Garmin Forerunner 945 vs 945 LTE vs 955 vs 955 Solar – 13 Key Differences

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The Garmin Forerunner 955 which comes in two models; Standard and Solar units are the two new watches to succeed the Forerunner 945 and 945 LTE. The Forerunner 955 has a slightly longer battery life that lets you go longer. It now has touchscreen support that makes navigation a lot easier. Moreover, it has a slightly larger display, higher storage, and more activity tracking features, yet surprisingly cheaper than its predecessors. In this guide, we take a look at the differences between the Garmin Forerunner 945 vs 945 LTE vs 955 vs 955 Solar to help you understand what each of these has to offer and to also help you make a better decision.

Garmin Forerunner 945 vs 945 LTE vs 955 vs 955 Solar Full Specifications Compared

 
 
Product Info
Garmin Forerunner 945 Specs and features

Garmin Forerunner 945 Specifications, Features and Price

Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE - All features , specs, pros and cons

Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE Specifications, Features and Price

Garmin Forerunner 955 Specifications

Garmin Forerunner 955 Specifications, Features and Price

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar Specifications

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar Specifications, Features and Price

Price $399.00 $431.99 $448.75 $564.95
ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE
Device name Garmin Forerunner 945 Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE Garmin Forerunner 955 Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar
Device type Fitness/Sport smartwatch Standalone/Fitness smartwatch Fitness/Sport smartwatch Fitness/Sport smartwatch
Gender Men Men Men Men
Release date April, 2019 June, 2021 June, 2022 June, 2022
Predecessor Garmin Forerunner 935 Garmin Forerunner 935 Garmin Forerunner 945 Garmin Forerunner 945
Successor Forerunner 955 Forerunner 955
Versions Forerunner 945, Forerunner 945 LTE Forerunner 945, Forerunner 945 LTE Garmin Forerunner 955, Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar Garmin Forerunner 955, Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar
BODY BODY BODY BODY BODY
Dimension 47 x 47 x 13.7 mm 44.4 x 44.4 x 13.9 mm 46.5 x 46.5 x 14.4 mm 46.5 x 46.5 x 14.4 mm
Weight 50 grams 49 grams 52g 53g
Shape Circular Circular Circular Circular
Case material Fiber-reinforced polymer Fiber-reinforced polymer Fiber-reinforced polymer Fiber-reinforced polymer
Strap material Silicone Silicone Silicone Silicone
Bezel material Fiber-reinforced polymer Fiber-reinforced polymer Fiber-reinforced polymer Fiber-reinforced polymer
Strap size 22 mm 22 mm 22 mm 22 mm
Screen protection Corning Gorilla Glass DX Corning Gorilla Glass DX Corning Gorilla Glass DX Power Glass
Water resistance Yes, 5ATM Yes, 5ATM Yes, 5ATM Yes, 5ATM
Durability test
Swim-proof Yes, recommended Yes, recommended Yes, recommended Yes, recommended
Color Black Black, White Black, Whitestone Black, Whitestone
DISPLAY DISPLAY DISPLAY DISPLAY DISPLAY
Display size 1.2 inches 1.2 inches 1.3 inches 1.3 inches
Display type LCD, Memory-in-pixel (MIP), transflective LCD, Memory-in-pixel (MIP), transflective LCD, Memory-in-pixel (MIP), transflective LCD, Memory-in-pixel (MIP), transflective
Display resolution 240 x 240 px 240 x 240 px 260 x 260 px 260 x 260 px
Pixel density 282.8 PPI 282.8 PPI 282.8 PPI 282.8 PPI
Always on Yes Yes Yes Yes
Custom watch face Yes Yes Yes Yes
Input type (not touchscreen), 5 Physical buttons (not touchscreen), 5 Physical buttons 5 Physical buttons, Touchscreen 5 Physical buttons, Touchscreen
CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY
Bluetooth ANT+, Bluetooth ANT+, Bluetooth ANT+, Bluetooth ANT+, Bluetooth
Bluetooth calling No No No No
GPS Galileo, GLONASS, GPS Galileo, GLONASS, GPS Galileo, GLONASS, GPS Galileo, GLONASS, GPS
NFC Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wi-Fi Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
MEMORY MEMORY MEMORY MEMORY MEMORY
RAM
ROM 16GB 16GB 32GB 32GB
Memory card slot No No No No
CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY
Technology None None None None
SIM type None None None None
Band
NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS
SMS alert Yes Yes Yes Yes
Calls alert Yes Yes Yes Yes
Email alert Yes Yes Yes Yes
Event reminder Yes Yes Yes Yes
Third-party apps alert Yes Yes Yes Yes
MEDIA MEDIA MEDIA MEDIA MEDIA
Audio mp3/mp4 mp3/mp4 mp3/mp4 mp3/mp4
Bluetooth music Yes Yes Yes Yes
Loudspeaker No No No No
Microphone No No No No
Camera No No No No
Radio No No No No
SENSORS SENSORS SENSORS SENSORS SENSORS
Accelerometer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Altimeter Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ambient light Yes Yes Yes Yes
Barometer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Compass Yes Yes Yes Yes
ECG No No No No
Gyroscope Yes Yes Yes Yes
HRM Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pulse oximeter (SpO2) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Thermometer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Other sensors Multi-band GPS sensor Multi-band GPS sensor
ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING
Blood oxygen Yes Yes Yes Yes
Blood Pressure No No No No
Calories Yes Yes Yes Yes
Distance Yes Yes Yes Yes
ECG tracking No No No No
Heart rate monitoring Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sleep tracking Yes Yes Yes Yes
Steps Yes Yes Yes Yes
Floors climbed Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stress Yes Yes Yes Yes
Incidental fall detection Yes Yes Yes Yes
Menstrual cycle Yes Yes Yes Yes
VO2 Max Yes Yes Yes Yes
Swim-tracking Yes Yes Yes Yes
Underwater heart rate tracking Yes Yes Yes Yes
On-screen workout Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sport modes Yes Yes Yes Yes
BATTERY BATTERY BATTERY BATTERY BATTERY
Battery type non-removable Lithium-polymer non-removable Lithium-polymer non-removable Lithium-polymer non-removable Lithium-polymer
Battery capacity
Battery life GPS with music: up to 10hrs, Smartwatch mode: Up to 2 weeks, Ultratrac: up to 60hrs GPS mode with LTE LiveTrack: Up to 10 hours, GPS mode with music and LTE LiveTrack: Up to 7 hours, GPS mode with music: Up to 12 hours, GPS mode without music: Up to 35 hours, Smartwatch mode: Up to 2 weeks GPS mode without music: Up to 42 hrs, Smartwatch mode: Up to 15 days GPS mode (no music): Up to 49 hrs, Smartwatch mode: Up to 20 days
Charging type Charging dock Charging dock Charging dock Charging dock
Charging time 1-2 hours 1-2 hours 1-2 hours 1-2 hours
Solar charging No No No No
PLATFORM PLATFORM PLATFORM PLATFORM PLATFORM
Chipset
CPU
GPU
Operating system Proprietary OS Proprietary OS Proprietary OS Proprietary OS
MISC MISC MISC MISC MISC
Companion app Garmin Connect Garmin Connect Garmin Connect Garmin Connect
Compatibility Android, iOS Android 6.0+, iOS 13.0+ Android 6.0+, iOS 13.0+ Android 6.0+, iOS 13.0+
Payment system Garmin Pay Garmin Pay Garmin Pay Garmin Pay
Interchangeable strap 22 mm, Yes 22 mm, Yes 22 mm, Yes 22 mm, Yes
Voice command No No No No
Find my phone Yes Yes Yes Yes
Box content Charger, Garmin Forerunner 945, Manual, Straps Charger, Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE, Manual, Straps Charger, Garmin Forerunner 955, Manual, Straps Charger, Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar, Manual, Straps
Price$399.00$431.99$448.75$564.95

Garmin Forerunner 945 vs 955 – What’s New?

