garmin forerunner 25

Garmin Forerunner 25 Review – Best Cheap GPS Running Watch

Watch Review: Forerunner 25

Editors Rating:

Running Features

Watch Design

Ease of Use



  • Simple, easy-to-use features
  • All day activity tracking
  • Pair with Bluetooth smartphone
  • Compatible with heart rate monitor
  • Long battery life


  • No advanced features
  • No virtual partner
  • No wrist heart rate

Garmin Forerunner 25 Review

The Garmin Forerunner 25 is an upgrade to the Forerunner 15, announced in 2015 which continues to build on some of the entry-level GPS running watch features available for beginners and intermediate runners.

Garmin Forerunner 25 captures all of the essential data you need on a run, including pace, distance, and heart rate. Forerunner 25 also adds Bluetooth so you can wirelessly sync with your smartphone and upload data to Garmin Connect. This watch also includes daily activity tracking to help you keep motivated throughout the day.

Who should buy the Forerunner 25 watch?

Forerunner 25 is perfect for runners on a budget or those just starting out. It still has the technology Garmin is well known for but lacks advanced features.

Garmin Forerunner 25 Comparison

The previous Forerunner 15 was one of the best-running watches for beginners as it was so easy to use, it was simply 'a press start and go' device. The Forerunner 25 is no different and steadily improves on the Forerunner 15. It's designed for use straight out of the box and involves minimal setup. It finds satellites quickly with it's excellent GPS receiver, so after a few quick warm-up stretches, you will be starting your run.

Forerunner 25 also includes up to 8 hours of battery life in training mode or up to 6 weeks in watch mode so is perfect for short or longer training runs. You can also monitor your improvements as Forerunner 25 tells you when you have set a new fastest mile or longest run.

garmin forerunner 25 small
garmin forerunner 35 comparison
garmin forerunner 235


Forerunner 25

Forerunner 35

Forerunner 235

GPS: time, distance, pace

Sunlight-readable screen


Activity tracking, track steps, calories, distance and sleep

Full smart notifications and other connected features

+ LiveTrack

+ LiveTrack, music controls, audio prompts, weather

+ LiveTrack, music controls, audio prompts, weather, Connect IQ

Auto Pause


Heart rate zones

Wrist heart rate

Battery Life

8 weeks watch mode, 8 hours GPS mode

9 days in watch mode / 13 hrs GPS

9 days watch mode / 11 hrs GPS

Best beginners GPS running watch

The previous Forerunner 15 was one of the best-running watches for beginners as it was so easy to use, it was simply 'a press start and go' device. The Forerunner 25 is no different and steadily improves on the Forerunner 15. It's designed for use straight out of the box and involves minimal setup. It finds satellites quickly with it's excellent GPS receiver, so after a few quick warm-up stretches, you will be starting your run.

garmin forerunner 25 review key features

Running with the Forerunner 25

As a beginner, there are plenty of options to choose from to help build up your pace and running stamina. One of these is the run/walk feature which allows you to set timed intervals between running and walking. As your pace and fitness improve you can gradually increase the run time and decrease the walking time, eventually to running constantly. You may also find this useful if you're running a long distance such as a half-marathon and want to walk set intervals to help get you around. Forerunner 25 also has Virtual Pacer which you'll certainly find useful over longer runs.

When running against the clock and trying to get a personal best you can turn Auto Pause on. This is handy if you need to pause at a highway crossing and need to wait for the lights. The paused time is not added to the overall running time.

Forerunner 25 new GPS connected features

That the majority of new Garmin GPS products now have Bluetooth capability and the Forerunner 25 is no different. It includes Smartphone Notifications so you can receive calls, text, email and calendar alerts on its display. This is very handy if you still run with your smartphone strapped to your arm - one glance at the Forerunner 25 screen and you can see the message from your phone without pausing your workout. You can also wirelessly upload your run to the Garmin Connect Mobile app and instantly share your activity via social media.

Running with LiveTrack

Another added benefit of Bluetooth connectivity is a great Garmin feature called Live Track. Live Tracking allows you to share your run on a map in real-time so family or friends can monitor your progress. This has added peace of mind if you run on your own or at night. Loved ones can see how you're doing and how close you are to home, or more importantly if you're long overdue from a long run.

garmin connect free fitness app

Review your run in Garmin Connect

All Garmin GPS running watches allow you to upload your data to Garmin Connect so you can see how far, fast and where you have run. One of the great new features of this watch is the Bluetooth connectivity as previously mentioned. Immediately after completing your run the Forerunner 25 will automatically sync with the Garmin Connect Mobile app (this will need to be installed on your smartphone and it needs to be within range to sync).

Garmin Connect is one of the leading free online training platforms available with a wealth of useful widgets to create your own courses, download training plans, track the mileage in your running gear (so you know when it's time to buy a new pair of trainers).

