Forerunner 955 Solar is the latest solar watch in the Forerunner series. Fenix 7 Solar edition is a premium solar watch in the Fenix series. Fenix 7 Solar is pricier by $200. But, what are the key differences between the Fenix 7 Solar edition and the Forerunner 955 Solar edition? We look at the key differences between the two solar watches below. A few of these points would help you justify the premium pricing of the Fenix 7 smartwatch.
Fenix 7 Solar has a watch screen made of Power Glass and the Forerunner 955 Solar has a Corning Gorilla Glass DX version. Power Glass is used to convert sunlight into battery power. It is more efficient at solar charging than a Corning Gorilla Glass DX. Power Glass is harder than the Corning Gorilla Glass DX and is scratch resistant. Remember, it is not scratch-proof. It is scratch resistant. A sapphire watch is a scratch resistant watch as it is way harder than a power glass also. For the sake of comparison though, Fenix 7 Solar with power glass is a step or two higher than the Forerunner 255’s Corning Gorilla Glass DX.
Power Glass sits somewhere between the Corning Gorilla Glass DX and the Sapphire glass.
Here is what we know about the Corning Gorilla Glass DX from Corning’s website-
After surveying more than 85,000 consumers, Corning learned that sunlight readability is among the most desired features in a cover glass for wearables, tablets and laptops. Corning® Gorilla® Glass with DX and Corning® Gorilla® Glass with DX+ answer the call by enhancing display readability through a 75% improvement in front surface reflection, versus standard glass, and increasing the display contrast ratio by 50% with the same display brightness level. Furthermore, these improvements in optical clarity can also lengthen battery life.
Fenix 7 Solar and Forerunner 955 Solar have round shapes. There are marginal differences in the physical attributes of both watches.
- Fenix 7 Solar and Forerunner 955 Solar have an identical display size of 33 mm.
- Fenix 7 Solar is heavier at 79 g and Forerunner 955 Solar weighs 53 g.
- Forerunner 955 Solar’s watch body is made of fiber-enforced polymer. Fenix 7 Solar is made of fiber-enforced polymer with a metal rear cover.
- Fenix 7 Solar has a stainless steel bezel for a premium look. Forerunner 955 Solar has a fiber-enforced polymer material in the bezel.
- Smartwatch mode – Fenix 7 Solar has a battery life of 18 days and 22 days on solar charging. Forerunner 955 Solar has a marginally lower battery life of 15 days and 20 days on solar charging.
- GPS only mode – Fenix 7 Solar can last between 57-73 hours and Forerunner 955 Solar can last between 42-49 hours.
Forerunner 955 Solar also comes with Ultra-running mode. On the Ultratrac mode, Forerunner 955 Solar can last between 80 hours to 110 hours on solar charging.
Solar charging needs your watch exposure to sunlight of 50000 lux or more every day, for at least 3 hours. If your area does not receive bright sunlight, you will not be able to take much benefit from solar charging on Garmin solar watches.
Fenix 7 Solar has a water resistance rating of 10 ATM and the Forerunner 955 Solar has a water resistance rating of 5 ATM. This implies that the Fenix 7 Solar can withstand a depth pressure of 10 atmospheres. 10 atmospheres is the pressure that is equivalent to a depth pressure of 10 meters or 330 feet below water level. 5 atmospheres is the pressure that is equivalent to a depth pressure of 5 meters or 165 feet below water level.
In terms of water rating, Fenix 7 Solar demonstrates more resilience. If you are into pool swimming or open water swimming, Fenix 7 Solar would come in handy at all times. For indoor swimming, you may not feel much difference between both watches. But, if you were to participate in diving, a Fenix 7 Solar has to be the preferred one. This still does not make a Fenix 7 Solar or Forerunner 955 an ideal watch for deep-sea diving and snorkeling.
Forerunner 955 Solar comes with 32 GB internal memory or storage. Fenix 7 Solar has device storage of 16 GB. Device storage is crucial as it helps in:
- storing activity data
- storing topo maps on the watch
- storing personal audio content on the watch for offline listening
Forerunner 955 Solar comes with pre-loaded topo maps. Since the Forerunner 955 Solar is tailor-made for runners, it comes with a configuration that strives to support extended running activity. This explains the incremental device storage of the Forerunner 955 Solar. For runners, there can be no better Garmin than the Forerunner 955 Solar watch. It boosts your battery power on bright sunny days while you are outdoors.
In terms of music storage, Forerunner 955 Solar and Fenix 7 Solar can store up to 2000 songs. So, the incremental storage on the Forerunner 955 Solar goes towards supporting your running activity to a great extent.
Multi-band GNSS or GPS
Forerunner 955 comes with a GNSS multi-frequency positioning sensor that can allow you to pick multi-band GPS signals at the same time. This feature is available on the Fenix 7 Sapphire edition watches. But, Fenix 7 Solar does not have this feature. Multi-band GPS signals can give a strong boost to the accuracy of the GPS data and locational data. Multi-frequency positioning is used for pinpoint accuracy and is also considered a military grade GPS system.
Again, the multi-frequency positioning sensor on the Forerunner 955 Solar makes it an ideal watch for athletes and runners.
Spectator messaging is a safety feature. It allows your followers to send text and audio messages to you. Forerunner 945 LTE had this feature. Forerunner 955 Solar comes with spectator messaging. It allows your Live Track followers to send messages to the Forerunner 955 Solar. These messages appear on the watch for a brief time of 8 seconds before disappearing from the watch.
Spectator messaging will work on the Forerunner 955 Solar through the paired phone connection. So, you will need your smartphone to be nearby. The network or cellular connectivity for spectator messaging will be provided by the paired smartphone.
It may be pertinent to mention that the spectator messaging feature is a very useful feature for trail runners and hiking enthusiasts.
Fenix 7 Solar does not have the Live Track or Spectator Messaging feature.
- Forerunner 955 Solar has additional profiles for indoor climbing and bouldering.
- Forerunner 955 Solar has preloaded topo, preloaded road, and trail maps. Fenix 7 Solar had pre-loaded Ski maps. You can still download the topo and trail maps on the Fenix 7 Solar from Garmin’s website or an open-source topo website.
- Fenix 7 Solar has an additional cycling profile for triathlons.
- On a similar basis, the Fenix 7 Solar watch has an extended set of Golf features.
- You will find the training and analysis features of Forerunner 955 are more exhaustive than those on a Fenix 7 Solar.
- Forerunner 955 Solar is more suitable for runners. Runners need a watch that is practical and made to offer better training support. Forerunner 955 has all the necessary features needed to support the running activity of the wearer. Pre-loaded topo and trail maps would go a long way in planning trail runs.
- Fenix 7 Solar has a rich set of features. It has a better finish and is definitely better looking than a Forerunner 955 Solar. The core features of the Fenix 7 Solar are better than Forerunner 955 Solar. It is a more complete watch than a Forerunner 955 Solar.
You may also like to read the following content related to Forerunner and Fenix 7 watches:
- Apple Watch 7 vs Garmin Forerunner 955
- Apple Watch SE vs Garmin Forerunner 255
- Garmin Forerunner 255 vs Forerunner 245
- Garmin Fenix 7 vs Forerunner 945
- Is Fenix 7 waterproof?
- Does Fenix 7 have ECG
Rajesh Dhawan is a technology professional who loves to blog about smart wearables, Cloud computing and Microsoft technologies. He loves to break complex problems into manageable chunks of meaningful information.