sports watch
We looked for the best performing sports watches on Amazon, and not all are smart. Some operate well enough without your smartphone. Image Credit: Unsplash/Hieu Pham

Your regular watch will seldom make a reliable companion for outdoor activities. You’ll either be concerned about sustaining scratches on the polished bracelet or find its display frustratingly limited to just time-telling. How convenient would it be if the timepiece could track the weather, tides, running distance, location and survive a swim?

A durable sports watch is made of tougher stuff, like resin bands and a shock-resistant body, and comes loaded with multiple sensors that expertly gauge the natural elements. From the occasional golfer to the serious hiker, hit the road with a sporty watch from our list, some of which are 15 per cent off when you punch in the coupon code ‘TIMEOUT’ at checkout.

With an Amazon Prime membership, you can get speedy next-day delivery, free of cost.

1. Best Overall: Amazfit T-Rex Pro Smartwatch

Pros

  • Over 100 sports modes, with calorie count
  • Passed 15 military-grade tests for durability
  • Multiple sensors for tracking altitude, direction and location
  • Water-resistant in up to 100 metres
  • Fast-charging with up to 18 days of battery life
  • Displays texts and incoming calls

Cons

  • Only supports devices running Android 5.0 or iOS 10.0 and above

Never stop to think twice, when the Amazfit T-Rex Pro is strapped to your wrist. It can survive hot deserts, humidity, frigid temperatures and salt sprays, backed by 15 military-grade tests. Weighing only 60 grams, the T-Rex Pro is actually a sports smartwatch with heavy-duty components. This means it automatically logs any activity, from running and cycling to cricket and surfing, as one of its 100-plus sports modes. There are several useful features for outdoor activities, such as access to four global navigation satellite systems, sunrise and sunset times, a blood-oxygen saturation test on hikes and water resistance for swimming. Since the watch pairs with your smartphone, keep track of important texts and calls, as you listen to your favourite music on runs. Its battery charges within an hour and a half, only to last for a whopping 18 days (or 9 days with heavy usage). Check out other smartwatches.

2. Best Budget for Water Sports: Casio Sport Watch Analog-Digital Display

Pros

  • Considerable resistance to water (200m), making it suitable for water sports
  • Both digital and analogue timekeeping
  • Sporty, rugged look
  • Shock-resistant
  • Timer, stopwatch, hourly signal and alarm functions
  • LED light for readability in the dark

Cons

  • LED light is quite dim, according to reviews

Casio G-Shock models are well-known for their resistance to shock, meaning accidental drops are nothing to fuss about. This particular watch in the GA-700 series does more than that – it’s water-resistant in up to 200 metres of depth. A 20-bar resistance allows for more intensive water sports activities, so make the most of jet-skiing, scuba diving and bumpy rides at the water park. You can tell the time in both analogue and digital modes, including the date and the day of the week. Out on the beach at night? Trigger the LED light from the front button to read the display, and the watch hands cleverly move out of the way. There’s even the option to set a countdown timer along with a stopwatch function, five daily alarms and hourly alerts to keep you focused.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh23 and a two-year extended warranty for Dh33.

3. Best for Design: Citizen Men's Solar Powered Watch

Pros

  • Charges using any light source – no need for battery replacements
  • Looks like a dress watch
  • Stopwatch and date function
  • Doubles as a compass with directional markers
  • Water-resistant in up to 100 metres of depth

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited sports functions

Style meets functionality in this chronograph watch by Citizen. Its black ion plating and soft calf leather straps present a professional front, perfect for someone who prefers a clean sporty design. Our pick is from Citizen’s smart Eco-Drive line, where watches are solely powered by any light source, not just the sun. You can travel to the remotest corners of the world, with the peace of mind that the timepiece around your wrist is always ticking. Even if left in the dark, its power reserve can juice the watch for up to seven months. While the dial looks busy, every marker plays an important role, from the date and the 24-hour sub-dial to the stopwatch function. You can also use the watch as a compass, by aligning the hour hand with the sun – the middle point between the 12 o’clock marker and the hour hand is roughly south.

Bonus: Get 15 per cent off when you enter the coupon code ‘TIMEOUT’ at checkout.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh46 and a two-year extended warranty for Dh65.

