GPS Watches: How Long Does A GPS Watch’s Batteries Last

When considering your GPS watch purchase, you may have at some point wondered: How long do GPS watches batteries last?

Unfortunately the answer is quite a lot. The typical unit sucks up a heck of a lot of juice compared with a traditional sports watches.

Most of the GPS watches on the market can operate with full GPS tracking switched on for about 8-10 hours, but fortunately almost all allow you toggle GPS on and off, letting you use the basic sports watch features without the power burden of GPS tracking.

Some watches even allow you to configure the interval at which the GPS updates – a longer update period, the longer the battery will last, but the less accurate real-time measurements will be.

External GPS devices of course have a separate battery from the watch unit, so if the GPS device goes flat, it will not affect your session data. These types of devices utilize AA or AAA batteries which have to be replaced every 12 hours or so, increasing the running costs of your watch.

The battery type and more importantly the amount of time you can keep the GPS running is something to factor in, especially if you are an ultra endurance athlete.

Here is a table of the battery life of the major GPS watches.

List of GPS Watches By Battery Type and GPS Endurance

Series Model Battery Type GPS Endurance
Garmin Forerunner 101 2x AAA batteries 14-15 hrs typical Product Link
201 Li Rechargeable 14-15 hrs typical Product Link
301 Li Rechargeable 14-15 hrs typical Product Link
205 Li Rechargeable 10 hrs typical Product Link
305 Li Rechargeable 10 hrs typical Product Link
310XT Li Rechargeable 20 hrs typical Product Link
405 Li Rechargeable 2 wks power save mode, 8 hrs GPS mode Product Link
405CX Li Rechargeable 2 wks power save mode, 8 hrs GPS mode Product Link
Suunto X9/i Li Rechargeable 4-5 hrs heavy power > 2 months sparse power Product Link
X10 Li Rechargeable 6 hours (with heavy usage of the GPS, backlight, compass and data storage
functions)
Over 2 months if you only use Time and/or Alti/Baro mode
Product Link
GlobalSat GH-615B/615M Li Rechargeable GPS on; HRM & Backlight off 11 hours
GPS, HRM & Backlight off 25 hours
HRM on; GPS & Backlight off 25 hours
GPS, HRM on; Backlight off 11 hours
Product Link
GH-625M Li Rechargeable 10 hours (3D fix, GPS on; HBM & Backlight off)
8 hours (3D fix, GPS, HBM & Backlight on)
21 hours (GPS, HBM off; Backlight off)
Product Link
Suunto T3/c 2x AAA batteries 10 hours (advertised)
18-20 hours on alkaline AAA (reported)
30+ hours on lithium AAA (reported)
Product Link
T4/c 2x AAA batteries 10 hours (advertised)
18-20 hours on alkaline AAA (reported)
30+ hours on lithium AAA (reported)
Product Link
T6/c 2x AAA batteries 10 hours (advertised)
18-20 hours on alkaline AAA (reported)
30+ hours on lithium AAA (reported)
Product Link
Polar RS200G1 2x AAA batteries 10 hrs full power, 15 hrs low power Product Link
RS400G1 2x AAA batteries 10 hrs full power, 15 hrs low power Product Link
RS800CX 2x AAA batteries 10 hrs full power, 15 hrs low power Product Link
Timex S & D T5E701 2x AA batteries 13-Hour battery life from 1 AA battery Product Link
Bodylink T5F011 2x AA batteries 13-Hour battery life from 1 AA battery Product Link
Bodylink Trailrunner T5J985 2x AA batteries 13-Hour battery life from 1 AA battery Product Link
Bodylink T5F011 2x AA batteries 13-Hour battery life from 1 AA battery Product Link
Bodylink T5G311 2x AA batteries 13-Hour battery life from 1 AA battery Product Link

Visit our page on GPS watches for more information about buying a GPS watch.

Help us keep this information accurate and up to date. If you have some new information or think we’ve missed something, feel free to drop us a line.

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