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Garmin Forerunner 955 Sun evaluate: 200 miles of trying out | Virtual Tendencies

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar on wrist showing pace information.

Garmin Forerunner 955 Sun

MSRP $599.00

“This can be a critical wait for critical runners. If that is you, you can be ecstatic with the entirety the 955 Sun has to provide.”


  • Fantastic battery lifestyles
  • Persistently correct GPS monitoring
  • Contact display and 5-button navigation
  • Simple-to-read display in all stipulations
  • Nice health and well being options


  • Sun model is overkill for many runners
  • Core options just like decrease Forerunners

Status within the beginning corrals of any operating race, you’ll see all kinds of substances. Dozens of manufacturers of brogues, shorts, sun shades, and hats. Over hundreds of miles operating, each and every particular person unearths the original setup that works perfect for them. However while you focal point on other people’s wrists, one title dominates: Garmin. It isn’t a way remark or fad; Garmin has a well-earned popularity because the perfect smartwatch for runners, offering the options, design, and dependable efficiency we require. It’s repeatedly strengthened for me: The worse the race, the extra Garmins you notice.

For the previous two years, I’ve been operating solely with a Forerunner 245 Track — an inexpensive, however no longer utterly price range, Garmin type to be had for approximately $275. Now I’m lucky to be the use of Garmin’s newest, highest-end Forerunner: the 955 Sun. At $600, it’s in an instant transparent this isn’t for the informal runner monitoring morning jogs. And albeit, given all of its features, it’s overkill for maximum other people, except you propose on entering triathlons or ultramarathons. It’s additionally significantly costlier than all however the stainless steel-cased Apple Watch Sequence 7.

Right here’s the entirety it has to provide, and my suggestions for runners who’re eyeing Garmin’s newest and biggest.

Checking out over weeks and miles

A person running on a track with a Garmin watch.
Andrew Martonik / Virtual Tendencies

I’ve now logged 200 miles operating with the Forerunner 955 Sun on my wrist, along with quite a few walks, motorbike rides, and rounds of golfing, all throughout over seven weeks. After I’m no longer operating, I’ve been dressed in it as a day-to-day smartwatch paired to my iPhone.

I’m on course to run over 1,000 miles in 2022. I’ve already run 3 part marathons this 12 months, and this watch arrived at a great time to get me shifting on my fall marathon coaching cycle. (Large because of Nike for inviting me to sign up for its NYC workforce coaching for Chicago!). I’m used to dressed in my earlier Forerunner, and choosy about what a operating watch provides. I actually have a pretty assistant in this evaluate, my female friend, who has been operating with this watch’s predecessor, the Forerunner 945 — so I tapped her experience for finer issues of comparability between the 2 intently similar fashions.

The Garmin Forerunner fundamentals

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar on wrist.
Andrew Martonik / Virtual Tendencies

Let’s briefly get during the fundamentals, as a result of I actually don’t want to get into each and every little element. You most probably received’t get the Forerunner 955 as your first operating watch, or your first Garmin. Likelihood is that you may have a Garmin already and you already know what you’re entering right here.

That is Garmin’s top-end Forerunner type, which — because the title suggests — goals avid runners. At $600, it’s crowned most effective by means of some of Garmin’s Fenix and Enduro multisport watches, and specialist fashions for divers and pilots. That is, in lots of respects, peak of the road.

For that cash, you’re getting a big watch with on the subject of the entirety Garmin has to provide. A large 1.3-inch always-on colour touchscreen, each and every GPS monitoring mode and sensor it’s worthwhile to ever need (and extra you didn’t know existed), waterproofing, a rugged external, a large 32GB of garage, an enormous battery, and photo voltaic charging features.

If you are taking operating significantly, you put on a Garmin.

Garmin’s smartwatches pair to an iPhone or Android with the Garmin Attach app, bringing you a complete suite of health and wellness purposes for no further subscription. You’ll be able to monitor completely the entirety about your coaching, efficiency, frame situation, restoration, and common well being stats with this watch. And Garmin does its perfect to show that information into actionable insights for you — whether or not you’re casually scrolling via the principle feed, or diving deep into the analytics.

That target task monitoring doesn’t go away a lot room for the rest. There are different apps you’ll be able to set up and run at the Forerunner sequence, however they’re very utilitarian in nature. It’s most probably that the entirety you’d find irresistible to do with a Garmin is pre-loaded at the watch, and built-in really well at that. A chain of house display panels covers the entirety you wish to have to find out about your well being and health, and also you get small issues on peak like alarms, timers, the elements, and notifications out of your telephone.


Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar watch being worn.
Andrew Martonik / Virtual Tendencies

The 1.3-inch show is rather better than the Forerunner 945’s 1.2-inch, regardless of the case in fact being rather narrower. The solution has bumped up as properly, to 260 x 260 pixels, although that merely leaves you with the similar pixels in keeping with inch because the outdated type. The display is progressed, although. Aspect by means of aspect with the 945, you’ll be able to see the blacks are a lot deeper, and the backlighting is noticeably higher.

I totally anticipated the show to be significantly better than my Forerunner 245, however I didn’t be expecting that the adaptation could be this dramatic. The bigger display, paired with the upper solution and progressed readability, simply makes the 955 Sun a pleasure to make use of. It’s simple to peer the entirety at the show at a look whilst operating, even in direct daylight and at an perspective. That’s a differentiator for all Garmin watches when in comparison to an Apple Watch or Galaxy Watch, however it’s in peak shape at the 955.

You don’t need glare — or a touchscreen — to take into consideration whilst operating.

The show’s high quality is especially noticeable when viewing extra intricate and colourful content material at the primary house displays, in addition to when navigating a mapped path all over a run. Positive, it’s no longer turning in OLED show ranges of readability … however the ones shows additionally convey large compromises in battery lifestyles and glare.

You get Gorilla Glass DX glass over the display, no longer a man-made sapphire. Most likely that’s disappointing at this value, however I wouldn’t depend out Garmin making the verdict according to the shatter resistance of the fabrics. I make 0 effort to give protection to this watch, so unsurprisingly, I’ve a few faint scratches at the glass. They’re most effective viewable at sure angles, and I will be able to’t really feel them with a fingernail, so it’s laborious to bitch.

Touchscreen and buttons

This era additionally added contact capacity to the display — one thing to be had on different Garmins, however no longer the Forerunner 945. Severely that doesn’t come on the expense of bodily buttons. You’ll be able to nonetheless navigate all the interface with the standard Garmin 5-button structure, and the contact display is disabled by means of default when monitoring actions. In case you aren’t a runner, this won’t make sense to you — however accept as true with me, you don’t desire a touchscreen when operating. Unintentionally having rain, drips of sweat, or a broom together with your blouse pause or lap your run with out you understanding actually stinks.

The Garmin interface is so easy and simple to regulate with the 5-button gadget that I ceaselessly went days forgetting that it even had a touchscreen. It’s most effective helpful while you’re scrolling via notifications or lists of settings, and while you do use it it’s clean and responsive. So certain, it’s great to have, however Garmin may’ve got rid of this selection and most probably no longer misplaced any shoppers. I think it’s most commonly there to lend a hand placate other people who’re at the fence coming over from touchscreen watches and notice the 5-button structure as antiquated. (They’ll be transformed to the buttons in brief order, although.)

Design, measurement, and luxury

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar watch displaying heart rate zones.
Andrew Martonik / Virtual Tendencies

Garmin Forerunners definitely have a distinctive design. They aren’t seeking to be in particular svelte or swish; they’re utilitarian and functional. The 955 Sun’s chunky plastic frame has a couple of clean curves and trendy cuts at the aspect, however in a different way merely takes up as a lot house because it must to be able to are compatible the myriad parts within.

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar watch on wrist.
Andrew Martonik / DIgital Tendencies

There may be one great design flourish at the entrance, the reflective photo voltaic ring across the display, which supplies a fascinating sheen and colourful pop relying at the lighting fixtures. It’s additionally slightly of an “if you already know, you already know” nod to different Garmin wearers you notice out in the street, appearing off that you’ve got a high-end model.

For its measurement, the Forerunner 955 Sun is gentle and comfy on my wrist — for day-to-day put on, lengthy runs, or even drowsing. However on my female friend’s smaller wrist, it seems to be slightly comical. You’ll actually need to check out this one on prior to purchasing in case you’re petite, and possibly imagine a 700-series type as a substitute.

The band is especially gentle and breathable, as is the case with each and every Garmin I’ve worn, however the trade-off is that the entire bundle can really feel slightly reasonable. I realize it’s robust, and weight loss is paramount, however in case you’re evaluating this to extra fashion-focused steel smartwatches, you’ll be upset.

Battery lifestyles

One of the vital key causes Garmin purists are so reluctant to modify off of the platform for one thing fancy like an Apple Watch is the battery longevity, and the 955 delivers right here. Garmin claims a outstanding 20 days of battery lifestyles in easy smartwatch mode attached on your telephone, plus an overly spectacular 42 to 49 hours of utilization in GPS mode.

That’s 5 extra days in smartwatch mode and seven extra hours in GPS monitoring mode than even the non-Sun 955.

