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Garmin Forerunner 55 seeks balance between price, features and simplicity

Garmin has announced the Forerunner 55 running watch, the latest affordable device in the wildly popular range.

The Garmin Forerunner 55, which costs £179.99 and is available from today, integrates a number of key technologies from more advanced watches, such as Garmin Coach, Suggested Workouts, Cadence alerts, PacePro Lite and Recovery Advisor and more.

Buyers will also benefit from the company’s stress tracking, Body Battery, sleep tracking and fitness age technologies that can determine overall wellness and factors that might be affecting your running performance.

As well as running and walking tracking there is support for several built-in activity profiles; including track or virtual running, pool swimming, Pilates and HIIT.

The Garmin Coach feature is ideal for less experienced runners as it provides training free plans for 5K, 10K or half marathon. They’re based on a runner’s goals and come from “expert coaches”.

While Garmin openly admits it is a simplified experience – that enables one button press to enter running or walking workouts – the company is advertising more-than-solid 20 hours of battery life with GPS mode enabled or two weeks in smartwatch mode.

The Forerunner 55 also offers continuous heart rate tracking, while there are safety features that enable runners to send messages with their location. There’s also built-in assistance and incident detection. There are women’s health features like the ability to track menstrual cycle or pregnancy and log symptoms.

The watch will be the next entry up from the Forerunner 45 which costs £159.99 and will be available in black, white or aqua. Garmin faces plenty of competition from the best smartwatches and best fitness trackers with advanced running tech, so it looks to have done a fine job here of creating a focused, affordable watch with a number of higher-end features for novices and those on a budget.

We’re looking forward to testing both watches out on the trail.

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