I’m using GPS trackers for years and I will help you to find the best activity tracker with built-in GPS that will suit your pocket as I know that these might be pricey, here are my top 11 that will give you the best value for your money in 2020.
My top 11 trackers with built-in GPS
- Polar M400
- Garmin Vivosport
- Garmin Forerunner 235
- Fitbit Charge 4
- Garmin Vivoactive 4S
- Garmin Fenix 6S Pro
- Huawei GT 2e
- Apple Watch Series 5
- Xiaomi Amazfit Bip S
- Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
- Polar V800 – Check out my review about it
*Reviews for each one later in the article.
Best activity trackers with Built-In GPS
Activity and fitness trackers are revolutionizing the way fitness works for people.
Earlier ago, people would just time their workouts at best and use that information to optimize their fitness routines.
Surprisingly enough, they would still wear beneficial results when that data was used smartly, despite it being rather limited.
Activity trackers took that concept and knocked it right out of the ballpark with their ability to record so many different kinds of data like the number of steps, distance ran or walked, calories burned and your heart rate.
Using all of this data, the horizon of a fitness-oriented or healthy lifestyle expanded so much and people started to see a stark contrast in their work out routines prior and post activity trackers.
Most trackers today have the pedometer and the heart rate monitors default features and makes for the most basic kind of fitness device.
However, there are some activity trackers in the market that happen to be feature rich and some of which even exclusively cater to certain sports.
The GPS feature is also a really revolutionary aspect to activity trackers because of the data is rich and detailed now.
The addition of geographic data lets runners and riders plan their laps better and even see a visual representation of their lap.
They can further import this data on to a computer or any smart device as well.
Some activity trackers are exclusively GPS based and target individuals who run or prefer cycling, while other activity trackers serve as an Omni-device that have a lot of great features including GPS and cater to a wide range of activities.
Read this related post that I wrote about the best fitness trackers with a built-in GPS and music storage so you will be able to leave your phone at home while running while listening to your favorite music.
What is the difference between a “built-in GPS and a “connected GPS”?
The difference is huge and it is something that you have to pay attention too as it can lead you to buy a watch that you will not serve your needs.
A built-in GPS, as it names applies is a device that has a GPS built inside of it which means that you can go out for a run or other activity without the need to carry your phone with you.
Of course, this will make the device a bit pricier.
While the “connected GPS” devices(like the popular Fitbit Versa) are able only to connect to the GPS in your phone, thus you will need to carry it with you in order to enjoy from the GPS tracking abilities.
When GPS tracking is on the activity tracker’s battery life reduces dramatically, so a strong durable battery is also a consideration when approaching to buy a tracker with a built-in GPS.
10 of the best activity trackers with a built-in GPS are enlisted below.
1.Polar M400 – Best fitness tracker with a built-in GPS
The Polar M400 is one very impressive piece of wearable technology as it combines the features of various fitness bands, recording all the relevant data, and also extended features like heartrate tracking and GPS activity tracking to give a more in-depth detail of one’s geographic activities.
It can fairly compete with high-end running watches and trackers because it is incredibly slim and that gives it is a very noticeable advantage over the rest.
The fact that it isn’t bulky heart rate makes it perfect to take with you on your running or cycling laps.
Another thing to note is the accuracy of the recorded data as well. Including features such as steps tracing and sleep tracking which works automatically and does not need you to tell it when you’re calling it a night.
Couple with other features like reminding you of your workouts and inactivity with simple alerts, you will find this fitness companion quite useful and motivating as well.
The gadget comes pre-configured with a lot of activities which is where the built-in GPS module shines the most.
You’ll notice right away that there are distinct modes for cycling, running and even swimming which make the tracking for each activity very accurate.
The device lasts up to 8 hours on GPS and
2.Garmin Vivosport – small fitness tracker band with A Built-in GPS
This activity tracker is slightly expensive than the one mentioned above but it makes up for that by having a much sturdier design.
It’s quite compact, which is quite remarkable for a device that comes with a GPS feature as most devices who house that feature are comparatively bigger and clunkier in both appearance and overall feel.
It has a battery that lasts about 7 days from a single charge despite having the GPS features enabled which makes it a really reliable gadget to have.
The Garmin Vivosport does not rack swimming, which is the only noticeable con to this device.
However, to compensate for the lack of a swimming mode, it tracks jogging and cycling almost perfectly.
The heart rate tracker is quite accurate as well. The signature always-on color Garmin chroma display make it a visual treat and also scores points for being fashionable too.
It supports and integrates itself with the Garmin connect app that you can download for free for your phone.
The device has quite a few intriguing features such as smart notifications and Live Track along with the ability to pair with your smartphone and provide extra control.
3.Garmin Forerunner 235, GPS Running Watch – Best Garmin fitness tracker watch with a built-in GPS
As for this date, early 2019, there isn’t a new version of the veteran Forerunner 235, Rumors about a new version, 245, are here for quite long time.
If the Forerunner 245 will eventually hit the market and if it will be worth his price tag than I will update this list, but for now The Forerunner 235 is an amazing watch for runners who neesd a watch with an acurate built-in GPS with a very disent price tag.
The Forerunner is considered as a “middle class” watch which means it is not as expensive and featured reach like the big brother, the forerunner 645, actually, it costs less than half of it.
Although it is considered as middle class I find it more suitable for the “big league” of the smart watches.
The range of features offered in the watch exceeds everything that a reasonable and an average runner needs.
First and foremost, to receive heart rate data from the sensor built into the band to measure the heart rate without chest strap, Accurate and quick GPS navigator, A customizable dashboard (including a screen with four fields), A reliable Bluetooth connection with the smartphone, which enables a very friendly interface with the applet – Garmin Connect, which is the most advanced running log.
