Best Running Watches in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update June 19, 2017
Whether you are a novice runner or a professional athlete it still makes sense to opt for a running watch. It will provide you with an important information such as total time, distance, and calories burnt, and will help you get the most out of your workouts. So pick the one that suits you best! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
FUNCTIONALITY
SENSORS AND COMPONENTS
DATA TRACKING
BATTERY LIFE
PROTECTION
COMPATIBILITY
MATERIAL
DISPLAY
PACKAGE CONTENTS
WARRANTY
 
PROS
A large customisable display shows all relevant information and various notifications. All stored summaries of the last 200 hours of workouts will help you set and achieve new goals. A built-in GPS ensures accurate positioning.
CONS
The accuracy of heart rate measurement might be decreased during interval training.
OUR VERDICT
Multiple functions and innovative design make Garmin Forerunner 235 a great choice for people who lead an active life. This watch will definitely help you accomplish more!
detailed parameters
FUNCTIONALITY
Clock, Alarm clock, Music control, Vibration alert, Workout stats, Find my phone, 200 hours of activity data in memory, GLONASS, GPS, Personal records, Smart notifications
SENSORS AND COMPONENTS
GPS/GLONASS, Accelerometer, Heart rate monitor, Bluetooth 4.0, Vibration motor
DATA TRACKING
All-day activity tracking, Steps, Calories burnt, Distance, Sleep monitoring, Heart rate
BATTERY LIFE
Up to 9 days in watch mode; Up to 11 hours in GPS mode with HRM
PROTECTION
Waterproof to 50m
COMPATIBILITY
Windows Phone, Windows OS, Mac OS, iOS, Android 4.0 and newer
MATERIAL
Matte plastic frame, Silicone wristband, Stainless steel buckle
DISPLAY
Colorful TFT
PACKAGE CONTENTS
Forerunner 235 GPS sport watch, Charging/data cradle, Documentation
WARRANTY
1 year
PROS
It takes only 2 hours to charge the watch. Recognises selected activity and records the data on it. No need to start/stop a workout manually since the watch starts tracking your activity automatically.
CONS
The watch cannot be immersed in water.
OUR VERDICT
This elegant cutting-edge running watch will help you keep in trim. Set a goal and try to reach it, track your activity, share your records with friends and compete with them.
detailed parameters
FUNCTIONALITY
FitStar workouts, Call, text and calendar notifications, Clock, Music control, Silent alarm, Alarm clock, Tracks 7 days of detailed motion data, Tracks daily totals for the past 30 days
SENSORS AND COMPONENTS
3-axis accelerometer, Optical heart rate monitor, Altimeter, Ambient light sensor, Vibration motor, Bluetooth 4.0
DATA TRACKING
Sleep tracking, All-day activity tracking, Steps, Distance, Stairs climbed, Calories burnt, Heart rate, Critical heart loads
BATTERY LIFE
Up to 5 days
PROTECTION
Sweat, rain and splash proof
COMPATIBILITY
Windows Vista and newer, Mac OS X 10.6 and newer, Android / iOS / Windows smartphones
MATERIAL
The wristband is made of a flexible, durable elastomer material. Buckle and frame are made of surgical-grade stainless steel
DISPLAY
Touchscreen LCD
PACKAGE CONTENTS
Fitbit Blaze tracker, Classic wristband, Charging cable
WARRANTY
1 year
PROS
Receive notifications of incoming calls and texts right on the watch and keep your mind on a workout instead of looking for your phone.
CONS
Rather short battery life.
OUR VERDICT

An ideal device for professional athletes due to the ability to pair with a chest type heart rate monitor. It tracks your activity 24/7 and ensures maximally accurate data.

