The Garmin Forerunner 955 is the successor to the Forerunner 945, Garmin’s costliest (and most superior) devoted working watch.
The brand new Forerunner 955 presents the most effective of Garmin’s running-based Fenix options – in a smaller design.
The Forerunner 955 brings on-board lots of Garmin’s Fenix 7 collection and Epix options, together with Multi-band help, restoration analytics, in addition to larger battery life together with photo voltaic charging powers.
We liked the Forerunner 945 so will we share the identical love for the 955? This is our complete tackle the Garmin Forerunner 955 and its key huge new options.
Forerunner 955 worth and comparability
At $499/£479 for the non-solar model – and $599/£529 for the photo voltaic version – it is not low-cost. And will probably be veteran runners which can be in search of deep insights and lengthy battery which can be most suited.
That worth additionally places it slightly below the usual model of the Fenix 7 ($699/£599) – which might purchase you considerably extra battery life.
And the Forerunner 955 prices across the similar as selecting up the wonderful Polar Vantage V2.
Garmin Forerunner 955: Design and display screen
The 955 is not an enormous departure from the 945 by way of look and what it is prefer to dwell with. You are still getting a polymer case to make it a snug and lightweight watch to put on and t.’s a really similar-looking 22mm silicone watch strap that’s detachable.
It is jumped up from a 44mm case to a 46mm one, to assist accommodate a bigger, 1.3-inch, 260 x 260 decision transflective show. That is a bump in decision too, although in actuality, the expertise of utilizing that show would not really feel radically totally different from our time spent with the 945. It presents robust visibility exterior and you have got a backlight to light up issues once you’re coaching at night time.
Nonetheless, the bounce in case measurement will not be excellent news for girls in search of the most effective run-tracking expertise Garmin presents.
It does now help touchscreen performance however just like the Fenix, seasoned Garmin customers will probably nonetheless choose the acquainted button strategy. We nonetheless overlook to make use of the touchscreen.
Nonetheless, display screen responsiveness is nice general and it was at instances helpful to scroll by longer notifications the listing of glances, however the buttons do a superb job already . of getting you round. In case you needed a touchscreen, it is a good one, however we expect most will probably ignore it.
Forerunner 945 (left) and Forerunner 955 (proper)
T.’s nonetheless 5 bodily buttons to navigate the watch software program, and if you happen to go for the photo voltaic model, t.’s Garmin’s Energy Glass lens, which is represented by a reflective ring that surrounds the show.
We nonetheless do not assume it is essentially the most enticing design addition, nevertheless it does imply you could have that further energy supply if you happen to’re keen to spend extra for it.
Across the again is Garmin’s Elevate coronary heart charge sensor know-how and then you definately’ve received Garmin’s now fairly uniform charging port. T.’s the identical 5ATM waterproof ranking . because the 945 and all different present Forerunners, making it secure to swim with. We have taken the 955 into the pool and it is carried out completely fantastic within the water.
The 955 would not really feel drastically totally different from the 945. It is a case of minor modifications . and if you would like the addition of photo voltaic charging, then it is t. if you wish to pay extra for the function.
Garmin Forerunner 955: Working and sports activities monitoring
Just like the Forerunner 945, the 955 is constructed to trace extra than simply working. Cyclists, swimmers (open or pool) and hikers are all well-catered for.
A serious addition of Garmin’s new Multi-band mode help. This debuted on the Fenix 7 and Epix – and now it is come to the 955 and the cheaper Forerunner 255.
Multi-band will seize extra frequencies from supported satellite tv for pc programs to bolster accuracy. So monitoring close to tall buildings in cities or huge wooded areas which may forestall that robust sign energy.
Outside run monitoring in contrast: Garmin Epix (left) and Forerunner 955 (proper)
Once we examined the identical function on the Fenix and Epix, we did clearly see an enchancment in accuracy – particularly in built-up areas.
It is a comparable story with the Forerunner 955. It locked onto a sign tremendous fast, even on our first run, and in noticed much less wandering than Garmin watches with out that help. In case you actually care about accuracy, it is a key cause to seize the 955. Although you may get it on the cheaper 255 as nicely.
The draw back of the Multi-band mode is that it does drain battery life a bit faster, so that you sacrifice a bit extra time away from the charger to make use of it.
