Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar vs 945 LTE Comparison: 10 Key Differences

Garmin Forerunner 945 Garmin Forerunner 945 was released on April 30, 2019, and three years from then, it has been craving for an upgrade. Die-hard fans were complaining about the sports features and the battery performance, and they were right to do so. All high-end Garmin watches (EPIX2, FENIX 7, even Instinct 2) were released with a Solar variant but it was a major missing in Garmin 945.

The good news is, that their prayers have been answered. Garmin just released the Forerunner 955 – an upgrade to the 945, and it comes with a lot of new features.

In this guide, we will compare, Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Forerunner 945 Series watches, and help you decide, do you need an upgrade or not?

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar vs 945 LTE Comparison: 10 Major Differences

Though there are two models of both devices (LTE, non-LTE) and (SOLAR, Base), for our ease we will mention only the Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE and FR 955 SOLAR here.

Price:

The first thing anyone would want to know is the price, and whether it is justified. Garmin Forerunner 945 and 945 LTE are available for around $400 and $450, and the new FR 955 will set you back by a price tag of about $500 for the base model and around $600 for the Solar edition.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 945

Design and Display:

While the build material and strap size are the same for both watches, Forerunner 955 measures 46.5 x 46.5 x 14.4 (mm), and the predecessor measure 47 x 47 x 13.7 mm. Garmin has tweaked the bezel size but has done little to contain the thickness of the watch. The new watch weighs just 2g more than the FR 945. So there are no groundbreaking changes in the design.

However, the difference is more pronounced in the display. Forerunner 955 comes with a tad bigger 1.3-inch display, but what is more remarkable is the addition of a touchscreen to the watch. In addition to the 5 buttons, the 955 also supports gestures like swipes and taps, giving you more control.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 955

Heart Rate Sensor:

Garmin Forerunner 945 has been using the old Elevate V3 sensor that was popular in 2019, and it was the best of its time. In the new FR 955, Garmin has upgraded to the Elevate V4 sensor, which is not just more accurate but also saves a lot of power. Its prowess in tracking health data has been already proved in the latest watches like Garmin Venu 2 Plus and Fenix 7.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar

GPS:

Both watches can connect to a range of satellite networks that include GPS, GLONASS, and GALILEO. So there is no difference in terms of satellite support.

However, the new Forerunner 955 comes with multi-frequency support, which practically means that it can hook up to dual networks at the same time giving your more fast and more accurate data.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar

Maps:

Garmin introduced a brand new feature dubbed ‘Map Manager’ to the Forerunner 955, which lets you load and store maps on the watch (when connected to a Wi-Fi network). The idea is to make the watch more independent of your smartphone. The Skiing activity profile has gotten much better with the addition of ‘Skyview’ and new XC Ski trails to the map.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 955

Music and Storage:

FR 945 was capable of storing 1000 songs and almost 200 activity profiles on the watch. Forerunner 955 has doubled down on that with its 32 GB storage capacity. Now, you can store as many as 2000 songs on the watch, and that is a lot of music. Keep in mind that, you can store both good old mp3 songs as well as playlists from Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 955

Race Widget:

This is a special treat to runners by Garmin and is exclusive only to Garmin Forerunner 955. This gives runners more in-depth information about the upcoming race, including an overview of the course and race-day weather for the precise start time of your event.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 955

Performance and training metrics:

Garmin Forerunner 955 has been packed with plenty of new metrics to help you train better. Let’s discuss a few of them here.

