Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Fenix ​​7: Which Running Watch is Right for You? (2023)

Vonandreas williams


Can the new Garmin Forerunner 955 beat the Garmin Fenix ​​7?

Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Fenix ​​7: Which Running Watch is Right for You? (1)

The Garmin Forerunner 955 vs. Garmin Fenix ​​7: Two of thebest garmin watchhigh quality multisport fitness watches and supplies. They are quite similar and have so many features that it is hard to imagine one person using all of them.

However, there are some differences between these two. The Fenix ​​7 costs a little more and has a stainless steel or titanium frame and back plate. You can see our completeGarmin Forerunner 955 hands-on testfor an early judgement, but the Forerunner is a bit cheaper and uses tough plastic that's less durable. This significantly reduces weight, making the watch more comfortable to wear 24/7.

The Garmin Forerunner 955 also introduces some new athlete-ready features like HRV status, training readiness, and the race calendar. However, we wouldn't be surprised if they were added to the Fenix ​​7 in a future software update.

(Video) Garmin Fenix 7 vs Forerunner 955 In-Depth Comparison - So Similar, So Different!

Ultimately, this is a pretty easy decision. Perhaps you'd like to spend $100 more for a sturdier, more serious-looking stainless steel frame and accept a little extra weight as part of the deal?

The Fenix ​​7 and Forerunner 955 are high-end fitness watches with similar capabilities, and you really can't go wrong with either.

Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Fenix ​​​​7: price and availability

The Garmin Forerunner 955 is somewhat more affordable than the Fenix ​​7. Garmin can disguise the differences between these two models in other ways, but saving a little money is the main reason to choose a Forerunner over the Fenix.

There are two versions of the Forerunner 955.The standard watch is $499.99 / £479.99(opens in a new tab), oThe solar-charged Power Glass model is $599.99 / £549.99(opens in a new tab).

The costs of Fenix ​​7$699 / £599 for the standard model(opens in a new tab), $799/£689 for the solar version and$899 / £779 for Sapphire Solar(opens in a new tab)with extra hard glass. You save about $100 each.

These two series of watches belong to the same generation, but the Fenix ​​​​7 came before. It landed in January 2022 while the Forerunner 955 landed in June 2022.

Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Fenix ​​7: Which Running Watch is Right for You? (2)

Garmin Forerunner 955 vs. Garmin Fenix ​​​​7: Design and Display

  • The Forerunner 955 has a "resin" plastic frame, the Fenix ​​7 has a steel one
  • Metal makes the Fenix ​​7 noticeably heavier
  • The screens are much the same, but the top-of-the-line Sapphire Solar Fenix ​​is ​​more reflective

The key design differences are pretty much the same as last generation when the Fenix ​​6 and Forerunner 945 were competing for your money. The two watches look and feel similar, but the materials used are not the same.

The Fenix ​​7 has a stainless steel or titanium bezel and caseback, while the Forerunner 955 has a durable resin case. That makes the Fenix ​​7 a bit more sophisticated, and a bit heavier too.

No one will call the Forerunner 955 a simple sports watch, but the use of plastic is pragmatic and value-oriented. If we take a closer look at our scale, the Forerunner 955 Solar weighs 53g versus our Garmin Fenix ​​6 Solar Titanium's 72g.

The benefit of the lighter weight was immediately apparent in our first test with the Forerunner 955. Try to move less on your wrist as the resin case can't handle as much momentum. Less movement means you don't have to worry as much about the strap being too tight to get good HR results, and on some wrists this can mean HR readings become a bit more consistent during exercise.

However, with a Forerunner 955, you can't choose sizes. The dial measures just over 47mm in diameter, the same as the standard Fenix ​​7. However, the Fenix ​​line will be expanded to include the Fenix ​​7S and Fenix ​​7X watches. The "S" has a smaller 42mm face, the "X" a massive 51mm face.

All versions of both families use the same central display technology, MIP LCD. Older Garmin watch owners will be familiar with this style. It looks incredibly bright outdoors on sunny days and uses a front light to illuminate the screen in the dark, since the panel isn't backlit like a standard LCD or OLED.

(Video) Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Fenix 7: Which Is Best?

The screen resolutions of the Fenix ​​7 and 47mm Forerunner 955 are also the same: 260 x 260 pixels. If you don't like a screen with relatively flat colors and contrasts (but great clarity outdoors), you don't want these watches, but rather a Garmin Venu 2 or Garmin Epix. They have OLED panels.

However, the Forerunner 955 shares the same big usability change introduced in the Garmin Fenix ​​7 and Epix. These high-end watches feature touchscreens, but unlike other touchscreen Garmin watches, they also feature the classic physical buttons.

By default, the touch screen is disabled during tracked activities to prevent accidental touches and recorded touches. In typical Garmin fashion, you're in control. The touch screen can be completely disabled in the user interface and toggled on and off for separately logged workouts.

The first thing we noticed when comparing our Fenix ​​7 Sapphire Solar and Foreunner 955 Solar head-to-head was the contrast. It may sound surprising, but Garmin's standard Power Glass results in better internal screen clarity and deeper blacks than the Power Sapphire seen on the higher-end Fenix ​​7 Sapphire Solar.

However, this is not a criticism of the Fenix ​​7. The "standard" Fenix ​​7 Solar uses Power Glass, not Power Sapphire. This is something to keep in mind if you're tempted by the premium Sapphire Solar version. While it's more resistant to scratches, it lacks the standard Power Glass anti-glare coating made by Corning, the maker of the Gorilla Glass used on most big phones.

Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Fenix ​​7: Which Running Watch is Right for You? (3)

Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Fenix ​​7: Battery Life

  • Both watches can last up to several weeks between charges.
  • Fenix ​​7 has a slight advantage for battery life
  • Both charge with Garmin's long-lasting four-pin cable

These watches are very durable by smartwatch standards, but the Fenix ​​7 has a slight advantage in endurance. Garmin rates the Forerunner 955 Solar at 20 days of use between charges when it receives three hours of decent sunlight per day. Fenix ​​​​​​​​​​7 is fixed in 22 days under the same conditions.

Garmin says the Forerunner 955 Solar can last up to 49 hours of constant GPS tracking, and the Fenix ​​7's numbers vary greatly depending on the mode used. Using all GPS satellite bands you get about 40 hours on the standard Fenix ​​7, 48 hours on the Fenix ​​7 Solar. Increases to 57 (standard) or 73 (solar) hours when using only a US GPS satellite array.

Given that we're talking about a week of real-world use with multiple long runs tracked via GPS, the discrepancy here is unlikely to feel too great in person.

Garmin Forerunner 955 vs. Garmin Fenix ​​7: Fitness Tracking

  • Forerunner 955 adds HRV status
  • Body Battery se complementa con Training Readiness en el Forerunner 955
  • Their abilities are ultimately very similar.

The Fenix ​​7 and Forerunner 955 are equally powerful fitness watches. Both can do advanced things like: Control Smart Turbo trainers, connect to external Bluetooth or ANT+ sensors, and download maps for complete offline navigation.

Garmin has added some new software features to the Forerunner 955. They're not present on the Fenix ​​7 at the time of writing, but it's likely that at least some of them will be coming to the Fenix ​​7 in a software update. There's no technical reason to avoid this, and since they're part of the same generation, the Fenix ​​7 arguably deserves them.

HRV status is more useful for the average fitness tracker buyer. In the statistics that you can access every day, much more prominence is given to heart rate variability.

Until recently, you needed a chest strap HR sensor to really see HRV results. This has changed with the latest generation of watches that display HRV scores in Health Snapshot mode. It's two minutes long and asks you to stay still the entire time, which isn't very appealing for everyday use.

Forerunner 955 adds HRV status. This will record your heart rate variability throughout the night. If you open the HRV widget on the watch, you can see a graph of the results. Its display is similar to measuring heart rate during training.

(Video) Garmin 955 vs Fenix 7 [Which Should YOU Buy - Differences Looks!]

While sleeping is the most practical time to record heart rate variability, as it's a much more sensitive metric than heart rate and is still useful as long as it's within a few beats per minute. HRV scores are calculated as an average of the millisecond difference between heartbeats during sleep – a higher average deviation is better, as it suggests your cardiovascular system is more adaptable.

HRV is also compatible with another new Forerunner 955 feature, Workout Readiness. As the name suggests, this estimates how ready you are for a workout. It's the Athlete version for Body Battery, the alternative our Fenix ​​7 has at the time of writing (the Forerunner 955 also has Body Battery).

Honestly, the two look pretty similar where we are. They give you a score out of 100 based on your sleep, stress, and how much exercise you've done in the last day. However, the presentation is slightly different.

The Body Battery seems to be made for Garmin's mass-market watches, a way to see if you're getting enough sleep. Training Readiness breaks things down even further, with separate fields for acute stress, recovery time, and other constituent metrics. It's a response to wearable devices like the Whoop band, which are almost exclusively geared towards recovery and training optimization.

The latest notable addition to the Forerunner 955 is another feature for athletes called the Run Calendar. Enter your races or the dates of upcoming events like triathlons, half marathons, 10K charity runs, etc. in the Garmin Connect app. The race calendar widget displays a countdown, expected weather reports, and this also feeds the suggested workouts it displays.

The race calendar and training readiness make the Garmin Forerunner 955 a more athlete-focused watch than the Fenix ​​7, which is unexpected given that the Forerunner is a bit more affordable. In our opinion, this all means that these additional features are likely to be added to Fenix ​​7's already large library of widgets in a feature update.

If the Fenix ​​7 is a serious enough watch for Garmin's training status feature, then it deserves the new training readiness as well.

When we first took the Garmin Forerunner 955 out for a run, we found its info screens to be emptier than the Fenix ​​7's, with three info fields per screen instead of four. However, this can be adjusted in the watch settings menu, so it doesn't really set these watches apart.

Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Fenix ​​7: recurrencias

  • They have the same main features.
  • Up to 32 GB of storage each
  • The map manager

All in all, the Forerunner 955 and the Fenix ​​7 are pretty much on par. Both use Garmin's Elevate v4 heart rate hardware, have a barometric altimeter, temperature readout, and multiband GPS. Both also feature Pulse Ox, Garmin's trademark for SpO2 blood oxygen readings.

They also have downloadable offline maps. We initially thought the Forerunner 955 didn't have the Fenix ​​7's map manager where you download data for new countries, but it just moved on. You'll find it in the main Settings menu, not as a widget found among the exercise tracking modes.

Like the Fenix ​​7 Solar, our Forerunner 955 Solar has 32GB of storage and comes with TopoActive Europe maps preloaded. Both watches also support music streaming for use with a pair of Bluetooth headphones.

  • Garmin launches the Forerunner 955 and 255 series of watches


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(Video) Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Fenix 7

Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Fenix ​​7: Which Running Watch is Right for You? (4)

andreas williams

Andrew is a freelance journalist and has written and edited for some of the UK's leading technology and lifestyle publications, including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.


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