Garmin Forerunner 255 review: Running back to the top

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The Garmin Forerunner 255 is a wonderful replace to a fan favourite. It provides a number of sensors that the Forerunner 245 sorely lacked, and new Garmin Pay assist allows you to ditch your pockets. With two sizes to select from and non-obligatory music integration, that is essentially the most versatile Garmin operating watch but and simply establishes its place amongst operating royalty.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 was, by all accounts, a terrific operating watch. A successful combo of dimension, worth, and battery life stored it floating amongst our favorites for over three years. Nonetheless, three years is an eternity within the wearables sport. Options that weren’t widespread at launch are actually must-haves, and it was time for this moderately priced watch to meet up with the occasions. Garmin makes lots of these guarantees, however is it sufficient to race again onto the rostrum? Discover out in our Garmin Forerunner 255 evaluate.

What you have to know in regards to the Garmin Forerunner 255

Garmin Forerunner 255 training status

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  • Garmin Forerunner 255/255S: $349 / €349 / £299
  • Garmin Forerunner 255 Music: $399 / €399 / £349

The Garmin Forerunner 255 arrived at the beginning of June 2022 as a refined, fitness-focused successor to the Forerunner 245 and the Forerunner 245 Music. It shares most of the identical design traits as its predecessors, however the Forerunner 255 is extra than simply an iterative replace. Whereas Garmin supplied its Forerunner 245 fashions in a single 42mm dimension, the Forerunner 255 now comes with choices. These with smaller wrists can go for the 41mm Forerunner 255S, whereas bigger wrists will really feel extra at residence with the usual mannequin.

Garmin’s petite Forerunner 255S packs a 1.1-inch Gorilla Glass 3 show with a 216 x 216 decision. The bigger model bumps as much as a 1.3-inch show with a 260 x 260 decision. Each variations mix a fiber-re.rced polymer bezel with a sturdy — and waterproof — silicone strap. Exterior of the bodily dimension, essentially the most vital distinction lies within the watch’s battery life. In the event you go for the 255S, you’re as much as 12 days of juice in smartwatch mode, whereas the larger watch affords 14 days. Tapping into the GPS drops the smaller watch to 26 hours or 30 hours for the bigger mannequin.

Garmin’s Forerunner 255 sequence now features a barometric altimeter and a gyroscope. The center price sensor is now a fourth-generation Elevate sensor, which ought to ship extra correct measurements and uncooked HRV knowledge. Garmin caught with acquainted GPS, GLONASS, and GALILEO sensors, although they now supply multi-frequency reception, offering higher accuracy in slim valleys and lined trails.

Two case sizes and a handful of recent sensors make the Forerunner 255 one in every of Garmin’s most versatile watches but.

In the event you want to take heed to music when you run, Garmin additionally affords the Forerunner 255 Music. It’s accessible with 3GB of storage in each 41mm and 46mm case sizes and can set you again an additional $50. The Garmin Forerunner 255 sequence additionally helps NFC, which was lacking from its predecessor. Now you can use Garmin Pay to select up a drink or snack mid-run for those who’d fairly go away your pockets behind.

The Forerunner 255 can connect with both Android or iOS gadgets by way of Bluetooth, however the Garmin Join app is a must have. It serves as your management heart for software program updates and permits you to add and take away fee strategies for Garmin Pay. You’ll additionally want Garmin Connect with see a recap of your steps and add health actions like runs and swims.

T.’s not an excessive amount of to say within the Forerunner 255’s packaging. Garmin tossed in a proprietary charging cable (with a USB-A connector), primary documentation, and the watch itself.

The Garmin Forerunner 255 is available in a number of completely different colours, relying on which model you decide up. Garmin’s customary 46mm watch is accessible in Tidal Blue or Slate Grey, whereas the smaller Forerunner 255S is available in Gentle Pink or Powder Grey. In the event you want tunes on the go, each sizes of the Forerunner 255 Music are available Whitestone and Black. Every shade additionally comes with matching quick-release silicone bands. The 41mm Forerunner 255S requires 18mm bands, and the bigger Forerunner 255 is provided with 22mm bands.

What’s good?

