Garmin Forerunner 55

9.5
9.5 score
[Editors rating (9.5)] = Runnerclick score (9.5)/10

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Editor rating: 9.5 / 10
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Editor’s Conclusion
The Garmin Forerunner 55 is the perfect smartwatch for runners on a strict budget. If we jump back in time a few years, budget-friendly smartwatches offered users a step counter and a stopwatch and called it a day.

Now that the more expensive designs can do everything short of changing the oil on your car, the more affordable design offers some pretty impressive features.

This design offers slick features such as GPS track mode, daily workouts, a host of health tracking options, virtual race mode, as well as a host of other features. The interface on this design is super easy to use and is made from chemically strengthened glass for higher durability.

Plus, the battery life on this little device is insane. While used in smartwatch mode, the battery life is measured not in hours but in weeks!

As someone that is pretty bad about charging my devices, the battery life on this watch is a real gamechanger.

If you are on the hunt for a sleek and durable smartwatch that can help you track your progress and push you to new limits without breaking the bank, the Garmin Forerunner 55 is worth checking out!

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Compatible with iPhone and Android smartphones

Records up to 200 hours of running data

Easy to use interface

Incredibly long battery life

Composed of chemically strengthen glass

Provides customized daily workouts

Cons

No LTE functionality

Key Features

Key Features

PERFORMANCE

So, how can a watch help you become a better runner? This design acts like a mini personal trainer strapped right to your wrist.

When you go on a few runs, Garmin tracks your progress and uses that information to calculate suggested runs based solely upon your performance. When you are ready to hit the trails, toggle through the menu to find the daily run suggestions.

I found that these daily runs perfectly match your running style and performance, and slowly amps you up to more and more difficult and challenging runs. If you feel like you have hit a performance wall, this watch will help you trudge your way through your running rut!

Another new feature of this watch is that it also includes PacePro. Before you head out away from your home’s WiFi, simply find the trail or track you plan on running and upload it to your watch.

From there, your watch calculates the elevation and terrain and provides a detailed running program that takes into consideration uphill climbs and downhill descents.

Another big feature of this design is the Predicted Race Time feature. This feature gathers all of your previous running times and plugs it into a formula to indicate just how long it will take you to finish a race.

If you feel like you aren’t sure if you are ready to tackle that marathon, the Garmin Forerunner 55 can give you empirical proof that you are (or that you need to train harder!).

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

On top of the high-end performance tracking, this watch also provides users with accurate measurements of your runs. It is able to track your steps, heart rate, lap times, and distance with live GPS mapping.

The GPS tracking feature is built for more than just calculating the terrain and giving you an overall picture of your training. It is also designed with a sleek safety feature that helps to keep you safe.

When running on isolated trails, I sometimes get a little nervous about my surroundings. I was once running on a local trail and was followed by someone that was running in jeans. I lowered the volume on music and spent a long while pondering why anyone would run in jeans. It just didn’t feel right.

With the GPS safety feature on this phone, I can send out my location with a tracking link to my contacts to let them know that I’m feeling a bit unsafe on my run.

(In case you were curious about the fate of the jean-jogger, he eventually turned off at an exit and cut his run short. Probably due to extreme chafing).

APP

To get the most out of your smartwatch, I highly suggest downloading the Garmin Connect App. This app isn’t required to use your watch, however. If you hate downloading new apps to your phone, you can easily pair your watch to your phone through the settings without the need for additional downloads.

This watch also easily pairs with the existing health apps on your phone (such as Apple health) that send info from your run right to your phone.

This app is completely free and doesn’t require an ongoing subscription. This health app allows users to send data and live tracking to a host of friends to keep them updated on your progress, as well as keep you safe.

It also collects all of the data from your runs and provides you with a comprehensive breakdown of where you excel, and where you need a little bit of help. It compiles this information into advanced charts and uses that information to gather better workouts that are built around your skill level.

BATTERY LIFE

One of the biggest improvements made to the Garmin Forerunner 55 is the impressive battery life. Sure, this watch doesn’t have the high-end bells and whistles as some of the more expensive designs, but what it lacks in advanced features it makes up for in battery life.

When used in smartwatch mode (which acts as a traditional watch that shows you the time, weather, and steps in the day), the battery will last for up to 2 weeks! Hands down, this is one of the most impressive batteries that I have seen on any smartwatch.

When you use your watch for live tracking, or if you use any of the GPS features, the battery life will wear down more quickly. With GPS features activated, the battery of this watch will last just shy of 24 hours (20 hours to be exact).

This watch also comes with a charging cable included with purchase. What I love most about this watch is that if you forgot to charge it for the day, simply pop it onto the charger and it will achieve a full charge in just 2 short hours.

DURABILITY

If you want to use your watch to track your lap times in the pool, you will be pleased to discover that it's completely waterproof. It not only can handle a bit of rain but it is also designed to be completely submerged in water without damaging your device.

The screen is composed of chemically strengthened glass that won’t break if you drop it (which happens quite often with me), and also includes a silicon brand with flex grooves that won’t slip around when you get a little sweaty.

Overall, this smartwatch gets an A+ when it comes to its durability.

HEALTH TRACKING

Another great feature of the Garmin Forerunner 55 is that it is built with a host of helpful health apps that work on and off of the track. The included heart rate monitor is incredibly accurate, and even sends you alerts if your heart rate seems abnormal. It also compiles your heart rate information to whip up an all-day stress test.

This stress test can indicate high levels of stress, and lets you know when you need to take it easy. If your stress seems a bit high, cash in one of those personal days and run yourself a nice and relaxing Epsom salt bath!

It is also able to determine your fitness age by calculating your Vo2 Max, your gender, your BMI, your biological age, as well as your collected heart rate data to compile an overall picture of health.

If you find that your fitness age isn’t quite where you want it to be, the Garmin Connect app can provide some insight and workout recommendations to get you back on track!

It’s not a feature that you will use all the time, but it is helpful to check in from time to time to track your progress.

PRICE

One of the best features of this watch is that it comes in at a super affordable price point. In fact, this is one of the most affordable smartwatches that Garmin currently offers. While it’s not quite as affordable as screen-free options that pair with your phone, the high level of impressive features makes this design well worth every penny.

Five years ago, the features on this watch would land it closer to 4 digits on the pricing scale. Today, Garmin can provide these advanced features on this watch while still keeping the price tag affordable.
Comparisons to Previous Versions

Comparisons to Previous Versions

At first glance, there isn’t a lot that has changed between the Forerunner 55 and previous versions. The watch face is the same size, and it is still composed of the same level of durable glass. However, when you take a deep dive into the features offered by this watch, the changes are quite impressive (while keeping the price tag the same!)

Some of the improvements made to this watch include PacePro, daily suggested workouts, track mode, virtual run mode, predicted race times and even includes programming for swimming and HIIT.

Basically, this is like a personal trainer built right into your wrist, and it is something that we didn’t see in previous versions of this watch!
Verdict

Verdict

If you are in the market for a smartwatch that is compatible with most phones and is super easy to use without breaking the bank, the Garmin Forerunner 55 is a great option.

This watch delivers up some impressive features that act like a personal trainer built right into your wrist. It can calculate suggested daily runs based upon previous performance and offers GPS functionality to keep you safe.

The health features of this design help you get the most off and on track, and offer a complex picture of your overall health with the addition of the Garmin Connect app.

If you spent all of your additional funds on running shoes and don’t have much left for a watch, this is a great option that won’t break the bank!