detailed parameters
FUNCTIONALITY
Call and text notifications, Audible alerts, Clock, Alarm clock, Calendar, Workout stats, Built-in GPS, Individual goals, 24/7 activity tracking, Inactivity alert, Personal best rewards after training
SENSORS AND COMPONENTS
Integrated GPS with AssistNow™ satellite prediction technology, Bluetooth 4.0, Activity sensor, H7 heart rate sensor (not integrated - chest type)
DATA TRACKING
Steps, Distance, Calories burnt, Heart rate, Speed, Pace, Active time, Sleep duration and quality
BATTERY LIFE
Up to 24 days in a customary mode, 8 hours when GPS is used
PROTECTION
Fully water-resistant in water up to 30m
COMPATIBILITY
Windows XP and newer, iOS, Mac OS X 10.6; Android 4.3 and newer
MATERIAL
Rubber wristband, Plastic frame, Stainless steel buckle
DISPLAY
Digital
PACKAGE CONTENTS
Polar M400 tracker, H7 heart rate tracker, Charging cable
WARRANTY
2 years
PROS
All data regarding your workout will be shown on the user-friendly monochrome display. Track all your workout information on the go!
CONS
New widgets aren't available.
OUR VERDICT
Garmin Forerunner 35 is a great combination of easy control and high functionality. This watch will allow you to compete with your friends and achieve your maximum!
detailed parameters
FUNCTIONALITY
Clock, Alarm clock, Music control, Vibration alert, Find my phone, 7 activities in memory, GPS, Personal records, Smart notifications, Workout stats, Сalendar
SENSORS AND COMPONENTS
GPS, Accelerometer, Heart rate monitor, Vibration motor
DATA TRACKING
All-day activity tracking, Calories burnt, Steps, Distance, Sleep monitoring, Heart rate
BATTERY LIFE
Up to 9 days in watch mode; Up to 13 hours in training mode
PROTECTION
Waterproof to 50m
COMPATIBILITY
Windows Phone, Windows OS, Mac OS, iOS, Android 4.0 and newer
MATERIAL
Plastic frame, Rubber wristband, Stainless steel buckle
DISPLAY
LCD
PACKAGE CONTENTS
Forerunner 35 running watch, Charging cable, Manual
WARRANTY
1 year
PROS
Intuitive one-button control doesn't require any special skills to use this running watch. The backlit display is perfect for training at night time.
CONS
Sometimes it takes longer to determine your location via GPS than usually.
OUR VERDICT
The running watch with excellent functionality at an affordable price. Great option for both professional athletes and amateur sportsmen, it allows daily monitoring of records and competing your own results.
detailed parameters
FUNCTIONALITY
Clock, GPS, Tracks stats on several days of your activity
SENSORS AND COMPONENTS
Heart rate sensor (optional, chest type), Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, Compass, Accelerometer
DATA TRACKING
Pace, Speed, Distance, Calories, Steps, Heart Rate, Records, Laps
BATTERY LIFE
Up to 10 hours with GPS
PROTECTION
Waterproof to 40m
COMPATIBILITY
iOS, Android
MATERIAL
Durable rubber wristband, Stainless steel bucket
DISPLAY
LCD
PACKAGE CONTENTS
TomTom tracker, Desk dock, User guide
WARRANTY
1 year

What is a Running Watch

Did you know that running is one of the healthiest and most effective sports activity? This aerobic training shows positive effect on the heart-vascular system and immunodefense, improves your metabolism and prevents cellulite. There are plenty kinds of sports to go for, but running is still the simplest and the most popular way to get fit. To enhance your training, you should definitely opt for a running watch. It tracks time, distance, speed, pace, heart rate, and calories. Moreover, running watches are equipped with numerous features and training aids. On purchasing such a helpful device, you will get a personal trainer that will motivate you to reach for more and beat your own records. But choosing the right watch is a bit difficult task taking into account how many brands and models available. Therefore, our review will help you make a pick.

For those who aim to know their stats on daily activity, we'd recommend looking through our review on fitness trackers. With these devices, you will enjoy your fitness workouts.

Additionally, if you want to be in good shape, you definitely need to choose a treadmill!

