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Why Decathlon’s Kiprun GPS 900 is the best budget running watch on the market right now

kiprun 900 gps running watch
Decathlon Kiprun GPS 900 watch: Tried and testedHearst Owned

Decathlon’s Kiprun range is all about reliable running gear on a budget. And the new GPS 900 running watch – powered by COROS – tries to maximise the value of your wrist-based training partner.

That starts with standout staying power. The budget-busting 35-hour full GPS battery life extends to 80 hours in Ultramax low-power mode. That outlasts much pricier watches like the new Garmin Forerunner 965 and even the older Fenix 6 watches.

The Kiprun also features COROS’ EvoLab training tools with a strong suite of performance, recovery and activity insights, including running performance, VO2 Max estimates, training load, impact and fatigue feedback. Navigation functions stretch to breadcrumb route following, off-route alerts and back-to-start guidance. There’s a barometric altimeter for altitude and elevation tracking, too. You also get smartphone notifications. However, you’re sacrificing bells and whistles like offline music and contactless payments, that you only find on more expensive watches.

Who’s it for?

At under £200, the Kiprun GPS 900 definitely punches above its price tag. It’s a good option for anyone looking for a capable running partner on a tighter budget. It offers more than your regular budget running watches with a simplicity that’ll suit beginner runners.

There’s a good range of benchmarking insights if you run for fitness and enough tracking, training and other tools if you end up chasing marathon finish lines. The endurance-friendly GPS battery life means it’ll also suit ultra-runners, too. However, the most adventurous runners need to look higher up the food chain to get advanced nav tools like maps.

Performance

Right across the board from design to performance, this watch does the basics well. The simple design is slicker, more stylish and well-built than the cheaper plastic COROS Pace 2.

It’s light and comfortable to wear 24/7, especially if you swap the strap for a comfier nylon alternative. The screen isn’t the brightest – probably to save battery life – but there’s plenty of screen real estate and your vital stats are visible on the move in all conditions.

The built-in optical heart rate (OHR) sensor is a bit hit-and-miss. It occasionally locks onto cadence, takes time to settle at the start of runs and can be a bit spikey even when you’re cruising steadily. It’s not necessarily worse than other pricier optical HR watches but those rogue reads affect the reliability of your training and recovery insights.

The GPS tracking is solid and a reliable match for more expensive watches for overall distance accuracy. But when you dig into the GPS tracks, it often struggles to lock accurately to paths and we found real-time pace readouts bounced around a lot.

The battery life is where it really excels. The Kiprun GPS 900 lived up to its big endurance billing. A two-hour run burned just 5%, overnight sleep tracking used up an average of 1-2% and you’ll get at least a fortnight’s marathon training time on a single charge.

RW verdict

This watch doesn’t match the bargain levels of COROS-Decathlon’s first collab, the Kiprun GPS 500, but you get some serious tech here for under £200. What the Kiprun GPS 900 lacks in optical heart rate accuracy, it more than makes up for with simple, unfussy and robust design, reliable-enough GPS plus a competitive suite of training tools and nav smarts. But by far the biggest attraction is that massive battery life. You won’t find a running partner that goes longer at the price.

Kiprun GPS 900, £199.99 at Decathlon

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