Garmin Forerunner 255 is the latest Forerunner series released in May 2022. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 was released in August 2021. Both watches are priced in identical price bands. We look at the key aspects of both watches. This should help you take an informed decision about picking the right smartwatch for your cause.
What is your main goal behind buying the next smartwatch? Forerunner series is geared more towards runners. The Forerunner 255 smartwatch is suitable for advanced runners. There are simpler Forerunner models for the beginners. But, the Forerunner 255 fits right in middle of the Forerunner 55 and the Forerunner 955 series smartwatch. It offers exhaustive activity tracking and tracks your running efforts like no other smartwatch.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is a watch with all round capabilities. Galaxy Watch 4 is touted as the best Android smartwatch available. The watch is reasonably priced and offers advanced health and heart tracking features. However, it does not come close to advanced activity, running and fitness tracking offered by a Forerunner 255.
So, if you are an athlete, Forerunner 255 will be more apt. For all round smartwatch usage, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 will offer varied functionality.
Forerunner 255 is based on the Garmin operating system. Garmin watches can work with Android and iOS operating systems without much problem. Garmin watches make use of the Garmin Connect app to integrate with the paired smartphone. And, Garmin Connect app is available for Android and iOS devices alike.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is based on the Wear OS version 3. It can be used only on Android devices. The Wear OS is developed by Google. Wear OS 3 can only work within the Android eco-system. So, if you have an iOS device, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 will not activate on the device. iPhone users cannot make use of the Galaxy Watch 4.
Forerunner 255 series does not have any LTE or cellular model. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 does come with LTE model. The LTE model of Samsung Watch 4 will work with cellular networks. You can leave your phone at home and carry the Samsung Watch 4 independently. With the help of e-Sim functionality, the Samsung Watch 4 LTE model will never go out of the cellular network coverage.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 outscores the Forerunner 255 when it comes to display performance and resolution.
- Galaxy Watch 4 has a Super AMOLED display while the Forerunner 255 works with the memory-in-pixel or MIP screen.
- Galaxy Watch 4 has a much improved display resolution of 450 x 450 pixels. Forerunner 255 has a display resolution of 260 x 260 pixels. Samsung Watch 4’s display resolution is more like the display resolution of an Apple Watch 7.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has a touchscreen functionality. Forerunner 255 lacks the touchscreen feature on the watch.
- Forerunner 255 has a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 display. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 comes with Corning Gorilla Glass with DX coating. Samsung uses a newer variant of Corning’s Gorilla Glass. The DX coating of the smartwatch glass enhances readability in sunlight. It also improves the contrast ratio of the smartwatch’s display glass. It can be definitely stated that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has a better and newer display glass.
Music feature of a smartwatch comes with many possibilities. The smartwatch should be able to:
- control music on the paired smartphone
- store music locally on the watch so that you can listed to songs offline
- stream music through music streaming apps like Spotify and Deezer
Forerunner 255 standard edition does not have music feature. Forerunner 255 Music edition is the watch model that comes with music feature and is pricier than Forerunner 255 standard edition by $50.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has full suite of music features. It has a 16 GB smartwatch device storage for storing music locally on the Galaxy 5 smartwatch. You can also stream music through the Spotify and YouTube music apps.
Galaxy Watch 4 has a device storage of 16 GB while the Forerunner 255 has a device storage of 4 GB only. Galaxy Watch 4 is touted as the best Android smartwatch for a reason. It has integrated a high number of features and capabilities into the watch. That includes a fast processor and 1.5 GB internal RAM or memory for faster processing of the watch.
Forerunner 255 is designed to provide longer battery life for runners. It can last for up to 14 days on the smartwatch mode. On the GPS mode, it can last for up to 30 hours. What this implies is that you will never be out of battery charge while on an outdoor run.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 barely lasts for 2 days. When you use it on an outdoor run, there are chances that you may run out of battery charge while using the GPS mode. The saving factor is fast charging on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. Galaxy Watch 4 comes with 361 mAH battery size.
Forerunner 255 comes with multi-frequency positioning sensor. It can allow you to take GPS data from multiple satellites at the same. In other words, Forerunner 255 supports multi-band frequency. Generally speaking, using GPS and GLONASS settings at the same time offer best results for a Forerunner 255 smartwatch. Forerunner 255 also supports Galileo satellite systems.
Forerunner 255 would offer one of the best quality GPS data for running activities.
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 supports GPS, Galileo, GLONASS and BeiDou satellite systems. However, it does not support multi-band frequency. On a similar note, it does not have the multi-frequency positioning sensor on the watch.
Forerunner 255 comes at a list price of $349.99 and the Forerunner 255 Music edition comes for $399.99. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has multiple variants. The 40 mm Galaxy Watch 4 Classic edition costs $199 and the 46 mm Galaxy Watch 4 LTE edition comes for little over $400.
Forerunner 255 tracks your heart rate on a consistent and perpetual basis. However, it lacks the ability to take ECG readings on a spot basis.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, on the other hand, has an ECG sensor that can help you take spot ECG readings and share with your doctor. ECG functionality is subject to legal approvals. So, ECG functionality on Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is available and approved in specific countries only. Nevertheless, the availability of ECG feature on Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is one of the biggest strong points about the Galaxy Watch 4.
A concise table of comparison has been made below. This will offer you an insightful view into the various features of Forerunner 255 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.
|Feature||Forerunner 255||Samsung Galaxy Watch 4|
|Display Glass||Corning Gorilla Glass 3||Corning Gorilla Glass DX+|
|Display Resolution||260 x 260 pixels||450 x 450 pixels or 396 x 396 pixels|
|Size||46 mm||40 mm, 44 mm and 46 mm|
|LTE Model||Not Available||Available|
|Water Rating||5 ATM||5 ATM|
|Device Storage||4 GB||16 GB|
|Processor||Details unavailable||W920 Exynos|
|Memory||Details unavailable||1.5 GB|
|Wireless Charging||Not Available||Available|
|GPS||GPS, GLONASS, Galileo||GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou|
|Wireless||Bluetooth, ANT+||Bluetooth, Wi-Fi|
|Display Screen Size||33 mm||30 mm – 35 mm|
|Operating System||Garmin OS||Wear OS|
|Price||$349.99||$199.99 – $429|
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has everything that you would expect of a good smartwatch with all round capabilities. Forerunner 255 is a specialized running watch that can provide granular details of activity and running tracking. In terms of cost and price, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is more cost friendly.
You may also like to read more content related to Samsung and Garmin watches below:
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- Fitbit Sense Vs Samsung Watch 4
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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.