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Garmin Forerunner 955 assessment: greatest operating look ahead to critical triathletes | Wearable know-how

Garmin’s new Forerunner 955 multisport watch appears to be like to be the last word coaching software for fans, full of superior metrics, onboard maps, higher-accuracy GPS and a solar-charging possibility.

The watch is the agency’s high operating and triathlon mannequin, costing £480 ($500/A$800), sitting above the £300 Forerunner 255 and loaded up with further options corresponding to offline maps, superior coaching instruments and longer battery life for critical runners and triathletes.

In some ways the 955 is greatest considered a smaller, cheaper, much less rugged and extra sport- slightly than adventure-oriented model of the all-conquering £600 Fenix 7 watch.

You get the identical nice mixture of touchscreen and buttons, responsive interface and a crisper, extra vibrant 1.3in (3.3cm) LCD display screen. However the 955 has a barely smaller case and a decrease profile in your wrist whereas weighing 27g much less, which makes it extra steady and safe when operating exhausting.

A grid of images showing various watch faces on the Garmin Forerunner 955
There are many built-in watch faces, all of that are customisable with knowledge, color and look, plus numerous alternate options on the Join IQ retailer. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The design is pretty utilitarian, trying extra like a complicated software than a bit of jewelry. It’s comfy to put on 24/7 for weeks, is water resistant to depths of fifty metres and lasts in extra of 15 days between costs. There’s a solar-charging possibility costing an extra £70 for extending the battery life even additional, too.

Specs

  • Display: 1.3in transflective MIP LCD

  • Case dimension: 46.5mm

  • Case thickness: 14.4mm

  • Band dimension: 22mm

  • Weight: 52g

  • Storage: 32GB (as much as 2,000 songs)

  • Water resistance: 50 metres (5ATM)

  • Sensors: GNSS (multiband GPS, Glonass, Galileo, BeiDuo, QZSS), compass, thermometer, coronary heart price, pulse Ox

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+, wifi, NFC

Superior well being monitoring with primary smartwatch options

The Spotify app on the Garmin Forerunner 955
The Forerunner 955 can obtain music from Spotify, Deezer and others for enjoying offline to a set of headphones. A killer characteristic for operating with music with no telephone. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The 955 has Bluetooth and wifi for syncing your knowledge with or with no telephone, and might be linked to a PC or Mac through USB, too. Linked to an Android or iPhone, it will probably carry out primary smartwatch duties, displaying message and name notifications with replies through canned responses on Android, however not with an iPhone.

The 955 additionally helps Garmin Pay, which is beneficial if it’s good to purchase a drink whereas on a run, although few banks are supported within the UK.

The watch has complete normal well being monitoring overlaying all the same old bases together with sedentary warnings, stress, steps, energy, all-day coronary heart price, heart-rate variability, irregular heartbeat alerts, plus sleep monitoring with optionally available blood-oxygen measurement.

A training readiness score of 88 shown on the Garmin Forerunner 955 and Connect app on an iPhone
Coaching readiness is a helpful new recovery-tracking characteristic that displays varied well being knowledge to present you recommendation on when and the way exhausting to work out. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

All of the stats feed into Garmin’s wonderful physique battery, which makes it straightforward to know the affect of sleep, exercise and relaxation in your day. However the 955 takes issues a step additional by repeatedly monitoring your restoration and readiness for coaching, producing a helpful metric that adjusts routinely via the day and night time.

On completion of a tough run, the watch tells me I would like two to 3 days of restoration. After a restful night time’s sleep and a bodily relaxed day sitting typing at my desk, it should typically replace to inform me I’m recovering higher than anticipated and needs to be good to go sooner. Nevertheless, once I’ve had aggravating days, poor sleep, been in poor health, or have been lively after a tough coaching session, it should inform me I would like extra time.

Usually, coaching readiness matches up with my vitality ranges and muscle fatigue virtually completely, so I can see once I’m prepared for a tough exercise or ought to take it a bit simpler.

Sustainability

The Forerunner 955 is usually repairable. The battery is rated to final a minimum of just a few years of frequent cost cycles whereas sustaining a minimum of 80% capability. The watch doesn’t comprise any recycled supplies. Garmin ensures a minimum of two years of safety updates from launch, however sometimes helps its units for much longer. It gives trade-in schemes for some traces and complies with WEEE and different native electronics recycling legal guidelines.