4. Best Sports Smartwatch: Garmin Instinct 2 Solar Rugged GPS Smartwatch, Graphite

Pros

  • Charges with sunlight
  • A wide range of sports and activity tracking features
  • Remembers your hiking trail
  • Thermal-, shock-, scratch- and water-resistant (100 metres)
  • Multiple built-in sensors – navigation, barometer, thermometer and compass

Cons

  • Text response only works with paired Android phones
  • Expensive

For a fully equipped solar-powered sports watch, you might have to shell out a bit more. The Garmin Instinct 2 Solar has an unlimited battery life, as long as it sunbathes for a couple of hours every day. Unlike most smartwatches that boast a colour screen, the Instinct 2 Solar works with a classic monochrome display and a robust body. It puts you on the map using three navigation systems, in case one peters out during running or hiking. The Tracback Routing feature remembers your trail for you, so you’re never lost. If you’re a mountain biking enthusiast, the watch scores your performance after every ride for a motivational nudge. Whether golf, cycling or swimming is next on the agenda, the watch has a preloaded activity profile for every favourite sport. It suggests a recovery time period after each physical activity, too, once it factors in sleep quality, stress and daily movement.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh123.42 for 12 months with select banks.

5. Best for Running: Casio G Shock GBX 100 7DR Men's Digital Wrist Watch

Pros

  • Training mode for running
  • Displays tide graphs and moon phases
  • Set time laps and measure speed, calories burned and more
  • Water-resistant in up to 200 metres of depth
  • Band has wide slits for water and sweat to escape through

Cons

  • Can be difficult to operate

For those who are mostly found at the beach or on the ground running laps, check out the G-LIDE model in Casio’s G-Shock line. It pairs with your smartphone via Bluetooth to collate accurate information. On a small LCD display, it draws tide graphs based on your location, informing you of high and low tide times and levels, as well as moon data. This is especially useful for surfers or water sports enthusiasts. Runners can also benefit from the training function that measures distance, speed, laps, pace and calories burned using a built-in accelerometer. The watch automatically logs your daily step count and monthly running progress for reference.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh29 and a two-year extended warranty for Dh41.

6. Best for On-Land Activities: SUUNTO Core Classic, Outdoor Sports Watch

Pros

  • Fairly accurate barometer, altimeter and compass readings
  • Tracks sea level pressure
  • Storm alert
  • Works for a year without needing a battery replacement
  • Large display

Cons

  • Dim in direct sunlight
  • Not suitable for water sports

The Suunto Core Classic is designed to brave the outdoor elements. An adventurer’s essential tool, the lightweight outdoor watch delivers decent readability with large numbers and a backlight. Scale foreign mountains with this reliable gear that combines data from the built-in barometer and altimeter to keep you safe. It reads air pressure trends ahead of time, including sea level pressure, to warn you of a possible storm. Then there’s the altimeter that tracks your ascents and descents, easily surviving in extreme temperatures of -20°C to 60°C. You also have access to a digital compass with a north indicator needle on the bezel. Since its water resistance peaks at 30 metres, the watch is best used on land.

7. Best Budget Sports Smartwatch: Huawei GT2 Smartwatch with GPS, 46 mm

Pros

  • 15 sport modes, including a triathlon mode
  • Two navigation satellite systems
  • Excellent battery life
  • Large AMOLED screen
  • Touch and tactile interaction
  • Works with Android 4.4 or iOS 9.0 and above

Cons

  • Only suitable for shallow-water swimming (30 metres)

Here’s another sporty smartwatch for consideration, but one that's easy on the pocket. The Huawei Watch GT 2 looks like a cross between a casual timepiece and a nifty gadget. Interact with it using touch on the 1.39-inch AMOLED display or navigate with the two buttons on the edge. It comes equipped with two navigation systems: GPS (Global Positioning System) and GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) for recording accurate progress results. There are 15 sports modes and an additional 85 workout modes, making it a fit inside the gym and out. Challenge yourself to a swimming, cycling and running marathon, then have the special triathlon mode jot down the activity data. And it’s so easy to keep track of everyday numbers – expect to see your step count, calories burned, the number of times you stand up and more, at a glance. Reviewers mention how freeing it is to load songs onto the gadget, so that they don't have to carry their phone to play. For a smartwatch, you’re getting an excellent battery life of up to 14 days. If a fitness tracker is what you're looking for, see here.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh23 and a two-year extended warranty for Dh38.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.