Forerunner 955 welcomes new features (source: Garmin.com)
  1. Forerunner 955 now has a touch-sensitive screen.
  2. Forerunner 955 has a slightly bigger display of 1.3 inches compared to 1.2 inches of the 945
  3. The Forerunner 955 has a slightly longer battery life, it’s even longer with the Solar edition.
  4. Storage has been ramped up from 16GB to 32GB.
  5. Connect IQ store is now onboard Forerunner 955, thus making it easier to install and manage applications. (Also available on all the latest Garmin watches).
  6. Forerunner 955 has more gym profiles which include bouldering, HIIT, and indoor climbing.
  7. An onscreen animated muscle map that lets you see which muscle is targeted during a workout is available on Forerunner 955 (Also available on all the latest Garmin watches).
  8. The Forerunner 955 also welcomes new training and planning features like VO2 max. during trail run, rest timer and real timer stamina
  9. New health features like Morning report, training readiness, HRV status and race glance widgets have also been added to the Forerunner 955 (Also available on all the latest Garmin watches).
  10. Forerunner 955 welcomes new running features, an ultra running profile has been added as well as running power and course and weather-specific race predictor. The Forerunner 945 LTE also features ultra running.
  11. More outdoor recreational profiles which include snowshoeing, mapping, navigating, tennis, pickleball, padel, track me and project waypoint have been added to Forerunner 955.
  12. New cycling profiles have also been added to Forerunner 955, and these include eBiking, eMountain biking, gravel biking, bike commuting, bike touring, and cyclocross. The Forerunner 945 LTE also features eBiking and eMountain biking.
  13. Health snapshot is available on Forerunner 945 LTE and 955 but not on 945. The health snapshot gives you a summary of vital stats which includes blood oxygen, heart rate variability, respiratory rate abs stress (Also available on all the latest Garmin watches).

Garmin Forerunner 945 vs 955 – The Difference

Garmin Forerunner 945 vs 945 LTE vs 955 vs 955 Solar
The Forerunner 955 has more features than 945 (source: Garmin.com)

Clearly, the Forerunner 945 shares a lot of features in common with the 955, however, the difference between these two is that the new 955 has a bigger display, touchscreen support, longer battery life, and more activity tracking features which are listed above.

Design

Nothing much has changed in the design of both Forerunner 945 and 955. Just like the 945, a fiber-polymer material has been used for the case of 955. The bands of Forerunner 945, 945 LTE, and 955 are made of silicone, and this can be replaced with 22mm wide straps.

At 49 grams, the Forerunner 945 LTE weighs the least, and it’s also the most compact. The 945 and 955 are still considerably lightweight and not bulky.

All three watches have the same 5ATM waterproof rating. This means that you can wear any of these to the shower or swimming pool.

Display

A colorful transflective memory-in-pixel technology that’s easy to read outdoors powers the display of all four watches. The Forerunner 955 has a slightly bigger display than its predecessors. It also has a touch-sensitive screen in addition to 5 physical buttons. This is unlike the 945 and 945 LTE that only have 5 physical buttons, though still easy to navigate.

You get lots of watch faces to choose from in the Garmin Connect IQ store. The Forerunner 955 just like the Fenix 7 series now has an onboard IQ connect store that makes it easy to manage watch faces and apps.

Media and Storage

In the storage section, the Forerunner 955 has received a boost, it has twice the storage capacity of its predecessors. It comes with a 32GB storage capacity that lets you store more of your favorite tracks on the watch. You can add your personal music or add music from popular streaming services such as Amazon Music, Spotify, and Deezer.

Activity Tracking Features

The Forerunner 955 comes with the same number of sensors just like the 945 and 955 LTE. Though, the 955 and 945 LTE are relatively newer watches that feature the elevate v4 heart rate sensor that boasts of improved heart rate tracking. Moreover, just like Fenix and Epix 2, the 955 now features the multi-Band GPS sensor that helps improve outdoor activity tracking accuracy. Nonetheless, all four watches are well equipped to track all the ways you move.

Each of these will track your steps, calories, floors climbed, respiratory rate, stress, sleep and heart rate 24/7. All four watches have inbuilt GPS that enables mapping of your routes and locations while you train outdoors. Other activity tracking features include incidental fall detection, LiveTrack, onscreen animated workouts, fitness age, body battery energy monitor, and a long list of others.

Despite each of these being a comprehensive multisport GPS smartwatch, the Forerunner 955 which has more activity tracking features is a more comprehensive smartwatch.