  • Real-time Stamina: How much effort you should put in.
  • Running Power: Important metric that was previously available only with an external pod
  • HRV Status (at night): Continuous heart rate variability monitoring
  • Training Readiness: The next level of recovery status which also include Sleep, HRV Status, Acute Load, and Stress to help you decide how to start the day

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 955

Morning Report:

Among the new additions, our favorite is the ‘Morning Report’. When you enable this feature, you’ll be able to view a number of cards when waking up, that includes training readiness, body battery, HRV Status, Sleep, workout plan, and calendar. This new firmware tweak will allow you to have comprehensive oversight of your fitness, and to plan your day accordingly.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 955

Battery Performance:

Though the base models of both watches have only a few hours difference in battery life, the Solar model of Garmin FR 955 gives its predecessor a heavy beating. The Solar variant gives you up to 20+ hours in GPS mode with music, and 20+ days in smartwatch mode without music. It is easy to decide for us, Garmin FR 955 Solar is a clear winner

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar

General Comparison Table

Product NameGarmin Forerunner 955 SolarGarmin Forerunner 945 LTE
PredecessorGarmin Forerunner 945Forerunner 935
Models46mmForerunner 945, Forerunner 945 LTE
Release DateMay 2022April 2019
Parent CompanyGarminGarmin
Operating SystemGarmin OSGarmin OS
CompatibilityAndroid, IOSAndroid, IOS
CompetitionSuunto 9, Garmin Forerunner 935
Suitable ForOutdoor, sport & fitnessPrimarily Sports
SensorsGPS, GLONASS Galileo, Multi-Frequency Positioning, Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor,  Barometric altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope,  Accelerometer, Thermometer, Pulse OX blood oxygen saturation monitorGPS, GLONASS, GALILEO ,Garmin Elevate™ Wrist Heart Rate Monitor, Barometric Altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Thermometer, Pulse Ox Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor
Dimensions, Weight46.5 x 46.5 x 14.4 mm, 52 g47 x 47 x 13.7 mm, 50 g
Band Size22mm 22 mm
Build materialssiliconefiber-reinforced polymer
ColorsWhitestone, BlackBlack
Waterproofing5 ATM5 ATM
Display Size1.3 inches1.2″ (30.4 mm) diameter
Screen Type & Resolutionsunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) | 260 x 260 pixelssunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP), 240 x 240 pixels
Pixel Per InchNot Specified283 PPI
Screen ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass DXCorning Gorilla Glass DX
Always-on DisplayYesYes
Rotating BezelNoNo
ConnectivityBluetooth, ANT+, Wi-FiBluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi
Companion AppCONNECT IQCONNECT IQ
Storage32 GB or Up to 2000 songsUp to 1000 songs
ProcessorN/AN/A
RAMN/AN/A
Notification AlertYesYes
Calendar, WeatherYesYes
Offline SpotifyYesYes
Timer & AlarmYesYes
Customizable Watch FacesYesNo
Voice AssistantNoNo
Music Storage, ControlYesYes
Third-Party AppsYesYes
Make calls, send texts & EmailsYesYes
Browse WebNoN/A
Contactless PaymentYes (Garmin Pay)Yes (Garmin Pay)
Built-in GPSYes (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo)Yes (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo)
Heart Rate TrackingYesYes
SleepYesYes
StressYesYes
Blood OxygenYesYes
ECGNoNo
Bioelectrical Impedance AnalysisNoNo
Steps, CaloriesYesYes
Menstrual cycleYesYes
Sport ModeYesYes
Sync Data With Strava, Apple HealthYesYes
Battery PerformanceBetween 20 Hours to 15 Days (Mixed Usage) Between 10 hours to 2 weeks (Mixed Usage)
Battery SizeNot SpecifiedNot specified
Charger TypeUSB charging cable.USB Type-A Port
Fast ChargingNot SpecifiedNo(Takes 2 hours)

Final Verdict: Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar vs 945 LTE Comparison

Apart from the cheap price tag and LTE connectivity (which is practical and of no use except for emergency features), Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE falls short in every other aspect when compared to its successor, the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar.

It is hard to find any reason for you to buy the 945 when you can easily get your hands on the better and a little expensive Forerunner 955 Solar.

Even if you are not particular about the new features, the better display, new HR sensor, and longer battery life of the Forerunner 955 are enough reasons for you to invest in the new watch.