CNET First Look
Garmin Forerunner 225: The running watch free from buyer's remorseCNET's Dan Graziano gives you a first look at Garmin's first GPS running watch to include an optical heart-rate sensor
Checking heart rate on runs and workouts used to be a big pain. You had to wear these uncomfortable chest straps. But more and more companies, like Fitbit and Apple, are now including optical heart rate sensors directly in watches. The latest to do this is Garmin. I'm Dan Roziano and I'm here with the Garmin Forerunner 225. This is a watch that's designed for runners. Not only does it include GPS for pace and distance tracking, and all the activity tracking for things like steps taken and calories burned, but it's also Garmin's first running watch to include an optical heart rate sensor. And wouldn't you know it? It's quite good. When I compared the heart rate data to a traditional chest strap, the results were similar. With the Forerunner 225 being off by a single beat. The watch held up well over the past month. But you will notice a small scratch on the screen. This happened when I tripped and fell a few days ago on a run in Central Park. Speaking of running of I was impressed with how fast it could acquire a GPS signal even when surrounded by the skyscrapers of New York City. It would also maintain that signal throughout a run. For when you're running inside on a treadmill, the 225 has an accelerometer, but because it's relying on the motion of your arm, it's not as accurate as GPS tracking. But I still found indoor runs to be only off by about a tenth of a mile. When you're done with your workout, all of your information, including a map of your run, your pace, distance, splits and more can be viewed on the Garmin Connect mobile app on Android or iOS. Or on Garmin's Connect website. As an activity tracker, the 225 is on par with many FitBits and Jawbone. It can track the steps you take, distance traveled, and calories burned. It'll even measure your sleep at night automatically, but it only shows the graph of movement throughout the night, instead of what [UNKNOWN] do by detailing how long it took you to fall asleep or how much deep sleep you got. Battery life with the 225 is pretty good. With an active GPS signal, you will get up to ten hours. Or up to four weeks when using it only as an activity tracker. But it really all depends on how much you use the GPS. I got a little over a week and a half with four to five runs between 20 and 30 minutes. The only real issue I had with the 225 is that the heart rate sensor is not running continuously throughout the day like the Fitbit charge HR. While this saves battery life, it means the 225 isn't using the heart rate to improve the accuracy of calorie burn or your sleep measurement. You can check out my full review over at cnet.com. But overall, you won't be feeling buyer's remorse with the 225. With its accurate GPS and heart rate sensor and all day activity tracking, it's one of the better running watches on the market. The Forerunner 225 is available now in the US for $300. I'm Dan Graziano for CNet and that was a first look at Garmin Forerunner 225.