iPhone vs GPS watch


I've been running for a couple months. I am using Endomondo on my iPhone with spotify.

Could someone tell me if it is worth investing in a GPS watch?  What are the benefits over the iPhone other than it is on your wrist and weight?

Thanks and sorry if it is a dummy question.



  • Yeh I am a gadget freak thanks. Certainly appreciate the sarcasm. Infact I might buy two watches and still carry my iphone, just because I can!

    If you have nothing of interest to contribute, say nothing!

  • Never mind NW4`s helpful comments. There`s always one d*ck hanging around.

    Advantages of GPS systems: more accurate usually; easier to check whilst running; the better ones give a pace readout which some find useful; can be used in wet and foul weather. Basically - can do everything an I phone can do but better.

  • Dave - I have a garmin watch and HRM. Nice piece of kit and give you plenty of numbers re your performance. Garmin are also meant to have the best GPS signal I believe. I'm finding mine really useful in my marathon preperation as I'm following a training plan and have to work in different HR zones etc, the garmin gives me everything I need. And I also carry my iPhone to listen to music sometimes !

    Nick = nob
  • I use my android Sony Xperia to track my runs - it does what I need and tells me how far/fast I'm going, gives me spoken indications of my pace/distance covered/etc and also shuffles my play lists for me...

    I'm pretty positive that GPS watches, being specifically designed for the job, ARE more accurate but I think the phone apps are accurate enough for the average runner.

    Plus, if one day I'm a bit slower than I expect, I just blame the phoneimage

  • The advantage is that no one can ring me on my Garmin...not yet anyway.

  • I use my iPhone and have been thinking of getting a garmin too. But have to say that I find the iPhone GPS really accurate. Seems to be spot on for races I have done and did notice in a recent race that at the start, many runners with watches were moving their arms up high as struggling to get a signal whereas I had no trouble! I also wear headphones and enjoy having someone tell me my pace every 0.25 miles rather than having to look at the screen. But there is definitely a feeling that real runners have watches so I will probably get one soon and it will certainly be lighter. But I do think that the GPS on the latest phones is just as accurate as on the watches (although someone selling you a watch will say otherwise image )
  • I have been looking at the Garmin 410.  I like the virtual running feature to help me try and improve pace.

    I have experience some dodge iPhone GPS signal on Endomondo, it sometimes has a tendancy to waver into a near field for a few moments when I am actually running on the road!

    My concern is it won't actually change anything because I enjoy listening to music so either have to carry my iPhone still or maybe get a little nano or something.  I also enjoy someone talking to me each km to give me an update but I guess its not hard to look at a watch!

  • Bear in mind that during a lot of races you enter, if you enter, the rules state you are not allowed to use MP3 devices. So, another benefit of having a watch is you can keep check on your pace/time if you want to do so.

  • I just use an iPhone to track my sessions so speed and distance. I may check it mid run to make sure I'm on track for distance but not usually pace. Most of the time I will go by my watch.

    When I'm racing I use my watch timer and the mile markers for pacing. More accurate than gps.
  • i used my galaxy S2 for a while with may my run and to be honest now having bought a second hand Garmin 205 on ebay I have never looked back. The map my run app on the iphone is loads better than the android app and has alot more features.

    And you can still transfer data from your garmin to map my run on the computer.

    My brother just bought one of these gps watches from sweatshop and you can claim 20% off it too. A real bargain at £83 delivered.




    My brother says its better than his Garmin 305.

  • I dont even know how you run with a phone, what a bulky peice of kit to carry around. gps watch (garmin forerunner 110) completely changed my training. garmin connect is ace and can upload to strava which is a good tool also.

  • I used an Iphone app - RunKeeper and was reluctant to move to a GPS watch, but the half at the weekend did not allow Iphones, so went for a Forerunner 610 and found it to be really good.

    It won't play music and no one can call me - that might be a good thing thoughimage

    If you want music, then stick with the Iphone, otherwise the Garmin seems a better, more practical option.


  • The iPhone is a bit of a compromise and some apps conflict. I've done runs with no data recorded because the app clashed with iTunes. You may also find that you have battery issues on the phone. My longer runs kill the battery. I use the phone for what it is good at (phone, music, maps etc) and a garmin 305 for running and HR data. It also does cadence on my bike so far more competent than the phone.
  • I'm currently using the Nike+ app on my iPhone but am tempted by a Garmin.

    Does anyone know if I can transfer all my historic data on my computer from the Nike+ website to either Garmin or Strava? 

  • Andrew- I would try this to download your Nike+ runs and export them to XML



    I've never tried to import the XML formatted runs to Garmin, but there are instructions here:


  • That's great, thanks SwissJames

  • I use the NIke+ GPS watch - its awesome. I look forward to trying to beat my records every time i go out.

  • The Definitive place to get impartial hands on reviews of almost every GPS watch / phone / app that there is can be found here:


    The guy is a triathlete and gadget freak.

  • I use a garmin 610 and mapmyrun. The garmin also gives me cadence from a foot pod and heart rate, so I use mapmyrun for live tracking, then import the garmin run afterwards. Its also easier to turn the garmin on and off.. button on wrist, where my iphone is on my sleeve holder thingy



  • I'm amazed by the folk saying they get good data from iphone apps.

    I bought a garmin 110 this year and was alarmed to discover I wasn't running anywhere near as far or as fast as I thought I was on my usual plod round the area...
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