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Forerunner 255 & 955 — Which One Should You Buy? We Fill in the Gaps About the Features on These New Garmin Watches for Runners.
Buy Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar (46.5 mm)
The Forerunner 955 Solar has lots of new solid features. Will Garmin release firmware updates with these features? We discuss it below!
Buy Garmin Forerunner 255/255S (46.5 & 41 mm)
Not only does the 2022 Forerunner 255/255S offer 2 size options, it's loaded with new running features. Will Garmin update the 3-year-old FR245?
Garmin Forerunner 255 & 955 FAQs
- Watch the Chase the Summit Forerunner 255 & 955 Q&A Video
- What are the completely new Garmin Forerunner 255/955 features?
- Is the Forerunner 255/255S now a full multisport watch?
- Forerunner 955 vs 255 — What's the difference?
- Does the Forerunner 255 Series now have a barometric altimeter?
- Will older Garmin watches get these new Forerunner features in firmware updates?
- What are the benefits of upgrading from the Forerunner 945 to the 955?
- Will Stryd work with Native Running Power on the Garmin Forerunner 255/955?
- Will there be a Forerunner 955 LTE version?
- Should you buy a Forerunner 255 over the Forerunner 745?
- Does the Garmin Forerunner 255/255S have Hot Keys?
SHOP THESE NEW GARMIN WATCHES FOR RUNNERS & TRIATHLETES!
Garmin Forerunner 955 & 255 Q&A Video
from Our Partner, Chase the Summit!
What are the completely new Garmin Forerunner 255/955 features?
On the Forerunner 255 & 955 Series
- Morning report
- Full triathlon support
- Race widget
- HRV status
- Native running power
- Multi-band GPS
On the Forerunner 955/955 Solar Only
- Real-time stamina insights
- Solar charging option
- Training Readiness
Is the Forerunner 255/255S now a full multisport watch?
YES! The Garmin Forerunner 255/255S is now also a multisport triathlon watch! Features include:
- Multi-band GPS support
- Barometric altimeter and compass
- Full triathlon/multisport support & activity profiles
- Cycling power meters support
- Cycling VO2Max
- Native running power
- Running-power specific training zones
- HRV status tracking
- Morning Report (summarizes HRV, Sleep, workout plans, etc.)
- New Race Calendar & Race Details/Countdown Widgets
- New Race prediction widget
- Acute Load metric
- Massively overhauled how Training status/load works
- Changed Training Load Focus to be aware of your entire race calendar
- Daily suggested workouts can no autocreate workouts for future races
Forerunner 955 vs 255 — What's the difference?
- The Forerunner 955/955 Solar premium multisport watch adds a responsive touchscreen to traditional button operation; the Forerunner 255/255S (with and without music options) is trusty button operation only.
- The Garmin Forerunner 955 Series offers more battery life and a solar-charging option!
- The FR955 has more storage on watch—32 GB vs FR255's 4 GB.
- The Forerunner 255/255S offers 2 sizes.
- Both of these Garmin watches for runners and triathletes feature Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity, but the Forerunner 955 also has Wi-Fi.
- The Garmin Forerunner 955/955 Solar running watches can store up to 2,000 songs on watch for phone-free listening. The Forerunner 255 Music and 255S Music models can store up to 500 songs.
- The Forerunner 955 Series pairs with the Garmin Golf app and has lots of golfing features—basically, there's a whole golf watch in it!
- The Forerunner 955/955 Solar offers Spectator Messaging with a pair smartphone and Group LiveTrack.
- The Forerunner 955 Series has dual-grid coordinates.
- Get Training Readiness and Real-Time Stamina with the FR955.
- The Garmin Forerunner 955/955 Solar advanced GPS watches have Garmin Live Segments, Strava Live Stegments, Round-Rrip Course Creator for running and cycling, and Trendline Popularity Routing.
- The Forerunner 955 Series has Hot Keys.
- The FR955 has ClimbPro ascent planner.
- The Forerunner 955 Series comes preloaded with full-color topo maps.
Does the Forerunner 255 Series now have a barometric altimeter?
YES! The Forerunner 255/255S does now have a barometric altimeter!
So, this running/triathlon watch will record your elevation data when you are out on an activity and display it in real-time during your activity in the data field.
Will older Garmin watches get these new Forerunner features in firmware updates?