Garmin Forerunner 255 run recap

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

T.’s a purpose — or fairly a number of causes — that we liked the Garmin Forerunner 245 a lot. It was form of just like the Goldilocks of operating watches. Not too massive, but it surely supplied stable battery life and correct monitoring at an inexpensive worth. Now, the Forerunner 255 picks up these strengths and takes them even additional. It additionally fills a number of of the gaps that customers have been clamoring for. NFC with Garmin Pay is the primary one which springs to thoughts. I not often run with cash, and Garmin Pay makes it manner simpler to pay for a snack on the go.

As somebody with smaller wrists, I’m joyful to see Garmin convey its number of sizes to the Forerunner 255 sequence. I examined the usual Forerunner 255 within the 46mm dimension and had no issues adjusting it to suit my wrist. The 41mm dimension is near the Forerunner 245, whereas the 46mm model provides valuable actual property for individuals who can afford the area. Even higher, you don’t must pony up further money for the larger case — you’ll be able to simply go for the dimensions that matches you finest. Garmin’s silicone band has loads of holes, so you might at all times go for the bigger show and tighten the Forerunner 255 all the best way down for the fitting match.

Do not you simply adore it when a producer provides precisely what customers need? Nicely performed, Garmin.

Transferring onto extra vital upgrades, the battery life on the Forerunner 255 is superb. I charged it when it arrived and didn’t have to fish out the proprietary charger till I wrote this evaluate two weeks later. It’s far above the seven days of smartwatch mode that the earlier Forerunner 245 supplied. Once I run, I’m normally out for an hour to 90 minutes, and I managed to file ten ventures throughout two weeks. That’s not too shabby.

Generally asking for brand new operating watch options seems like shouting into the void. Nonetheless, it’s good to see Garmin listening to what the folks need. For instance, the Garmin Forerunner 255 picked up Morning Report, a characteristic first seen on the Garmin Lily. Morning Report delivers an outline of your sleep, restoration, and coaching for the day proper while you get up, even when it’s a relaxation day. It’s also possible to take a look at common HRV (coronary heart price variability) studies.

See additionally: One of the best smartwatches for ladies

After three years, the Forerunner 245’s coronary heart price sensor was beginning to present its age. The fourth-generation Elevate sensor is a major enchancment. It’s extra correct with almost-constant readings, and I discovered that it almost matched my Polar H10 chest strap. The brand new gyroscope and barometric altimeter present higher insights into key exercise metrics like elevation.

Garmin added its highly effective triathlon characteristic, too. It’s one in every of greater than 30 sport profiles, and you’ll shift from the operating section of your exercise to biking or swimming with the push of a button. I’ll admit that I caught to operating for the majority of my testing, however t.’s sure to be an exercise sort for almost anybody.

Garmin Forerunner 255 recommended training

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I’ve by no means claimed to be the very best at restoration, however the Forerunner 255 tries to take a number of the guesswork out of my fingers. The HRV measurement talked about earlier than performs a key position in Garmin’s exercise suggestions, which you’ll see above. I took a number of days off, and the Forerunner 255 tailored for a few simpler miles instead of the eight miles my prescribed coaching plan demanded.

Garmin tracks your relaxation and exertion within the type of a Physique Battery, which can be a part of the restoration calculation. It incorporates the time since your final exercise and the way arduous you pushed to present you a rating out of 100. I’m nonetheless not nice at following the really useful relaxation, however I’m getting t..


garmin forerunner 255 vs coros pace 2 elevation

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The graph above doesn’t paint a terrific image for one in every of my two watches. It’s a measure of the elevation alongside one in every of my common routes, and it goes to point out how very important a barometric altimeter will be. The Coros Tempo 2 (inexperienced line) depends on a easy barometer to measure the air strain and convert it to elevation. Nonetheless, Garmin’s new barometric altimeter does double obligation. It concurrently measures as an altimeter, w. all strain adjustments affect elevation, and as a barometer, w. strain measurements embody adjustments within the climate and ambient strain.

