Garmin Forerunner 25

The Garmin Forerunner series of sports watches first hit the market in 2013 with the 101, 201 and 301 models. As time went on and technology increased, the features in the Garmin sports watches improved as well. From very basic features to highly sensitive heart rate monitoring, Garmin has a sports watch for every user from the beginner to advanced athletes.

The Forerunner 25 was released in 2015 and came as an upgrade to the Forerunner 15. This new model introduces Bluetooth technology and allows users to pair their watch to their Android or iOS enabled smartphone. This has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for users from live tracking their runs or bike rides to smart sharing with friends and family. Let’s take a bit of a deeper dive and see what else the Forerunner 25 has to offer users.

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Backcountry Link
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Road Runner Sports Link
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Where to Buy
Backcountry Link
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Road Runner Sports Link
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Pros & Cons

-Watch isn’t bulky
-Finds satellite relatively quickly
-Long battery life
-Garmin sync is easy to use & intuitive


-No timer or stopwatch function
-Limited size/color options
-No wrist-based heart rate monitoring

Key Features
The Garmin Forerunner 25 is a great GPS running watch for athletes who are looking to track information about their runs. This watch will look at your distance, pace and calories burned as well as the steps you’ve taken. It’s rated to 5 ATM which means you can take it in the pool with you, though it should be noted that the watch isn’t made to track swimming workouts. Users are able to input what type of run they would like to go on – whether they’d prefer to run a specific distance, a certain time goal, or until they reach a specific number of calories burned. This is a great feature to have for folks who are running for both athleticism and fun.
Basic Features
Like other Garmin options on the market, the Forerunner 25 has a ‘Move’ bar that encourages users to get up and walk if they’ve been inactive for too long. It takes about 250 steps to see that bar disappear. This is a great feature, especially for people who are in the market for a watch that acts both as a GPS device and a healthy lifestyle companion. The watch will track and display your daily steps and provides information such as steps taken, your daily step goal, distance walked/run and calories burned. Unlike its predecessor, the Forerunner 15, the 25 doesn’t actually offer sleep tracking of any kind. This is worth noting as it might be a deal breaker for some users. Though the Forerunner 25 doesn’t feature a touchscreen, there are four buttons present on the watch that will allow users access to the information they need.
Advanced Features
The Forerunner 25 keeps track of your best times and pace and will alert you when you’ve beat one of your previous runs. We think this is a fantastic feature, especially for users who like to compete with themselves during their activities. Nothing is more motivating and satisfying than knowing you just beat your best time and the 25 will alert you when you’ve done just that. Thanks to the Bluetooth connectivity of this device (which we will delve deeper into in the ‘Connectivity’ area of our review), users will have access to their incoming calendar alerts, as well as calls and text messages so they’re able to stay connected without needing to pull out their phone.
As with many GPS-enabled watches, the accuracy of the GPS in the Forerunner 25 can depend upon where it is you’re wearing it while you’re running. If you’re in the heart of New York City, surrounded by looming skyscrapers, the GPS may be a little more finicky than if you’re running in a small suburban neighborhood.
Through the Garmin Connect app for iOS or Android, users can share their run details and all of their activity progress with their friends and family. Once you have used the Bluetooth to pair the watch with your smartphone, you will have access to call and text alerts that will let you know through the watch when you’re receiving phone calls or text messages. This eliminates the need to pull out your phone mid-run to see who is trying to get in contact with you. Current users of the Forerunner 25 are split when it comes to the GPS connectivity. Some find that it can take up to five minutes to get the GPS signal working, while others mentioned the GPS connects quickly. This may just be a matter of where you are located and what the tree/building cover is like.
Once you’ve paired your Android or iOS smartphone with your Forerunner 25, you will be able to upload the activities you complete via the Garmin Connect app. This app will allow you to see your running maps, gain specific information about each of your miles, see a summary of all of the activities you’ve completed in the day and share all of this information with your friends. There are also online challenges you can join to keep you moving and motivated, as well as virtual badges you can earn for all of your hard work. Another great benefit of the Forerunner 25 being Bluetooth-enabled is the ability to share live tracking if you wish to share the exact whereabouts of your run with your friends in real time. This is also a helpful feature if you prefer to do your running late at night and will feel safer knowing your friends know exactly where you are at all times.
The Forerunner 25 is a very comfortable watch. It’s smaller overall than its predecessor, making it less obtrusive. A common problem with smart and sport watches is that some of them need to be bulkier in size to make up for all the tech packed inside. While we wouldn’t necessarily consider this to be a low-profile watch, users should find that it doesn’t get caught up on their clothing as much as other similar options.
Garmin wanted users to be able to feel like they could express themselves with this GPS watch. It comes in a number of different color options: black/purple, black/blue, black/red or white/pink. For people who like a more muted design or like to dress a bit more conservatively, the black/red colorway would be the best option as the only pop of color is the red around the face of the watch. The other options have a brightly colored band, perfect for folks who like something a little funkier looking. The design here is fairly basic, with a black and white screen with font that leans a bit on the pixelated side. The screen is 128 x 128 pixels in size making it a nice upgrade from the Forerunner 15’s 55 x 32 pixel screen. Though the 25 model has a 32% larger display screen when compared to its predecessor, the increased screen size doesn’t make the watch feel overly bulky.
The Forerunner 25 is made to last, though you wouldn’t know it by its relatively low price tag. One reviewer commented that they have been using the Forerunner 25 long enough that they’ve logged 1000 miles on it and the only sign of wear on the watch is a few scratches on the face. This, of course, can be prevented by purchasing a screen protector.
The LCD display, despite being monochrome, is still bold and easy to read in either dark or light settings. This is due in part to the backlight which can be activated by pressing the backlight button on the side of the screen. The Forerunner 25 comes in two different size options and, as such, has different measurements for the face in each of these sizes. The large size face measures 1.57 x 1.85 inches while the small size comes in at 1.38 x 1.73 inches. Both size options are 0.55 inches thick. Some users mentioned that the face did scratch rather easily, but this can be remedied by purchasing a screen protector.
As we will talk about in the Sizes option of our review, the Forerunner 25 is available in two different band options – large or small. The smaller size band is more so aimed towards the female user as women tend to have smaller wrists. Most users who left reviews for this watch liked the factory band that came with it, but for folks who prefer something a little different, there are band replacement options available on Amazon that offer an entirely different look and feel. There are silicone options as well as magnetic metal ones, available in a wide array of colors so one can really customize their watch.
Sizes Available
The Forerunner 25 has two sizes available – large or small. Unfortunately, the size options are only available in certain color choices. The small size is available in the purple/black and pink/white colors, while the larger size option is in red/black or blue/black.
Ease of Use
Because the Forerunner 25 is a relatively minimalist running watch, it is easy to set up and self-explanatory to use. If you choose to pair your watch with your Android or iOS enabled smartphone, all you’ll need to do is create a Garmin Connect mobile account and your watch will automatically begin syncing to the app via Bluetooth technology. This is a huge improvement over the 25’s predecessor as with that model you needed to physically plug your watch into your computer to transfer the data over.

