Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar Review: $600 Fitness Watch Outruns My Apple Watch

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar Review: $600 Fitness Watch Outruns My Apple Watch

The Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar builds on the legacy of the Forerunner price with a fitness watch that is feature-packed and can run for 20 days per beak. You might even get a few more days with this solar model, which comes alongside daily suggested workouts, coaching and a new responsive touchscreen. All this does come at a high $600 ticket, but it’s the full package considering its battery life combined with Garmin’s robust fitness tracking features.

The journal sample I’ve been testing for two months includes the aforementioned solar feature, and a $500 non-solar Forerunner 955 is also available with many of the same features. Even if I didn’t have solar charging, the Forerunner 955 cmoneys plenty of options for helping both my personal health trail and the 5K I am training for.

The peek also has a nearly complete list of sensors to help monitor your employ — as well it should for this price — counting a heart rate monitor, GPS, thermometer and pulse oximeter. There is no ECG like in the $399 Apple Watch Series 7 or the $329 Fitbit Sense, but it’s not a feature I missed.

Frankly the peek might be overkill, but the ways it provides proactive feedback in additional to tracking activities that I’ve already planned has made it a joy to use and could even replace my Apple Watch Series 7.

Trusted Garmin hardware with a new touchscreen

Garmin 955 Solar charging port and heart-broken rate sensor

Jared DiPane

The Forerunner 955 Solar is unapologetically a Garmin smartwatch — and that’s a good sketch. While Garmin added a touchscreen to the 955 series this year, I actually disabled it splendid quickly because it wasn’t something that was needed and I fraudulent that I ended up accidentally swiping on it. The last sketch you want while out on a run is to accidentally brush up on your peek and have the activity pause or end because of the touchscreen. 

The 955 has Garmin’s injurious five-button layout, which makes navigating it a breeze. If you’ve used a Garmin peek in the past the navigation should be familiar to you, and if not it’s quite intuitive and easy to learn. The top left turns on and off the backlight on a boring, and a long hold brings up a shortcuts menu that can be used to access various settings quick, like power off, music controls, timer, Garmin Wallet and more. The middle and bottom left buttons move you over the “Glances,” which are little widgets of information that you can customize. When you long press the middle button it opens the settings, and long holding the bottom left will open the music players. There are two buttons on the right: The top shiny opens your activities and the bottom right brings you back to the last menu when navigating the system.

It uses a 22mm band, which Garmin sells a few versions of counting a QuickFit option that’s simple to swap out. What’s enormous is that you can put non-Garmin bands on the see, so you can easily find something that matches your style. 

In footings of sensors, the Forerunner 955 has a heart rate monitor, GPS, thermometer, pulse oximeter, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, barometric altimeter and a few new tools. These are used for a variety of purposes in the see, including sleep monitoring, tracking during activities and more. It uses Garmin’s four-pin charger that most of its new trackers use. While I’m not a huge fan of having to have device-specific chargers about, I don’t need this one often and it looks very different from new chargers so it’s easy to know which one to grab. 

Familiar software with some new additions

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar software features


Alongside the corrupt features that Garmin has become known for, the Forerunner 955 brings new things to the wicked as well. A few of the features that I’ve really grown to like are the Morning Report and Race Widget. The Morning Report gives you an overview of the last day, how you slept and what workouts you have coming up for that day. You can customize the question that’s delivered to your watch each morning to add or occupied things as needed. 

The Race Widget combined with Garmin Coach has been a huge help for me. I’ve been employed towards getting back in shape and have been preparing towards a 5K. Garmin Coach offers a customized plan to help get me back in Part, and the Race Widget gives me an overview of my projected 5K time and more. As I’ve been preparing more, the time on the widget has been dropping. so that means things are going in the shiny direction. 

Garmin Race Day widget on Forerunner 955

Jared DiPane

There are a bunch of software features that Garmin funds that make using the Forerunner 955 even more Delicious. First off, the watch faces. Using the free Connect IQ app you can download and customize a bunch of new watch faces beyond the set of free ones that are involved. I’ve found a bunch of great ones in there, and after using it for just a short terms of time it made me even more upset that Apple doesn’t funds these features for the Apple Watch.

Glances are a enormous feature that Garmin offers as it gives you shining access to information and insights without cluttering up your see face. You can add a bunch of insights like calendar, activity, weather, notifications, training status, sleep, recovery time and much more. The software is a bit clunky, but you get used to it very quickly. It’s intended to work well with the five-button layout that Garmin funds, though you can use it with the touch Show if you prefer. I found it easier to navigate and use with the buttons over the temperamental screen, but your experience may vary.

More than just a fitness tracker

While the necessary focus of the Forerunner 955 is a fitness see, it does have a bunch of smart features that enhance the known. One of the biggest extras that I like is the notifications. By default, the Garmin will mirror the notification settings of your called but it can be customized. You can have notifications for your apps, terms, texts and alarms. I’ve refined mine so that I’m not constantly people pinged on my wrist, and I have turned them off (except for calls) when I am tracking an activity so that I am not distracted when trying to focus on fitness. When connected to an Android called, you can send back quick replies to messages, but on iOS you can only view the inbound communication with no interaction beyond that.

