Just in time for Global Running Day, Garmin is introducing two new running watches to its Forerunner lineup: the Forerunner 255 for $349.99 and the Forerunner 955 for $499.99. Both GPS watches have multi-band GPS and new racing features including a racing widget. The Forerunner 955 will also be available in a solar version which, as the name suggests, adds solar charging for even longer battery life.
The Forerunner 255 is a lightweight, mid-range running watch that builds on the Forerunner 245. It will be available in two sizes. The standard Forerunner 255 measures 46mm and weighs 49 grams, while the smaller 255S measures 41mm and weighs 32 grams. There will also be Forerunner 255 Music and 255S Music variants, which can store up to 500 songs on the watch itself. Garmin says this also includes playlists from Spotify, Amazon Music and Deezer. The Music models are an additional $50 for a total of $399.99. The watches are rated for 5ATM water resistance with an estimated battery life of 14 days and up to 30 hours in GPS mode.
Big additions this time around include a new race widget, heart rate variation (HRV) status during sleep, multi-band GPS, and the ability for triathletes to more easily switch between sports with a single button press. The race widget contains race preparation information including performance predictions, race day weather and a countdown clock. Multiband GPS is an increasingly popular feature on multisport watches that increases GPS accuracy by allowing communication with multiple satellite frequencies. The promise is better accuracy in environments where it’s difficult to get a good signal. Last but not least, the watch also has a “morning report” function. When a user wakes up, the watch provides a brief summary of the day’s weather, a daily workout suggestion, and a report on last night’s sleep, recovery time, workout status, and HRV status.
Compared to the Forerunner 245, the 255 series adds an NFC chip for Garmin Pay. Otherwise, sensory-wise, it’s not all that different. It still has continuous heart rate monitoring, as well as SpO2 sensors to enable features like Body Battery. The metric measures how well you recovered during your sleep and how “burned out” you are from stress during the day. The Forerunner 255 series also supports basic smartwatch features like push notifications and Garmin’s safety features like accident detection and live tracking. For training features, users also get daily workout suggestions as well as access to workout programs via Garmin Coach and detailed metrics in the Garmin Connect app.
Meanwhile, the Forerunner 955 is more of a top-of-the-line running watch. (Although it’s not quite as full-featured as Garmin’s flagship Fenix series.) It has a 47mm, full-color, always-on touchscreen display and weighs 52 grams. Button fans needn’t worry, though . The 955 also includes five physical buttons that can be used in conjunction with the touchscreen. Like the 255 series, it’s rated for 5ATM water resistance, but has a slightly longer battery life of an estimated 15 days with 42 hours in GPS mode. There’s also a $599.99 Forerunner 955 Solar that comes with Garmin’s proprietary Power Glass lens. With solar charging, the 955 Solar lasts up to 20 days on a single charge, with 49 hours in GPS mode. (This assumes you spend about three hours a day in 50,000 lux conditions, so take that with a grain of salt.)
Like the Forerunner 255 series, the Forerunner 955 gets multi-band GPS, HRV status, morning reports, and the new race widget. It also has a new workout readiness metric. As the name suggests, the metric takes into account sleep, recovery time, HRV, and a few other metrics to give users a score that indicates how “ready” they are for a workout session. It also adds real-time endurance tracking, which Garmin first introduced with its Fenix 7 series.
In terms of health tracking and smart features, the Forerunner 955 has the same basic features as the 255. However, it adds some extra training metrics, like PacePro and ClimbPro, which give real-time cues about your pace and elevation. You can also store a larger number of songs on the 955 – 2,000 to be exact.
Both the Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 955 are available today. The Forerunner 255 is available in four colors: grey, pink, blue and black. The Forerunner 955 is now available in white and black.