How to choose a running watch

Asia's Tech News Daily

If you’re in the market for a running watch to help with your 2022 fitness goals, then you’re at the cutting edge of fitness wearables. The best running watches are among the most technically advanced, most impressive and priciest wearables around. We’re talking GPS, biometrics and apps that offer artificial intelligence-driven insights into the data you clock up.

However, with so many running watches available it can be difficult to make the right decision. You might already have a pair of the best running shoes, but here’s how to choose the right running watch for you.

1. Know exactly what a running watch is

We’re not counting steps here. That’s for smartphones, smart watches and fitness trackers that are more about casual encouragement and looking good. Running watches – also referred to as GPS watches and multisport watches – must be altogether more obsessed with accuracy and performance. Cue GPS-powered location-tracking that removes the guesswork for calculating distances, and a host of sensors to measure biometrics.

Heart rate monitoring is by now a default feature that helps you exercise at the right intensity while an incoming feature is a measurement of blood oxygen (SpO2) levels. The latter is nice to have as a general measurement of fitness, but only of practical use on the move if you’re going to be hiking or climbing at high altitudes, or free diving, though marathon runners may also find it handy.

Watches like the Polar Grit X are made for distance running, and can help you manage your hydration and fuelling strategy so you don’t hit the wall mid-event (Image credit: Polar)

Almost all running watches support multiple activities, but many higher-end running watches also feature dedicated triathlon modes, which track entire events without you having to record the bike ride, swim, and run separately.

2. Think about what kind of athlete you are

Do you need a running watch? If you go for the occasional jog and just want to keep track of how much you move, think about investing in a fitness tracker or a smart watch. If, however, you’re a regular runner, cyclist or triathlete and are hell-bent on improving then a running watch is for you.

What you’re likely to notice if you’re stepping-up from a Fitbit or a smartphone app to a running watch is data. In place of the simple algorithms, step-counting and an obsession with reaching 10,000 steps you’ll find multi-sport modes, cadence sensors, stride length calculators, heart rate monitors and compatibility with third-party sensors like chest-strap heart rate monitors and foot pods. Running watches that are focused all and only on running include the insight-packed Coros Apex and the Polar Vantage V2, the latter of which adds a regular fitness test to establish your benchmark.

3. Understand the value of GPS and alternatives

Do you know where you are with navigation? GPS has become a byword for satellite navigation, but the US-built Global Positioning System is but one of several around the world.

They all work the same way, with a receiver inside a running watch tuning-in to radio signals from networks of orbiting satellites. Using signals from four satellites a receiver can triangulate to produce your position on the planet every few seconds and to within a few metres.

You’ll often see running watches advertised as being compatible with GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System), which is a Russian-run system that’s slightly more accurate than GPS, the EU-owned Galileo, Japan’s QZSS (Quasi-Zenith Satellite System) and China’s BDS (BeiDou). You don’t need a running watch that supports all of them, but it’s wise to have access to two satellite systems because more satellites will be available at any given time.

Higher-end running watches offer GPS navigation, which is an excellent tool for exploring new routes (Image credit: Maridav / Shutterstock)

Why does a running watch need satellite navigation? Although many have maps and wayfinding features, it’s primarily to track exactly how far you’ve run. It’s way more accurate than the algorithms used in fitness trackers. The drawback, of course, is that satellite navigation requires considerable battery power, so if that’s your biggest concern then get a running watch that offers power saving modes, though understand that they do reduce accuracy by less frequently picking-up the signals from navigation satellites.

4. Get to know the big brands

The big players in the multi-sports watch genre include brands like Garmin, Polar, Suunto, Coros and Amazfit. However, even within these brands are some drastically different products that are priced accordingly. For example, Garmin’s flagship is the Garmin Forerunner 945 and will suit most runners very well, though the much pricier and chunkier Garmin Fenix 6 is the best choice for anyone also indulging in hiking, swimming and skiing. So is the Coros Vertix, which can survive freezing conditions and lasts 60 hours in GPS mode.