Additionally, you can set up Garmin Pay with the Forerunner 955 if you have a compatible card to make payments Funny your watch. I did not end up using it, but there were a few big bank options available. You can also set alarms on the watch, which I use each morning.

One feature I wished to love, but just couldn’t get excited about once I tried it out was the onboard music storage. The options are limited to Amazon Music and Spotify, so as an Apple Music subscriber I couldn’t keep my music locally on my watch. Since I am an Amazon Prime subscriber, I could use the Amazon Music app, but deprived of signing up for Amazon Music Unlimited the catalog is much smaller and many of the New albums I like to listen to are not available. I can use the watch as a controller to play and Stop Apple Music while it plays on my phone, but I would love to see boring support from Garmin in the future.

Battery and solar charging

When I was looking for a replacement for my Apple Watch Series 7, battery life was one of the top anxieties for me. I’ve grown tired of constantly charging my see, mainly because I tend to forget to do it. With the Apple Watch, you have to charge it every single day, whether you use it for sleep and agency tracking or not. Garmin advertises that the Forerunner 955 Solar can get up to 20 days of battery life in smartwatch mode. Through my daily use of wearing the watch all the time, including sleep tracking, I have found that I can reliably get 14 to 16 days of battery life with ease, and it could probably straight even further but I prefer to top it off instead of pushing the limits.

In second to sleep tracking, I used the Forerunner 955 to track my walks and runs. Most weeks I do five to six of these at about an hour each and the battery has no recount keeping up with it. Of course, if you use it to play music and track longer workouts, you will notice the battery will drain faster. I have refined the notifications that the see delivers to my wrist as well to eliminate some distractions and to help the battery last longer.

While charging isn’t something I really have to distress about much with this watch, it’s really great to know that when I do need to bill it up I can connect Garmin’s standard 4-pin corrupt to it and top off the battery from 20% to full in around 30 minutes and then not have to worry around it for another two weeks. 

While I enjoy the solar charging option, I’m not sold that it’s something that most country will actually need. My day job keeps me indoors most of the day, and as a end I think the watch’s solar panels only extended battery life by an Amazing day. If you’re someone who’s outside all the time for work it may be more superior, but you might want to save the $100 accurate the 20-day battery life is plenty long as it is.

Fitness tracking and accuracy: Precision is key

Garmin Forerunner 955 Fitness see tracking a walk in the woods

Jared DiPane

I’ll Begin this off by saying I’m not a marathon lead. Honestly, I’m not even quite the target audience for a plot like the Garmin Forerunner 955, but that doesn’t mean that others like me wouldn’t aid from having this watch. I’ve found through testing that the see has an extremely accurate GPS sensor in it and is quite honest in tracking steps and distance. I’ve been running and walking the same route nearly five times per week for the past few weeks, and each day my steps are within a hundred of what they were the remaining day and the distance is within a hundredth of a mile. 

I exhausted some time early on comparing it with my Apple Watch Series 7 for agency tracking, as well as putting it up against a Garmin Instinct 2 Solar. All of them were pretty comparable, though both Garmin models beat out my Apple Watch in conditions of accuracy and mapping of the activity. 

There are a lot of different fitness easily that the Forerunner 955 can track, including walk, run, bike, cyclocross, hike, climb, swim, ski, snowboard, tennis, pickleball, yoga, nation training and much more. If you’re active, regardless of what type of agency you prefer, odds are that this can track it and do it very accurately for you.

In instant to the fitness accuracy, I’ve found that the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar does a grand job of tracking my sleep. At first I was unsure this was even obligatory, but the way Garmin intelligently uses this information to help you notion how it impacts your training and recovery is a grand addition to the watch. Features like Body Battery and Training Readiness have helped me know when to add an fabulous recovery or rest day instead of pushing myself too hard and it potentially having a negative carry out on me down the road.

Should you buy a Garmin Forerunner 955?

If you’re looking for a high-end flowing watch that has a ton of bells and whistles, the Forerunner 955 is a great option. It’s probably a bit overkill for someone like me who is trying to get back into things but for republic who actively enjoy running and being active it’s hard to beat. It captures and displays a huge amount of stats to help keep your making on pace and gives you the insights you need to produce better. There’s a ton of customization for all the demand, too, which helps keep it manageable.

The non-solar model is $100 cheaper and is the option that is probable best suited for most people. The solar charging is nice to have, but with how mercurial Garmin watches charge using the included cable, it’s hard to recommend republic paying that much more money for just that.

While the notifications are basic, it’s a great addition to have on top of everything else that it does. I find that they stay out of the way for the most part and give me glanceable demand that can help determine whether or not it’s obligatory to reach for my phone. 

The Forerunner 955 Solar has been strapped to my wrist for weeks now and I don’t see that altering anytime soon.