Garmin Forerunner 255 Vs. 955: Which One Is For You?

Forerunner 255 Vs. 955

Garmin released the Forerunner 255 and 955 in 2022 taking the Forerunner series a notch higher. But if we were to compare these two models, which one would be the best one?

On the one hand, the Forerunner 255 was transformed into a triathlon wearable, rendering the Forerunner 700 series outdated.

On the other hand, the Forerunner 955 became the very first model in the Forerunner series with a touchscreen, while it was and still is, less expensive than its previous model.

Moreover, both the Forerunner 255 and 955 come with several minor software changes in addition to added features, with the 955 watch offering some extra options that the 255 does not have.

A few of these include extra activity options, which is one of the reasons why Gamin considers the 955 a top-quality running watch due to its extra functionality.

Nevertheless, all these functionalities and features we are going to review make both these watches a valuable investment, so let’s see what these features offer in more detail to make it easier for you to decide which one you will go for!

Garmin Forerunner 255 Review

Garmin Forerunner 255 (Tidal Blue) GPS Running Smartwatch Bundle - VO2 Max, Race Predictor, Long-Lasting Battery - Includes PlayBetter HD Screen Protectors & Portable Charger

The Garmin 255 is regarded as one of the finest Garmin watches for anyone looking for substantial metrics in a light band but doesn’t intend to use their watch when diving in the ocean.

Design

The Garmin Forerunner 255’s screen measures 1.3 inches and has a resolution of 260 x 260. This makes it slightly bigger than previous models but easier to read from.

Several running watches feel the need to show you data that they believe is essential, but the Forerunner 255 allows you to choose the ones you need from a vast array of options ranging from caloric expenditure to walking pace.

Moreover, the 255 has a cap of 6 metrics displayed at once, which might make it feel like it’s a bit congested, but there’s always the option of displaying fewer metrics.

Garmin has decided not to come up with something new when it comes to buttons and screens, so you should expect the classic five buttons with no touchscreens.

Its weight is 49 grams and it’s super comfy on the wrist for very long wear, while the straps can be swapped for almost any other options thanks to its usual 20-millimeter lugs.

Maps And Navigation Systems

The Garmin Forerunner 255 uses breadcrumb navigation, which is more useful and better than other navigation tools for many people.

The 255 has a GPS-Only GNSS mode that can last for no more than 30 hours, depending on usage.

Performance Data And Training Capacity

Training readiness is determined using records of your sleeping habits, recovery period, heart rate fluctuation, tension, but also the intensity of your training load.

It also measures maximum oxygen exertion and has functionalities like Training Status, which can help you determine if your fitness regimen is on track and prevent you from running out of steam.

Moreover, the Training Status feature available interprets your daily routine and informs you whether you’re in maintenance mode, recovering, detraining, or progressing.

This is among the more successful tools wearable technology has for keeping you on track, mainly due to the fact that any screen indications you’re not doing that great might be enough of an incentive to keep you active.

Other metrics displayed are:

  • daily resting heart rate and any alerts for any unusual ups and downs
  • respiration rate
  • sleep score and insights
  • hydration and women’s health
  • and relaxation reminders

When it comes to sensors, the 255, apart from the GPS function, offers an accelerometer, thermometer, compass, gyroscope, and more.

Smartwatch Compatibility

The Garmin Forerunner 255 includes a number of features that makes it suitable for use in between workouts, though it wouldn’t be able to compete with standard smartwatches such as the Apple Watch 7.

However, it is compatible with smartphones. For example, the Garmin Connect IQ store allows you to download additional watch faces, and data formats, but also applications for both your watch and smartphone.

Price

Price is among the key differentiators.

The Forerunner 255 costs between 350 and 400 dollars, which depends on whether your watch will have music or not.

This makes the 255 model way cheaper than the 955 one, so if you are looking for the cheapest option, this is a clear winner.

Pros

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Includes advanced software functionalities such as Training Status
  • Practical MIP Display

Cons

  • There aren’t any maps or a golf mode
  • Lower battery capacity than other watches
  • Slight HR inconsistencies at greater levels of strenuous activity
Sale
Garmin Forerunner 255 (Tidal Blue) GPS Running Smartwatch Bundle - VO2 Max, Race Predictor, Long-Lasting Battery - Includes PlayBetter HD Screen Protectors & Portable Charger
  • Garmin Forerunner 255 GPS Training Watch: These running smartwatches come in 2 sizes with music or non-music options, a race widget, and up to 30 days of battery life in smartwatch mode.
  • Get Ready for Your Next Race: Get ready for your next race with this running watch with distance-providing training tips, personalized daily suggested workouts, and completion time predictions based on course details, weather, and performance.
  • Monitor Your Overall Health: The Forerunner 255 running watches for women and men series sends a morning report that summarizes your sleep, heart monitor status, and daily workout suggestions in one place. This runner GPS watch also evaluates your current training status and recovery time.
  • Enjoy Other Sports You Love: Get free adaptive training plans or switch up your workout routine with this heart rate monitor watch that is loaded with activity profiles for running, triathlon, cycling, open-water swimming, and more. This Garmin fitness tracker adds a music function.
  • Ultimate Runner's Bundle: Garmin Forerunner 255 Running GPS Watch, PlayBetter HD Screen Protectors (4-Pack), Large Portable 5000mAh Charger, & USB Charging Cable

