Garmin Forerunner 25 GPS Running Watch

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There are all sorts of fitness trackers on the market today that can help you stay on top of your fitness by tracking workouts and monitoring progress, but the finding the right one for you takes a little work. This can be especially true for the runner who needs detailed statistics about their performances if they want to keep progressing.

Garmin Forerunner 25 (Large) - Black and Red
  • COMPACT - Forerunner 25 provides a larger display in a thinner watch with a 32% larger active display area than the...
  • CONNECTED FEATURES - Instantly share runs and activity tracking progress with friends, family and the world via social...
  • GPS - Acquire satellites quickly to track how far, how fast and where you run - even under tree cover. Display size:...

Regular fitness trackers lack the metrics and features needed to take your 1k time down by a few minutes. If you run to live and live to run, then you might want to consider a fitness watch explicitly made for just that, running. Whether you’re looking for cadence tracking or an extra boost of motivation, the right fitness watch can make all the difference in the world.


The Garmin Forerunner 25 is a GPS activity tracking watch that comes in two separate sizes for varying widths of wrists. There are black with red or blue color schemes for the larger and a black with purple or white with pink for the smaller version. Whichever you choose, the goal of this watch is to assist the runner in reaching new fitness goals through a series of features.

Inside the box, you will find the large or small Forerunner, a USB charging cable with a clip, and the user’s manual to help you navigate all of the features. There is also the option to bundle it with a heart rate monitor from Garmin as well that features an adjustable soft strap.

The watch is incredibly lightweight, weighing in at only 39 grams (0.085lbs), and features several fitting holes to ensure a comfortable yet secure fit when exercising. With a variety of built-in features such as a virtual pacer, lap tracking, and intervals, anyone can take maximize the benefits of their daily run while pushing towards new fitness goals.

This device doubles as a smartwatch that can notify you of incoming texts and calls via a Bluetooth connection to your phone. It also tracks your daily steps and sleeping habits to further track your fitness and health.

Best of all, it comes with an inactivity alert feature that lets you know when you’ve been sitting around for too long. This feature is a great reminder to stand up and move around every once in a while, which can be a significant benefit in an office setting or at home.

Users can view personal “high-score” records such as fastest 1k or fastest mile, as well as sync the watch with Garmin’s compatible phone app. Via the app, you can easily see a detailed analysis of your exercises and activities.

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  • This particular model from Garmin can be paired with either a heart rate monitor or foot pod.
  • There are multiple running modes, as well as a virtual pacer that compares your current pace to your target pace.
  • The GPS is excellent and features live tracking.
  • The Forerunner is water resistant up to 50 meters. While it isn’t designed in any way to track swimming laps, at least you won’t have to worry if it falls into a body of water.


  • Unfortunately, there is no wrist-based heart monitor featured on this model.
  • This model is specifically made for runners. Those looking for a more versatile fitness tracker may want to try something like the Vivofit 3.
  • The Forerunner is only compatible with ANT+ heart rate sensors.

Fuss-Free Features

garmin-forerunner-25-running-watchGarmin keeps things simple with only four buttons for scrolling, turning on the LED backlight, hitting return, and hitting enter. It doesn’t get much more user-friendly than that and reminds me of a few regular sports watches I owned years back.

Through these four buttons, you will be able to access every feature on the device, like the various run modes, or check on your heart rate and progress during run. The virtual pacer is perhaps the most unique mode of them all, allowing you to race against yourself based off of previous times for the same distance.

Another excellent feature is Garmin’s LiveTrack. This feature allows you to share your run on a GPS map as it happens, which is great when working on breaking a milestone as well as those who like to run alone or at night. This added safety feature can keep your friends and family aware of where you are and help you show off finally completing that 5k.garmin-forerunner25-livetrack

There is a primary run mode where you can set the time, distance, or calories you want to burn before getting started as well. By setting the lap tracking feature to automatic in any mode, you’ll know every time you would have made your way around the usual track even when running in a straight line. There’s also a useful pause function for when you need to take a breather or are waiting at a stoplight.

One last peace of mind feature is the 5ATM water resistance rating. This watch can head all the way down to 50 meters underwater! While there are no options for tracking a swim, it’s nice to know that it can survive a dunk in the pool, being dropped in a stream, or worse.


forerunner-25-reviewAll of the data this watch records can be sent over to the Garmin Connect app via Bluetooth. There, you can choose the type of GPS map you would like to use as well as zoom in and out, which is a neat feature. More importantly, the app stores a detailed analysis of your runs by examining the stats of every lap.

Looking at the entire time length of past runs, you can see how fast your pace was at every moment as well as your cadence. By attaching a heart rate monitor, you can also view your beats per minute during the run, too. These metrics are held in the app for you to return later, which allows you to work towards beating your personal best.

