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Garmin Forerunner 255 Music vs
Apple Watch 8

Run through a quick comparison between these two top GPS smartwatches.

Comparing Apple Watch 8 vs Garmin Forerunner 255 Music

FR 255 When it comes to finding the right running watch, there are many options to choose from. Two popular options are the Garmin Forerunner 255 Music and the Apple Watch 8. Both are highly-rated watches that offer fitness features and music playback options, but they have some key differences that may make one a better fit for you.

One major difference between the two watches is the focus of their design. The Garmin Forerunner 255 Music is specifically marketed as a running watch with music, and it offers features specifically tailored towards runners, such as GPS tracking, training programs, and integrated health and performance data.

In contrast, the Apple Watch 8 is a more general-purpose smartwatch that also has running features, but it is not solely focused on running.

When it comes to music playback, both watches offer the ability to store and play music on the watch itself. However, the Garmin Forerunner 255 Music has a larger storage capacity for music, allowing you to store up to 500 songs. The Apple Watch 8, on the other hand, has a more limited storage capacity and requires an iPhone to stream music from other sources.

Another important consideration is the fitness tracking features of each watch. Both the Garmin Forerunner 255 Music and the Apple Watch 8 offer a range of sensors for tracking your activity, including GPS, heart rate monitoring, and step tracking.

However, the Garmin watch offers more advanced running metrics, such as cadence and ground contact time, which may be of interest to more serious runners.

Get the Quick Specs

  • Forerunner 255/255S Case Size/Weight:
    • FR 255: 45.6 x 45.6 x 12.9 mm / 49 g
    • FR 255S: 41 x 41 x 12.4 mm / 39 g
  • Apple Series 8 Case Size/Weight:
    • 41 x 35 x 10.7 mm / 32–42.3g
    • 45 x 38 x 10.7 mm / 38.8g–51.5g

  • FR 255 Display Size/Type:
    • FR 255: 1.3” sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
    • FR 255S: 1.1” sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
  • Apple Watch 8 Display Size/Type:
    • Always-on retina OLED display with a crack-resistant front crystal; Up to 1,000 nits brightness

  • FR 255 Battery Life:
    • FR 255
      Smartwatch Mode: Up to 14 days
      GPS Mode: Up to 30 hours
    • FR 255S
      Smartwatch Mode: Up to 12 days

      GPS Mode: Up to 26 hours
  • Apple 8 Battery Life: Up to 18 hours of all-day battery life; Up to 36 hours with new low power mode.

  • FR 255 GPS: Built-in multi-frequency positioning (GPS, Galileo, GLONASS)
  • Apple 8 GPS: Built-in L1 GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou

  • FR 255 Maps & Navigation: Real-time bread crumb trail, point to point navigation, back to start, TracBack®, up ahead; No maps
  • Apple 8 Maps & Navigation: None

  • FR 255 Price: No Music—$349.99, Music—$399.99
  • Apple Watch 8 with purple bandApple 8 Price: Starting at $399.99

So which should you buy?

That depends!

Overall, if you are specifically looking for a running watch with music capabilities, the Garmin Forerunner 255 Music is a strong choice. It offers a range of running-specific features and a larger storage capacity for music. On the other hand, if you want a smartwatch with some running capabilities that also offers a wider range of features and apps outside of running, health, and sports, the Apple Watch 8 may be a better fit.

Should I buy on Amazon or a smaller retailer like PlayBetter.com?

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Plus you'll have access to Bailey, Stasia and our wonderful Maryland-based customer happiness team. We have tons of happy reviews for a reason. 

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