Polar Pacer Pro vs Garmin Forerunner 255 Comparison:

Choosing the right running watch is important for runners of all levels. Polar, Coros and Garmin are all big names in the running watch world, and their watches have a lot to offer for runners of all levels.

While Garmin remains the dominant player in the niche market for GPS sports watches, Polar and Coros are vying fiercely for a share of the running watch market. They have followed the tried and tested formula of offering more features in an affordable package.

In this post, we will compare the Polar Pacer Pro vs Garmin Forerunner 255 . We will discuss the price, design, features, and battery life of each watch, and help you decide which is the best running watch for you.

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Polar Pacer Pro Vs Garmin Forerunner 255: General Comparison Table

Preview
Winner
Polar Pacer Pro Advanced Ultra-Light GPS Fitness Tracker Smartwatch for Runners with Training Program & Recovery Tools; S-L, for Men or Women, Grey-Black
Runner Up
Garmin Forerunner® 255S Music, Smaller GPS Running Smartwatch with Music, Advanced Insights, Long-Lasting Battery, Black
Product Name
Polar Pacer Pro
Garmin Forerunner 255
Predecessor
Vantage M2
Garmin Forerunner 245, Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
Models
45 mm
40mm, 46mm | FR 245, FR 245 Music, FR 245S, FR 245S Music,
Release Date
April 2022
June 2022
Parent Company
Polar
Garmin
Operating System
Proprietary OS
Garmin OS
Compatibility
Android, iOS
Android, IOS
Competition
Forerunner 245, Polar Vantage M2, Vantage V2
FR 955, Garmin Instinct 2, Fenix 7, Fitbit Sense, FR 55
Suitable For
Fitness/Running smartwatch
Outdoor, sport & fitness
Sensors
GPS, Glonass, Galileo, QZSS, Precision Prime, Barometer, Magnetometer compass, Accelerometer, TEMP RECORDING (INTERNAL SENSOR)
GPS, GLONASS Galileo, Multi-Frequency Positioning, Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor, Barometric altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Thermometer, Pulse OX blood oxygen saturation monitor
Check the Latest Price
Winner
Preview
Polar Pacer Pro Advanced Ultra-Light GPS Fitness Tracker Smartwatch for Runners with Training Program & Recovery Tools; S-L, for Men or Women, Grey-Black
Product Name
Polar Pacer Pro
Predecessor
Vantage M2
Models
45 mm
Release Date
April 2022
Parent Company
Polar
Operating System
Proprietary OS
Compatibility
Android, iOS
Competition
Forerunner 245, Polar Vantage M2, Vantage V2
Suitable For
Fitness/Running smartwatch
Sensors
GPS, Glonass, Galileo, QZSS, Precision Prime, Barometer, Magnetometer compass, Accelerometer, TEMP RECORDING (INTERNAL SENSOR)
Check the Latest Price
Runner Up
Preview
Garmin Forerunner® 255S Music, Smaller GPS Running Smartwatch with Music, Advanced Insights, Long-Lasting Battery, Black
Product Name
Garmin Forerunner 255
Predecessor
Garmin Forerunner 245, Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
Models
40mm, 46mm | FR 245, FR 245 Music, FR 245S, FR 245S Music,
Release Date
June 2022
Parent Company
Garmin
Operating System
Garmin OS
Compatibility
Android, IOS
Competition
FR 955, Garmin Instinct 2, Fenix 7, Fitbit Sense, FR 55
Suitable For
Outdoor, sport & fitness
Sensors
GPS, GLONASS Galileo, Multi-Frequency Positioning, Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor, Barometric altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Thermometer, Pulse OX blood oxygen saturation monitor
Check the Latest Price

Polar Pacer Pro Vs Garmin Forerunner 255: Price

The Garmin Forerunner 255 Series is more expensive than the Polar Pacer Pro. Both Forerunner 255 and 255S have a price tag of around $350, while the Pacer Pro retails for around $300.

For Garmin FR 255 Music Edition, the price goes further up to a whopping $400. As both watches are relatively new (Pacer Pro was released in April 2022; Garmin Forerunner 255/255S in June 2022), there is hardly any chance you will get a  discount on the retail price.

Winner: Polar Pacer Pro

Polar Pacer Pro Vs Garmin Forerunner 255: Design and Display

ProductGarmin Forerunner 255 Polar Pacer Pro
Dimensions, Weight46mm: 45.6 x 45.6 x 12.9 mm, 49g | 41mm: 41 x 41 x 12.4 mm, 39g45 x 45 x 11.5 mm | 41 g
Band Size45mm: 22mm | 41mm: 18mm20mm
Build materialssiliconeNylon Wristband
ColorsTidal Blue, Slate Gray, Light Pink, Powder Gray,  Whitestone, BlacKCarbon Gray, Snow White, Midnight Blue, Autumn Maroon
Waterproofing5 ATM5 ATM
Display Size46mm:1.3 inches | 41mm: 1.1 inches1.2 Inch
Screen Type & Resolutionsunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) | 46mm: 260 x 260 pixels, 41mm:218 x 218 pixels (active area)MIP, 240 × 240 pixels
Pixel Per InchNot SpecifiedNot specified
Screen ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 3Gorilla Glass
Always-on DisplayYesYes

The Polar Pacer Pro and the Garmin Forerunner 255 have similar designs. Both watches have a round face with 5 button-navigation system.

