Garmin has been a staple within the low-end operating watch market for a very long time. The uber-popular Forerunner 35 from 2016 can nonetheless be discovered on wrists right now. However there’s new competitors in that sector, and Garmin must hold enhancing its tried-and-true formulation, so it doesn’t lose out to smaller gamers like Coros.

Enter: the Garmin Forerunner 55. This budget-friendly operating watch builds on 2019’s Forerunner 45 in just a few necessary methods. Learn our full Garmin Forerunner 55 evaluate to see simply how this new operating wearable stacks up towards the heated competitors.

About this Garmin Forerunner 55 evaluate: I used the Garmin Forerunner 55 for 9 days operating software program model 2.07. The Garmin Forerunner 55 evaluate unit was supplied to Android Authority by Garmin.

What you should know in regards to the Garmin Forerunner 55

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  • Garmin Forerunner 55: $199.99

The Garmin Forerunner 55 is a light-weight operating watch made for individuals new to the game and those that don’t wish to spend an arm and a leg. The Forerunner 55 is the most cost effective operating watch in Garmin’s ecosystem, not together with previous-gen gadgets.

The Forerunner 55 splits the distinction between the Forerunner 45 and the mid-range Forerunner 245. It borrows some design parts and coaching options from higher-end operating watches whereas additionally maintaining the value right down to $200. The entire Forerunner 55’s new options aren’t technically “new,” however this marks the primary time they’re coming to the corporate’s lowest-end operating watch.

The watch goes on sale right now, June 2, for $199.99 within the US on You may choose it up in Black, White, or Aqua colorways. Extra retailers and areas will probably be introduced at a later date.

Garmin Forerunner 55 vs 45: What’s new?

Garmin Forerunner 55 review daily suggested workouts todays suggestion

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The Garmin Forerunner 45 was an all-around strong operating watch, however the Forerunner 55 improves it in just a few key methods. Listed below are all the brand new Forerunner 55 options you gained’t discover on the Forerunner 45:

  • New design: The Forerunner 55 now resembles the Forerunner 245. It’s not a 1:1 match, however the similarities are plentiful. The Forerunner 55 has an all-plastic case and help for quick-release straps, in contrast to the Forerunner  45, whose straps might solely be eliminated with a screwdriver.
  • Improved battery life: The Forerunner 45 might last as long as seven days in smartwatch mode or 13 hours with the GPS activated. The Forerunner 55 greater than doubles that. It could actually last as long as two weeks in smartwatch mode or as much as 20 hours in GPS mode.
  • PacePro: Garmin’s PacePro function means that you can sustain together with your desired tempo, even when your course has elevation modifications that might usually throw off your numbers.
  • Race Predictor: A function discovered on mid- to high-end operating watches, the Forerunner 55 comes with Garmin’s Race Predictor estimates. The watch makes use of your VO2 max and coaching historical past to foretell your ending instances for 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, and full marathons.
  • Cadence alerts: Garmin added cadence alerts to the Forerunner 55’s operating profile. That is an enchancment over the Forerunner 45, which had tempo alerts however not cadence alerts.
  • Every day advised exercises: Every day, your Forerunner 55 will suggest a exercise primarily based on the next components: coaching standing, coaching load, load focus, VO2 max, restoration time, sleep information, and not too long ago accomplished exercises. Instructed exercises are supposed to problem you and assist you keep or enhance your present health stage.
  • Restoration Advisor: After you full an exercise, the Forerunner 55 will estimate how lengthy it is best to take to recuperate. Restoration instances are advised primarily based on the coaching impact of the exercise you simply accomplished, in addition to the quantity of restoration time you may have left in the beginning of your subsequent exercise.
  • New sport profiles: The Forerunner 55 features just a few much-requested sport profiles over the 45, together with pool swimming, Pilates, HIIT, digital operating, and observe operating.
  • Improved Physique Battery: Whereas the Forerunner 45 sequence got here with Garmin’s Physique Battery function, the Forerunner 55 affords the improved algorithm that first appeared on the Garmin Venu 2. You may learn extra in regards to the function in our Venu 2 evaluate, however know that it’s going to now be harder to attain a Physique Battery rating of 100.
  • New health-tracking options: The Forerunner 55 can now observe your respiration price through the day and in a single day. It additionally now options Garmin’s menstrual cycle and being pregnant monitoring, leisure reminders whenever you’re confused, and hydration monitoring.

