Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro vs Garmin Forerunner 255 Music Comparison

With the new Galaxy Watch 5 Series, Samsung has focused on refining an already great watch (the Galaxy Watch 4). Battery performance has been improved, the OS (One UI at the top of Google’s Wear OS) has been streamlined, and the construction has been made more robust with the introduction of sapphire glass and titanium casing in the premium model (Galaxy Watch 5 Pro).

Garmin Forerunner 255, on the other hand, has carried on the legacy of its predecessor (Forerunner 245), offering a great all-around watch for beginner and intermediate runners. However, some remarkable features make the Forerunner 255 stand out, such as the new triathlon mode made possible by the addition of advanced cycling and swimming metrics, improved battery performance (from 7 days to 12 days); and last but not least, two sizes to accommodate different wrists.

Here we will compare Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro vs Garmin Forerunner 255 Music in terms of design, features, performance, and value for money.

Galaxy Watch 5 ProGarmin Forerunner 255 Music
DateAugust 10, 2022June 1, 2022
PredecessorGalaxy Watch 4 ClassicGarmin Forerunner 245 Music
CompanySamsungGarmin
Operating SystemWearOS (One UI)Garmin OS
Compatible SmartphonesAndroid (Works best with Samsung)Android, iOS
Competition Garmin Fenix 7, Garmin Instinct 2, Polar Vantage 2FR 955, Garmin Instinct 2, Fenix 7, Fitbit Sense, FR 55
SensorsSamsung BioActive Sensor (Optical Heart Rate + Electrical Heart Signal + Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis), Temperature Sensor, Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Light SensorMulti-Frequency Positioning, Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor, Barometric altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Thermometer, Pulse OX blood oxygen saturation monitor

Price and Value:

Galaxy Watch 5 ProGarmin Forerunner 255 Music
Bluetooth/GPS$449About $400
LTE$499No LTE Mode

Garmin Forerunner 255 starts at around $350 and charges an extra $50 for the music variant. However, the company doesn’t give any discount as far as the watch size is concerned. The smaller Forerunner 255S has a small battery, screen size, and resolution, so the fans are right to claim a discount on it.

Samsung released Galaxy Watch 5 Pro in one size (45mm) only with a starting price of a whopping $450. There is an additional cost of $50 if you want the LTE model.

On the surface, Garmin Forerunner 255 Music looks like a better deal, but when you start digging into the features, it’s clear that Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the better value for money.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music

Design and Display:

Galaxy Watch 5 ProGarmin Forerunner 255 Music
Dimensions45.4 x 45.4 x 10.5 mm46mm: 45.6 x 45.6 x 12.9 mm | 41mm: 41 x 41 x 12.4 mm
Buttons2 Buttons2 Buttons
Weight 46.5g46mm: 49g | 41mm: 39g
ColorsBlack Titanium, Gray Titanium46mm: 45.6 x 45.6 x 12.9 mm, 49g | 41mm: 41 x 41 x 12.4 mm, 39g
Band Size20mm (M/L)46mm: 22mm (M/L) | 41mm: 18mm (M/L)
Casing MaterialTitanium Fiber-reinforced Polymer
Strap MaterialSiliconeSilicone
Screen Size1.4 inches  46mm:1.3 inches | 41mm: 1.1 inches
Screen TypeSuper AMOLEDsunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
Screen Resolution450×450 Pixels46mm: 260 x 260 pixels, 41mm: 218 x 218 pixels (active area)
Screen ProtectionSapphire Crystal GlassCorning Gorilla Glass 3
Always-on DisplayYesYes
Rotating BezelTouchNo
Waterproofing5 ATM (up to 50m) | Suitable for Shower, Swimming5 ATM (up to 50m) | Suitable for Shower, Swimming

Forerunner’s plastics casing and 5-button design make it look and feel a little dated when compared to the more premium Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. The bezels on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is thinner, and the overall profile is sleeker. The titanium casing and sapphire glass construction give it an edge over FR255 in terms of durability. As far as aesthetic appeal is concerned, Samsung Watches are always superior to Garmin, and GW5 Pro is no exception.

GW5-Pro-and-FR-255-music-display

Galaxy Watch’s dominance in the display department is also evident when you compare the high-resolution, Super AMOLED display on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. It is brighter, sharper, and much more vibrant than the MIP display on the FR 255. However, the touchscreen interface of the Galaxy Watch is the defining factor that sets it apart from the competition. It is much more user-friendly and easier to navigate than the 5-button interface on the FR 255.

