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Garmin unveils Forerunner 955 solar and 255 watches – here’s how to preorder yours

The pair of running watches are available now but won’t ship for a few weeks

<p>The wearables are available now and should begin shipping by mid-June </p>

The wearables are available now and should begin shipping by mid-June

Garmin is already a formidable brand in the world of smartwatches, and now it’s revealed a pair of new Forerunner smartwatches – one of which, we’re excited to say, is fitted with a solar panel to improve battery life.

Called the Forerunner 955 solar, this watch is also packed with health- and fitness-tracking features that we suspect will see it make an appearance in our roundup of the best Garmin watches, once we’ve tried it out for ourselves.

The 955 is joined by the equally new Forerunner 255, which has a lower price and two case size options that should help it appeal to runners who don’t necessarily want a huge smartwatch strapped to their wrist.

Both sizes of Forerunner 255 (£299.99, Garmin.com) and the 955 solar (£549.99, Garmin.com) are available to order now, but buyers will have to be patient as both won’t begin shipping for another couple of weeks, meaning the first deliveries are expected to arrive with buyers in mid-June.

We’ve always found Garmin watches to be full of useful features to help keen runners improve their performance, and train correctly ahead of a big run, whether it’s a 5K or a full marathon. So, we can’t wait to see what these two are capable of. Until then, here’s everything we know about the 255 and 955.

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Garmin Forerunner 955 solar: £549.99, Garmin.com

  • Bezel size: 46.5mm
  • Display: 1.3 inches
  • Resolution: 260 x 260
  • Battery: 8.5 hours to 20 days depending on use
  • Water rating: 5ATM
  • Compatibility: iPhone and Android

The big story here is how solar panel technology is added to the regular Forerunner 955 to create a fitness-focused smartwatch with a battery that lasts longer. Available in only one size, with a fairly large 46.5mm bezel, the 955 solar also has GPS, integrated training schedules with daily suggested workouts, mapping features, and a function that calculates how much time you need to recover before your next work out.

There’s also a heart rate monitor, the “Garmin coach” that can help you train for 5K, 10K and half-marathon runs, and a new race widget that helps prepare you for your next running event.

Clever algorithms help determine your exercise performance, and there’s a virtual race predictor that can be used to estimate your pace for runs of various lengths, from 5K right up to a 26.2-mile marathon. Once you’ve finished your run, the watch will suggest how many hours you need to recover for, before your next work out. This stat takes recent exercise, as well as sleep, stress levels and daily activity into account.

Buy now

Garmin Forerunner 255: £299.99, Garmin.com

  • Bezel size: 46mm (41mm for the Forerunner 255S)
  • Display: 1.3 inches
  • Resolution: 260 x 260
  • Battery: 16 hours to 14 days depending on use
  • Water rating: 5ATM
  • Compatibility: iPhone and Android

Equally new, but slotting into the lower end of Garmin’s running watch range is the Forerunner 255 and smaller 255S. The former has a 46mm bezel diameter, while the latter is much more compact at 41mm, which is roughly the size of a typical gents wristwatch.

This watch doesn’t have the solar technology of the 955 solar, but still has an impressive battery life of between 16 hours and 14 days depending on how it is used. As ever, constantly running the watch’s GPS function is by far the biggest drain on battery life.

Although simpler than the Forerunner 955 (£549.99, Garmin.com) and with fewer features, the 255 still includes a wide range of health and fitness tracking functions, including a race widget to help you prepare for your next event. There’s also a whole catalogue of daily workout suggestions, a widget for estimating your recovery time after each exercise session, and detailed running metrics, including cadence, stride length, ground contact time and balance.

This watch also has a heart rate monitor and a widget for monitoring sleep, plus menstrual cycle and pregnancy tracking, and an app for checking on your stress levels too.

Buy now

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on fitness trackers and other tech offers, try the links below:

For more smart, sporty tech, try our edit of the best fitness watches to help you track your goals

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