GPS watches might have slipped out of the public eye slightly, but it’s hard to deny that they’re getting more and more advanced as the years go on. Even now, the small but dedicated GPS watch community has started to expand again, and people are interested in owning a brand new feature packed GPS watch more than ever. But are they still as good as people remember? More importantly, how have they gotten better?
GPS as a whole is much more accurate and reliable than it used to be – after all, we still use it in modern mobile phones, and the basic system has always been the same. It’s still probably the most reliable way of tracking your positon in the world, so a modern update to the hardware and software used in these GPS watches is a welcome upgrade based on an old formula.
Not satisfied with just GPS, a lot of GPS watch manufactures have begun to incorporate extra tools into the designs as well: Bluetooth is one of the most common, connecting to your smart device for various different functions. Sometimes, you can even connect safety gear like a heart rate monitor to your GPS watch, which can be surprisingly useful in quite a few situations.
GPS watches aren’t as basic as they used to be, and the term “smart watch” shows how much has changed. A lot of modern GPS watch designs are also smart watches, giving them a whole range of new features that can make them a great all-in-one tool for runners, hikers, casual users, and sometimes even children! Smart watches take all the features of a regular smart device and attach them to your wrist, ensuring that they won’t easily get lost while also stopping you from getting lost.
The notification features can also help a lot. This can be a great way to keep in contact with somebody through text messages or social media posts without having to rely on your phone, and you might even be able to take calls with some of the designs. These notifications might also come from useful apps on your other devices, such as exercise milestone apps or safety warnings for traffic accidents in your local area.
A feature packed GPS watch is great, but the watch part is also just as important. Most GPS watch designs will also have your regular watch functions, including date and time settings. However, the extra technology inside can take it a step further: they might offer multiple ‘faces’ for tracking different time zones, automatically adjust based on your location if you move to a new time zone, or a stopwatch that can pause if the GPS detects that you aren’t moving.
Technology isn’t the only positive change with these GPS watch designs: many of them have also become much more durable and reliable, gaining physical changes like complete water resistance, shockproofing, corrosion protection, or even the ability to keep working after being set on fire. A lot of modern GPS watches, as well as regular GPS devices, are marketed this way to appeal to the hardcore hiker audience.
Thanks to this, you can expect the average GPS watch to hold up well in all kinds of bad weather conditions. This might not seem like it matters much aside from the rain, but it’s actually a key part of their design. GPS watches are sometimes bought as safety equipment to help people find their way if they get lost while hiking or taking holidays abroad, so a reliable design is the best way to make sure that the watch keeps working regardless of where they’re stranded or lost.
Should I buy a GPS watch?
While a GPS isn’t without its flaws, they’re often much better and more practical than a regular watch, especially those with smart features. The downsides are usually very minor compared to the benefits they can give you, so it’s often worth looking into a GPS watch if you’re even mildly interested in some of their features.
Now that GPS watches are making a comeback, there’s no better time to start looking for one of your own, whether it’s for serious hiking or just as a little extra help on your daily walks!