The best fitness tracker with GPS in 2024

Retrace your steps, track your stats and smash those personal bests with satellite-powered precision.

several examples of best fitness tracker with gps examples

by Chris Duffill |
Updated on

Successful walkers, runners and gymgoers have one thing in common: they reach peak performance faster with the best fitness tracker with GPS by their side. Monitoring your essential stats like heart rate, calories burned and steps taken are basic features - but choosing the right fitness tracker with genuinely useful features is going to give you so much more.

Premium devices like smartwatches that can track fitness are very good, but not everyone wants heavy and expensive wristwear. A good fitness tracker will be lightweight, be able to take at least some punishment, and accurately measure your progress. But, a truly great tracker will track your movements all the way from space.

The best fitness tracker with GPS in 2024 at a glance

• Best overall fitness tracker with GPS: Polar Grit X Pro - GPS Multisport Smartwatch - View at Amazon
• Best budget fitness tracker with GPS: Amazfit Bip U Pro Smart Watch - View at Amazon
• Best Garmin fitness tracker with GPS: Garmin Venu Sq Music Edition GPS Smartwatch - View at Amazon
• Best Fitbit fitness tracker with GPS: Fitbit Charge 5 Activity Tracker - View at Amazon

As ubiquitous as they now are, the best fitness trackers with GPS built-in are still a mixed bunch when it comes to finding new ways to monitor and use your fitness data. Not all of them are going to suit all types of exercise, and how they report your stats varies from one model to another. Fitness trackers for Android work best for some, while others need an iPhone-friendly model. The list goes on. So, our experts are here to help you choose the right one for you.

When sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke wrote about satellites years ahead of their actual invention, he could never have predicted we’d all access them from our wrists. And we don’t just use them for fun, many will track our health as well. But what’s the point in having all that power to hand if your chosen tracker lets you down? Our experts have found the very best fitness trackers with GPS on the planet - your accurate route to better fitness is just around the next corner.

SHOP: The best fitness trackers with GPS

Best overall fitness tracker with GPS

Polar Grit X Pro - GPS Multisport Smartwatch  - possibly the best fitness tracker with GPS of 2023
Price: $530.25

There's no doubt that Polar are one of the top market-leading brands when it comes to fitness trackers and tracking sensors. The Grit X Pro is a step up from previous versions. Naturally, this will monitor your heart rate, but the sensors in the Grit X Pro include an altimeter and barometer - so this is a versatile smartwatch for explorers as well as runners. The GPS compatibility of this smartwatch is seriously impressive, as it will work with Galileo, GLONASS, GPS, and QZSS.

The sizable always-on colour touch screen will help you to track your calories, distance, steps and more. Interesting useful extras include being able to monitor your swimming and even stress levels. Thankfully, that gorgeous colour screen has Sapphire glass with an anti-fingerprint coating - so it'll look just as great as you'll feel after training. The Polar Flow companion app for iOS and Android will let you easily follow up on your stats and, of course, your GPS data for tracking your routes and setting new goals. It doesn't have the fastest touch screen or some of the more exotic sensors to be found with more expensive models though. That said, as a truly capable all-rounder, the Polar Grit X Pro is right up there with the leaders of the pack for solid, useful fitness tracking.

Pros

  • Amazing GPS flexibility
  • An excellent reliable range of sensors
  • Premium screen and protective glass
  • Great for swimmers too
  • iOS and Android compatible

Cons

  • Good touchscreen, but others are faster
  • Use a strap instead of optical HR sensors no matter what model you choose

Best budget fitness tracker with GPS

We had to double-check the price of this Amazfit Bip U Pro when we saw the spec sheet. It's a truly impressive and capable piece of fitness tracking kit. Firstly, there are over 60 exercise modes - including running, treadmill, walking, cycling, and swimming. These dedicated modes will keep you on target with your goals and help you develop your stamina. It's water resistant to up to 50 metres too, so swimmers can test their limits all day long without fear of failure. The Bip U Pro will even count your swim strokes. Sleep is monitored too, for when you're recuperating from all that vigorous activity.

Naturally, GPS is present and integrates well with steps, distance, pace, and route tracking. Some excellent extras can be found here, as this smartwatch includes a blood oxygen sensor as well as a Personal Activity Intelligence system that will crunch the numbers for you. It combines heart rate data, activity time and more into a vitality index for a more bespoke insight into your health. Believe it or not, this even has Alexa Built-in, so voice control convenience and smartwatch functionality are very well supported. Unreal, especially at this price.