Exterior of that Multi-band help, t. would not appear to be huge quantity that feels totally different from the 945.
T.’s a number of extra monitoring modes for extra area of interest actions like snowshoeing, however the expertise of monitoring usually feels comparable by way of what you may see on the watch, the extent you may customise the expertise and in the end, the reliability of the information.
We have run (indoors and outdoor), taken it to the pool, used it for dwelling exercises together with indoor rowing periods – and it is all felt very acquainted by way of efficiency.
For runs, the core metrics inform an correct story of these periods, although very similar to the 945, the 955’s Elevate coronary heart charge monitor would not carry out too in a different way based mostly on our testing.
For evenly paced runs and regular paced exercises, the information held up fairly nicely in opposition to a MyZone coronary heart charge monitor chest strap.
Once we put the 955’s coronary heart charge monitor to the take a look at in a race, the utmost coronary heart charge bpm was round 5bpm out of a chest strap. It isn’t a horrible efficiency, however clearly the optical sensor nonetheless would not completely match as much as that gold customary ECG methodology of monitoring coronary heart charge throughout excessive depth train.
Excessive depth coronary heart charge in contrast: MyZone MZ-3 chest strap (left) and Forerunner 955 (proper)
The Forerunner 955 presents full-color maps that will help you navigate your means round.
It matches the the mapping help you get on the Fenix 7 and the Epix. Garmin nonetheless supplies the most effective mapping expertise on a watch in our eyes, from the presentation and interacting with maps on the watch to getting routes onto the watch as nicely.
Nonetheless, detailed views are nonetheless slightly fiddly to navigate and a number of the factors of curiosity left one thing to be desired. In case your adventures lead you into built-up areas, the mapping will be helpful.
Flip-by-turn navigation works nicely ,and also you do additionally get the extra superior model of Garmin’s ClimbPro function . too to raised strategise for upcoming hills in your course. T.’s additionally the brand new Up Forward function to provide you a heads up on upcoming factors of curiosity alongside along with your efficiency metrics.
The touchscreen integration stays the identical because it does on the Fenix and Epix, w. you may swipe to maneuver round a map however nonetheless have to make use of the bodily buttons to zoom out and in of maps. Transferring between elements of a map does see some small lag, nevertheless it’s usually one thing you may dwell with.
The 955 is a stable sports activities watch performer and undoubtedly is a good look ahead to runners. The large promote . is that Multi-band help, if you happen to really feel continually let down by the reliability of the monitoring on older Forerunner watches that do not help the brand new monitoring know-how.
Garmin Forerunner 955: Coaching options
Exterior of that Multi-Band help, Garmin has added new coaching options to the already in depth listing of study.
The effectiveness of these options we would say is a little bit of a mixture bag.
The 955 nonetheless consists of options like Garmin Coach, which is nicely built-in with the watch and may notably assist newer customers familiarize yourself with beginning to practice to run for a selected distance.
Every day instructed exercises once more looks like one for newbie customers who want that steerage. If you recognize what you are doing, these barely miscued exercises and pacing targets can really feel irritating. Fortunately, you may flip them off.
You possibly can nonetheless construct coaching plans and exercises and sync them to the watch in a fairly simple trend, whereas Garmin has enhanced the expertise of constructing and monitoring interval coaching exercises, providing extra metrics and screens to indicate off knowledge.
T.’s Garmin’s real-time Stamina metric, the good PacePro pacing methods mode and also you’re getting options which were round for some time like VO2 Max estimates.
Garmin has introduced over the visible race predictors from the brand new Fenix and Epix, which we expect is way more helpful in providing you with a way of how your coaching is impacting goal instances.
T.’s new race and race calendar widgets, which counts right down to the race, offers you a predicted end time and must also supply further suggestions – although we have not seen any of these come by. It is also fairly a ache to get that race onto your watch as we would have liked to set it up on the Garmin Join net app to sync it over.
A brand new function Garmin is introducing to the 955 is the Morning Report. That is primarily a set of some key knowledge that is designed to provide you an outlook of your present state of health, restoration, pull up scheduled coaching periods for the day or counsel some.
It’ll additionally show your most up-to-date sleep knowledge and present of the climate too. This report will be customised to allow you to management what you see within the report.
