Garmin today released the Forerunner 55 – a new entry level GPS sports watch. Considering its set of features it is less entry-level than you might expect.
Garmin has released a new model to the Forerunner series. The Forerunner 55 is the new entry-level product sporting GPS, a transflective color displays and a number of features that are dedicated to runners. Let’s dive into the details.
The Forerunner 55 is a small sport watch with a 1.04″ display. With a resolution of 208 x 208 pixels (thus having a pixel density of 200 ppi) Garmin sticks to the same display as the Forerunner 45. As most of Garmin’s sports watches, the Forerunner 55 doesn’t have a touch screen, but five buttons places around the display.
The watch more or less has the same dimension as its predecessor. Even the weight hasn’t changed much. But there have been modifications to the wristband: the Forerunner 55 uses a quickrelease mechanism, allowing for easier swapping of the 20 mm wristband.
The watch is waterproof up to 5 ATM, thus you may not only wear it while taking a shower, but you may also wear it while swimming.
Forerunner 55 – Connect IQ and up to 20 hours GPS recording
The newly added support for Connect IQ is a big enhancement for the Forerunner 55, as it allows for downloading new watchfaces, data fields, widgets and apps. This may be of major importance to some as it offers customizing the watch way beyond the Forerunner 45.
Garmin also improved the battery life. While the battery life remains at seven days for watch-mode, the battery will last up to 20 hours while GPS recording. Compared to the Forerunner 45 which features up to 13 hours of GPS recording, the Forerunner 55’s battery life has increased by 53%.
Being the new entry-level product, the Forerunner 55 will neither have onboard storage for music or maps, nor does it have Wi-Fi and you won’t be able to pay your snacks with NFC / Gamin Pay.
New features and sport profiles
Compared to its predecessor the Forerunner 55 can make up some new features – most of them debuted along with Garmin’s more expensive sport watches. Nevertheless the Forerunner 55 will have some new pre-installed sport profiles:
- Track Run
- Virtual Run
- Pool Swim
For running there are some sophisticated features:
- Recovery time
- Cadence warning
- Interval training
- Daily suggested workout (Lite)
- PacePro (Lite)
- Estimated finish time
Concerning the daily suggested workout, the Forerunner 55 takes your training history, fitness level and last runs into account but doesn’t transfer the workout towards the Training Status – simply because the Forerunner 55 doesn’t support it.
But the Forerunner 55 most likely will support PacePro. It’s named ‘lite’ because you can’t create PacePro strategies on the watch itself. Instead you have to use Garmin Connect to create pacing strategies for routes and distances and sync them to the watch afterwards. For most runners this should be absolutely fine.
Though the Forerunner offers a lot features dedicated to sports, it also provides a lot functions concerning activity tracking, health and well-being:
- Activity tracking (steps, distance, calories)
- Sleep monitoring
- Stress monitoring
- Body Battery
- Pregnancy tracking
- Move alert
- Respiration rate
Paired to a smartphone the Forerunner 55 will display messages from your phone. In case of an incident the paired smartphone will share your last GPS location with persons you added to Garmin Connect as emergency contacts. It does so automatically if you stumble and fall or manually if you trigger it.
Colors and sizes
Most of Garmin’s wearables are released in two sizes, but most likely the Forerunner 55 will be different. Due to the small size which suits slender and bigger wrist well, there will be just one one-sized watch.
The leaked product pages on the company’s website suggest the following colors:
Prices and Availability
The Forerunner 55 will be $199.99. On their website Garmin states that the watch will be available to ship in 3-5 weeks. You can pre-order on Amazon which essentially states the same shipping date.
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