Specifications: Garmin Forerunner vs Garmin Fenix 7 vs Garmin Epix 2 head-to-head
|Garmin sport smartwatches|
|Case size||47 mm||47 mm||47 mm|
|Bracelet||22 mm||22 mm||22 mm|
|Display glass||Gorilla Glass DX||Gorilla Glass or
|Gorilla Glass or
|Display size||1.3 inch||1.3 inch||1.3 inch|
|Resolution||260 x 260 pixels||260 x 260 pixels||416 x 416 pixels|
|Memory||32 GB||16 / 32 GB||16 / 32 GB|
|Weight||52 - 53 g||73 - 79 g||70 - 76 g|
|Battery life (smartwatch)||up to 15 d / 20 d (solar)||up to 18 d / 22 d (solar)||up to 16 d|
|Battery life (GPS)||up to 42 h / 49 h (solar)||up to 57 h / 73 h (Solar)||up to 42 h|
|Waterproof||5 ATM||10 ATM||10 ATM|
|Solar function||Dependant on model||Dependant on model||Dependant on model|
|Price (MSRP)||$499 / $599 (Solar)||$699 / $799 (Solar)||$899|
A look at the specifications already revealed several key differences: the Garmin Fenix 7 offers longer battery life and better diving capabilities. In addition, a sapphire option is only available on the Fenix 7 and its AMOLED sister Epix 2. The Forerunner 955, on the other hand, is significantly lighter in terms of its build.
- Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Fenix 7: Case and display.
- Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Fenix 7: health and tracking features
- Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Fenix 7: Battery life
- Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Fenix 7 in summary: Which model suits you best?
The name gives it away: traditionally, Garmin's Forerunner models are aimed at runners, and so they're built to be as light as possible. The Forerunner 955 is, depending on the version, 52 to 53 grams lighter than the Fenix 7 which weighs at least 73 grams. This is a significant margin across the long run (heh!) even though you might think that 20 grams do not sound like much: the difference is clearly noticeable.
On the other hand, the Fenix 7 also offers more robust materials. Depending on the version, steel or titanium is used for the case, while the Forerunner 955 relies mainly on plastic as the construction material of choice. If you go climbing a lot with the smartwatch, for example, you will enjoy a watch made of sturdier materials in the longer term. The particularly scratch-resistant sapphire crystal located above the display, for example, is also only found on some Fenix 7 models. In addition, the Fenix 7 is water resistant to 10 ATM, while the Forerunner 955 can withstand "only" 5 ATM.
Last important difference in terms of the case: unlike the Forerunner 955, the Garmin Fenix 7 comes in three different sizes. Apart from the standard model, Garmin also offers the Fenix 7S and the Fenix 7X. You can read more about the different Fenix models in our overview: Which Garmin watch should I buy?
Apart from the differences mentioned, the Forerunner 955 and the Fenix 7 are very similar in terms of operation and display. Both models rely on the same button layout with five buttons. The MIP display is also identical with 1.3 inches, 260 × 260 pixels resolution, and 64 colors. Both models come with an optional version with an integrated solar panel that extends the battery life.
However, you can also get the Fenix 7 with a fancy AMOLED display as the model that is otherwise technically identical to the Fenix watch is known as the Garmin Epix 2. All of the models mentioned offer a touchscreen, and the handling is also identical everywhere.
At its summer launch in 2022, the Garmin Forerunner 955 received a few exciting features that were missing from the Fenix 7 that was launched a few months earlier. These included a race calendar and training suggestions as well as metrics on training readiness and acute training load.
In the meantime, Garmin has also introduced these features to the Fenix 7, Epix 2, and even the Fenix 6 via a software update. The only differences we could still find in tracking concern the solar models. On the Fenix 7, you get a bit more detail on the light intensity that you and your sports watch were exposed to.
There's also an exciting difference in memory capacity and navigation capability. While the basic models of the Fenix 7 sans sapphire crystal or solar capability are only equipped with 16 GB of memory, all Forerunner 955 models have 32 GB of memory. If you are regularly on the move on different continents, this makes a difference: The map data for North America and Europe is about 10 GB each.
Also important for those who want to track themselves: In the Fenix 7 models, you will only find the more precise dual-band GPS in the more expensive models that are equipped with 32 GB of memory. The Forerunner 955 offers dual-band GPS in every version, whether with or without solar function.
As mentioned at the beginning: The Garmin Fenix 7 is rather heavier than the Forerunner 955, but it also accommodates a slightly thicker battery in the case. While the Forerunner 955 runs out of steam after 15 days in smartwatch mode according to the manufacturer, the Fenix 7 even manages 18 days, which is 20 percent more. If you selected the solar versions of the two watches, the runtimes are extended to 20 and 22 days, respectively - provided you (or rather, the watch) see enough daylight.
There's also a slight difference in GPS tracking mode. The Forerunner 955 runs out of steam after 42 hours, while the Fenix 7 manages to last for 57 hours. Here and there, the watch should last longer than most of its users. In the solar versions, you can increase the GPS runtimes to 49 and 73 hours, respectively, with similar exposure times to the sun.
With the Garmin Fenix 7 and the Forerunner 955, the two series are closer than ever. Nevertheless, there is a price difference of around $200 between the two sports watches. The Fenix 7 offers better water resistance, higher-quality materials, and options for sapphire glass and titanium models that boast far more robust cases. The Forerunner 955 relies on a plastic chassis across the board.
Technically, the Forerunner 955 and the Fenix 7 are almost identical - with 32 GB versus 16 GB of storage space, the Forerunner model even has the edge in terms of memory in the basic version and also offers dual-band GPS in all versions. In return, the Fenix 7 has a bit more battery life - although the difference should be negligible for most users in reality.
If you don't care about the differences in design, casing, and choice of materials, then the Forerunner 955 is clearly the better choice. But of course: The fancier and classier model is no doubt the Fenix 7.
- Read more: Which Garmin watch is the best for me?
- Also interesting to know: These are the best smartwatches in 2023
Which model is your favorite? Or have you already decided on one of the two Garmin watches? I look forward to your opinion in the comments! And if you want to know more about the Garmin watches mentioned in this article, then I highly recommend you read our detailed reviews, where you can learn more about the different features of the smartwatches.