The best 10 sports watches in comparison

Which are the best sports watches of 2020?

Best sports watches of 2020 (1 - 5)
sports watch comparison
Comparison winner
sports watch comparison
Comparison winner
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
Comparison winner
Garmin Forerunner 945
Comparison winner
Garmin Fenix 6X Pro
Comparison winner
Garmin Fenix 6S Pro
Comparison winner
Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar Edition
Comparison winner
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Sapphire Edition
Comparison winner
Garmin Fenix 6S
Comparison winner
Garmin Forerunner 245
Comparison winner
Garmin Fenix 6
Comparison winner
Garmin Fenix 5X
Image
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
100points
Garmin Forerunner 945
99points
Garmin Fenix 6X Pro
99points
Garmin Fenix 6S Pro
97points
Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar Edition
96points
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Sapphire Edition
93points
Garmin Fenix 6S
93points
Garmin Forerunner 245
91points
Garmin Fenix 6
90points
Garmin Fenix 5X
90points
Best price
Best price
Summary
Summary
  • Design (90)
  • Sensors (100)
  • Activity tracking (89)
  • Connectivity (100)
  • Battery (48)
  • Features (84)
  • Design (87)
  • Sensors (89)
  • Activity tracking (89)
  • Connectivity (84)
  • Battery (48)
  • Features (84)
  • Design (86)
  • Sensors (100)
  • Activity tracking (89)
  • Connectivity (100)
  • Battery (49)
  • Features (84)
  • Design (94)
  • Sensors (100)
  • Activity tracking (89)
  • Connectivity (100)
  • Battery (48)
  • Features (72)
  • Design (78)
  • Sensors (100)
  • Activity tracking (89)
  • Connectivity (100)
  • Battery (73)
  • Features (84)
  • Design (79)
  • Sensors (89)
  • Activity tracking (89)
  • Connectivity (69)
  • Battery (48)
  • Features (90)
  • Design (94)
  • Sensors (100)
  • Activity tracking (89)
  • Connectivity (100)
  • Battery (48)
  • Features (60)
  • Design (86)
  • Sensors (67)
  • Activity tracking (89)
  • Connectivity (62)
  • Battery (48)
  • Features (84)
  • Design (90)
  • Sensors (100)
  • Activity tracking (89)
  • Connectivity (90)
  • Battery (48)
  • Features (66)
  • Design (74)
  • Sensors (78)
  • Activity tracking (100)
  • Connectivity (65)
  • Battery (42)
  • Features (92)
Pros
Pros
  • Higher resolution
  • Automatic sync
  • Longer battery life - GPS
  • Higher resolution
    • Longer battery life
    • Longer battery life - GPS
    • Higher resolution
        • Automatic sync
        • Higher resolution
        • Automatic sync
        Cons
        Cons
        • Battery life
        • Battery life
          • Battery life with GPS on
          • Battery life
          • Upload maps
          • Damage-resistant glass
          • Battery life with GPS on
          • Battery life
          • Damage-resistant glass
          • Battery life with GPS on
          • Battery life
          • Upload maps
          • Barometer
          • Battery life with GPS on
          • Battery life
          • Battery life
          • Upload maps
          • Damage-resistant glass
          • Battery life
          • Battery life with GPS on
          Design
          Integrated displayThe device has an electronic display to present information to the user.
          Integrated displayThe device has an electronic display to present information to the user.
          Damage-resistant glassDamage-resistant glass (such as Corning Gorilla Glass or Asahi Dragontrail Glass) is thin, lightweight, and can withstand high levels of force.
          Damage-resistant glassDamage-resistant glass (such as Corning Gorilla Glass or Asahi Dragontrail Glass) is thin, lightweight, and can withstand high levels of force.
          Dustproof and water-resistantThe device is dustproof and water-resistant. Water-resistant devices can resist the penetration of water, such as powerful water jets, but not being submerged into water.
          Dustproof and water-resistantThe device is dustproof and water-resistant. Water-resistant devices can resist the penetration of water, such as powerful water jets, but not being submerged into water.
          ResolutionThe resolution indicates the maximum amount of pixels that can be shown on the screen, expressed as the number of pixels on the horizontal axis and the number on the vertical axis.
          ResolutionThe resolution indicates the maximum amount of pixels that can be shown on the screen, expressed as the number of pixels on the horizontal axis and the number on the vertical axis.260 x 260px240 x 240px280 x 280px240 x 240px280 x 280px240 x 240px240 x 240px240 x 240px260 x 260px240 x 240px
          Sweat resistantResistance to sweat makes it ideal for use while doing sports.
          Sweat resistantResistance to sweat makes it ideal for use while doing sports.
          Total score for "Design"
          Total score for "Design"
          Sensors
          AccelerometerAn accelerometer is a sensor used to measure the linear acceleration of a device. A common application is detecting when a device changes between vertical and horizontal positions.
          AccelerometerAn accelerometer is a sensor used to measure the linear acceleration of a device. A common application is detecting when a device changes between vertical and horizontal positions.
          BarometerThis measures barometric air pressure. It can predict weather changes, for example a sudden drop in air pressure could mean a storm is coming. When calibrated correctly it can be used to determine altitude, which helps GPS devices to lock on quicker and with greater accuracy.
          BarometerThis measures barometric air pressure. It can predict weather changes, for example a sudden drop in air pressure could mean a storm is coming. When calibrated correctly it can be used to determine altitude, which helps GPS devices to lock on quicker and with greater accuracy.
          CompassA compass is useful in games, map and navigation software.
          CompassA compass is useful in games, map and navigation software.
          GPSGPS enables global positioning, useful in map, geo-tagging or navigation apps.
