What is the best budget GPS watch for running?

Hey all,

What is the best budget GPS watch for running?

I am more inclined towards Garmin Forerunner 945, but confused a bit.


If you consider the 945 a budget option, I would say you can’t go wrong with the device. Though perhaps you don’t need all the multi-sport features and could go with the 245 instead.

Otherwise it’s always worth to check out DCs comparisons.

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Depends what you want. I bought a 2nd hand forerunner 10 off eBay for about £10. Is GPS, battery lasts ages, tells me time, distance and pace and has auto lap every 1 mile (or 1 km) if you want it (or can just use lap button.

For what I need (and I run regularly with sub 18 min 5k PB) it’s perfect.

I also bought a forerunner 110 off eBay for about same money and that does all the same but also ant+ HR…i just prefer display on forerunner 10!

So short answer - really think about what features you want but for me, £10-15 on eBay will get you a good GPS watch that does everything you need in my book!


I would say the Garmin 35 is excellent value at $99 (amazon link) but for $199 45/45s is a good choice but Choros Pace 2 is around $199 and includes many more features including ANT+ for cyclists (amazon link)

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Within the Garmin range, at the budget end for running would be the Vivoactive 4 or the Forerunner 245 (the 245 adds some more advanced running metrics).

The 745 adds multisport/triathlon capabilities.

The 945 adds mapping and a larger battery life.

The Fenix 6 series offers largely the same capabilities as the 945, but in a nicer case, with some larger and smaller size options.

What will you use it for other than running?

The 945 is a very expensive watch with a ton of featured that you may or may not need…

If it’s just running and don’t care about other things there are other much lower prices options…

For example… Will you do a triathlon?
Do you plan to use it on the bike with a power meter?
Do you plan to do open water swims?

Something else to consider…

The 945 is almost end of life… Soon to be replaced by a 955 or something. we are talking withing 2 or 3 months here… So if you want a high end garmin like the 945, wait till the 955 then you can pick the 945 for slightly less or just go with 945

945 budget? :face_with_monocle: I don’t even think this is “budget”, but I’m happy with my 245 for running, and some cycling (like commuting)


+1 for the Coros Apex. Think I got it for 250 Euro.
Stupid long battery life, good feature set including running power, metal body and saffire glass. Don’t know of any other gps watches with these specs at such a low price point. If you want saffire on a Garmin you’re paying 500+ Euros.

Coros Pace 2 is also good value for money if you don’t mind the plastic build.

If that is your idea of “Budget running watch”, then you are pretty damn rich :rofl:


After a couple bad experiences with Garmin, I bought a Polar M430 a couple years ago. I usually run twice a week and don’t have any particular running goals or ambitions beyond maintaining some fitness. The M430 has been reliable and easy to use, and I like that it tracks heart rate and cadence without any additional gear. It has other sport profiles for tracking whatever you do (the sleep tracking is not great though). The Polar ecosystem plays well with the other software I use. Recommended.

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I have a forerunner 910 (pairs with power meter) that works great. Got it on eBay for about $30

Suunto 5. Full multi sport. $230ish USD.


Garmin’s Connect IQ 4 will only work on future watches that Garmin said will start to come out this year. Might be a big jump in functionality if the cpu and memory space increase. (Personally I’m waiting on the 955)

An obvious budget option is the Apple Watch series 3 for $199. If you just want to run or swim with it, it’s a great option.

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I just purchased the COROS Pace 2 and have nothing but good things to say! This was a replacement for a Garmin FR 235.

Although, neither have GPS navigation, if that’s what you’re looking for.

The real question is if 945 is budget then what is premium?



Ohhhhh the signature set looks reasonably priced.

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