Read also about best minimalist shoes.
Power Source
The large size option of the Forerunner 25 should provide about ten hours of battery life while using GPS. If you’re using the watch in activity tracking mode, you’ll be able to squeeze around ten weeks of use out of the watch. Unfortunately, the smaller version of the Forerunner 25 does have a weaker battery life. It provides about eight hours per charge while in GPS mode and eight weeks in activity tracking mode. This long battery life is fairly impressive considering many other similar watch options on the market can only last a few days before needing to be recharged.
The MSRP for the Forerunner 25 is $145.00. This is a relatively high price tag, however, and consumers should expect to pay considerably less than that if they choose to purchase from a site like Amazon. At the time of publication, there are options to purchase this watch on Amazon for as low as $99.00, depending on the color that you choose.
Although the Forerunner 25 doesn’t automatically come with a heart rate monitoring system, users can purchase one separately. There are options to purchase a bundle that includes both the watch and the heart rate monitor as well. For cyclists, there is the option to buy a bike mount for the watch that will allow you to track your cycling workouts as well as your running ones. For folks who like to run on the treadmill during the colder months, Garmin sells foot pods to attach to your shoes so that you’re able to track not only your outdoor runs but your indoor ones as well.
Key Features
-Use the compatible Garmin Connect app to save and share your workouts
-8 to 10 hours of battery life with GPS activated in training mode
-8 to 10 weeks of battery life in activity tracking mode
-Tracks distance run, pace, and calories burned
-Waterproof to 5 ATM
Bottom Line
The Garmin Forerunner 25 is a great budget GPS watch for people who don’t need the bells and whistles of fancier options. It’s a fantastic entry-level option for the beginner or intermediate runners who aren’t training for a big race or athletic event and don’t need access to more than just the very basic metrics. While there are probably cheaper options for watches that offer similar features, we love Garmin for their reliability and high-quality products. Not to mention that the Forerunner 25 is a slick looking watch, as well. If you can, we suggest opting for the package that includes the heart rate strap so as to provide you with even more accurate measurements and to give you an idea of how hard you’re working.
Where to Buy
Backcountry Link
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Road Runner Sports Link
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By Abbie Copeland
Last updated:
Where to buy
Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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