Garmin Forerunner 25 GPS Watch – User Review | GadFit (Updated 1st Nov 2015)

September 13, 2015

The Garmin Forerunner 25 (RRP $169.99) is one of the newest GPS activity tracking watches to hit the market. In fact it only started retailing 2 weeks ago. While I’ve sang praises about Polar’s M400 as a remarkable sub $200 GPS fitness watch, Garmin’s debutante into this price bracket re-opens the competition.Forerunner-25-featureBoasting an incredible battery life of up to 10 weeks, virtual pacer and smart phone notifications, the Garmin Forerunner 25 looks set to battle it out with its closest competitor from Polar. I’ve had the Forerunner 25 for a week now and here’s what I have to say.



  • Tracks steps, distance, pace, calories, personal records, sleep
  • Audio beeps for notifications and alarms
  • Pairs with ANT+ heart rate monitor or foot pod
  • GPS enabled with live tracking function
  • Inactivity and smart phone notification
  • Virtual Pacer (Compares current pace to target pace)
  • Powerful Garmin Connect mobile app
  • Multiple running mode selection
  • Water resistant to 50m
  • Lengthy battery life (8 or 10 weeks)
  • Plan training online using Garmin Connect web platform


  • Runner focused, lack of other sports profiles
  • Compatible with ANT+ sensors only

If you want the details and you should! 🙂 Grab a cup of coffee and read on.


Foreunner-25-various-viewsThere are two versions of the Garmin Forerunner 25; there’s black/red and black/blue  for the larger display, and black/purple and white/pink for the smaller face Forerunner 25. The black/red larger display version is the one used for this review. Perhaps Garmin had the ladies in mind when they released a smaller face unit. I’m Asian with a skinny wrist and I thought the Forerunner 25 fit me to a T.Garmin-Forerunner-25-on-handOne of the key things you’ll notice is that the watch is incredibly light at just 39 grams for the larger display unit. I love the numerous fitting holes on the watch strap. Now this might seem like no cause for concern but the fit and the weight of the watch allows the Forerunner 25 to stay on the flat of the wrist and not hanging off the wrist bone. There are only 4 buttons.

  • Backlight LED
  • Back or return
  • Down or scroll
  • Start or enter

It’s pretty simply to understand. Now because there’s only a single scroll button, it also means in order to select an option, you’re going to have to scroll through all available options. Not a big issue here but just something I thought you should know.Forerunner-25-backlight-LEDThe display is visible in bright day light and the LED backlight ensures visibility during night runs. Even though there is no option to tweak the duration of the LED backlight, it is activated every time a button is depressed; even during the day.

The audio beep is the only form of notification for the Forerunner 25. Be it phone notifications, alarms or even training cues, it’s all beeps. Also you can’t tweak the loudness of the audio beeps so the notifications might get drowned out if you’re out and about in a noisy place.

The Forerunner 25 is both Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ enabled but only ANT+ sensors can connect to the GPS fitness watch.Forerunner-25-proprietary-chargerThe charger is proprietary  and the Forerunner 25 supposedly lasts up to 10 weeks or 10 hours in training mode. I’ve used the Forerunner 25 for about 5 hours of training, of which 2 hours was with GPS mode, and the battery shows less than 50% juice left. Perhaps I can reach the 10 hours if I had turned off smart notifications.

The Forerunner 25 is also water resistant to 50m.



Forerunner-25-GPS-signal-confirmedThe Forerunner 25 is first an foremost a GPS watch. It doesn’t have the A-GPS (assisted-GPS) functions like the Polar M400 but it still received GPS signals quickly.

During runs, the user can access 2 displays which will show up to 4 stats (2 per display screen); 3 displays if you wear a HRM.Forerunner-25-running-displayIn the picture above, I’ve opted to display time lapsed, distance for screen 1, followed by pace and average pace for screen 2. The third screen only comes on when a heart rate monitor is connected. Here’s the list of stats you can customise to be displayed on screen.

