Running watches can really make a difference in your training. However, many new runners can’t afford such expensive running gear. Luckily, there are many cheap GPS running watches with advanced features any runner might need. These watches are capable of measuring popular useful metrics such as running distance, number of steps, oxygen levels, burned calories, and many more. You can keep on track and know how you’re performing with such watches.
If you’re a new runner or just want to get the cheapest GPS watch for running without compensating for quality, this review is done specifically for you. Check out those 13 best cheap GPS running watches, and don’t forget to check the important criteria of the best running watch and the FAQs section to get all the knowledge you need to buy a new watch.
Table of contents
- Motorola Moto Watch
- Polar Vantage M2
- Garmin Forerunner 245
- COROS PACE 2 Premium
- Amazfit Bip U Pro
- Garmin Forerunner 35
- Polar Pacer
- Garmin Venu
- Amazfit GTS 4 Mini Smart Watch
- Fitbit Versa 4
- Garmin Vivoactive 3
- SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch
- Amazfit T-Rex Pro
- Our Verdict!
- How To Choose The Best Cheap GPS Running Watches?
- What is the difference between smartwatches and GPS-running watches?
- Do all cheap GPS-running watches have smartwatch features?
- Can I get a GPS running watch below $100?
Motorola Moto Watch
One of the cheapest watches you can ever get for running is Motorola Moto Watch. It’s a quarter the price of most GPS watches for running. However, you can still do a lot with this watch. For example, you can count the steps, receive reminders and notifications, track your health status, and keep updated with all the performance metrics you need.
Moreover, you have around 26 sports modes to save time and effort adjusting your watch according to the exercise you want to do. On top of all, it’s a very lightweight running GPS watch. You won’t even feel it around your wrist. Plus, it’s suitable for both men and women. Watch this detailed YouTube video to get more info about the watch.
- The battery life is decent for the price
- It has enough metrics even for professional runners
- The watch is lightweight
- It doesn’t sync smoothly to mobile apps
Polar Vantage M2
Although Polar Vantage M2 isn’t as cheap as the previous watch, it’s still on the affordable side. Plus, you’ll get more features for paying those extra bucks. First, you’ll get 130 sports modes. This means you won’t need to adjust any features or performance metrics to start training. Just log into the proper sports mode, and you’re set. There are even modes for swimming and water sports. Coming to the GPS, most of the runners who have already tried this watch reported how accurate the GPS is. Further, the battery can keep the watch working for 30 hours with the GPS active. We recommend you watch this YouTube video to know all the features you’ll get in this watch. It’s a great choice for those looking for a small watch with advanced features at a moderate price.
- The watch has many sports modes for all types of sports
- The GPS is very accurate
- The battery life is very good
- Not all the metrics are very accurate, including the heart rate metrics
Garmin Forerunner 245
Don’t get astonished when we recommend a Garmin running watch as one of the cheap GPS running watches. Garmin Forerunner 245 is one of the old models (not very old) but has a lot of features, just like any Garmin watch. When this watch is on sale, its price is almost half the price of the most expensive Garmin watches. Let’s get introduced to some of the features of this watch. Aside from the usual performance metrics, there are other features special to the watch only, such as safety and tracking features. It tracks your location and sends SOS messages to emergency contacts if it detects unusual movements. Moreover, you can listen to music offline by downloading your favorite tracks on the watch itself.
- The watch is very high quality
- It has many advanced features
- You can download the music to the watch
- The battery life isn’t the best
COROS PACE 2 Premium
COROS PACE 2 Premium is a lightweight, cheap GPS running watch you can get at a good price. For this watch, you have different color options. Also, the strap can be rubber or cloth, according to your choice. Whatever strap you choose, you’ll feel comfortable as the watch is lightweight and the straps are breathable. One of the things you’ll like a lot about this watch is that it’s very easy to operate. You can access all the features you want in seconds because the watch is very user-friendly. It also has sports modes for all the sports you might think of. Best of all, the GPS is also very accurate and easy to use.
- The watch is lightweight
- The straps are breathable
- It’s a user-friendly watch
- Many users didn’t like the barometric altimeter
Amazfit Bip U Pro
Lowest price. You don’t need to wear an expensive Apple watch to gain the features of luxurious smartwatches. Amazfit Bip U Pro is the cheapest GPS watch for running you can get while not losing too many features. Aside from the GPS tracker, the watch has some smart features, such as built-in Alexa. You can use this AI technology to adjust your watch without even touching the watch.