Pros

  • 60+ exercise modes
  • Water resistant up to 50M
  • Swim stroke counter
  • GPS route tracking
  • Alexa built-in for voice commands and key functions
  • iOS and Android compatible

Cons

  • No barometer
  • No cadence sensor, so not ideal for cyclists
  • Alerts you to calls, but you can't answer or speak on this

Best Garmin fitness tracker with GPS

Even someone who is just dipping their toe into fitness tracking will have heard of Garmin. As the de-facto leader when it comes to advanced sensor and GPS technologies, the company have consistently delivered on their promises. The Venu Sq Music Edition is a rather special little gadget, as the list of tracked metrics is super-impressive. Here we have respiration, steps and calories, distance, intensity minutes; stress, menstruation cycle, hydration, and sleep. If there's a tracker here that is suitable for most activities - even golfing - this is it.

It also comes with TrueUp - a feature that allows you to wear and sync data collected from multiple activity trackers if you have them. Move IQ is another cutting-edge feature, as it can intelligently detect what exercise you're doing based on your movements. Once you're done working out, the Garmin Connect app can use that data to identify familiar exercising patterns - even as selective as using an elliptical machine - and tag them. The training, planning and analysis features here are quite impressive. Garmin Coach will join you on your wrist to keep you on track too. Added smartwatch goodies include Garmin P for contactless payments, and customisations and apps via the Connect IQ store.

Last but certainly not least is the fact that this is the Music Edition of the Garmin Venu Sq. There's enough internal storage space to leave your phone at home. Download your favourite music and playlists right onto your watch. Genius.

Pros

  • Impressive range of tracking functions
  • App support is great, with plenty of intelligent analysis
  • Garmin Coach is excellent for motivation
  • Battery life is good, even with GPS on
  • All of the usual smartphone functions, plus a few more
  • On-board music storage

Cons

  • No barometric altimeter (GPS altimeter instead)

Best Fitbit fitness tracker with GPS

Fitbit Charge 5 Activity Tracker - Fitness & Wellness GPS Smartwatch  - possibly the best fitness tracker with GPS of 2023

Rrp: $149.99

Price: $134.95

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The name Fitbit has almost become synonymous with 'fitness tracker'. And for good reason. The brand has led the market when it comes to highly wearable, easily accessible wrist-based tech. The stand-out here is the ECG app, as this can monitor your heart activity in fine detail. Another interesting addition is the EDA sensor for measuring electrodermal activity - in short, it is one of the more accurate measures of how much stress your nervous system is under. Essential for anyone who wants to see how well their mindfulness or exercise is working to bring down their stress levels.

The usual smartwatch functions haven't been left behind though, as you can read texts and emails and keep tabs on your socials via notifications. A brilliant extra is actually a freebie - six months of Fitbit Premium is included. There are a range of benefits here, but a key one for making the most of your data is Readiness Score. This will analyse your stats and advise you on what sort of exercise you should be doing on that day. That's a pretty unique insight, even alongside some of the very capable competition elsewhere on this list. Lastly, alongside the GPS functions for when you're out and about, a health metrics dashboard will give you all of your essential metrics at a glance; keeping the Fitbit Charge 5 every bit as simple and accessible as its peers.

Pros

  • OLED screen
  • EDA sensor
  • ECG app
  • Fitbit Premium for 6 months
  • Built-in GPS

Cons

  • GPS drains the battery faster
  • No altimeter

Best mid-budget fitness tracker with GPS

Honor Watch GS Pro - Fitness & Wellness GPS Smartwatch  - possibly the best fitness tracker with GPS of 2023
Price: $499.00

When we reviewed the Honor Band 6, we found it to be lightweight, simple to use and well-built. And the same is true of its more smartwatch-like relative - the Watch GS Pro. Perhaps one of the overlooked requirements for anyone who wants to keep things simple is compatibility with other devices. Here, the GS Pro is Android 5.0+ and iOS 9.0+ compatible, so you can expect this to integrate well with your chosen apps. One step up when it comes to smart functions, though is the addition of a microphone & speaker - so yes, you can answer and make calls on this when paired with your phone.

But, back to the important bit: fitness. The Honor Watch GS Pro will delight most users here as there are all of the main sensors you'll be needing; from heart rate to pulse oximeter; but there's also a barometer which is often removed in favour of the GPS version. Speaking of GPS, this one has Route Back - so not only will you know where you've been, but you'll also be told how to get back if you lose your bearings. Over 100 workout modes are at your command, so you'll never be short of new routines. Sleep and stress tracking are there too, to help you when you're not working out. Charging is the convenient magnetic pin type too, so less fiddling around with cables. Despite the price, this smartwatch has one of the better screen technologies on offer here - as the round touch screen is AMOLED. This tracker is easy to use and stunning to look at - a winning formula.