  1. Time lapsed
  2. Distance
  3. Pace
  4. Calories
  5. Lap time
  6. Lap distance
  7. Lap pace
  8. Average Pace

Forerunner-25-running-modesThere are also a couple of run modes which the user can choose. If you’re just going for a run, then you’ll have to choose “basic run.” The user can also set parameters such as time, distance or calories to aim towards.

Lap tracking can be automated or manually activated. Even though I’ve set the units to km, the auto-lap kicked in at every mile or roughly 1.6km! You can manually set a lap by pressing the “return key” during a run.

There’s an auto pause function which when enabled, stops the Forerunner 25 from tracking once the user stops moving. This should come in handy when you’re waiting for the traffic lights to go green or waiting for that lull in traffic to cross.updated-running-metrics-summaryThe tracked stats are presented within the Garmin Connect app where the user can choose between standard, satellite or hybrid map of both. You can zoom in and out, review your run, examine the stats at every lap.pictorial-summary-FR25I’ve always been impressed with the running metrics Garmin has produced. If you’re looking to improve your run specifically, Garmin’s platform is fantastic.

Run/Walk Intervals

This function is for those who think they are likely to see portions of run and portions of walk during their activity. With this option activated, the user can set run and walk interval and the Forerunner 25 will take care of the rest by notifying you with beeps once the interval is reached.

Virtual Pacer.

Virtual-Pace-forerunner25It is possible to set a virtual pacer on the Forerunner 25; a phantom running buddy on the watch. The parameter is pace. In my case, I set 5 minutes per km which works out to about 12km/hr or roughly 7.5 miles per hour. The slowest pace you can set for metrics is 8 minutes per km. If audio alerts are enabled, you’ll receive beeps every time you’re ahead or behind the “virtual pacer.”

ANT+ Heart Rate Monitor

Garmin-with-HRMOnce connected to Garmin’s ANT+ heart rate monitor, the heart rate readings will appear when exercise tracking is initiated and heart rate monitor is detected. No pairing required on my part, I just put on the HR monitor and viola!Forerunner-25-HR-zonesYou can also set the maximum heart rate and the HR zone for training purposes. When the detected heart rate is too low or too high, the Forerunner 25 will display messages to notify the user. If you’ve set the alert to go off, you’ll also receive a beep with the messages.

What I particularly like is that in addition to the heart rate readings, the Forerunner 25 will also display the zone progress. To give you an example, I could be trying to stay within zone 3 which is about 140-155 bpm. The Forerunner will show zones 3.1 and if I pushed too hard, it’ll eventually increase to 3.8 or 3.9 so the user will know when to slow down rather than an absolute zone 3 or zone 4 reading.

A note of warning, if you’re continuously out of zone, you’ll be beeped, A LOT.

Indoor running

Forerunner-indoor-run-featureThe Garmin Forerunner 25 also has a nifty feature which is not new to the market but interesting nonetheless. Using the accelerometer within the GPS watch, the Forerunner 25 can estimate the distance covered without a foot pod.

First run indoors. 

Actual distance: 4.5km. Forerunner 25 tracked distance 6.26km

Second run indoors after one single GPS enabled run

Actual distance 4.76km. Forerunner 25 tracked distance 5.56km.

For me personally, the Forerunner 25 was off on both tests on the treadmill but there were signs of improvement.  According to Garmin, the accuracy will improve after a few outdoor runs with GPS enabled.

Smart notifications and alarms

Smart-notificationsThe Garmin Forerunner 25 allows notifications (messages, calls, notifications from mobile apps) from the connected smart phone device to show up on the watch. It also keeps a short history so the user can review previous messages that have showed up on the connected smart phone device.

This function can be switched off easily right from the Forerunner 25. You can’t choose which mobile app will activate the smart notifications though; it’s all or nothing.

