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Garmin Forerunner 955: your complete guide

Man running on a trail with two Garmin Forerunner 955 watches in the foreground
(Image credit: Getty / Garmin)

The Garmin Forerunner 955 has finally been released, and after a long wait, we finally know which of the rumors and leaks were true. Here's everything you need to know about the new watch so you can decide if it's the right one for you - and if you decide to upgrade, check out our guide to reusing your old Garmin watch to give your device a second life.

Release date

The Garmin Forerunner 955 was released on June 1, 2022 to coincide with Global Running Day, and is available to buy now direct from Garmin (opens in new tab). The company has a track record of releasing watches to celebrate the event, and released the Forerunner 55 to mark the occasion in 2021.

We got our first hint at the Forerunner 955's release date in early May, when a German Reddit user shared details he claimed to have read in an email that Garmin had sent to official retailers. It was impossible to verify the user's claims at the time, as there were no copies of the email, but it all proved to be correct.

The date was all but confirmed on May 31, when Garmin shared a post on its Instagram account teasing 'something big' on Global Running Day.

Price

The Forerunner 955 costs $499.99 / £479.99 for the standard edition, and $599.99 / £549.99 for the solar edition. That means the non-solar version is significantly cheaper than the Foreunner 945, which cost $599.99 / £519.99 when it launched in April 2019.

Models

The Forerunner 955 is available in two versions, standard and solar, both of which come in black and whitestone colorways. Unlike the Forerunner 255, the 955 only comes in one size with a case measuring 46.5mm in diameter.

Right now, there's no LTE version of the Forerunner 955 available, which may come as a disappointment to some Garmin fans. Earlier this year a page appeared on Garmin's Australian website listing a Forerunner 955 LTE bundle, but this was removed so swiftly, it wasn't even cached by Google, and there was no mention of such a watch when the Forerunner 955 and 255 were listed on US and Singaporean government websites prior their their release.

That doesn't mean it's off the cards entirely, though. The Forerunner 945 LTE edition was released several months after the standard and solar versions, so we may just have to wait a little longer.

Garmin Forerunner 955 standard edition with white band

The Forerunner 955 is available in standard and solar editions (Image credit: Garmin)

Design

In late May 2022, pictures of the Garmin Forerunner 955 leaked via a US retailer. The images (both 3D renders and promotional photos) show a watch that looks very similar to the Garmin Fenix 7, but without the metal-topped bezel and lugs.

It turned out those pictures were real, and the 955 does indeed closely resemble the Fenix 7. Whether you opt for the standard or solar edition, you'll get a watch with a 46.5mm diameter reinforced resin case, and silicone strap in ether black or whitestone (a soft white color).

The Forerunner 955 solar weighs 53g while the standard edition is 52g, making them just fractionally heavier than the 50g Forerunner 945. That's impressive considering the newer watch's larger display and greatly improved battery life.

Display

The Forerunner 955 has a memory-in-pixel (MIP) display measuring 1.3in in diameter, with a resolution of 260 x 260 pixels. That's slightly larger than the Forerunner 945, which had a 1.2in screen and a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels.

The decision to use MIP rather than OLED tech is a sensible one. Although it's not as striking, and isn't quite so well suited to displaying high-resolution maps, it's much less power-hungry, helping to extend battery life. It's also compatible with Garmin's current solar charging tech, which doesn't work well with OLED screens.

Garmin has registered patents for a technique that will allow it to add solar charging capacity to OLED watch faces by interspersing photovoltaic material in between the subpixels that make up the display. A parent is no guarantee that the tech will actually make its way into a commercially available product, but the Garmin 965 might give us the best of both worlds: a bright OLED screen that keeps the watch's battery topped up when exposed to sunlight.

Garmin Forerunner 955 standard edition with black band

The Forerunner 955 has a memory-in-pixel display that's slightly larger than that of the Forerunner 945 before it (Image credit: Garmin)

Battery life

According to Garmin's official stats, the standard Forerunner 955 will run for up to 15 days in smartwatch mode, 42 hours in GPS-only mode without music, and 20 hours in all-systems GNSS mode without music. To maximize battery life, the watch can run for 80 days in Ultratrac mode.

If you opt for the Forerunner 955 solar edition, that rises to 20 days in smartwatch mode, 49 hours in GPS-only mode without music, and 22 hours in all-systems GNSS mode without music. For multi-day events, it can keep going for 110 hours in Ultratrac mode

That's a significant upgrade from the Forerunner 945, which lacks multi-band GPS. The older watch can run for up to two weeks in smartwtch modes, up to 10 weeks in GPS mode with music, and up to 36 hours in GPS mode without music. 

We'll soon be testing the Forerunner 955 for ourselves and testing these claims, but most recent Garmin watches (such as the Fenix 7) have exceeded the manufacturer's claims in real-world testing, so we're quietly optimistic.

Fitness tracking

One of the Forerunner 955's biggest upgrades is the addition of multi-band GPS, which should make it easier for the watch to establish a lock, even in tricky areas like built-up environments and near cliff faces where satellites may not have a good line of sight. 

Again, many of the German Reddit user's claims about the Forerunner 955's features turned out to be true, including the Morning Report that greets you when you check the watch upon waking. This is a more advanced version of the report that debuted with the Garmin Lily (opens in new tab) in 2021, and includes a brief sleep summary, heart rate variability report, training status, a weather report, and more. You can also customize it to suit your preferences, which is a nice addition.

The Forerunner 955 also has a new Running Power feature that calculates the energy exerted during running when the watch is connected to a HRM-Pro heart rate monitor or Running Dynamics Pod. We've yet to test it ourselves, but this feature sounds very much like the Running Power app that's available to download through the Garmin Connect store – but now preinstalled as standard.

Woman attaching Garmin Running Dynamics Pod to her leggings

The Garmin Forerunner 955 can calculate Running Power when paired with a device like the Running Dynamics Pod (Image credit: Garmin)

As we'd expected, the Forerunner 955 features the real-time stamina meter that made its debut with the Fenix 7 and Epix earlier this year. It's an extremely handy tool that shows you how much energy you have for the rest of your workout at a glance, so you know whether to dial back the effort or push yourself a bit harder.

Another major addition is a new race widget, which provides a suggested workout plan to help you meet your goal, a countdown to the day itself complete with weather forecast, and race time predictions based on your fitness and past performance. Race time predictions are now available as a graph as well as a raw number, so you can see how they're changing in response to your training.

We'll be putting both the Forerunner 955 and 255 to the test soon, and will bring you a full review of both watches so you can decide whether it's time to upgrade.

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).