Garmin Forerunner 225, the first Garmin with an optical wrist pulse sensor


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Did you feel like reading the whole test? It's already completed, so you can click here to access itThis thread is the presentation of the watch, the most complete and relevant information is the one you will find in the test.

 Today Garmin presented its first watch with an optical pulse sensor, a movement that we had been waiting for and that clearly marks what is to come in the near future. Not only in the Garmin range, but also in all other manufacturers, because this FR225 only brings the optical sensor to the general public. Yes, others have done it before, but we cannot compare the volume of units sold by TomTom or Mio with what Garmin can sell worldwide.

For the quick version, consider the new Garmin Forerunner 225 as an evolution of the Garmin 220But what it offers in terms of training and sports use is the same.


Let's go over the news we can find in the Garmin 225.

  • The optical pulse sensor (the main novelty)
  • Addition of activity monitor (with steps, distances, calories, goals and sleep analysis)
  • Slight changes in the design (something had to be done to differentiate and modernize it)

The optical pulse sensor integrated in the watch itself is not a novelty as such. We have seen it before, being the TomTom Cardio the first to have it on a GPS watch and, recently, the Fitbit Surge or even an Epson model that hasn't been seen much in Spain, the Runsense SF-810v. But what's remarkable is that the Garmin 225 is the first of the three big manufacturers to integrate the pulse sensor, and I'm sure that Polar and Suunto will soon follow suit.

Adding the activity monitor was an obvious step, as the Forerunner 220 and 620 are the only models currently on sale that don't incorporate it. And since adding it to the list of features is free of charge to the manufacturer, it was to be expected. What I do miss is the ability to receive notifications from the phone. And it will be the only one in the category that doesn't offer it, as the Polar M400 will receive the update shortly and the Suunto Ambit3 Run already has it (although only iOS at the moment). The bluetooth module is most likely not capable of Bluetooth Smart communications, not because it is not new, but because the 225 is not a new watch as such, but an evolution of the existing model.

Aesthetically the differences are not very striking, at least looking at it from the front. It changes the design of the front and the strap slightly, but the screen is the same, as well as the layout of the buttons.

Garmin Forerunner 220 and 225 Front Comparison

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Logically, where we'll notice the most change is at the back of the watch, as that's where the optical pulse sensor is housed.

Optical heart rate sensor

The built-in sensor in the watch is the main innovation of the Garmin Forerunner 225. It uses two green LEDs to illuminate the capillaries and allow the infrared sensor to read your pulse. This system is called photoplethysmographyThe LEDs are that color because red absorbs green, and this is how the sensor can read every heart pumping.

Garmin Forerunner 225


Fortunately for all of us, this sensor is an old acquaintance. Garmin has licensed it from Mio (it is the same one we found in Mio Link or in the TomTom Cardio) It is sufficiently tested and works perfectly, so we do not have to wait to know how the sensor will behave. Absolute reliability.

MIO Link 8

Activity monitor and heart rate zone page

There are two other new features: the activity monitor, with the same features that we have seen in other Garmin models, counts steps and estimates calories consumed and distance travelled. It also has a daily step target, which you can set or leave in dynamic mode, so that the watch adjusts to your daily exercise and can be demanded according to your usual activity. It will also give you a warning of inactivity and sleep monitoring.

All this is displayed on the main clock screen, without having to enter the menu. And when you sync the clock with Garmin Connect, all data will be synced to your account as well.

As for the data pages, you will now have a specific one with the heart rate zones you set, and it will mark graphically which zone you are in so that you can take it into account in your training.

Garmin Forerunner 225

It is not new as such, simply a new graphic representation that bears some resemblance to the career dynamics pages.

Garmin Forerunner 225, availability and price

The Garmin Forerunner 225 will arrive on the market at the end of Q2, so we can expect to see it in stores by the end of June or July, arriving in time to go on vacation with you. As for the price, it will be £299.

It is already available and for sale, so if you want to buy it you can get it in just 24 hours. Or if you prefer to wait for the full test, I hope to have it ready throughout August.

Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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  1. Forerunner 220+Mio Link = about 260 euros on Amazon... would be the cheap (and comforting) option for those like me who just did it

    1. Don't think it's just a consolation. If you only use the watch for training, I think it's a better option, because if you don't use it every day, the activity monitor won't give you anything, and by wearing the sensor separately you can use it with another watch in the future, with cycling units, or with the phone.

      You can't do this with the 225, since it doesn't relay pulse data.

  2. hello, i don't know what to do forerunner 15 115eu and mio fuse 137eu, or the new garmin 225, i wait a little bit to see the pros and cons of the 225, very good article. thanks

    1. Hello Francisco

      The most correct comparison would be Garmin 220 + Mio Fuse versus Garmin 225. In that combination, you would have the same chances.

      The Forerunner 15 is well below specs at 220/225. You'll most likely fall short in a very short time.

  3. Hi, Eduardo,
    I need help because I am in a sea of doubts, I am more or less a regular runner (4 days a week) and I already depend on the tomtom runner that I have had for a year and a half. The problem is that I have missed the deficiencies that have already been mentioned of this model and on top of that I have twice broken the damned multi-function button and the FC strap rubs me sometimes. I have just received a new one from the manufacturer and on the other hand I have managed to get the new FR 225 for 194 ?, now the million dollar question, I try to sell the tomtom and it is worth keeping the garmin considering that the M400 I can get it for 130 ? (it would be worth my strap) or the FR220 for 135 ? (170 ? with FC strap)? regarding this last option I see that it only has the activity monitor as an addition, right? Regarding the Polar I think that I would miss the vibration warnings and the training settings in the watch itself. Sorry about the strap and thanks

    1. If you appreciate having the optical pulse sensor for comfort, I would certainly stay with the Garmin 225, at the level of training programming is a step above.

  4. I'm in
    doubts, I do athletics and I don't know whether to take the Garmin 225 or the Polar v800, the price
    You can tell, I've heard that the v800 doesn't come out with the beats that for me
    is important, but aesthetically it's very good, with multiple functions.

    The 225, has the advantage of being tapeless, very comfortable, I need one that's
    a VERY reliable GPS, that if I do a 10km run, it's 10km and not 9.9, the
    Garmin Phoenix 3 is a great one, but it's a lot of money.

    1. To say that I currently have a Tomton Runner, and I fall short with the series, the doubts I have is that I do not know if I change a tomtom to take the 225 and that is the same or similar, I want to change but for the better.

    2. You can find point errors on any GPS, none of which are exempt.

      With the V800 you can manually mark laps to separate the training part, I don't know if that's what you mean.

      Either one will suit you perfectly, but in the V800 you have a few more high-end watch details.

  5. Hello, good afternoon. Very useful work you do, thank you very much. I would like to ask you a question, what do you think of the Epson Runsense SF-810 model with respect to garming 225? Thank you very much.

    1. Thank you.

      I know the Epson, but I haven't had a chance to test it. I have good references from its optical pulse sensors, but I can't tell you anything about the clock software or the data analysis platform.

  6. Hi! I just got a Garmin Forerunner 25 and I had in mind to buy the Forerunner 225. Which one do you recommend? Thank you.

    1. The truth is that they are quite different... Of course the 225 is quite superior in everything. Unless you prefer the simplicity of the 25, the FR225 is a better choice.

  7. Hi, great job you're doing. I'm actually a little more clear. But I wanted to ask you which of these sports watches you recommend. The main use I want to give you is to measure the intensity of my training at the gym, where I usually do spinning or running classes on a treadmill, but especially to measure the peaks in my toning training. So which one do you recommend? I think the Garmin 225 is the most complete, but maybe there's a more affordable one for what I'm going to use it for...
    Thank you.

    1. For gym work you will get better results with chest strap, continuous movements of the wrist will not allow a correct reading

  8. Hello good afternoon I have given the 225 works very well but I have a doubt in the manual does not specify whether it is waterproof ... could you help me thanks

    1. The 225 does not have a cycling profile. The only thing you could do is record an activity (disabling GPS or keeping it the same) and after synchronization modify the type of activity.

      1. Hello,

        Thank you for your answer, but if I put it on my wrist it activates the hitch and does not collect data


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