Sometimes Basic Is Better!!

Posted by Beth Hartman

Garmin Forerunner 25 GPS Running Watch

Anyone looking for a great gift for someone getting started in a power-walking/running fitness program can’t go wrong in latching on to the Garmin Forerunner 25 GPS Watch It's a solid no-frills running watch for new runners that provide the basics of data information, has a long battery life, is waterproof so you don't need to worry about being caught out in the rain while wearing one and best of all, since it's been around a while the price-point is inexpensive!

This is the perfect smart-running watch for anyone looking to begin a training program to tackle a running regimen. The Garmin Forerunner 25 ($99) is a no-frills running watch. The screen is black and white, there's no heart rate monitor (HRM), and it tracks only runs. But the Forerunner 25 gets the basics right and is a solid option for someone new to running who doesn't want or need a lot of bells and whistles.

The Forerunner 25 comes in four color combinations: white/pink, black/purple, black/blue and black/red (the version I reviewed). The black/blue and black/red versions have slightly bigger watch faces (1.57 x 1.85 inches) than the white/pink and black purple versions (1.38 x 1.73 inches); both sizes are 0.55 inches thick. The larger watches also come with a longer-lasting battery.

Like most other Garmin devices, the Forerunner 25 is easy to set up. After creating a Garmin Connect Mobile account, the watch syncs to the app via Bluetooth. Once connected to Garmin Connect, you enter your height, weight and birth date, which the Forerunner 25 will use to estimate the number of calories burned during your workouts.

The Forerunner 25 has a basic design. The 128 x 128-pixel screen is black and white, and though the large numbers have curves, making it easier to see at a glance. It's an upgrade over the Forerunner 15's 55 x 32-pixel screen, which is smaller than most of today's fitness trackers. The Garmin 25 has four buttons: an Activity button (which is a different color than the others) and a down-scroll arrow on the right side, as well as a back button and a backlight button on the left side. Every time you press a button, the watch beeps, which is handy when you're running, but if you like, you can turn this function off as needed.

Like other Garmin devices, the Forerunner 25 features a Move bar that encourages you to get up for a quick walk if you sit for too long. About 250 steps will clear the Move bar. Hitting the back button in the watch's main screen cycles through your daily activity stats: steps taken, daily step goal, miles walked/run and calories burned.

The Forerunner 25 is water-rated to 5 atmospheres, which means you can wear it swimming, though the watch doesn't track swim workouts. If nothing else, you can wear it in the shower without worry.

The basic simplicity of the Forerunner 25 stood out during our test runs, again cementing the fact that this basic running companion is a great gift for anyone looking to get fit and track their progress as they begin their journey into the sport of distance running.

To start a run outside, you hit the Activity button, wait for the watch to get a GPS signal and then hit the button again. Having reviewed devices that require quite a bit of scrolling or touch-screen swiping just to start a simple workout, you can appreciate being able to just press a button twice and go. Plus, the Forerunner 25 typically picked up a GPS signal within 1 minute, and often within 15 seconds. The Forerunner 25 will also track indoor runs, which the Forerunner 15 couldn't do unless you used a foot pod.

The Forerunner 25 supports a few other run types. For example, you can opt to run for a specific distance, time or number of calories burned, and the watch will count down until you reach this goal. You can also use the Virtual Pacer option, set up a series of run/walk intervals or receive heart rate notifications if paired with a heart rate monitor. These are helpful features for users new to running who are using a program such as Couch to 5K, which includes both run/walk workouts and runs that focus on hitting a time target as opposed to a distance target.

The Forerunner 25's menus are set up so that you select these types of runs after telling the watch to look for a GPS signal. This is a nice touch because it means you can pick your workout while you wait for a signal. The GPS was accurate, measuring several runs within a few hundredths of a mile.

Bottom line is, if you’re looking for a gift that will help incent that friend or special person to go after their vision of beginning a running activity program then the Garmin Forerunner 25 GPS watch is the perfect Christmas present to put in their stocking. And what about you, after all, it’s a proven fact that it's much easier to begin and stay committed to a new activity program, like running if you do it with a friend. So why not pick up a Garmin 25 for yourself as well, this way you can both hit the road and trails together, and compare your daily, weekly and monthly stats with each other and use that information to keep pushing yourselves on towards a newer distance and time goals!

Merry Christmas from your fun-running friends here at!


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