Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar In-Depth Review // Solar Charging, Touchscreen, and Training Readiness!
Add some new features surrounding health. Fitness and performance feedback that we havent seen before so ive, been wearing the new foreigner 955 solar for about the last month or so, and in this video ill be going over everything that you need to know about. Garmins new high end running slash, triathlon watch and ive also got tons of data to share in regards to how it actually performs for sports like running road biking, mountain biking, weight training as well as swimming. Just to give you a good idea. If this device is gon na be right for you and the 955 isnt, the only new watch that garmins releasing today so garmins also launching their new foreigner 255 and 255 music and ive got another video going over all the details about this watch that ill have Linked in the description below, as well as another video comparing the new 955 versus the 255, so go and check out those videos once youre done over here. So the new ford or 955 comes in two different versions: a 955 and a 955 solar and, as you may have guessed it, the 955 solar has solar charging capabilities to extend the battery life and they do this with a little ring that surrounds the display and The display itself even has photovoltaic cells hidden to harness all that power and then for battery life. The 955 can get up to 15 days of battery life as a smart watch without recording any outdoor activities and then, with the solar version of the 955.
You can increase that up to 20 days with enough solar exposure and then for gps battery life for recording outdoor activities. You can get up to 42 hours and then up to 49 hours with sufficient sun exposure with the standard gps mode and if youre, using the new multi band satellite system mode, you can get up to 20 hours and then up to 22 hours with solar. The new 955 is similar in size to the original 945, where it has a 46.5 millimeter case where the original 945 is just ever so slightly larger at 47 millimeters and the 955 is larger than the 945 lte, which has a 44.4 millimeter case and then for Thickness the case itself, without taking into account the heart rate, sensor is a bit thicker than both the 945 lt and the original 945. However, if we factor in the height of the heart rate sensor, they end up being similar in thickness and while were looking at the back of the device heres where the 955 solar has a slightly redesigned version of the fourth generation elevate, heart rate sensor, which now Has a flat surface to it and the back of the case surrounds the sensor and well get into how accurate that sensor actually is later in the video and then for the display. The 955 has a 1.3 inch diameter display with a 260 by 260 pixel resolution, which is a bump from the 1.2 inch display, with 240 by 240 pixels thats found on the original 945 and the 945 lte and then other than solar charging.
The other big hardware update is that it now has a touch screen, which we saw come out on the phoenix 7 line of watches, which makes navigating the device much easier in some scenarios, mainly in non sports and fitness scenarios like navigating through menus and widgets and Stuff like that, ive been a huge fan of physical buttons for years, but i have to say that its nice to also have the touchscreen and thats really the thing with the touchscreen is that its just an additional way of interacting with the device it doesnt replace Any functionality, so you can still just use physical buttons if youd like, and you can even turn the touch screen off either all together, but you can also turn it off in specific activities if you like. So this is certainly a case of just having your cake and eating it too, and arguably, the biggest advantage of the touch screen is when youre, using the map, where you can easily browse the map – and this is one area where its certainly more challenging – to use Physical buttons – and that brings up the maps so just like the original 945 and the 945 lte, the 955 has full blown, toppo and landscape maps and it should have the maps for your particular region, pre loaded on the watch. When you get it and then what you can do from here is download maps for additional regions using the map manager tool on the watch itself via wi fi.
But you can also do this by plugging it into your computer and using garmin express and id probably recommend this method much more because downloading maps over the wi fi can take a while and then, along with the topo and landscape maps. The 955 also comes with worldwide golf maps, as well as their new ski view, maps all pre installed, and the 955 has a total of 32 gigabytes of onboard storage and you can use those for maps, music, apps and a whole bunch of other stuff. And while were talking about music, the 955 has the capability of downloading tracks for offline listening from popular music services like spotify, deezer and amazon music, and with that massive amount of storage, you can store up to 2 000 songs and on the smartwatch side of things It can display notifications from apps. It can alert you of calls and it can also display text messages and with an android phone youll, be able to reply with predefined responses that you can choose in garmin connect. Unfortunately, if youre on an iphone, you can receive those text, but you wont be able to reply, and that has everything to do with apple keeping. The text reply: functionality exclusive to the apple watch when youre using an iphone, oh and really quick. If youre, finding the information, this video to be useful, do me a favor and just hit that, like button down below its a small little thing that you can do that will help this video and the channel quite a bit.
