Garmin Epix 2 vs Forerunner 955 Solar

Epix 2 and Forerunner 955 Solar are interesting smartwatches from Garmin. Both watches were released in 2022 and continue to command a good market share.

We already discussed Forerunner 955 and Epix 2 watches in the other comparison study. In this one, we look at the solar watch variant and Epix 2 standard edition.

Main differences

  • Epix 2 standard edition costs $899.99 while the Forerunner 955 Solar costs $599.99. There is a $300 difference in costs between the two watches.
  • Forerunner 955 Solar edition has multi-band GPS while the Epix 2 standard edition lacks it.
  • Forerunner 955 Solar is a solar watch. So, the battery can be charged through sunlight. Epix 2 is not a solar watch.
  • Forerunner 955 Solar has better device storage than Epix 2 standard edition.
  • Epix 2 standard edition has a better water rating than Forerunner 955 Solar.
  • Epix 2 standard edition has an AMOLED display while the Forerunner 955 Solar continues to use the MIP or memory in pixel screen.
  • Epix 2 has an ambient light sensor.
  • Forerunner 955 Solar provides the safety feature of spectator messaging.

We will look at these feature details below.

Display

Forerunner 955 Solar has a better display lens. It has a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 DX while the Epix 2 has Corning Gorilla Glass.

DX coating is a special anti-reflective coating on the regular Gorilla glass. The DX coating on 3rd generation Corning Gorilla Glass improves screen brightness, display screen readability, and contrast ratio.

However, Forerunner 955 Solar lacks the AMOLED display. Epix 2 standard edition comes with an AMOLED display.

Due to the AMOLED display, the display resolution of Epix 2 is almost 50% higher than Forerunner 955 Solar. Additionally, Epix 2 supports the Always-on-display or the AOD mode.

We share the display specifications of both watches below.

Display specificationsForerunner 955 SolarEpix 2
Display lensCorning Gorilla Glass 3 DXCorning Gorilla Glass
Display typeMIP (Memory in pixel)AMOLED
Display size1.3″ or 33 mm1.3″ or 33 mm
Display resolution416 x 416 pixels260 x 260 pixels
Pixel density283 ppi350 ppi
Color displayYesYes
TouchscreenYesYes
LED FlashlightNoNo
Ambient light sensorNoYes

Clearly, Epix 2 standard edition has a much improved display experience on account of the AMOLED display.

Epix 2 standard edition

Physical specifications

Forerunner 955 Solar and Epix 2 standard share quite a few hardware specifications. Both watches are of almost similar size.

We look at the physical specifications of Forerunner 955 Solar and Epix 2 below.

SpecificationsForerunner 955 SolarEpix 2
Watch size46.5 x 46.5 x 14.4 mm47 x 47 x 14.5 mm
Thickness14.4 mm14.5 mm
Watch weight52 g53 g
Watch bodyFiber-enforced polymerFiber-enforced polymer with steel rear cover
BezelFiber-enforced polymerPassivated stainless steel
BandSiliconeSilicone
Band material optionsSiliconeSilicone, Metal, Fabric and Leather
Band size22 mm22 mm
Recommended wrist circumference for silicone band130-220 mm125-208 mm
Device storage32 GB16 GB
Water rating5 ATM (50 meters)10 ATM (100 meters)
Swimming profilePool Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Swimming/RunningPool Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Swimming/Running
GPSGPS, GLONASS, GalileoGPS, GLONASS, Galileo
NFC SupportGarmin PayGarmin Pay
Wireless connectivityANT+, Wi-Fi, BluetoothANT+, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Garmin Elevate Heart sensorYesYes
ThermometerYesYes
Primary Charging deviceGarmin wire chargerGarmin wire charger
Secondary chargingSolar chargingNone

You can notice that the bezel of Epix 2 is made of passivated stainless steel while the Forerunner 955 Solar’s bezel is made of fiber-enforced polymer.

Epix 2 is a fancier looking watch in comparison to the Forerunner 955 Solar smartwatch.

In terms of physical specifications, both watches have strong points. Epix 2 has 100 meters water resistance while the Forerunner 955 Solar has double the device storage of Epix 2.

