It will be interesting to see if the new Garmin Forerunner 955 can overthrow the Garmin Fenix 7 as the most popular device. Join us as we compare the Forerunner 955 vs Fenix 7.
There are a few differences between the two, though. The Fenix 7’s bezel and backplate are slightly more expensive in titanium or stainless steel. The Forerunner, on the other hand, costs less and is made of softer plastic. However, this significantly reduces the weight of the watch, making it more pleasant to wear throughout the day.
On the Garmin Forerunner 955, the HRV Status, Training Readiness, and Race Calendar all make their appearances. But it wouldn’t surprise me if these functions appear on the Fenix 7’s firmware in the future.
The decision is simple in the end. Bezels made of stainless steel are more expensive, but are they worth the additional $100 in terms of weight and appearance?
Forerunner 955 vs Fenix 7: Design
The Sapphire Solar Fenix has a slightly more reflective screen than the others, despite the screens being almost identical.
The fundamental contrasts between the Fenix 7 and Forerunner 955 are reminiscent of those from the previous generation. Despite different materials, the two watches have a similar look and feel.
The Forerunner 955 has a sturdy plastic resin shell, but the Fenix 7’s bezel and back casing are either constructed of titanium or stainless steel. The Fenix 7 is slightly more expensive and heavier as a result of it.
The Forerunner 955’s use of plastic is practical and value-driven, but it won’t be referred to as a fitness watch with “no frills.” The Garmin Fenix 7 Solar Titanium weighs 72g, compared to the Forerunner 955 Solar‘s meagre 53g.
There are benefits to a lighter running device like the Forerunner 955. Due to the resin casing’s inability to support the weight, it doesn’t want to move around as much when worn on your wrist. You might not have to worry as much about the strap being too tight to get accurate heart rate readings if you have a wrist that is very mobile.
On the other hand, the Forerunner 955 does not come in a range of sizes. The diameter of a standard Fenix 7 watch face is 47mm. The foundation of the Fenix series, however, consists of the 7S and 7X watches. The “S,” which is smaller at 42 millimetres, is dwarfed by the “X,” which is 51 millimetres.
The main display technology in both families’ incarnations is the MIP LCD. Owners of vintage Garmin watches will be familiar with this style. The screen is lit from the front rather than the back since the panel is not backlit like a standard LCD or OLED.
The 260 x 260 pixel display resolution is the same for both the Forerunner 955 and the 47mm Fenix 7. If you’re not interested in a watch with brilliant colours and strong contrast, there are better options available, such as the Garmin Venu 2 or Garmin Epix. They are OLED displays.
The Forerunner 955 incorporates a considerable usability upgrade from the Garmin Fenix 7 and Epix. The watches of this latest generation from Garmin feature touchscreens in addition to a traditional selection of physical buttons.
The touchscreen is by default turned off during monitored activities to stop unintentional touches and swipes from being recorded. However, it’s all yours in a very Garmin way. You can turn the touchscreen on and off for particular training sessions or disable it entirely for the entire user interface.
The first thing I noticed while contrasting the Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar and Forerunner 955 Solar was their differences. Garmin’s standard Power Glass, as seen in the top-tier Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar, boasts better indoor screen clarity and deeper blacks than Power Sapphire. You may be shocked by this.
This, however, is not an assessment of the Fenix 7. In the “standard” Fenix 7 Solar, Power Sapphire is not present. This should be considered if you decide to purchase Sapphire Solar. Standard Corning Power Glass, the company that develops the Gorilla Glass used in the majority of excellent phones, should have an anti-reflective layer that would increase its scratch resistance.
Forerunner 955 vs Fenix 7: Battery Life
The four-pin cable from Garmin is used to power both gadgets.
The Fenix 7 has a slight edge over the other two watches in terms of endurance, but they are both top-notch smartwatches. Garmin predicts that the Forerunner 955 Solar will last 20 days on a single charge if it is exposed to three hours of sunlight each day. The Fenix 7 is predicted to last 22 days under the same circumstances.
The Forerunner 955 Solar, according to Garmin, can run for up to 49 hours on a single charge, whereas the battery life of the Fenix 7 varies significantly depending on the mode of operation. The battery life of the Fenix 7 Solar is 48 hours, as opposed to the conventional Fenix 7’s 40 hours. Only American GPS satellites can be used to increase battery life to 57 (regular) or 73 hours (Solar).
Both the Forerunner 955 and the Fenix 7 are competent fitness trackers. You can control smart turbo trainers with Bluetooth or ANT+ sensors, and you can download maps for complete offline navigation with any device.
The Garmin Forerunner 955 now has a few more software functions. Although the Fenix 7 doesn’t currently have any of these functions, it’s likely that at least some of them will be added in a later software update. There is no technological barrier preventing this, and the Fenix 7 may even be due to them, given they belong to the same generation.
The HRV Status metric is the most beneficial for the typical fitness tracker user. Heart rate variability is given more weight in the measures you might regularly view.
