Monday, February 22, 2016

Captain Bluetooth's Spring 2016 Best For.. GPS Run Watch and Heart Rate Monitor Picks. My New Competitor Article: "9 Tips and Tricks for Your GPS and Heart Rate Monitor"

Shop Running Warehouse 
Suunto Ambit 3 Vertical here
Epson RunSense SF-710, SF-810 here
Polar V800 On Sale! $349.91 and M400 here
Take 10% off  any of the above using our Coupon Code: RTR10
Article by Sam Winebaum, Editor Road Trail Run
As Captain Bluetooth (a/k/a Sam) is testing many GPS and heart rate monitors, sometimes several at once, as part of my assignment as Run Wearable Tech columnist for Competitor Magazine. I've learned a bunch so I just wrote a brief tips and tricks article for Competitor. It is HERE.

After many miles of testing here are some fine options for specific activities and needs

Spring 2016 Run GPS and Heart Rate Monitor Picks  

I want a top of the line multi-sport (run, ski, swim, cycle, etc..) GPS watch with all the bells and whistles, reliability and a well executed online app and web site platform. Give me activity and sleep tracking, recovery advice along with phone notifications. 
Polar V800 $530 w/HL7 heart rate sensor and strap, $450 w/no sensor strap.

I can't stand chest heart rate straps, do want to focus on heart rate, and have it all in one GPS watch with wrist rate heart rate.Give me activity and sleep tracking and recovery advice along with phone notifications. 
Garmin Forerunner 235

Oh, and with GPS and wrist heart rate, I also like to listen to music (500 songs worth!) while I workout and want to leave my phone behind 

TomTom Spark Cardio +Music 

I use a phone run app or have a Bluetooth sensor based GPS watch (generally Suunto, Polar, and Epson but not Garmin which uses a different protocol) and want to add wrist based heart rate stats to my data and bonus have a second screen to see my heart rate. I also want free access to heart rate zone run and fitness training plans. I don't need phone notifications or activity tracking.
adidas MiCoach FitSmart 

I have already have a Garmin watch and want to add wrist based heart rate. Give me activity and sleep tracking along with phone notifications. 

Garmin Vivosmart HR

I am all about vertical multi-sports. I run, ski and cycle mountains. I want to share my adventures, pictures, data on an animated terrain map. I want to load others'  routes and follow the vertical profiles. Give me phone notifications and recovery advice. 

Suunto Ambit 3 Vertical
$469,  $519 w/heart rate strap

Just give me a GPS watch with a great screen, a solid app and online platform, sleep and activity tracking, and phone notifications. 
Polar M400 
$180  $230 w/HL7 heart rate monitor strap

I want very long battery life, wrist heart rate, and deep competitive run features. I want Meb's watch.
Epson RunSense SF-810

My eyes aren't great, I often run in bright sunlight, dawn or dusk. I want a sharp screen.
Polar M400 and V800 or TomTom Spark Cardio + Music

Never mind all the gadgets I'll just run with my phone and a solid, deep featured run app that I can pair to Bluetooth heart rate sensors.
iSmoothRun Pro

Nothing is perfect in technology, but I am finding most all GPS watches, apps and heart rate monitors vastly improved in accuracy and reliability over a few years ago. Hopefully these picks and tips and tricks will help you get the most of these devices and of course your runs!

Please free to comment and ask questions about any of the products above or my Tips and Tricks article!
In the market for a new GPS watch or heart rate monitor?
Online Road Trail Run partners carrying many of the products featured above can be found below

Shop Running Warehouse 
Suunto Ambit 3 Vertical here
Epson RunSense SF-710, SF-810 here
Polar V800 On Sale! $349.91 and M400 here
Take 10% off  any of the above using our Coupon Code: RTR10

Garmin Forerunner235  here

Shop Clever Training for many of the products featured  here

Shop at other Road Trail Run partner sites at the links below


Unknown said...


Troy Flores said...

Thanks for this very useful post. I’ve been looking around for some excellent GPS watch. I’ve made my choice and settled for a Garmin Forerunner 235. Although pricey, it has incredible features that I didn’t see in some of the watches that I’ve been looking at. I’ve read countless reviews and I admit, I had a hard time deciding. I also considered the brands and the reliability of the product. I also can’t stomach buying cheap products that will let you down at the most opportune times. Going out in the wilds is no joke. Having superior gears is important and the GPS watch is a must-have. Here’s some of the other resource sites that I looked into