They are water-resistant for up to 5 ATM (50 m); feature the same low-resolution MIP display, and have the Gorilla Glass 3 protection against scratches. You get 5 color options with the Pacer Pro, and 6 with the Garmin FR 255.

Garmin Forerunner 255 comes in two sizes (41mm and 46mm). Dimension-wise, Pacer Pro is closer in size to the bigger Forerunner 255 (46mm). If you have small wrists, then you might find the Pacer Pro a bit too big. Both watches are comfortable to wear and have a similar weight (Garmin FR 255: 49g; Garmin FR 255S; 39g; Pacer Pro: 41g).

Though we found one or another variant of plastic in both watches, Pacer Pro ramps up the aesthetic appeal with its aluminum bezel. This is further accentuated by the inclusion of a color display rather than a transflective display on the Garmin Watch. The latter is easier to view in direct sunlight.

Winner: Tied

Polar Pacer Pro Vs Garmin Forerunner 255: Features

ProductGarmin Forerunner 255 Polar Pacer Pro
ConnectivityBluetooth, ANT+Bluetooth 5.1
Companion AppCONNECT IQPolar Flow app
Storage4G & up to 500 songs32MB
Notification AlertYesYes
Calendar, WeatherYesYes
Offline SpotifyYesNo
Timer & AlarmYesYes
Customizable Watch FacesYesYes
Voice AssistantNoNo
Music Storage, ControlYesJust Control the music
Third-Party AppsYesYes
Make calls, send texts & EmailsYes(Text response/reject phone call with text (Android only))No
Contactless PaymentYes (Garmin Pay)No
Built-in GPSYes (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo)Yes(GPS, Glonass, Galileo, QZSS)
Heart Rate TrackingYesYes
SleepYesYes
StressYesYes
Blood OxygenYesNo
ECGNoNo
Bioelectrical Impedance AnalysisNoNo
Steps, CaloriesYesYes
Menstrual cycleYesNo
Sport Mode32+Yes(130+)
Sync Data With Strava, Apple HealthYesYes

As both watches are primarily targeted at runners, we will first discuss the running-centric features.

  • Both watches have GPS but Garmin has an upper hand as it uses a dual-frequency navigation system. This means that your watch will be able to better lock on to the satellite signals and give you a more accurate track of your run.
  • Only the Garmin FR 255 can make contactless payments (via Garmin Pay). So, you can leave your wallet at home.
  • In addition to Bluetooth, Garmin Forerunner 255 also support ANT+ which allows it to connect to a wider range of accessories, such as heart rate monitors and speed/cadence sensors.
  • The Music edition of Garmin FR 255  also has built-in storage for music (up to 500 songs). You can either transfer the music from your computer, or directly from popular streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music, and iHeartradio.
  • The safety features on the Garmin watch that include Live Track, SOS, and incident detection are very useful, especially if you are running alone in an unfamiliar place.
  • Both watches can track essential and advanced running metrics such as distance, pace, calories burned, heart rate, VO2 max, and running power. However, the Garmin watch shines in performance and recovery metrics. It uses the Firstbeat algorithm and the latest Elevate V4 sensor to provide more accurate information on your running Efficiency, Lactate Threshold, Training Load, and Recovery Time.
  • A pulse oximeter in the Garmin watch can be used to track blood oxygen saturation levels. This is very useful for high-altitude runners and mountaineers. SpO2 tracking is the major missing on Polar Pacer Pro.

Though both watches track the number of sports activities, as per our research the Garmin Forerunner 245 has an edge in this department.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 255/255S

Polar Pacer Pro Vs Garmin Forerunner 255: Battery Life

ProductGarmin Forerunner 255Polar Pacer Pro
Battery PerformanceUp to  6.5 hours to 14 days (mixed usage)up to 35 to 1032 hours (mixed usage)
Charger TypeUSB charging cable.Not Specified
Fast ChargingNoYes

If you are planning on using the watch for long runs or races, the longer battery life of the Polar Pacer Pro is a better choice. Just look at the stats.

Pacer Pro can last up to 35 hours with GPS enabled as compared to the 30 on Garmin FR 255. There is also a power-save mode on the Pacer watch that can stretch the battery to 100 hours further by reducing the tracking frequency. The watch can deliver 43 days on a single charge if you prefer to not run the built-in GPS.

The Garmin FR 255 battery performance is a little shy of 15 days on smartwatch modes. The battery takes a hit if you turn on both GPS and Music.

Winner: Polar Pacer Pro

Polar Pacer Pro vs Garmin Forerunner 255: Final Verdict

Polar Pacer Pro is an excellent choice if you want a feature-packed watch without breaking the bank. It also has a longer battery life which makes it ideal for long runs and races. Plus, you won’t be missing out on core running features.

The Garmin Forerunner 255 has some extra features that might come in handy such as contactless payments, music storage, more performance and recovery metrics, and support for Music. If you find these useful and are willing to spend a few extra bucks, then go ahead with the Garmin watch.