Multifunction watches combine the power of GPS training watches with ABC watches and – in the extreme – handheld GPS systems. Building them is an ambitious task. How do you combine all those features into products that don’t overwhelm the user? What’s the trade-off between functionality and battery life? And how should the desktop and/or web software complete the user experience?

Several manufacturers took on the task recently and delivered products into the market with varying degrees of success. Here are two:

Highgear XT7 Alti-GPS Multifunction Watch – Highgear makes a range of wrist instruments and digital compasses. The XT7 rolls a select set of ABC watch features into what is primarily a GPS trainer. For $250 MSRP, you get altitude and weather tracking, along with speed, distance, pace and heart rate monitoring. See full review.
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Suunto AmbitSuunto Ambit Multifunction Watch – Finnish manufacturer Suunto was one of the early pioneers in the ABC watch category and continues to innovate with the Ambit. All the features of a GPS trainer and a fully functioning ABC watch come packed into the Ambit. Prices start at $500. See full review.
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Thanks for reading another outdoor gear review from GearGuide. And thanks to Highgear and Suunto, along with Cherb PR and Outside Media for providing product for these reviews. Written by Matt K. and Scott S.