Garmin Forerunner 25 Review

Garmin  Forerunner 25 Review

Forerunner 25Just like its predecessor the Forerunner 15, the Forerunner 25 is yet another great addition to Garmin’s popular lineup of fitness watches. As one would expect, the Forerunner 25 does arrive with a few more features compared to the Forerunner 15 starting with Bluetooth smart connectivity to enable smartphone notifications (emails, calls, texts) and upload workouts from the Garmin fitness watch to the web via the Garmin Connect Mobile App available for Android and iOS devices.

New to the Garmin Forerunner 25 but already available in existing high end Garmin fitness trackers include:

  • Roughly 32 percent larger screen
  • Live Tracking functionality
  • Smartphone notifications (call, texts, emails, calendar events)
  • Slimmer design
  • Increased battery life

The Forerunner 25 can be had in two separate versions – one with the Forerunner only and other with a heart rate monitor. In addition, there’s even two different sizes and two colors for each color variant to choose from namely black/red and black/blue for the large size and black/purple and white/pink for the smaller size. The FR25 is designed to capture all types of GPS data on a run including distance, pace and even heart rate.

What’s in the Box?

Watch Only

  • Forerunner 25
  • User guide
  • USB charging cable


  • Forerunner 25
  • User Guide
  • Heart rate monitor
  • USB charging cable

FR25 Design

Forerunner 25Compared to the older FR15, the Forerunner 25 is slimmer for both the large and small face versions. Although upon first glance the screen area of the Forerunner 25 may look the same, the portion where you can write text is slightly bigger hence the 33 percent increase. The face of the FR25 is flanked by four buttons – start or enter, down or scroll, back or return and backlight LED.

The display of the FR25 is pretty sharp and is visible in bright daylight and the LED backlight the Garmin fitness watch is well lit during dark and low light conditions. One thing worth noting is the Forerunner does not offer any vibration alerts so it’s all beeps be it alarms, phone notifications, or even training cues. The FR25 is both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart enabled, but only the former sensors can connect with the device.

Along with onsite GPS to track pace and distance, the FR25 also features a built in accelerometer to track things such as calories burned, steps, distance travelled, and sleep at night. The one element lacking is a heart rate sensor, but Garmin does offer a bundled Forerunner 25 version that brings in an ANT+ heart rate chest strap.

The charging cable is proprietary, and battery life for the Forerunner 25 is clocked at 8 weeks (small) or 10 weeks (large) when used in watch/training mode and 8 hours (small) or 10 hours (large) with GPS turned on. In addition, the Forerunner 25 is also waterproof up to 50 meters so it will be just fine if you accidently wear it in the shower or it gets caught up in the rain or even goes for a swim.

Key Features of the Forerunner 25

Forerunner 25One of the nifty features of the Garmin Forerunner 25 is it can estimate the distance covered without a food pod using its onsite accelerometer. The FR25 GPS watch receives signals fairly quickly and during runs provides access to two displays that display up to 4 stats (2 per screen) and 3 when connected with a heart rate monitor. The screen of the FR25 is highly customizable and can display a myriad of stats including distance, time lapsed, calories, pace, lap pace, lap time and average pace.

The Forerunner 25 even offers a few run modes to choose from, where you would just select “Basic Run” when you’re just going on well a basic run. Furthermore, you can also set parameters such as distance, time, calories to aim towards, whereas lap tracking can be manually or automatically activated. The Auto Pause feature of the FR25 stops the device from tracking once you stop moving, which proves handy in several situations such as when you’re at a red light.

The tracked stats can be viewed within the Garmin App where you can review your run, zoom in and out, and examine your stats at every lap. The run/walk intervals feature of the FR25 for users who’d like to see parts of their activity, i.e. running and walking. With this feature enabled, you can set walk and run intervals and the device will notify you with audible beeps once the interval is achieved.