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar battery life expectations.

That solar-boosted battery lifestyles, in line with Garmin, is according to the watch spending a large amount of day out in really extensive quantities of daylight. The “20 days” size calls for 3 hours in keeping with day open air in 50,000 lux daylight, and the extra 7 hours of use in GPS mode calls for steady publicity to that very same 50,000 lux. In case you don’t know lux measurements by means of reminiscence (I certain don’t), 50,000 lux is an identical to a relatively sunny day at excessive midday or a transparent day within the morning or afternoon. Garmin customers most certainly spend extra hours a week out of doors than the common grownup, although, so I wouldn’t be stunned if probably the most energetic amongst us would get price out of the Sun type.

My outdated Forerunner 245 quotes simply 7 days of smartwatch utilization or 6 immediately hours of GPS monitoring. It’s, in spite of everything, a far more cost effective watch with a way smaller case and battery. Switching over, I’ve been floored by means of the battery lifestyles at the 955 Sun. The added longevity is in all probability probably the most noteworthy good thing about this type over lesser Forerunner choices.

You’ll be able to simply use this for 2 weeks with out charging, even with many runs.

With the 955 Sun, you’ll be able to simply make it a complete two weeks with out charging, even supposing you’re occurring a couple of multi-hour runs a week. And that’s engaging. Now not being worried about charging even if I’m heading out for a longer term with simply 10% battery left is refreshing. My revel in trying out for the easier a part of two months has met or beat Garmin’s estimates above; I usually noticed round 2% battery utilization in keeping with hour of multi-band GPS monitoring.

It’s value noting that the usual Forerunner 955 with out photo voltaic will most probably nonetheless be method above the general public’s expectancies, and serve all however probably the most excessive ultramarathoner’s wishes for monitoring. I’m additionally keenly conscious about how briefly Garmins recharge; it’s even much less of a ache while you’re most effective topping it off as soon as each and every a number of days. If I have been purchasing for myself, I’d skip the $100 photo voltaic up-charge.

GPS monitoring accuracy

That is why we’re all dressed in Garmins for operating: GPS monitoring accuracy. Working a majority of my miles in densely packed New York Town, I’ve noticed some significantly wonky stuff occur with wrist-bound GPS monitoring, most commonly with my Apple Watch however even now and then with my Forerunner 245. The 955 has persistently outperformed my 245 within the time it takes to fasten GPS prior to beginning an task, and the consistency with which it’s ready to trace tempo even if operating alongside town streets and between tall constructions.

In comparison to my Forerunner 245, or even the Forerunner 945, the 955 comes with further GPS monitoring modes. You’ll be able to select to make use of the “All + Multi-Band” mode to leverage all imaginable GPS constellations in combination. Even leaving my watch within the default “sensible” monitoring mode slightly than the extra battery-intense “each and every 2d” plotting, my 955 stayed lifeless on subsequent to the 945 the use of its maximum correct and battery-intensive monitoring settings.

I most effective had a unmarried example the place the GPS struggled to fasten on, and it was once unsurprisingly the only time I determined to be impatient and get started a run prior to the watch indicated it had an entire lock. After I waited for a GPS lock (each and every different run, in fact), I used to be monitoring completely each and every time.

Our take

The Garmin Forerunner 955 Sun is a phenomenal runner’s watch that exceeded my expectancies. Except you run — and run so much — you received’t perceive why you’d spend $600 on this type of utilitarian smartwatch with few of the trendy smartwatch bells and whistles. However someone who’s making it to the ground of this evaluate gets it, and at that time, you’ll most probably be significantly taking into account purchasing one for your self.

My most effective advice in opposition to the Garmin Forerunner 955 Sun is that entire photo voltaic section. The lifestyles of the non-solar type for a complete $100 much less, with still-great battery lifestyles and the entire identical options, makes it tricky to counsel that higher-end type for someone however probably the most devoted long-distance runners. The battery lifestyles will nonetheless be superb, and Garmins payment in no time.

In case you have a lower-end (or older) Forerunner and also you’re having a look to improve as you are taking operating extra significantly, you’ll love the 955 Sun’s larger display, absurdly super battery lifestyles, and exact monitoring paired with the tool and interface you recognize. In case you’re simply coming to the Forerunner lineup from one thing like an Apple Watch, Galaxy Watch, or Put on OS watch, likelihood is that that is overkill — get started out with one thing more practical, like the Forerunner 245, and notice if it is a trade-off you’re prepared to make.

I received’t be going again to my Forerunner 245, that’s needless to say. The display, battery lifestyles, and GPS accuracy at the 955 Sun have opened my eyes to the price of having the top-end Garmin type.

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