Garmin Forerunner 955 – Premium sports watch with and without solar
Garmin has launched the Forerunner 955 and Forerunner 955 Solar. Here you can find the information about the GPS sports watch, which resembles the Fenix 7, i.e. having almost the same set of features, packed in more plastic, and weighing less.
Garmin’s Forerunner 9xx models primarily target ambitious runners and triathletes. In spring 2019, Garmin introduced the Forerunner 945, followed by the Forerunner 945 LTE in summer 2021, which offered an extended set of features thanks to LTE support. Both models are not only particularly lightweight but also hold numerous functions for targeted training and performance analysis.
The Forerunner 955 will be no different, except for the differentiation between solar and non-solar models, as Garmin has already done with some Fenix and Instinct models. Thus the new sports watch will be available in two versions:
- Forerunner 955 (non-Solar)
- Forerunner 955 Solar
The Forerunner 955 resembles its predecessor – at least visually. There is an embossed “Forerunner” lettering on the right side of the watch’s case which stands out in detail.
In the following, I have summarised the key facts of the two variants:
|Forerunner 255||Forerunner 945||Forerunner 955||Forerunner 955 Solar|
|Display type||transfl. MIP display||transfl. MIP display||transfl. MIP display||transfl. MIP display|
|Display glas||Gorilla Glas 3||Gorilla Glas DX||Gorilla Glas DX||Gorilla Glas DX|
|Resolution||260 x 260||240 x 240||260 x 260||260 x 260|
|Pixel density||200 PPI||200 PPI||200 PPI||200 PPI|
|Dimensions||45.6 x 45.6 x 12.9 mm||47 x 47 x 13.7 mm||46.5 x 46.5 x 14.4 mm||46.5 x 46.5 x 14.4 mm|
|Weight||49 g||50 g||50.7 g||51.6 g|
|Water resistance||5 ATM||5 ATM||5 ATM||5 ATM|
The touch display, which has already found its way into the Fenix 7, should come as no surprise. As with the Fenix 7 / Epix 2 it is possible to deactivate the touch support when doing sports.
Garmin Forerunner 955 features - same same but different
Some people claim that the Forerunner 955 is a Fenix 7 made of plastic. That doesn’t quite do the watch justice, but the high proportion of plastic cannot be dismissed. Apart from the material, the Fenix 7 and Forerunner 955 are quite close.
New and noteworthy features include:
1.3″ touch-enabled display
At 1.3 inches, the display has grown a bit compared to the FR945. However, there is little change in the dimensions of the watch. The Forerunner 955 benefits from space-saving technologies and has about the same dimensions as the Forerunner 945 despite the larger display. Though the display supports touch gestures, the FR955 still offers the classic 5-button design.
Support for multiband GNSS
The Forerunner 955 does support the simultaneous use of multiple GNSS. At the same time, the sports watch receive signals on multiple frequency bands (multi-band) to increase the accuracy of positioning. This is particularly useful in areas where satellite signals are reflected and are received by the watch at different times.
Training Readiness Score
The Training Readiness Score is a new metric based on sleep quality, recovery status and training load, among other things. It indicates whether your next training should be an easy one or one you can go all out. You’ll get a readiness score between 0 and 100, a more abstract level (i.e. poor, low, moderate, high, prime) and a textual feedback. The metric somewhat reminds me of Fitbit’s daily readiness score, even though the calculation is certainly different.
The HRV status (HRV – heart rate variability) is another new metric that will be available on the Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 955. HRV usually is a good indicator about health, fitness and recovery. The HRV is recorded during the night when you sleep. The results are displayed in three ways: The most detailed view presents you last night’s HRV chart, your average and max value. Another view let you compare last night’s HRV with you seven-day-baseline. Last, you can get a chart depicting your average HRV values for the last seven days. Additionally, there is a view giving you some textual information how your last night’s HRV relates to your training status.
Real-time stamina is a metric for runners designed to give a better insight how much stamina is left during an activity. It allow for pushing as hard as possible without the risk to be completely exhausted before the finish line.
The Race Widget can be accessed from the watchface and is about training tips, daily suggested workouts, and finish time prediction based on course details, weather, and performance. Again, hopefully a bit more information is forthcoming with the official announcement.
The Up Ahead feature informs about important or relevant information coming up in a course. The information will be presented in rolling list while navigating a course. In order to use the
feature you have to set markers on courses prior to using them. Setting markers can be done by using the Garmin Connect App or Garmin Connect on the web.
The Morning Report has been around since the Garmin Lily, but has been highlighted during the launch of the Fenix 7, Epix Gen 2 and vivosmart 5. The Forerunner 955 also provides information on the sleep score, recovery status, training outlook, HRV status, training readiness score and weather after waking up. If you only need some of the information, you can customize the report to your liking.
Up to 2,000 songs
Garmin has doubled the storage for audio content (e.g. MP3, offline playlists from Spotify, Amazon Music and Deezer) so that up to 2,000 tracks can be stored on the watch. Playback is via Bluetooth and a suitable playback device.
The FR955 will sport preloaded TopoActive maps. They can be used for orientation and navigation. With the new touch-enabled display, using these maps have never been easier.
Incident detection is not a new, but an important feature for athletes who are often on the road for long periods of time. If the watch detects a fall or when the incident detection is manually triggered, Garmin informs the emergency contacts stored in the app. Because the Forerunner 955 doesn’t support LTE, a paired smartphone is essential.
There are only some major innovations on the hardware side. The Elevate sensor in version 4 should definitely be on board, even without being explicitly mentioned by Garmin. Otherwise, the improvements and enhancements relate to the software side.
Many of the other features have already been seen in one form or another in the sports watches that Garmin has launched since the Forerunner 945.
|Forerunner 945||Forerunner 955||Forerunner 955 Solar|
|Smartwatch mode||up to 14 days||up to 15 days||up to 20 days|
|GPS + music||up to 10 h||up to 35 h||up to 35 h|
|GPS||up to 36 h||up to 42 h||up to 49 h|
|all GNSS + multi-band||-||up to 20 h||up to 22 h|
|all GNSS + multi-band + music||-||up to 8.5 h||up to 8.5 h|
|Ultratrac||up to 60 h||up to 80 h||up to 110 h|
In terms of battery life, the Forerunner 955 has improved in all areas. The increase is of course significantly greater for the solar model, but requires that the watch is exposed to light of 50,000 lux for at least 3 hours a day. As a result, it may not always be possible to achieve the maximum running times in every country.
Garmin Forerunner 955 - Availability and Prices
The Forerunner 955 will be 549.99 € / $499.99, the Forerunner 955 Solar will be 649.99 € / 599.99 €:
The recommended HR strap / Running Dynamics Pod are available for way less:
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