Garmin Forerunner 255 Music evaluation: Swap contact for health | NextPit

Trying out the Garmin Forerunner 255 Music for the primary time is curious—as a result of you need to navigate by means of options and menus by way of 5 buttons. Garmin does and not using a touchscreen and thus achieves an ultra-long battery lifetime of as much as 14 days. How effectively the Forerunner 255 Music performs and what you need to do with out may be learn on this NextPit evaluation.


  • All-around profitable health smartwatch idea
  • Very good battery lifetime of as much as 14 days
  • Music function convinces in observe
  • Diverse evaluation information within the Garmin app
  • Compatibility with a number of sensors and Garmin equipment


  • Operating idea over heads awkward
  • Neither ECG nor blood stress measurement is feasible
  • Few good capabilities
  • No wi-fi charging, proprietary charging cable

Short conclusion & purchase

If you place numerous worth on health when buying a smartwatch, the Garmin Forerunner 255 Music is a very sensible choice. Thanks to versatile monitoring capabilities, GPS, and the connection to the Garmin ecosystem, you get a very complete file of your very important information. The disadvantages embrace an advanced operation and not using a touchscreen, an equally sophisticated Garmin app, and an absence of wi-fi charging.

If you wish to purchase the Forerunner 255 Music, you need to price range $399.99 in line with the beneficial retail value. This makes it significantly costlier than its predecessor and 40 {dollars} costlier than the variant with out the music playback choice. You can learn the way a lot the value has dropped for the reason that launch within the value comparability aspect beneath.


Design and operation

The Garmin Forerunner 255 Music is out there in a typical variant with a case measurement of 45 millimeters and in a smaller S model with a diameter of 41 millimeters. The commonplace mannequin we examined includes a 1.3-inch MIP show that reveals monitoring data, menus and extra. It is operated by way of 5 buttons which are recessed underneath a bezel fabricated from fiber-reinforced polymer.

Garmin Forerunner mit Armband.
The Forerunner 255 Music does not have a premium look, but it surely has a high-quality end / © NextPit

What I favored:

  • High-quality workmanship.

What I disliked:

  • Awkward operation.
  • Display is just not at all times straightforward to learn.

Forget what you beforehand knew about smartwatch operation! Because Garmin defies all conventions in its Forerunner collection and does and not using a touchscreen. Instead, the 1.3-inch show makes use of a know-how that could be a bit harking back to e-ink and has the good title “MIP”. Memory-in-pixel shows are extraordinarily energy-efficient, can show colours, and present content material sufficiently easily. As a disadvantage, the shows don’t emit any gentle, which suggests you need to activate the backlight by way of a button within the night hours.

You can activate the backlight in each menu by way of the higher button on the left. And so we already come to an issue with the Forerunner 255 Music. It is operated by way of three buttons on the left facet and two on the appropriate. There’s a short introduction if you put the smartwatch on, and you then’re just about left by yourself.

Garmin Forerunner 255 Music Display.
The show of the Forerunner 255 Music is just not a touchscreen. / © NextPit

On the house display, you activate the sunshine on the left and navigate up and down by means of data screens. On the appropriate, you activate varied exercises by way of the higher display and the decrease button loses its perform as a “back button”. Holding down the sunshine button takes you to a fast menu, which you should utilize to entry Garmin Pay, the settings, or the connection to your cellphone, for instance. The center button takes you to a different settings menu and the underside one to the music management.

Once you might have memorized that, you possibly can neglect all that once more if you begin a exercise. Because right here the “up” button out of the blue takes you to the music management. Inconsistencies like which are widespread in Garmin’s menu system, which makes the operation actually sophisticated and awkward.

Knöpfe Garmin Forerunner 255 Music.
The smartwatch is simply operated by way of the buttons. / © NextPit

Since Garmin restricts the chance to make settings by way of the app, you need to wrestle with advanced controls. Despite a sure studying curve, the operation is rarely actually enjoyable. Especially since different smartwatches provide intuitive setting choices with options like rotating bezels or 3D crowns, which might additionally work independently of a touchscreen.

However, what Garmin does effectively in its virtually $399 watch is the workmanship. With Gorilla Glass 3, high-quality polymer, and 5 ATM water safety, the Forerunner appears to be like prefer it was made of 1 piece. I didn’t fear in any respect in regards to the watch swallowing water within the bathe.

