Garmin Forerunner 255
Foremost option for runners
Using the excellent Forerunner 245 as a jumping-off point, Garmin built the 255 with a better battery, new watch faces to make its data more accessible, and more accurate GPS tracking and HRM/Body Battery data. It’s the running watch to beat.
Polar Pacer Pro
Helping you pick up the pace
Polar designed a watch that’s comfortable on your wrist, shows all the essential running data you need with just a few button taps, and can handle up to 35 GPS hours per charge — though the standard smartwatch mode drains faster than most.
The Garmin Forerunner and Polar Pacer lineups sit atop the best running watches thanks to their wealth of free health data and metrics, generated from reliable hardware. Both the Garmin Forerunner 255 and Polar Pacer Pro would qualify as mid-range watches, with all of the core features of both brands but lacking some premium features. So which of the two is the better choice? It’s a surprisingly competitive battle, but the winner depends on what kind of runner you are.
Garmin Forerunner 255 vs. Polar Pacer Pro: Neither’s a looker
Both watches offer you a non-touch, memory-in-pixel (MIP) reflective color display that’s perfectly visible in direct sunlight, but won’t exactly wow you with brightness or color indoors.