For a long time, using a chest strap HR sensor was the sole option to monitor HRV values. Recent watches now display HRV readings in the Health Snapshot mode. It takes two minutes and requires you to be seated, making it unsuitable for everyday use.
A new feature for the Forerunner 955 is HRV Status. This device tracks changes in your heart rate during the night. When using the HRV widget on the watch, the results are presented graphically. The readout of a heart rate monitor is very similar to a reading taken when exercising.
Since heart rate variability is a far more accurate statistic than heart rate, which is only useful if it is within a few beats per minute, it is ideal to monitor heart rate variability when you are sleeping. The HRV scores tend to be higher because an increase in the average milliseconds between heartbeats during sleep implies a more adaptive cardiovascular system.
HRV affects Training Readiness, a different new function on the Forerunner 955. This indicates how ready you are for an exercise, as the name implies. Additionally, the Fenix 7 provides a Body Battery option.
The two seem to be extremely similar to me from where I’m standing. Depending on how well you slept, how stressed you were, and how much exercise you got in the preceding few days, you receive a score out of 100. The presentation is only a little bit different.
Body Battery appears to be a straightforward sleep monitor when compared to Garmin’s mass-market devices. Each of the component measurements of training readiness, including acute load, recovery time, and others, has its own field. a response to wearables like the Whoop band, which primarily emphasises rest and training improvement.
The final significant feature update to the Forerunner 955 is the Race Calendar functionality. You may enter the dates of previous races or upcoming ones, including triathlons, half-marathons, and charity 10k runs, among other things, using the Garmin Connect app. You’ll be able to see a countdown and forecasts for the next race with the help of this information.
The Garmin Forerunner 955 appears to be a better watch for athletes due to its racing calendar and training readiness, despite the Fenix 7 being somewhat more expensive. This only suggests, in my opinion, that these additional widgets will be included in the already substantial widget library of the Fenix 7 in a future update.
The new Training Readiness feature ought to be obvious if Garmin’s Training Status function considers the Fenix 7 to be a serious watch.
The Garmin Forerunner 955 had fewer information panels per screen than the Fenix 7, with only three as opposed to four. Although you can modify this in the settings, it doesn’t really set these watches apart from one another.
The Forerunner 955 and Fenix 7 are essentially the same in the end. They both share Garmin’s Elevate v4 heart rate hardware. Plus a heart rate monitor, barometer, temperature, and multi-band GPS. Both contain Pulse Ox, a SpO2 measuring product made by Garmin.
They also provide downloadable offline maps. The Forerunner 955 had virtually the same Map Manager as the Fenix 7, where you may download data for additional countries. You cannot access it through a different widget; rather, you navigate to the main Settings menu.
The Forerunner 955 Solar has 32GB of storage. Also, it comes packed with TopoActive Europe maps, just like the Fenix 7 Solar. You can listen to music wirelessly by pairing one of these watches with a pair of Bluetooth headphones.
Price and availability
The Garmin Forerunner 955 is less expensive than the Fenix 7. Although, choosing Forerunner over Fenix is best because you save a little money.
Two models of the Forerunner 955 exist. The entry-level watch costs just under $/£500, while the Power Glass model with solar charging costs nearly $/£600.
Aside from the standard model, which costs (around $700/£600) there are solar versions that cost nearly $800/£700 and a Sapphire Solar version with extra-hard glass that costs almost $900/£800 as well. You each save roughly $100.
Despite the fact that the two watch models are from the same generation, the Fenix 7 was first introduced. It came in January this year, whereas the 955 came out last month (June).
Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Fenix 7: Last word
With the introduction of the Forerunner 955, Garmin has increased the bar even further. With the new recovery-type measures, Whoop and Oura are now directly in the company’s crosshairs. They have had plenty of time to reflect as a result. Garmin has no subscription model, which is the best part. You may get all the stats the device can produce after purchasing it.
Choose a Fenix 7 if you want outdoor adventuring gear that is durable and has good build quality. Or, to add a third choice to the mix, the Epix 2 is for people with money and includes a gorgeous AMOLED display.
The Fenix 7’s less expensive and less luxurious alternative is the Forerunner 955. Given that it includes other performance data such as HRV Status, Training Readiness, Native Power support, and others, this seems odd. But software updates will soon bring these to the Fenix 7 (and Epix 2) devices.
The multi-frequency GNSS of the 955 will stay. You must choose the Sapphire versions of Fenix 7 for that (or the Epix 2). The Forerunner also has twice as much storage space, at 32 GB. If you frequently use maps, this is helpful. Once more, it is comparable to the Sapphire versions of the other two games in that regard.
Which of these watches you choose actually depends on your own needs. The 955 is conceivably the best sports watch you can purchase right now for the money. For anyone who prefers more durable devices that look excellent, the Fenix 7 (and Epix 2) are fantastic. Given the Fenix 7 offers various size options, it’s a fantastic choice for all.
Read next: Garmin Fenix 7 vs Epix 2
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