Our guide of the best GPS fitness trackers 2016 features the top wearables that allow you to add GPS tracking to your outdoor workouts while leaving your smartphone at home.

If you’re looking for a high-end GPS sports watch, then maybe you should be looking at something like the Garmin FR735 or Suunto Spartan Sport. Instead of full-on sports watches, the wearables featured in this guide bring a mix of lifestyle activity tracking, sports and fitness, and smart features such as notifications and music control.

The Newest devices are listed at the top..

 

The Best GPS Fitness Trackers 2016

Samsung Gear Fit2

best-gps-fitness-tracker-samsung-gear-fit2..

The Gear Fit2 is geared up for outdoor and indoor activities. It will display your fitness metrics, routes, correct exercise techniques, smartphone notifications and more on its impressive Super AMOLED touchscreen.

Under the hood it boasts equal power to most current smartwatches, plus a pretty decent heart rate monitor. Along with a full suite of fitness features and a built-in GPS, the Gear Fit2 has a standalone music player with 4GB of storage so you can connect your Bluetooth headphones and listen to tunes without your smartphone.

Samsung Gear Fit2 Main Features

Released: June 2016

GPS: Yes

Heart Rate Sensor: Yes

Tracking: Steps; distance; calories burned; active minutes; speed; pace; elevation; heart rate

Sleep Tracking: Automatic; sleep quality/duration

Smartphone Notifications: Calls; text; email; social apps; calendar reminders

Display: 1.5″ 216 x 432 Super AMOLED color touchscreen

Standalone Music Player: 4GB

Vibration Alerts: Yes

App: Android 4.4 + Devices with at least 1.5GB of RAM

Battery Life: Up to 4 days; 9 hours GPS tracking

Water-Resistant: IP68 (don’t use for swimming)

Samsung Gear Fit2

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Garmin Approach X40

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The Garmin Approach X40 is geared up for golf, but also packs a GPS, heart rate monitor and all the fitness tracking essentials. It looks identical to the Vivosmart HR+ on the outside, but some of the features, such as Move IQ and virtual pacer have been sacrificed for features to help you around the golf course.

Th Approach X40 features a round timer, digital scorecard, putts per round, average distance, yardage to layups/doglegs, GreenView with manual pin position, and Hazards/course targets. It also comes pre-loaded with over 40,000 worldwide golf courses, and is compatible with Garmin TruSwing if you want some advanced insights on how to improve your swing.

Garmin Approach X40 Main Features

Released: May 2016

GPS: Yes

Heart Rate Sensor: Yes

Tracking: Steps; distance; calories burned; floors climbed; activity intensity; heart rate; AutoShot

Sleep Tracking: Automatic; sleep quality/duration

Smartphone Notifications: Calls; text; email; social apps; calendar reminders

Display: 1″ 160 x 168 LCD monochrome touchscreen

Standalone Music Player: No

Vibration Alerts: Yes

App: Android 4.3 + / iOS iPhone 4S + / Windows 10 +

Battery Life: Up to 5 days; 10 hours GPS tracking

Water-Resistant: 5 ATM; safe for swimming; no advanced swimming metrics

Garmin Approach X40

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Garmin Vivosmart HR+

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The Vivosmart HR+ is the GPS-enabled version of the Vivosmart HR. It makes tidy work of tracking your outdoor runs and walks with its GPS capabilities, and also your efforts on the treadmill with its accelerometer.

It will automatically detect your exercises: walking, running, cycling, swimming and elliptical, thanks to Garmin’s Move IQ technology. You’ll also find some decent features for running, such as auto lap, auto pause, virtual pacer and personal records.

One of the most accurate wrist-worn optical heart rate monitors, all the activity tracking essentials, GPS tracking, smartphone notifications and music control in a small, compact device makes the Vivosmart HR+ a top contender.

Garmin Vivosmart HR+ Main Features

Released: May 2016

GPS: Yes

Heart Rate Sensor: Yes

Tracking: Steps; distance; calories burned; floors climbed; speed; pace; activity intensity; heart rate

Sleep Tracking: Automatic; sleep quality/duration

Smartphone Notifications: Calls; text; email; social apps; calendar reminders

Display: 1″ 160 x 168 LCD monochrome touchscreen

Standalone Music Player: No

Vibration Alerts: Yes

App: Android 4.3 + / iOS iPhone 4S + / Windows 10 +

Battery Life: Up to 5 days; 8 hours GPS tracking

Water-Resistant: 5 ATM; safe for swimming; no advanced swimming metrics

Garmin Vivosmart HR+

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Garmin Vivoactive HR

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The Vivoactive HR is a multi-purpose fitness tracker/smartwatch crossbreed with more features than Yogi Bear’s picnic basket..

It takes care of all the activity tracking essentials, but also includes some advanced stats for a plethora of sports, such as cycling, running, walking, swimming, paddle boarding, rowing, and snowsports. Additionally, it knows its way around the golf course; providing many of same features as the Approach X40.

