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  • Liling Tan

Garmin Forerunner 55 Review: Practical, Rugged-Looking Fitness Tracker

When we first got our hands on the Garmin Forerunner 55, we couldn't help but notice that the outlook is simple and practical. It took a while to get familiarised with it but it got simpler and we do find it a joy to wear.

Speaking of the design, the Forerunner 55 has a 42mm case and it is relatively compact and lightweight. It comes with a chemically strengthened glass and tough silicon straps which make it very suitable for outdoor use. The silicon straps do not stick to the wrist even when perspiring, and it’s also very easy to wash after workouts.

Although it would be better if it’s slightly bigger, we appreciate its weight and size which doesn’t get in the way. There are choices of dial designs under "watch face" settings and more customisation add-ons in the Connect IQ Store that allows a world of choices.

The buttons on the watch indicate its main functions: the top left "Light" button activates a background light when pressed and if you hold it down, you get the main control options. What I like is that the Backlight function can be turned on/off by gesture. The "Up and Down" buttons toggle you through the menu and pressing it for 1-2 seconds takes you to the watch's settings whereas "Start/Stop" enters the selected option. The "Back" button takes you to the previous option.

We downloaded the Garmin Connect App and paired the watch to get more detailed information like our heart rate. The setup was easy and straightforward and it's super convenient that we can read messages and emails or even control music right from the wrist.

The Garmin Forerunner 55 has a built-in GPS, which helps in location tracking, especially when linked up to third-party apps like Strava. It was easy to sync Strava to the Forerunner 55 and auto-updates were sent directly to it. It also tracks calories, distance, speed and monitors the heart rate. We do like that special touch where it gives suggestions on how long recovery time will take till the next workout.

It is not a surprise that the Forerunner 55 is waterproof, so there is no issue wearing it while doing activities like cycling, swimming, hiking and many other sports.

It also has a crash sensor activation, which will send a notification to an emergency contact directly if it detects the user needs help. This safety feature is definitely helpful, especially if the user encounters a health issue while on the go.

The charging port can be found on its underside and a full charge to 100% would take less than two hours. Garmin claims a two-week battery life, though it lasted about a week after using it for two to three cycling sessions with GPS tracking and regular daily usage. Despite that though, it does have fairly decent battery life.

The Garmin Forerunner 55 delivers what it’s expected to. We like that it will give a Move Alert Prompt when we are not moving for a while, which is a gentle reminder to get moving, such as doing some stretches or walking around. The fitness tracker is a very basic smartwatch, with widgets that are easily customisable. It will also suggest subsequent workout plans and durations - which help on days when we just need a little nudge.

While the price is fairly reasonable for its functionality, it might be a little bit more attractive if the pricing is slightly lower, given the watch doesn't quite give that premium feel. It is still one of the top choices for new users who are keen to try out a fitness tracker for the first time.

The Garmin Forerunner 55 is retailing at S$299 and more information is available at their official website.


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