You can just about squeeze in Fitbit and Apple, too, though the Fitbit Charge 4 and Apple Watch 6 – while good for beginners – lack the advanced tracking metrics of a ‘proper’ running watch.

Extra tough running watches like the Coros Vertix can weather extreme temperatures, and are a good choice if you also enjoy winter sports like skiing (Image credit: Coros Vertix)

5. Consider battery and brightness

Battery life is also important since incessant recharging between workouts can get irritating. Can your running watch recharge via the same USB-C cable you use for your smartphone? Or are you going to have to introduce an ugly (and highly lose-able) proprietary charging cradle into your digital life? Choose accordingly.

A direct consequence of battery life is how much its satellite navigation mode sucks that battery dry, and also how bright the display can go, which is crucial in sunshine. While some running watches offer bright backlit AMOLED screens others have transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) tech, which boosts brightness on a sunny day. Some running watches – like the Garmin Instinct Solar – use photovoltaic glass to give them a solar power boost.

6. Size up the physical differences

Running watches do not all look the same and nor do they feel the same when being worn on your wrist. For starters, they differ in weight, with the lightest running watch being the Coros Pace 2 at a mere 29g. It’s also worth thinking about the overall design because although a running watch sounds like a device to strap to your wrist only for workouts, the reality is that it will become your de facto wristwatch, too.

It’s also worth considering that although touchscreens are often found on consumer smart watches, physical buttons are much easier to operate while moving. That’s particularly true if you’re wearing gloves while running in winter.

Many of Garmin’s running watches, including the Garmin Venu 2, come in two sizes (Image credit: Garmin)

7. Think about your data and how it’s handled

There are two sides to the data produced by a running watch: what you see on the watch face during your run to keep you informed of your progress and on-target, and the data provided afterwards to aid you in tracking your progress and planning your future workouts. The latter is down to apps, which tend to record your running metrics and plot your recovery status. You’ll also find artificial intelligence-powered apps that manage your training load. Even more important for runners who have been using apps like Strava or MyFitnessPal for years is that your running watch allows its data to flow into them, too.

8. Check for any extra features

Most running watches go beyond their core remit. For example, some Garmin running watches include offline music support, Spotify control support and pairing with wireless headphones, menstrual cycle tracking offline, maps and and even Garmin Pay so you can swipe yourself a cold drink on the warm-down walk home.

Smartphone notifications – such as WhatsApp messages and social media updates – can be funnelled into many running watches, which you may either desperately want or be keen to completely avoid.

The Garmin Instinct is one of many running watches that can send social media, SMS and call notifications to your wrist, but you can choose to deactivate them during workouts (Image credit: Garmin)

This article is part of TechRadar’s Get Fit in 2022 series – a collection of ideas and guides to help get your new year’s health goals off to the right start, whatever your current level of fitness.

  • We’ve also tested and ranked the best swimming watches
Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Jordan Cashmyer, '16 and Pregnant' Alum, Dies at 26

Jordan Cashmyer, a woman who was featured on MTV’s “16 and Pregnant” in 2014, died in Maryland on Sunday. She was 26 years old. News of Cashmyer’s death was shared ... Read more »

Self-isolation law set to be scrapped in favour of move towards ‘learning to live with Covid'

People would no longer be legally bound to self-isolate after catching coronavirus – Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images People will no longer be legally bound to self-isolate when ... Read more »

A 61-year-old man was arrested and charged with murder after turning himself in to police for pushing an Asian woman in front of an oncoming subway train, authorities said

Times Square 42 St subway underground station in NYC with an old vintage inscription mosaic sign on the wall from tiles with symbols in terra cotta.Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images ... Read more »

Ukraine reveals website attacks were 'cover for more destructive actions'

A government official dismissed the fake ransomware note's threat, but warned the country would feel the consequences of the destructive attack "in the near future". Read more »

Steelers vs Chiefs live stream: how to watch NFL playoff game online

Will Ben Roethlisberger’s career end on a bum note, or can he summon the spirit of 2005 and pull off the shock of the Wild Card Weekend? With all of ... Read more »

