Garmin Forerunner 25 Review – Easy to Use GPS Running Watch with Activity Tracking & Bluetooth

garmin forerunner 25 gps running watch review

Reviewed by:
On August 10, 2015
Last modified:June 28, 2016


The Garmin Forerunner 25 will help take your running to the next level. It’s an easy-to-use GPS running watch which tracks distance, pace, heart rate (with chest strap) and personal records. Daily activity tracking features keep you motivated to move during runs. Pair with your smartphone via Bluetooth for wireless automatic uploads to Garmin Connect. An improved battery life gives you up to 8 hours with GPS and 6 weeks in watch only mode.

Garmin Forerunner 25 Review – Best Beginners Running Watch 2015

The Garmin Forerunner 25 is an excellent GPS running watch for tracking essential run data. It builds on the success of the earlier Forerunner 15, adding connected features and a larger screen.

Forerunner 25 Pros

  • 32% larger screen compared with FR15
  • Smartphone notifications
  • Daily activity tracking
  • Long battery life
  • Compatible with heart rate monitor

Forerunner 25 Cons

  • No VO2 Max
  • No Virtual Partner
  • No Running Dynamics
  • Basic Alerts

Easy-to-use Forerunner 25 GPS running watch tracks distance, pace, heart rate and personal records

Forerunner 25 is ready to go out of the box, it’s incredibly easy to use with minimal set up. It acquires a GPS fix quickly, so you can track how far, how fast and where you run – even under tree cover. Pair with a heart rate monitor to track your heart rate, zone data and active calories for any fitness activity.

New Connected & Wireless Features

One of the key differences between the earlier Forerunner 15 and 25 are the connected features. Like many modern smartwatches Forerunner 25 can be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth technology.

When connected to your phone (compatible with iPhone, Android & Windows) it will display texts, call and social media alerts. This feature is useful if you run with your phone (usually strapped to an arm). If you receive a call or alert one glance at your watch and you’ll know if you need to stop or take action.

Connect your Garmin Forerunner 25 to your computer to charge via USB

Charge your Forerunner 25 by connecting to your computer via the USB charging clip (AC adapter available separately).

Another useful connected feature if you run alone is Live Tracking. Share you run in real-time with friends or loved ones for extra security. When shared they can see where you are on a map, complete with stats like speed, pace, distance and heart rate. You still need to carry your phone with you though for Live Tracking to work.

Forerunner 25 Running Features

What makes the Garmin Forerunner 25 such a good entry level running watch are the essential features every runner needs. These include; pace (and average pace), distance, time lapsed, heart rate (with HRM chest strap) and lap time. The FR25 display can be easily customised to display the data you need on your run at a glance.

Run/Walk Intervals

There are a few training modes to select from in the FR25 menu. The run/walk feature is ideal if you are a beginner and still building up your fitness. You can set the watch to switch from walk mode to run mode for set periods of time. For example walk for 5 mins, run for 10. After each time period the watch will sound an alert.

Review your Run on the Summary Page

Review your run data on the summary page.

Going for a Run

Make sure the Forerunner 25 is at least partially charged and select the run icon button. You may have to wait a few minutes for a GPS fix, you can easily do a few warm up stretches at this point. Press the button again and start running, another press will stop the timer. It really is that easy to use.

Auto Pause

Being delayed at junction or crossing can be a pain if you’re aiming for a PB and every second counts. When enabled the Auto Pause feature stops the FR25 from tracking. As soon as you start running again the counter will run again.

Run with Virtual Pacer

This nifty feature comes in handy if you need to be pushed on your run. Virtual Pacer reminds you how far or in front you are running. If you run the same route you can programme the Forerunner 25 to tell you how well you are doing. When you enable audio alerts you will hear a beep when you’re either ahead or behind the Virtual Pacer. Usually I recommend turning off audio alerts to save on battery life.

Training with Heart Rate Monitor

You have the option to purchase a chest strap heart rate monitor with the Forerunner 25. Many of the more advanced watches now come with wrist-based heart rate so no chest strap is required. However the FR25 is a cheaper, entry-level watch so not included. If you would like to run within different heart rate zones then I do recommend purchasing the Forerunner 25 HRM-bundle. Training with heart rate is useful, you’ll learn how to run in different zones (zones 1 – 5, 5 being the maximum HR zone). A word of warning though with the Forerunner 25, if you set the watch up to always run in zone 4 for example, you will be continuously beeped if you stray from the designated zone. This can drain battery life, which is fine on shorter runs.

Garmin Forerunner 25 Review – Key Features At A Glance:

  • Simple GPS running watch with heart rate and smart notifications
  • Tracks distance, pace, heart rate and calories
  • Compatible with foot pod for recording distance indoors
  • Identifies personal records
  • Activity tracking counts steps and calories and reminds you when it’s time to move
  • Smart notifications for calls and texts
  • Water rating: 5 ATM (50 meters)
  • Save, plan and share your activities at Garmin Connect
upload runs to garmin connect wirelessly

Garmin Connect Fitness App, available on desktop and smartphone.

Free Garmin Connect Fitness App

Forerunner 25 will upload runs and activity tracking data automatically to the Garmin Connect app. No more USB uploads. Garmin Connect has become a powerful app where you can track your stats and see a complete picture of your fitness activity. You can monitor how far you have run in your trainers for example (recommended between 400 – 500 miles). Connect with friends and compete in leaderboards.