These are all the brand new options accessible on the Forerunner 55. We’ve requested Garmin to make clear which, if any, of those options will probably be ported to the Forerunner 45 sequence, however the firm stated it’s nonetheless figuring that out.

Garmin Forerunner 55 review vo2 max on wrist

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The next options have been carried over from the Forerunner 45:

  • Tracks whole time, distance, pace, tempo, and coronary heart price throughout exercises
  • Tracks steps, energy, depth minutes, and sleep
  • Standalone GPS
  • Garmin Elevate coronary heart price sensor (similar sensor because the Forerunner 45)
  • Put up-run analytics from Firstbeat
  • Stress monitoring
  • Exercise packages with Garmin Coach
  • VO2 max estimates
  • Location monitoring with LiveTrack
  • Help function to ship automated messages to emergency contacts within the occasion of an emergency
  • Smartwatch options together with smartphone notifications, on-device climate, and compatibility with Join IQ

How’s the brand new design?

Garmin Forerunner 55 review vs coros pace 2 1

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Left to proper: Coros Tempo 2, Garmin Forerunner 55

The brand new design is among the greatest elements of the Garmin Forerunner 55. It’s nothing revolutionary — it primarily has the identical design as all different fashionable Forerunners — but it surely provides to the gadget’s longevity and ease of use. The Forerunner 45 sequence’ straps have been proprietary and will solely be eliminated with a screwdriver, limiting how simply customers might swap them out.

You may swap out the Forerunner 55’s straps for any commonplace 20mm watch straps, and also you may wish to take into account doing so. They don’t really feel almost as high-quality as what you’d discover on the Forerunner 245 or Venu sequence.

Because the Forerunner 55 doesn’t have a touchscreen, all gadget navigation is finished via the 5 bodily buttons across the case. The buttons really feel satisfyingly clicky and are simpler to press than the buttons on my Forerunner 245 Music.

Additionally learn: The perfect Garmin watches you should purchase: Fenix, Venu, and extra

The show is ok. It’s an ordinary Forerunner show that exhibits up properly in direct daylight. It’s small and has a reasonably low decision. I want Garmin bumped up the decision this time round — each watch face is sort of distractingly pixelated. Nevertheless, as a result of the watch is so small, the Forerunner 55 will probably be well-suited for small wrists.

Battery life has been nice in my expertise. Garmin claims the Forerunner 55 can last as long as two weeks on a single cost in “smartwatch mode” (i.e., not utilizing many battery-draining options like GPS). I haven’t had the gadget for 2 weeks, however I’m on observe to get rather less than that, perhaps 12-13 days. That’s fairly good, contemplating I’ve charged the watch as soon as and have accomplished a number of GPS-enabled workouts every week.

Health and well being monitoring

Garmin Forerunner 55 review running hiit pool swimming profiles

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The Garmin Forerunner 55 isn’t only for operating; it may observe different sports activities, too: outside operating, treadmill, indoor observe, indoor and outside biking, indoor and outside strolling, cardio, yoga, elliptical, stair stepper, breathwork, and a generic “different” class, along with the brand new actions beforehand listed.

The brand new HIIT profile works identical to it does on the Venu 2, permitting you to decide on between 4 timed exercises: AMRAP, EMOM, Tabata, and customized. There’s additionally a free mode when you’d wish to hold tabs in your total information.

