Garmin revamps Forerunner lineup with racing features and solar

Coinciding with Global Running Day, Garmin is introducing two new running watches for its Forerunner line: the Forerunner 255 for $349.99 and the Forerunner 955 for $499.99. Both GPS watches feature multi-band GPS and new racing features, including a race widget. The Forerunner 955 will also be available in a solar version, which, as the name suggests, adds solar charging to extend battery life.

The Forerunner 255 is a lightweight mid-range running watch based on the Forerunner 245. It comes in two sizes. The standard Forerunner 255 measures 46mm and weighs 49 grams, while the smaller 255S measures 41mm and weighs 32 grams. There’s also a Forerunner 255 Music and 255S Music variant that can store up to 500 songs on the watch. This also includes playlists from Spotify, Amazon Music and Deezer, Garmin said. The Music model will cost an additional $50, for a total of $399.99. The watches are rated for 5ATM water resistance and have an estimated battery life of 14 days and up to 30 hours in GPS mode.

Key additions this time around include a new racing widget, Heart Rate Variation (HRV) status during sleep, multi-band GPS, and a way for triathletes to more easily switch between sports at the touch of a button ability. The race widget will include race preparation information including performance forecasts, race day weather and a countdown clock. Multi-band GPS is an increasingly popular feature on multisport watches that improves GPS accuracy by enabling communication with multiple satellite frequencies. The promise is better accuracy in environments where getting a good signal is difficult. Finally, the watch also has a “Morning News” function. When the user wakes up, the watch provides a brief summary of the day’s weather, daily exercise recommendations, and a report on last night’s sleep, recovery time, training status, and HRV status.

Compared to the Forerunner 245, the 255 series adds an NFC chip for Garmin Pay. Otherwise, it’s not much different when it comes to sensors. It still has continuous heart rate monitoring as well as a SpO2 sensor to enable features like body battery. This metric measures how well you recover during sleep and how “burned out” you are from stress during the day. The Forerunner 255 series will also support basic smartwatch features such as push notifications and Garmin’s security features such as event detection and real-time tracking. For training features, it will also provide users with daily workout recommendations, as well as access to training plans through in-depth metrics on the Garmin Coach and Garmin Connect apps.

The Forerunner 955 series adds solar charging and new training readiness metrics.
Image: Garmin

Meanwhile, the Forerunner 955 is more of a top running watch. (It’s not as powerful as Garmin’s flagship Fenix ​​series, though.) It has a 47mm always-on full-color touchscreen and weighs 52 grams. However, button lovers need not worry. The 955 still includes five physical buttons that work with the touchscreen. Like the 255 series, it’s rated for 5ATM water resistance, but has slightly longer battery life, estimated at 15 days and 42 hours in GPS mode. There’s also a $599.99 Forerunner 955 Solar with Garmin’s proprietary Power Glass lens. With solar charging, the 955 Solar can last up to 20 days on a single charge and 49 hours in GPS mode. (This assumes you need about three hours a day at 50,000 lux, so use with caution.)

Like the Forerunner 255 series, the Forerunner 955 also features multi-band GPS, HRV status, morning news and new race widgets. It also has a new training readiness metric. As the name suggests, this metric takes into account sleep, recovery time, HRV, and a few other metrics to give users a score that indicates their “readiness” for a training session. It also adds real-time stamina tracking, which Garmin first introduced with its Fenix ​​7 series.

The Forerunner 955 has the same main features as the 255 in terms of fitness tracking and smart features. However, it adds some additional training metrics, like PacePro and ClimbPro, which guide your speed and altitude in real time. You can also store more songs on the 955 – 2,000 to be exact.

Starting today, both the Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 955 are available. 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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