It isn’t precisely groundbreaking knowledge – nevertheless it’s a pleasant method to current related knowledge, and it would not really feel annoying or intrusive.
New knowledge that has been added to the combo is Coaching Readiness and HRV Standing.
We’ll cope with Coaching Readiness first, which is fairly self-explanatory. It apes gadgets like Whoop by advising you are good to coach, by melding sleep, restoration time, HRV Standing, stress and sleep historical past and acute load.
That acute load metric is new too, and appears at your train load, length and depth by way of coronary heart charge.
Coaching Readiness is a rating out of 100 and color zone to point whether or not your physique must recuperate otherwise you’re in the absolute best form. As you may see above, it critically suggested we took a time off after an intense session the day earlier than.
We used this within the situation of a race w. pre-race, the coaching readiness indicated a 76 rating, suggesting we had been ‘prepared for challenges’.
By the tip of a fairly robust quick distance race, coaching readiness dropped to 4 indicating that our physique wanted time to recuperate. The next day, we ignored recommendation to recuperate and performed soccer. The subsequent day we had been hit with a poor coaching readiness rating once more.
It is helpful and related knowledge, that can provide you a way of your physique’s want for restoration – and fixes a significant lacking piece of Garmin’s ecosystem.
It is vital to do not forget that the rating is predicated on stress and fatigue of your central nervous system. It would not think about muscle fatigue, as we have seen with Polar’s checks.
HRV accuracy in contrast: Forerunner 955 (left) and Oura Ring 3 (proper)
The opposite huge new addition is HRV standing, which tracks coronary heart charge variability measurements throughout sleep to provide a greater understanding of your coaching and restoration stability.
Coronary heart charge variability – the time in milliseconds between coronary heart beats – is a large indicator of your restedness and stress ranges (bodily and psychological).
HRV standing is colour-coded utilizing a site visitors gentle system to make it very clear what these barely obscure scores imply.
To get these standing insights, it is advisable to put on the watch to mattress for 3 weeks to attain a baseline. We tracked HRV with each the Forerunner 955 and the Oura Ring 3 over our interval of testing, to check knowledge to see in the event that they informed us comparable issues.
We discovered that common HRV readings had been about the identical throughout the 2 gadgets. Whereas the Oura used that .rmation to .rm our readiness for the day, Garmin makes use of it to let you know whether or not your physique is dealing with your present coaching load. It looks like a pleasant addition to Garmin’s already in depth insights into coaching load and restoration.
Garmin Forerunner 955: Well being and health monitoring
The Forerunner 955 is not a bonafide well being tracker in the best way that perhaps an Apple Watch or a Samsung Galaxy Watch is, nevertheless it does let you monitor your coronary heart charge constantly, monitor respiration charge and blood oxygen throughout sleep monitoring and measure issues like stress all through the day.
If you need one thing that may reliably monitor coronary heart charge 24/7, we expect the Forerunner 955 does a stable job of it.
Alongside the Oura Ring 3, it produced comparable knowledge each day. It was an analogous story for blood oxygen measurements, although that battery drain in doing that continues to be prefer it does on different Garmin watches that embrace that Pulse Ox sensor.
Steady coronary heart charge monitoring in contrast: Forerunner 955 (left) and Oura Ring 3 (proper)
Garmin does embrace its Well being Snapshot function, which helps you to take a 2-minute measurement to generate readings for coronary heart charge, stress, blood oxygen respiration and coronary heart charge variability on a single display screen.
These a number of readings usually are not saved collectively in a single place on the watch or the display screen, so it may be helpful for Garmin to take that knowledge to and make it extra actionable.
Step monitoring in contrast: Forerunner 955 (left) and Oura Ring 3 (proper)
T. is not an enormous deal new to report on the health monitoring entrance . both. It nonetheless presents dependable step counts motivating options like adaptive step counts to nudge you to maneuver extra.
For sleep, it does really feel like issues are getting higher on that entrance from an accuracy viewpoint, although like a whole lot of Garmin watches we have examined just lately, it has it is good and unhealthy nights.
You are still getting sleep stage breakdowns, sleep scores together with further knowledge like respiration charge and Pulse Ox knowledge.