It is also possible to set alarms and alerts right from the GPS watch. Once alarm is set, it overrides everything and will go off reliably. One more thing to note, the minutes can only be set at 5 minute intervals and there’s no snooze function.

Inactivity alert

Forerunner-25-movement-bar-fullAs the user stays inactive, the “movement bar” will slowly fill up; which is an hour of inactivity. You’ll be notified by a beep and a”Move!” message across the screen that disappears really quickly. Thereafter every additional 15 minutes of inactivity will cause an extra segment to add on. To clear the “movement bar” just get up and walk for a few minutes.

All Day Activity Tracking

Forerunner-stats-on-display-main-faceThe Forerunner 25 tracks daily activity in the form of steps and sleep. Distance traveled and calories are estimated based on the user’s personal settings and activity levels. You can check the progress throughout the day by depressing the “back” button. The user can scroll through calories burned, date, distance covered, steps taken and goal.Garmin-Connect-Snapshot-mobile-appAs with most Garmin activity trackers, the Forerunner 25 will learn your activity levels and assign goals for you to hit. So if you hit 7500 today, the Forerunner will increase it slightly for the next day. You can also manually set the goal to hit.Garmin-connect-sleep-dataSleep tracking is automated based on regular sleeping hours which is set in the Garmin Connect mobile app. This also means that sleep will only be detected in the night and there’s no manual activation of sleep tracking. Your siestas will go unnoticed.Grmin-Connect-Calender-viewGarmin has one of the most, if not already, informative fitness mobile apps on the market. The features available will differ based on the GPS watch or fitness tracker purchased.Garmin-connect-challengesYou can review data or look for social groups to join. Garmin has another nifty feature that places you among groups of individuals who are in the same activity level as you so you’ll still get a leadership board or a benchmark to compare yourself to.Garmin-Connect-screen-grabsAlso all your activity is tracked within the Garmin Connect app and here’s where you’ll start to accrue badges. Can’t change it for money or anything but still. Come on Garmin, how about 10% off for hitting 1 million steps huh.


Live tracking allows your family members or friends to check on your progress throughout your run. They can also see your speed, pace, elevation etc. This function requires that the smartphone be tethered to the Forerunner 25 throughout use and will drain the battery of both connected smartphone device and Forerunner 25.

There’s an alert tone every time the buttons are pressed but this can be de-activated and I strongly suggest you do.Forerunner-25-historyThere’s a history screen in watch that will allow the user to review personal records. Some of the records include:

  • Details of run that have taken place
  • Previous step count
  • Fastest 1km, fastest mile, fastest 5km and longest run.

To fully maximise battery life, you can turn off Bluetooth, smart notification and activity tracking.


Forerunner 25 smart-notifications

If you’re on the market looking for a GPS watch, Garmin has made the Forerunner 25 a serious contender by adding 24/7 activity tracking, smart notifications and remarkable mobile app. It’s hard to not pay attention to Garmin’s latest offering.

While Polar’s M400 has multiple sports profiles, running and fitness index, the Forerunner 25 has live tracking, virtual runner and indoor running. It really boils down how you usually train.

The Forerunner 25 is available in 4 colour variations and 2 sizes at the recommended retail price of $169.99 or $199.99 with heart rate monitor bundle.

Purchase the Garmin Forerunner 25 from where there’s usually a small discount and free delivery depending on where you reside. Also, your purchase helps to fund the running of this site! Thanks for reading.



  • Reply Ian September 16, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Great review! I reside in Singapore too and may I know how and how much did you get the FR25 for?

    • Reply Michael S September 17, 2015 at 6:16 am

      Hi Ian, I got the FR25 for the usual price but I bought it off and paid a bit more to ship it here. I’ve checked for you, it seems Garmin SG have not intention of bring the FR25 to Singapore for now. This the the link to the e-shop Perhaps you might find something you like?

      Otherwise you can also get it from whom I’ve had very good experience with. Let me know if you need a discount code for clever training.