For this, you need to add the option to control the music player and receive messages to the watch’s screen.
And that’s just the short list.
The operating system in 235 is Garmin’s classic system and its internal logic. Once you understand one watch you Understand all of them and there is no problem to get used to the new running computer on the wrist within a hundred and fifty meters.
The screen is not a touchscreen (a big advantage for me, but it’s a question of personal preference), but is powered by side buttons located around the outer circle. It is aesthetic, bright, comfortable to operate while running and worthy of daily wear as a serious personal statement.
I really don’t find a good reason to invest double the price on the Forerunner 645 and in my opinion, the 235 version will give you the best value for your money when looking for a good, reliable activity tracker with built-in GPS.
4. Fitbit Charge 4
Fitbit Charge 4 is the latest edition to the Fitbit Trackers Family, and it is arguably the finest fitness tracker by Fitbit to date. It is an excellent combination of both value and features, which make it one of my favorite fitness trackers.
While most Fitbit trackers use the connected GPS, Fitbit Charge 4 comes with its own built-in GPS tracker, which means you can leave your smartphone home and go for a run, and Fitbit will accurately track your run.
The tracker is also equipped with a lot of sensors that accurately track your daily activities, sleep tracking, heart-rate, and many more. The watch is also capable of detecting your workout automatically, so even if you forget to start the workout, charge 4 will automatically track it for you.
However, I would still recommend you to manually start tracking your workout as it is more accurate. So, if you are looking for an affordable fitness tracker with built-in GPS, then Fitbit Charge 4 is a solid option for you.
5. Garmin Vivoactive 4S
We all know that Garmin produces some of the best activity trackers, and Garmin Vivoactive 4S is another feature-rich fitness tracker by the company. The thing which I like the most about this tracker is that it comes with a minimalistic design, and the black version of the tracker has a great stealth look. However, you can go for other colors as it comes in Rose Gold, Light Gold, and Silver Stainless Steel finishes.
The tracker also comes with 3 Global Navigation Systems: GPS, GLONASS, and GALILEO. You can use any of these Global Navigation Systems to track your movements with the help of satellite. It also comes with a variety of sensors such as Gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer, and Pulse OX sensor.
The watch can accurately track calories, floors climbed, step counter, distance traveled, intensity minutes, and other metrics. If you are looking for a comprehensive fitness tracker with a lot of features, then Garmin Vivoactive 4s is a great option for you.
6. Garmin Fenix 6S Pro
There are a lot of great premium activity trackers out there, but only a few of them worth their price tag, and Garmin Fenix 6S Pro is one of them. It is a premium activity tracker that comes with all the bells and whistles you can expect from a great tracker.
Let’s start with the Design of Garmin Fenix 6S Pro. The case of the watch features the fiber-reinforced polymer, which can easily handle the rough use. On the top, it features the Sapphire Crystal, which is one of the hardest materials on earth, and it can easily handle minor crashes, but still, I won’t recommend testing it because it is still a Glass after all.
On the inside, you get the built-in GPS transmitter along with two other navigation systems: GLONASS & GALILEO. So, in terms of tracking, you can be sure that you will get accurate tracking. So, if you are looking for a premium activity tracker, then Garmin Fenix 6S Pro is one of the best options.
7. Huawei GT 2e
Huawei GT 2e is the latest smartwatch by the company, and Huawei has changed the design of the watch to make it more desirable for the young generation. While the Huawei GT 2 comes with the classic and somewhat neutral Design, Huawei GT 2e comes with the sporty looks and great design.
The biggest difference between the Huawei GT 2e and GT 2 is the design, as both watches are intended for different users. However, on the inside, things are pretty similar. You get the built-in GPS, Bluetooth 5.1, and other similar features on both watches.
Another difference between both watches is the straps you can use with the watch. Huawei GT 2e comes with a slightly different mount, and you can only use certain types of straps with the watch. So, the regular 22mm watch straps won’t work with the watch. Overall, if you are looking for an activity tracker with sporty looks, then Huawei GT 2e is what you should consider.
8.Apple Watch Series 5
Apple Watch Series 5 is one of the best smartwatches out there, and if you are an Apple user, then you should get this watch because of its integration within the Apple Ecosystem.
The Design of Apple Watch Series 5 is very similar to the previous watches, and in my opinion, there is no need for change because this design is perfect. Apple has worked a lot over the years on the Design of Apple Watch, and now it is more refined than ever.
On the inside, you get a lot of great sensors, including GPS sensor, Gyroscope, accelerometer and many more. The watch is also capable of detecting cardiac irregularities and falls as well. So, if you want the best activity tracker for iPhone or Apple Ecosystem, then Apple Watch Series 5 is the best option for you.
9. Xiaomi Amazfit Bip S
Amazfit Bip S is the latest activity tracker by Xiaomi, and the best thing about this tracker is that it offers tons of great features at a very affordable price.
It comes with the Built-in GPS tracker, which can easily track your activities and distance traveled. The gadget also features a large battery, which can last for 40 days on a single charge.
The Amazfit Bip S comes with a colorful display, but it’s not of high-quality, which we can expect at this price point. If you are looking for a great activity tracker under $100, then Amazfit Bip S is one of the best options for you.
10. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is the latest and greatest smartwatch by the company, and it comes with great design and tons of great features.
The watch comes with a new subtle and minimalistic design, which has become the standard for smartwatches in 2020. It also comes with the beautiful AMOLED display and offers access to Galaxy Store, where you will find thousands of unique watch faces.
Galaxy Watch Active 2 also comes with a built-in GPS tracker and other sensors that will accurately track your activities. It can also automatically detect the workout, but still, if you want accurate tracking, then I would recommend you to manually start tracking your workout.