Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Venu 3

Garmin Forerunner 955 was released in June 2022 and Venu 3 is a relatively newer variant released in August 2023.

Both watches come at comparable prices. Therefore, we compare the Forerunner 955 and Venu 3 smartwatches below.

Main differences

The main differences between Garmin Forerunner 955 and Venu 3 are shared below:

Features that work for Forerunner 955

  • Forerunner 955 supports multi-band GPS. Venu 3 does not support it.
  • Forerunner 955 also has a SatIQ sensor to manage the multi-band GPS mode automatically.
  • Forerunner 955 has a higher device storage of 32 GB in comparison with Venu 3’s device storage of 8 GB.
  • Forerunner 955 included special tracking metrics for athletes. Some of these metrics include the Volumetric Oxygen, Endurance Score, Realtime Stamina, %HRR or Heart Rate Reserve, daily suggested workouts, and many other features for runners.
  • Forerunner 955 has an in-built sensor for measuring skin-based temperature. Venu 3 requires a tempe sensor to be separately purchased for measuring skin-based temperature.
  • Forerunner 955 includes the safety feature of spectator messaging. It helps in exchanging audio or text messages with your followers. It is a very significant safety feature when you are in a remote area with poor connectivity.

Features that work for Venu 3

  • Venu 3 has an AMOLED display. Forerunner 955 has the regular MIP or memory in pixel screen.
  • Venu 3 has a much better display resolution than the Forerunner 955.
  • Venu 3 and an in-built speaker and mic. You can answer calls directly from a Venu 3.
  • Venu 3 adds new functionality and features, including nap detection, meditation, sleep coaching, and breathwork.
  • Venu 3 has an ambient light sensor to adjust the backlight based on the ambient light.
  • Venu 3 has a Jetlag adviser.
  • Venu 3 is compatible with the Gameon app.
  • Venu 3 has a wheelchair mode to track the workout of wheelchair users.
  • Venu 3 also supports cardio workouts. Forerunner 955 does not support cardio workouts.

Garmin Forerunner 955 in white silicon band

Display specifications

Venu 3, definitely offers a better display experience than the Forerunner 955.

Venu 3 supports AMOLED display. AMOLED display offers a much brighter and clearer display experience. Due to the AMOLED display, the Always-on-display mode is also supported in a Venu 3 smartwatch.

The display resolution of Venu 3 is almost double the display resolution of a Forerunner 955.

Forerunner 955 has a DX-coated Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The DX coating of the lens is an anti-reflective coating that helps in improving display readability under bright sunlight.

The display lens of the Forerunner 955 is better than the display lens of the Garmin Venu 3 smartwatch.

The other display specifications of Venu 3 and Forerunner 955 are shared in the comparison table below.

Display specificationsGarmin Forerunner 955Garmin Venu 3
Display lensCorning Gorilla Glass 3 DXCorning Gorilla Glass 3
Display size1.3″ or 33 mm1.4″ or 36 mm
Color displayYesYes
TouchscreenYesYes
Display resolution260 x 260 pixels454 x 454 pixels
Ambient light sensorNoYes
LED FlashlightNoNo

Physical specifications

The most significant improvement in the Garmin Venu 3 is the addition of an in-built speaker and microphone. You can answer calls directly from your Venu 3.

Compared to the Forerunner 955, the Garmin Venu 3 does have a lower device storage. At the same time, it is slimmer than the Forerunner 955.

Venu 3 has a steel bezel that lends a premium look to the watch. Forerunner 955 uses a fiber-enforced polymer body and bezel.

We look at other physical specifications of Garmin Venu 3 and Forerunner 955 below.

Physical specificationsGarmin Forerunner 955Garmin Venu 3
Watch size46 mm45 mm
Watch dimensions46.5 x 46.5 x 14.4 mm45 x 45 x 12 mm
Thickness14.4 mm12 mm
Watch weight52 g47 g
Band size22 mm22 mm
Recommended wrist circumference130-220 mm135-200 mm
Watch bodyFiber-enforced polymerFiber-enforced polymer
BezelFiber-enforced polymerStainless Steel
Water rating5 ATM5 ATM
Device storage32 GB8 GB
NFC PaymentsGarmin PayGarmin Pay
Wireless connectivityANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
AccelerometerYesYes
CompassYesYes
GyroscopeYesYes
Barometric altimeterYesYes
Garmin Heart Elevate SensorYesYes
Garmin Pulse Ox SensorYesYes
Garmin Elevate Heart SensorYesYes
ThermometerYesYes (tempe sensor needed)
In-built speakerNoYes
In-built microphoneNoYes

GPS

Forerunner 955 comes with a multi-frequency positioning sensor. The sensor helps in providing multi-band GPS capabilities through Forerunner 955

Multi-band GPS is also called dual-frequency GPS. When multi-band GPS is enabled, your smartwatch can fetch GPS data from multiple satellites at any point in time.

