Whats the point of a sports watch?: I've got a... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
107,606 members138,620 posts

Whats the point of a sports watch?


I've got a birthday coming up in a few weeks and was going to request the OH buys me a sports watch for running. I got a bit carried away with reviews etc and was on the cusp of going for something v expensive. But then it occured to me that everything is on my phone - music, strava, c25k app etc. So i wondered what the point is of a sports watch.

If you have one, do you think its worth it? I was looking at the Garmin Vivoactive.

25 Replies

In a word........accuracy..........but beyond that your phone can do it all and be a crucial safety device.


I suppose it depends if you want to monitor everything! I was thinking about getting one but don't want to monitor sleep and everything else. I have a friend who looks at his watch all the time and he worries me. I'd prefer a nice bottle of perfume or new running clothes!😂 just my opinion...

Speedy60Graduate in reply to Roxdog

Oow, I'm like the Bisto kid when someone mentions running clothes - or shoes!

RoxdogGraduate in reply to Speedy60

Oh I love new clothes!

RoxdogGraduate in reply to Speedy60

Nothing like looking like a real runner!

FionamagsGraduate in reply to Roxdog

Hahaha yes the Garmin does sleep, oxygen sats, heart rate, stress etc etc. It cd make you completely paranoid!! Knowing you have poor sleep isnt going to fix it....

I might check out the flash gear in Lulu Lemon and see about a running treat! 😉

RoxdogGraduate in reply to Fionamags

Yay! Flash running gear without paranoia!

RoxdogGraduate in reply to Fionamags

Monitoring stress! That would make me stressed immediately, worrying about being told I am stressed!

Brilliant!!! Wish hubby would buy me one of those lovely fluorescent jackets. I pull a big yellow reflective vest on at the mo. It isn’t pretty 😞

I spent a long time looking at sports watches before picking the Fitbit Charge 3.

Other, more expensive watches have much more functionality, but it's all stuff I would never use. So it seems like a complete waste of money to me.

I would never run without the ability to make and receive a phone call. So I have RunKeeper, Strava, GPS of course and Amazon Prime Music on my phone which I always run with.

Truth is, the only thing I really use my Fitbit for, is to give me a prompt when I've been sat idle for too long (I have a desk job and need to walk more during the day), and to track heart rate and sleep patterns.

Truth is, I think I could happily live without it.


I was happy with my phone for several months and carried it on every run then one day it slipped out of my hand and smashed the screen

Now i have a sports watch with gps and music and leave the phone behind, i no longer stop to take pictures though

RunningMigsterGraduate in reply to WillowandSola

We miss the pictures!

I was on the verge of buying the Samsung Galaxy Watch. Nearly took my wallet out in a Samsung store in New York.

You can use it as a phone too, which would allow me to leave my phone behind.

Cant download Amazon Prime Music onto it though. Deal breaker for me! We use it as a family and with all of our individual playlists and such like set up, I'm really not willing to switch to Spotify.

But, if Amazon get there act together and make it available on the Galaxy watch, I'll buy one in a heart beat and go running without my phone!


WillowandSolaGraduate in reply to RunningMigster

I’m having a rough day and going to plug everything in to my laptop it’s not as easy as it sounds to download amazon music to my watch, I have several playlists one consists mostly of rap one consists mostly of slow songs i don’t know one consists mostly of rock i don’t know, get the picture? between swiping and tapping the watch face i’ve messed up so going to sort it out and turn my day round

The run was pretty dire too every time there was a dog i ran widely round it and slid on the muddy grass and one time to go round would have put me in the river so i turned round and went back the other way grumbling to myself, so i will sort the music and stop saying it’s not fair i can’t smoke

RoxdogGraduate in reply to WillowandSola

Oh sorry you're having a bad day!

WillowandSolaGraduate in reply to Roxdog

Thank you turns out i forgot to change my nicotine patch so i’m not ready to do without them

RunningMigsterGraduate in reply to WillowandSola

Yikes... combined with tech issues, that's a no fun day!

Ew 😞one of those days 😩


Thanks all - v useful!

Ruithsleum in reply to Fionamags

I really like the gps tracking of the vivoactiv, I have a vivoactive hr that I bought second hand for a very reasonable price, and it’s great if you do any outdoor activity and want to record where you have been very easily. It’s also easy to glance at it during the run or walk and see your heart rate, if you want a confirmation of how hard you’re working! Also you can look back in Garmin connect website and see a record of all your activity’s.

Apart from the heart rate you can probably do all this with your phone too, but the watch is very convenient, although I wouldn’t be able to justify the more expensive ones to myself.


I didn’t think I really needed a watch ... until I got one. I’ve got the forerunner 645 music and it’s the best bit of kit I own. It means I can track my run (it uploads when I get back home) and listen to music without taking my phone with me. The only thing I miss about not having my phone is stopping to take photos of my route 😂


I have a Garmin 235 and think the tracker is more accurate than my iPhone. But my view would be you should think hard about what you really want to focus on. Unless you’re going to be a flash athlete, my own opinion now would be that a really basic watch with good gps tracking is fine for most of us and use your phone for the rest. I have morphed a lot in the year I’ve been running, so imho get the running gear now! 👏🏼😄🏃🏼‍♀️


I think my watch is more accurate than phone GPS. Don’t know why that should be but it seems to be the case. It’s also easier to check while running than the phone. I don’t always want to carry my phone during a running event and even if I do have it I don’t want it in my hand all the time. So accuracy, as has been said, but also comfort. Third thing depending on the model might be heart rate monitoring but you have to be careful how you interpret that.


I had the same internal debate with myself, found I had a Timex expedition chunky watch in my drawer, chucked an ebay yellow rubber strap on it and it works well as a stopwatch for my runs, also looks like a proper grown up gps watch !


I had a Samsung Galaxy Active watch for Xmas and love it as it looks nice compared with some. I had a Fitbit charge before, but always felt that I looked like I’d been tagged!

I bought a second hand Fitbit Charge 2 through FB marketplace. Only cost me a tenner - I've found it particularly useful for sleep monitoring and it tracks my C25K runs well. The step counter is not so good as it picks up all movement, not just walking, so clapping counts as stepping! I'm also recording my weight loss through it, and find the congratulatory alerts it sends me through the watch and via email really encouraging.

You may also like...