Epix 2 vs Forerunner 955 Garmin smartwatches

Epix 2 and Forerunner 955 are relatively new models of Garmin smartwatches. Forerunner 955 is the latest in the Forerunner series. Both watches are in separate categories. Forerunner series is a runner’s watch. Epix 2 is a stylish smartwatch with premium feel to its presence and body material. We look at the key aspects of Epix 2 and Forerunner 955. This should help you in making an informed decision about purchasing the next Garmin watch.

Price – Epix 2 vs Forerunner 955

Epix 2 is almost double of the Forerunner 955’s price. Epix 2 standard edition comes at a price of $899.99 and the Forerunner 955 comes for $499.99. In terms of price, both watches are in different generations. Does the premium price of Epix 2 get justified by the features offered?

Display Lens – Epix 2 vs Forerunner 955

Epix 2 uses a Corning Gorilla Glass for the lens material. Forerunner 955 comes with Corning Gorilla Glass with DX coating. In respect of the display lens, Forerunner 955 carries a more contemporary lens material. The DX coating on the Corning Gorilla is a special anti-reflective coating. It improves sunlight readability and has a much better display contrast ratio that the standard glass. You can read more about the Corning Gorilla Glass DX coating on this page on the Corning website. Corning Gorilla Glass DX was released in 2018. After the DX glass, Corning has released the latest version of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus in 2020.

The use of DX coated Corning Gorilla Glass for Forerunner 955 can be understood given the fact that the watch has been designed for outdoor activities. Improved reflection from the front surface of the watch, sunlight readability and better display contrast ration of Corning Gorilla DX glass helps the runners.

Display – Epix 2 vs Forerunner 955

Epix 2 has the AMOLED display. And, this is by far one of the best features of the Epix 2 smartwatch. AMOLED display on Epix 2 also offers ‘Always on Display’ feature. With Always on Display, your screen will remain visible at all times. It does consume more battery for delivering ‘Always on Display’. But, the AOD feature is a pretty standard feature for watches like Apple Watch 7 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. You can turn on or turn off the AOD feature on Epix 2.

Forerunner 955 continues with the Memory-in-pixel or MIP screen. The MIP screen does conserve battery. But, in no way, it can match the display resolution, clarity and depth afforded by an AMOLED screen.

Another advantage of AMOLED display is that the Epix 2 has a display resolution of 416 x 416 pixels. Forerunner 955 has a display resolution of 260 x 260 pixels. In percentage terms, the display resolution of Epix 2 is almost 60 percent better than that of Forerunner 955.

Battery – Epix 2 vs Forerunner 955

Battery is the strongest point of a Forerunner 955. The watch is loved by runners and we know that runners need good battery life. Incidentally, the Epix 2 has an almost similar levels of battery backup as the Forerunner 955.

  • On the smartwatch mode, Forerunner 955 can last for up to 15 days and Epix 2 can last for up to 16 days.
  • On the GPS mode, the Forerunner 955 can last for up to 42 hours and on Epix 2 we get a back up of up to 42 hours as well.
  • If you intend to use Always on Display (AOD) on Epix 2, the smartwatch mode offers up to 6 days of back up and the GPS mode can last for up to 30 hours.

There is nothing much to choose between Epix 2 and Forerunner 955 in terms of battery life. Both are almost identical in the battery backups provided.

Physical Specifications – Epix 2 vs Forerunner 955

Forerunner 955 is designed to be lighter than the Epix 2. It needs to be wrist-friendly for the runners. This underlying thought gets reflected in the physical body and specifications of the Forerunner 955.

  • Forerunner 955 weighs 52 g while the Epix 2 weighs 76 g.

The body of Forerunner 955 is made of fiber enforced polymer. This includes the rear cover and the bezel. The Forerunner 955 watch uses a mono-body nomenclature. Epix 2 has a body made of fiber enforced polymer. But, it does have a bezel in passivated steel on the Epix 2 standard edition. The rear cover is also made of the passivated steel. Epix 2 Sapphire edition watches have a bezel and rear cover made of titanium.