  • Reply Kevin September 18, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Awesome review,
    my questions is about alerts from your smartphone, can i silence the watch so it doesn’t beep everytime I get a notification? i still want the notification, i just don’t want it beeping all the time

  • Reply t. shecter December 1, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    I just bought this watch yesterday…haven’t even run with it yet. Can anyone tell me if I can track running cadance? One of my current training plans calls for knowing your cadance. My old (foot pod) Garmin had this feature but I can’t locate it here. Maybe I can attach my footpod??

    • Reply Michael S December 2, 2015 at 2:25 am

      Hi there,

      I don’t usually run with a foot pod so I didn’t manage to try that. On its own, the FR25 doesn’t track cadence. But I did find this in the manual which might be useful to you.

      “You can run indoors using a foot pod to record pace, distance, and cadence. You can also run outdoors using a foot pod to record cadence data with your GPS pace and distance”

      I trust this is what you were looking for 🙂


    • Reply Michael S December 14, 2015 at 2:16 am

      Hi Teri,

      You posted a query about 2 weeks back asking about the cadence features of the FR25. I have to apologise I provided the wrong information to you. The FR25 does have cadence information such as average and maximum strides per minute and average stride length, this information is provided without a foot pod. I’ve updated the review to reflect the correct information.

      Thank you
      Michael S

  • Reply jacob December 6, 2015 at 6:19 am

    When the watch inactive mode. Does it display time or is the LED screen blank, One of the reasons i got rid of my fitbit was because the screen needed a nudge to show time.

    • Reply Michael S December 6, 2015 at 8:44 am

      Hi there,

      For the FR25 specifically, the screen is always on even when you’re not putting it in recording mode.

      Hope that helps!
      Michael S

      • Reply jacob December 6, 2015 at 9:13 pm

        Thanks micheal

  • Reply Matias January 12, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Thank you for the review, great work (Y)
    Two questions:
    Are the heart rates zones customisable? (Can I specify my own zones, for example zone 5 = 95-100 %)
    Can the HR screen be customised to show HR Zone and lap time (or other) instead of the default HR and HR Zone?

    • Reply Michael S January 14, 2016 at 9:05 am

      Hey there,

      You can set an audio alert to go off for certain zones. For example, maximum 190, minimum 160. As long as you stay within this zone, all good and silent. Dropping under or going above the limits will trigger audio beeps.

      Unfortunately you can’t set the different BPMs in each zone. You can do this on other more premium Garmin devices such as the FR235.

      The HR screen will only come on when there’s a connected ANT+ HRM so you can’t customise it to show a stat AND HR on the same screen. The HR readings will always be on a screen of its own.

  • Reply Matias January 18, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Ok I see. Thank you Michael! /Matias

  • Reply Andy January 24, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Hi do you know if there is any way I can show current time and activity distance on the same screen. I would find this very useful. Cheers, Andy

    • Reply Michael S February 1, 2016 at 11:20 pm

      Hi Andy,

      I do not have the FR25 with me but I’ve confirmed with Garmin Support that you it is possible to display current time and distance on the same screen.


  • Reply Jasmeet February 17, 2016 at 12:16 am

    ” It is activated every time a button is depressed; even during the day.”
    Is there any way to turn the backlight off so that it doesn’t turn on when you press a button besides the top left one? I don’t want it to go on every time I press a button because I want to save battery. Thanks

    • Reply Michael S February 19, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      Hi Jasmeet,

      Apologies for the late reply. Unfortunately it’s not possible to do so on the FR25.

      Mike S

  • Reply Jackie March 2, 2016 at 5:07 am

    You wrote, “You can manually set a lap by pressing the “return key” during a run.” How do you “return”?

    • Reply Michael S March 2, 2016 at 10:55 pm

      Hi there, I actually meant the key that represents the “return” function or the “back” key. The button at the bottom left of the FR25.