...Read more ...Read less

What Features to Compare

Functionality

The most important feature to consider is a device functionality since different models have a different set of functions and sensors. There are running watches designed for novice and pro sports performers. It is not so important for amateur sportsmen to know detailed stats on daily activity, as tracking the number of laps and time elapsed on a workout. The models for novice sportsmen are less expensive in comparison to more sophisticated running watches. However, such devices can give you enough information on your stats to keep a good fit. As regards the professional fitness watches, they feature more advanced options to meet the requirements of pro athletes. For example, these models are designed with a GPS-receiver, heart-rate monitor, altimeter, accelerometer and other sensors to track down the records of your physical activity. A professional fitness watch with a GPS records your routes, per second speed, min / average/ max speed, a number of steps, distance, calories burnt etc. While a model without GPS won't give you specific information about the volume and intensity during and after your workout, only a number of steps and activity. The fitness watches with accelerometer "know" the difference between walking and running and thus, count your moderate steps and aerobic steps individually. We should also note that a professional running watch may be equipped with an integrated heart rate sensor or read your heart beats from a chest type device that should be worn during your workouts. The last mentioned sensor is known to be the most accurate type and is highly valued among professional sportsmen. It is able to define the critical heart load and alert users to overload risk. For contrast, built-in sensors monitor your heart-rate day and night and display only average readings. For those who want to control their sleep, it is preferable to opt for a watch with an auto sleep tracking feature. It will help you determine when it is the best time for you to get up and go to sleep to feel full of energy throughout a day. Moreover, all advanced running watches are compatible with various OS and offer you an opportunity to sync with your other gadgets. Owing to this feature you will be able to analyse your daily/weekly/monthly activity stats and even share your records with your friends on social websites. Additionally, some fitness watches synchronised with your smartphone will display your call, text and calendar notifications during workouts.

Protection

A running watch is worn on the wrist during your workouts and that's why it can be damaged. Therefore, a watch's frame and a wristband should be made of high-quality and durable materials to serve you for a long time. Moreover, a good fitness watch must be either water-resistant or waterproof. Water-resistant watches are sweat, rain, and splash proof so you can wear them in any weather conditions and fearlessly wash your hands without taking the watch off your wrist. But if you want to have a running watch for swimming you should opt for a waterproof model. Such fitness watches show high water resistance grade and can be immersed in water for up to 50m on average.

Usability

A running watch should be handy. It is a crucial feature for device usability during workouts. So, first of all, look for a running watch with a convenient arrangement of control buttons. Additionally, it is preferable to choose a device with a long battery life as no one likes recharging their devices every single day. Generally, fitness watches come with a Li-ion battery, some of them last several days, while others last for about a month. To charge your running watch you should connect it via USB cable to your PC (that also serves as a data cable) or use a special charging adapter. But if you prefer using devices with prolonged autonomous work, the best option for you is to go for a running watch with a replaceable battery. And finally, a large and easy-to-read display is also an important factor that impacts device's operation.

Review of Garmin Forerunner 235

Garmin Forerunner 235

Garmin Forerunner 235

Specially for You

The Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS Running Watch is an exciting gadget created just for you. If you love jogging, fitness or other action sports, this watch should be one of your accessories. First, we'd like to draw your attention to its innovative design and several available colour schemes. A matte plastic case and a soft silicone strap ensure its comfortable wear even throughout extended workouts. The watch weighs only 42g — you'll forget it's on your wrist after a short while! The Garmin Forerunner 235 with numerous sensors and functions is currently considered to be one of the most modern watches on the market. It won't take you much time to learn how to use the gadget since the watch offers the detailed guidelines.

Review of Garmin Forerunner 235

Take Control Over Your Workout Process

One of the benefits is that the Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS Running Watch is managed from a smartphone via Connect app. By the way, you will be able to find your smartphone by pressing a special button on the watch — certain signals will help you to search for the device. The built-in GPS/GLONASS module can identify your position no matter where you are. Garmin Connect™ allows you to upload your achievements and compare them with the results of other users. Awesome! The gadget keeps in memory the results of the last 200 hours of workouts and this is great for setting up new goals! Additionally, an optical sensor measures your heart rate; the information is shown on a watch display.

If you're keen on sports, the Forerunner 235 is your best bet! A variety of functions and capabilities will help you push your limits!