Tencent's 2022 strategy indicates a downsizing of vast tech empire to ride out China's regulatory storm, fuel new growth

Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings may opt for more divestments and pursue fewer acquisitions this year, according to analysts, in the wake of Beijing’s tightened regulation of the country’s Big ... Read more »

How to watch Australian Open 2022 and live stream tennis online from anywhere, schedule, draw

Once upon a time they called it the Happy Slam, but Novak Djokovic’s scrape with the Aussie authorities has injected a feverish blaze into proceedings. The squabbling will of course ... Read more »

Shop Anthropologie home décor, clothing and more at up to 70% off for a limited time

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Stay on-trend this winter with stylish staples from Anthropologie. Whether you’re ... Read more »

Trump claims he couldn't have lost the 2020 presidential election because his Arizona rally boasted thousands of attendees and 'had cars that stretch out for 25 miles'

Former President Donald Trump reacts to the crowd prior to speaking at a “Save America” rally in Florence, Ariz., on January 15, 2022.AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin Former President Trump on ... Read more »

'Keep doors and windows locked', locals told after deadly attack on elderly couple

Freda Walker, 86, is killed and her husband, Kenneth, 88, left with ‘horrific injuries‘ in shocking incident at their Derbyshire home Residents in a Derbyshire town have been told to ... Read more »

This laptop from 1989 can mine Bitcoin, but it definitely won't make you rich

A developer has managed to turn a laptop from 1989 into a cryptocurrency mining machine, but it won’t be making anyone rich any time soon. The computer in question is ... Read more »

Wayfair's huge home and kitchen sale lets you save up to 60% on Cuisinart, KitchenAid and more

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Spruce up your home for less this year with best-selling pieces ... Read more »

I don't care if gaming chairs suck, I'm not buying a Herman Miller

If you ask for any recommendations online when looking for a new gaming chair, chances are you’ll be told at least once that all ‘racing’ style chairs (named such as ... Read more »

49ers vs Cowboys live stream: how to watch NFL playoff game online

It’s being tipped as the game of the Wild Card Weekend, with Dallas D looking like the perfect opponents for the Niners’ run-heavy offense, but more importantly, if you watch ... Read more »

A 74-year-old woman was exonerated of the rape and murder of her niece after spending 27 years in prison

A cell in the new HMP Bronzefield (women’s prison) in Ashford Middlesex, England.Tim Ockenden – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images Joyce Watkins was exonerated after a wrongful conviction led ... Read more »

Giant crocodile found under floorboards of primary school classroom goes on display

The remains of a saltwater crocodile found underneath a classroom at a Welsh Primary School have gone on display after being restored. (Rhondda Cynon Taf Council) A 120-year-old crocodile found ... Read more »

Take 25% off best-sellers during this 48-hour Everlane sale—shop jeans, leggings, outerwear and more

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. A minimalist wardrobe makes getting dressed in the morning really simple. ... Read more »

The 48 best MLK Day sales to shop right now—Michael Kors, Fenty Beauty, Macy's, QVC and more

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Martin Luther King Jr. Day honors the groundbreaking work of minister ... Read more »

Correction: Virgin Orbit-Launch story

LOS ANGELES — In a story published January 13, 2022, about a Virgin Orbit launch, The Associated Press erroneously reported that Richard Branson said 480 countries can use Virgin Orbit. ... Read more »

A guide to finding your favorite streaming program: Talking Tech podcast

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current ... Read more »

Super Bowl TV deal at Best Buy: Sony's 85-inch 4K TV gets $400 slashed off price

The Super Bowl is officially less than a month away, and Best Buy is kicking things off with epic TV deals that you can shop right now. Our favorite bargain ... Read more »

Shop best-selling lululemon leggings, hoodies, joggers and more during the We Made Too Much sale

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. lululemon’s cult-favorite leggings are luxurious and certainly splurge-worthy for good reason. ... Read more »

Carol Vorderman looks incredible in curve-hugging activewear on Portuguese health retreat