  • Reply Irena March 7, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Hi, I wanted to add my opinion on this watch.
    I’ve been running with it for about a month now. Regarding that back light on my watch it turns off after 3-5 seconds (I have white-pink model) in all modes.
    I have a problem with auto lap, it cuts on 1.61km, on the first run it was OK, it cut on every 1 km but since I turned off all the sounds (which are unbearable) it cuts on 1.61 km, I don’t know if that is connected but that was the only change I have made. I double checked the units and they are in km.
    When I run with this watch and HR monitor and if I get close to my max HR it beeps so much that I couldn’t stand that, HR alerts were off, but alerts tones were on and it beeped all the time. They should do something with that, cause I would like to have a beep on each km (if it could cut on 1km), but I don’t want to have beep on each move.
    GPS signal is excellent and it is very accurate on the whole run, except for cutting those laps.

  • Reply Molly Bros April 20, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    I just got my FR 25 a couple days ago. One of the reasons why I purchased it is because of it smart Bluetooth connection. I am able to download all the data wireless to my Iphone. However, it won’t pair with my Macbook Pro’s bluetooth. I have searched all over the internet unable to find a solution. I was planning to buy an ANT+ Stick in order, but it is pricey and I am not sure if it will work on my Mac. Do you know if the FR25 pairs with Macs via ANT+ stick? Thank you for your review!!

    • Reply Michael S April 21, 2016 at 9:40 am

      Hi Molly,

      The Bluetooth feature of the Mac will not pair with the FR25. Also the FR25 is unable to sync wirelessly to your Mac via ANT+, it just doesn’t have this feature built in. If you wish to upload your tracked stats and sessions via your Mac, you’ll have to use the USB charging cable and do via Garmin Connect.

      So save your money.

      Mike S

  • Reply j May 2, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Hey I’ve really enjoyed your reviews. Thanks!

  • Reply Wazza June 13, 2016 at 6:52 am

    My Garmin the last 3 session is recording very high maximum speeds ie running at 95 kph and 40 kph. I made sure GPS was off and session saved before drinking home. Anyone know how to fix this problem?

    • Reply Michael S June 13, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      Hey there,

      Technically, what you’ve described suggests that the FR25 continues to record even thought you’ve ceased activity tracking, which resulted in the watch continuing to track your drive back home. You might want to drop Garmin support a note and see what comes up.

      Michael S

  • Reply Angel June 21, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Hi other than running, does it count calories and fats percentage for others sport activities such aa cycling or spinning or circuit training?

    • Reply Michael S June 22, 2016 at 2:35 am

      Hi Angel,

      The FR25 is a running focused GPS watch so there are no other sports tracked from the watch.

      If you’re looking for sports such as those you’ve mentioned, then you may to consider the new Vivoactive HR, Fenix series, or Forerunner 735XT.

      Hope that helps.

  • Reply Sarah July 13, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Hi Michael,
    Loved your review & found it helpful. I’ve had my Garmin FR25 for several months now. I use to record my steps plus my walks as I don’t run (I checked with Garmin support & they told me to manually change the Activity from “Running” to walking via Garmin Connect)
    My main query is about Sleep Tracking. I wear the device at night. Like everyone, I sometimes have a nap during the day but am I correct in thinking that there is no way of putting the device into “Sleep Mode” out of normal sleeping hours, so I can record naps?? I have not been able to work out how to do it even though on my “Daily Summary” on Garmin Connect it displays “Naps” but without a pencil icon by it.
    Will appreciate any advice.
    Many thanks

    • Reply Michael S July 15, 2016 at 1:36 am

      Hi Sarah,

      My apologies for the late reply. I wanted to confirm with Garmin before getting back to you. The FR25 cannot be put to sleep mode manually.