Operating system: Garmin’s personal approach

Garmin makes use of its personal working system on the Forerunner 255 Music. It comes with two companion apps in your smartphone and the proprietary fee resolution Garmin Pay.

What I favored:

  • Great information within the Garmin Connect app.
  • Lots of free content material within the IQ app.

What I disliked:

  • Connect app is sort of chaotic.

Even in 2022, Garmin depends on proprietary software program options for its health units. Curiously, there isn’t a actual title for the OS—the smartwatch solely reveals me model quantity 12.27. The proprietary resolution signifies that the software program is exactly tailored to the 1.3-inch show and button operation.

Ladeanimation Garmin.
Garmin’s personal working system is detailed and fairly in lots of locations / © Garmin

However, if you wish to use the smartwatch’s full vary of capabilities, you need to set up two apps—Garmin Connect and Garmin IQ. While you possibly can regulate some settings and think about the quite a few health information within the first one, the second takes care of app administration.

The number of out there apps—excluding watch faces—is just not actually in depth. However, you shouldn’t have to plan for added prices for the set up of apps and new watch faces. The most variety of installable apps on the 255 Music is 15, and the remaining 4 gigabytes of storage are reserved in your music.

Sensors & Fitness

Garmin equips its Forerunner 255 Music with a coronary heart price monitor, a pulse oximeter for measuring the blood oxygen content material, a temperature gauge in addition to an altimeter, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and a movement sensor. NFC, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi are additionally on board. Although the function set may be very lush, some capabilities are not noted in comparison with different fashions.

Unterseite Garmin Forerunner 255 Music.
The sensors and charging port are on the underside. / © NextPit

What I favored:

  • Very complete and seamless health monitoring.
  • Precise dual-band GPS.
  • WLAN and Bluetooth for connecting headphones.
  • Connectivity to Huawei equipment.

What I disliked:

  • Other producers provide blood stress measurement in addition to digital ECG.
  • Automatic monitoring probably not dependable.
  • Annoying alarms whereas working.

Garmin as soon as once more reveals itself to be a nerd in the case of health monitoring. I’m not fairly as skilled as ex-fitness coach Stefan, however I run usually and have already lugged numerous health trackers and smartwatches by means of Berlin. In observe, the Forerunner 255 Music shines with uncomplicated dealing with throughout sports activities, numerous options for a lot of completely different sports activities, and detailed information.

You begin your required exercise by way of the higher proper button. For biking, jogging, and different sports activities, a bar reveals you whether or not the GPS sign is enough for monitoring your route. By default, Garmin notifies you with a shrill alarm by way of linked headphones that you’ve accomplished one other kilometer. In the settings, it’s also possible to choose which data the watch ought to announce to you. This is a bonus over watches that recite an eternally lengthy monologue with pointless data each kilometer.

Thanks to the built-in GPS, you possibly can go away your smartphone at residence. Dual-band GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo be sure that your pace, route, and altitude data are dependable and exact. Auto-laps, interval coaching, coaching plan creation, morning reviews, restoration time tips, digital races, and different health options (more on the Garmin homepage) spherical out the bundle. If you are actually severe about your each day train, you are in good arms.

Garmin Forerunner 255 Music Armband.
The wristband is straightforward and secures the watch reliably on the wrist / © NextPit

What Garmin might do higher on this regard are the auto-training begins. While multi-workouts can help you monitor a number of sports activities in succession, for instance in triathlons, the auto-training is relatively unintelligent. When biking, for instance, the run monitoring usually jumped on.

However, Garmin concentrates on health options and does with out the well being capabilities that different producers provide. You will not discover a tough measurement of the blood stress or the recording of a digital ECG within the Forerunner 255 Music regardless of the upscale price ticket. Here you need to attain for the Galaxy Watch 5 (Pro), the Apple Watch Series 8, or the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro.

This fitness-first focus is supported by the truth that Garmin provides an in depth ecosystem of extra sensors for stride size, extra detailed coronary heart price measurement, stability, and far more. It’s a novel promoting level you can take full benefit of with the Forerunner 255 Music.

Garmin Forerunner 255 Music App Screenshot
The Garmin app is a bit complicated, however provides nice evaluation information! / © NextPit

After sports activities, the smartwatch helps you with tips and details about your restoration phases. The Forerunner 255 Music calculates your sports activities age and physique battery out of your restoration part, your sleep rating, a 100-point scale that evaluates varied sleep information, and different information. Since the “Eat, Sleep, Workout, Repeat” mantras propagated in social media may be fairly dangerous, these capabilities give you essential help for a wholesome each day routine.