Carol Vorderman set pulses racing on Sunday as she posed in activewear ahead of a long day of hiking on her luxe Portuguese health retreat. SEE: Carol Vorderman's grand home ... Read more »

Dozens of people flee in panic after hearing a "gunshot" in a UK McDonald's

Shocking footage shows dozens of people fleeing in panic after hearing a “gunshot” in a packed McDonald’s in Manchester. Video shows a huge 30-people brawl break out at the restaurant ... Read more »

‘Such a mess': Andy Murray and tennis world react to Djokovic's deportation

Photograph: Loren Elliott/Reuters Most players have avoided addressing case on social media Murray: ‘I respect Novak, I don’t like that he is in this situation’ The tennis world reacted with ... Read more »

6 ways open-source devs can make money

The amount of money you can make from open source code depends on several factors. First of all, the popularity of your open source project plays a significant role that ... Read more »

Eagles vs Buccaneers live stream: how to watch NFL playoff game online

Tom Brady to go one and done? Surely not, but then again he is missing two of his favorite targets, in Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown. Even so, the Eagles ... Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 needs to up its game to compete with other foldable phones

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 currently holds the ‘best foldable phone’ title in its grip – but it’s a weak grip, that looks set to break very soon if ... Read more »

The iPad Pro 2022 could support MagSafe through a glass Apple logo

It looks likely that there will be an iPad Pro 2022 making an appearance at some point this year, and new details have emerged about one of the new features ... Read more »

Peloton Bike review

Two-minute review If you’re interested in fitness, it’s likely you’ve heard of Peloton. It’s a relatively recent addition to the home fitness market that aims to give you a boutique ... Read more »

Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti leaked pricing suggests a wallet-damaging GPU

Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti pricing has leaked from some European retailers, and it seems the new flagship graphics card will take perhaps a chunkier bite out of your wallet than ... Read more »

Novak Djokovic deported: tennis star leaves Australia after losing visa case - latest updates

Djokovic says he is 'extremely disappointed' at decision World No 1 to leave Australia on flight at 11.30am GMT on Sunday ​Novak Djokovic has been deported from Australia after federal ... Read more »

How to get started with open water swimming

Swimming is a great activity if you’re looking to get in shape and stay that way. Hitting the local pool on a regular basis is perfect for burning calories, keeping ... Read more »

'Non-fungi-what?' How I explained NFTs to my boomer parents

NFTs, or “non-fungible tokens,” are having their breakthrough moment. In just the past few months, they’ve evolved from mostly curiosity’s to more commonplace collectibles. On Thursday alone, people spent nearly ... Read more »

Here's another reason you should be careful about what you post online

There are plenty of reasons to exercise caution when posting content online, but more attention needs to be paid to the potential impact on employability, a new report suggests. According ... Read more »

British girl, 5, dies in horror ski slope accident in French Alps

The girl died in the ski resort of Flaine (pictured) (Pixabay ) A 5-year-old British girl has been killed in a tragic accident on a ski slope in the French ... Read more »

Amanda Holden enlists vacuum cleaner and thigh-high black boots for 'epic' garage singing session

Amanda Holden channelled her inner pop star to wind down at home this weekend. (Getty Images) Possibly as part of a commendable effort to lift people's January spirits, Amanda Holden ... Read more »

Covid tests for fully vaccinated travellers ‘to be scrapped this month'

Travel bosses will welcome the new changes (AFP via Getty Images) Vaccinated travellers will be able to go on holiday without taking <a href="/tag/covid-tests“>Covid tests on their return to the ... Read more »

Tony Blair Refuses To Call For Boris Johnson To Resign Over Partygate

Boris Johnson and Tony Blair at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, on November 14, 2021. (Photo: TOBY MELVILLE via Getty Images) Sir Tony Blair has refused to call for Boris Johnson ... Read more »

‘Stop lying to us': John Bishop calls Boris Johnson a ‘p***k' over No 10 parties

John Bishop has called Boris Johnson a “p***k” for breaking Covid-19 rules to attend a party at the height of lockdown. The prime minister is facing pressure to resign after ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic