If you’re looking for a new running watch and can’t decide between the Garmin Forerunner 955 and the Garmin Fenix 7, we’ve put the two popular high-spec running watches head to head here. There are two of the most expensive Garmin watches on the market, as well as some of the best. So, if you’re torn between the two, keep reading to learn more.
The first thing to notice is how similar these two running watches are. They’re both loaded with features that will get you through your fastest marathon or your first ultramarathon. However, if you enjoy rock climbing or other extreme sports, the Garmin Fenix 7 has a stainless steel or titanium bezel and backplate, making it more resistant to drops and knocks.
The Garmin Forerunner 955, on the other hand, is made of thick plastic, making it lighter to wear 24/7 and have on your wrist on race day. It’s also slightly less expensive than the Fenix 7.
The similarities and differences between the two watches are discussed below. Still undecided about which Garmin watch to buy? Check out the Garmin Fenix 6 vs Garmin Fenix 7 comparison, as well as the Garmin Epix 2 vs Garmin Fenix 7 comparison.
Price and availability
The Garmin Forerunner 955 is the more recent of the two watches, having been released in June 2022. The watch is available in two variants: solar and non-solar. The solar version of the watch, as the name implies, has a Power Glass screen that uses the power of the Sun to extend the battery life of the watch.
Apart from that, the two Forerunner 955 models are identical. The Forerunner 955 is $499/£479 and comes in black and white. The Forerunner 955 Solar is $599/£549 and is available in both black and white.
The Garmin Fenix 7 was released in January 2022, and as with the Fenix 7 line, there are a variety of watches available.
To begin, there are three different case sizes: the 42mm Fenix 7S is designed for smaller wrists, the 47mm Fenix 7, and the 51mm Fenix 7X.
The different editions are the next option. The standard edition of the watch is made for tough adventures, with a stainless steel bezel and a reinforced glass screen. The solar edition has the same bezel as the regular edition, but it has a power glass screen that extends the battery life of the watch by charging it in the sun.
Finally, the sapphire solar edition Fenix 7 watches have a titanium bezel (which is stronger than the stainless steel bezels) as well as a power sapphire lens, which extends the battery life of the watch by charging it from the sun while also being tougher than the glass lenses used in the other watches.
The price of the watch is determined by the size and edition selected, and there are several different coloured bezels to choose from. The Garmin Fenix 7 lineup begins at $699/£599 for the most basic model and rises to $999/£1049 for the Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar edition.
Design and display
The Garmin Forerunner 955 and Garmin Fenix 7 both have touchscreens, so you can swipe through and tap options just like you would on any of the best smartwatches. The touchscreen on both running watches is automatically disabled in workout mode, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally pausing or lapping your watch mid-run.
Although the touchscreen gives the watch a more premium feel, both watches have the same five buttons — three on the left and two on the right. You can navigate the watch without using the touchscreen by using the buttons instead.
In terms of displays, both the Forerunner 955 and the Garmin Fenix 7 have a 64-color screen that isn’t as bright as the AMOLED displays found on the Garmin Epix or Venu series. Even in direct sunlight, it is still very visible. However, the Sapphire Solar glass on the Fenix 7 appeared slightly duller indoors than the Power Glass on the Forerunner 955.
However, there are some significant differences between the two watches, which are based on their size and weight. When it comes to the size of the screen on the Garmin Forerunner 955, you don’t have many options — both the solar and non-solar versions have a 46.5mm screen, which is quite large on petite wrists.
The Fenix 7S has a 42mm face, while the Fenix 7 has a 47mm face. If you like big running watches, the Fenix 7X has a 51mm watch face.
When it comes to smartwatch features, things are once again neck and neck. Both watches have smartphone notifications and the ability to store music and podcasts on the watch, in addition to Garmin Pay and the ability to store music and podcasts on the watch. However, you cannot reply to any messages from your wrist.
Both are equipped with Garmin’s Elevate v4 heart rate hardware, as well as a barometric altimeter, a temperature gauge, Multi-band GPS, and Pulse Ox for SpO2 blood oxygen readings. Both watches have 32GB of storage and can be used to download offline maps.
Both support music streaming and can be connected to Bluetooth headphones, allowing you to leave your phone at home when going for a run. There’s also the option of downloading apps to both watches by connecting to the Connect IQ App Store, though there aren’t many options.
Whether you go with the Garmin Forerunner 955 or the Garmin Fenix 7, you’ll get a fantastic watch that’s built to handle most active adventures. The real choice comes down to whether you’re concerned about weight and whether you prefer the Forerunner 955’s more sporty appearance. The cheaper watch has all of the features of the Fenix 7 in a much smaller package, so I’m not sure why you’d choose anything else on your wrist unless you’re planning on rock climbing or doing really extreme sports, or you want a metal bezel.
However, if you prefer the more premium look of the Fenix 7, you have more customization options. The gold and silver titanium bezels are stunning, elevating the watch from a sports watch to something suitable for the office or a date. As previously stated, it is likely that the Fenix 7 will soon have all of the new features available on the Forerunner 955.