Pros

  • Wide range of activity tracking
  • Over 100 workout modes
  • Robust yet smart design
  • Microphone and speaker
  • Barometer
  • AMOLED screen
  • Great battery

Cons

  • Reasonably heavy

Best Apple fitness tracker with GPS

Apple Watch SE (2nd generation) - Fitness & Wellness GPS Smartwatch  - possibly the best fitness tracker with GPS of 2023
Price: £227.73

Not all fitness trackers are smartwatches, and not all smartwatches are great trackers. But, of course, Apple has covered all of the bases with its Apple Watch SE. This is the second edition of the ever-popular wrist gadget with some performance improvements to be had - this one is up to 20% faster than the previous model. Aside from the usual Apple smart device features that all iOS users will be familiar with, we have a sleep monitor, GPS, and a heart rate monitor. The altimeter is always on, so you'll have one less thing to worry about as you scale new heights.

And as we're talking about climbing things, there are some impressive safety features on offer here too. Fall Detection, Emergency SOS, and Crash Detection will work to keep you safe in the event of an incident. But, looking on the brighter side, you have an Enhanced Workout app that will support and monitor your goals and progress. It even does cycle tracking, so this is quite a clever and versatile piece of kit when it comes to fitness. As you'd expect, you can take calls and reply to texts right from your wrist; as well as the usual music and podcast listening. WiFi is there too. When Apple decide to build a new device, they don't cut corners, so not only is this a very capable tracker, it is, of course, a design classic that's built to last.

Pros

  • Apple build and design
  • Great safety features
  • Reliable GPS
  • Lots of storage space for music and apps
  • Enhanced Workout app for intelligent use of data
  • Fitness App compatible
  • WiFi and many functions beyond fitness

Cons

  • Battery life is so-so (but only because it's one of the most capable smartwatches too)

Best high-end fitness tracker with GPS

Garmin Fēnix 7X Solar Multisport GPS Watch - Fitness & Wellness GPS Smartwatch  - possibly the best fitness tracker with GPS of 2023

Rrp: $845.99

Price: $729.00

It's no surprise that Garmin - a brand with a massive range of devices - is back on the list in our high-end category. Top-of-the-line luxury watches that prioritise fitness monitoring are the niche here. Expectedly, the Garmin Fēnix 7X Solar Multisport GPS Watch has a heart rate sensor, pulse oximeter, and more. But it also has a stress and enhanced sleep tracker. The star of the show, fittingly for this list, is the GPS system. Here we have multi-GNSS satellite systems support - so you'll have GPS, GLONASS and Galileo to rely on. Battery life, even with GPS, is more than respectable at 89 hours, but this is continuously topped up by the killer feature of this watch - solar charging. Solar will take this watch's battery life to a staggering 122 hours. And when the sun goes down, you have NFC for convenience.

In terms of design, this is a classic in the making. There are several colours and finishes, but the materials and premium feel really do propel this watch into the luxury category - while keeping it rugged enough to use as your primary fitness tracker. And as for stats, here we have endurance and real-time stamina tracking, training status, advanced performance metrics and 30+ built-in sports apps. It also has the deepest water rating here at 10ATM. Smartwatch-wise, you have Garmin Pay for easy shopping, Connect IQ for apps and customisation, and it works with iOS and Android, Much like the Venu Sq above, this has some brilliant additions for music lovers - as the 16GB storage will come in handy for downloads from Spotify, Deezer, and Amazon Music. There's even a built-in LED flashlight to light your way.

Pros

  • Comprehensive multi-satellite GPS support
  • Premium look and feel
  • Solar charging tops up the battery
  • Music storage and playlist support
  • Pulse oximeter

Cons

  • No mic or speaker for taking calls

Best fitness tracker with GPS for design

The Garmin Vivoactive 5 presents us with the future of fitness. Whether you're a fitness enthusiast, outdoor adventurer, or a tech-savvy individual, the Vivoactive 5 is a game-changer. With built-in sports apps for running, cycling, HIIT and swimming (just to name a few), this fitness tracker empowers you to power and optimise your workouts. Beyond just fitness metrics, this watch offers comprehensive health statistics, stress tracking, and even body battery energy monitoring. So you can understand when it's time to rest.