And i appreciate it so now on to the health, fitness and performance features and weve got a lot to talk about here. So the first thing we can talk about is hrv status, so heart rate, variability or hrv has been around for quite some time, but recently its been gaining even more popularity as just another tool to gauge your recovery and general wellness, and now, with the 955 theres. A new hrv status widget, which tracks your heart rate variability from the night before, as well as your hrv trends over time, and this can help provide you with a better picture of your wellness and recovery. So if your hrv status is balanced, that means that things are probably normal and may also mean that youve been responding well to training. If your hiv status is unbalanced or if you have a poor hrv status, that could mean that you need more rest or there can be some other things going on that you need to take a look at and then next up is a feature that utilizes hrv Status – and this is a new feature – called training readiness, so what training readiness does it takes into account numerous factors, including your sleep from the night before your current recovery time, your hiv status, your acute training load, your sleep history, as well as stress, history and kind Of summarizes all that up into it, one easy to understand number from one to a hundred, and yes that is a very low training, readiness score but thats a result of numerous factors, including some very poor sleep over the last week, as well as a high recovery Time for my last workout but recovery time does play a big role in training readiness, but, as you can imagine, as you recover more like throughout the day, your training redness could actually increase and, of course this goes the other way around where, after your training, your Readiness score will decline so after this workout, i was ready for a nap anyhow.
I think this is a great way of taking many of the data points that theyve been collecting for years, adding in hrv status and coming with a more easier to understand, metric for assessing your recovery as well as how primed you are for training. The 955 also has garmins advanced sleep tracking, which can track your sleep stages like weve seen before, but now it also provides some charts that show your sleep stages and sleep score from the past seven days and yep its been a rough week, as you can see, And on the training feedback side of things, another thing new with the 955 is theyve revamped training status. So it now takes into account your hrv status, along with your vo2 max and your acute training load over the last seven days, along with other metrics like heat and altitude acclimation. So your training status should be more meaningful. Additionally, theyve added a new training status called strained, and this could take the place of some of the unproductive training statuses that you may have seen before, with a status that indicates poor recovery and then just like the 945 and the 945 lte. The 955 can estimate youre running vo2 max as well as your cycling, vo2 max, and then the 955 also gets the new visual race predictor feature that was originally launched on the phoenix 7 and epic sports watches and then next up we have a new feature called Morning report – and this is a neat feature, where it kind of collects a lot of the information that you may want to see right when you wake up and when you wake up theres a special watch face that appears that kind of greets you where it also Displays the weather for the day and what this does is also show your training readiness for the day, at least at the time that you wake up, because again, that can change throughout the day.
Todays workout suggestion – and this is obviously appropriate – that i rest based on my readiness score. It then shows your sleep information from the night before your hrv status body, battery intensity minutes for the week, a more detailed weather page as well as as step skulls. If youd like – and i have to say that i like this feature quite a bit because it collects a lot of the information that i want to see right when i wake up rather than having to swipe through different widgets, to find all the information. Its just a little bit more convenient and yet another new feature to come with the foreigner 955 is that it can now natively collect running power with a compatible accessory, but this isnt risk based running power. You still need a compatible accessory like an rd pod, an hrm pro an hrm run or an hrm tried to collect this information, and these devices actually did collect this information before with previous garment devices that were running power compatible. But what you had to do before was go to the connect, iq, store, download the running power data field and then install that on your watch to get running power, which, honestly i thought was always a little bit strange now, when you pair up one of these Accessories you just automatically get running power, which is cool whats interesting about this, too, is that you will also be able to collect running power indoors on a treadmill, but it may not be as meaningful, though, because when youre inside you dont have factors like wind and Elevation that can play a role in running power and, unfortunately, you wont be able to use a stride.