I significantly like Garmin’s sleep monitoring with its detailed data on sleep phases, wakefulness and restlessness, and data on blood oxygen ranges. However, the 45-millimeter watch takes fairly a little bit of getting used to whereas sleeping.

Battery and good options

Garmin makes up for the compromises that you need to settle for when utilizing the gadget and not using a touchscreen with battery life. According to the producer—and in addition in observe—the Forerunner 255 Music lasts as much as 14 days. You must do with out wi-fi charging, and there may be additionally a relatively cumbersome proprietary charging cable. Garmin provides a bit too little when it comes to good options.

What I disliked:

  • Very good battery life.
  • Solid charging time.
  • Cool, if a bit cumbersome, music function.

What I disliked:

  • No wi-fi charging.
  • Unattractive charging cable.
  • Too few good choices.

Garmin additionally focuses on health in the case of the battery and good options. Because with a socket independence of as much as 14 days, you possibly can get pleasure from a carefree life-style that isn’t out there in different smartwatches. The Forerunner 255 Music will not be a burden in your wrist that you need to deal with each night. This is one cause why I personally do and not using a smartwatch in on a regular basis life.

Ladekabel der Forerunner 255 Music von Garmin.
The charging adapter of the Forerunner 255 Music is backward suitable—however a bit old style. / © NextPit

With everlasting coronary heart price and blood oxygen measurement, night sleep monitoring, and a few exercises, the runtime drops to 10 days. Still an excellent worth, which supplies you a very full file of your very important and health information after a couple of months of use. However, the dearth of wi-fi charging and the relatively inelegant proprietary charging resolution are annoying for a $400 smartwatch.

Where different producers use magnets that stick with the smartwatch, you need to plug a cable into the again right here. You can take this over from earlier gaming smartwatches, however the USB-A port on the different finish appears a bit antiquated in 2022.

Music mannequin significantly impartial throughout sports activities

The Music mannequin we examined provides inside music storage and compatibility for varied streaming apps for an additional $40 in comparison with the essential model. For this take a look at, I needed to subscribe to a premium subscription at Spotify to get music on the watch. Alternatively, it’s also possible to use Deezer, Amazon Music, and another much less common providers. Or you possibly can switch music out of your PC to the watch by way of the charging cable—should you nonetheless have digital music in your laborious drive in 2022. The music is then performed again by way of linked Bluetooth headphones.

The different good options look a bit meager. Curiously, there isn’t a music management for linked smartphones—and you can’t reply to notifications. Garmin additionally advertises turn-by-turn navigation, however the GarminIQ app solely provides unknown navigation apps moreover Komoot, that are far inferior to suppliers like Google or Apple.

You also can use Garmin Pay with a suitable bank card. Otherwise, the app retailer solely provides watch faces, good residence apps from Sonos and Samsung, and apps from impartial builders. Other smartwatches provide extra right here.

Final verdict

At a value of slightly below 400 {dollars} (€400), Garmin presents the Forerunner 255 Music as an alternative choice to the Apple Watch, Galaxy Watch, Pixel Watch, and others. However, after a couple of weeks on the wrist, it turns into more and more clear that Garmin goes its personal approach. We should reward the corporate’s braveness to essentially design a health smartwatch as a health gadget.

The monitoring options, the design, the good capabilities—every thing is designed to accompany a sporty each day routine. With an ultra-long battery life, an always-on show, exact GPS, in depth evaluation information, and an ecosystem of health equipment, solely Garmin itself really provides alternate options to the Forerunner 255 Music. For instance, the predecessor Forerunner 245 Music, provides a much less exact GPS and slightly below half the battery life.

What’s actually annoying in regards to the Forerunner 255 Music is the cumbersome operation and not using a touchscreen or inventive enter choices like bezels or 3D crowns. The newest Forerunner mannequin additionally lags behind when it comes to good options, particularly music management and notification response choices.

Garmin must also implement wi-fi charging within the subsequent mannequin, however in any other case, there are hardly any drawbacks if you wish to afford a $400 health smartwatch. Impressive!

Garmin Forerunner 255 Music

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