Garmin updates the Forerunner family with racing features and solar power

Just in time for Global Running Day, Garmin is introducing two new running watches in the Forerunner lineup: the $349.99 Forerunner 255 and the $499.99 Forerunner 955. Both GPS watches have multi-band GPS and new racing features, including a racing widget. The Forerunner 955 also comes in a Solar version, which, as the name suggests, adds solar charging for even longer battery life.

The Forerunner 255 is a lightweight, midrange running watch that builds on the Forerunner 245. It is available in two sizes. The standard Forerunner 255 measures 46mm and weighs 49 grams, while the smaller 255S measures 41mm and weighs 32 grams. There will also be a Forerunner 255 Music and 255S Music variant, which can store up to 500 songs on the watch itself. Garmin says that also includes playlists from Spotify, Amazon Music and Deezer. The Music models cost an additional $50 for a total of $399.99. The watches have a water resistance of 5 ATM with an estimated battery life of 14 days, with up to 30 hours in GPS mode.

The big additions this time around include a new race widget, heart rate variability (HRV) status during sleep, multiband GPS and the ability for triathletes to switch between sports more easily at the touch of a button. The race widget contains race preparation information, including performance predictions, race day weather, and a countdown timer. Multiband GPS is an increasingly popular feature on multisport watches that improves GPS accuracy by allowing communication with multiple satellite frequencies. The promise is better accuracy in environments where it is difficult to get a good signal. Finally, the watch also has a “morning report” feature. When a user wakes up, the watch provides a brief summary of that day’s weather, a daily workout suggestion, and a report of last night’s sleep, recovery time, workout status, and HRV status.

Compared to the Forerunner 245, the 255 series adds an NFC chip for Garmin Pay. Otherwise it is not too different in terms of sensor. It still features continuous heart rate monitoring and SpO2 sensors to enable features like Body Battery. The statistic measures how well you have recovered during sleep and how ‘exhausted’ you are during the day from stress. The Forerunner 255 series also supports basic smartwatch functions such as push notifications and Garmin’s safety features such as incident detection and live tracking. For training features, it also gives users daily training suggestions and access to training programs via Garmin Coach and in-depth statistics on the Garmin Connect app.

The Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar and non-solar models side by side

The Forerunner 955 Series adds solar charging and a new workout readiness metric.
Image: Garmin

Meanwhile, the Forerunner 955 is more of a premium running watch. (Although, it’s not as fully featured as Garmin’s flagship Fenix ​​series.) It has a 47mm always-on, full-color touchscreen display and weighs 52 grams. Button fans need not worry though. The 955 still includes five physical buttons that can be used in conjunction with the touchscreen. Like the 255 series, it is rated for 5ATM water resistance, but has a slightly longer battery life of an estimated 15 days, with 42 hours in GPS mode. There’s also a $599.99 Forerunner 955 Solar, with Garmin’s own Power Glass lens. With solar charging, the 955 Solar lasts up to 20 days on a single charge, with 49 hours in GPS mode. (This is assuming you get about three hours a day in 50,000 lux conditions, so take that with a grain of salt.)

Like the Forerunner 255 series, the Forerunner 955 also gets multi-band GPS, HRV status, morning reports and the new race widget. It also has a new workout readiness metric. As the name implies, the metric takes into account sleep, recovery time, HRV, and a few other metrics to give users a score that reflects how “ready” they are for a training session. It also adds real-time stamina tracking, which Garmin first introduced with its Fenix ​​7 series.

In terms of health tracking and smart features, the Forerunner 955 has the same basic features as the 255. However, it adds a few extra training stats like PacePro and ClimbPro, which provide real-time guidance on your pace and elevation. You can also store a larger number of numbers on the 955 – 2,000 to be exact.

Both the Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 955 are available today. The Forerunner 255 is available in four colors: gray, pink, blue and black. Meanwhile, the Forerunner 955 is available in white and black.

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