Garmin Forerunner 255 vs Forerunner 55

Garmin Forerunner 255 is a good mid-range smartwatch for runners. Forerunner 55 is a simplistic running watch.

Both watches have been around for quite some time. We look at Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 55 smartwatches and compare the features below.

Main differences

The main differences between Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 55 are shared below:

  • Forerunner 255 is costlier than Forerunner 55 by $150.
  • Forerunner 255 was released in June 2022 while the Forerunner 55 was released in June 2021.
  • Forerunner 255 uses a better display lens than Forerunner 55. It has a third-generation Corning Gorilla Glass while the Forerunner 55 has a chemically-strengthened glass.
  • Forerunner 255 has a larger display than Forerunner 55. It is relatively thicker than Forerunner 55.
  • Forerunner 255 supports multi-band GPS and SatIQ technology for a much better display experience than Forerunner 55.
  • Forerunner 55 does not track blood oxygenation levels or SpO2 levels in the blood.
  • Forerunner 255 has 4 GB device storage while Forerunner 55 can manage 200 hours of activity data.
  • Forerunner 255 has an additional set of sensors for barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, and thermometer.
  • Forerunner 255 has additional profiles in outdoor recreation and cycling.

We look at these differences and other features in detail below.

Display specifications

Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 55 use MIP or memory-in-pixel display technology. Forerunner 255, however, uses a newer and better display lens.

Forerunner 255 uses the third-generation Corning Gorilla Glass. Forerunner 55 continues to use chemically strengthened glass.

A side-by-side comparison of the display technology of Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 55 is given here under.

Display specificationsForerunner 255Forerunner 55
Display size1.3″ or 33 mm1.04″ or 27 mm
Display lens or glassCorning Gorilla Glass 3Chemically-strengthened glass
Display typeMIP or Memory-in-pixelMIP or Memory-in-pixel
Display resolution260 x 260 pixels208 x 208 pixels
Color screenYesYes
LED FlashlightNoNo
Ambient light sensorNoNo

Forerunner 255 has a display size of 33 mm and Forerunner 55 has a display size of 27 mm. The bigger size translates in a better display resolution for the watch.

Looking at the image of the front face of Forerunner 255 below, you can see that it has 5 buttons. There are 3 buttons on the left side of the bezel and another two on the right side of the bezel.

The buttons on the left side perform the UP, and DOWN movements. There is also a LIGHT button to turn on the backlight on the watch. The top right button is used to Start or Stop an activity. The button on the bottom right is the Back button. You can move a screen back using the Back button.

Garmin Forerunner 255 watch front face

Physical specifications

There are some significant differences in the physical attributes of the Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 55 smartwatches.

A side-by-side comparison of the hardware specifications of Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 55 is shared below.

Physical specificationsForerunner 255Forerunner 55
Watch size45.6 x 45.6 x 12.9 mm42 x 42 x 11.6 mm
Thickness12.9 mm11.6 mm
Watch bodyFiber-enforced polymer
BezelFiber-enforced polymer
Band size22 mm20 mm
Band materialSiliconeSilicone
Recommended wrist circumference130-205 mm126-203 mm
Watch weight49 g37 g
Water resistance5 ATM or 50 Meters5 ATM or 50 Meters
Swimming profilePool swimming, Open water swimmingPool swimming
Device storage4 GB200 hours of activity data
Wireless connectivityANT+, BluetoothANT+, Bluetooth
NFC PaymentsGarmin PayNot available
Barometric altimeterYesNo
Garmin Elevate Heart SensorYesYes
PulseOX sensor for SpO2 monitoringYesNo
iOS compatibleiOS 15 or higheriOS 15 or higher
Android compatibleAndroid 7 or higherAndroid 7 or higher
ChargerGarmin wire chargerGarmin wire charger

Apart from the size difference between Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 55, Forerunner 255 does support contactless payments through Garmin Pay. Forerunner 55 lacks NFC support or contactless payments.


Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 55 support GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo networks.

However, the main difference in GPS capability lies in the multi-frequency positioning sensor of Forerunner 255.