I in contrast the Forerunner 55 towards the Coros Tempo 2 and Fitbit Sense for all-day exercise monitoring, and the brand new Garmin watch held up in comparison with the opposite gadgets. Step counts and calorie burn numbers have been almost spot-on with the Tempo 2.

However what we’re actually right here for is its operating efficiency. Garmin selected to make use of its previous-gen Elevate coronary heart price sensor within the Forerunner 55 as a substitute of the brand new one which debuted on the Venu 2. It doesn’t seem like that must be a problem, although.

garmin forerunner 55 review vs coros pace 2 heart rate data

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You’ll see a 3.3-mile run with the Forerunner 55 (purple) and the Coros Tempo 2 (blue) within the screenshot above. I got here away utterly impressed by the Forerunner’s efficiency. It managed to remain spot-on with the Tempo 2 all through the whole run, even matching it in main peaks and valleys.

Associated: Try all of Garmin’s greatest operating watches

The Forerunner 55’s efficiency (purple) was additionally spectacular in comparison with the Polar H10 (orange) and Apple Watch Sequence 6 (blue) throughout a 4.2-mile run, which you’ll be able to see beneath.

garmin forerunner 55 review vs polar h10 apple watch series 6 heart rate

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Once more, the Forerunner 55 carried out properly towards the Apple Watch and Polar H10. There have been hardly any vital variations between the three, although issues did get barely off through the two relaxation intervals on the 19- and 29-minute marks. Notably, the Forerunner 55 doesn’t report coronary heart price information as typically because the Apple Watch and Polar H10.

All in all, I’d say the Forerunner 55’s coronary heart price sensor is a winner. It’s completely able to monitoring main coronary heart price tendencies and is ready to compete with the most effective wrist-based sensors on the market. After all, you’ll at all times get extra correct information with a coronary heart price chest strap.

The Forerunner 55’s coronary heart price sensor is a winner.

GPS efficiency is spectacular, too. Check out the screenshot beneath to see the three.3-mile run with the Forerunner (purple), Tempo 2 (blue), and Fitbit Sense (orange).

garmin forerunner 55 review vs coros pace 2 fitbit sense gps data

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Forerunner 55 caught to my route nearly precisely. There are just a few moments the place the Forerunner drifted off into the homes on the facet of the road, however all in all, it was the closest to the route I took. On the identical avenue, the Coros Tempo 2 had me operating on the opposite facet of the road, about 4 lanes of visitors over from the place I truly was. The Tempo 2’s information was much better than the Fitbit Sense’s, which, properly, speaks for itself.

garmin forerunner 55 review vs apple watch series 6 gps

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I ran the identical route on one other day with the Forerunner 55 (purple) and Apple Watch Sequence 6 (blue), which you’ll be able to see above. It was cloudier today, however each gadgets expectedly carried out properly. I’ll give the win to the Apple Watch on this case, because it was in a position to follow the precise facet of the highway I used to be on almost the whole time. The Forerunner 55 was no slouch both.

Garmin Forerunner 55 review cadence alert running

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Whereas we’re as regards to operating, now’s nearly as good of a time as ever to convey up all the brand new coaching options. I arrange the identical cadence alerts on the Forerunner 55 and Coros Tempo 2, and each gadgets notified me after I dipped beneath my threshold of 170 SPM. Additionally, I’ve stated this earlier than, and I’ll say it once more, Garmin’s Restoration Advisor is among the most helpful coaching options the corporate affords. It may be slightly off in sure circumstances, however I discover its restoration estimates to be fairly correct more often than not.

The Forerunner 55 ought to observe sleep about in addition to different current Garmin gadgets, although I’ve run into one subject that I haven’t seen on different Garmins. Total, the watch tracked my sleep levels pretty precisely in comparison with the Fitbit Sense and Google Nest Hub (2nd gen). Nevertheless, on a number of nights, the Forerunner couldn’t choose up on my wake instances through the evening. The Sense and Nest Hub each reported over 40 minutes of waking up on one evening, whereas the Forerunner solely caught seven of these minutes. This has occurred a number of instances all through the testing interval.

