Garmin Forerunner 255 In-Depth Review: 13 New Things to Know!
There are tons of new features here and its no longer just a running watch. It is a full multi sport watch and thus, as part of that ive been swim, bike run hike all the things putting it through his paces, figuring out where it works well and where it needs a little bit of love. So the way this is gon na work is im running through all the newness and then were gon na get into the accuracy bits and the final recommendations, and the first thing to know is theres, actually two actually four different versions of it. There are two different sizes: theres, a new, smaller size, as well as a new larger size. So this here is a 255, and this is definitely not the 255s i dont have one. I just got the 245, which is almost the same size. So to give you kind of a general ballpark here, this is officially known as the 46 mil and then the smaller 255s is known as a 42 mil, but they are the same price nonetheless, at 349 for the non music edition and ‘9 for the music edition. So again, theres two different versions: music and non version in two different sizes, small and large, but beyond the battery life for the size and the music for the music version. The features are identical across the board and one of the first new features to talk about is full multi sport support. So in the past there was things like pool swimming, but there wasnt full open water, swimming or multi sport.
The idea to be able to string those together into one cohesive event like a triathlon, so that is here now today, as well as support for cycling power meters, which was not in the previous 245 generation. So you can pair up to both a cycling power meter as well as an indoor trainer and basically a full triathlon experience. This is very similar to what garmin did in the instinct 2 series just a few months ago, making it a full triathlon watch at a very similar price point. There are some nuanced differences, though, between the 4runner and the instinct series, and those differences are going to get jumbled up again over the next few weeks. As the instinct series gets a beta update, bringing in all the features im just about to talk about here. For the 400 255 next up is the addition of multi band or dual frequency gps support, and this surprised me i did not expect to see at this price point, but garmin is going like all in on this, and this is something we saw introduced with the Phoenix 7 sapphire editions and the epic staff auditions at nearly a thousand bucks and now its here at 349., so multi band or dual frequency gps is considered kind of like the holy grail of gps accuracy and weve. Seen continued improvements over the last few months, and probably one of the best examples of this is its running in the business district, with really tall 20 or 30 stored buildings on tiny little streets going back and forth, and it like almost locks that perfectly.
It is astounding how good that is, especially when i compare it to things like the 945 lte, the chorus vertex 2, the polar pacer pro none of those watches held a candle to either the 255 or the 955. They were just leagues apart in terms of accuracy. Speaking of increased accuracy, garmin has added the bear munch altimeter to this watch, its the first time, weve seen a 4runner watch anywhere near this price point. Have this: this gives you more accurate data than the typical gps based altimeter weve. Seen in the past, one caveat, though, is you wont, see climb pro on this weve seen climb pro on the higher end watches it hasnt quite worked its way down yet to either the instinct 2 series or the 4runner 255. So if you want that, you have to jump into something like the 745 or the 955 series and actually a quick note before we get on to the next one. If you are finding this video, interesting or useful or helpful, or something like that, just simply whack that, like button at the bottom, it really helps out this video and the channel quite a bit. Now, one of the things thats leveraging that bear magical timber is the addition of running power. This, along with the 955, is the first time weve seen garmin have native running power in a watch uh. Previously it required a kinect iq. App though this still does require a garment accessory, you have to have something like the rd pod here or the older hrm run, strap or the hrm tri strap or the hrm pro strap in order to get that running power to light up, but once youve got One of the accessories paired youll see running power on the screen, and you can also customize running power zones different from cycling, as well as do structure workout based on running power, which is what i did actually earlier today for the structure workout.
To have my running power zones built into it in terms of accuracy, its the exact same as it was in the past theyve just taken that kinect iq out for running power. They used to have and shoved it into being native. So all the same caveats around accuracy still apply here, which is to say that there is no standard for running power accuracy out there and anyone that says differently is simply trying to sell you something still. You can generally use any of these running power sources to pace relatively consistently, and this is no different. Next up is addition of nightly hrv tracking to the 255 as well as a 955.. So what you see here is my nightly hrv values last night, but the core thing to understand is: this is actually trending over much longer time periods. If i go up in this widget or back in this widget or, however, you want to phrase it, you see my hrv status there and right now it doesnt show anything and the reason for that is you need 19 days or roughly three weeks of data, and I have that, but there was a couple little beta bugs along the way that reset my counter. So instead, im gon na show you the exact same thing on the 4runner 955, so you can see what it looks like once it fully populates again. So you see my hrv status right now, im in the bound zone in that green zone.
That zone is custom to me, and so it can be wider for you or thinner for you, depending on how variable your hrv values are night to night, but this is established after that 19 days and, more importantly, then goes out to 90 days worth of data. So its always comparing against much longer trends once i crack these open, i get the exact same thing this one just simply has the colors already there theres my hiv status last night, youll notice that the hrv values vary quite a bit during the night as well As theres differences between the different watches on different wrists, many factors, influence hrv, including alcohol and sleep and fatigue, and training and recovery. All the things that you might expect to slow down your body can impact hrv, and you see also here these arent the exact same, and the reason for that is. It depends on which side of my body im lying on, so you can see different values throughout the night garments point this is something thats echoed kind of throughout the entire hrv realm. Is that ultimately youre, looking at longer term trends, one single night shouldnt? Be that big of a deal here, i can then go down as well and look at my hiv trends over the last seven days and you can see theres a relatively similar, except for last night, being just slightly bit different on the 955 compared to the 255. But again, its all about longer term trending.
