Impressions of the Garmin Forerunner 225

The situation:

I’ll admit I’m a bit of a fan of heart rate monitors. While I’m not a crazy runner personally, I do like my boxing and the occasional jog with the dog or a run on the gym treadmill. So when I got the chance to check out Garmin’s new Forerunner 225 I was excited.

In the box:

Receiving the Black model to checkout, it comes in it’s cute little red packaging with images of the display on one size and the data it can collect on the other. Opening the box (see pictures below) it came with:

  • Quick Start Manual (in a number of languages)
  • The Garmin watch/monitor/wrist apparatus
  • USB to watch cord and connector

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What happened: (Short note – it’s good, but nothing stood out)

Well it ended up being way to big for my little wrist. Not terribly surprising as this is quite a common situation with sport watches. Most of the time, they are built big to fit all the components in, decent sized interface and such things. However, given how big it was, I ended up passing it on to my partner in crime J, who took it to gym on my behalf.

While it was quite easy to set up and to use, the watch itself tended to be a little unreliable – with the heart rate jumping up and down significantly showing heart rates that would probably otherwise be requiring an ambulance. While I don’t expect any heart rate monitor working off a pulse from the wrist to be amazing (as this tech isn’t quite to that degree yet), it ended up being so unreliable that J ended up only using it a couple of times. The interface, while reasonably simple and easy to use, it sported hard to read text colours which neither J or I could read by quickly glancing at it during exercise. If this doesn’t bother you, then you’ll be fine – but it was the biggest issue for us overall.

All that said, it was a sturdy build for a smart sports watch, with a rubber band that was durable. The size would be suitable if you don’t tend to pull out all of the links on your watch. And if you can deal with it jumping all over the place with your heart rate long enough for it to get to know you (as we only had it for a short amount of time to review it), then it’s a groovy watch to have. I don’t want to be negative and say the experience was horrible – because it wasn’t. However, personally, we won’t be rushing out to buy it – or any other wrist heart rate monitor too soon.