The Garmin Forerunner 55 is the pure successor to Garmin’s entry stage Forerunner 45, however this entry stage running watch is severely stepping issues up.
Like the Forerunner 30 and 35, Garmin has at all times sought to supply a no-frills running watch choice to enchantment to newbie runners, but in addition seasoned runners that simply need to keep on with the fundamentals.
The 45 adopted that pattern, and whereas the 55 shares a variety of the identical design traits, it is introduced on board a few of the extra insightful coaching and evaluation options normally reserved for pricier Forerunners.
It now needs that will help you make higher sense of how it is best to practice, when it is best to practice, and even assist higher strategise for race day and scoring massive PBs.
The Forerunner 55 is priced at Â£179.99, which is just about according to the Forerunner 45. While it is the identical worth within the US, it prices Â£30 extra within the UK than the Forerunner 45.
We’ve been placing it to the running, swimming and common smartwatch check to search out that out. Here’s our complete verdict.
Garmin Forerunner 55 key options
- Price: Â£179.99
- 20 hours GPS battery, as much as 2 weeks in smartwatch mode
- 1.04-inch, 208 x 208 transflective show
- Size: 42 x 42 x 11.6 mm
- PacePro Strategies
- Daily prompt exercises
- Improved restoration advisor
- Triathlon mode
- Interchangeable 20mm straps
- Waterproof as much as 50 metres
- Works with Garmin Coach
- Safety and monitoring options
- Full Connect IQ Store assist
Garmin Forerunner 55: Design
While the Forerunner 45 is offered in 39mm and 42mm measurement choices, Garmin has determined to stay to only one measurement choice for the 55. You’re getting only a 42mm choice, which creeps up barely in thickness coming in at 11.6mm thick in comparison with the 11.4mm sized physique on the 42mm Forerunner 45.
It’s a polymer case, which is available in 4 totally different colors and that is matched up with a 20mm silicone band. It’s the quick-release variety, so it is one you’ll be able to swap out for an additional official Garmin band or hunt out some third occasion ones on locations like Amazon.
It’s a watch that appears very small to put on, even on our skinny wrists. If you want the concept of a watch that does not dominate your wrist, then the Forerunner 55 is actually going to enchantment. And it is nonetheless so mild, which makes it an excellent all-day companion.
The silicone band has been comfy to put on and is just about the identical kind of band you will discover on most Forerunner watches lately. If you need to drop some leather-based or woven nylon on that case, you may have that luxurious. Ultimately although, it is nonetheless going to look and really feel like a sports activities watch.
Front and centre is a 1.04-inch, 208 x 208 decision transflective always-on show, which apart from Garmin’s new Venu vary, is the display tech norm for Garmin’s watches. It’s there to supply sturdy visibility in all situations and is rather a lot kinder on battery life. We’re joyful to say we had completely no points viewing this display indoors and outside in vivid daylight. Despite its small stature it was straightforward to view underwater within the pool because the display inverts to provide the finest viewing expertise within the water.
To function the Forerunner 55 you’ve got received 5 bodily buttons and no touchscreen show, and these buttons undertake the identical performance as they do on different Forerunners. The 2 o’clock button takes you into monitoring mode and holding down the 9 o’clock one will get you into the settings.
Around the again is Garmin’s Elevate coronary heart price monitor sensor, which is not the newer Gen 4 sensor included on Garmin’s Venu 2 and Venu 2s watches.
Garmin’s PulseOx sensor additionally misses out, which implies you’ll be able to’t observe blood oxygen ranges all through the day and throughout sleep. Garmin makes use of its now common charging cable to energy it up, so in the event you’ve received one other current Forerunner in your family, that cable ought to work with the 55 too.
On the water-resistant entrance, it has been slapped a 5ATM score, making it secure to be submerged in water as much as 50 metres depth. We can verify we have showered and swum with the 55 and it has survived to trace one other day.
Garmin Forerunner 55: Sports monitoring
The focus for the Forerunner 55 is running, however it’s constructed to trace out of doors biking and is a a lot better match for monitoring pool swimming than earlier entry stage Forerunners.
You additionally discover devoted profiles for observe running (indoor and out of doors) and digital running to make it companion for coaching apps like Zwift. There’s profiles for actions like Pilates and HIIT, however you will want so as to add these to the watch by way of Garmin Connect.
In phrases of sensors, you are getting built-in GPS with satellite tv for pc assist for Glonass and Galileo. There’s Garmin’s Elevate optical coronary heart price monitor to trace coronary heart price repeatedly, throughout train and unlock options like Garmin’s Body Battery Energy monitor and the improved restoration advisor.
You do even have the choice to pair up exterior coronary heart price displays, and we had no issues pairing up Garmin’s HRM-Pro, the Wahoo Tickr X and the MyZone MZ3-Switch chest straps to the 55.
GPS accuracy in 10k race: Garmin Forerunner 55 (left) and Coros Pace 2 (proper)
When it involves running, selecting up a GPS sign initially laboured on early runs and took a couple of minutes earlier than locking on.
