A GPS watch tells you two basic things—how far you’ve gone and how fast you’re moving—as well as the usual info provided by any sports watch (time, date, elapsed time, etc.) You can spend hundreds of dollars for GPS watches stuffed with extra features you may never use, but if all you need are the basics consider this affordable option from Soleus.
Soleus GPS 1.0
Perhaps the only GPS watch available in never-lose-it canary yellow (as well as traditional black), the Soleus GPS 1.0 ($99) tracks your distance, current and average speed, estimated calories burned, and not much more. It does not have heart rate monitor capabilities, nor give you the ability to download workouts to your computer for future reference and/or analysis—two common features on more expensive GPS watches.
Size-wise, it’s typical for the genre (much bulkier than a normal watch and potentially ill-suited for those with small wrists) with a somewhat smaller screen than other, more expensive models.
Like most GPS watches, it runs on a rechargeable lithium ion battery. Unlike other models, however, it boasts an estimated eight hours of battery life in GPS mode. This is a noticeable improvement compared to earlier generation GPS watches. (As an aside, GPS receivers are notorious battery hogs. As I detailed in my past article, The GPS Shrink-Down: How Small Can Receivers Get?, the single biggest limiting factor on GPS size is the battery needed to power it.)
For a ridiculously thorough review, check out GPS watch-junkie DC Rainmaker’s Soleus GPS 1.0 post.
GPS Watches for Only a Few Dollars More
The Soleus GPS 1.0 may be the most affordable option currently available, but there are several other basic models that hover in the $100 to $125 range. These include the Timex Marathon GPS Watch ($125), as well as the New Balance GPS Runner ($109) and Garmin Forerunner 10 ($129).
Like the Soleus, they offer the same essential features without the price-boosting bells and whistles. The big differences have to do more with their look, style, and fit—aspects that may be just as crucial for your purchasing decision.
“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.