The best fitness trackers do far more than just count your steps or calories — they help you keep an eye on your heart rate, sleep, and overall health. So when the future King of England was spotted wearing one of the best Garmin’s on his wrist, as a fitness editor, I was keen to find out more.
While helping at a foodbank in Windsor, England last month, Prince William was seen wearing the Garmin Forerunner 245 on one wrist, and the Omega given to him by his late mother, Princess Diana, on the other. Following a pretty stressful period, now seems as good a time as ever for the future King to watch his stress levels, heart rate and sleep metrics.
Yet while it’s a sold pick, here’s why Wills should consider upgrading to the latest model, the Garmin Forerunner 255:
Garmin Forerunner 255 can track multisports
While it’s unlikely we’ll see Prince William at the London Triathlon anytime soon (according to the Princess of Wales, Royals are unable to take part in public sporting events due to the security risk), the Forerunner 255 has the ability to track multisport modes. This was a huge upgrade for Garmin’s mid-range Forerunner, as until the Forerunner 255 was released, it was a feature reserved for the more-expensive watches in Garmin’s collection.
Garmin also added the ‘Up Ahead’ feature (which allows you to see predefined markers such as aide stations and climbs in a race) and the race day-specific performance prediction (which allows you to see if you’re getting faster or slower during a race) to the Forerunner 255.
It has longer battery life
Even if the Prince isn’t likely to take on a triathlon anytime soon, the Forerunner 255 would mean he wouldn’t need to remember to charge his watch as often. In smartwatch mode, the Forerunner 245 lasts 7 days, whereas the Forerunner 255 lasts 14 days. In GPS mode, the Forerunner 245 has a battery life of 24 hours without music, or 6 hours with music, whereas the Forerunner 255 can last 30 hours without music, or 6.5 hours with music.
While it’s not clear whether Prince William opted for the Forerunner 245 with or without music, the watch has the ability to download 500 tracks to listen to from the watch — handy if you want to leave your phone behind on the run or in the gym.
It comes in two different sizes
While the Forerunner 245 is only available with a 42mm case size, the Garmin Forerunner 255 comes in two different sizes — 42mm (Forerunner 255S) and 46mm (Forerunner 255). This might not be much of a selling point for the Prince, as he clearly prefers to go for the tech-journalist style of wearing two watches, yet the screen on the newer watch is slightly larger and crisper.
The Forerunner 255 has a 260 x 260 resolution compared to the Forerunner 245’s 240 x 240-pixel resolution. It’s not a difference you’d really notice unless staring at the two watches side-by-side, but the screen on the newer watch definitely looks a little brighter and more colorful.
It has more advanced fitness-tracking features
Finally, whatever Prince William might be training for, the Forerunner 255 has more advanced training metrics to help him reach his goal. The watch has Garmin’s Elevate V4 sensor — the green light records heart rate, the red light records blood oxygen levels (referred to as Pulse Ox on the watch). This sensor is used to calculate breathing rate, HRV, and stress.
Like the previous Forerunner 245, the Forerunner 255 automatically tracks in-depth sleep data, but the newer watch also has the Morning Report feature, which gives you a snapshot into how well you slept, how hard you’ve been training, and a look at the weather for the day ahead — handy for a future King, right?
If like Prince William, you’re wearing the older watch on your wrist, you can find more information about the newer watch in our Garmin Forerunner 255 review, and our Garmin Forerunner 245 vs Garmin Forerunner 255 face-off.