These Apple Watch models are the best for accurate fitness tracking

A host of newer Apple Watch models don't rely on an iPhone for GPS tracking

Apple Watch Ultra
(Image credit: Future)

Since it was launched, the Apple Watch has always been one of the best fitness trackers on the market. The now iconic square-case design is synonymous with fitness lovers, finding favour thanks to a well designed, rugged construction, and a robust feature set.

The very first Apple Watches didn't have built-in GPS systems. Instead, they relied upon the iPhone they were paired with to track location data. However, for a few years now, the Apple Watch models have had their own built-in GPS trackers. This allowed them to operate independent of the paired iPhone when necessary – such as when you want to track a run, but don't want to carry your phone with you.

However, in a bid to conserve battery, the Watch would default back to the iPhone if it was still on your person. Now, the latest wave of Apple's wearable devices – the Apple Watch Ultra, the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch SE 2 – enable users to utilise the additional fitness and location tracking capabilities of the Apple Watch even when they have their phone to hand.

It's great news for fitness lovers. Using the extra data from the sensors on the watch will enable more accuracy and precision in workout tracking. And, given the comparative battery efficiency of the newer models, it's impressive.

Older Apple Watch models neglected to use this design to save battery, so the fact that modern Apple Watches can handle it without breaking a sweat is a testament to the design changes that have gone on under the hood.

If you've yet to get your hands on one, check out this handy guide to the best Apple Watch deals right now. It will help you find a new smartwatch for the best price on the market.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.