      Only these devices are capable of doing so:

      A list of device fitness devices that can manually be set to sleep mode:

      Fenix 3 series.
      Forerunner 920XT
      Vivofit/Vivofit 2

      I hope that’s useful

      • Reply Sarah July 17, 2016 at 7:05 pm

        Thanks for your reply Mike, I did find it useful. I kind of thought it couldn’t be put into sleep mode manually but nice to have it confirmed. Cheers. Sarah

  • Reply Attila August 14, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Hi guys!

    I just bought a forerunner 25 and I can’t sync the watch with my phone (Samsung Galaxy S5 mini). Is this due to the Bluetooth? Is there a way to fix this?


    • Reply Michael S August 14, 2016 at 10:16 am

      Hi Attila,

      This is Garmin’s compatible Android devices.

      And the S5 Mini is listed as “Device and phone combination have not been tested.”

      That being said, have you tried checking if your Android OS is 4.3 and above?

      You can give it another shot by un-installing the Garmin Connect app, remove the FR25 from your reecognised Bluetooth devices list on your S5 mini. And then try installing the app and pairing again.

      If that fails, you can still drop Garmin support an email or have the option to use the FR25 by sycning it to your PC. That would mean you’re losing out on the smart notifications.


  • Reply MaxC October 18, 2016 at 9:20 am

    thanks for the useful review. I have some question about auto lap feature:
    1. I use to train on 5k so 1 km lap is too long for me, right now I use runkeeper to give me audio advices every 0.25 km and it works good. Is the auto lap length editable? If yes, what is the minimum lap length I can set?
    2. the lap pace shown on display when running can be related to the auto lap distance?

    Thanks again

    • Reply Michael S October 18, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      Hi Max,

      Unfortunately the auto lap on the FR25 is not customisable. It’s either in km or miles and the unit is “1”

      Hope that helps

      • Reply MaxC October 18, 2016 at 3:58 pm

        It helped indeed. Thanks for prompt reply

  • Reply Kim November 10, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    I have a dumb question…what setting do you use to do a treadmill run? do you just push the run setting, let it pull up GPS and run or is there a specific setting bc I’m not seeing one…? thank you!

    • Reply Michael S November 12, 2016 at 3:47 am

      Hello there Kim,

      You select the top right button (Red)
      Then select “Run Options”
      Followed by “Use indoors”
      Press “Start”

      That’s it. Hope that helps!

  • Reply Derek November 25, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Hello All
    I’m an experienced runner and have just been given a forerunner 25 as a gift. I used to use a heart rate monitor but these new generation gadgets are pretty complicated for someone not particularly techy. I am hoping someone could help me cut through to what I need. I run the same 7 mile route a number of times a week and would like to use the device to allow me to continually improve personal best time. I figure there must be some combination of lap function and virtual pacer that would allow me to monitor my progress against PB checkpoints on the route, so I can pick up the pace if I need to. I realise I could set an average pace over whole run and pacer could keep me on track. I think this would work on a flat route, but there are 5 serious hills over whole run, so my pace is highly variable. Can anyone see the best way to use device to monitor against pace and/or checkpoints to help me improve PB. Any help much appreciated.
    Thanks v much

    • Reply Michael S November 26, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Hi Derek,

      The FR25 is a competent device and gets the job done with your external heart rate monitor.
      Unfortunately the FR 25 doesn’t support what you were hoping it could do. More advanced (and naturally pricier Garmin devices) GPS watches from Garmin have a feature that allows the user to run against a previous recorded run. Which I would assume is what you were looking for.

      The closest feature to what you were looking for has already been found by you; the virtual pacer.

      • Reply Derek December 11, 2016 at 8:07 pm

        Thanks Mike
        Much appreciated. Unfortunately, I have used it already, assuming / hoping that it would be possible to do this once had the route plotted and data in from first run. I guess may be able to keep pace up by knowing approx. target level pace, up and down hill pace.
        Cheers, Derek

  • Reply Dave December 2, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Hi Mike

    I have an easy question, can you charge the watch using the power adapter from a cellphone? Or do you need to charge it from your computer?

