Road Testing the Garmin Forerunner 55

Garmin just released the Forerunner 55, and after using this sports watch for a few weeks, I can confidently say... I'm impressed.

Garmin just released the Forerunner 55, and after using this sports watch for a few weeks, I can confidently say… I’m impressed. Designed to be the successor of the popular Forerunner 45, while maintaining the same price range, Garmin made sure to add in all the features a runner would need into this watch.

I’ve been a Garmin user since 2018, and I really love my Fenix 6. But this review is not about comparing the Fenix 6 to the FR55, but rather, to review if the FR55 has the basic features a runner would look for in a sports watch.

Battery Life (GPS Mode)

This is definitely one of the top things to consider when buying a sports watch, I remember 5-6 years ago, while running a marathon, my sports watch died a kilometer just before I crossed the finish-line, hassle! So make sure to make Battery Life one of your top priority when choosing a sports watch. There are still few sport/smart watches nowadays that runs for only 5-6 hours on GPS mode, so make sure to take note of this.

The FR55 has been upgraded to operate up-to 20 hours in GPS mode and around 14 days in smartwatch mode, so you don’t need to worry about charging the device even when you’re running a marathon or an ultramarathon.

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GPS Accuracy

The little brother of the Fenix 6 packs the same GPS technology under the hood, GPS + GLONASS or GPS + GALILEO, after a couple of test runs, the difference between the two are between 50-100meters on my average 5KM runs, that’s just 1-2% difference between the two sports watch.

Personally, I’m not expecting them to be totally the same, since GPS is dependent on a lot of external factors like clouds, buildings, position of the device, etc. I’m happy, just as long as it’s under a few hundred meters. Who knows, baby brother might actually be performing better than big brother in this case.

Heart Rate Monitor

Nowadays, I often gauge my run effort based on my heart rate rather than the speed or pace I am able to maintain, and the improvements in optical heart rate monitors has come a long way since it was first released.

Here’s a quick side by side comparison of Heart Rate data from the FR55 and Fenix 6. Comparing to the more expensive Fenix 6, the FR55 held up pretty well during my training runs.

Conclusion

These are the 3 main features I really check for in a sports watch, and the Forerunner 55 passed all of them in flying colors. And like all Garmin watches, the FR55 also connects seamlessly to the Garmin Connect app to record all your training history as well as the ability to share your training efforts to 3rd party apps like STRAVA.

Some other features worth mentioning is that the Garmin FR55 also comes with PacePro, a feature that offers pace guidance to runners to help them stay on track during training. The watch also has a wide array of health and wellness features for all-day monitoring of stress, sleep monitoring, even menstrual cycle and pregnancy tracking for women.

The upgraded FR55 also now come with the Body Battery Energy Monitor that gives the user feedback on overall energy level on a daily basis, the longer you wear the watch, the better the feedback on your overall energy for the day.

A quick comparison of the FR55 to my Fenix 6, after using the FR55 for a few weeks, I do miss the larger display of the Fenix, 1.3 inch vs the 1.04 inch in the FR55, just because I like jamming in a lot of data displays into one screen (Distance, Time, Pace, HR).

Also, unlike the high-end Garmin watches that features Gorilla branded (or Sapphire) glass, the FR 55 comes with chemically strengthened glass, it’s still scratch resistant, but you just need to be extra careful when you’re using it.

When do you buy this?

Personally I would say… Buy this if you’re new to running and you’re considering to buy your first GPS sports watch, but you’re on a budget. It has all the core functionalities a serious runner would need.

Priced at P11,395 – the Garmin Forerunner 55 is now available in all Garmin Brand Stores, official online Garmin stores (Kinetic.com.ph, Lazada, Shopee) and the Garmin PH Viber Community.

GARMIN BRAND STORES
Garmin SM Megamall Garmin SM City Pampanga
Garmin SM Mall of Asia Garmin Shangri-La Plaza
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Garmin SM Aura Premier Garmin SM City Cebu
Garmin SM City North Edsa Garmin SM Lanang Premiere
Garmin The Podium Garmin Festive Walk
Garmin Ayala Malls Vertis North Garmin SM City Bacolod

 

Here’s a short un-boxing video of the Garmin Forerunner 55:

For more information about the Garmin Forerunner 55, you can visit the Garmin Website here – https://ph.garmin.com/

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