Like most GPS watches although, as soon as it is higher acquainted with an space that lock-on will get faster and that was actually the case for us after a few runs. On the accuracy entrance, we put it up towards the Forerunner 45, Garmin Enduro and Coros Pace 2 for coaching runs and a 10k race check (screens above) and discovered it held up effectively on the gap monitoring entrance and meting out dependable core metrics.
While that display is small, it is appropriate sufficient to verify over your real-time stats the place you will see staples like distance, tempo, lap time, lap distance, lap tempo and coronary heart price. Before you get into running motion you’ll be able to select to comply with exercises, arrange interval coaching and comply with PacePro plans.
PacePro was a characteristic that debuted on the Fenix and has since began to filter right down to Garmin’s cheaper watches. PacePro is all about a course profile for a race, and creating the splits you’ll want to hit to hit a goal time.
The Forerunner 55 would not assist the flexibility to add or view maps to comply with routes on the watch, however you’ll be able to create these methods merely on Garmin Connect and then sync them over. We’ve received explainer on learn how to arrange PacePro on a Garmin watch.
Garmin’s Coach platform makes the lower, which helps you to comply with coaching plans for 5k, 10k and half marathon distances that may adapt based mostly on if it’s a must to miss a session or two.
Other running centered options which might be the estimated end time, which helps you to choose from a variety distances (1k, 5k and many others) and it will work out based mostly in your running historical past what time it is best to end. It’s fairly a pleasant characteristic to have in the event you solely have time to squeeze in a fast run and you’ll be able to rapidly see whenever you’re prone to end up that breezy 5k runout.
There’s additionally Garmin’s improved race predictor, which in contrast to the primary iteration, is not based mostly on previous VO2 Max formulation and takes into greater account logged coaching historical past to dish out what we might say are extra dependable predictions.
You’re additionally getting Garmin’s day by day prompt exercises and restoration advisor, which first debuted on the Forerunner 745.
These options pay shut consideration to coaching historical past and health stage (based mostly on resting coronary heart price) to assist information on what kind of running coaching it is best to do and how a lot relaxation time it is best to absorb between runs.
For novices, these are good options to supply extra construction to your coaching and by in giant provided dependable insights. The prompt restoration instances did not really feel misplaced in relation to runs we might tracked and the depth of these runs.
It’s positively the type of info that must be seen as providing steering versus definitive motion. For extra skilled runners like ourselves, a few of the slower advisable classes appeared a bit too gradual.
We discovered generally although that the type of advisable exercises after heavy running classes or days we hadn’t run had been smart suggestions.
Garmin can be looking for to carry security options to extra of its watches and the 55 will get its incident detection and help options, which require being paired to your smartphone to supply the flexibility to boost the alarm to assigned contacts in the event you get into points when out running solo. If you need to use these options with out your cellphone close by, Garmin’s Forerunner 945 LTE is the one watch that at present presents that performance.
Away from running, we additionally spent a while with the 55 within the pool and like Garmin’s different swim-friendly watches, it is a fairly dependable performer. During a swim, you’ll be able to view distance coated, tempo, drill logs, however you even have a helpful computerized relaxation timer that jumps into motion in a largely dependable style.
Accuracy-wise, it was at most 100 metres off Form’s Swim Goggles although some extra detailed metrics like common tempo and common stroke price felt rather less dependable than the fundamentals like capturing distance coated.
Pool swimming accuracy: Garmin Forerunner 55 (left and center) and Form Swim Goggles (proper)
Back to running although, and with all of the strong options we received on the Forerunner 45, Garmin has made the 55 an much more helpful running watch. PacePro alone is a good characteristic to have added into the combination, however options just like the estimated end instances, day by day prompt exercises and a extra dependable race predictor are helpful instruments that new runners now have at their disposal to coach higher and higher plan for races.
Garmin Forerunner 55: Heart price accuracy
The optical coronary heart price monitor tech onboard the Forerunner 55 is Garmin’s personal and as talked about earlier, would not seem to the brand new Gen 4 Elevate coronary heart price sensor tech used on Garmin’s new Venu 2 watches.
We did not see marked enhancements with that Gen 4 sensor in our checks, significantly when pushed to its limits and the 55 presents a lot of the identical by way of efficiency. It’s good for regular paced runs and steady coronary heart price monitoring, however when pushed you up the depth, it begins to falter.
HR accuracy for regular paced running: Garmin Forerunner 55 (left) and Garmin HRM-Pro chest strap (proper)
For comfortably paced runs (above) and indoor exercises, it posted fairly constant common and most coronary heart price readings towards Garmin’s HRM-Pro chest strap monitor.
We in contrast the continual and real-time coronary heart price information to a coronary heart price monitor constructed into medical grade pulse oximeter and had been glad with the reliability of the info there too.
When we put it to the race check mode towards the Garmin HRM-Pro paired to the Coros Pace 2, it posted a most coronary heart price 5bpm greater than a chest strap monitor.