Moving to the appearance and look, the watch comes with many colors for the strap. These colors are too attractive and different; you can also buy straps to switch between them daily. The display is rectangular in shape, with all the basic info appearing on the main screen. The resolution and screen size is acceptable, and you can choose which notifications you want to receive on this main screen. Later, get access to other features using the watch’s touch screen.
- It comes in different attractive colors for the strap
- The Display is a good size and resolution
- It has AI technology
- Adjusting the watch to receive notifications is difficult
Garmin Forerunner 35
Looking for the cheapest running GPS watch from Garmin? Garmin Forerunner 35 is the one you’re looking for. This watch is a rectangular one with colored silicone straps that feels soft and breathable on the skin. You can wear it while running and all day as it’s very comfortable, and the silicone material doesn’t itch at all.
On the other side, the watch monitors your heart rate and oxygen level while sleeping or during the day. Besides, you can track your steps while walking, running, or even cycling. The watch will learn automatically what activity you’re doing right now. We also appreciate the effort done to maintain an easy user interface that you’ll get used to in minutes. It isn’t a surprise, as this is what we expected from Garmin. Read this comprehensive review on Mashable for more about the watch. You might also be interested in the best Garmin GPS watches for running if you don’t mind paying extra money.
- It’s a very lightweight and comfortable watch
- The user interface is very easy
- There are many sensors for tracking different features
- It doesn’t have many advanced features and metrics like other Garmin watches
Polar Pacer running watch with GPS has more than one model. However, this is the cheapest one among all. You’ll fall in love with the round display and the colored rubber strap, especially the purple one. Not only the appearance is what we like a lot, but also the innovative features including the basic ones and many more. One of those special features is the recovery one, which tells you if it’s the right time to have a running session or if you need to take a rest today for recovery.
Apart from that, the GPS is very accurate, and the heart rate tracking is also very precise. You can totally rely on this watch to get accurate metrics to monitor your running and exercise sessions. However, the watch isn’t the most user-friendly option ever. So, read the manual guide that comes with the watch more than one time to get used to it.
- The battery life is very good
- The metrics are very accurate
- It has recovery features
- It’s a bit difficult to use
Best for health metrics. Garmin Venu is another Garmin watch that stands on the cheap side. It’s the cheapest running watch with GPS that includes a lot of health and performance metrics, as you’ll see in a moment. The watch is capable of detecting your stress level, respiration, heart rate, and menstrual cycles. Based on these metrics, you’ll know whether it’s the best thing to run today.
On the other side, the watch can download music and listen offline. However, you need to know whether your headphone is compatible with the watch. Some models aren’t controllable using the watch. To use the GPS, there are 20 preloaded Apps that include GPS maps for indoor and outdoor sports venues to locate and track your steps while running easily.
- There are many health and performance metrics
- You can listen to music offline using the watch
- There are many preloaded GPS Apps
- The watch isn’t compatible with all headphones
Amazfit GTS 4 Mini Smart Watch
The Amazfit GTS 4 Mini Smart Watch won’t disappoint you if your goal is a smartwatch with GPS at a cheap price. The plus sports modes are around 120 modes that cover 7 sports, so it isn’t only about running. Even if you want to go swimming with this watch around your wrist, it’s applicable as the watch is water-resistant.
Let’s concentrate more on running, as you mainly came to this review for this. With circularly-polarized antenna technology, the watch can accurately track your location. So, the GPS feature is unbeatable here. Also, they didn’t forget the health metrics. Popular metrics such as heart rate, oxygen level, stress level, and sleep are all measured using this watch. If you wonder about the longevity of this watch, the battery can last from 15 to 45 days of use.
- The sports modes are too many and comprehensive
- It’s water-resistant, so you can swim with the watch
- You can find all the metrics you need
- There are some bugs that need fixing
Fitbit Versa 4
Now, you can easily know when to do a lot of running exercises and when to stop because you have this Fitbit Versa 4 watch. You can track your performance in real-time using this watch’s built-in GPS and other metrics. Moreover, there are other options adding to its functionality as the workout intensity map.
If you want to improve your endurance level during running, you need to improve your recovery. This watch has great recovery features, including professional sleep monitoring tools. You can even create a personalized sleep profile to track all these metrics automatically. If you want to go more advanced, try the premium features. You’ll automatically receive a 6-month premium subscription to try them all with the watch.