Solar watch

Forerunner 955 Solar is a solar watch. It can use bright sunshine to charge the battery capacity.

For solar charging to be effective, Garmin expects a couple of underlying conditions to be understood. These stipulations are:

  1. You must expose your solar watch to bright sunlight for at least 3 hours a day.
  2. Solar charging will succeed if you have bright sunshine with a luminosity of 50000 lux or higher.

If you spend less time outdoors, you may not be able to make use of solar charging for building the battery charge.

However, if you spend a fair part of the day under the sun, solar charging of Forerunner 955 Solar could help in quick charging the battery.

Forerunner 955 Solar

GPS

Forerunner 955 Solar focuses on keeping the runners happy. The GPS data and connectivity of Forerunner 955 Solar is top notch.

This has been made possible by the introduction of a multi-frequency positioning sensor within the watch.

The multi-frequency positioning sensor helps in providing the multi-band GPS feature on Forerunner 955 Solar.

Multi-band GPS allows you to take GPS signals and data from multiple satellites at the same time. This feature is very useful when the quality of GPS signals is poor.

So, the Forerunner 955 Solar offers more reliable GPS data than the Epix 2 standard edition watch. Epix 2 does not have a multi-frequency positioning sensor.

Since multi-band GPS consumes substantial battery capacity, Garmin added the SatIQ technology on the Forerunner 955 Solar.

SatIQ technology can toggle on or off the multi-band GPS mode. If the quality of GPS signal is poor, SatIQ will turn on the multi-band GPS to get reliable GPS data.

However, if the GPS signal is of good quality, SatIQ will turn off the multi-band GPS mode and use the simple GPS mode.

The primary goal of SatIQ technology is to optimize the usage of the battery of the Forerunner 955 Solar smartwatch.

Forerunner 955 Solar offers better GPS quality because of the multi-band GPS support.

Battery

Forerunner 955 Solar can use solar energy to build the charge in the battery. Epix 2, for now, uses the Garmin plug charger.

However, you will notice that there is not much of a difference in battery backup offered by the Forerunner 955 Solar and Epix 2 smartwatch.

Watch modeForerunner 955 Solar backupEpix 2 backup
Smartwatch modeUp to 15 days/20 days with solarUp to 16 days (6 days always-on)
GPS mode without musicUp to 42 hours/49 hours with solarUp to 42 hours (30 hours always-on )
All Systems GPS Mode without MusicUp to 31 hoursUp to 32 hours (24 hours always-on)
GPS mode with musicUp to 10.5 hoursUp to 10 hours (9 hours always-on)
All + Multi-Band GPS Mode without MusicUp to 20 hoursMulti-band not available
All + Multi-Band GPS Mode with MusicUp to 8.5 hoursMulti-band not available
Ultratrac mode without musicUp to 80 hours/110 hours with solar
Max Battery GPSUp to 75 hours
Expedition GPSUp to 14 days

Although Forerunner 955 Solar has the ability to use solar energy for charging the battery, the battery backups of Forerunner 955 Solar and Epix 2 are of similar time duration.

Forerunner 955 Solar and Epix 2 have decent battery backup. There is no clear winner when it comes to battery backup.

Miscellaneous features

There are some features that are only available in either watch. We look at some of these small differences below.

  • Forerunner 955 Solar has the safety feature of spectator messaging. With spectator messaging, your followers can send a text or audio message.
  • Epix 2 has an ambient light sensor.
  • Epix 2 has additional profiles in outdoor recreation and cycling.
  • Epix 2 has a jet lag advisor.

Final verdict

The difference in cost between Forerunner 955 Solar and Epix 2 is almost $400. For the incremental money spent in getting Epix 2, the main benefits that accrue to you include:

  • AMOLED display
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Decent battery backup

Forerunner 955 Solar, on the other hand, is priced well. For the cost incurred on getting the Forerunner 955 Solar, you will get:

  • Multi-band GPS
  • SatIQ technology
  • Solar watch
  • Slightly better battery backup

Eventually, runners and triathletes will like the Forerunner 955 Solar because of the functionality offered by the watch.

Suggested reading

You may like to read more smartwatch comparisons below.

© 2023 Compare Smartwatch

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