A premium running watch, the Garmin Forerunner 955 comes with a responsive touchscreen, a 15-day battery life, HRV function, and much more.
The GPS accuracy of the Garmin Forerunner 955 has dramatic improvement. Plus the Training Readiness Score has been boosted.
Garmin Forerunner 945 is lighter and cheaper than the Garmin Fenix series, which has many of the same features. Consequently, it is one of the best running timepieces on the market. During the early 2022 introduction of the Fenix 7 and Epix 2 from Garmin, several of the “9X5” line’s new features were added. Plus, some entirely new functions.
As a result of the new features, you’ll have improved distance measurement, a solar-powered watch that lasts longer in the sun. And a brand-new function called “Training Readiness” that offers personalised training suggestions.
Garmin Forerunner 955 pricing and availability
The Garmin Forerunner 955 is now available from Garmin US (opens in new tab) and Garmin UK for $499.99 USD and £479.99 GBP for the basic model and $599.99/£549.99 GBP for the 955 Solar version (opens in new tab). The Forerunner 945 is now available for $399.99/£499.99, a considerable price decrease from the original $599.99/£519.99 RRP for the base model.
A solar version of the Forerunner 955 is here too. It joins the likes of the Fenix 7 and the Garmin Instinct 2 in this category. The Forerunner 955 is identical to the 955 Solar save for its solar panels.
To put the Forerunner 955 in line with the Fenix 7 and Epix 2, a few new features come with it. Despite the Solar’s solar feature, I believe the Forerunner 955 at $500/£480 is a better bargain for the slight battery life gains.
Check out: Garmin Fenix 7 vs Epix 2
In order to have multi-band tracking on the Fenix 7 and Epix 2, you have to get the sapphire version ($899.99/£779.99). Or the Epix 2 (which has a brighter AMOLED screen) for an additional $999.99/£899.99. Additionally, the price of $500/£480 is attractive.
The Forerunner 955 combines all of Garmin’s best features in a more cheap, lighter plastic shell compared to the more expensive metal Fenix and Epix watches.
The smartwatch’s battery life can improve by up to five days and seven hours when using these solar panels (but it does depend on which GPS mode you use).
Even if you go with the basic Forerunner 955, you can still get a bit extra battery life if you don’t use the new GPS settings, which are more power-intensive.
Both “all systems on” (using all three satellite constellations concurrently) and “all systems on plus multi-band” (using all three satellite constellations simultaneously) are new GPS options.
Garmin has added a brand-new feature to the Forerunner 955: training readiness (it will presumably be rolled out to the Epix 2 and Fenix 7 in due course). This figure is calculated based on a variety of factors, including your prior training load, sleep, recovery time, and HRV condition. Also, it acts as a reference to help you decide how hard to exercise that day.
Heart rate tracking
As far as heart rate tracking goes, the Forerunner 955 routinely reads higher than a chest strap throughout my runs. To get the most accurate data for the watch’s extensive training analysis, you’ll want to invest in an external heart rate monitor (through Bluetooth or ANY+).
It’s now common to get readings based on your HRV, but they’ve had varying degrees of success depending on how accurate the data is entered. Despite the Oura Ring’s readiness score, I considered Fitbit’s daily readiness score to be useless when I had the Fitbit Sense.
If you’re searching for something that’s a little thicker and smaller than the Forerunner 945, you’ll want to check out the Forerunner 955. Instead of the previous model’s 30.4″ display size, 33mm watches with 260×260 pixels are now available. Garmin’s Forerunner 955 has a touchscreen, like the Epix 2 and Fenix 7.
If you have a Garmin Running Dynamics Pod or HRM-Pro linked to your watch, you can now see your running power in real-time on the watch itself. A feature initially seen on the Epix 2 and Fenix 7 is also accessible on the Forerunner 955.
As far as running and triathlon watches go, the Forerunner 945 is one of the best. In addition to colour maps with the best navigation features and music storage, including the ability to connect a Spotify Premium account for offline playback, complete training analysis is included.
The addition of an acute training load evaluation and the fact that it feeds into the readiness score for training has made it even more effective. Keep track of your recent workouts and ensure they align with your fitness and training history by using the acute load score.
Although the Forerunner 945 is somewhat thicker than the Fenix 7X or Epix 2, it is lighter and has a larger screen, making it ideal for those who prefer to see five or six stats at once when out on the run.
Smart and other features
Additional features include fall detection and location sharing capabilities, which allow you to notify a specified group of people if you fall, as well as NFC payments with Garmin Pay.
Other new features on the watch include a morning report that gives information such as your sleep rating, weather prediction, and a recommended workout for the day, and a race day widget. The Race Countdown Widget on Garmin Connect shows you how many days are left until your race, as well as the current weather and training advice based on that information.
Garmin’s Forerunner 955 or 945, which one is better for running?
Many Forerunner 945 users may not see the need for an upgrade, as there are no major new features in this year’s model. In summary:
- Like the Fenix 7, the new Forerunner 955 will have a touchscreen.
- There has been a 14-day increase in battery life and a 48-hour increase in GPS performance for the smartwatch.
- Solar charging can increase the battery life of a smartwatch by up to five days under ideal conditions. That is to say, you could spend 7 days with a simple GPS and 2 days with all the GNSS systems available to you.
- At the very least, both models should feature the new multi-band GPS.
- However, it’s not yet clear what this new full-colour mapping is.
- Heart rate variability (HRV) and HRV tracking while you sleep.
- The amount of space available for music has grown.
Upgrades include a larger display, touch-enabled capabilities and more battery juice (and a more expensive solar option), as well as a Gen 4 Elevate heart rate sensor, multi-frequency GPS and some highly useful performance statistics.
Don’t overlook the included Fenix 7 software when purchasing the 955. It’s hard to believe how much functionality you get for the money you spend on this sports watch, which retails for $500. At that price point, it’s also one of the best deals on sports technology you’ll find right now.
Is it necessary to get a new 955 if you currently own a 955? At the very least, this edition won’t include any new performance measures (but they will on 945 LTE as it has the Gen 4 heart rate sensor). The choice of whether or not to spend your money on the new hardware and software is entirely up to you. It’s difficult to decide between these two possibilities. It’s possible that the Forerunner 945’s price will drop significantly in the next weeks and months in anticipation of the 955.
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