Samsung Galaxy Watch 4/4 Classic vs Garmin Forerunner 255 Comparison

Garmin’s latest release Forerunner 255 and Samsung’s first Wear OS watch fall in the same price bracket, which naturally makes them a competitor to each other.

While the Forerunner 255 is aimed at those who are more serious about their running, the Galaxy Watch 4 is a more all-purpose smartwatch.

In this post, we will compare Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs Garmin Forerunner 255 in different categories to see which one comes out on top.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 4/4Classic vs Garmin FR 255: All Things Compared

Before we start with the comparison, let us make a few things clear.

Garmin Forerunner 255 comes in two sizes to fit different wrist sizes. Further, there is also a music variant of the watch. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and 4 Classic also come in two sizes, and they split into LTE and Bluetooth models.

For our ease, we will compare the Garmin Forerunner 255 Music from the Garmin’s side, and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (Bluetooth) from the Samsung’s.

Price:

As there are a lot of models to compare, there can be some variation in the prices. We have listed down the prices of the most popular models from each brand.

  • Garmin Forerunner 255/255S: Around $350
  • Garmin Forerunner 255/255S Music: Around $400
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (40mm): Around $250 (+$50 for LTE)
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (42mm): Around $300 (+50 for LTE)
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (44mm): Around  $280 (+$50 for LTE)
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (46mm): around $350 (+$50 for LTE)

The Samsung watch offers a $50 discount if you pick the  Bluetooth model over the LTE one of the smaller models. In the case of Garmin, there is no such discount for smaller FR 255, however, if you pick the base model over Music, you save $50.

In terms of value for money,  we feel that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 models offer a better value proposition as they start at a lower price and offer more features than their Garmin counterparts.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic

Design & Display:

Both watches follow a traditional watch design with a round display and buttons on the side. Our chosen models have more or less the same casing size and weight.

However, they differ in the build material. Samsung has a metallic build and a more refined design and appeals, whereas the Garmin Watch has a more rugged and sporty design.

Moreover, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic has a rotating bezel, which is used to navigate through the UI. Garmin offers no such bells and whistles.

The difference becomes more pronounced in the display department where the 1.4-inch AMOLED touchscreen on Galaxy Watch and its superior resolutions (450 x 450 px) completely dominate the 1.3-inch transflective LCD display on Forerunner 255 (260×260 px).

While the transflective display is more practical to use in direct sunlight,  it can’t match the vibrancy and color reproduction of Samsung’s display. Plus, the higher resolution on the Samsung Watch means that it can fit more items on the screen during workouts.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic

Features:

Garmin Forerunner 255 doesn’t offer us the complete smartwatch experience and neither does it aim to. The watch offers essential smarts like music storage, contactless payments, and notification alerts. But that’s the end of the story for FR 255.

On the other hand, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 fits more features in its tiny casing. In addition to the essential smarts, it offers standalone calling and texting (with LTE version), access to Google Store, and a built-in Voice assistant (actually two if you count the Google Assistant).

So if you count the bells and whistles, Samsung Galaxy Watch is the winner here.

However, if you are looking for a watch that will help you with your training and primarily for sports tracking, Garmin Forerunner 255 takes the lead here. The watch counts a ton of performance and recovery metrics and also supports tracking for more than 30 sports.

Samsung simply doesn’t come close to the accuracy and practicality of Garmin Forerunner when it comes to sports tracking.

If you don’t count the FDA-approved ECG tracking on the Galaxy Watch 4, both watches deliver more or less the same set of health tracking features. They can track heart rate, blood oxygen, sleep, stress, calories burned, and so on and so forth.

Winner: Depends on your priority

Battery Performance:

Samsung simply can’t beat the battery life of Garmin Forerunner 255. The watch can last for weeks on a single charge in smartwatch mode and up to 10-12 hours with GPS and music playback.

On the other hand, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (40mm) lasts for only 2-3 days on a single charge and 3-5 hours if you are running GPS and music in the background. And if you pick the LTE version, those numbers will drop even further.

