amazon Garmin Forerunner 55 reviews
Superior to its predecessor Forerunner 45, the Garmin Forerunner 55 running sports watch offers users a low price, and many outstanding features for beginners, runners, and even people training to become a pro.
In today’s Garmin Fr 55 review article on Biareview, I will learn with you about this watch as well as what benefits when you use it. Hopefully, the information that I and you see in this article will partly motivate you to choose the product and use it.
To put it simply, Forerunner 55 is the quintessential successor of the Forerunner 30 and 35 forerunners. Providing users with a simple no-frills running watch for beginners. That said, for those who have experience running, Fr 55 is still a completely reasonable and good choice.
Like its two predecessors, Garmin Fr 55 always provides users with extremely simple running options, no frills. Provides the most important parameters for new runners to grasp well as well as the most necessary parameters that an experienced runner needs to know. In short, the Garmin Forerunner 55 gives runners what they need.
According to the information, the Fr55 will follow previous models, which is to bring optimal design characteristics without too much improvement. A special feature is that it will be integrated with features found on more advanced Garmin Fr models. So with the low-priced Garmin Fr55 model, you can still own yourself the outstanding features of the more advanced lines, so what’s better?
Having said that, now let’s conduct a review of the Garmin Fr55 through the experience of design, connecting features as well as bringing it into the details of workouts.
Optimal design is kept suitable for both men and women
In Forerunner 45 or earlier versions, we will have the option of watch face sizes of 39mm and 42mm. However, in the Fr55 version, Garmin decided to use only one watch face size of 42mm, accordingly the thickness of the body is also 0.2mm thicker with the Fr45 42mm version 11.4mm compared to the Fr55 42mm is 11.6 mm.
Garmin equips a Polymer watch case with 4 different colors for users to choose from, accompanied by a durable 20mm Silicone strap in a color that blends with the watch case. In addition, this strap can also be easily changed with just one click, users can change the strap according to their preferences.
A minus point in the Forerunner 55 version is that it looks quite rough if worn on a female hand and quite small if worn on a male hand. However, if you are a lover of running watches that have little effect on wrist activity, the Fr55 is the model that I recommend you choose.
The important point that I advise you when choosing this watch is the weight, with 37 grams, this is considered the lightest of the running watches. This amount will make the Fr55 a useful companion for you throughout the day as well as during training.
Above all, it is in the attached strap of Garmin Fr 55, a soft silicone strap with good elasticity. It feels extremely comfortable to wear and despite the low price, you will feel this strap is similar to the higher-priced strap models at the moment.
Review of the screen as well as the built-in sensor
Garmin has designed a monitor to suit the user’s running needs, the screen integrates the Always On feature so that users do not need to interrupt their training session just to see the parameters or time information. With a size of 1.04 “with anti-glare MIP technology, it will also make it possible for users to use it well outdoors, especially in strong light environments. Looking at the watch’s face, I can see everything clearly without missing any information.
The 208 x 208 resolution and the ability to provide a powerful display in all conditions also make my experience feel better than ever. This, if combined with the standard 5 ATM water resistance feature, can also let you operate comfortably in rainy environments, swimming pools, or wet environments without fear of affecting the device.
Still, like previous versions, Forerunner 55 uses physical buttons to control, not using the touch screen. It can be seen that Garmin has done this to best optimize the battery life of the watch, avoiding unnecessary waste of power, but focusing on the value of use. The button at 2 o’clock will take you into tracking modes, and holding down the button at 9 o’clock will take you to the settings. There are also many other customization features waiting for you to discover.
The back of the Fr 55 is Garmin’s Elevate heart rate monitor, many of you mistakenly think this is the Gen 4 heart rate sensor equipped on Venu 2 and Venu 2S. One point you need to note is that Garmin does not have a PulseOx sensor on Garmin Forerunner 55, so you will not be able to monitor blood oxygen levels.
The Garmin FR 55 model, still uses the same charging device as the previous Garmin Fr Series, so even if you are using the Fr55, you can still use the same charger with other Garmin Fr Series lines.
Follow you every day, recommend workouts as well as companions regardless of rain or shine
In addition to the focus on running with you every day, with Forerunner 55 will also track you when you are cycling, swimming, in GYM training, sports, … In general, it can respond better a lot more than Garmin’s previous Forerunner Series models amateurs.