HR accuracy for top depth running: Garmin Forerunner 55 (left) and Garmin HRM-Pro chest strap (proper)
You do have that choice to pair up an exterior coronary heart price monitor, and we might suggest it not only for extra intense running classes but in addition to make the perfect use of recent options just like the prompt exercises and different coaching perception, that are influenced by coronary heart price information.
Ultimately, the 55 falls according to different Forerunners. The information goes to be good for many, however if you’d like the perfect accuracy, you are going to must spend money on a devoted coronary heart price monitor. We’ve picked a bunch of the perfect coronary heart price displays that might be match right here.
Garmin Forerunner 55: Smartwatch and well being monitoring
These days, Garmin likes to check with all of its watches and smartwatches, however the stage of smartwatch options on supply differ from watch to watch. With the 55 sitting on the extra inexpensive finish of its Forerunner household, you are not going to get the complete array of options at present out there.
It does work with Android and iOS units like all new Garmins and our expertise paired to an Android cellphone did not throw up any points getting it arrange or on the syncing entrance.
You can view notifications from native and third occasion apps and merely view and dismiss these notifications. It’s not probably the most polished method, however you’ll be able to learn them with out difficulty and then clear them whenever you’re carried out.
You can view climate updates so long as you are linked to your cellphone and management music playback in your cellphone and the massive one right here is the complete entry to Garmin Connect IQ storefront. We say massive, however Garmin’s storefront is not brimming with apps in the identical manner because the Apple App Store.
The Forerunner 45 solely provided entry to obtain watch faces, so now you may have entry to suitable apps, information fields and widgets. You might need to have browse to search out one thing price having, however it does imply you’ll be able to bolster the skills of the 55 or simply add in a knowledge subject that is not already on supply from Garmin already.
Along with beefing up smartwatch options, Garmin is looking for to supply extra in well being monitoring too.
Along with fairly normal Garmin health monitoring options, you’ll be able to observe stress powered by coronary heart price variability measurements, observe respiration utilizing that optical coronary heart price monitor, make use of ladies’s well being monitoring and make use of Garmin’s Body Battery vitality monitor.
Most of those options are reliant on taking steady coronary heart price measurements, which we have discovered on the entire fairly dependable. The information is viewable on the watch, however delving into Garmin Connect is a a lot better approach to take in the knowledge.
Stress monitoring over a day is properly introduced in Connect, letting you rapidly pinpoint extremely demanding moments. While respiration price is an attention-grabbing metric to trace, there’s not quite a lot of evaluation or rationalization of what that information means or how one can make good use of it. It’s a little bit of a theme with Garmin’s well being metrics the place there’s positively a larger emphasis on monitoring however an absence of placing that info into larger context.
Sleep monitoring in contrast: Garmin Forerunner 55 (left and centre) and Fitbit Luxe (proper)
You do after all get sleep monitoring right here letting you observe length, file sleep levels together with REM sleep and monitor respiration price. Garmin can even observe motion throughout sleep too.
We’ve not been massively satisfied of the accuracy of Garmin’s sleep monitoring and the 55 would not actually change that opinion. It typically recorded an hour additional of sleep on most nights and logged us sleeping sooner than we truly did in comparison with Fitbit’s sleep monitoring, which we might have extra religion in providing extra dependable information based mostly on our testing expertise through the years.
So whereas these well being monitoring options are current, Garmin would not fairly tie issues up in the identical manner because it does for its health and sports activities centered options.
Garmin Forerunner 55: Battery life
Garmin is promising a battery enhance on the 55 in comparison with what it delivered on the 45. On paper, you’ll be able to stand up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode, in order that’s when not monitoring any actions and interacting with the watch for issues like notifications. When you do think about utilizing the GPS, you’ll be able to anticipate as much as 20 hours of battery life.
The Forerunner 45 guarantees as much as 7 days in smartwatch mode and 13 hours of GPS battery life and that is what we skilled in our testing. To put these GPS battery numbers into context with rival watches, the equally priced Coros Pace 2 presents 30 hours of GPS battery life.
On the 55, we discovered that it lasted 5-7 days with common use of GPS for running and monitoring indoor exercises like rowing and pool swimming. An hour of running noticed the battery drop by 5%, however we additionally noticed it by drop by simply 2% on comparable size runs too. That battery efficiency was with notifications enabled too.
So with a mixture of smartwatch and monitoring, it wasn’t fairly two weeks, however this can be a watch as soon as once more that is good for every week’s price of coaching.
Garmin Forerunner 55
The Garmin Forerunner 55 is a greater running companion than the 45 due to new software program options, that search that will help you run your finest. It balances a incredible set of options that provides far more than the fundamentals, in a modern and mild package deal. Is it the perfect worth running watch at this worth? We’d nonetheless say the Coros Pace 2 is, however the Forerunner 55 continues to be a worthy funding.
- Small, mild design
- PacePro and prompt exercises
- Full Connect IQ assist
- Best HR accuracy with chest strap
- Price has crept up
- No mapping options