Sleep monitoring in contrast: Forerunner 955 (left and centre) and Oura Ring 3 (proper)
We have usually discovered sleep length knowledge typically large of the mark on Garmin watches, nevertheless it was properly consistent with the dependable sleep monitoring on the Oura Ring 3.
It provided comparable sleep stage breakdowns on a lot of the nights we tracked sleep. It might probably tend to slide into previous habits on monitoring as much as an hour extra sleep than rivals.
Garmin Forerunner 955: Smartwatch options
Switching over to smartwatch mode and also you’re getting just about the most effective Garmin has to supply on that entrance. We spent most of our testing time with the 955 paired to an Android telephones and don’t have any points to report from a connectivity or setup viewpoint. Garmin Join will nonetheless really feel like a frightening place for brand new customers, however if you happen to’ve used a Garmin just lately, it should all really feel very acquainted.
When notifications fireplace in, you do now have a touchscreen to swipe by all the message. T.’s Garmin Pay if you wish to flip your watch right into a pockets and music participant controls undoubtedly profit from that addition of a touchscreen show.
The Garmin Join IQ retailer nonetheless feels prefer it must do a whole lot of rising as a platform, however if you would like some further watch faces, knowledge fields or widgets, t.’s some great things lurking round if you happen to do some digging.
You do nonetheless have a built-in music participant, which provides you round 4GB to play with and you’ll drag and drop your personal music onto it, or sync offline playlists from the likes of Spotify and Deezer.
One factor we now have observed is that Garmin now presents the choice to change between stereo and mono listening modes. Switching to mono means much less of drain on the battery, which might be helpful for these trying to eek each hour out of GPS+music mode.
Music streaming is a function that hits the Forerunner 955 and different Garmin watches that help it laborious, so that is clearly a transfer to enhance issues on that entrance.
Whereas Garmin added an LTE choice to the 945, the identical hasn’t occurred for the 955 – though we would not rule it out taking place sooner or later.
Garmin hasn’t used that LTE performance in the identical means that Apple or Samsung does, and as a substitute harnesses connectivity for LiveTrack and security and incident detection options, which usually want a smartphone to allow. You possibly can nonetheless use these options ., however you will want your cellphone close by to do it.
Garmin Forerunner 955: Battery life
The final era Forerunner 945 lasted round per week of real-world use – so the 955 does supply enhancements.
The Forerunner 955 guarantees as much as 15 days in smartwatch mode, 42 hours of GPS battery life with out music streaming and t.’s an UltraTrac mode to provide you 80 hours of battery life.
In case you’re utilizing the brand new Multi-Band mode with out music streaming, you may rise up to twenty hours battery life. That drops to eight hours with music streaming in play.
Just like the Fenix and the Epix, utilizing that new Multi-Band mode does double the drain in battery life compared to utilizing the watch in regular GPS mode, based mostly on our testing. Round an hour of working noticed drop of 4-5% – so you can get round 20 hours.
Music streaming remains to be a drain too, however the means to change between stereo and mono listening modes do enhance issues barely on that entrance.
Now t. is photo voltaic charging . too, and that enhances battery efficiency provided that you spend 3 hours a day exterior letting that Energy Glass display screen take in the rays. Smartwatch mode goes to twenty days, GPS battery life goes to 49 hours and UltraTrac mode goes as much as 120 hours. Even with some testing time in a really sunny Greece, that general battery efficiency did not drastically change for us.
With heavy utilization and common runs utilizing Multi-band mode, it’s best to get 1.5 weeks between costs.
That is an enchancment on the 945, it is no-w. close to Fenix 7 ranges. You do nonetheless have these nice energy supervisor choices, so it is value spending a while attending to know the way it works to push issues additional and ditch options you do not actually use regularly.
Garmin Forerunner 955
The Garmin Forerunner 955 is not a transformative leap from the 945, nevertheless it’s a much better coaching companion. That is largely right down to the addition of that Multi-band help, which is for anybody that basically cares deeply about monitoring accuracy. In case you do not need to pay for a Fenix, however need all of the working options, the Forerunner 955 will attraction. However the Forerunner 255 does supply a lot of the similar for significantly much less.
- Added Multi-Band monitoring
- New HRV Standing mode
- Battery enhancements
- Design is principally similar as 945
- Coronary heart charge monitoring at excessive depth
- Not big battery enhancements