The Forerunner 255 then balances the barometric studying in opposition to the altimetric to find out your precise elevation. Garmin additionally recommends the altimeter as extra dependable for exercises with vital elevation adjustments, whereas the barometer is extra dependable for actions with much less elevation change. On this case, I belief Garmin’s outcomes over these from Coros. I ran hill repeats, and the constant traces to the fitting of the graph paint a greater image of the trouble.

Coronary heart price

garmin forerunner 255 vs coros pace 2 heart rate

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Garmin deserves main props for its up to date coronary heart price sensor. I discussed beforehand that it’s now a fourth-generation Elevate sensor, and it’s spot-on in comparison with my Coros Tempo 2, which is paired to a Polar H10 chest strap. The Forerunner 255 reveals much less fluctuation throughout the exercise and flat sections, w.because the Tempo 2 indicated fast change. It’s a powerful outcome for a wrist sensor to common inside 0.01 bpm of a chest strap.

See additionally: One of the best coronary heart price displays and watches


garmin forerunner 255 vs coros pace 2 gps

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The GPS accuracy on Garmin’s Forerunner 255 is superb as effectively. I stored it on my proper wrist for all of my runs, and the map displays that. Each tracks accurately point out the facet of the highway I ran on, and the gap between the 2 traces is pretty constant. The one factors w. each traces converge are w. I are likely to test my look ahead to pacing and distance. That part of rail-trail additionally options thick tree protection, however the Forerunner 255 had no points choosing out which facet of the pavement I used to be on.

What’s not so good?

Garmin Forerunner 255 sensors and charging

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

I can discover valuable little to complain about with the Garmin Forerunner 255. It rights the wrongs of its predecessor and updates a number of the most dated options. Nonetheless, t. are a number of spots w. the operating watch might enhance. For starters, each variations of the Forerunner 255 include a $50 premium over the Forerunner 245 sequence. The usual mannequin is $349, whereas the music-enabled model is $399.

5 buttons can really feel like rather a lot for those who’re not already used to Garmin’s Forerunner ecosystem. The Forerunner 255 depends on completely different buttons for nearly all the things. The Up and Down buttons on the left facet are important for navigation, whereas the Begin/Cease and Again buttons are the quickest manner out and in of menus. Garmin’s fifth button is a backlight toggle, which might have simply as simply been tucked away within the settings menu. T.’s additionally no touchscreen on the Forerunner 255, however that’s not unusual amongst devoted operating watches.

5 navigation buttons is rather a lot for a operating watch — particularly for a runner who lacks coordination.

It’s not too powerful to adapt to the multi-button structure, but it surely’s confirmed more durable for me to regulate to the burden of the Forerunner 255. Whereas it doesn’t precisely weigh your wrist down, the watch doesn’t disappear whereas operating, both. I discovered myself consistently conscious of the Forerunner’s presence, particularly if I had a lighter watch on the opposite wrist. Garmin’s smaller 41mm model weighs in at 39g, whereas the bigger model sits at 49g. It could not sound like a lot, but it surely’s a noticeable bump in comparison with operating watches just like the Coros Tempo 2 at 30g and the Huawei Watch GT Runner at 38.5g.

Sadly, we’re all too joyful to complain about proprietary charging on wearables as of late. The Garmin Forerunner 255 doesn’t supply wi-fi charging, as an alternative, it requires the four-pin connector that’s widespread to all Garmin operating watches. It’s good that Garmin packs one within the field, but it surely’s not a cable that you simply’re more likely to have sitting round for those who misplace the included one. I might have favored to see a Forerunner 255 Photo voltaic choice, like its Forerunner 955 sibling, however that seemingly would have include one other worth bump.

Garmin Forerunner 255 specs

Garmin Forerunner 255/255S


41mm: 1.1-inch MIP, 218 x 218 decision

46mm: 1.3-inch MIP, 260 x 260 decision

Dimensions and weight

41mm: 41 x 41 x 12.4mm
39g w/o strap
Matches wrists 110-175mm

46mm: 45.6 x 45.6 x 12.9mm
49g w/o strap
Matches wrists 130-205mm

Colours and supplies

Colour: Powder Grey or Gentle Pink
Materials: Gorilla Glass 3 show, Fiber-re.rced polymer bezel, silicone strap