I’ve tried and can tell you that I’ll find workouts specifically for indoor and outdoor running. Not only that, but it also offers a virtual running track to be the best companion with the Zwift app. In addition to Gamin Connect, you also have more active exercises like Pilates and HIIT.
In terms of sensors, you get a built-in GPS with satellite support for Glonass and Galileo. Get Garmin’s Elevate optical heart rate monitor for continuous heart rate monitoring during exercise and unlock features like the Garmin Body Battery Energy monitor and innovative recovery advisor.
You also have the option of pairing an external heart rate monitor, and we had no problems pairing Garmin’s HRM-Pro, the Wahoo Tickr X, and the MyZone MZ3-Switch chest strap with the 55.
When it comes to running, GPS is essential, with a good GPS signal will tell you how far you are running, where you are and many important parameters that can only be relied on in GPS to collect. However, like many other watch models, the Garmin Fr 55 is quite time-consuming in locating and locking GPS in an area.
But don’t worry, when the watch is too familiar with an area, the GPS lock will be faster. This is the case that I encountered the first time I ran, but everything became smoother through the 2nd and 3rd runs. In terms of accuracy, I compared the Forerunner 45, Garmin Enduro, and Coros Pace 2. I can say the stats that the Garmin Forerunner 55 provides can be a lot more reliable.
Although that screen is small, it is just enough for you to check your stats in real-time, where you will see key factors like distance, speed, lap time, lap distance, lap speed, and heart rate. Before starting the activity, you can choose to track exercises, set up interval training, and follow the PacePro strategy plans.
PacePro is a feature that debuted on the Fenix line back in 2019 and has since started to be carried down to cheaper Garmin watches. PacePro is all about pre-programmed outdoor running, PacePro calculates time, distance, speed, and velocity data to achieve a set route. By giving suggestions for how fast you should run to achieve the initial goal results.
The Forerunner 55 doesn’t support the ability to upload or view maps to track routes on the watch, but you can create those strategies simply on Garmin Connect and then sync them.
Other run-related features such as estimated finish times, allow you to choose from a range distance (1km, 5km, etc.) and will work based on your running history on the time you should finish. That’s a pretty cool feature if you only have time to run fast, and you can quickly tell when you’re likely to finish that short 5km run.
With Forerunner 55, you can fully receive fitness recovery advisors, as well as workout advisors, recommended daily by Garmin. This is a feature that was only introduced on the Forerunner 745 model. This feature will pay attention to your training history, and track your fitness level to be able to provide the best training directions as well as recovery direction for the body.
For starters, these are great features to give your workout more structure and provide lots of reliable insights. The suggested recovery time doesn’t feel out of place compared to the runs we’ve tracked and the intensity of those runs.
This is certainly an extremely important and necessary flow of information for beginners to run, but for professional runners, it may seem different. Overall, I find the recommendations quite reasonable for when I run as well as when I don’t.
In addition to the features I just mentioned above, Garmin is looking for ways to put its safety features into more products. We can see in the FR55 model that Garmin has support and incident detection features that require pairing with a smartphone to provide better alarm capabilities, or the ability to assign contacts When you have problems such as getting lost, running out of battery, in an accident,… To be able to use these features, you need to have a phone with you, but if you don’t have one, you can choose Forerunner 945 LTE, because this is the only watch at the moment that can do that.
In addition to running, I also bring this watch to my activities, swimming sessions, or sudden rains. Garmin Fr55’s 5 ATM waterproof feature is quite reliable. So while swimming you can fully view the distance, speed, and workout log, plus you also have a useful automatic rest timer.
In terms of accuracy, it’s only a maximum of 100 meters away from Google’s Form Swim Swim Goggles, although some of the more detailed metrics like average speed and average cruise rate feel less reliable than one little more than basics like capturing distances.
where can you get a Garmin Forerunner 55 online
Garmin Forerunner 55, GPS Running Watch with Daily Suggested Workouts, Up to 2 weeks of Battery Life, Black: Buy it now
Garmin Forerunner 55, GPS Running Watch with Daily Suggested Workouts, Up to 2 weeks of Battery Life, White (Renewed): Buy it now
Garmin Forerunner 55 (Aqua) GPS Running Watch | Beginner Friendly Heart Rate Monitor Watch with Time, Pace & Speed Tracker | Power Bundle with PlayBetter Tempered Glass Protectors & Portable Charger: Buy it now
Garmin Forerunner 55 (White) GPS Running Watch | Beginner Heart Rate Monitor Watch with Time, Pace & Speed Tracker | Gift Box Bundle with PlayBetter Car/Wall Adapters, Tempered Glass Screens & Case: Buy it now
The accuracy of the heart rate sensor is quite surprising
The optical heart rate tracking technology on the Forerunner 55, as mentioned earlier, is not the new Gen 4 Elevate sensor used on Garmin’s new Venu 2 watch.