    I know Garmin sells a dedicated power adapter but was just wondering if it’s the same as a regular cellphone charger, particularly the amps…


    • Reply Michael S December 6, 2016 at 3:51 am

      Hi there Dave,

      I’ve been charging from wall sockets and powerbanks whenever I needed to. That being said, I did check with Garmin Support before replying. You’d be happy to know that the FR25 is safe to charge from any battery packs or wall AC sockets that can also charge smart phones.

      Hope that helps!

  • Reply Neil December 5, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Hi Mike thinking of upgrading from Fr10 to 25 as the strap like a lot of other 10, s came apart is this likely to be an issue with the 25 also can you upload via Bluetooth instead of using usb

    • Reply Michael S December 6, 2016 at 2:09 am

      Hi Neil,

      The strap design completely differs between the FR10 and FR25. I did a quick search and there isn’t any mention of the strap issues on the FR25. Put simply, it adopted a more tried and tested way of fit that we usually see on regularwatch straps.

      Yes it does upload via Bluetooth. Speaking of which, have you considered other models? Garmin has released quite a number of new devices since the FR25 which is more than a year old. Especially those with optical heart rate sensors and smart notifications such as the FR35 and FR235.


  • Reply NEIL December 6, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    Yeah have been doing my homework and am now swaying towards the 35 dont like wearing the strap for the heart rate hoping Santa Will take it to me

  • Reply winston December 12, 2016 at 3:34 am

    I created some workouts on the desktop connect how do i find them on my forerunner 25 watch

    • Reply Michael S December 12, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Hi there Winston,

      The Forerunner 25 doesn’t have the capability to download workouts which you created. More advanced watches from Garmin will have this feature.


  • Reply LISA December 27, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    I current have the Garmin Vivoactive and I am not happy with the backlight. The screen if difficult to see in the daylight and at night the light is not much brighter.
    What can you tell me about the light feature on this 25 model?

    It is very important feature for me because I don’t see small print easily anymore.
    Thank you!

    • Reply Michael S January 1, 2017 at 4:23 am

      Hi Lisa,

      Apologies for the late reply.

      The FR25 has only 2 rows for stat display so this makes the display appear bigger; If you’re using it purely for running per se, it may suffice.

      However if you’re keen in the smart notifications and tiny digits here and there, it may still look too small.

      The backlight is visible thought it pales in comparison against a mobile device display. Also, the brightness level isn’t adjustable. I think the appropriate description to use here is illuminate.

      For screen size comparison, the Vivoactive has the larger display. The size of the Forerunner 25 depends on the colour you purchase.
      FR 25 Black/Violet & White/Pink: 0.73” x 0.73” (18.5 x 18.5 mm); Black/Blue & Red/Black: 0.91” x 0.91” (23.0 x 23.0 mm)
      Vivoactive 1.13″ x 0.80″ (28.6 x 20.7 mm)

      I found this Youtube review pretty good for checking out the Forerunner 25.

      Hope that helps.

  • Reply Christina January 22, 2017 at 3:49 am

    I have troubles when i want to begin a run. The g’ gps takes a very long time to be set. So sometimd i start running and it gets on a couple of km after. Do you have any advices that could help me? How long is it normal to wait for the gps to be ready?
    Thank you

    • Reply Michael S January 22, 2017 at 4:24 am

      Hi Christina,

      I’m usually able to get a signal after a short stretch before my runs. I’m thinking 1-2 minutes thereabouts. If you’re getting a GPS signal ONLY after a few km of run, I’d urge you to contact Garmin Support. That’s ridiculous and sounds like you have a faulty unit on hand.

      I reside in Singapore where tall buildings pretty much pepper our running routes. I may get the occasional lengthy GPS acquisition delays but that’s rare.

      You can drop garmin support an email here:

      Hope that helps.