Colour: Tidal Blue or Slate Grey
Materials: Gorilla Glass 3 show, Fiber-re.rced polymer bezel, silicone strap


As much as 12 days in smartwatch mode
As much as 26 hours in GPS-only GNSS mode
As much as 20 hours in All-Programs GNSS mode

As much as 14 days in smartwatch mode
As much as 30 hours in GPS-only GNSS mode
As much as 25 hours in All-Programs GNSS Mode


Multi-Frequency Positioning
Garmin Elevate
Barometric Altimeter
Pulse Ox Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor






Android and iOS

Garmin Forerunner 255 evaluate: The decision

Garmin Forerunner 255 daily details and weather

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Garmin Forerunner 255 is the replace that the beloved Forerunner 245 deserved. It packs correct GPS monitoring with stable battery life and a sexy package deal. Garmin’s mid-level operating watch can be extra versatile than ever, with two case sizes and non-obligatory music assist. It’s straightforward to suggest for Android and iOS customers alike, and Triathlon Mode opens the Forerunner’s horizons past the standard operating crowd.

Better of all, Garmin’s battery life obtained a stable enhance and NFC assist with Garmin Pay means you’ll be able to unlock some pocket area when you run (or bike or swim). The burden of the watch might take some getting used to, as will the five-button navigation, however these ought to be nothing new for longtime Garmin followers. Regardless of your navigation desire, Garmin’s integration with Android and iOS is superb. The Join app is simple to navigate, and it pairs with Strava for seamless exercise sharing, or you’ll be able to hold your knowledge to your self throughout the app.

The Forerunner 255 brings a fan favourite into 2022. It provides NFC, a number of sizes, and up to date sensors to remain amongst operating royalty.

Maybe extra vital than sharing your exercises is how Garmin creates them for you. The coaching plans are rigorously designed to not overwhelm you, and Garmin affords a number of the finest restoration insights round. It’s arduous to take restoration severely typically, however the Physique Battery and adaptive coaching suggestions take a variety of the guesswork out of when to coach and the way arduous.

Though the Garmin Forerunner 255 is a wonderful health watch at $349, the mid-level wearable market is extra aggressive than ever. Prime rivals like Coros, Suunto, and Polar all supply worthy rivals at across the identical price ticket. Polar’s Pacer Professional ($299) matches Garmin’s rugged Gorilla Glass 3 show and superior operating metrics. It comes prepared for as much as 35 hours of GPS and coronary heart price monitoring on a single cost. The Suunto 5 Peak ($299) packs greater than 80 sport modes and native music controls with out having to drop an additional $50. It’s rated for 3ATM of strain and almost equals Garmin’s battery prowess.

Maintain buying: One of the best Garmin operating watches you should buy

In the event you worth battery life over the rest, the Coros Apex ($299) is the best way to go. It is available in two sizes — 42mm and 46mm — and the bigger mannequin is rated for 30 days of juice in smartwatch mode or 35 hours of GPS monitoring. The Apex additionally affords map and navigation options, which you’d must improve to the Forerunner 955 ($499) to get from Garmin. Garmin’s flagship operating watch provides longer battery life and non-obligatory photo voltaic charging to the combo, too. In the event you’re prepared for all times within the tough, the Garmin Intuition 2 ($349) is one other good selection. It’s constructed powerful with water resistance as much as 100 meters, and the fundamental black and white show sips energy for as much as 28 days of battery life.

garmin forerunner 255 amazon

Garmin Forerunner 255

Garmin’s fan-favorite operating watch is again with a number of new wrinkles. The Forerunner 255 now helps NFC and Garmin Pay, together with a complete new set of sensors to spring it again onto the operating watch podium.

Garmin Forerunner 255 high questions and solutions

The Garmin Forerunner 255 is rated for 5ATM water resistance. Meaning you’ll be able to submerge it in as much as 50 meters of water with out challenge.

No, the Garmin Forerunner 255 doesn’t have the flexibility to make calls. You possibly can see notifications on the watch, but it surely doesn’t have a microphone for calling.

Sure. The Garmin Forerunner 255 helps interchangeable quick-release bands. The 41mm model works with 18mm bands, whereas the 46mm model helps 22mm bands.