoor swimming mode and for less than £200 with a pulse sensor it's easy to see why you can see it on so many wrists.

The most complete option: Garmin 920xt

The Garmin 920xt is the best choice for triathletes, not only for functionality (the Polar V800 has not yet received the expected open water swimming upgrade), but because it offers the possibility of installing a quick anchorage kit.

In 920xt you will find all the functions you need without having to wait for updates. The only thing that 920xt does not have is the possibility of measuring your heartbeat while you swim (something that the V800 and the Ambit3 But with its performance in all sport modes and its reliability in all of them, the choice is clear. I recommend that you read the full scan to see in detail all that 920xt can do.

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MIO Link 5

What would a GPS watch be without external sensors? The interesting thing is to be able to track data, the more the better. In this section everything remains the same, my recommendations remain the same as a few months ago.

Bluetooth Smart pulse sensor: Arendo

Many of you train with a mobile phone or you just need a new sensor because your old one failed (I broke one in a bike fall myself). Or you just want another sensor to train in the gym.

More than the sensor itself, the important thing is to look at the chest strap. Arendo is of good quality and with a construction very similar to the Soft Strap model of Polar. For less than 30€ it is a highly recommended sensor, even if it is only for training in the gym with some application on the mobile.

ANT+/Bluetooth pulse sensor: Wahoo TICKR

I love sensors that have dual ANT+/Bluetooth connectivity, because it doesn't mean you have to throw it in the drawer to switch from ANT+ to Bluetooth or vice versa. Or you can train with an ANT+ watch and then use the same sensor with your phone in the gym.

It offers much more versatility, and if you need to replace the brand's own sensor I see no reason why you should repeat with the manufacturer's one (except for Garmin's HRM-Run or Polar H7 if you have a V800).

That's what the Wahoo TICKRWhy limit yourself to one standard when you can have both?

Optical pulse sensor: Mio Link

I have to admit it. I'm in love with this little bracelet. I'm sure more than one and two of you have suffered from the scratches, burns and discomfort of traditional chest bands. For you, there's nothing more comfortable than getting your hands on the Mio LinkAnd you don't have to worry about compatibility, because just like the Wahoo, the Mio emits ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart signals simultaneously, so you can use it with the vast majority of watches on the market.

ANT+ Pedometer: Garmin Foot pod

There's not much choice here. The Garmin Footpod is almost the reference in case you are thinking about a pedometer for running indoors or on a treadmill. There are other brands that manufacture this type of accessory, but Garmin's is small and you will have no problem finding it in Spain.

Bluetooth Pedometer: Adidas miCoach

If, on the other hand, your watch has Bluetooth technology, then you should go to the adidas miCoachMake sure before buying that your watch has a pedometer holder and that it does not have compatibility problems with the miCoach.

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Activity monitor

Calibrating hands in Withings Activité Pop

Here are three options to recommend. If you want a traditional watch aesthetic and not look like a "geek," the Withings Activité Pop is the best option. No one will know that that watch on your wrist is monitoring your exercise. And as you can see from the analysis that I made for him, that's pretty accurate.

If you find the Withings too sober or lacking in information, my recommendation is Fitbit Charge HRThat's in case you're not a hardcore runner, because its optical pulse sensor works very well at rest, but not so well while you're active. So if you're a runner, Mio Fuse offers you the same quality of Mio Link but with a built-in activity monitor.

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Action chambers

Underwater Clock

It is becoming more and more common among sportsmen and women, especially in extreme sports (no, going for a walk on the promenade is not extreme), to have action cameras. They are resistant to water, vibrations and in general to any abuse you may make of them.

The economical choice: GoPro HERO

Within the economic chambers, the new GoPro HERO Yes, it's true that the SJ4000 is very famous among users of this type of camera, but the existence of so many copies of unexpected results and problems that may arise in terms of guarantees make me opt for the safe bet.

If this is your first camera and you do not have very high demands, it is the clearest option. For about 120 euros you will have a camera resistant to all the bad things you can think of doing with it.

The best choice: GoPro HERO4 Silver Edition

GoPro are still the kings of the market. They created this sector and they are still setting the standards. GoPro HERO4 Silver Edition is one of the firm's new models, which unlike the version it replaces has a screen. Its wide angle and excellent recording quality stand out. Above it there is another model, the GoPro HERO4 Black Edition with 4K recording capability, but except for very specific uses in my opinion it won't be worth your while.

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That's all. Thank you for reading me (and for supporting the site!), and I really hope that with these tips you will be fully successful in your purchases.

Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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  1. Broth, you're a real big one. Ever since I discovered your site I've discovered a world. My D's!


  2. how could we compare two gps
    the m-400 and the multisport tom tom with pulse wrist reading
    what are their differences and similarities
    a greeting

  3. The SONY ActionCam AS20 has a price tag and a stabilization that GoPro would like to see.

      1. I have it and it's certainly very good, but I don't know why it doesn't have as much fame as the GoPro, it's because of the brutal and exaggerated marketing that they do, hence its high price too. I still encourage you to try it because you'll like it!

  4. Good afternoon,

    I am a student of a Master in Marketing and we are doing research on GPS sports watches for runners and we would like the users of these devices to help us in our research. If you are interested I leave the link below.

    Thank you very much in advance.

  5. I just bought the suunto ambit 3. I can't put workouts on it because the app doesn't work properly. I have asked the technical service people and they don't know when they will fix it... what a shame!!!!

  6. I want to buy a multisport watch. But I have no idea...I do swimming in a pool and open water and running. I want to do aquathlons....Which one do you recommend to start with at a reasonable price? Thank you

    1. If you are going to do open water, right now within a reasonable price the one that can give you the best result is Garmin FR735XTIt will also allow you to create a sport profile for the aquathlon.

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