In terms of the display, the 30.4mm OLED screen has a resolution of 390 x 390 and is touchscreen, which is a massive bonus for accessibility. Stay connected with smart notifications, control your music, and enjoy a long battery life of up to 11 days.

Pros

  • Up to 11 days battery life
  • Body battery energy monitoring
  • Sleep score and personalised sleep coaching
  • Colour display

Cons

  • Small gripe - American Express is not supported by Garmin Pay, so cannot be used on their watches

Best Huawei fitness tracker with GPS

Huawei Watch Fit Special Edition
Price: $88.99

The Huawei Watch Fit certainly has a few great features to focus on. Starting with the 1.64-inch bright AMOLED display, which is great for accessibility. Not only that, but the Watch Face Store adds a touch of personal flair to your wrist, whether that be by adding a new watch face or new photos. Also, when it's time to stop training and rest up, the Huawei Watch is there to support you, with statistics from TruSleep 3.0 on how long you slept and your sleep score. Plus, for a holistic view of your health, TruSeen 5.0 uses AI technology to track your heart rate 24/7.

With advanced health tracking and over 100 workout modes, this watch will certainly keep you in tune with your wellbeing. And although it's great for all sports, this watch is the best for runners. That's because of the Running Ability Index, which uses our buzzword, built-in GPS, to plan your next running route for you. Clever right?

Pros

  • Running Ability Index with built-in GPS to log your route for you
  • Over 100 workout modes
  • TruSeen 5.0 tracks your heart rate 24/7
  • 1.64-inch AMOLED display

Cons

  • This is a special edition version which means it might not be around forever

Best fitness tracker with GPS and free Apple Fitness+

The Apple Watch Series 9 boasts a sleek and durable aluminium case and is built to withstand the demands of everyday life. The 41mm display provides a crisp and vibrant interface, making it really simple to navigate the multitude of features offered by the watch. Like any fitness tracker with GPS, you can accurately track your outdoor exercises, meanwhile, the sports band ensures a comfortable fit during workouts.

This watch goes beyond simple fitness tracking, offering advanced health monitoring features, such as heart rate monitoring and an ECG app, empowering users to take control of their own wellbeing. In addition, Apple have made their watches even easier to use with Double Tap. A feature for when your hands are full, but you still need to use your watch. Simply double-tap your index finger and thumb together to either answer a call, open a notification or pause a song.

Plus, with the addition of three months free Apple Fitness+, getting fit has never been so accessible.

Pros

  • Brighter than its older counterparts: up to 2000 nits
  • Comes with a free Apple Fitness+ membership where you can access HIIT, yoga and Pilates sessions, to name a few
  • Double Tap feature so that even when your hands are full, you can still answer a call and open notifications

Cons

  • The strap is a bit fiddly to put on

The best fitness tracker with GPS of 2024: Buyer’s guide

This is where you get to really consider your options before you buy. Although we do have a budget option in our list of recommended trackers, they're generally not the cheapest items, so it'll pay to spend some time examining your use case before you buy. Here are some pointers:

Consider your range of sporting or other activities

Not all of the best fitness trackers with GPS are born equal. Just because the model you’ve settled on has GPS doesn’t mean it does everything. If you’re used to wearing a watch for running you might be looking at heart rate more than calories burned. If you’re a walker, you might prefer a more accurate step measurement or even a blood pressure monitor built in if you’re walking for therapeutic reasons.

Whatever you need it for, spend a little time considering which data you need the most, then choose a tracker that has the appropriate sensors inside. Be advised though, not all models can actually use GPS tracking unless they’re paired with a smartphone with internet access. A companion app is often used to feed the fitness tracker with data and record the stats as they’re returned. If you dislike having to carry more than one device, look for a model that has full GPS capability on board, which also means your data is stored on the tracker for access later.

Water and dustproofing

This, again, relates to how and where you’re planning on using your fitness tracker. Water resistance and waterproofing are not the same, so you should pay special attention to the IPX rating of your new device.

IPX is an international standard that covers waterproofing, water resistance and even dust. Water resistance is rated between IPX3 and IPX7. You’ll commonly find this on trackers that can withstand sweat, splashes of rain, and a very short time submerged; but nothing much more than that. IPX7, IPX8 and above have a waterproof rating. This means that fitness trackers with that rating will be able to handle submersion, but depths and times will vary.

Size, weight and fit

The last thing a runner needs is an insecure strap on a fitness tracker that’s a little on the bulky side. If you’re the sort of person who finds wearing gadgets irritating, you’ll need to make sure the strap will cater for your wrist size and is made of a material - such as silicone - for maximum comfort.