- The watch comes with different exercise modes
- There is a personalized sleep profile for a great recovery
- You have Alexa AI technology for easy control
- You won’t be able to use all the features without a subscription
Garmin Vivoactive 3
Best for lightweight. Garmin Vivoactive 3 is the cheapest GPS watch for running, coming at this lightweight without decreasing the quality. Opting for a Garmin watch means you’re after quality, and that’s why we recommend this reasonably-priced watch from this rigorous brand. The watch’s body and screen are high-quality; never worry about getting something flimsy or nondurable.
Also, the battery is acceptable, with a working duration of around 13 hours while using the GPS. You might think this is less than similar watches, yet you’ll get more in those 13 hours. Smart notifications, GPS accurate tracking, live tracking, and automatic uploads to the Garmin App. However, if you need to save the battery, you might turn off the features you don’t need at the moment.
- There are different watch faces for free
- It’s a very durable and high-quality GPS watch
- There are many smart features
- The Bluetooth connection isn’t very effective
SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch
If you want to know more about your body and how it performs right now, SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch offers a comprehensive body composition analysis right at your hands. You can get information about metabolic rate, BMI, and other things using this watch. These might aid you in running exercises to know whether you’re in the right shape and health status. Also, you can get live coaching sessions to keep yourself motivated all the time. Even if you want to do more than running, you can do other exercises such as swimming or rowing. Best of all, stream your favorite music using this watch when connected to a smartphone.
- The watch has comprehensive body composition metrics
- It pairs easily with smartphones to sync music
- You can customize most of the features
- The battery doesn’t live long
Amazfit T-Rex Pro
Best for durability. Now with the best cheapest running watch with GPS, Amazfit T-Rex Pro. Despite being so lightweight, the watch is very rigorous; it’ll be your first option if you want to run in the wild, hike, or do similar outdoor activities. You might also want to check those best GPS watches for hiking. Further, the tracking and location features are the best. It supports four global navigation satellite systems to provide accurate locations.
If you want to run in the rain, choose this watch. It’s water-resistant; you can even swim up to 100m depth with this watch around your wrist. Above all, you’ll receive whatever notifications you adjust this watch to show. You can also listen to music by pairing it with suitable headphones.
- It’s a lightweight GPS running watch
- It’s very strong and durable
- The watch supports four navigation satellite systems
- It’s also water-resistant
- It would have been better with a longer battery life
A good running GPS watch is your partner while running; what if it’s a cheap GPS running watch? Below is a list of the best and cheapest GPS watches for running, with other special features to consider.
- Best for the cheapest price: Amazfit Bip U Pro
- Best for health metrics: Garmin 010-02173-11 Venu
- Best for lightweight: Garmin 010-01769-01 Vivoactive 3
- Best for durability: Amazfit T-Rex Pro
How To Choose The Best Cheap GPS Running Watches?
Investing in a GPS running watch equals investing in your overall health and comfort. Yet, you don’t need to break the wallet to get a nice effective running watch with GPS. Here are the qualities you should look for, and you’ll probably find even cheap GPS watches for running.
First, you should study the watch you intend to buy. Take a look at the different features and performance metrics it can measure. At least, you need to get a watch that measures basic health metrics such as the heart rate in addition to the tracking features like the number of steps and pace.
Watch body and material
Because it’s a cheap watch, it doesn’t mean you should trade in the quality. There are many cheap watches made of high-quality and durable materials. Also, go for high-resolution screens to be able to read the data on display accurately. Some good options are Garmin GPS watches like the ones mentioned above. Opt for lightweight watches as well as they’re more comfortable while running.
Finally, check the watch’s battery life, as this is a very important aspect of running watches. When you use GPS, it’s normal that you charge the watch more often. However, some watches offer longer battery life. Thus, go for these ones whenever possible.
What is the difference between smartwatches and GPS-running watches?
A smartwatch is a watch linked to your smartphone to get features such as measuring heart rate, pace, and other performance metrics. Whereas a GPS running watch has a built-in GPS to track your movements and check the trail before running.
Do all cheap GPS-running watches have smartwatch features?
Not necessarily. However, many watches now have different features to connect to your smartphone, so they combine the smartwatch features with GPS data and metrics.
Can I get a GPS running watch below $100?
Yes, there are some options sold at around $100 or less. Check out the list above to find these options. Also, look for discounts and sales every now and then as some watches are sold at half the price in the sales season.