Foot pod, though, with garmins native power implementation. However, a stripe footpod still does work with the 955. You just have to download the stride app from the connect iq store to make it work just like on previous devices, and then the 400 955 also comes with some new race widgets, where youll be able to see your race calendar on the watch itself, including another Widget, where it can highlight your primary race now, these arent just simple widgets, though that just show your race calendar theres, actually a lot more to this. So when you go to create events or races in your calendar in garmin connect, you can choose lots of different options here, including the time and day of the event, the type of event you can associate a specific course to the event, and then these other parts Here are important too, where you can also choose the location of the event, the start time and then the distance, and then what you can also do with this event is also send a target time or pace for that race over on this tab, and then in Your race calendar widget, when you go to view it, it gives a countdown to your race but heres the neat part. It also shows the predicted weather for that day and even down to the time of that race, based on the time that you entered earlier. But then, if you scroll down for running events, theres even a specific visual race predictor here for just that race, along with a goal time that you set up previously and heres the thing, your race distance, doesnt, need to be one of the common race distances that Are on the visual race predictor on the performance widget? This can be any distance that you want and it will automatically adjust based on your previous training and then finally theres another data, page showing more detailed weather information, pretty cool, and we arent done yet with this.
So when you do enter a race into your race calendar, what it does is that it automatically adjusts your daily suggested workouts based on that race, and this is yet another thing new – is that it can also build out your daily suggested workouts for the week ahead And finally, to cap off this feature is that on your race day, theres even a special race inspired background and the race shows up in your morning report. The 955 also gets a new navigation feature that came out with the phoenix 7 and epics models called up ahead, and what happens here is that when you create a route in garmin connect, what you can do is add course points for different types of things like Water, bathroom fueling, reminders, shelters and a host of other things of interest, and what happens is that during your activity, it will have these prompts during navigation, giving you important information like the distance to the next course point. The 955 also comes with the new real time. Stamina feature that also came out with the phoenix 7, and this provides real time feedback during training, where it shows your potential stamina, as well as actual stamina, and you can think of potential stamina, as kind of like your long term aerobic capacity and your actual stamina. As short term anaerobic capacity and in general, both of these numbers will go down over the course of your workout, but with actual stamina.
In the case of something like intervals, what you can do is like you can sprint like crazy, which will bring down your actual stamina, but once you actually stop and go to recover, itll bring up your actual stamina, and i have even more details about how this All works in my phoenix 7 in depth, review and ill have that link down in the description below the 955 also has safety and tracking features like live track, where you can send the link to friends and family who can follow along your activity, theres. Also, instant detection, which can try to detect a crash or other unfortunate incident like that, as well as requesting assistance, where you can send an alert to one of your emergency contacts with your location. But along with that, though, the 955 also gets a feature that came out on the 945 lte called spectator messaging, where, when you send a live track link to someone, what they can do is also send messages to you directly during your activity. The difference here, though, is that with the 945lt, all those features worked without having to have your phone with you, because the 945lt has a cellular connection with the 955. You will have to have your phone with you for all those features and as youd expect, the 955 comes with a bunch of different activity profiles, including a bunch of outdoor running profiles, indoor running profiles, cycling profiles, and they do have a lot of different profiles here.