So if battery life is your top priority, then Garmin Forerunner 255 is your best bet.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 255

General Comparison Table:

Product NameGarmin Forerunner 255 Galaxy Watch 4/4 Classic
PredecessorGarmin Forerunner 245, Garmin Forerunner 245 Music Galaxy Watch 3
Models40mm, 46mm | FR 245, FR 245 Music, FR 245S, FR 245S Music,Galaxy Watch 4: 40mm,44mm | Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: 42mm, 46mm
Release DateJune 2022August 2021
Parent CompanyGarminSamsung
Operating SystemGarmin OSGoogle’s Wear OS | One UI Watch 3 on Top
CompatibilityAndroid, IOSAndroid Only (Android 6.0 or higher)
Competition FR 955, Garmin Instinct 2, Fenix 7, Fitbit Sense, FR 245, Venu 2 Apple Watch 6/7, Fitbit Sense, Ticwatch Pro 4G
Suitable ForOutdoor, sport & fitnessHealth/Fitness/ Lifestyle Watch
SensorsGPS, GLONASS Galileo, Multi-Frequency Positioning, Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor,  Barometric altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope,  Accelerometer, Thermometer, Pulse OX blood oxygen saturation monitorAccelerometer Barometer Gyroscope Geomagnetic sensor GPS GLONASS BeidouGalileo Ambient light sensor Samsung Bio Active sensor: optical heart rate (PPG), electrocardiogram (ECG), bioelectrical impedance analysis sensor (BIA)
Dimensions, Weight46mm: 45.6 x 45.6 x 12.9 mm, 49g | 41mm: 41 x 41 x 12.4 mm, 39gGalaxy Watch 4: 44mm: 44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8mm, 30.3g + 40mm: 40.4 x 39.3 x 9.8mm, 25.9g | Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: 46mm: 45.5 x 45.5 x 11.0mm, 52g + 42mm: 41.5 x 41.5 x 11.2mm, 46.5g
Band Size45mm: 22mm | 41mm: 18mm20mm strap
Build materialssiliconeStainless Steel (Galaxy Watch 4 Classic) & Aluminum casing with silicone strap
ColorsTidal Blue, Slate Gray, Light Pink, Powder Gray,  Whitestone, Black


Galaxy Watch 4 (44mm: Black, Green, Silver | 40mm: Black, Pink Gold, Silver) Galaxy Watch4 Classic (46mm: Black, Silver | 42mm: Black, Silver)
Waterproofing5 ATM5 ATM (up to 50m) + MIL-STD-810G
Display Size46mm:1.3 inches | 41mm: 1.1 inches44/46mm: 1.36-inch | 40/42mm: 1.19-inch
Screen Type & Resolutionsunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) | 46mm: 260 x 260 pixels, 41mm:218 x 218 pixels (active area)44/46mm: Super AMOLED, 450 x 450 resolution | 40/42mm: Super AMOLED, 396 x 396 resolution
Pixel Per InchNot Specified330 PPI
Screen ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 3Galaxy Watch 4: Corning Gorilla Glass with DX+Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: Corning Gorilla Glass with DX
Always-on DisplayYesYes
Rotating BezelNoGalaxy Watch 4: Touch BezelGalaxy Watch 4 Classic: Physical Bezel
ConnectivityBluetooth, ANT+Bluetooth 5.0Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4+5GHz, Cellular (Only in LTE models)NFC
Companion AppCONNECT IQGoogle Fit
Storage4G & up to 500 songs16 GB
Notification AlertYesYes
Calendar, WeatherYesYes
Offline SpotifyYesYes
Timer & AlarmNoYes
Customizable Watch FacesYesNo
Voice AssistantNoYes (Google Assistant)
Music Storage, ControlYesYes
Third-Party AppsYesYes (Wear OS play store)
Make calls, send texts & EmailsYes(Text response/reject phone call with text (Android only))Yes
Browse WebN/AYes
Contactless PaymentYes (Garmin Pay)Yes (Google Pay, Samsung Pay)
Built-in GPSYes (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo)Yes (GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo)
Heart Rate Tracking,YesYes
SleepYesYes
StressYesYes
Blood OxygenYesYes
ECGNoYes
Bioelectrical Impedance AnalysisNoYes
Steps, CaloriesYesYes
Menstrual cycleYesYes
Sport Mode32+90+
Sync Data With Strava, Apple HealthYesN/A
Battery PerformanceUp to  6.5 hours to 14 days (mixed usage)1-2 days (mixed usage)
Charger TypeUSB charging cable.WPC-based wireless charging
Fast ChargingNoNo (Takes almost 2 hours to fully charge)

Final Words:

If you are looking for a complete smartwatch experience with a built-in voice assistant, access to Google Play Store, and other bells and whistles, then Samsung Galaxy Watch is the way to go. However, if you want a watch primarily for sports tracking with exceptional battery life, then Garmin Forerunner 255 is the clear winner.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 doesn’t compromise on health and sports features, but it can’t offer the same level of accuracy and the same number of performance metrics as a dedicated Sports watch does.