Also, as smartwatches like the Apple Watch do tend to be larger and heavier than the likes of their FitBit tracker cousins, only go for a smartwatch for your tracking if you know it’s not going to be cumbersome. And don’t forget, these are expensive items as gadgets go. So, if your sport means it’s likely to be dropped, scuffed or exposed to the elements, buy wisely.

Are you buying for a child? Much of the time the straps on an adult fitness tracker will be too large. Not to mention they’re not designed to inspire kids. We have a great selection of fitness trackers for children here - including some with GPS.

Accessing your stats

The best fitness tracker with GPS will give you instant access to top-line stats on their built-in screens. But there’s only so much you can do with it while you’re wearing it. If you’re looking to use the GPS data to integrate with route-mapping apps, not to mention charting your data, you’ll need to get the data off the tracker and onto your phone, tablet or PC.

Not even the best fitness trackers with GPS are compatible with every other device known to man, so consider how and where you’re planning to use your data. The choice is yours.

Get charged-up

The last thing you need halfway through your route is to realise you’re out of juice - and we don’t mean the orange variety. Look carefully at the stated battery life of your chosen tracker. Only you will know how long your routine takes you, so plan your choice around the longevity of the battery on one full charge.

Charging is another hot -topic with fitness trackers, as being able to charge up quickly while you’re out and about can be essential. Some have higher-wattage wireless fast chargers that will make quick work of it. Others need longer and only use a standard USB cable.

Spares

Whether you like to customise your Fitbit straps or replace them, it’s important to take wear and tear into account. Silicone straps may be comfortable, but they’re also prone to damage. You may want to check to see if your brand of fitness tracker has good spares availability.

Best fitness tracker with GPS of 2024: Frequently asked questions

Do I really need GPS on my fitness tracker?

If your passion is getting out and about as you exercise, there’s nothing better than knowing where you’ve been. Not only can you discover new routes and repeat them in detail but you can also track your previous performance; and in a way that means something to you. This can prove to be highly motivational.

The very best fitness trackers with GPS have a multitude of other functionalities too, of course. They can keep track of your pace, guide you to stay on the right route, distance tracking, and more.

Without a GPS to map your journey, all you have is plain old data. Interesting for spreadsheet nerds, but nothing beats seeing where you've been on a map for that sense of achievement.

Are fitness trackers worth it?

This is really several questions in one. Once you’ve set your budget, you should be able to find a fitness tracker that has GPS. How much you pay is down to you, and also down to how much value you place on your fitness routine. Given the motivational benefits of GPS trackers alone, let alone the fun value, we think they’re an invaluable addition to your exercise time.

But, are they worth it when it comes to fitness? Well, this is all down to you - you can use the best fitness tracker with GPS as little or as much as you like. You can simply marvel at the map of your route with associated stats and share it on your socials, or you can do a deep dive into the tracking data and attack your PBs. It’s up to you how much actual fitness value you squeeze out of it.

What's the best fitness tracker for accuracy?

There are pros and cons with all brands, and the best fitness trackers with GPS are no exception. Of the major, trusted brands we’ve featured here, there is no clear leader for accuracy. Although, we do think that the Fitbit Charge 5 Activity Tracker is great for heart rate tracking. The Amazfit BupU Pro is top-notch when it comes to step tracking. If you’re more of a calorie counter, we think the Garmin Venu Sq Music Edition is a reliable piece of fitness gadgetry.

Will fitness trackers work with an iPhone or Samsung?

Yes. But not universally. If you’re a dedicated Samsung user rather than Apple, or vice versa, you’ll find options to suit your needs. As we mentioned in our article on fitness trackers for Android, there’s a great deal of choice when it comes to trackers that work with this OS.

Alternatively, Garmin fitness trackers work with both iPhone and Android devices, so if you’re looking to keep things flexible this is a go-to option.

Are fitness trackers accurate for calories burned?

This is a complex question that very much depends on the model you choose and the sensors it has. For more information on this, take a look at our article on counting calories using fitness trackers.

Chris Duffill is a Tech Product Writer for What's The Best and Yours. His background includes writing, editorial, marketing, design, video production and photography.

He specialises in home entertainment and audiovisual tech, including speakers, amplifiers, turntables, streaming media players, and TVs. He is also one of our resident experts in computing (PCs, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches), DSLR photography and all kinds of digital cameras. He also writes about retro gaming, game consoles and various electronic gadgets. If it plugs in, lights up or makes a noise, he’ll write about it.

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