Garmin Forerunner 55 specs

Garmin Forerunner 55
Show 1.04-inch transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) show
208 x 208 decision
Dimensions and weight 42 x 42 x 11.6mm
Matches wrists with a circumference of 126-203mm
20mm detachable straps
Construct supplies Plastic case
Silicone band
Battery As much as 2 weeks in smartwatch mode
As much as 20 hours in GPS mode
IP ranking 5ATM
Sensors Garmin Elevate coronary heart price sensor
Connectivity Bluetooth
Storage No on-device music storage
Shops 200 hours of exercise information
Compatibility Android, iOS
Garmin Pay No
Smartwatch options Join IQ-compatible
Smartphone notifications
Controls smartphone music
Garmin Help security options
Colours Black, White, Aqua

Worth and competitors

garmin forerunner 55 black model watch face

Garmin Forerunner 55

Garmin’s least expensive operating watch, improved

The Garmin Forerunner 55 affords main {hardware} and software program enhancements over its predecessor. New coaching options, greater than double the battery life, and a brand new design are simply a few of the upgrades you will get with the Forerunner 55.

As talked about, Garmin has a number of competitors within the ~$200 operating watch house.

The Coros Tempo 2 is gunning for Garmin’s low cost operating watch lineup, and there are just a few causes to purchase it over the Forerunner 55. Initially, the Tempo 2 helps onboard operating energy metrics, which is nearly unprecedented for an inexpensive gadget that doesn’t want an auxiliary pod. Coros additionally not too long ago debuted its EvoLab software program — principally its rival to Firstbeat analytics — that means the Tempo 2 will quickly provide Garmin-like coaching options.

Nevertheless, the Forerunner 55 boasts Garmin’s wide selection of well being metrics, higher smartwatch options, and extra detailed sleep monitoring than Coros’ providing. Proper now, I can’t let you know whether or not to purchase the Forerunner 55 over the Coros Tempo 2, although I can say Garmin’s watch is way extra polished than the Coros watch. Keep tuned for an in-depth comparability between the 2.

Additionally learn: The perfect health tracker offers we might discover

Those that are moving into operating also needs to take a look at the Huawei Watch GT 2e. It’s about $70 lower than the Forerunner 55 and affords Firstbeat analytics for runners. The Huawei Well being app isn’t almost as feature-rich as Garmin Join, but it surely’s a nice choice for brand new athletes.

If you happen to’re after a greater smartwatch expertise, the Apple Watch SE also needs to be thought of. It prices $270 and has most of the health options the Sequence 6 affords, however at a fraction of the value. It’s a strong health watch — particularly for GPS and coronary heart price monitoring — however the battery will solely final you a few day.

Garmin Forerunner 55 evaluate: The decision

Garmin Forerunner 55 review body battery graph

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I’m not stunned that I just like the Garmin Forerunner 55 a lot. It improves on the Forerunner 45 line in almost each manner, from design to battery life to well being and coaching options. And it does all of that with out costing any greater than the Forerunner 45 line. Garmin might have simply charged $50 extra for this watch contemplating these enhancements. After all, then it’d be creeping into Apple Watch SE territory and jeopardizing its Forerunner 245 line whereas being priced above the Coros Tempo 2.

The Garmin Forerunner 55 is among the most well-rounded operating watches, although it is solely $200.

Competitors helps the tech business thrive. Shoppers get higher merchandise when corporations are vying for these hard-earned {dollars}. With Coros hitting the ball out of the park at this worth level and Apple providing its uber-popular smartwatch for underneath $300, I feel Garmin should be on its toes for the subsequent few years. And which means we’ll see much more high-end options come to inexpensive gadgets. It actually is nice for the buyer.

By itself, although, the Garmin Forerunner 55 is among the most well-rounded operating watches I’ve used, and once more, it achieves this at $200. You may’t argue with that.

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