You can also sign-up for a free or premium (monthly subscription) account with Strava which syncs with Garmin Connect. However, the free Strava account offers far less detail in comparison with the Garmin app.​

Whether you're preparing for your first 5k or gearing up for a marathon, the Forerunner 25 is a great tool to keep runners motivated and on track with training.​

Capture essential running data with the Forerunner 25​

Forerunner 25 has a larger display than its predecessor (30% size increase) and is also a thinner watch. It still comes in a wide range of bright colors and retains the sports watch look and style. Compared with other Garmin GPS watches which are now more stylish, such as the (Fenix 3). It also has a strong GPS signal so you can accurately track how far, how fast and where you run - even under tree cover or in amongst tall inner city buildings.

What's in the Forerunner 25 Box?

The Forerunner 25 packaging isn't going to win any awards but it's what's inside that counts. Typically once you empty the contents you won't be keeping it, it's hard enough to get everything back in.

garmin forerunner 25 black

Forerunner 25 only:

  • Forerunner 25 (large or small)
  • USB Charging Cable/Clip
  • Manual

Forerunner 25 Heart Rate Bundle:

  • Forerunner 25 (large or small)
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • USB Charging Cable/Clip
  • Manual

Garmin Forerunner 25 comes with a large or small charging clip (depending on which version you purchase). Garmin watches always come charged in the box, so you can get started straight away. The Forerunner 25 is no exception to this rule. You can also easily connect the device to your computer's USB port for a recharge or to transfer your data. The cable pairs with an optional AC adapter (sold separately) if you need a recharge when you don't have access to a computer.

Compatible Garmin accessories

Forerunner 25 doesn't need much in the way of accessories, however, if you decided to buy the watch only and not the heart rate monitor bundle you always have the option to purchase the chest strap separately. The bundle option comes with the standard heart rate monitor but Forerunner 25 is also compatible with the premium version which allows you to train more effectively and is more comfortable to wear. If you're running in the gym you can pair the 25 with a foot pod, which is small enough to attach to your shoelaces.

Water proof and durable design

Forerunner 25 is water proof to 5ATM (withstands pressures equivalent to a depth of 50 meters) so you can be confident of wearing it in the rain. It's unlikely you'll be wearing it on a scuba dive but at least you don't need to worry about it on those wet runs, a significant advantage of using a dedicated running watch over a smartphone app. You can't use the Forerunner 25 for tracking swimming data however, Garmin does offer more specialist (and expensive) multi-sport watches such as the Forerunner 920XT.

garmin forerunner 25 review for men

Best cheap beginners running watch for men and women

Forerunner 25 could be a great option for you if you're looking for a cheap running watch. It comes in 2 different sizes for both men and women and in a range of colors. The Forerunner 25 Black and Blue options would probably be better suited to men due to the larger strap and the smaller Purple and Pink versions for women (smaller straps).

garmin forerunner 25 heart rate bundle

Best beginners watch with heart rate monitor

Forerunner 25 is still a fairly basic running watch and doesn't come with a built-in optical heart rate monitor such as the Forerunner 225 which uses wrist-based heart rate technology.

However, you can still pair it with a Premium Garmin Soft Strap Heart Rate Monitor for instant feedback on how hard you're working. The strap is made of a comfortable soft fabric and it's easy to adjust the size to your body for secure fit during your run. It's also optimized for use in crowded areas like the gym and road races, so it won't pick up any signals but your own.

There are more expensive Garmin GPS running watches with heart rate monitoring available. If you're interested in learning more you can view the entire range and get the latest prices on Amazon - click here to view the entire Garmin Forerunner range.

The Forerunner 25 keeps runners connected to family and friends while keeping them active by tracking data during runs and the rest of their day.

garmin forerunner 25 for women

Daily activity tracking

Forerunner 25 also includes daily activity tracking and will count steps, distance, and calories burnt during the course of the day. It will also assign a daily goal for you to try and break, whilst the onscreen move bar show's periods of inactivity and encourages you to move if you've been sitting too long.

Garmin Forerunner 25 review summary

Overall the Forerunner 25 is a superb entry level GPS-enabled running watch with built-in activity tracking. It may retain the looks of a sports watch with bright colors but it has been developed by Garmin, who is without a doubt the world leaders in sport and fitness GPS technology.

There are more detailed Forerunner 25 customer reviews available on the Amazon website if you require answers to Forerunner 25 frequently asked questions. This review has covered all of the key features that you need to know, which should help you make an informed purchase decision.

Forerunner 25 is one of the best affordable GPS watches available in 2015. The added run/walk feature is also an attractive feature for beginner runners who are building up their fitness levels. If you decide that you would like to buy the Forerunner 25 then click here for the best price deals.

For less than $150 dollars you won't find a better deal on a modern entry level running watch unless of course, you go for one of the older and less advanced versions such as the Forerunner 10 or Forerunner 15. Even if you are an intermediate runner training for a marathon then this watch will give you the motivation and training details that you'll need to cross the finish line.

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Garmin Forerunner 25 GPS running watch
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