Timex Ironman Sleek 150-Lap
Timex Ironman Sleek 150-Lap

Best basic sport watch

The Timex Ironman Sleek 150-Lap is the overwhelming favorite among basic sport watches. Reviewers say this affordable watch covers all the workout basics while being easy to use. The Timex Ironman Sleek has been around for several years, but it has been updated with TapScreen technology, allowing you to tap the display to start or stop workout timers. Reviewers say this feature works well, even when the watch is wet (it is water-resistant to 100 meters). Users also appreciate the hydration and nutrition alarms, interval timers and large lap history. The biggest drawback is the stiff and inflexible watch band, which has a tendency to break easily. The watch itself is very durable, but numerous owners say they've had to buy replacement bands. The Timex Ironman Sleek doesn't include a heart-rate monitor and it won't track speed or distance like a GPS watch. Men's and women's versions are available in several colors.
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Garmin Forerunner 210
Garmin Forerunner 210

Best GPS sport watch

A favorite of athletes and reviewers alike, the Garmin Forerunner 210 impresses with its sleek design and easy-to-use interface. The watch tracks pace, distance and heart rate with the optional chest strap. Accuracy is very good, and users say the Garmin Forerunner 210 acquires a GPS lock faster than previous versions. Reviewers also say they appreciate the design, which is less bulky than Garmin's earlier sport watches. A new current-pace monitor is also appreciated, reviewers say, because most GPS watches display only average pace. The Forerunner 210 doesn't have as many advanced features as Garmin's more expensive watches, and serious athletes may want to look elsewhere for features like multi-sport mode or pace alerts.
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Garmin Forerunner 410
Garmin Forerunner 410

GPS sport watch for serious athletes

If you want a GPS-enabled watch loaded with advanced training features, reviews point to the Garmin Forerunner 410. It includes a host of features not found on the Garmin Forerunner 210, including wireless data upload, a Virtual Partner pace tool, customized workouts, pace and distance alerts, and a customizable display. It's also compatible with optional speed and cadence sensors for cyclists. Reviewers say the Garmin Forerunner 410 has top-notch training functionality and a fast satellite connection. Accuracy is also very good. Like its predecessor, the Garmin Forerunner 405, the 410 uses a touch bezel for navigation. Not everyone is a fan of this feature, and though it has been improved, reviewers say it is still tough to use when wearing gloves. The Garmin Forerunner 410 is not a good choice for triathletes because the watch is water-resistant only to 1 meter and can't be used for swimming. For these athletes, experts recommend the Garmin Forerunner 310XT (*Est. $350; $400 with heart-rate monitor), which is water-resistant to 50 meters and suitable for swimming.
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*Est. $325; $375 with heart-rate monitor Estimated Price
Garmin Forerunner 305
Garmin Forerunner 305

Budget GPS sports watch

It may not look as sleek as the more expensive Garmin Forerunner 410, but experts say the Garmin Forerunner 305 is the best value in Garmin's lineup. It has a host of features for the price, including a Virtual Partner, auto-lap functionality, multi-sport mode, customized workouts, pace alerts and interval training. The watch is easy to use, and the button-based navigation is intuitive. Users say the Garmin Forerunner 305 is much bigger and bulkier than the Garmin Forerunner 410, but most are willing to overlook that downside to save about 200 dollars. In addition, the Garmin Forerunner 305 takes longer to acquire a GPS connection than Garmin's newer watches, but testers say the watch is accurate and doesn't lose satellite reception often.
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*Est. $130 Estimated Price
Tech4O Traileader Jet
Tech4O Traileader Jet

Best adventure watch

You can spend hundreds of dollars for a good adventure watch, but reviewers say the Tech4O Traileader Jet strikes the best balance between price, features and performance. The Tech4O outdoor watch includes all the must-have features, including an altimeter, barometer, digital compass, chronograph and weather forecast. It also tracks speed and distance using a built-in accelerometer. Reviewers love the value, and most say the Tech4O Traileader Jet is a perfect fit for hikers or trail runners. An accelerometer isn't as accurate for tracking distance as a GPS, but reviewers say accuracy is pretty good overall. The watch is advertised as being water-resistant to 10 meters, but some users report problems with the watch when it gets wet. The big size is also drawback for those with small wrists.
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See a side-by-side comparison of key features, product specs, and prices.

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