Garmin Forerunner 235 in the use

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VIDEO
Forerunner 235: Getting Started with Your Wrist-based HR Running Watch
Garmin Forerunner 235
Garmin Forerunner 235
 
Review of Fitbit Blaze

Fitbit Blaze

Fitbit Blaze

Each Heart Beat

We've come to a conclusion that Fitbit Blaze running watch is a must-have for people who want to track their workouts and look stylish while wearing the watch. The running watch is designed with a colourful touch screen display with four watch faces to choose from. You can buy additional wristbands of different colours and materials (leather, metal or rubber) and change them according to your outfit. All in all, Fitbit Blaze looks stylish and neat on your wrist. Fitbit Blaze running watches will assist both professional and novice sportsmen during workouts, showing their exact results and motivating to do more. The watch tracks down not only steps, distance, and calories but also comes up with useful step-by-step guide and coaching tips to help you out during training. We’re more than sure, this handy feature will come to liking to the novice who’ve just come to doing sports. The other feature that distinguishes Fitbit Blaze running watch from most other models is its built-in optical heart rate sensor, using which together with a chest strap will show you precise readouts on your heart rate so that you don't overtrain nor overload your heart.

Review of Fitbit Blaze

Time to Win

We were quite surprised with autonomous work this watch provides - up to 5 days on a single charge. This means you would spend considerably less time on recharging and be able to use the watch anytime you go down to the gym. A full recharging takes about 2 hours, which isn’t particularly long, so that’s the only hours you'd need to wait before fixing the watch to the wrist. Fitbit Blaze running watch keeps the track of your activity and instantly recognises what you do - running, jogging, walking, etc. That’s become possible due to the data storage on all your activities in a special app. The data is kept there for 7 days. Such peculiarity rids you of the need to sync the watch with a computer to share your results with the others. You can do all the same right from the watch. Fitbit Blaze continues working even after you go to bed, tracking your sleep phases and slightly vibrating when it’s already time to wake up.

Fitbit Blaze in the use

Benefits of Running

Running is a key part of a human well-being. Scientists claim that running helps prevent obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, etc. What’s more, running vastly improves the quality of our emotional and mental life either and significantly prolongs our lives. But even that isn’t as important as the fact that running can raise our spirits by boosting human organism to produce more endorphins - a hormone responsible for our mood. Girls who’re eager to lose weight are recommended to run as well. In all, running is a universal kind of sports that strengthens our knees, helps build endurance, improves the immune system and the lungs, and what’s more important, reduces cancer risk. So, the only advice we can give is to start running! The sooner the better!

Detailed review of Fitbit Blaze

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Fitbit Blaze
Fitbit Blaze
 
Review of Polar M400 GPS

Polar M400 GPS

Polar M400 GPS

Your Personal Coach

It should not go unnoticed that Polar running watch is designed not only to track your activity but also monitor your recreation. The Recovery status feature estimates how much training load you can tolerate and shows you the time necessary to recover before your next training session. In our opinion, this feature is meant to help you plan your future training and keep the balance between training and recovery time. What's more, you can look through your daily/weekly/ monthly stats right on the watch's display and thus, analyse your activity and set new goals. Polar running watch is also a great option for lazy bones owing to the Activity guide that shows how active you’ve been during the day and gives practical guidance for reaching your daily activity goal. What can be better than such strong motivation? If you’d like to compare workouts and see which one has had a better effect on you, use Training benefit option and have a quick overview of your activities. Or use the watch to prepare yourself for a real marathon by making up a training plan on schedule with useful tips.

 

Review of Polar M400 GPS

Running is the Best Way to Lose Weight

Those who want to lose some weight generally keep a diet or torture themselves with different procedures at SPA. We all know that these measures are quite costly and not always efficient. Today we'd like to shed the light on one of the most effective and absolutely affordable for anyone way of losing weight - running.

Follow these simple rules and run off excess fat:

  • Run regularly, twice a week at least.
  • Try to jog at 5-7 km an hour and monitor your heart rate; it shouldn't go beyond 150 bpm.
  • Wear a windproof suit to increase perspiration, for when you sweat profusely, your body excretes toxins. That's is why running is a really healthy sport.
  • You should also eat the right foods to enhance the results of your workouts. Drop sweets, fatty, and spicy food from your diet.
  • Consume less salt - a big amount of salt in a human body retains water and consequently, leads to the weight gain.
  • Don't expect to get slim in a week, you will see the results but in several months. Remember, your body requires some time to adjust to a new way of life.

