Garmin has released a number of smartwatches aimed for fitness tracking and typical smartwatch capabilities. The affordable Garmin Forerunner 55 is a smartwatch intended for these basic purposes.
Design and display
The Forerunner 55 has basic looks of earlier Forerunner models and it’s a quite good thing. It shares the round face and sleek design of the Forerunner 45, with its 42mm case. Even for women or people with smaller wrists, the Forerunner 55 should be quite comfortable to wear. If you don’t want a smartwatch that looks conspicuous or bulky, the Forerunner 55 should be an appropriate choice. The interface and text on the display are fairly easy to see, so you don’t have to strain to read, especially under the sun. It is quite unfortunate that the Forerunner series doesn’t have touchscreen display and to perform functions, you need to use buttons. This could be something that you dislike the most about the Forerunner 55, but if you use it only for basic functionality and you don’t use it too much, perhaps you won’t mind.
It is quite fast to lock on to GPS signal and you don’t need to wait for more than five seconds. With Forerunner 45, you might need to wait 15 seconds or more to get steady GPS signal. There’s a new incident detection feature that sends message to a specified contact if you have an emergency situation. You need to continuously pair the Forerunner 55 with the smartphone to enable this feature, because it doesn’t have cellular connectivity.
There are basic run tracking features in Forerunner 55 that allow you to track mileage, elapsed time and average pace. For activity tracking, you can track physical activities such as breathwork, pilates, HIIT, biking, treadmill, stair stepper and elliptical. However, there’s no strength training mode that can be sorely missed by sports enthusiasts. Sleep tracking features of Forerunner 55 are rather basic, but you can get records of wake-up time, REM sleep, deep sleep and light sleep. For health tracking, Forerunner 55 records metrics like pregnancy symptoms, menstrual cycles, calories burned and respiration rate.
In GPS mode, the Forerunner 55 could last for 20 hours and up to two weeks in smartwatch mode. Forerunner 55 is quite impressive if we compare it with competitors, like Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 at only 2 days and Versa 3 at only 12 days with GPS enabled and 6 days in smartwatch mode. It is convenient to use the Forerunner 55, because at GPS mode, the battery life is depleted by only 2 percent after a lengthy workout or run session. The same also applies with the Apple Watch Series 5 that you need to charge it after 12 hours.
Price and availability
Garmin releases the Forerunner 55 for $199. There are three colour options for its silicone band, aqua, white and black. This smartwatch is currently available in the Canada and the United States. Availability in other countries should be later this summer.