Garmin Forerunner 955 Review

Garmin 010-02638-10 Forerunner® 955, GPS Running Smartwatch, Tailored to Triathletes, Long-Lasting Battery, Black

The Forerunner 955 improves on the 255 model in some important hardware areas. It keeps all of Garmin’s finest monitoring and activity analysis functionalities, but it is more expensive than the 255 model.

Design

While thicker than other models, the Garmin Forerunner 955 has the same screen width as the 255 model, coming at 1.3 inches. It also has the same resolution as the 255 model, that is 260 x 260, using the same tech.

In addition, it has an awesome display, both in bright sunlight and in low-light conditions, thanks to an automatic backlight that brightens up when raising your wrist.

However, the 955 does come with a touchscreen, unlike the 255, but you can always turn the touch function off and use the side buttons.

Maps And Navigation Systems

The Garmin Forerunner 955 features a fully operational map. In addition to places of interest, the map depicts marked roads and highways as well as walking paths.

When you are trying to follow a pre-planned route, you’ll have access to turn-by-turn instructions.

Not only that but even when you haven’t planned ahead of time, you can use the round-trip course creator to design a pathway of the length you desire.

Performance Data And Training Capacity

This latest stat is added to update the user on their fitness level for a strenuous workout as well as their level of recovery.

It achieves this by incorporating all the different metrics that have already been available on the Forerunner 255 as well as other watches, so it isn’t particularly special.

Nevertheless, having a single rating that summarizes all of it on a single screen is advantageous.

The 955 also gives data on temperature and adaption to greater heights. It monitors your training in such circumstances and harnesses that information to improve its algorithms to determine your maximum oxygen consumption and several more performance indicators.

Another important consideration is real-time strength and power. This set of data attempts to monitor the amount of energy you possess both before and during your training session.

It’s an attractive detail that can become very valuable for measuring your performance.

Smartwatch Compatibility

Of course, the Forerunner 955 is also compatible with smartphones, and you can connect them by following the simple instructions provided in the smartwatch owner’s manual.

Using the Connect IQ™ app, you can then change the clock’s appearance, download other data fields, and optimize your 955 model with interactive elements like the updated outdoor and fitness activity categories available.

Price

At the time of writing, the Garmin Forerunner 955 is more expensive than the 255, with prices ranging from 500-600 dollars.

This makes it a pricier watch that does, nevertheless, offer more functions and metrics, meaning that choosing to buy this model is a matter of budget and requirements from your wearable tech accessory.

Pros

  • High GPS precision
  • Training readiness function
  • Maps feature available

Cons

  • HR precision is pretty poor
  • The battery life is not the best
Sale
Garmin 010-02638-10 Forerunner® 955, GPS Running Smartwatch, Tailored to Triathletes, Long-Lasting Battery, Black
  • Built with an always-on, full-color display that’s light on the wrist and easy to read even in direct sunlight.Special Feature:Waterproof.
  • Battery life: up to 15 days of battery life in smartwatch mode for a full picture of your health — from sleep to training; plus, get up to 42 hours in GPS mode and up to 80 hours in UltraTrac mode
  • Click or swipe through maps and stats with traditional button controls or a new, responsive touchscreen
  • Whether you’re running on city streets or riding densely covered trails, Forerunner 955 provides full-color, built-in mapping to keep you on track
  • Access multiple global navigation satellite systems, and get access to multiple frequencies sent by navigation satellites for improved accuracy in areas where GNSS signals are reflected, weak or typically don't penetrate — giving you superior accuracy for how far and how fast you’ve run — even in challenging environments

The Final Verdict

Of all the functions and characteristics of these two watches, 3 major features that required special consideration are the ones that several users will surely find to be worthwhile.

The three features we have listed above, which relate to the performance data, training readiness measuring system, and improved maps and navigation tools are the key points that make these two Forerunner models a great choice for athletes, gym goers, and anyone who wishes to keep track of their training performance.

While both of them are equally great, the 955 model definitely comes with some extra advantages, as it offers more features, a touchscreen, and more activity profiles, among other innovations in the Forerunner series.

However, it is also more expensive than the Forerunner 255, which might offer fewer functions but is still more than sufficient in terms of performance data recording but lacks the maps’ function.

The Bottom Line

As you can tell from this article, both the Forerunner 255 and the Forerunner 955 are amazing tech accessories that come with some remarkable features, functions, and metric systems.

Therefore, it ultimately depends on your needs and priorities which of the two you are going to use; either way, you will end up with a useful watch that is certainly worth its money!

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