Ultimately, the goal of all this, though, is to use hrv values as a bit of a long term, gut check to see if youre treading in the right directions and one of the ways it does. That is every morning now, when you wake up, you get a new morning report on that morning report. It will show your sleep stats from last night. Your current hrv status, as well as showing you whats, coming up for the day from a workout standpoint and even the weather, this is displayed every single morning. You can customize whats shown on it or you can just get rid of it entirely. I find it pretty useful just about to quickly look at things and figure out whether or not im going in the right direction. Speaking of directions, one of the cool things here is the addition of new race widgets. These widgets are kind of broken up into two different areas: the race calendar and the race itself. So looking at the race calendar, you can see. Ive got a race on friday here, month, 2 versus dez and then below that ive got a race in july, which is the running race. Ive also got a triathlon in between those two, but the race calendar doesnt support that quite yet, so its not actually showing up at all. All these are ones that ive added to my garmin connect calendar. When you do that, you can search for existing events which pulls in stuff from active.
com, or you can just create your own event reel or otherwise you can add in a course location, etc, and that then surfaces a lot of the information you see here. So as i cracked this one open in paris its in five weeks and four days, so the countdown at the top there i press down once this – is the estimated finish time based on my current vo2 max and the current distance for this particular course going again. I can see what the average temperature is for that particular day and location and time so at 8 a.m. Its normally about 16 degrees celsius, the high for the day, the low for the day, and then here this is the course profile, and then here this is the overall course itself again. These are all things that loaded into garmin connect beforehand. Now, as we get closer to an event, if we go back here back to this upcoming race, you can see right here. This is three days away month: 2 versus dez, i cracked this open, and now i can see the exact weather for this day. So right there, if i go down once i can see at 9am, its gon na be 23 degrees, itll, eventually kind of get a bit sunnier by about 11 a.m. I go down again and i can see the course there. However, with a cycling event, i will not get the predictive stuff that i would on the running side – thats not there.
Today, it sounds like thats, probably coming down the road pretty quickly here so for now, the predictive stuff is just on the running events. Now, unless you think this is just some fun little widget to look at for counting down onto your race, youd be wrong. Theres, a substantial overhaul behind the scenes under the covers on what happens when you add something to your calendar. What its doing is its actually building out your entire training plan, even if you dont even know its there, so to show you the depth of that. Let me go back here and just crack open a run, so theres the run profile. I choose that, and this is the daily suggested workout up until now. The whole point of daily suggested workouts on grammar devices, was just to kind of keep you fit, but it had no like idea of what your goal was down the road. So no idea, if youre running a marathon or just a 5k, nothing wrong with a 5k. But kind of show the scope of those two, but now, when i tap this im gon na go down here and youll, see more suggestions and right now you see build phase, meaning this is the build phase to the event that i have right there uh so May 21st, through june 6th, then theres the peak phase right there then theres a taper phase and then theres my my race and, of course my friend doesnt know hes racing me when i get down to paris, but he is and hes going to find out the Hard way, but what you see here is that not only all these phases there, but each week is going to create those workouts.
You can actually see some of these workers ahead of time. So these are the next few days today, tomorrow, thursdays a rest day. Its got friday is my event day for the other cycling event, so it knows to do a rest day in between there and then, after that, it thinks i want to do. A long run might be a bit of a jump between those two but again its not too bad of a course in the grand scheme of things for that uh ride and then sunday and then monday and so on now whats notable here is in the settings. I can change my long workout day, so i can choose this here and say: hey. I want my long workouts to be on maybe thursday or friday, as opposed to saturday or sunday, and i can also change my target type from pace to heart rate and as well as pause the training altogether. If im like you know what just just shut up garmin, just let me do my own thing. You can do that here as well and then, ultimately, all of this impacts everything throughout the watch, including things like training status, right now, its unproductive for what im doing, based on in part, what im planning on doing down the road in terms of an event. So this is a good time to talk about training status, im unproductive because thats the camp i live in in theory, this should start going away, as my hrv values start to pull in here, as well as my vo2 max values get more correct.
