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Customer Reviews

152
4.2 out of 5 stars
Garmin Forerunner 15 GPS Running Watch and Activity Tracker, Small - Teal/White
Style Name: Without Heart Rate MonitorColour Name: Teal/WhiteChange
Price:£89.00+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
This is really nice piece of kit, and now that I've had it for a couple of weeks I feel qualified to review!

The good:
- Solid construction and feels well made.
- Lovely large screen that it easy to read, even when running.
- Walk/Run mode is great and can be used for interval training.
- Garmin Connect website is interesting and shows lots of useful data that can be easily exported.
- Connected to my heart rate strap straight away, no problems.
- The charging / sync lead looks well designed and constructued, and works well.
- The software that comes with the watch is easy to use.

The bad:
- No wireless sync ability. Taking watch off to sync with the PC doesn't sound like a chore, but it is.
- Getting GPS lock takes a couple of minutes. Waiting for this before starting your run is irritating!
- Can't get the 'inactivity monitor' function to do anything. Maybe I'm just never inactive :-)
- Garmin Connect website is slow to use on anything but the fastest internet connection, and not as good as SportTracks.
- Activity Tracker appears to be little more than a step counter - does not record stairs / altitude, for example.
- No mode for other activities like cycling. You can change the activity type in Garmin Connect afterwards, but it's a surprising omission on the watch itself.
- Doesn't appear to be a sleep monitoring mode, even though the Garmin Connect website references sleep quality tracking.
- Watch is chunkier than the photographs make it look. I do wear mine all the time, but it is thicker (depth) than you might expect based on the photographs - i'd estimate it is about 15mm thick - and this makes it hard to tuck into the sleeves of a shirt at work.
- On first use, the Garmin Express software wanted to do firmware updates. I let it do them, only for one part to fail because the unit apparently didn't have enough memory to complete it. Not knowing what to do next, and staring an an unhelpful triangle on the watch and an error message on the screen, I disconnected the watch; it then rebooted and updated itself. Then I reconnected to the computer and tried the update again - the remaining update worked second time round. I couldn't help but think that it was very poor of Garmin that an out of the box firmware update would need to be applied in two parts and would fail otherwise. No documentation or explanation, and an unhelpful misdirection when it told me that I might like to clear some space on my brand new and completely empty watch in order to apply the update. Where was their testing?

I don't regret buying this watch - it does everything I expected it to do, and I'm pretty happy with how it functions. That said, I am mildly disappointed. For it to score a full five stars, it would need to wirelessly sync, and it would need to do more with regard to activity tracking functions than act as the simple step counter that it currently does.

I'd like it to be able to track my workouts in the gym as well as outside, and while you can switch off GPS and use 'indoor mode', the watch appears to be clueless about things like cross trainers and exercise bikes - basic functionality that a mid range Polar HRM could offer should surely be possible on a device like the Forerunner 15 with a software update?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2015
My initial test of this watch was a 6 mile test run at the local running club, it didn't go too well that morning as it took over 2 miles before it managed to get a signal, which clearly wasn't ideal. I later realised this was probably down to an update that morning which would have cleared the GPS data (of where satellites are) and while it doesn't hold a weeks’ worth of this data like the more expensive watches, it was probably why it took a long time to get a lock. Having used it in the same location since, it worked, but I'm still wary after that experience so try to arrive a bit earlier and let it locate satellites but cancel the run which seems to enable it to lock on sooner.
As someone who's recently started running I've found it helpful for checking distance, time and crucially pace, although you can't display all 3 at once, but it's not too tricky to scroll. I'm still working out the best set up for display but usually have it set on time and distance, and as I have the auto lap set, which is fixed to a mile, the watch beeps and shows my average pace for that mile.
Where this all comes in really useful is connecting to Garmin Connect website to review the runs, and the heart monitor data. I feel this is the part that really makes the watch worthwhile.
The fitness tracking is a great feature, although I'm not sure I'll keep on using it as a do between 16,000 to 27,000 steps a day. Garmin Connect offers badges for achieving a number of steps to motivate you and the watch adjusts the goal target number of steps daily. There’s also an Move alert to prompt you if you've been inactive for an hour. You can turn off the Activity tracker and the Move Alert independently which I think is a good option for people. The poorest part of the fitness tracker is the sleep monitor, it indicates I move a lot in my sleep but I'm not sure what that means, it does force me to manually record my bed and wake times which made me mindful of how much sleep I'm getting.
I picked up a Garmin foot pod as I was worried the GPS would be a problem and also I was curious about my cadence (steps per minute). The watch won't show your cadence on the run, but this doesn’t vary hugely and is interesting to see how it can be improved when looking at the data on the Garmin website.
Finally there’s the Heart Rate Monitor (HRM). I haven't had any real issues with this. When I first set it up I seemed to have the alert for a zone set up so it kept beeping, and couldn't work out how to change it without stopping and ending the recording of the run. But since then it's been fine. You can view your BPM on the watch, or more interestingly review later on the website with all the other information it records.
As an overall package I think it works really well. My friend has the FR220 and while a much nicer looking watch she does seem to find it a bit fiddly to get to things, and I think that’s the nice thing about the FR15 being a bit limited in some ways, but it makes it a bit easier to use.
I bought it to help monitor an motivate me with my running and it’s certainly doing that.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2014
I was looking for a simple, small, but accurate GPS tracker for my runs and am delighted with this one. It is not overly fancy (unlike the higher end, pricier ones, it doens't display a map on screen or help you return home if you are lost), its amazingly light weight and it is really simple to use. I am very pleasantly surprised with the activity tracker function, which I did not anticipate using, but regularly check now, to see how active I have been before my evening run. As a bit of a data nerd, the information the watch gives me through Garmin Connect (as well as on the screen) has been really facinating, and has led me to run more.
The only comments I would have for Garmin is that they seem to be doing a lot of repair work on their uploading website, and that I hope that that will be concluding soon. Also, when I run without a HRM, but with someone who has one, my watch seems to connect to my partner's... It hasn't bothered me because I just ignored that data, but perhaps there could be some sort of on and off selection for the heart rate pairing?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2015
Really nice item. synch to HR monitor in seconds and takes perhaps 1 minute to find satellite. I had an earlier model the Forerunner 305, this new model is much better in. Faster to find a satellite, the buttons as easy to press, the last model very stiff buttons. display very clear. just displays the 2 lines when you run, which you custom select, say distance/time. you can tweak these on the run, but properly should look where you run. nice function is the pause. so if you stop at road watch automatically stops/pause. press restart and you lose no time on the run. for me personally i charge it after every 4 runs = 4 hours. its good for 8 hours they say, properly correct. 8 is plenty. the software syncs runs very easy.they call the software a dash board with i would say has too many options which at first put me off, but found. Classic view in the settings, you get map, distance chart, HR. basically everything you need really in one screen. the watch is very light, and well built. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2015
I noticed my distance was off about 1/2km for a 5km race. I reviewed the GPS plot on Strava and Garmin Connect after and noticed that it had strayed me off route several times. I compared it with my friends plot who was running with me and his watch (FR 10) was near enough perfect. I ran some more after following guides on clearing the GPS cache by resetting the watch etc, but the plots got worse. One of my routes was around a river (via road footpaths) with a known distance. The plots always shown me undercutting the road and in the river most of the time, never giving me a true analysis of my run. My pace was therefore never correct as it timed me for a shorter distance.