Forerunner 255 comes with a multi-frequency positioning sensor that helps in offering multi-band GPS support.

Multi-band GPS or dual frequency GPS helps in providing GPS data from multiple satellites at a given point in time.

If the GPS connection is weak or poor, your device will get GPS data from alternate satellites. This ensures improved and more reliable GPS connectivity.

The accuracy of GPS data goes up when multi-band GPS is used.

The only downside to using multi-band GPS is the battery drain associated with dual-frequency mode. To help conserve battery, Garmin also added a SatIQ technology sensor in the Forerunner 255 watch.

SatIQ technology is an intelligent thinking technology. It manages the multi-band GPS mode automatically.

When the GPS connection is of poor quality, SatIQ will turn on the multi-band GPS mode. As and when the GPS connection improves, SatIQ will turn off the multi-band GPS and use the simple GPS mode.

The automatic toggle-on or off of the multi-band GPS mode ensures optimum battery usage.

The combination of multi-band GPS and SatIQ technology boosts GPS performance in Forerunner 255. GPS accuracy and reliability of Forerunner 255 is higher than that of Forerunner 55.


The battery performance of Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 55 is almost equivalent. We look at the battery backup provided by Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 55 in a side-by-side comparison below.

Watch modeForerunner 255Forerunner 55
Smartwatch modeUp to 14 daysUp to 14 days
GPS modeUp to 30 hoursUp to 20 hours
All-Systems GNSS modeUp to 25 hours
All-Systems GNSS mode plus Multi-BandUp to 16 hoursMulti-band not available

The battery of Forerunner 255 is powerful enough to provide decent backup on multi-band GPS mode. For the regular smartwatch and GPS modes, Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 55 offer comparable battery backups.

Health monitoring

Forerunner 55 offers limited health tracking features. Forerunner 255 has a more exhaustive set of health monitoring features.

The comparison below captures the health-tracking abilities of both watches.

Health monitoring featuresForerunner 255Forerunner 55
Heart rate monitoringYesYes
SpO2 or blood oxygenation trackingYesNo
Sleep monitoringYesYes
Sleep scoreYesNo
Stress monitoringYesYes
Body BatteryYesYes
Respiration trackingYesYes
Women HealthYesYes
Health snapshotYesNo
Forerunner 55 smartwatch front face

Look at the image of a Forerunner 55 shared above.

Similar to Forerunner 255, a Forerunner 55 has 5 buttons. The UP, DOWN buttons and LIGHT button stay on the left side of the watch.

The activity Start or Stop button and the Back button are on the right side of the watch.

The buttons on Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 55 are placed in identical directions and perform identical functions.

Additional activity profiles

Forerunner 255 has additional profiles in running, outdoor recreation, and cycling. We look at the incremental profiles available in Forerunner 255 below.

Additional running profiles in Forerunner 255

Forerunner 255 has additional profiles of Trail Running and Ultra Running.

Additional outdoor recreation profiles in Forerunner 255

Forerunner 255 has additional profiles for Hiking, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Classic Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, and Rowing.

Additional profiles in cycling

Forerunner 255 has additional profiles for Mountain Biking, eBiking, eMountain Biking.


Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 55 have limited music functionality.

Forerunner 255 does not have the ability to store audio content on the device. On a similar basis, Forerunner 55 does not provide storage for audio content.

The limited music functionality on Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 55 means that both devices can:

  • Control and play music on the paired smartphone

The good thing, however, is that the Forerunner 255 has a special music edition of Forerunner 255. It costs $50 more than the Forerunner 255 standard edition.

Final verdict

For an additional spending of $150, Forerunner 255 offers some benefits that include:

  • Multi-band GPS mode with SatIQ technology support
  • Better display lens
  • Better device storage
  • NFC or contactless payments through Garmin Pay
  • Blood oxygen saturation monitoring
  • Sleep score and Health snapshot

For me, multi-band GPS and Garmin Pay NFC payments are the two most significant features that are worth the extra cost.

Suggested reading

You may like to read more content related to smartwatch comparisons below:

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?