Garmin Forerunner 255 Review – A Triathlete’s Dream Come True
Garmin has made significant changes to its lineup. In the past, they offered a range of models like the 45, 245, 645, 745, and 945, each catering to different needs.
However, starting from last year, Garmin has streamlined the Forerunner series to offer only the 55, 255, and 955 watches. While having fewer choices may seem like a drawback, it’s actually a blessing in disguise, especially for triathlon enthusiasts.
The Garmin Forerunner 255 has stepped up its game to replace both the Forerunner 645 and 745, which were in the $500 price range. The best part? It offers more features and capabilities for just $350. In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the details of the Garmin Forerunner 255, covering everything from design and durability to its performance and features. Check out the latest price here: Garmin Forerunner 255.
Design and Sizing:
The Garmin Forerunner 255 comes in two size options: the larger 46mm and the smaller 41mm, known as the 255s.
The 46mm variant boasts a 1.3-inch screen, providing more screen real estate than the 41mm’s 1.1-inch display. Additionally, the larger model offers slightly better battery life, lasting approximately two weeks, compared to the 255s, which lasts a few days less.
Color options are another consideration. The 255s is available in powder gray and light pink, while the 255 comes in slate gray and tidal blue. There’s also a music version of both models, priced at an additional $50 and available in black or white stone. However, the music version of the 255 has only 4GB of storage compared to the 32GB of storage on the 955, which starts at $500.
The Garmin Forerunner 255 has proven itself to be a robust and durable sports watch. The lens is made from Corning Gorilla Glass 3.0, which is resistant to scratches, although lens covers are available for added protection.
The watch body is constructed from plastic, which can get scratched, but these scratches are generally not visible. The silicone watch band that comes with the watch holds up well, even during strenuous activities like swimming, biking, and running.
Performance and Accuracy:
One of the standout features of the Forerunner 255 is its impressive accuracy. It utilizes multi-band GPS, allowing it to connect to multiple types of GPS satellites simultaneously to enhance accuracy.
Garmin has also introduced an Auto Select GPS mode, which can switch between GPS types during a run to maintain precise tracking. This GPS accuracy is a significant advantage for athletes who rely on precise data for training and performance analysis.
The watch’s optical heart rate monitor is also commendable. It performs well, though it may take a moment to lock on initially. For the most accurate heart rate data, dedicated chest straps are recommended, especially for rigorous workouts.
One noteworthy update since the initial review is the addition of native running power support in the Forerunner 255. Running power estimation is now available directly from the watch, eliminating the need for external sensors. This feature is a valuable tool for runners seeking to optimize their training and performance.
HRV Tracking and Morning Report:
The inclusion of heart rate variability (HRV) tracking is another welcome addition. HRV measurements provide insights into your readiness for intense workouts, helping you gauge your body’s level of recovery. The watch requires a few weeks of sleep tracking to establish a baseline for HRV data, after which it provides feedback on your overall readiness.
The morning report is a standout feature that provides a holistic overview of your health and training status. It includes sleep data, HRV, weather conditions, and suggested workouts. This feature can help users make informed decisions about their daily training and recovery.
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While the Garmin Forerunner 255 may not be as feature-rich as an Apple Watch, it offers several smartwatch capabilities. Users can receive notifications, control music on their phones, and even play music directly from the watch for those with the music version.
The watch can also detect stress levels and guide users through breathing exercises to reduce stress. Additionally, it tracks various health metrics and provides a wealth of information in its Morning Report.
Omissions and Limitations:
While the Garmin Forerunner 255 is an impressive multisport watch, it does have a few limitations. It lacks detailed mapping capabilities, offering only breadcrumb maps without street names or detailed information. However, this omission is understandable due to the watch’s limited storage capacity.
One notable omission is the absence of the training readiness score found in higher-end Garmin watches. This score combines sleep data, previous training efforts, and HRV scores to provide a simple training readiness assessment. Its absence feels like a missed opportunity to enhance the 255’s capabilities further.
- Triathlon-Ready: The Garmin Forerunner 255 offers comprehensive triathlon capabilities, making it an ideal choice for athletes engaged in multi-discipline sports.
- Streamlined Series: Garmin’s decision to streamline the Forerunner series by offering only the 55, 255, and 955 models simplifies the selection process and ensures that each model serves its purpose effectively.
- Affordable Yet Feature-Rich: Priced at $350, the Forerunner 255 replaces higher-priced models like the Forerunner 645 and 745, offering similar capabilities at a more affordable cost.
- Accurate GPS Tracking: The watch’s multi-band GPS technology ensures precise tracking, and the Auto Select GPS mode further enhances accuracy by dynamically switching GPS types during activity.
- Native Running Power Support: A recent update has introduced native running power support, eliminating the need for external sensors and providing runners with valuable data for training optimization.
- Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Tracking: The inclusion of HRV tracking provides insights into recovery levels, helping users make informed decisions about their training intensity and rest.
- Informative Morning Report: The Morning Report feature offers a comprehensive overview of health metrics, sleep data, weather conditions, and suggested workouts, aiding in planning a balanced training regimen.
- Durable Build: The Forerunner 255 features Corning Gorilla Glass 3.0, offering excellent scratch resistance. The plastic watch body is robust and capable of withstanding daily use.
- Limited Mapping: The watch offers only breadcrumb maps, lacking detailed street names and other mapping information. This limitation is attributed to the watch’s storage capacity.
- Training Readiness Score Omission: Unlike higher-end models, the Forerunner 255 lacks the Training Readiness Score, a metric combining sleep, training efforts, and HRV for a simple readiness assessment.
- Music Version Storage: The music version of the Forerunner 255 has only 4GB of storage compared to the 32GB available in the 955 model, potentially limiting the music library. Get it here: Garmin Forerunner 255.
In summary, the Garmin Forerunner 255 is a highly capable multisport watch that caters to triathletes and athletes of various disciplines. With its accurate GPS tracking, native running power support, HRV tracking, and informative Morning Report, it offers an impressive array of features for its $350 price point.
While it may not have all the bells and whistles of higher-end Garmin models, the Forerunner 255 is a solid choice for athletes seeking reliable performance data and insights. Its durability and comfortable design make it suitable for daily use, from swimming and biking to running and beyond.
Whether you’re a seasoned triathlete or someone looking to up their fitness game, the Garmin Forerunner 255 is a watch worth considering. So, get out there, swim, bike, run, and embrace the multisport lifestyle with a reliable companion on your wrist. Check out the latest price here: Garmin Forerunner 255.