Garmin Forerunner 15

83
Engadget
Score
83

There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

Garmin Forerunner 15 review: sports watch first, fitness tracker second

Summary

For about the same price as an entry-level running watch, the Forerunner offers all the usual running features, plus step tracking so you can monitor your activity between workouts. It's a good buy for runners who need a sports watch, and would prefer not to wear a second device for fitness tracking.

from $99.95+
Pros
  • Long battery life
  • Fair price, considering the feature set
  • Includes step tracking, allowing it to double as a basic fitness tracker
  • Compatible with heart rate monitors
  • Waterproof
Cons
  • No wireless syncing
  • Doesn't automatically track sleep
  • App doesn't offer much motivation
  • Because it's more of a running watch than fitness tracker, you won't necessarily want to wear it every day
Garmin Forerunner 15 review: sports watch first, fitness tracker second

As the reviews editor for this tech blog, I often get asked which fitness tracker I own. And I tell people: I don't need one, silly; I run marathons. Maybe that sounds snotty, but it's true: During training season, at least, I'm probably more active than most people buying a fitness band. And besides, I already own a running watch to track my time, distance and pace. That doesn't mean I can't use a little extra motivation, though. My activity slowed to a crawl this winter, precisely because I was burned out from all those long training runs. (The frigid weather didn't help either.) At one point, I didn't exercise for nearly two weeks. I gained back the weight I lost last year, and my muscle mass shrank. It now hurts to do squats. Even so, asking me to wear another device is a tough sell -- especially when it means my stats are getting spread across different services.

For people like me, there's the Garmin Forerunner 15, a sports watch that doubles as a fitness tracker. Like other running watches, including those made by Garmin, the Forerunner 15 tracks your distance, pace and time. It's offered with an optional heart rate monitor, and has a handy run-walk setting. But it also tracks your activity between workouts, telling you how many steps you've taken and how many calories you've burned. It issues not-so-subtle reminders to move, lest you spend too much time in your cubicle. At the same time, it doesn't do everything a standalone fitness tracker would: It doesn't automatically monitor your sleep habits, and you can't log your food intake directly from the app. Priced at $170 ($200 with the heart rate monitor), it costs more than your typical fitness tracker, but it's cheap for a running watch. So is it a good deal? That all depends on your priorities.

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Scores

Engadget

83
 

Breakdown

Durability
7.5
Portability
8.0
Ease of use
8.0
Design and form factor
7.6
View All Scores

Specs

Forerunner

Type
Watch-style
Tracking metrics
Motion / steps, Distance, Speed, GPS / location, Heart rate, Calories
Display
yes
Media playback controls
no
View Full Specs

Specs

Forerunner

Type
Watch-style
Tracking metrics
Motion / steps, Distance, Speed, GPS / location, Heart rate, Calories
Display
yes
Media playback controls
no
View Full Specs
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