Garmin Forerunner 15 Review

I was recently contacted by Garmin about testing out the new Forerunner 15 model GPS watch. I lloovveee me some Garmin (I have the 10, Bobby has one, and I have the super old school 301). I was very interested to see the differences especially between the 10 and the 15 models.

I was sent the Teal/White watch with heart rate monitor. The color is really cute!


Here are a few features of the Forerunner 15 from Garmin’s website:

  • Tracks distance, pace, heart rate and calories
  • Activity tracking counts steps and calories and reminds you when it’s time to move
  • Compatible with foot pod (sold separately) for recording distance indoors
  • Up to 8 hours of battery life with GPS on or 5 weeks in watch/activity tracking mode
  • Save, plan and share your activities at Garmin Connect™


You can pair the Garmin with a heart rate strap (you can purchase the device with or without) and it will record your heart rate and heart rate zone so you know when you need to rein it in and when you can push yourself harder.

The coolest new feature of the Forerunner 15 is the activity tracker. You can track the steps you take during the day, even when you aren’t working out, and you can do so without havening to wear a separate device. Forerunner 15 counts your steps and the calories you burn all day. You can also upload you data to Garmin Connect, and monitor your progress toward your fitness goals. This device also reminds you when it’s time to move if you’ve been sitting for more than an hour. When you get that cue to move, just walk for a couple of minutes to reset the inactivity indicator. How neat is that?!?

garmin 15

Forerunner 15 also has an auto lap function that automatically alerts you when you complete each mile. When you complete your run and save it, you’ll see a summary of how you did (calories, pace, time, distance). It even lets you know when you achieve a personal record, like your fastest mile or longest run to date.

For outdoor runs, Forerunner 15 uses GPS to accurately record your time, pace and distance. To track distance and pace when you hit the treadmill or an indoor track, just pair Forerunner 15 with an optional foot pod, which attaches to the laces of your shoe.

Another favorite about this model in comparison to the Garmin 10 is the battery life. The rechargeable battery will last up to 5 weeks in watch/activity tracking mode or 8 hours when using it with GPS on your outdoor runs. This is a vast improvement over the 10 which only had a 5 hour battery life. I also love that I can wear it for FIVE WEEKS as a watch in activity mode and without recharging! I don’t plan to even need GPS for more than 8 hours at a time, so the battery life is perfect for me. Forerunner 15 has a water rating of 5 ATM (50 meters), which means it resists rain and sweat and can even join you for a swim.

After a run, use Garmin Connect to log your runs on your computer. Here, you can see your run on a map, get more detail on each mile, see a daily summary of your activities and share with friends. You can also join online challenges and earn virtual badges for extra motivation. This model also can auto sync information to your computer unlike the Forerunner 10.



So to recap, the main differences in the Forerunner 10 and 15:

Forerunner 10: No activity tracker, no heart rate monitor, less battery life (5 hours in GPS mode)

Forerunner 15: Activity tracker, optional heart rate monitor and foot pod, longer battery (8 hours GPS mode, 5 weeks activity tracker mode).

Both models have the run/walk interval options, a virtual pacer, and you can also customize the screens on both watches.

Other things I love:

-Colors are varied and really cute

-Price point is reasonable and especially great for a first GPS watch.

-Size is nice, small enough to wear as a regular watch!

-Easy to use, minimal buttons and screens

-Easy of setup, I was out the door in three minutes the first time I turned it on!

My ONLY qualm with this model of GPS device is not being able to see pace, time, and distance all on one screen. When racing or trying to hit certain goals, I don’t really like having to scroll to another screen to see all of my data. However, on the flip side, it has kept me from wanting to constantly check my numbers, which can actually be a good thing sometimes.

Overall I would recommend this Garmin, especially now that it can be worn as a watch and has the activity tracker! They just keep getting better and better with technology, it blows me away.

QOTD: What are your thoughts on GPS watches? Would you wear the new  Forerunner 15?

Disclosure: I was provided product from Garmin in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions.May contain affiliate links.

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  1. I’m actually looking for a GPS watch. I love the color of this one, but I think I would want my distance and pace to all be on one screen.

  2. Joy Hargraves says:

    I love my 10, but the battery life will not take me to marathon lengths. I’m going to have to get a new one by summer’s end. This one would be PERFECT for me. I also do not like only having 2 display features. I would also like all 3 of them, but at least you can change the 2 out to whatever your heart desires. I need to play with the pace runner thing, too. That would be nice to have a beep to remind you to pick it up! And this new color is super!!

  3. I love my Garmin Forerunner 10 but have to admit I am tempted to move up to the 15 !!!! Thanks for the great review. With two little ones I tend to run a lot on our treadmill while they sleep and ALWAYS wish I could wear my Garmin to track it vs the number on the treadmill. Having a Garmin has totally changed my running!
    Might have to start saving some $$ now 🙂

  4. Christina says:

    Thanks for the review! My old Garmin recently bit the dust and I am on the lookout for a new GPS watch. This one sounds great!

  5. Thanks for the review Heather, I have an older Garmin (FR70 I think) and I have loved it. The problem is my heart rate monitor will no longer connect (even after changing the batteries) and I am unable to download all of my runs to Garmin Connect. However the footpod and watch combo is still great for training and racing, especially because I can view time, distance and pace all on one screen.

  6. Oh I love that it has an activity tracker and longer battery life! I wanted the 10 when it first came out but the shorter battery life and not being able to see time, pace, and distance on one screen held me back from buying it.

  7. The last time I used anything like this was probably 10 years ago, when they were far less advanced, and not very accurate! You make me want to go try another – I have always been curious to see how many calories I actually burn!! 😉

  8. I love the color!

  9. The step feature is really cool and I love the color. Hate that it won’t display pace, distance, and time on one screen though. They need to fix that!

  10. i have this one but never tried the foot pod. Did you like it?

  11. ok i LOVE that color! when i was running, i used a garmin forerunner – but mine was gray and orange – not that cute haha

  12. I love Garmin! I currently have a 10, but I am loving this new 15 – thanks for reviewing!

  13. Love the color! Does it have the same screen options as the 10 or does it just show one number at a time?

  14. Does the watch have an interval timer, that way you can run for like 10 minutes and walk 5?

  15. brian taylor says:

    I recently purchased the forerunner15 and have now sent two watches back because the battery is not lasting anymore than 5hours. Has anyone had the same problem.

  16. Do you still like your Garmin Forerunner 15? Is it something that can be worn all the time to track your steps continuously? Or is it better for wearing just during runs?

    • I like it, I wear different GPS watches depending on the run and my husband wears this model for all his runs. If you want a cheaper device without all the bells and whistles this is a good option, and yes it counts your steps 🙂 when not in GPS mode, the battery life is several days for step counting and general watch wearing

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    I was recently contacted by Garmin about testing out the new Forerunner 15 model GPS watch. I lloovveee

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