Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Forerunner 255

Garmin Forerunner 955 and Forerunner 255 are the latest Forerunner models. Garmin unveiled these in May 2022. Garmin Forerunner 955 seeks to replace the Forerunner 945 and Forerunner 255 seeks to replace the Forerunner 245 model.

For this particular study, we will seek to find the key differences between the Forerunner 955 and Forerunner 255 series of Garmin watches.

Price

Forerunner 955 has a listed price of $499.99 and Forerunner 255 has a listed price of $349.99. What do you get for an extra $150 on the Forerunner 955 over the Forerunner 255? This is the question we want to find an answer to.

Watch Glass

Forerunner 955, expectedly, has better watch display glass. The display screen of the Forerunner 955 is made of Corning Gorilla Glass with DX coating. Forerunner 255 has a display screen made of the Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

Corning Gorilla Glass 3 is a 3rd generation glass that was released for the first time in the year 2013. It has a high resistance and can prevent up to 35% scratches on the display screen.

Corning Gorilla Glass DX is a relatively newer glass variant that was released for the first time in 2018. Corning Gorilla Glass DX is harder and has better scratch resistance that the Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Also, Corning Gorilla Glass DX has an anti-reflective coating to improve display clarity for smartwatches and mobile phones.

For the incremental money spent, Forerunner 955 display glass is a good three generations ahead of the Forerunner 255 glass.

Touchscreen

Forerunner 955 has integrated the touchscreen functionality on the watch. Forerunner 255 continues to be bereft of the touchscreen feature. You have full control over the touchscreen feature. You can turn it on or off at your convenience.

The touchscreen feature is available on only a few models of Garmin watches. The Fenix 7 series is the latest series with a touchscreen feature.

Physical specifications

There are marginal differences in the physical attributes of the Forerunner 955 and Forerunner 255 smartwatches for runners.

  • Forerunner 955 has a watch size of 46.5 mm and a thickness of 14.4 mm. Forerunner 255 has a watch size of 45.6 mm and a thickness of 12.9 mm.
  • Forerunner 955 has a watch weight of 52 g and Forerunner 255 has a watch weight of 49 g.
  • Both watches can carry a 22 mm watch band.

Battery

Again, there are marginal improvements in the battery life of Forerunner 955 and Forerunner 255.

  • Smartwatch mode – Forerunner 955 has a 15 days battery life and Forerunner 255 has a 14 days battery life on the smartwatch mode.
  • GPS Mode – Forerunner 955 has a battery life of 42 hours on GPS mode and Forerunner 255 has a battery life of 30 hours on the GPS mode.
  • Both watches support multi-point frequency positioning for better GPS accuracy. For multi-point GNSS frequency positioning, the battery life of Forerunner 955 is 25 hours and for Forerunner 255 the battery backup is 20 hours.

Device Storage

Forerunner 955 is more suitable for hikers and trail runners. It has higher device storage that allows you to use topo and trail maps from different sources. Forerunner 955 has watch storage of 32 GB. Forerunner 255 has device storage of 4 GB. The kind of flexibility that you get with incremental memory of Forerunner 255 is a plus point.

The incremental device storage of Forerunner 955 also allows you to store up to 2000 songs on the watch storage.

Music

The standard edition of Forerunner 255 does not have music capability. Forerunner 255 Music edition is the model that is compatible with music storage and playback. Forerunner 255 Music edition comes at a listed price of $399.99.

Forerunner 955 has full music functionality.

  • You can control smartphone music through Forerunner 955. You will need to have a paired connection between the watch and the smartphone.
  • You can download personal audio content on the Forerunner 955 device storage.
  • You can also connect to third-party music streaming app services like Spotify.

If you are big-time into music while taking fitness runs, Forerunner 955 must be a preferred option over the Forerunner 255.

Golf

Forerunner 955 has full support for Golf. Forerunner 255 lacks a Golf app and support for the game of Golf.

  • Forerunner 955 has an integrated Golf app while the Forerunner 255 does not have the Golf app.
  • Forerunner 955 comes preloaded with 42000 golf course maps.
  • Forerunner 955 offers all the Golf features supported. Things like Garmin Auto Shot, Yardage, automatic shot distance calculation, round timer, tournament legal etc. are a part of the Forerunner 955 smartwatch.

Golf on Forerunner 955 could be a deciding factor for folks who intend to use the Forerunner 955 for a game or two.

Spectator Messaging

Spectator Messaging is a safety feature on the Forerunner 955. You can use spectator messaging to receive messages from your followers who are live-tracking you. These messages will be received on your Forerunner 955 watch with the underlying cellular network connectivity of the paired smartphone.

Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE did have the spectator messaging feature. It used to ride on the LTE network connection through the watch for spectator messaging. Forerunner 955 rides on the paired smartphone’s network connectivity for spectator messaging. For trail runners, cross-country runners, and hikers, spectator messaging can be a very useful safety feature to have.

Forerunner 255 does not have a spectator messaging feature.

Other features

There are some other feature improvements on Forerunner 955. We list these below for a ready reference point:

  • Forerunner 955 comes with Bluetooth, ANT+, and Wi-FI support. Forerunner 255 has Bluetooth and ANT+ support and lacks Wi-Fi function.
  • Forerunner 955 has additional profiles for bouldering and indoor rowing.
  • Forerunner 955 has swimming and running profiles over and above the open water swimming and pool swimming profiles.
  • Forerunner 955 comes with preloaded cycle maps that contain cycling routes and street maps.
  • Forerunner 955 has multiple outdoor recreation profiles that are unavailable on the Forerunner 255 smartwatch. The incremental outdoor recreation profiles are Climbing, Backcountry Skiing, XC Skate Skiing, Kayaking, Snowshoeing, Mapping, Navigating, Tennis, Pickleball, Padel, Track Me, and Project Waypoint.
  • Forerunner 955 also offers additional training metrics and outdoor recreation metrics including Strava live segments and Garmin live segments.

Summary

If given a choice, I will prefer Forerunner 955 over the Forerunner 255 for the following reasons:

  • better glass coating on the display screen.
  • full music functionality
  • full support for the Golf app and Golf features.
  • spectator messaging.
  • incremental device storage for expanding topo and trail maps.

At the same time, Forerunner 255 is a very good choice for being the first basic Forerunner watch.

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