Working, biking, swimming and lots of different sports activities

The data screen configuration settings shown on the Connect app on an iPhone
Utilizing the Join app, you’ll be able to customise the info screens, regulate GPS monitoring accuracy and varied different settings for every exercise, tailoring them to only what you want. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

It’s Garmin’s high sports activities watch, so it tracks an enormous array of actions, together with many several types of operating, biking and swimming, a full suite of golf options, and much more obscure sports activities corresponding to pickleball and padel.

However the principle focus of the 955 is operating, triathlon and multisport coaching. It data a large number of metrics with a excessive diploma of accuracy. It offers you the liberty to coach utilizing extra superior metrics than simply tempo, time or coronary heart price, together with the helpful real-time stamina characteristic launched with the Fenix 7. Every exercise is absolutely customisable, too. Working energy monitoring is included however requires an optionally available coronary heart strap or operating dynamics pod that value about £100.

A lot of the info might be reviewed afterwards on the watch, however it’s all synced to the great Join app in your telephone, which shows a mind-boggling quantity of data. No matter you need to see, it’ll be in there.

All the info feeds into Garmin’s new superior teaching methods, which produce structured coaching plans for any races that you just put into your calendar, routinely tailoring them to your present progress. The system is equipped for operating however may be very spectacular.

In terms of races, the watch can predict the ending time you have to be aiming for, and Garmin’s longstanding PacePro and ClimbPro may give you grade-adjusted steerage for the terrain that will help you get there.

A map of King’s Cross pictured on the screen of the Garmin Forerunner 955
The Forerunner 955 has onboard maps for turn-by-turn routes and navigation, which is the very best within the enterprise and so much simpler to make use of with the touchscreen. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

To maintain issues correct, the watch has Garmin’s newest fourth-generation heart-rate sensor, a barometer, a thermometer and a compass. The not too long ago rolled-out “SatIQ” characteristic balances location accuracy and energy consumption, routinely switching on extra superior options when wanted, together with the brand new, higher-accuracy “multiband GPS” mode. Utilizing it, the 955 constantly will get a GPS lock inside seconds and produces way more correct reside tempo estimations and trails when operating in contrast with older technology watches, significantly in and round tall buildings.

The watch has robust battery life for exercise monitoring, with as much as 80 hours in its most energy-efficient mode. With the highest-accuracy monitoring enabled, the watch lasts as much as 20 hours, or simply over 8 hours whereas listening to music, too, which continues to be lengthy sufficient for a marathon.

Worth

The Garmin Forerunner 955 prices £479.99 ($499.99/A$799), or £549.99 ($599/A$949) with photo voltaic charging.

For comparability, the Forerunner 255 prices £299.99, the Fenix 7 prices £599, the Polar Vantage V2 prices £429 and the Coros Apex Professional prices £350.

Verdict

The Garmin Forerunner 955 is a totally spectacular multisport watch.

It isn’t your common smartwatch. It’s extra well-designed utilitarian software than jewelry, packing mountains of monitoring and knowledge options into a lightweight, comfy, sturdy and easy-to-use wearable. Clearly, it means enterprise.

The combo of a crisp touchscreen for good features and buttons for actions is the very best of each worlds. The brand new multiband GPS is a significant accuracy improve on older-generation watches, significantly if you happen to run in dense city environments. Full onboard maps for route steerage or getting dwelling if misplaced are very helpful, too.

The good evaluation instruments are its killer characteristic, corresponding to coaching readiness and automated coaching plans for races. The Join app and knowledge ecosystem are unrivalled, too. It’s straightforward to get your knowledge into Strava or different third-party apps.

The solar-charging model is a good concept, however in all probability not price the additional £70 except doing lengthy distances on sunny climbs, because the battery life is already wonderful each for normal use and exercise monitoring.

An Apple Watch or Forerunner 255 would possibly make higher casual-running watches as a result of this Garmin is a dear, purpose-built software that will help you smash your targets. The Forerunner 955 is likely one of the highest operating and multisport watches you may get.

Execs: slim, mild, actual buttons, clear touchscreen, multiband GPS and full maps, correct coronary heart price, superior restoration and exercise instruments, complete well being monitoring, extremely customisable, lengthy battery life, offline Spotify, Garmin Pay, good cross-platform app and primary smartwatch options, optionally available photo voltaic charging.

Cons: costly, restricted Garmin Pay financial institution help, restricted smartwatch options in contrast with Apple Watch/Galaxy Watch, no voice management, no operating energy with out accent.

The morning report summary on the Garmin Forerunner 955.
A helpful morning report greets you firstly of the day, supplying you with a abstract of your sleep, heart-rate variability and restoration data. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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