The Vivoactive HR+ will automatically detect your exercises thanks to Garmin’s Move IQ technology. It delivers smartphone notifications, allows you to remotely control your music playlist, and Garmin Connect IQ compatibility means you can download apps, watch faces, widgets and more to customise your experience.

Garmin Vivoactive HR Main Features

Released: May 2016

GPS: Yes

Heart Rate Sensor: Yes

Tracking: Steps; distance; calories burned; floors climbed; speed; pace; activity intensity; heart rate

Sleep Tracking: Automatic; sleep quality/duration

Smartphone Notifications: Calls; text; email; social apps; calendar reminders

Display: 0.8 x 1.13″ 205 x 148 color touchscreen

Standalone Music Player: No

Vibration Alerts: Yes

App: Android 4.3 + / iOS iPhone 4S + / Windows 10 +

Battery Life: Up to 8 days; 13 hours GPS tracking

Water-Resistant: 5 ATM; safe for swimming; includes advanced swimming metrics

Garmin Vivoactive HR

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Microsoft Band 2

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In short, the Microsoft Band 2 has more sensors than the Pentagon.. It offers features that you won’t find on most fitness trackers, such as skin temperature, UV levels, Vo2 Max measurements, and detailed sleep reports.

Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana lives onboard, so you can interact with guided workouts, smart notifications, and more using your voice. This feature only worked with Windows devices in the past, but now U.S-based Android users can also chat with Cortana.

Microsoft Band 2 Main Features

Released: October 2015

GPS: Yes

Heart Rate Sensor: Yes

Tracking: Steps; distance; calories burned; elevation; speed; pace; Vo2 Max; UV; skin temperature; heart rate

Sleep Tracking: Automatic; sleep quality/duration; heart rate

Smartphone Notifications: Calls; text; email; social apps; calendar reminders

Display: AMOLED color touchscreen

Standalone Music Player: No

Vibration Alerts: Yes

App: Android 4.3 + / iOS 7 + / Windows Phone 8.1 +

Battery Life: 1 or 2 days depending on usage

Water-Resistant: Splash-proof (not safe for swimming)

Microsoft Band 2

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TomTom Spark Cardio + Music

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The TomTom Spark is suitable for outdoor and indoor sports and activities with modes such as running, cycling, swimming, gym training, treadmill, and training bike.

Using heart rate tech from LifeQ, The Spark offers one of the most accurate wrist-worn HRM monitors and helps you train with heart rate zones using voice prompts to keep you on track. Along with a built-in HRM and GPS, the Spark provides all the activity tracking essentials.

There are several different versions of the Spark available. The TomTom Spark Cardio + Music features a 3GB standalone music player os you can load over 500 MP3s onto your wrist and hook up some Bluetooth headphones.

At this point the Spark sounds like a no-brainer. However, it doesn’t deliver smartphone notifications – possibly a deal breaker for some people. Another drawback is no remote music control for your smartphone, but of course it has the standalone music player to make up for it.

TomTom Spark Cardio + Music Main Features

Released: October 2015

GPS: Yes

Heart Rate Sensor: Yes

Tracking: Steps; distance; calories burned; elevation; speed; pace; active minutes; heart rate

Sleep Tracking: Automatic; sleep quality/duration

Smartphone Notifications: No

Display: 22 x 25 mm monochrome LCD (not touchscreen)

Standalone Music Player: 3GB

Vibration Alerts: Yes

App: Android 4.3 + / iOS 7.1 +

Battery Life: Up to 3 weeks; 11 hours GPS tracking; 5 hours activity tracking + GPS + music

Water-Resistant: 5 ATM; includes advanced swim metrics

TomTom Spark Cardio + Music

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Fitbit Surge

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The Surge is Fitbit’s only GPS-enabled fitness tracker. It features plenty of sports and exercise modes for both indoors and outdoors, including: running, hiking, cycling, golf, tennis, yoga, martial arts, circuit training, weights, pilates, and more.

The Fitbit Surge isn’t the best for smartphone notifications as it only works for incoming calls and texts. It does allow you to control the music on your smartphone (music app needs to be AVRCP compatible). You can also hook it up with IFTTT which means you can cook up recipes to control other IoT devices, such as smart lights and other smart home gadgets.

Fitbit Surge Main Features

Released: January 2015

GPS: Yes

Heart Rate Sensor: Yes

Tracking: Steps; distance; calories burned; floors climbed; speed; pace; active minutes; heart rate

Sleep Tracking: Automatic; sleep quality/duration

Smartphone Notifications: Calls; text

Display: 1.2″ monochrome LCD touchscreen

Standalone Music Player: No

Vibration Alerts: Yes

App: Android Android / iOS / Windows Phone

Battery Life: Up to 7 days; 10 hours GPS tracking

Water-Resistant: 5 ATM (not safe for swimming)

Fitbit Surge

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