Garmin makes smartwatches for probably the most lively crowd, and goal-oriented runners may discover that the Forerunner 255S Music is the best software to remain on observe. This is not the form of wearable you strap on for leisure or probably the most fundamental actions — it is constructed for coaching, and Garmin thinks demanding runners will really feel empowered with each step.


This iteration of the Forerunner 255 is a variant, with the “S” referring to the smaller 41mm measurement and “Music” referring to the Spotify integration for offline playback. It is all enterprise right here, making the watch compelling with solely a sliver of issues unrelated to train and health.

The 255 S Music wearable is an effective alternative for many who need much less flash and extra substance. At $400, it is proper within the thick of what one of the best smartwatches value, and now extra individuals can put on it with the growth of measurement selections.


  • Coronary heart Charge Monitor: sure
  • Coloration Display screen: sure
  • Notification Help: sure
  • Battery Life: As much as 14 days
  • Working System: Garmin
  • Onboard GPS: sure
  • Offline Media Storage: 4GB
  • Customizable Strap: sure
  • SIM Help: No.
  • Show Measurement: 1.1-inch or 1.3-inch
  • Water Ranking: 5 ATMs
  • Smartphone Music Management: sure
  • Sizes: 41mm or 46mm
  • Colours: black, white
  • Well being sensors: Coronary heart price, SpO2
  • Worth: $400
  • Weight: Beginning at 39 grams
  • Cellular funds: Garmin Pay
  • Exercise detection: No.
  • Train modes: 30+

  • snug to put on
  • Loads of monitoring stats and metrics
  • Thorough customization choices
  • Good for triathlon coaching
  • Respectable Spotify and music integration
  • Garmin Join app provides further options

  • Not probably the most pleasing or intuitive interface
  • Display screen is not as sturdy as rivals
  • Sporting this would possibly not make a style assertion
  • Do not lose the proprietary charger

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Garmin Forerunner 255S Music

Garmin Forerunner 255S Music: Design and match


Garmin likes to unfold out colours the place it could actually, which is why this watch solely is available in Black and Whitestone, whereas the non-Music ones get the extra vibrant shades. The 2 Music coloration choices additionally apply to the 45mm measurement. Being smaller additionally means much less display screen actual property, which is why the Forerunner 255S Music has a modest 1.1-inch show with 218 x 218 decision. If you wish to go larger, go for the 46mm mannequin with a 1.3-inch show (260 x 260).

Corning Gorilla Glass 3 is not fairly as sturdy as subsequent variations of the powerful glass, so I might warning that long-term ruggedness could also be arduous to measure for those who plan to “tough it” extra whereas sporting it. The bezel is fairly stable, manufactured from fiber-reinforced polymer, and the silicone strap is hard sufficient to face up to some punishment. All informed, the watch has a 5ATM ranking, so you may put on it whereas swimming or operating within the rain if that is a part of your exercise routine.

What struck me is that I barely observed it, particularly whereas sleeping. Weighing a light-weight 39 grams definitely helps. And with a bodily button controlling the display screen’s brightness, the Forerunner 255S Music has a low-key profile able to spring to motion on demand.

There isn’t a touchscreen right here, although. As an alternative, the 5 bodily buttons across the bezel navigate the interface. Shifting clockwise, there’s the beginning/cease button to provoke and finish a exercise, a Again button, the Up and Down buttons to cycle by way of menus, and the Mild button to mild up the display screen.

Press and maintain the Mild button to convey up varied settings, although not the precise Settings menu. For that, press and maintain the Up or Down button and cycle down till the Settings menu seems. In any other case, use the Garmin Join app, which holds extra of the options that you could activate or tweak, together with customizing and personalizing your most well-liked settings. Nevertheless, this generally is a little complicated, as you may want to manage sure settings straight from the watch (just like the watch face), whereas different settings are simpler to manage from the app, equivalent to music and textual content responses.

Forerunner 255S Music: Options and Join app


There’s a lot to work with beneath the hood in terms of organising for exercise. An improved coronary heart price monitor is a pleasant contact, together with a barometric altimeter and gyroscope. Constructed-in GPS — a should for runners and cyclists — captures route information to higher know distance and tempo. The depth is fairly intensive, and until you already know your method round a Garmin watch, it is best to spend ample time determining the place every part is.

That is the place the app performs the important thing position in serving to not solely with the preliminary setup but in addition with different options concerned. A overwhelming majority of them hone in on exercises, coaching, and assessing efficiency, with the power to dig deeper into the way you’re doing as you go alongside. By default, you get roughly 10 of the 30+ exercises accessible within the shortlist on the Forerunner 255S Music. It is a lot simpler to tailor the record within the app, which can sync over modifications instantly and replace your record. Factor is, if you add one, it mechanically goes to your favorites, so to vary that, it’s essential to go to Edit within the app (beneath Actions and Apps) and rearrange them the way you need.

I am simply scratching the floor of the customization attainable right here, however you get the gist. Faucet on any of the workouts, and also you get to select from a bevy of choices on what you do or do not wish to observe or see throughout that particular train. For instance, you may broadcast coronary heart price throughout a run and even set the gap for what would represent a lap whereas operating. It is a comparable story with just about each different train accessible right here.