Winner: Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Smart Features:

Galaxy Watch 5 ProForerunner 255 Music
Operating SystemWearOSGarmin OS
Connectivity OptionsBluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4+5GHz), GPS, LTE Bluetooth, ANT+
ProcessorExynos W920Not Specified
RAM1.5GB RAMNot Specified
Storage16GB4G & up to 500 songs
Speaker & MicYesNo
Companion AppGalaxy WearableConnect IQ
Contactless Payment (NFC)Samsung+Google PayGarmin Pay
Standalone Calling and TextingYes (LTE model)No
Voice Assistant Bixby, Google AssistantNo
Timer & AlarmsYesYes
Popular AppsStrava, Spotify, Google Maps, Youtube Music, Google Keep, Google Pay, Nike Run ClubStrava, Spotify, Google Maps, Nike Run Club, Garmin Pay

The Garmin Watch has one particular advantage over the Samsung Watch: It is compatible with both IOS and Android. Other than this, Forerunner 255 Music has only a handful of smarts to offer that include music storage (500 songs) and streaming (on Spotify and Amazon Music), NFC payments via Garmin Pay, and notification alerts from the connected smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Pro, especially if you choose the LTE variant, is a lot more independent of the smartphone. It has both Samsung Pay and Google Pay(NFC) support, can browse the internet, and has a voice assistant to boot. You can also download apps from the Galaxy Store or the Play Store.

Moreover, the user interface of the Galaxy Watch 5 brings the best experience you can have on a smartwatch. It is snappy, attractive, and easy to use. For those who don’t know, Samsung is running the Google Powered Wear OS 3 on its latest watches; this brings support for Google Wearable Suite and thousands of third-party apps on the platform.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Health and Fitness Tracking:

Galaxy Watch 5 ProForerunner 255 Music
Heart Rate TrackingYesYes
Sleep MonitoringYes (Advanced)Yes (Basic)
Stress TrackingYesYes
ECG MonitoringYesNo
Blood Oxygen Saturation (SpO2) monitoringYesYes
Body CompositionYesNo
Blood Pressure TrackingYesNo
Workouts30+50+
Automatic Workout TrackingYesYes
GPS TrackingYes +Glonass/Beidou/GalileoYes + GLONASS, Galileo

Take aside the ECG and Blood Pressure tracking on the Samsung Watch and we have a complete overlap of health tracking features on both devices.

Both can track heart rate, steps, calories burned, blood oxygen, and sleep. The accuracy and how these watches present and use this raw data to give you actionable insights boils down to their companion app. Garmin Connect app is more user-friendly and has a more comprehensive set of metrics to offer.

The differences start to show when we talk about workout tracking. Though Samsung might have more workouts preinstalled into the watch, Garmin Forerunner 255 offers accuracy and depth in terms of data tracking.

For instance, take running. Samsung’s GPS and Heart Rate accuracy pales in comparison to the Garmin Watch. Whereas the Garmin watch metrics like PacePro, VO2 Max, Heart Rate Zone, Recovery time, Training Readiness, and more give you a lot of information that can help improve your running form and style.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music

Battery Performance:

Galaxy Watch 5 ProForerunner 255 Music
Battery Size590mAhNot Specified
Expected Battery PerformanceAlmost 80 hours Up to 6.5 hours to 14 days (mixed usage)
Fast Charging SupportYesNo

The above-given table gives you a clear picture of how these two devices fare against each other in terms of battery performance. Even if we believe that the Samsung Watch will be able to last the claimed 80 hours on a single charge, Garmin Forerunner 255’s performance is hard to beat.

It seems natural to link the battery performance of Garmin to its low-resolution MIP display, but we have seen the latest AMOLED Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2 Plus pulling up similar numbers.

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro may have lost the battery marathon here, but its fast charging support is a welcome addition. Where Garmin Watch takes 2 hours to fully charge, Samsung offers a full day of use with only 30 minutes of charge.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro vs Garmin Forerunner 255 Music: What should you pick?

The thing is, Garmin watches are laser-shaped and focused on sports tracking which may not be useful for everyone. With the new Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, Samsung has hinted that it also wants a share of the pie in the outdoor niche, but that didn’t include stripping down the smartwatch experience which is inextricably linked to its identity.

Thus, the decision of which watch you should buy boils down to what you are looking for in a smartwatch. If you want a fitness-first mid-range smartwatch with great battery life, go for the Garmin Forerunner 255 Music. It’s got all the health tracking features that you could ask for, along with enough smarts to get you by.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a complete smartwatch experience the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the watch for you.