Use Garmin Forerunner 25 as a daily activity tracker for extra motivation

Set up the Forerunner 25 as a daily activity tracker

Forerunner 25 Daily Activity Tracker

The Forerunner 25 helps keep you on top of your fitness goals between runs with daily activity tracking features. It reminds you when to move if you have been sitting too long with the on-screen inactivity indicator. Forerunner 25 counts steps taken during the day, distance walked and calories burned. It sets a daily step goal to help keep you motivated when you’re not running. You can also use Forerunner 25 to monitor your sleep pattern during the night.

If you need further tips and tricks, or instructions on how to get the best from your Garmin Forerunner 25, the manual is available online.

Garmin Forerunner 25 vs Forerunner 15

Garmin Forerunner 25 vs Forerunner 15

Forerunner 15 vs Forerunner 25

The Forerunner 25 has a 32% larger active display, compared with the Forerunner 15. Yet it is also a thinner and more attractive watch. Forerunner 25 is available in bright colors just like the FR15, and in small and large sizes. Both watches have daily activity tracking as standard and are compatible with a heart rate monitor chest strap.

Forerunner 25 has a slightly longer battery life in watch mode (8 weeks compared to 5 weeks). Both watch batteries last up to 8 hours training mode.

Forerunner 15 doesn’t have wireless compatibility so users and unable to upload to Garmin Connect automatically or make use of smartphone notifications.

Forerunner 25 has new Personal Records. When you set a new personal best such as a fastest mile or longest run, FR25 will notify you.

Garmin Forerunner Comparison Chart

Compare the entry-level Garmin running watches using the comparison chart below. I’ve highlighted key features only ad included links to shop for the best prices.

Features Forerunner 10/15 Forerunner 25
High-sensitivity GPS Receiver Yes Yes
Weight Large: 43g / Small: 36g Large: 39g / Small: 31g
Battery / Battery Life Up to 5wks watch mode / 5hrs training mode (8hrs FR15) Up to 6wks watch mode / 8hrs training mode
Water Rating 5 ATM 5 ATM
Watch Function (time & date) Yes Yes
Tracks Time, Distance, Pace Yes Yes
Daily Activity Tracking Yes (FR15 only) Yes
Heart rate-based calorie computation Yes (FR15 only) Yes
Customizable Data Fields No Yes
Auto Pause / Auto Lap Yes Yes
Virtual Pacer Yes Yes
Heart Rate Monitor Compatibility Yes (FR15 only) Yes
Foot Pod Compatibility Yes (FR15 only) Yes
Incoming Call/Text Alerts No Yes
Live Tracking No Yes
Wireless Uploads to Garmin Connect App No Yes
Amazon Link Check Best Prices Check Best Prices

garmin forerunner 25 gps running watch review for beginners

Best Running Watches for Men & Women

Garmin have designed 2 different sizes for both men and women in a range of colors. You may have smaller wrists so need a smaller watch strap. Forerunner 25 large (4.02w x 4.70h x 1.39d cm) comes in either Black & Red or Black and Blue. The small version (3.59w x 4.39h x 1.39d cm) comes in Black & Purple or White & Pink.

garmin forerunner 25 review what's in the box - heart rate and charger

You can buy the Forerunner 25 with heart rate monitor

Forerunner 25 What’s In The Box

What comes in the FR25 box depends on which option you purchase. There are 2 options available: Forerunner 25 only or Heart Rate Monitor bundle option (contains basic chest strap). Both options come with USB/mains charging/data cradle and manuals. The charging cable is a simple clip which allows you to also charge via computer USB. There are also a couple of accessories also available: foot pod which is small enough to attach to your shoe laces (for running indoors / treadmill) and premium soft strap heart rate monitor.

Garmin Forerunner 25 Review Summary & Best Prices

This watch fits nicely into Garmin’s entry-level running watch range. It’s compatible with a heart rate monitor and comes in a variety of colors. Two different sizes are also available for both men and women. The larger screen in comparison to the Forerunner 15 is also a big plus. In summary Garmin have a created another great offering for beginners and those runners that just like the essential running data. Wrist-based heart rate would be nice but that’s hardly going to be included in such a cheap running watch. This watch is ideal if you’re just starting out, and it comes with some great color options.
garmin forerunner 25 cheap running watch review

Best Garmin Discounts and Huge Savings!

To get the best prices for the Forerunner 25 click here. You can also read customer reviews and get the answers to frequently asked questions. Amazon are now offering huge money saving discounts on FR25 because of the watch age. If the trend is correct expect Garmin to release another cheap entry-level running watch in 2016 – watch this space for a new review in the coming year! Alternatively shop now and support this site (a small commission is made from any Amazon sales which help the running costs of this Forerunner review website).

The Garmin Forerunner 25 will help take your running to the next level. It’s an easy-to-use GPS running watch which tracks distance, pace, heart rate (with chest strap) and personal records. Daily activity tracking features keep you motivated to move during runs. Pair with your smartphone via Bluetooth for wireless automatic uploads to Garmin Connect. An improved battery life gives you up to 8 hours with GPS and 6 weeks in watch only mode.

About the Author

Si Dawson
Marathon runner and fitness trainer (and part time blogger). Simon Dawson uses Garmin Forerunner running watches to keep in shape, he enjoys blogging and sharing his views.