Within the past month, I upgraded from the Forerunner 15 to the Forerunner 25, and I am here to tell you about the experience.
The Forerunner 25 is slightly thinner than its predecessor and also has a slightly larger screen. The bands now have colors for all options on the actual band. The only problem i have with this is the fact that after a while, they get brown around the edges. The watch is light and comfortable to wear all day, which I do. The watch has four buttons: the upper right button starts/ends an activity, the bottom right button scrolls through menus and options, the bottom left button is the return button (also used to scroll between the main menu options, more on that later.), and lastly, the top left button is the back light button. The screen is all black and white and is protected by a scratch proof shatter-resistant glass face.
While the forerunner can be used as a stopwatch for swimming and even biking, it is mostly made for running, which is what i will focus on for now. However is is waterproof for 5 ATM or 50m, so it can be worn in the shower or even while going for a swim. In order to start a run, the top right button must be pressed. You will then be given run options on that screen, arrow down to adjust the run settings (this can also be done in the regular settings menu under run options.). These options include Basic (no settings), Run/Walk, Virtual Pacer, Time, Distance, and calories. When paired to a heart rate band, it will give you heart rate alerts. I must say, this watch receives GPS location way faster than its predecessor. After a beep to notify you of the fact that you are now connected to GPS, click the upper right button to start the run. By default, this watch gives you 2 data fields per screen the defaults are time and distance on page 1 and current pace and calories on page 2. However, if you connect the watch to your phone via Garmin Connect, you can have 3 fields on 1 page! Finally! While running, the watch beeps everytime your pace changes above, below, or at your target pace. It also beeps every mile when autolap is on to tell you how fast that mile was. When you are done, press the top right button and you can either resume, save, or discard the run. Clicking “save” will bring up a summary of the run. You may view previous runs by going into the history section. The battery seems to have the life that Garmin claims it does.
The watch measures your activity such as steps and sleep. It can also count you calories which is customized for your weight and height. The steps seem to be pretty darn accurate.
The watch, unlike its predecessor, can receive smart notifications when paired with a smart phone. This is probably the most finicky part of the watch. You may view a notification and read it, but you cannot do any action. The watch only beeps, never vibrates, which I find to be disappointing. Garmin said when they released the watch that they would only support phone, text, and calendar alerts, however, now they have added support for 3rd party notifications. The only problem in terms of the watch doing what it says it will do is that on my iPhone 6s, I must leave Garmin Connect open in order for it to display the Bluetooth symbol and let me view prior notifications under the notifications section. If I close the app out, I can view the notification, but I cannot view prior notifications.
Overall, the Forerunner 25 is a huge improvement over the 15. However, it lacks features like a color screen and full iPhone/Android notification integration. As a basic GPS watch it is perfect. The watch starts at $139.