I'm really disappointed as I bought this watch for race training. I couldn't analyse my runs with this at all due to the inaccuracy of the GPS. My phone did a far better plot. Maybe this was a defect unit, but I've lost trust with Garmin. I'm going to look into other manufacturers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 May 2015
I am disappointed with this. When it works, it is great - does exactly what you'd want it to do in terms of tracking runs with GPS, pace, distance. However, it can take up to 30 minutes to get the GPS position - really pointless if you are training for a half-marathon and need to keep track of pace and distance. Even more pointless if you go out for a quick 5k and it's still 'getting position' as you're getting home! Wish I'd kept the packaging, so I could send it back. Unhappy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2015
This worked fine until the start of February, when steps could no longer be uploaded on Garmin Connect, so you lose the record of your steps. Thirteen days later Garmin are silent on the issue - which is an indicator of the care with which they treat their customers. Look at Garmin online forums for more details of this problem.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2015
I love it! Where it all the time not just for running. Really easy to use - display is easy to see as you run yet doesn't look too chunky on my tiny wrist. Easy to charge and look at your activities online too although it is difficult to know how long to charge it for as it doesn't tell you when it is done.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2014
I have never had a GPS watch before and I was looking for something easy to use, I looked around at a range of brands and specs, but went for the Garmin FR 15. Very glad I did.

Set up took less than 5 mins and after an overnight charge I was ready for my run.
The watch found GPS signal in about 10 seconds, then it was a matter of hitting start. During the run, you can choose from a few views, (Time & distance, Pace & calories burnt) and for me it was very clear and easy to read while running.
It is a good size and weight and could be worn all day to record activity as it also has a built in pedometer and a 'Move!' alert for when you are sat at your desk for too long!

Once I set up online with a Garmin account and downloaded a few bits of software from the website, uploading run/ training data was simple and the map is very accurate, it could pick up which side of the street I was running on.

The watch can be used with the Garmin HRM and foot recorder, both sold separately and I do not have so I cannot comment on the compatibility and easy of use with these accessories.

Overall I would recommend this watch. Simple and easy to use.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2014
Easy to use, not as many functions as the more expensive models, but more practical for everyday use (and I never used half the functions on my other Garmin anyway). Runs are easy to record and there's lots of information collected, especially if you then upload to the website. It's a lot neater and better looking than the big grey Garmin I had before (which looked like I'd been tagged for some criminal offence), so if I wear it to the office it doesn't look out of place and saves me having to remember to take it with me if I'm going running after work. It's pretty solid and can stand up to some rough handling, getting wet etc, plus isn't so hugely expensive that I feel worried about damaging it. Battery life is ok - lasts ages in activity tracking mode (several weeks) but needs to be re-charged every 5 runs or so (or perhaps I just run too much!). Can be a bit slow to connect to satellite, but and if the battery does run out while you're using it, it can lose the data - but once you know the watch, it's easy to work round these quibbles. Otherwise, very pleased with it and would fully recommend to anyone.
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