Garmin Forerunner 25 Review – Great Beginners Running Watch

forerunner 25 review

At a Glance: Quick Ratings

Heart Rate Functions


Fitness / Sport Features


Ease of Use


Battery Life


Where To Get It

A Deep Dive Into The Garmin Forerunner 25

The Garmin Forerunner 25 is a simple to use GPS watch for runners with smartphone connectivity (call alerts, email alerts and data upload to Garmin Connect APP).

This competent running watch also features 24/7 activity tracking keep tabs on daily steps, calories and distance walked etc.

The Garmin Forerunner 25follow GPS runners watch has been reviewed by Tristan Haskins aka CardioCritic (formerly HeartRateMonitor UK)

The Forerunner 25 takes the popular Forerunner 15 and adds Smart Notifications and Bluetooth data download to compatible smartphones (Android and iPhone).

It comes in TWO sizes, small and large and with OPTIONAL chest strap heart rate sensor. Just like the F15 before it, the Forerunner 25 includes an built in accelerometer that provides running metrics (pace, distance etc) when running indoors.

This same technology is also used 24/7 to give activity tracking feedback.

Confused by How Many Forerunners there are?

You are not alone. If you are thinking of getting a Garmin GPS running then you will be joining a club of thousands.

There have been over 15 models in the Forerunner range so we published this guide to the Garmin Forerunner which compares the main differences between all the models from the original Forerunner 101 in 2003 to the latest products.

Highly Effective GPS Running Watch

This compact yet competent running watch has 95% of the features that 95% of runners will probably ever need. The latest technology makes uploading your training history a doddle.

At the end of the of the day everything can be manually downloaded to PC / Mac via supplied USB cable or auto-synced to your smartphone via Bluetooth and the Garmin Connect APP.

  • Who Is It For?

  • Video Review

  • Pros

  • Cons

  • Do you run?
  • Would you like to maintain a steady pace when running?
  • Do you own a smartphone and want your GPS running watch to receive incoming smart notifications from your phone? . (let’s you know when someone is calling you when running)
  • Would you like to track your daily activity rate and be reminded when it’s time to move?

If you have answered YES to any 3 of the 5 questions above then the Forerunner 25 is PROBABLY for you. If you answered YES to all 5 questions then what are you waiting for, scroll down for the best prices.

Main Features and Functions

  • Tracks distance, pace, heart rate (optional) and calories
  • Instantly share runs and activity tracking progress² with friends, family and the world via social media by pairing a compatible device with Garmin Connect™ Mobile
  • Activity tracking³ counts steps and calories and reminds you when it’s time to move
  • Up to 8 hours of battery life with GPS on or 5 weeks in watch/activity tracking mode(small watch)
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life with GPS on or 10 weeks in watch/activity tracking mode(large watch)
  • Save, plan and share your activities at Garmin Connect™

Note > still a solid performer but a better option could be the Forerunner 35 (Oct 2021) with wrist based HR

An Alternative GPS Running Watch from Polar ….

If you are considering this Garmin Forerunner watch then we would invite you to read the review of the Polar M400. The Polar M400 is, in our opinion, the BEST GPS RUNNER’S watch on the market.

It has all the PERFORMANCE tracking features you would expect from a competent runner’s watch, plus, a wealth of Training Load and Training Benefit feedback to help you better understand the training effect of each session and the predicted time required before you are fully recovered.

It also features a reliable and well researched/accurate Fitness Test that can be conducted once or twice a month to keep track of your general fitness improvement (based on RR intervals and HRV) … Just like the Forerunner 25 it’s also an activity tracker, sleep monitor and it’s smartphone connected for incoming alerts … plus it supports DOZENS of sports profiles, not JUST running.


We’ve put together some of the best images of the Forerunner 25. The aim of these pictures is to give a clearer understanding of the interface of the watch and showcase it’s main features.

Technical Specification

*Tech spec courtesy of Garmin

Physical & Performance

Physical dimensionsPurple/Black & White/Pink: 35.9 x 43.9 x 13.9 mm
Blue/Black & Black/Red: 40.2 x 47.0 x 13.9 mm
Display size, WxHPurple/Black & White/Pink: 18.5 x 18.5 mm
Blue/Black & Black/Red: 23 x 23 mm
Display resolution, WxH128 x 128 pixels
WeightSmall: 31 g
Large: 39 g
BatteryRechargeable lithium-ion
Battery lifeSmall: 8 weeks, watch mode; 8 hours in training mode; Large: 10 weeks, watch mode; 10 hours in training mode
Water rating5 ATM
High-sensitivity receiverYes

Maps & Memory

History7 activities
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Running Features

Virtual Pacer™ (compares current pace to target)Yes
Accelerometer (calculates distance for indoor workouts, without need for a foot pod)Yes
Personal recordsYes

Performance Features

Heart rate monitorYes (Some versions)
Foot podYes (optional)
Auto Pause® (pauses and resumes timer based on speed)Yes
Auto Lap® (automatically starts a new lap)Yes
Time/distance alert (triggers alarm when you reach goal)Yes
Heart rate-based calorie computationYes
Calculates calories burnedYes
Customizable screen(s)Yes
Shock ResistantYes

Activity Tracking Features

Step counterYes
Auto goal (learns your activity level and assigns a daily step goal)Yes
Move bar (displays on device after a period of inactivity; walk for a couple of minutes to reset it)Yes
Sleep monitoring (monitors total sleep and periods of movement or restful sleep)Yes

Garmin Connect™

Garmin Connect™ compatible (online community where you analyze, categorize and share data)Yes
Automatic sync (automatically transfers data to your computer)Yes


  • Bluetooth Smart (BLE) transfers to Garmin Connect Mobile
  • Smart notifications
  • Time, distance, and calories alerts as well as heart rate and run/walk alerts


Closest alternative Running watches?

If you are predominantly a runner looking for a sports watch with Heart Rate & GPS there are some competent alternatives from Polar.

Polar M200 reviewed here – a user friendly GPS running watch with wrist based HR & activity tracker
Polar M400 reviewed here – a more technical GPS running watch with chest strap HR, activity tracker & 5 x HR zones

Andrew Wyatt

Andrew Wyatt

Andrew Wyatt has been a tech geek for as long as he can remember. Whether it's laptops, cameras, or projects, he's obsessed with it all. When he's not researching the latest tech products, he likes to go on long hikes with his dogs.

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