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Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Forerunner 945: Is It Worth The Upgrade?

By Linus T.
Updated December 2022

Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin launched their highly anticipated Forerunner 955 model in mid-2022 as an upgrade to its predecessor, the Forerunner 945, which was released more than 3 years ago.

If you’re a triathlete or high-intensity runner looking for a GPS running watch, you would have most definitely come across the Forerunner 955 and 945. These watches pack a ton of features for your health & fitness and act as a great daily companion for all your adventures.

In this review, we'll compare the Garmin Forerunner 955 vs the Garmin Forerunner 945 on price, design, health & fitness features, smartwatch function and battery to help you determine if it is worth the upgrade.

On our list

#1 Price

#2 Design & Display

#3 Health & Fitness Features

#4 Smartwatch Functions

#5 Battery & Power

Garmin Forerunner 955

Garmin Forerunner 955

Lead The Pack

The lightweight smartwatch on your wrist to train your best and perform your best.

Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin Forerunner 945

Designed For The Driven

The right tool for the up-at-dawn runners and the conditioned-for-pain triathletes.

#1 Price

Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin Forerunner 955

The Garmin Forerunner 955 and Forerunner 945 are rather similarly priced. For the regular versions, both retail at USD$499.99. Depending on the current promotion, you can get one or the other at a lower price.

The Garmin Forerunner 955 also comes in a Solar version, which costs USD$599.99 instead. The Solar version has built-in solar bits that let you harness the power of the sun to achieve a longer battery life. The Garmin Forerunner 945 does not have a Solar version.

Alternatively, the Garmin Forerunner 945 is available in an LTE version, which also costs USD$599.99 instead. The LTE version lets you leave your phone at home and still remain connected to use all the great features of the smartwatch. Just to add, the Garmin Forerunner 955 does not have an LTE version.

For the sake of this review, we will be comparing the regular versions of each smartwatch.

#2 Design & Display

Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin Forerunner 945

The Garmin Forerunner 955 & Forerunner 945 are rather similar in design. Both feature a Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX lens along with a fibre-reinforced polymer bezel. They sport 5 buttons around the watch face to navigate the screen which uses a sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) display.

The Garmin Forerunner 955 does have a slightly bigger display and resolution at 1.3” and 260 x 260 pixels respectively, versus the 1.2” and 240 x 240 pixels found in the Forerunner 945.

One distinctive upgrade in the Garmin Forerunner 955 is its new touchscreen display. You can now swipe through stats & maps easily on the watch face and quickly swap back to using the buttons when your fingers are sweaty.

#3 Health & Fitness Features

Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin Forerunner 955

Here’s where the real upgrades in the Garmin Forerunner 955 come.

Let’s start with health tracking. The new Garmin Forerunner 955 comes built with Garmin’s new Elevate V4 Heart Rate Sensor, which provides greater accuracy for heart rate and blood oxygen measurements. This lets the smartwatch deliver Heart Rate Variability (HRV) data and also presents a ‘Morning Report’ that summarises the HRV data along with your sleep, recovery and training outlook.

Garmin Forerunner 955

Garmin Forerunner 955

Lead The Pack

The lightweight smartwatch on your wrist to train your best and perform your best.

The Garmin Forerunner 955 also comes upgraded with their multi-band GNSS SatIQ technology to achieve the best positioning accuracy in any environment. You’ll get more accurate location tracking for your runs compared to the Forerunner 945, but in all honesty, the tracking is already exceptional in both smartwatches. For navigation, both smartwatches feature full-colour mapping and turn-by-turn directions, making it really easy to keep on track.

Now, on to the running features. The Garmin Forerunner 955 adds a new range of tracking capabilities that include: Training Readiness for a daily readiness score, Acute Load to compare the intensity of recent and historical workouts, Race Predictor for an estimate of your pace during distance runs, and more.

You can now also get Real-Time Stamina data for runs and cycles to understand how far you can push yourself. As a runner, these new features will greatly benefit your performance by giving you data insights and guidance on how to raise your bar.

Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin Forerunner 945

Designed For The Driven

The right tool for the up-at-dawn runners and the conditioned-for-pain triathletes.

#4 Smartwatch Functions

Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin Forerunner 945

When it comes to day-to-day smartwatch features, not much has changed between the Garmin Forerunner 955 and Forerunner 945.

Both smartwatches let you download music directly into the watch so that you can leave behind your phone and still enjoy songs on the go. Garmin Pay is also embedded into the smartwatches for easy payment during checkout. And as usual, you get access to Smart Notifications, Safety & Tracking features, and compatibility with the Garmin Connect app.

#5 Battery & Power

Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin Forerunner 955

The Garmin Forerunner 955 & Forerunner 945 come really close when it comes to battery life, but the Forerunner 955 ends up a slight notch above.

For regular smartwatch use, the Forerunner 955 can last up to 15 days on a full charge while the Forerunner 945 will last up to 14 days. When in GPS mode without music, the Forerunner 955 will last you 42 hours while you will only get 36 hours in the Forerunner 945.

In our opinion, the slight difference in battery performance isn’t a big deal when comparing the two models as they both have a relatively long life span.

Compare Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Forerunner 945

Final Thoughts

Both the Garmin Forerunner 955 and Forerunner 945 are excellent GPS smartwatch options for triathletes and hardcore sports enthusiasts.

Between the two models, the Garmin Forerunner 955 definitely stands out against the Forerunner 945 with its upgraded hardware and plenty of new health & fitness features. If you’re deciding between the two models, it’s an easy choice since the price points are surprisingly similar.

If you’re thinking of upgrading, it’s also definitely not a bad option if your current Forerunner 945 is due for a change. But if you believe it still has some months or years to go, you can think twice about upgrading for now as this is an expensive investment.

If you like to read more on Garmin smartwatches, check out our other relevant guides here:

Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin Fenix 7

Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Garmin epix 2

Garmin Forerunner 255 vs Garmin Forerunner 245

Explore the full collection for Garmin on Amazon.com or visit the Official Garmin Singapore Store.

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