The app will also keep track of your daily activity with a step counter as well as assign daily goals for you. For instance, if you initially set the goal at 100 steps and passed that, the Forerunner would set a new goal at 150. This works as great motivation to keep moving on the days when you just can’t fit a good run into your schedule.

You also have the freedom to create courses, download training plans, and track the mileage of your running gear. The last of those three features takes the guesswork out of when you need a new pair of shoes. An app that helps you keep your shins and knees safe with new shows is a great benefit in my opinion.

Furthermore, the app tracks your sleep patterns. These statistics are gathered at night automatically, which means it won’t detect a mid-day nap, but it will pick up on how deep or light you have slept and at what times those periods occurred. This can help you identify what sleeping habits benefit your fitness performance the most.

Last, but not least, the app encourages you by rewarding new fitness heights with badges and connecting you to other Garmin users that have the app installed. You can challenge other members, set running dates with friends, or share the success of reaching your goals. A little extra motivation goes a long way for me, and I appreciate what this app does.

On a side note, you can also sign up for the Strava app and sync it with the Garmin Connect. This can either be a free or paid membership, however, the Garmin app offers far more details than the free Strata version. You might be better off without, but it’s worth looking into.

Top Features and Specs

  • Compact – Despite the large display screen, this device isn’t bulky in the least. The watch itself is surprisingly thin.
  • GPS – Being able to track distance, speed, and location with GPS is always a bonus for fitness watches.
  • Long Lasting Battery – The training mode can run for a full 10 hours if you can keep up with it for that long! In the regular activity mode, the battery can last a full ten weeks. When buying the smaller model, change the 10’s to 8’s.
  • Community – The connected features allow you to share runs and activities via social media when paired with a Garmin Connect Mobile. Plus, you can post your tricks live via GPS mapping.
  • Inactivity Motivator – When it’s time to get up an moving this watch will let you know. The Forerunner knows when you’ve been sitting too long, prompting you to at least walk around.
  • Bluetooth Syncing – The ability to view incoming texts or calls with a quick glance helps you to stay focused on your run, but also keeps you from missing important calls from those you care about the most.
  • Dual Screen – This watch can be switched to a double screen mode that displays two features of your choosing. That could be the time along with your current lap or the distance you’ve run so far paired with the calories you’ve burned.

What Customers are Saying

garmin-forerunner25The ultimate question is, of course, whether or not this watch is worth its weight in gold. It certainly wouldn’t be the first fitness watch to be packed full of features yet fall apart in a month, so what do owners have to say about it? Is the Garmin Forerunner 25 GPS running watch worth the investment?

Out of over 2,000 users, the vast majority have nothing short of great things to say about this nifty device. Those who have bought this watch highly recommend it is a GPS capable option saying, “I had looked at other GPS watched from time to time…this is the first moderately priced GPS watch with the features I was looking for,” and, “I am very impressed…the GPS connects in seconds and seems to be very accurate.”

While there are several benefits to this device, it’s always important to see what critiques come up. One complaint was that it does not offer vibration alerts, instead only letting out a quiet beeping sound. This can be tough to hear when running while listening to music or in a crowded location.

Other users noted that battery life could lessen to around 4 hours with both the trainer mode and GPS active simultaneously. Depending on how you run, that may or may not be an issue. One last concern to mention is that some users in densely populated cities, like New York, had a little trouble with the GPS connection.

While everything has a downside, the reported problems are easily outshined by the wealth of benefits this watch has to offer any runner. The rave reviews and recommendations from users who reached new fitness heights and fell in love with the simplicity this model offers a testament to how excellent the Garmin Forerunner 25 is.

The Verdict

This is an excellent fitness tracker for anyone looking to make the most of their runs or push themselves a little more every day. The Forerunner comes loaded with modes and features geared to improve your cardio fitness and help you run farther than you ever have before.

Whether it’s running against yourself with the virtual pacer, checking your cadence during laps, or encouraging you through challenges in the social app, you can see real results in your performance with the statistical data broken down to prove it. The extra sleep tracking and step counting features, as well as the smartwatch features, are all great additions that add to the overall value of this product.

All in all, the Forerunner 25 is easily a runner’s best friend. Being lightweight, sleek looking, and waterproof are all great features, but the ability to dig into your workouts and make the most of your fitness routine makes this one great watch.

Garmin Forerunner 25 (Large) - Black and Red
  • COMPACT - Forerunner 25 provides a larger display in a thinner watch with a 32% larger active display area than the...
  • CONNECTED FEATURES - Instantly share runs and activity tracking progress with friends, family and the world via social...
  • GPS - Acquire satellites quickly to track how far, how fast and where you run - even under tree cover. Display size:...