Dave from Chase the Summit predicts with 99% certainty that all the new higher-end Garmin with touchscreens released this year will get firmware updates with these new running features.
You can probably expect the fēnix 7 Series, epix 2, and tactix 7 to get them in a future firmware update. But probably not the Instinct 2/2S, because it is more of an outdoor hiking watch and less of a training tool.
This, of course is based on what Garmin has done in the past, but none of us has any assurance from Garmin that they will do it. It's just very likely.
As for getting these Forerunner 255 upgrades on the 245 ... it's hard to say. We've had people say that, up until now, they've gotten new software updates on their Forerunner 245.
But now that the FR245 is 3 years old and a new version is out ... it seems unlikely.
What are the benefits of upgrading from the Forerunner 945 to the 955?
- New, responsive touchscreen in addition to traditional button operation.
- Daily training readiness score to know what kind of workout day it is.
- Customized morning report and an outlook on your training, recovery, the weather, and more!
- Race widget with the personalized infromation you need while you train for your next race.
- New HRV status offers a deeper understanding of your overall wellbeing while training.
- Real-time stamina to track and manage your exertion.
- Garmin's new multi-band GPS for superior accuracy for how far and how fast you’ve run—even in challenging environments.
- Running power-specific training zones.
- Built-in running power—no app or data field downloading necessary—just pair with your compatible sensor and go!
- New race calendar and race details/countdown widget.
- New race prediction widget.
- Acute load metric.
- The abiity to redirect Emergency Assitance to a single person.
- Added data carosel withing certain watch faces.
- Daily Health Snapshot.
- "Up Ahead" feature to predefined markers like aide stations, climbs, etc.
- Race Predictor historical trendlines.
- Run/Walk/Stand graphing within a workout.
- Spectator Messaging with paired smartphone.
- New graphical charts as data fields.
- Ability to configure watch activity profiles and data fields from your phone.
- Map Manager for adding maps to your wrist via Wi-Fi.
- Garmin SkiView and cross country ski trails.
- Swipe left on touchscreen to create a lap.
- Training Load Focus syncs with your race calendar.
- Daily suggested workouts can now be tied to future calendar race events, auto sycing workouts for that distance/course.
- The latest Garmin Elevate 4.0 Optical heart rate sensor.
- Improved Garmin 955/955 Solar battery life.
Will Stryd work with Native Running Power on the Garmin Forerunner 255/955?
Not without installing the third-party Stryd data field and using the Stryd app.
As mentioned, the Forerunner 255 and 955 now have Native Running Power, which means that, when using a Running Dynamics Pod or HRM-Pro™ (sold separately), you can receive real-time metrics of how much power is being exerted on a run, built into the watch—no app required.
The Stryd pod is a sensor that you can attach to your shoe and can record running power to your Garmin watch, Apple watch, phone ... as long as you are using the Stryd app.
But Dave tried to get it to work with both the FR255 & FR955, without the Stryd app and data field installed, and it did not work—which is the point of Native Running Power: you don't have to do all that.
Will there be a Forerunner 955 LTE version?
No word from Garmin on this, but it doesn't seem likely.
Both Dave from Chase the Summit and DC Rainmaker don't foresee Garmin releasing a Forerunner 955 LTE.
But again, we have heard nothing from Garmin to support this. So it is a wait and see situation.
Although, Garmin added Spectator Messaging, as seen on FR945 LTE, but requires your smartphone to be with you on the FR955. Plus, ability to redirect Emergency Assitance to a single person. So, the Forerunner 955/955 Solar multisport has picked up a few of the upgarded safety tracking features of the LTE.
Should you buy a Forerunner 255 over the Forerunner 745?
Based on new training tools alone, we would recommend the Forerunner 255/255S over the FR745 (we don't know if it will get all the updates).
Plus, the Forerunner 255/255S has the new dual-frequency chipset for multi-band GNSS, which means you get more accurate tracking in challenging envioronments.
Additionally, the Forerunner 255 Series offers much more battery life, which makes it a better watch for runners and triathletes.
Does the Garmin Forerunner 255/255S have Hot Keys?
Oddly, Garmin left Hot Key customization off of the Forerunner 255.
Hot Keys lets you customize buttons to quickly access specific settings or options on the watch. This allows for assigning shortcuts to the watch buttons instead of needing to make the selections from the watch menus.