May 6th 2014 8:01 am


Sports watch first, fitness tracker second


If you're a runner who also wants to track activity between workouts, the 15 is a compelling choice. It offers a surprisingly robust feature set, one that's nearly on par with the 220 (plus fitness tracking, of course). All told, too, what it does, it does well: accurate GPS tracking, combined with long battery life and timely reminders to get up and walk around. True, it doesn't bother with sleep tracking, but with a design this bulky, we can't say we'd want to wear it to bed anyway.

There are other compromises as well. Because this is a running watch first and a fitness tracker second, it looks like, well, a running watch, which means you probably won't want to wear it all the time. There's sadly no wireless syncing, and thus no seamless way to get all your data on your phone. Also, considering people are getting this watch because they want a little extra motivation throughout the day, it would be nice if the watch and accompanying app did a little more to celebrate your achievements -- exceeding your daily step goal, for example. All that said, the Forerunner 15 covers most of the fitness-tracking basics, and costs about the same as a basic runner's watch. That's a good deal. You know, so long as you're reasonably serious about running.

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90-Day Price History


Critic reviews

6 reviews
  • Durability
  • Portability
  • Ease of use
  • Design and form factor

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User reviews

1 review
Engadget Jun 30, 2014

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...

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PC Mag May 30, 2014

Garmin is one seriously trusted name among data-loving athletes, and its Forerunner 15 is the best hybrid sports watch-activity tracker we've tested. The price is right, too.

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ZDNet Jul 4, 2014

I really like the idea behind the Garmin Forerunner 15 and I think it was a good move for Garmin to make the product. However, I am disappointed in the lack of Bluetooth to sync to my phone; a feature that you can find in their Vivofit and other Forerunner watches individually.

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CNET Aug 14, 2014

Its lack of Bluetooth notwithstanding, the affordable Garmin Forerunner 15 is otherwise a great health tracking wristwatch for runners.

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Popular Mechanics Jun 4, 2014

Those who run (or cycle, or play around) outdoors, love maps, and can't get enough of their own data will get plenty from the Forerunner as they build a catalog of runs. Just don't expect the one device to do everything.

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DC Rainmaker Jun 12, 2014

If you’re looking for an entry level running watch (and don’t care about the activity tracker piece), then this is still a very solid choice and would be among my top recommendations.

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First Looks

product preview
SlashGear May 6, 2014

The Forerunner 15 can track location as well using integrated GPS tracking. During running sessions, the watch counts distance, pace, calories, and - with the right accessory - heart rate. Plugged into a PC or Mac, that all synchronizes with Garmin Connect.

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