Garmin makes all the right moves with the new Forerunner 255 and 955

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar lifestyle
(Image credit: Garmin)

What you need to know

  • Garmin has announced the all-new Forerunner 255 family of smartwatches. 
  • The Forerunner 955 Solar has also been introduced with almost 50-hours of battery life.
  • This announcement was done in conjunction with Global Running Day. 

You might not be aware of this, but June 1 is actually Global Running Day, and Garmin is kicking the month off with a bang. The company has just announced a few new additions to its ever-growing lineup of wearables and smartwatches with the Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 955 Solar.

Starting off with the Forerunner 255, this family of smartwatches consists of four different options. You have the standard 255, sporting a 1.3-inch display, 22mm quick-release bands, and 4GB of onboard storage. Then, you have the Forerunner 255 Music, which offers the ability to store up to 500 songs right on your watch. 

Garmin Forerunner 255 Morning Report

(Image credit: Garmin)

From there, you can pair your favorite Bluetooth headphones directly with the Forerunner 255 Music as opposed to needing to take your phone with you. Garmin is also launching the Forerunner 255S, which is slightly smaller with its 1.1-inch display and 18mm quick-release bands. 

Leaving your phone behind wasn't much of an option with the Forerunner 245 lineup, as Garmin didn't include features like built-in GPS or Garmin Pay. Both of those concerns have been rectified with the Forerunner 255 series, along with Garmin's multi-band GPS for even better accuracy throughout your workouts. 

Garmin Forerunner 255 Garmin Pay

(Image credit: Garmin)

Other features of the Forerunner 255 series include up to 14 days of battery life in "smartwatch mode," or up to 30 hours in "GPS mode." Your watch will provide various metrics such as heart rate variability and a built-in heart rate monitor. You'll also be able to enjoy things like Garmin's Pulse Ox sensor to measure blood oxygen levels, and when paired to the Garmin Connect app, women can use their Forerunner to log various bits of information for their menstrual cycle or pregnancy.

If you like what the Forerunner 255 has to offer, but just want a bit more "oomph," then the Forerunner 955 Solar is for you. As the name suggests, Garmin has integrated its solar-powered battery, providing up to 20 hours on a single charge when using smartwatch mode. This gets boosted up to 49-hours of juice when using GPS mode, or you can forget battery life altogether with the Forerunner 955 Solar's UltraTrac mode and its 110-hours of battery.

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar Triathlon teaser

(Image credit: Garmin)

All of the same improvements from the Forerunner 255 are here with the 955 Solar, such as HRV status, Garmin Pay, and multi-band GPS. But Garmin has also included additional health and fitness tracking features such as "Firstbeat Analytics" which provides "VO2 max, training load, performance condition, training effect, and more."

Unlike the Forerunner 255, there isn't a separate "Music" version of the 955 Solar. Instead, you'll be able to download up to 2,000 songs from some of the best streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer. All while staying connected to your phone to receive and view any notifications that come through.

While the Forerunner 955 Solar is definitely the showcase of this announcement, Garmin is also releasing a non-Solar variant of the Forerunner 955. This offers all of the same features, just without the ability to recharge using solar power. 

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar GPS

(Image credit: Garmin)

Just as is the case with all of the best Garmin smartwatches, there are plenty of features packed into the Forerunner 255 and 955 for training purposes. Body Battery helps you gauge whether you really have the energy to push yourself, or if you should take a break for the day. Garmin Coach provides all of the training plans and tools you need to get yourself ready for your next 5K, 10K, or half-marathon. 

The Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 955 families of smartwatches are available for purchase now. Garmin's pricing for the 255 starts at $349 and goes up to $399 for the 255 Music. As for the Forerunner 955 Solar, the retail price comes in at $599, but you can knock that down to $499 if you opt for the non-Solar version.

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks, tablets, and wearables

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.