(Pocket-lint) – The Garmin Forerunner 55 is successfully set to switch the Forerunner 45 because the inexpensive choice in Garmin’s massive household of watches constructed for runners.

Together with protecting the working watch bases with built-in GPS, coronary heart price monitoring and delivering core real-time working metrics, it additionally brings in options that debuted on pricier Forerunners – options comparable to PacePro pacing methods, a race predictor, and each day prompt exercises.

With the value leaping up barely from the sooner 45 mannequin, you are paying a bit additional for these software program extras, although the Forerunner 55 feels much less like an entry-level product than its predecessor.

Design and show

  • 42mm case solely
  • 11.6mm thick / Weighs: 37g
  • Waterproof as much as 50 metres depth
  • 1.04-inch 208 x 208 pixel transflective show

The Forerunner 55 at first look would not look that completely different from the Forerunner 45. It matches the bigger 45’s 42mm watch case, and whereas it will increase barely in thickness, it is not in a means you’d actually discover.


In typical Forerunner vogue, it is a polymer case that is matched up with a 20mm silicone band that makes use of Garmin’s quick-release bands, making it a lot simpler to swap in certainly one of Garmin’s different official bands or seize a less expensive various from elsewhere.

There are 4 case colors in complete, letting you choose from white, black, aqua and gray – that are the form of color schemes we have seen seem on different Forerunner fashions. The general look is unsurprisingly sporty, nevertheless it’s a small, light-weight, and total a cushty watch to reside with.

Round that case you may discover 5 bodily buttons that function in the identical means as they do on the 45. Maintain down the highest proper button and you’ll find a shortcut to some settings. Press the button beneath that and that may push you deeper into these settings menu.

Entrance and centre is a 1.04-inch show, matching decision to what Garmin gives on the Forerunner 45. Whereas it is a small display screen, visibility is powerful in brilliant out of doors mild, and there is a backlight that provides ample brightness to make it one which’s straightforward to look at for night-time runs and exercises.

Pocket-lintGarmin Forerunner 55 review photo 14

Across the again, there’s Garmin’s Elevate optical coronary heart price monitor, which does not appear to be essentially the most up-to-date model of the corporate’s sensor know-how – which first appeared on the Venu 2 and the Venu 2s. There’s additionally no pulse oximeter, though that is maybe not all that shocking given the 55 sits on the extra inexpensive finish of Garmin’s Forerunner vary.

As a package deal, you are getting one thing that is water-proof to as much as 50 metres depth, making it appropriate for maintaining it on for a swim too.

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Software program and efficiency

  • Cellphone notifications, music controls and climate forecasts
  • Full Garmin Join IQ help

Garmin does all of its software program enterprise in-house and that does not change with the Forerunner 55. You are getting one thing that is appropriate with Android telephones and iPhones and requires Garmin’s Join companion app to set issues up and think about your well being and health stats. It is also appropriate with third-party apps, so you may push knowledge to the likes of Strava and MyFitnessPal. We had no issues firing runs, exercises and swims over to Strava.

By way of that on-watch software program expertise, it may really feel like a well-recognized place in case you’ve performed round with a Garmin from 2020 onwards. The large software program change within the 55 over the 45 is that Garmin has embraced its new-look consumer interface that swaps widgets for a stream of glanceable knowledge which you could view in a single place after which increase in order for you additional particulars. It is an method that appears like the best step from Garmin by way of making getting round and discovering the information you care about faster.

With the 55 you need to take care of the very fact you are not getting the complete complement of smartwatch options that one can find on different Forerunner watches. There isn’t any built-in music participant or Garmin Pay for example. What you do get is the power to view notifications, management music playback in your cellphone, and think about knowledge comparable to climate forecasts. In contrast to the 45, you do now get entry to every part within the Garmin Join IQ retailer.

Off the watch, Garmin Join can nonetheless really feel like an awesome place for anybody who’s new to the Garmin platform, and there is far more to seek out within the dropdown menu too. It pays to spend a while attending to know the place issues reside, significantly getting your watch settings proper and seeing how one can additionally push exercises to the watch and setup running-focused options comparable to Garmin Coach.

Sports activities and health monitoring

  • Day by day prompt exercises
  • Pool swim monitoring
  • Works with Garmin Coach
  • PacePro pacing methods
  • Restoration advisor
  • End time estimates

By way of {hardware}, you are getting the identical as what you may discover on the Forerunner 45. The identical satellite tv for pc help for mapping out of doors exercises, plus a coronary heart price monitor to repeatedly monitor coronary heart price or monitor it throughout train. There’s additionally an accelerometer to trace indoor exercises like treadmill runs and now pool swims.

Pocket-lintGarmin Forerunner 55 review photo 13

What Garmin has sought to do right here is lay on prime options that take the 55 from a fundamental working watch to a a lot smarter one. These options have already appeared on different Forerunner watches, however now they’ve filtered right down to certainly one of Garmin’s most inexpensive watches.

We will lead with running because that’s what the Forerunner 55 is really about. There are five running profiles, including new track running modes and a virtual running mode to make it one that will play nice with apps like Zwift. You may seize working metrics fundamentals like tempo, distance, time and tempo.

The Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity means you may pair sensors like footpods and exterior chest strap displays as properly. We had no drawback pairing up Garmin’s personal HRM-Professional chest strap and the most recent technology Wahoo Tickr X strap.