The more weeks that i wear the watch, generally speaking, look about four to six weeks on the watch worth of workouts before you get those vo2 max values back to where you want them to be. If i go down, though, you can see heres my q load, this is the training load over the last seven days. You can see that green area is whats called a tunnel. The portion i should be in ideally from an ideal training load standpoint, and if i tap this up here, you can see my q load is a little bit high above the optimal range, considering adding more time to recover. Well, do that after i beat dez on friday, uh and then heres my exercise load, showing you the anaerobic, high aerobic and low aerobic over the last seven days. If i tap back again, you can see the load focus again, the same sort of low focus that we just saw a second ago but now trended over four weeks, and then, if i tap this again, you can see my overall load is high. Try scaling it back a little bit and then the rest of these components are things weve seen before vo2 max, except now you actually get it for cycling. In the past, you just would have seen running, keep in mind. The cycling vo2 max does require a power meter though, and then going on down hrv status and recovery. This is the recovery time until your next hard workout, not till your next workout.
This is your next hard workout. I did a hard workout just about six hours ago of intervals, uh so thats, why its pretty high right now so now switching up to something entirely different, which is the ability to do phone based config of all the settings on the watch. Every data field, every data page, you can now configure it using your phone as opposed to having to press all the little buttons you can still press all the little buttons. If you want to you can see in the screens right there, you can just do it from your phone and be off and running after that, for those of you that are exploring on courses theres a new up ahead feature. This was introduced with the phoenix 7. I did not expect to see this here as well on the 255.. This shows you any of the waypoints that youve defined in garmin connect on that course. You can see right here a couple waypoints ive created on this particular course, and the distances to those waypoints based on the course routing, so not just as the crow flies, but your actual course routing thats defined in that course profile. Waypoints is the concept are not new, but having a one consolidated little page is super useful, especially for the longer courses and when you do get to one of those waypoints, it may be a cafe. You can use a new garmin pay as well, so holding the upper left hand button right there.
I can access my wallet its up in the corner. Here we go the wallet. I then enter my super secret passcode. I cant show you that and then boom theres. My visa card already stored into that and i can tap onto any contactless nfc reader and pay for things. Of course, this does depend on your bank, supporting this uh bank and not your credit card, not its. Not all visa cards, its, not all amex, whatever is just your particular bank and then finally, before we talk about accuracy, lets talk about battery life heres a quick battery life chart. Essentially, you have different battery life depending on whether youre, the 42 or the 46, because the 46 is bigger and you can see that the gps goes all the way up to 30 hours in the base, gps mode and up to 14 days in standby watch mode. That is double what it had on the 245, so a huge increase in battery for that standby mode. So at this point lets talk about accuracy of the gps and the heart rate, and no better place to do that than on the computer starting off on this relatively steady state workout, the 955 and the 255 were spot on across the board here: zero problems at All, however, switching to this interval workout, they actually had a rough go in the first couple minutes in the warm up which is sort of odd. Yet the complex part – these 20 by 20 second sprint repeats they nailed across the board every single one perfectly so, im not sure what happened there.
In the very beginning, another interval workout here four by four hundreds, uh very high intensity and then four by eight hundreds high intensity, zero problems transitioning into an indoor trainer workout, with a slew of intervals, spot on across the board, actually even beating out the tick or Chest strap at the very beginning there uh. The same is true for yet another. This one is a peloton workout. Then here is an outside ride. In the very middle of the red section is. I was doing some filming so just to ignore that. But if we look across the rest of the rye, its relatively fine theres, some kind of wobbles towards the end as i get back in the city with cobblestones and stuff like that, but overall it is mostly acceptable for an outdoor bike. Ride next were going to start off right in the swim for the gps accuracy, and you can see here, the 255 and 955 are virtually identical. I actually think the 255 went into base gps mode here, a couple little quarks uh, but i dont think it was actually a multi band correctly either way super impressive going into the forested areas here. It just gets super boring because its perfect, the 255 and the 955 are spot on across the board another round here out into kind of some farmlands or some bridges and whatnot spot on, but here is when things get fun. This is a run that had all sorts of goodness in it, including the city section.
I showed you earlier. What i want you to look at here is all the variation in the gps tracks from the polar pacer pro the coros vertex 2, even garmins own 945. Lte is sort of everywhere, but as i peel that away and show you just the 255 in 955 tracks, they are very, very clean. In this case. I think the 255 again had multi band turned off for some reason, due to firmer updates, but overall, its very, very close to where i actually ran this. Despite having giant buildings on the side of me again, super super impressive gps accuracy across the board here from both units. Okay, so there you go a complete look at the 400 255 overall, it is an astounding, impressive watch for the money. Again, we saw so many features added to the instinct 2 series just a few months ago, making it a full triathlon watch a full multi sport watch, and this takes that and really elevates it actually kind of beyond that, even more impressive, given the fact that this Has a multi band gps and the instinct 2 series doesnt still fear not for you, insync, 2, folks that just bought a unit there. You are getting a number of the software features over the next little, while expect to see those in beta first very shortly so check out my beta video up in the corner there for how to sign up for the garmin beta system.
That way, you can test those features as soon as they hit the beta side and its worthwhile, noting, if you want to see a complete guide or complete beginners guide, whatever you want to call it for the 4 winner 255 im working on that now expect it In just a couple days, tomorrow, youll see the 955 beginners guide or complete guide, and then, after that, the 255 one and as usual, if you found this video interestingly useful, just hit the like button, the bottom there.