The Forerunner 955 features an onscreen animated muscle map that shows muscle parts targeted during a workout. It also features more gym profiles, more outdoor recreational profiles, and more run profiles.

The Forerunner 955 has new health tracking features like a morning report that gives you a summary of vital stats when you wake up. It also features the HRV status that gives you a better understanding of your health, recovery and training performance.

In other words, the Forerunner 955 has more activity tracking features than both 945 and 945 LTE. Although some of these features might come to the older models in future updates. If that happens, we’ll update this post to include the new features.

Managing Notification

You can manage notifications you receive on your phone from any of these four watches. You can also reply to messages with preset quick replies. You will need to enable notifications in the Garmin Connect app and your phone must be nearby to receive messages on the watch.

All four watches have an NFC that enables Garmin Pay, this will allow you to make payments from the watch in supported countries.

Battery Life

The Forerunner 955 boasts a long battery life of up to 15 days which is slightly longer than 14 days with Forerunner 945 and 945 LTE. Meanwhile, the 955 Solar has up to 20 days long battery life.

Garmin Forerunner 945 vs 945 LTE – The Difference

The Forerunner 945 has the same design, features, and battery life as the 945 LTE. The main difference between these two is the LTE capability of the 945 LTE which enhances your security when you go for an outdoor workout without carrying your phone with you. The Forerunner 945 just like Forerunner 955, requires you to carry your phone along to enable security features.

  1. With the Forerunner 945, you must carry your phone along to enable incidental fall detection that starts Assistance which will send a message with your name and location to a preset emergency contact.
  2. With the Forerunner 945, you must carry your phone along to enable LiveTrack which allows you to share your outdoor workout activity with family and friends.
  3. With the Forerunner 945, you must carry your phone along to enable Live Event Sharing which allows you to send messages to family and friends while working out.
  4. With the Forerunner 945, you must carry your phone along to enable Group LiveTrack which allows you to keep track of all your connections using LiveTrack.

However, with the Forerunner 945 LTE, you don’t need to carry your phone along to enable LiveTrack, live event sharing, Assistance and group LiveTrack.

Moreover, the Forerunner 945 LTE features Assistance Plus which allows the watch to contact Garmin International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC) team when a fall is detected. The IERCC will now contact local emergency services on your behalf so that you can get help promptly.

The Forerunner 945 LTE also features Spectator Messaging, a feature that allows your LiveTrack followers to send you audio and text messages during a workout.

The new Forerunner 955 has all the security features present on the Forerunner 945 LTE, however, just like the Forerunner 945, you must carry your phone along to enable these features.

You will need to subscribe to a monthly or yearly plan to get LTE connectivity on the 945 LTE. Garmin will handle the subscription and note, that this service isn’t supported in every country. Also, note that you cannot make and receive calls with the 945 LTE like you would with a Galaxy Watch 4 LTE or Apple Watch cellular because it lacks both a microphone and speaker.

Garmin Forerunner 955 vs 955 Solar

The Forerunner 955 is the same in every aspect as the 955 Solar. The main difference between these two is that the 955 Solar has a longer battery life and as a result, is priced higher.

You can get up to 15 days of battery life with the Forerunner 955, it’s up to 20 days with the 955 Solar. As a result of the longer battery life, the Forerunner 955 Solar is $100 more expensive than the Forerunner 955 which is priced at $500.

Forerunner 945, 945 LTE, 955 or 955 Solar – Which is Right For You?

If you have read through all the information, you can see clearly that the Forerunner 955 offers more features than the Forerunner 945 and 945 LTE. It has a slightly bigger display size, touchscreen support for easier navigation, and slightly longer battery life. It also has more activity-tracking features that may never come to the 945 and 945 LTE (manufacturers want you to buy newer models). Surprisingly, the Forerunner 955 is priced at $500 compared to the $500 price tag on 945 and the $600 price tag on 945 LTE.

If you want a longer battery life, the Forerunner 955 Solar priced at $600 is the best deal.

On the flip side, the Forerunner 945 LTE which allows you to access all the security features without carrying your phone along is an awesome investment if like me you find it intrusive to carry your phone along when working out outdoors. Though it’s quite expensive, especially in addition to the $72 yearly subscription.