          GPSGPS enables global positioning, useful in map, geo-tagging or navigation apps.
          Heart rate monitorA heart rate monitor can help show your fitness levels, enabling you to calculate a suitable intensity of exercise.
          Heart rate monitorA heart rate monitor can help show your fitness levels, enabling you to calculate a suitable intensity of exercise.
          Total score for "Sensors"
          Total score for "Sensors"
          Activity tracking
          Activity reportsYour activity data is analysed to give you reports, available to view through the app or website. This allows you to see how active you have been and to help you make improvements.
          Activity reportsYour activity data is analysed to give you reports, available to view through the app or website. This allows you to see how active you have been and to help you make improvements.
          Counter for calories burnedThis is useful if you are on a strict training diet or if you are trying to lose weight. It can also help to boost your motivation.
          Counter for calories burnedThis is useful if you are on a strict training diet or if you are trying to lose weight. It can also help to boost your motivation.
          Distance trackingIt tracks how far you travel.
          Distance trackingIt tracks how far you travel.
          Measures paceMeasuring pace shows how much time it takes to travel one kilometer or one mile. For example, in running, a 4 minute kilometer would be a very good pace.
          Measures paceMeasuring pace shows how much time it takes to travel one kilometer or one mile. For example, in running, a 4 minute kilometer would be a very good pace.
          Route trackerWith a route tracker you can add your route onto a map. It is helpful if you plan to do the same route again, or want to share it with your community.
          Route trackerWith a route tracker you can add your route onto a map. It is helpful if you plan to do the same route again, or want to share it with your community.
          Total score for "Activity tracking"
          Total score for "Activity tracking"
          Connectivity
          Wi-Fi connectivityThe device can connect to Wi-Fi.
          Wi-Fi connectivityThe device can connect to Wi-Fi.
          ANT+ANT+ is a wireless protocol similar to Bluetooth Smart, and is very power efficient. It is mainly used for fitness monitoring devices such as heart rate monitors and cadence sensors to connect to other devices (e.g., sports watches, smartphones, and cycling computers).
          ANT+ANT+ is a wireless protocol similar to Bluetooth Smart, and is very power efficient. It is mainly used for fitness monitoring devices such as heart rate monitors and cadence sensors to connect to other devices (e.g., sports watches, smartphones, and cycling computers).
          Automatic syncThe device automatically syncs your data when in range of your computer or smartphone.
          Automatic syncThe device automatically syncs your data when in range of your computer or smartphone.
          Wireless synchronizationThe device syncs all of your data wirelessly, without the need for cables.
          Wireless synchronizationThe device syncs all of your data wirelessly, without the need for cables.
          Compatible with AndroidIt is compatible with a range of Android devices such as smartphones and tablets.
          Compatible with AndroidIt is compatible with a range of Android devices such as smartphones and tablets.
          Total score for "Connectivity"
          Total score for "Connectivity"
          Battery
          Rechargeable batteryThe battery can be recharged and used over again.
          Rechargeable batteryThe battery can be recharged and used over again.
          Battery lifeWith a longer battery life, you don’t have to worry about charging the device as often.
          Battery lifeWith a longer battery life, you don’t have to worry about charging the device as often.14 days14 days21 days9 days24 days12 days9 days7 days14 days14 days
          Battery level indicatorAn indicator shows you when the device has low battery.
          Battery level indicatorAn indicator shows you when the device has low battery.
          Battery life in power save modeIn power save mode you can still check what time it is and other basic functions. A long battery life is good if you wear the device day to day.
          Battery life in power save modeIn power save mode you can still check what time it is and other basic functions. A long battery life is good if you wear the device day to day.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.100h
          Battery life with GPS onThere is less chance that you will run out of battery during an adventure.
          Battery life with GPS onThere is less chance that you will run out of battery during an adventure.36h36h60h25h66h18h25h24h36h24h
          Total score for "Battery"
          Total score for "Battery"
          Features
          Online portalYour tracking data is uploaded via your smartphone or computer, and is available to view on the manufacturer’s online portal in the form of reports and graphs.
          Online portalYour tracking data is uploaded via your smartphone or computer, and is available to view on the manufacturer’s online portal in the form of reports and graphs.
          Silent alarmThe device can wake you using vibration, so as not to disturb anyone else sleeping in the room.
          Silent alarmThe device can wake you using vibration, so as not to disturb anyone else sleeping in the room.
          StopwatchWith a stopwatch you can time yourself.
          StopwatchWith a stopwatch you can time yourself.
          Upload mapsYou can upload different maps to your device. It is handy for people who like to explore new places.
          Upload mapsYou can upload different maps to your device. It is handy for people who like to explore new places.
          Vibrating alertsVibrating alerts have a variety of uses, such as interval training.
          Vibrating alertsVibrating alerts have a variety of uses, such as interval training.
          Total score for "Features"
          Total score for "Features"