Another noteworthy feature and one that is generally seen on higher priced fitness watches is Inactivity Alert, which on the Forerunner is represented by a Movement Bar that fills up gradually after every one hour of inactivity. You are notified of inactivity every by a beep and even a “Move’ message across the screen. So every 15 minutes of inactivity add a segment to the Movement bar, and clear it is just a matter of getting up and walking for a few minutes.

Just like most other Garmin fitness watches, the FR25 tracks daily activity in the form of sleep and steps, whereas calories and distance travelled are estimated based on the user’s activity levels and personal settings. The Forerunner 25 even allows you keep tabs on your progress throughout the day by simply pressing the “back” button, and scroll through date, calories burned, steps taken, distance covered and goals.

Forerunner 25As you get acquainted with the Forerunner 25 and vice versa, the fitness tracker will gauge your activity levels and assign goals automatically for you to achieve or you can complete this task manually. However, sleep tracking is automatically activated based on regular sleeping hours, which is configured in the Garmin Connect Mobile app.

On that note and definitely worth mentioning is the highly advanced app, which is rated as one of the most informative in its segment. It allows you to join social groups, review your data and even accrue badges as you go along. You can even notify your friends to check on your progress on your run with Live Tracking, which will allow them to see your pace, speed, elevation among other metrics.

Pros of the Garmin Forerunner 25

  • Easy to use features
  • Smartphone notifications
  • Long battery life
  • Can be paired with your Bluetooth smartphone

Cons of the Forerunner 25

  • no heart rate monitor

Final Thoughts

All in all, the Garmin Forerunner 25 is a great fitness watch for both entry level runners and seasoned gym goers. It arrives with all the features necessary to rack all aspects of your runs and walks and even your sleep. Add to is its superior battery life that simply gives it an edge over its competition.

The Garmin Connect app is regarded as one of the best in its segment, and allows you get comprehensive details about your workout, join groups, earn badges and even set fitness goals. If you’re just getting started with running and walking or simply looking to buy a fitness tracker, the Garmin Forerunner 25 should definitely be on your list.

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Physical & Performance

Physical dimensionsBlack/Violet & White/Pink: 1.41” x 1.73” x 0.55” (35.9 x 43.9 x 13.9 mm); Black/Blue & Black/Red: 1.58” x 1.85” x 0.55” (40.2 x 47.0 x 13.9 mm)
Display size, WxHBlack/Violet & White/Pink: 0.73” x 0.73” (18.5 x 18.5 mm); Black/Blue & Red/Black: 0.91” x 0.91” (23 x 23 mm)
Display resolution, WxH128 x 128 pixels
WeightSmall: 31 g (1.1 oz); Large: 39 g (1.4 oz)
BatteryRechargeable lithium-ion
Battery lifeSmall: 8 weeks, watch mode; 8 hours in training mode; Large: 10 weeks, watch mode; 10 hours in training mode
Water rating5 ATM
High-sensitivity receiver
Smart notifications (displays email, text and other alerts when paired with your compatible phone)

Maps & Memory

History7 activities

Running Features

Virtual Pacer™ (compares current pace to target)
Accelerometer (calculates distance for indoor workouts, without need for a foot pod)
Personal records

Performance Features

Heart rate monitorYes (Some versions)
Foot podYes (optional)
Auto Pause® (pauses and resumes timer based on speed)
Auto Lap® (automatically starts a new lap)
Time/distance alert (triggers alarm when you reach goal)
Heart rate-based calorie computation
Calculates calories burned
Customizable screen(s)
Shock Resistant

Activity Tracking Features

Step counter
Auto goal (learns your activity level and assigns a daily step goal)
Move bar (displays on device after a period of inactivity; walk for a couple of minutes to reset it)
Sleep monitoring (monitors total sleep and periods of movement or restful sleep)

Garmin Connect™

Garmin Connect™ compatible (online community where you analyze, categorize and share data)
Automatic sync (automatically transfers data to your computer)


  • BLE transfers to Garmin Connect Mobile
  • Time, distance, and calories alerts as well as heart rate and run/walk alerts

Related links:

Forerunner 25 on Garmin

Garmin Forerunner 25

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