Swimming – Epix 2 vs Forerunner 955

Epix 2 has a water resistance rating of 10 ATM and Forerunner 955 has a water resistance rating of 5 ATM. To put some perspective in these ratings:

  • Epix 2 can sustain a depth pressure of 10 ATM or 10 atmospheres. It can be worn to a depth of 100 meters or 332 feet below water surface level. The watch, however, is not suitable for deep sea diving or snorkeling.
  • Forerunner 955 has a water depth rating of 5 ATM and can sustain a depth pressure of 5 atmospheres. Forerunner 955 can be worn to a depth of 50 meters or 165 feet below water surface level.

In terms of water rating, Epix 2 is definitely a category higher. But, both watches will work decently for pool swimming. Epix 2 and Forerunner 955 come with Garmin’s pool swimming and open water swimming profiles.

Device Storage – Epix 2 vs Forerunner 955

Epix 2 comes with 16 GB on-device or internal storage. Forerunner 955 has 32 GB on-device storage. Why would you desire a higher device storage? Internal storage of the watch is useful for the following scenarios:

  • Device storage comes in handy for storing personal audio content on the watch for offline music listening.
  • Device storage is used for storing topo, trail and Golf maps.

Forerunner 955 comes preloaded with topo and trail maps while Epix 2 does not have these maps preloaded on to the watch storage. Epix 2 Sapphire edition has a 32 GB storage and comes preloaded with trail and topo maps.

Multi mode GPS – Epix 2 vs Forerunner 955

Multimode GPS is offered on Forerunner 955. Forerunner 955 comes with a multi-frequency positioning sensor based on MediaTek’s Auroha chipset. Multi mode GPS improves reliability and accuracy of GPS data.

Epix 2 does not offer multi mode GPS as it does not have a multi-frequency positioning sensor. Epix 2 Sapphire edition does have multi-frequency positioning sensor and multi mode GPS.

Apart from these significant points of feature differences between the Epix 2 and Forerunner 955, both Garmin watches share a lot of core features. We list some core features on both watches below:

FeatureEpix 2Forerunner 955
BezelSteelFiber-enforced polymer
Rear CoverFiber-enforced polymer with steel rear coverFiber-enforced polymer
Size47 mm46.5 mm
Thickness14.5 mm14.4 mm
TouchscreenYesYes
Color DisplayYesYes
Water Resistance10 ATM5 ATM
Display Size33 mm33 mm
Weight76 g52 g
GPS SystemsGPS, GLONASS and Galileo with sensorsGPS, GLONASS and Galileo with sensors
Pulse OxygenationYesYes
GyroscopeYesYes
AccelerometerYesYes
BarometerYesYes
Wireless ConnectivityBluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®
Garmin PayYesYes
Incident Detection (safety feature)YesYes
Live Tracking (safety feature)YesYes
Spectator MessagingNoYes (on compatible smartphone)
PedometerYesYes
Ambient light sensorYesNo
Gym ProfilesYesYes
Swimming ProfilesYesYes
Cycling ProfilesYesYes
Outdoor Recreation ProfilesYesYes
Body BatteryYesYes
Heart Rate MonitoringYesYes
Abnormal Heart rate alertsYesYes
Respiration Rate (24×7)YesYes
Sleep TrackingYesYes
Women’s HealthYesYes
Body temperatureYesYes
Sunrise/Sunset timeYesYes
Garmin Elevate Heart SensorYesYes
StocksYesNo
Multi-frequency Positioning SensorNo (Yes on Epix 2 Sapphire)Yes
On-screen muscle mapsNoYes
Preload Ski resort mapsYesNo
Expedition GPSYesNo
Epix 2 vs Forerunner 955

Summary

When would you consider an Epix 2 over a Forerunner 955 smartwatch? We believe an Epix 2 is definitely much better for the following reasons:

  • Much better look and feel with steel bezel and steel rear on Epix 2.
  • AMOLED display with a vastly improved display resolution and clarity.
  • 10 ATM water rating

A Forerunner 955 is preferred over Epix 2 for the following reasons:

  • Lighter weight and single material body made of fiber-enforced polymer
  • Multi mode GPS through multi-frequency positioning sensor
  • Preloaded topo and trail maps

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