This week, Garmin introduced their long-awaited Forerunner watches – the Garmin Forerunner 255 and the Garmin Forerunner 955 variants. These watches make some big steps in what they offer and Garmin actually did it without raising prices on the 955 – in fact, they dropped the price!
Garmin’s New Forerunner 955 and 255 GPS Watches
Garmin has been on an absolute roll this year with their rollout of new watches. Right after the new year, we saw the Garmin Venu 2 Plus, the Garmin Fenix 7 and the Garmin Epix 2. In March, Garmin introduced the new Instinct 2 watches as well as some specialized variants of the Fenix 7 and Epix 2.
Now we get their mainstream athlete watches that runners (and multi-sport athletes) have been using for a long time – the Garmin Forerunner series.
The New Garmin Forerunner 955
- Built with an always-on, full-color display that’s light on the wrist and easy to read even in direct sunlight
- Battery life: up to 20 days of battery life in smartwatch mode for a full picture of your health — from sleep to training (assuming all-day wear with 3 hours per day outside in 50,000 lux conditions); up to 42 hours in GPS mode and up to 49 hours with solar charging (assuming continuous use for entire period in 50,000 lux conditions); up to 110 hours in UltraTrac mode with solar charging (assuming use in 50,000 lux conditions)
- Click or swipe through maps and stats with traditional button controls or a new, responsive touchscreen
- Whether you’re running on city streets or riding densely covered trails, Forerunner 955 provides full-color, built-in mapping to keep you on track
- Access multiple global navigation satellite systems, and get access to multiple frequencies sent by navigation satellites for improved accuracy in areas where GNSS signals are reflected, weak or typically don't penetrate — giving you superior accuracy for how far and how fast you’ve run — even in challenging environments
I had the Garmin Forerunner 945 when it first came out a couple of years ago and it was the watch that pulled me back to Garmin after using the Apple Watch Series 4 for many months. While it is still a great watch, the replacement, the Garmin Forerunner 955, brought some serious benefits to the family and even dropped the price. So, it is hard to recommend someone get the Forerunner 945 now unless they get it at a huge discount (yes, I was wrong – I said a couple of weeks ago that the new Garmin Forerunner 955 would be much more expensive!).
The Garmin Forerunner 955 is Garmin’s top watch for runners and triathletes. Basically, it has become the plasticized version of the Fenix lineup. But, the Garmin Forerunner 955 has some new upgrades in it that even the Fenix 7 and Epix 2 don’t have (yet). In addition, Garmin added a Solar option for the first time in the Forerunner lineup.
I encourage you to read the excellent reviews by DC Rainmaker(the Garmin Forerunner 955 review and the Garmin Forerunner 255 review),the very detailed and in-depth place for all reviews about GPS watches. He had these watches in hand and has hands-on reviews so it makes more sense to read what he has written than from someone who hasn’t even used one yet! 🙂
But, for some of the highlights, here you go. The Garmin Forerunner 955 now has the multi-band GPS support that allows for a much more accurate tracking of your activities. I use it on my Garmin Epix 2 and it is really, really good. It does hit the battery more than regular GPS but Garmin’s watches have gotten so good with battery life and efficiency that you still will likely only need to charge it once in a week (less, if you get the solar model).
In addition, the Garmin Forerunner 955 now has a touchscreen like the Fenix 7/Epix 2 watches. The buttons are still there so you can still go that route if you want but I can tell you that having a touchscreen on a Garmin is awesome. Plus, Garmin really thought it through so you can do things like shut off the touchscreen during activities (thank you!) and shut it off while sleeping (again, thank you!). The Forerunner 955 does not have an AMOLED option like the Epix 2 but I don’t think anyone really expected it to at this point.
In addition to a bunch of updates that the Fenix 7 has, there are some other new things that the Fenix 7 watches do not have yet and they mostly have to do with things like making the watch more focused on your body’s recovery and workout suggestions. That includes things like a Daily Training Readiness report, an Acute Training Load, a Morning Report, and others. These new metrics should be much more helpful to guide you in determining how well your training is going as well as your body’s other metrics like sleep, HRV (heart rate variability) and other bits and pieces.
Basically, Garmin has made it much more difficult for people that love the data and metrics to ever take off their watch – and put on, for instance, an Apple Watch for use as a more daily watch.
The Garmin Forerunner 955 comes in two variants and price points – the basic model (meaning no Solar) at $499 and the Solar model at $599. The only difference between the two is the addition of solar. This is cheaper than the regular price of the now-older Garmin Forerunner 945!
The Garmin Forerunner 255
Link: Garmin Forerunner 255 – Starting at $349
The Garmin Forerunner 255 is probably an even more serious upgrade since it now comes with multi-band GPS as well while keeping a sub-$400 price point! This watch is an awesome one to pick up for anyone that wants a top of the line running watch without paying over $500.
There are several more variants of the 255 than the 955. There are music variants and also size variants so you can get more specific with the 255 than the 955.
I’ll again encourage you to read the DC Rainmaker review but this watch looks like an awesome upgrade as well and I am sure that it is going to attract a lot of customers that may have left Garmin to go to Coros for their low-priced, high quality watches like the Pace 2.