          How to choose the best sports watch

          Sports watches are wearables taken to the next level. Although the lines between sports watches, smartwatches, and fitness trackers are getting blurrier thanks to tech developments, sports watches are typically sturdier than other wearables and often include distinctive features. Some of these specialties can be physical (like dedicated bike mounts and wind speed sensors) or come as extra functionalities. Although an integrated GPS may be included in more recent fitness trackers and smartwatches, it is an expected feature when it comes to sports watches. What makes this relevant is that a built-in GPS is the way to go for phone-free movement, while the user also benefits from navigation assistance and data-gathering for route and exercise reports.

          As always, features vary among models, but you can always compare products and functionalities with Versus' search function and filters. Additionally, if you're struggling to choose your sturdy health and wellness companion, check out our recommendations on what to consider.

          Design and build

          Design surely matters, but in this case, you may want to pay extra attention to how comfortable your sports watch would feel while you practice your preferred activity, and what your favorite activities require from a wearable in terms of durability. Fortunately, there are plenty of sleek-looking sports watches that associate durability and advanced functionalities.

          The robustness expected from a sports watch also implies that water resistance ratings tend to be higher than those of smartwatches and fitness trackers, making sports watches suitable wearables for the practice of the majority of water sports (still, we advise you to verify any wearable's water-resistance level, which you can do on our platform). Furthermore, if durability is high on your priority list, you may want to keep an eye out for models with damage-resistant displays – sapphire glass and Corning's proprietary Gorilla Glass are the most popular options.

          Speaking of displays, the touch screen "issue" is something to consider. "Wait," you may be thinking, "can a touch screen anything but an advantage?" Well, yes, and no. Although being able to command your sports watch with your fingertips is highly useful, targeting items on a display that is considerably smaller than that of a smartphone may be difficult at times. In this case, sports watches with a side dial or buttons (sometimes even both) come in quite handy. You can find options in the Garmin Fenix 6 family (which also includes the Garmin Fenix 6, Garmin Fenix 6 Pro, Garmin Fenix 6S, Garmin Fenix 6S Pro, as well as sapphire glass editions) and models by other brands, which you may want to check out on our sports watches rank.

          Features

          As we've mentioned, the lines that separate wearables are not as sharp as they should be, considering that smartwatches and fitness trackers are packing increasingly advanced features. Still, some of these features – like GPS and a heart rate sensor – are more likely to be found in sports watches.

          Having a clear picture of your needs can make this decision a much easier one for you. Which specialty features do you see as non-negotiable? Is it crucial that your sports watch includes a bike mount, or perhaps body temperature and oximeter sensors? With your priorities in mind, you'll be able to narrow your options down with the help of our specs filter tool.

          Some cyclists may require a sports watch that is compatible with external speed sensors so that data is synced across devices, which some models can offer. There are also sports watches specially designed to cater to the needs of divers, featuring planners and additional tools (besides, of course, being waterproof).

          You may also choose a model that is compatible with geocaching activities (a kind of current-day treasure hunting), water intake tracking, fast GPS lock, or that provides information such as sunrise and sunset times, thunderstorm forecasting, to name but a few possibilities.

          Compatibility

          As is the case with other wearables, the compatibility between a sports watch and your smartphone is not guaranteed, so pay attention to it when making your selection. Although sports watches are less reliant on smartphones – mainly due to having their own GPS and other advanced sensors –, you could find yourself highly frustrated by not being able to enjoy everything that your adventure companion could offer, as important tracking features and report generation might require device pairing.

          Pairing and connectivity

          Current sports watches should make pairing between your phone and your wearable quite simple, especially after the first time you link the devices. Still, it's good to know what to expect, as you'll want your gadgets to sync seamlessly – this way, you can make the most of the in-depth activity and health tracking that your sports watch can offer. Wearables may feature different Bluetooth versions and Wi-Fi standards. In rare cases, they are equipped with cellular modules. An advantage of Wi-Fi over Bluetooth connectivity would be the ability to have your devices sync automatically across greater distances. Finally, the consumer electronics market's investment in turning wearables into digital wallets is something to consider; if fast wireless payment sounds interesting to you, you'll want to look for a product equipped with NFC.

          Battery life

          Most sports watches offer a multi-day battery life. Differently from smartphones, which many of us charge overnight, sports watches typically include sleep tracking features. Therefore, you may want to wear it for as long as possible for more precise activity and sleep reports. However, that battery life significantly decreases once the GPS function is activated; given that an inbuilt GPS is a decisively attractive feature for sports watches, it would be more accurate to take this value into account when comparing sports watches. For the most prolonged battery life possible, you may want to consider buying a solar-powered sports watch – the caveat of more sustainable tech, however, are still considerably higher prices.

          By
          | Updated on
          This page is currently only available in English.