Regardless of the clear deal with staying lively, Garmin did not wish to ignore way of life options, as evidenced by NFC assist to allow Garmin Pay and inside storage for offline music playback. You may get telephone notifications, like incoming calls and messages, plus find your telephone in case you’ve got misplaced it. App assist may be very restricted, with primarily train or coaching apps standing out, like Strava and Komoot, amongst others. For music, Spotify is not alone, as you may also get Amazon Music and Deezer to play some tunes. Accuweather and Starbucks are two others.

To seek out these extra simply, you may must obtain Garmin Join IQ, which helps you to browse and seek for apps or watch faces after which sync them over to the watch. It might be higher if Garmin simply amalgamated the 2 apps into one platform, however for now, you’ll need to perform a little backwards and forwards.

Forerunner 255S Music: Workout routines and monitoring


Very like the settings really feel intensive, so do the monitoring instruments and metrics whereas lively. If you happen to’re seeking to compete in a triathlon, the Forerunner 255S Music can oblige. It is already one of many train selections by default, and you may take it additional within the app by organising a coaching plan beneath Garmin Coach, irrespective of your expertise degree. Faucet the higher left menu within the app, and there is a lot extra to wade by way of. Test well being and efficiency stats and add gear, like your footwear, bike, coronary heart price chest strap, or no matter else that could be related to your exercise.

However once more, that is however a pattern of what is attainable, the place the Join app additionally serves up challenges and numerous exercises you may obtain to the watch. For instance, the Coaching and Planning part is like an limitless reservoir of intricate exercises and information — it seems like Garmin tailor-made it for whoever desires to make use of them. One other good instance is PacePro, which creates a customized race-pacing technique based mostly on the course you are occurring and the targets you are seeking to obtain.

Certainly one of my favourite options was the Physique Battery, which precisely represented how I felt about doing a heavy or lighter exercise on a selected day. As well as, coronary heart price monitoring proved some of the correct I’ve seen in a smartwatch, pegged virtually precisely to a chest strap.

Garmin additionally introduced over its Morning Report from different gadgets to present you a snapshot of your sleep high quality and the way effectively you’ve got recovered for the day forward. It does this every single day, not simply after you’ve got labored out, so it does not take lengthy for it to really feel like a part of your day, glancing over when waking as much as see the stats.

I used the watch primarily for strolling, mountain climbing, and biking, whereas I had an avid runner buddy attempt it throughout runs to organize for a half-marathon. The depth and accuracy struck each of us — though, after proudly owning a extra mainstream smartwatch, she felt underwhelmed and confused by the Forerunner 255S’s interface and bodily buttons. The dearth of enter led to a lack of awareness and interplay, forcing her to have a look at the app for info after the run ended.

Listening to that suggestions solely bolstered what I suspected: the Forerunner 255S Music requires effort and time for newcomers to know or respect. Garmin has improved its software program, however that turns into clear solely if you really feel snug with the controls and options.

Forerunner 255S Music: Battery life


Garmin charges battery life at as much as 12 days for the Forerunner 255S Music (and 14 days for the bigger 255 Music). That is principally correct, scaling all the way down to a couple of week or so with common exercises and monitoring. Go away GPS on always, and you will barely hit a full 24 hours, placing it consistent with different smartwatches that do not supply full GPS capabilities. Nonetheless, these are stable numbers by any measure and supreme for each day routines and assembly train targets.

The clip-in proprietary magnetic charging cable feels misplaced in an period the place wi-fi charging is more and more the norm for smartwatches, however Garmin most well-liked to stay to what it is performed earlier than. Had it thrown in photo voltaic charging, just like the Forerunner 955, that may’ve made issues fascinating — but in addition significantly dearer.

Forerunner 255S Music: The competitors

It is simple to love the depth the Forerunner 255S Music offers, and it is clear who one of the best goal is to put on it. That solely turns into clearer if you take the time to study the options and tailor them to what you need them to trace for you.

It’s in a decent market, although, for those who’re searching for options. The Polar Pacer Professional is $300 and provides most of the similar monitoring options, particularly for runners. Otherwise you may get fortunate and discover the Suunto 9 Baro reduce down from its $500 price ticket. As is, the Forerunner 255S Music is among the greatest you may put on in your wrist for assembly lively targets.

Forerunner 255S Music: Do you have to purchase it?


If you happen to’ve used a Forerunner watch earlier than, the 255S Music could really feel like a much bigger step ahead, given its predecessor got here to market again in 2019. Higher coronary heart monitoring, plus the barometer and altimeter, show extra correct elevation to assist make this watch a stable performer. And Spotify works effectively for audio playback with wi-fi earbuds or headphones.

The actual worth proposition is how severely the watch takes exercises. Avid runners can take it as severely as they need, notably with triathlon and marathon coaching, going so far as the power to share it with others by way of the Join app. That is nice for those who’re understanding with buddies or as a part of a workforce. And it isn’t solely for runners when you think about how a lot the Forerunner 255S Music provides for all the opposite accessible workouts.

It might lack the aptitude of a smartwatch from Apple, Google, or Samsung, however you are not shopping for this one for its style sense. I noticed it as extra of a software than a toy, which is why I would not suggest it to anybody who does not train commonly.