Polar M400 GPS in the use

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Polar M400 GPS
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Review of Garmin Forerunner 35

Garmin Forerunner 35

Garmin Forerunner 35

Simplicity and Functionality

The Garmin Forerunner 35 is an excellent combination of multiple functions and ease of use. Even though the gadget doesn't look remarkable at the first glance, please, don't be in haste drawing conclusions. A monochrome LCD screen with a resolution of 128x128 pixels will display all workout data and your current health state. The gadget is equipped with a GPS, so it will be a piece of cake for you to track the speed, distance and position data. A heart rate sensor is based on the Garmin Elevate technology and will provide accurate measurements during your workouts. Besides, the running watch can be synchronised with other devices via Connect app which maximises the use of the gadget. 7 last workouts are stored in the memory, therefore you'll be able to track your progress! Garmin Connect enables uploading your workout results to the cloud for their further comparison with other users'  achievements. Having achieved your maximum, you can share your best results with your friends. Fantastic!

To sum up, if you value maximal comfort and detailed data of your workout activity, opt for the Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS Running Watch!

Review of Garmin Forerunner 35

All Data in the Cloud

Virtually all running watches support synchronisation with Garmin Connect developed for uploading your workout results and sharing them with sports enthusiasts. Additionally, this service will provide an opportunity to compete with other users! Here is the link where you can choose your device and download the app. It is available for iOSAndroid, and Windows Phone. Push your limits with the Garmin Connect Mobile!

Garmin Forerunner 35 in the use

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Meet the Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS Running Watch
Garmin Forerunner 35
Garmin Forerunner 35
 
Review of TomTom Runner

TomTom Runner

TomTom Runner

A Fresh Approach to Sports

It is a common knowledge that TomTom is the global leader in manufacturing navigation and mapping products. The company has gained its popularity for excellent locational accuracy, map's fullness, data actuality on traffic congestion maps, etc. In 2011, TomTom teamed up with Nike to create a fitness watch and after that, the company decided to launch their own product which would combine great performance and GPS accuracy. That’s how TomTom running watch has appeared on the market. Today the watches under TomTom name show self-contained functionality with all the settings for comfortable use. They are also available in different styles to match any personality. Control and adjust the settings with a single button, without making breaks from your workouts. What we really like about this running watch is that it features GPS + GLONASS and QuickGPSFix technology. It allows you to track your running routes and obtain a precise starting location really quickly. Thus, you will surely get a fast start to your run. All in all, TomTom running watch perfectly tracks down your route and comes up with most accurate data on your speed, pace, goals, lapses, and intervals of both indoor and outdoor activities.

Review of TomTom Runner

A Piece of Advice

  • Running should bring pleasure. If you grow tired during the route, change activities, from running to quick walking. The only rule is not to stop.
  • Your muscles require a good warm-up before running. Start from jogging, jumping or just swing your arms for at least 10 minutes. 
  • The crucial feature for quality running is smooth movements. Try not to bounce and keep your back straight and relaxed, not bent at the waist.
  • Proper breathing technique also plays important role in your training. Practice deep belly breathing and try to inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. When breathing through your mouth only, a human organism signals the brain that's something goes wrong and you are suffocating. Train this breathing technic and you will get used to it soon. 
  • You should move at your own pace, keeping breath even. There’s no need to beat other runners’ records unless your body is ready for that. Keep up with your own rhythm and build up endurance.
  • Take no notice of the covered distance during the route.
  • If you are a new runner we recommend you to train alone since you may not keep up your companion's pace and thus, overtrain and overload your heart.
  • Listen to the music while running.
  • Put on pace for the last 30-50 meters of your route for your muscles to get over with the load.

TomTom Runner in the use

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TomTom Runner
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Sources:

1. Kieran Alger How to Choose and Buy the Right Running Watch for You, Wareable. May 30, 2016.

2. Dena MT Eaton How To Choose A Running Watch, Backcountry. April 11, 2014.

3. Jediah Porter How to Choose a GPS Watch for Running and Training, Outdoor GEARLAB. August 29, 2015.

4. Scott Stein Smartwatch and Fitness Tracker Buying Guide, CNET. July 8, 2015.

5. GPS Watch, Wikipedia. July 28, 2016.

6. Kissairis Munoz 30 Convincing Reasons to Start Running Now, Greatist. April 3, 2014.

7. Watches, GPS and Other Kit, Running For Fitness.