Whereas GPS pick-up was a bit sluggish at first, issues picked up after a couple of runs and towards the pricier Garmin Enduro it held up properly on distance monitoring and delivering these core metrics. Coronary heart price efficiency would not break the mould from what you may get from different Forerunners: it is properly fitted to regular paced runs, however pair up a chest strap while you’re tackling excessive depth coaching.

Pocket-lintGarmin Forerunner 55 review photo 19

What modifications within the 55 over the 45 is what’s at your disposal prior, throughout and after your run. Earlier than you get monitoring, you now have entry to Garmin’s PacePro pacing methods, which is a characteristic designed that can assist you higher strategise and nail your pacing throughout a run or, extra usefully, throughout a race. You may want to pick out your course profile in Garmin Join after which sync it over to the watch. From there you may be guided to hit a sure tempo primarily based on the profile of the course. You will not see a map of the course because the 55 would not help maps, however it can nonetheless supply that steering with out it.

There’s additionally entry to race predictor and end time options, which in contrast to earlier variations of those options, take into higher account of your logged working historical past to higher perceive how fast you may end a 5K – but additionally present what time you may end if, say, you are making an attempt to squeeze in a run earlier than a gathering.

Garmin has introduced over its each day prompt exercises and improved restoration advisor, however these options are barely scaled again from those that debuted on the Forerunner 745 and have since rolled to different watches. They’re going to nonetheless supply really helpful running-based exercises primarily based on working historical past and pay shut consideration to restoration time. That restoration advisor merely tells you the hours to contemplate coaching once more primarily based on the depth and length of logged exercises. They’re positively extra guides than definitive recommendation, however in case you’re new to working and searching for some steering on what to do and when to do it, these are good options to have.

Pocket-lintGarmin Forerunner 55 review photo 4

Outdoors of working, this watch remains to be match for monitoring out of doors biking and now there’s pool swim monitoring, which helps you to monitor metrics like distance, tempo and stroke rely. There’s stroke recognition and auto relaxation help too. Garmin’s pool monitoring is constantly strong throughout its watch vary and that does not change with the Forerunner 55. It is simply good to see that swim monitoring has lastly been added to the combination.

If you need a health tracker and one thing to observe facets of your well being, this watch crams these options in as properly. You may monitor steps and robotically monitor sleep – though like lots of Garmin units, the 55 tends to over-report sleep length. There’s now help to trace respiration, too, which is delivered by that Elevate optical coronary heart price monitor. Girls’s well being monitoring works throughout the watch and the Join app too, which wasn’t obtainable on the 45.

Battery life

  • As much as 2 weeks in smartwatch mode
  • 20 hours GPS battery life

The Garmin Forerunner 55 gives a battery enhance while you’re monitoring and while you’re simply utilizing it in smartwatch mode. You may anticipate to rise up to 2 weeks, which is about double that of the sooner mannequin. It is moved from 13 hours to 20 hours for GPS-tracking battery life, that are fairly sizable enhancements on the stamina entrance.

Pocket-lintGarmin Forerunner 55 review photo 1

Primarily, although, the 55 is a watch that is good for a strong week’s value of coaching when monitoring on a regular basis and in addition utilizing its smartwatch. Minimize that right down to perhaps 2-Three GPS primarily based exercises and you will get near that fortnight. It is value mentioning that if in case you have a behavior of switching up watch faces, significantly ones from the Join IQ retailer, you may discover some could trigger the battery to empty faster than utilizing Garmin’s personal preloaded faces.

By way of battery drop-off when GPS is in use, this is not a watch that is hit exhausting and we discovered it could drop slightly below 5 % per an hour’s value of working – so 20 hours of continuous in case you’re an extremely extremely runner. Whereas it won’t be one of the best of the easiest battery numbers you will get at this worth, it definitely would not underperform, so we’re relatively impressed with the longevity.


The Garmin Forerunner 45 was and remains to be a terrific look ahead to runners, however what Garmin has achieved with the Forerunner 55 is make issues even higher.

There are extra insights and options constructed across the similar sensors that take issues past a fundamental working watch expertise to 1 that feels loads smarter. It lasts longer per cost too.

The running-centric options alone give it nice enchantment, whereas the addition of swim monitoring is a pleasant bonus. Though you aren’t getting the complete smartwatch works, these pleased with notifications, music controls and full Join IQ retailer entry can be properly served right here.

Backside line: the Garmin Forerunner 55 is a small, light-weight working watch that ticks the important thing bins first, then throws worthwhile options on prime of that, which might allow you to take your run coaching and racing to the subsequent degree.

Additionally take into account

Garmin Venu Sq

This will provide you with extra smartwatch options and a color touchscreen show, plus these nice Garmin sports activities monitoring expertise too.


Garmin Forerunner 45

The sooner mannequin may miss out on a few of the new smarts, nevertheless it gives an analogous design and an total nice run monitoring expertise. You must be capable of choose it up for much less cash too, after all.


Polar Ignite 2

This has nice options you will not discover on Garmin’s watches – comparable to its FitSpark exercise suggestions, which look past working – and it has a glance that really feel that is much more trendy in our opinion.


Writing by Michael Sawh. Enhancing by Mike Lowe. Initially revealed on .

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