Multi-band GPS improves GPS accuracy and reliability. It is a very useful feature. When the GPS signals are weak or of poor quality, multi-band GPS can get the GPS data from alternate satellites to boost the accuracy of GPS data.

Venu 3 does not support multi-band GPS.

For runners and athletes requiring accurate GPS data, multi-band GPS is a useful and practical feature. Therefore, we strongly suggest Forerunner 955 if you need reliable GPS experience and data.

Music

Garmin Forerunner 955 and Venu 3 offer full music functionality. You can get all the below-mentioned music features on Forerunner 955 and Venu 3:

  • You can control music on the paired smartphone
  • You can store offline music content on the device storage of the smartwatch
  • You can download music streaming apps like the Spotify app from the Connect IQ store. With a premium subscription to apps like Spotify and Deezer, you will be able to download audio content on your smartwatch for offline listening.

For better sound output, we generally recommend using a good quality Bluetooth speaker or headset. Alternatively, you can use the in-built speaker of the Venu 3 to listen to music.

ECG app

Garmin Venu 3 supports the Garmin ECG app. Garmin Forerunner 955 is not compatible with the Garmin ECG app.

Garmin ECG app received FDA approval in January 2023. It was subsequently rolled out in the Venu 2 Plus smartwatch.

It was expected that the Garmin Venu 3 smartwatch would come with the Garmin ECG app. However, at the time of launch, Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 3S did not have access to the Garmin ECG app.

As per the latest communication from Garmin, the Garmin ECG app was enabled on Venu 3 and Venu 3S smartwatches in October 2023.

The Garmin ECG app helps in detecting irregular heart rhythm conditions. It can, therefore, help in detecting Atrial Fibrillation.

Garmin ECG app support in Venu 3 smartwatch makes it a compelling choice. Forerunner 955 does not support the Garmin ECG app.

It may be possible that the Garmin ECG app may be released on the Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 3S sometime in the future.

Battery

There is not a tangible difference in battery backup offered in Garmin Forerunner 955 and Venu 3. Both watches are designed to offer extended battery life.

Apart from the extended battery life, both smartwatches support fast charging. You can go from an empty battery to a fully-charged battery in less than 2 hours.

We have listed the battery backup of Venu 3 and Forerunner 955 in the side-by-side comparison table below.

Watch modeGarmin Forerunner 955 BackupGarmin Venu 3 Backup
Smartwatch modeUp to 15 daysUp to 14 days
GPS ModeUp to 42 hoursUp to 26 hours
All-Systems GNSS modeUp to 20 hours (with multi-band)Up to 20 hours
All-Systems GNSS mode with musicUp to 8.5 hoursUp to 11 hours
Battery Saver modeUp to 26 days
Ultratrac modeUp to 80 hours
Garmin Venu 3 smartwatch

Activity profiles

Garmin Forerunner 955 and Venu 3 differ in the activity profiles offered for running, outdoor recreation, and cycling.

We have listed the activity profiles for each smartwatch below.

Activity profilesGarmin Forerunner 955Garmin Venu 3
RunningRunning, Outdoor Track Running, Treadmill Running, Indoor Track Running, Trail Running, Virtual Running, Ultra RunningRunning, Treadmill Running, Indoor Track Running
Outdoor recreationHiking, Climbing, Skiing, Snowboarding, Backcountry Skiing, Backcountry Snowboarding, XC Classic Skiing, XC Skate Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Kayaking, Snowshoeing, Mapping, Navigating, Tennis, Pickleball, Padel, Track Me, Project Waypoint, Disc GolfHiking, Indoor Climbing, Bouldering, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Classic Skiing, Snowshoeing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Tennis, Padel, Pickleball, Disc Golf
CyclingBiking, Road Biking, Mountain Biking, Gravel Biking, Bike Commuting, Bike Touring, eBiking, eMountain Biking, Indoor Biking, CyclocrossBiking, Indoor Biking, eBiking, Handcycling, Indoor Handcycling

Costs

Garmin Forerunner 955 costs $499.99. Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 3S cost $449.99.

Final verdict

Forerunner 955 is more suitable for athletes and runners. It does offer features that are designed to improve the user experience of runners.

Things for which I will get a Forerunner 955 are:

  • The Multi-band GPS
  • SatIQ sensors
  • Higher device storage of 32 GB in the Forerunner 955.
  • Additional running profiles for trail running, virtual running, ultra running and outdoor track running
  • Spectator messaging safety feature allows you to be in touch with your followers
  • Features and metrics like the Volumetric oxygen, %Heart Rate Reserve and Realtime Stamina.

A Forerunner 955 is an ideal smartwatch for runners.

Things for which I would prefer a Garmin Venu 3 over the Forerunner 955 are:

  • AMOLED display
  • Garmin ECG app
  • Much better display resolution and display performance
  • Meditation, nap detection, Jetlag adviser and sleep coaching apps

Garmin Venu 3 is a new lifestyle smartwatch. It brings in lots of improvements and added functionality over the previous generation Venu 2 series smartwatches.

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