Today Garmin announced the new Forerunner 25. The Press Release is reproduced below. Essentially it’s a competitor to the Polar M400 – against which it lacks quite a few things but offers a few others. Like the M400 it is a nice, competent, entry-plus level watch. What I mean by that is that it has all the normally-considered essential features ie HR, GPS, activity tracking and smartphone notifications.
From a hardware view it is a re-hashed Edge 25 but with running functionality rather than cycling functionality.
Why you might buy the Forerunner 25 over the Polar M400
- Live Tracking – providing you have mobile data on your smartphone and take your smartphone with you and you can accept the loss of battery life then live tracking let’s someone sitting next to a computer/smartphone track your progress in realtime on a map. Nice and OCCASIONALLY useful to some people eg during a marathon for your support team.
- You like the looks and want to buy a Garmin
Why you might buy the Polar M400 over the Garmin 25
- It looks a LOT nicer IMO.
- You can probably get a better deal right now
- You can actually buy it now in a shop 🙂 [Aug 2015]
- It’s as bug free as watches go, having been released and improved for a while.
- Has a better way of handling your holistic level of activity – it’s more than an activity tracker
- It has a rudimentary cycle mode (but it’s a running watch)
- Has back to start functionality
- It allows more than 2 data fields per screen
- Supports a footpod
Other features where the M400 and Forerunner 25 are essentially the same
They are both activity trackers and running watches. Quick satellite lock, waterproof enough for most uses, both can upload to a PC or through your phone to a free/good online software package, 8 hours of battery life for exercise but much longer for activity tracking, alerts, smartphone notifications (Android is imminent for M400, especially by the time you will be able to buy the 25). You can use HR straps for both but Garmin requires ANT+ and Polar requires Bluetooth SMART. The accuracy of both for speed/distance/pace will be comparable but I have not tested the Garmin and I’m not sure it warrants a review.
Recommendation?: Personally I’d go with the Polar because of its looks and Polar’s handling of activity tracking but if you like the looks of the 25…go for it. Both will do a very similar job.
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——— Press Release Below——————–
Introducing the Forerunner 25 – an easy-to-use GPS running watch with connected features from Garmin
We’re excited to today announce the Forerunner 25, a compact and easy-to-use GPS running watch with connected features. No matter the goal the Forerunner 25 will help runners get there by tracking essential data including distance, pace, heart rate1 and calories. In between workouts the Forerunner 25 keeps users motivated with activity tracking,2 counting steps and calories and reminding users when they’ve been inactive for too long. When paired with a compatible smartphone,3 users can automatically upload data to Garmin Connect and stay connected with alerts for incoming call, text, calendar reminders and more.
“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,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. “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.”
With the Forerunner 25 runners can take their training to the next level and stay on top of fitness goals between workouts. Users can track distance, pace, heart rate and personal records during workouts, and count steps, calories and distance throughout the day. The Forerunner 25 even reminds users when they’ve been inactive too long. Water resistant to 50 meters4 its compact design features a 32 percent larger active display area in a thinner watch than its predecessor the Forerunner 15.
When paired with a compatible smartphone, runners can share their workouts in real time with Live Tracking and stay connected with family and friends with smart notifications for incoming alerts of call, text, emails and calendar events. Additional connected features include social media sharing and automatic uploads to Garmin Connect™, a free online fitness community, to join fitness challenges, analyze training progress, set and track goals, share activities with other Garmin Connect users and more. Users can also link their Garmin Connect and MyFitnessPal accounts to easily view calories burned and consumed and see their net count for the remainder of the day based on calorie goals set in MyFitnessPal.
The Forerunner 25 is expected to begin shipping in Q3 and will have a suggested retail price of $169.99 or $199.99 bundled with a heart rate monitor. It will be available in black/red, black/blue in a large face, and black/purple and white/pink in a small face. The large faced Forerunner 25 boasts up to 10 hours of battery life in training mode or 10 weeks in watch/activity tracking mode; and eight hours of battery life in training mode or eight weeks in watch/activity tracking mode for the small faced versions.
1 When paired with a heart rate monitor; included with some models, sold separately on others.
3 See Garmin.com/BLE for a list of compatible phones.
4 For more information, see Garmin.com/waterrating.