The term connected GPS is a fitness company’s way of saying a wearable can tether to your smartphone’s GPS, but it doesn’t have a GPS sensor built in. Connected GPS is an easy way for a manufacturer to add GPS functionality to any device. Instead of including a GPS sensor directly in a wearable, the wearable can tether off your phone’s built-in GPS hardware. This brings down the overall cost and physical size of the device, as a manufacturer wouldn’t need to spend the extra money or physical space on a standalone GPS sensor.
On the other hand, there’s one big downside to using a device with connected GPS over one that has a GPS built in: the wearable is heavily reliant on another device to use its full potential. So, if you want to use GPS functionality on a connected GPS-enabled device, you’ll also need to carry your phone with you.
Most devices you can buy today with connected GPS are fitness trackers, including many Fitbit device. The Fitbit Versa, Versa Lite, Fitbit Inspire, and Inspire HR fall into this category. Other wearables not made by Fitbit also have connected GPS functionality, including the Xiaomi Mi Band 4, Withings Move, and more. Here are a few of our favorite devices with connected GPS:
- Fitbit Charge 3
- Fitbit Alta HR
- Fitbit Blaze
- Withings Move
- Withings Move ECG