From just a standard bike profile to road biking, mountain biking, which also collects garmins grit and flow mountain bike, specific data points, theres pool swimming open water, swimming triathlon, plenty of outdoor recreation profiles and tons more including golf. The foreigner 955 also comes with a new gps. Chipset that can now leverage more satellite systems, including gps, glonass, galileo, along with baidu and qzss satellite systems, and in addition, it also comes with their new multi band, all satellite systems mode, which recently came out on the phoenix 7 and epic sports watches. And with this, you should be able to get increased gps accuracy in situations where you have a poor satellite signal like around tall buildings or a lot of tree cover or rock faces, or something like that and in terms of how accurate it is. Well, i had zero issues with it on the dozens and dozens of activities ive done over the last month, including running mountain biking, road biking. It was spot on with everything that i threw at it and then, in terms of the finer detail of the gps tracks. It performed really well so you can see right here on this run where there were a lot of curves and corners, and it was right on track and then for some higher speed activities like road biking, where i sometimes see, watches overshoot ever so slightly on corners. Again good to go, and then with mountain biking, where there can be a lot of tree cover and switchbacks again, nothing to complain about super crispy tracks and really quick before we get into hardware accuracy.
I also wanted to go over how well the 955 did at estimating distances running indoors on a treadmill, and it was extremely close on a number of tests that i did. The 400 955 and 955 solar also come with garmins latest fourth generation elevate, heart rate sensor and ive, seen some pretty good results with the sensor and pass devices and with the 955 solar. Does it continue that trend well lets just go ahead and take a look at some of these activities so heres a 10k run that i did, and overall quite good over the course of the run at the tail end of the run. There was this one spot right here where it tracked a little high, but that was pretty momentary and then it was back in line overall, very good though, and then for indoor cycling. We see just a couple spots where it wandered a little bit, but overall, a great result over the course of the ride now those activities i just showed those are generally easier activities for wrist based heart rate sensors to track accurately, but now lets get into some Harder activities like road biking, mountain biking as well as weight training so on this road ride outside this is a very solid result for a wrist base. Optical heart rate sensor with road biking, theres bumps in the road, as well as vibration from the handlebars, can kind of throw off these kinds of sensors and the 955 solar did a great job here and then with mountain biking.
This is an activity thats notoriously hard for wrist based optical heart rate sensors, to track accurately because theres a lot of jarring movement from rough terrain, which can make the watch bounce around on your wrist, as well as a lot of gripping motion which can throw off These types of sensors, but the 955 was pretty respectable. Here you will see some more vans than the road biking example, but for the most part, this is quite a good result. So what you can see here is that for the first half of the ride, things were very good, but then right here is where the 955 wandered a bit. But if we take a look at the elevation profile below that, you can also see that this is where i started to descend going down a rough trail, and this is where these kinds of sensors can start to get thrown off when theres the potential for the Watch to bounce around, but after that it was more smooth, rolling terrain where it caught back up and then right here as i started, my final steep descent is where it started to wander again, but in the whole scheme of things this is pretty darn good for Mountain biking and then with weight training. This is probably one of the hardest activities for a wrist based optical heart rate sensor, to get right just because again theres a lot of gripping motion theres a lot of varying arm movement, but this was a pretty darn good result for this type of activity.
So there was the set right here where it tracked a little low, and then this set attracts a little bit behind the chest. Heart rate monitors, but overall this is a very acceptable result for weight training with the risk based optical heart rate sensor and then for pool swimming. The 955 did a good job, automatically tracking pool lengths, as well as distance automatically. It also tracked all my intervals, including the rest periods in between it also can identify a stroke type, and it also has an auto rest feature which separates out your swim time from your rest time, all without you having to interact with the watch at all and Then, on the app side of things, the 955 and the 955 solar also have garmins new real time settings sync feature where you can edit activities, data pages data fields and a bunch more stuff directly on the garmin connect app versus on the watch itself. And this comes in pretty handy and heres the one more thing in this video, so if youre a 945 lteu owner well, the good news is some of the features that just came out of the 955 will be ported to your device via software update. Anyhow, if youre interested in the differences between the new 955 and the new 255 ive got another video where i go over, all those differences which ill have linked down in the description below and on your way down there.