As far as I compare, I haven’t seen noticeable improvements with that Gen 4 sensor in my tests, especially when pushed to its limits, and the Garmin 55 offers a lot of the same in terms of performance capacity. It’s good for running at a steady pace and with continuous heart rate monitoring, but as you push the intensity up, it starts to different.
For comfortably paced runs and indoor workouts, it’s pretty consistent with average and max heart rate readings compared to Garmin’s HRM-Pro chest strap monitor.
We compared real-time and continuous heart rate data with a heart rate monitor built into a clinical-grade pulse oximeter and were also pleased with the reliability of the data there.
When we put it into race test mode with the Garmin HRM-Pro paired with the Coros Pace 2, it showed a maximum heart rate of 5bpm higher than the chest strap monitor.
You have the option to pair an external heart rate monitor, and we recommend that option not only for more intense runs but also to get the best out of new features like workouts recommended and other training insights, which are influenced by heart rate data.
55 is the same as its predecessors. The data should be fine for most people, but if you want the best accuracy, you’ll need to invest in a dedicated heart rate monitor.
Smart features and health monitoring
The Forerunner 55 price is at an affordable price point in the Forerunner family, so although it is quite full of features, there will still be features that are not available in this version.
The watch works as well with Android and iOS devices as all Garmin devices, and with my experience on Android devices is very fast and without any difficulty in syncing.
You can view notifications from native and third-party apps, and simply view and dismiss them. You can see weather updates as long as you are connected to your phone and control music playback on your phone.
The big advantage here is full access to the Garmin Connect IQ store, although the store is not filled with apps like the Apple App Store.
Forerunner 45 previously only provided access to download watch faces, now you have access to compatible apps, data, and widgets. You may have to browse through to find something worth owning, but that means you can augment the 55’s capabilities, or simply add in some data not yet available from Garmin.
Along with enhancing smartwatch features, Garmin is also looking to offer more fitness tracking.
With Garmin’s pretty standard fitness tracking features, you can track stress powered by heart rate variability measurements, monitor respiration using an optical heart rate monitor, use track women’s health and use Garmin’s Body Battery energy tracker.
Most of these features rely on taking continuous heart rate measurements, which we found to be quite reliable. The data is viewable on the watch, but diving deeper into Garmin Connect is a much better way to take in the information.
One-day stress tracking is uniquely presented in Connect, allowing you to quickly identify moments of high stress. While respiratory rate is an interesting metric to track, there isn’t much analysis or interpretation of what that data means, or how you can effectively leverage it. That’s a bit of a problem with Garmin’s fitness metrics, which focus heavily on tracking but lack in putting that information into a larger context.
Sleep monitoring allows you to track sleep duration, record sleep stages including REM sleep, and monitor respiratory rate. Garmin will also track movement while you sleep.
I don’t like the accuracy of Garmin’s sleep tracking, and the FR55 doesn’t change that opinion. It typically records more than an hour of sleep most nights and records sleep earlier than it does when compared to Fitbit’s sleep tracking feature. Fitbit devices make me feel more confident in providing reliable data.
Impressive battery life with a compact design
Garmin is promising a battery boost above 55 compared to what it offers on 45. In theory, you could get up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode, that’s when you don’t have to track any activity actions and interact with the watch for things like viewing notifications. When you use GPS, you can expect up to 20 hours of battery life.
The Forerunner 45 promises up to 7 days in smartwatch mode and 13 hours of GPS battery life, and that’s what we experienced in our testing. To put the battery numbers in GPS mode against rival watches, the similarly priced Coros Pace 2 offers 30 hours of GPS use.
On the 55, we found it lasted 5-7 days with regular GPS use for running and tracking indoor workouts like rowing and swimming in the pool. An hour of running saw the battery drop by 5%, but we also saw it drop only 2% in similar runs. That battery performance is also enabled with notifications.
So with the combination of smartwatch and tracker, it’s less than two weeks, but this is a very good smartwatch for a week of use.
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