  • Reply ismail January 23, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Hi Michael;
    I am an ultrarunner, and i want to know that this watch allows to be charged while activity recording?
    thank you


    • Reply Michael S January 24, 2017 at 11:24 pm

      Hi Ismail,

      The watch can’t be charged while being used.

      Hope that helps!

  • Reply Rebecca February 16, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Hi Michael

    Your review is very interesting and informed my decision to buy a FR25…

    Last night was my 7th run using the watch (I manually record other non running activity I do in to the app).

    After saving the run the ‘run saved’ screen froze with the back light on. I pressed and held the on/off button on for an age to see if I could at least unfreeze it. I turned it on again and the run was lost. Have you heard of/encountered this with the FR25? I’m worried it might happen again.


    • Reply Michael S February 18, 2017 at 1:36 am

      Hi Rebecca,

      I’m sorry to hear that and it shouldn’t be the case. I’ve never had such as incident but you never know with electronic devices. I would suggest you try another GPS enabled run and see how it pans out. Let me know please. I would like to know about user experience with the device as well.


  • Reply Torbjorn Wikstrom March 16, 2017 at 12:23 am

    Is it possible to replace the battery in the FR 25 by yourself?

    • Reply Michael S March 16, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Unfortunately it’s a no. The battery is lithium-ion rechargeable type. Best to bring it back to Garmin and enquire if they can replace it for you.


  • Reply MARK July 30, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    How durable is the band? I ask because I have a garmin 405 I bought in 2009. The band has pretty much disintegrated off I guess from years of sweat after running thousands of miles with it. Miraculously it still works although I have trouble getting it to charge sometimes. I have resorted to drilling a hole in the part of the band that remains so that I can loop twist ties and I use those to secure it to my wrist. The actual watch still works which is why I have not stopped using it. People have asked me why I don’t at least by a new band for the watch. I am very frugal. I just wish Garmin would make the bands out of leather or some other more durable material.
    Read more review

    • Reply Michael S July 31, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      I like how frugal you are. And I’m amazed how the 405 is still working after 8 years of charging!

      Yet in all honesty, the prices of the watches have dropped quite a bit. And I genuinely think the FR25 is a pretty good investment if you’re not picky about the lack of wrist based HR measurements. Otherwise, the FR235 is a decent pick as well.

      Time to upgrade?

  • Reply Benny Gupta October 10, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Hi, Thank yoy for the brilliant review. Just got a Garmin F25. Couple of things. I found the activity tracking pretty inaccurate. Dont know about you?

    Secondly is there a way to get the summary of your weekly runs on the watch itself? — in History (time, distance, pace and calories) for the week??


    • Reply Michael S October 10, 2017 at 9:36 pm

      Hi Benny,

      Hope you got the unit an an awesome price; it’s about 3 years old I think.

      I think the FR25 provides an estimation in terms of step count and that’s what I’d use it for.

      The history is only for each workout and not workout for the week unfortunately.

      Hope that helps.

      • Reply Benny Gupta October 10, 2017 at 11:57 pm

        Hi Micheal,

        Yes, have just started running, wanted to start off with an entry level watch. Got a good deal from Amazon.

        Thanks for your reply. Cheers!!

  • Reply Annie February 22, 2018 at 1:18 am

    Coming to this late, but I’m tearing my hair out with this device..

    I use Connect via a laptop, not a phone. I’m finding it impossible to get the Forerunner 25 to monitor my sleep on a regular basis, even though it did once, on the first night I wore it. Is this because I’m using a laptop? Is there anything I can do about this? Sleep monitoring was one of the main reasons I bought the Forerunner 25!

  • Reply AMY March 11, 2018 at 4:38 am

    Can you tell me – when you’re running and you stop for a few minutes and it goes into Pause mode – how long do you have before it goes into AutoSave? I can’t hear my watch alert tone or feel any vibration, so I end up with “two runs” in my running log instead of just one since I have to start all over when that happens. It would help to know how much time I have if I need to make a pit stop – thanks!

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.