Garmin Forerunner 255 vs 255s – Which is Right For You?

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In June Garmin released the Forerunner 255 which succeeds the Forerunner 245 that was released in 2019. That’s a whole three years of waiting, and it’s worth noting that the new 255 series comes with new features that in my honest opinion seem like a worthwhile upgrade. The Forerunner 255 welcomes Garmin Pay, an altimeter, animated workouts, more activity profiles, a longer battery life as well as the new multi-band GPS sensor that enables increased accuracy in location and route tracking. Moreover, like its successor, Forerunner 265, the Forerunner 255 comes in two sizes; 41mm and 46mm, these two are the same in every aspect except for differences in sizes and battery life.

The 41mm unit is named Forerunner 255s while the 46mm unit is named Forerunner 255. Also, note that each of these sizes is available in Music and non-music editions. Both are the same except that the Music edition will allow you to load music to the watch which you can listen to offline. While the Forerunner 255 has a $350 price tag, the music edition has a $400 price tag.

The option of two sizes gives consumers the option to choose their preferred size since we all have different wrist sizes. In this article, we’ll compare the differences between the Forerunner 255 and 255s and also help you make the right choice.

Forerunner 245 vs 255 – What’s New?

The Forerunner 255 welcomes new features and it has a longer battery life

Before we continue, let’s take a look at what’s new to the Forerunner 255, so that if you already own the 245, you can decide if it’s worth upgrading to the 255.

  1. Unlike the Forerunner 245, the Forerunner 255 comes in two sizes, 41mm and 46mm which gives consumers the option to choose their preferred choice.
  2. Garmin has added an NFC chip to the Forerunner 255. This enables Garmin Pay – a non-contactless payment system that will allow you to make payments directly from the watch.
  3. Garmin has also equipped the Forerunner 255 with an altimeter that enables it to count floors climbed plus the ability to track elevation.
  4. Multi-band GPS positioning that improves location tracking accuracy has also been added to the Forerunner 255. This was introduced to the Fenix 7 series.
  5. The Forerunner 255 features onscreen animated workouts that can guide you through some of your favorite workouts. It also features the onscreen animated muscle heat map that shows which muscle is being worked during a workout.
  6. The Connect IQ store app is now onboard the Forerunner 255, this allows for effortless management of apps and watch faces
  7. The health snapshot feature that allows you to record a 2-minute health-related metrics is also available on the Forerunner 255. Metrics recorded include heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV), Pulse Ox, respiration, and stress.
  8. The Forerunner 255 features more gym profiles with pilates, floor climbing, and HIIT added. It also features corresponding workouts for these profiles.
  9. The Forerunner 255 welcomes more training and planning features such as improved intervals, rest timer, auto and manual multisport activities and training load focus. Thus, the Forerunner 255 unlike its predecessor is a triathlon/multisport smartwatch.
  10. The Forerunner 255 has got new heart rate tracking features. It will now give you a morning report that contains a summary of important details such as HRV, intensity minutes, weather report, body battery energy and more.
  11. New running features such as course and weather-specific race predictor and running power have been added to the Forerunner 255. Ultra running profile has also been added.
  12. The Forerunner 255 gets new outdoor recreational profiles which include hiking, skiing, snowboarding, XC classic skiing, stand-up paddleboarding, and rowing.

    Other outdoor features such as Up ahead, elevation profile, barometric trend indicator, and vertical speed have also been added.

  13. The Forerunner 255 welcomes more running profiles such as mountain biking, eBiking and eMountain biking.
  14. Support for open water swimming has been added to the Forerunner 255. Thus, it will track open water metrics such as distance, pace, stroke rate, stroke distance, swim efficiency (SWOLF) and calories.
  15. Finally, the Forerunner 255 has twice the battery life of its predecessor. It has up to 14 days of battery life compared to about 7 days with the Forerunner 245. Meanwhile, it’s up to 12 days with the smaller Forerunner 255s edition.

Garmin Forerunner 255 vs 255s Full Specification Comparison

Product Info
Garmin Forerunner 255 Music Specifications

Garmin Forerunner 255 Music Full Specifications, Features and Price

Garmin Forerunner 255s Music Full Specifications

Garmin Forerunner 255s Music Full Specifications, Features and Price

Price $399.99 $399.99
Device name Garmin Forerunner 255 Music Garmin Forerunner 255s Music
Device type Fitness/Sport smartwatch Fitness/Sport smartwatch
Gender Unisex Unisex
Release date June, 2022 June, 2022
Predecessor Garmin Forerunner 245 Garmin Forerunner 245
Versions Garmin Forerunner 255, Garmin Forerunner 255 Music Garmin Forerunner 255, Garmin Forerunner 255 Music
Dimension 45.6 x 45.6 x 12.9 mm 41 x 41 x 12.4 mm
Weight 49 grams 39 grams
Shape Circular Circular
Case material Fiber-reinforced polymer Fiber-reinforced polymer
Strap material Silicone Silicone
Bezel material Fiber-reinforced polymer Fiber-reinforced polymer
Strap size 22 mm 18 mm
Interchangeable strap 22 mm, Yes 18mm, Yes
Screen protection Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Water resistance Yes, 5ATM Yes, 5ATM
Durability test
Swim-proof Yes, recommended Yes, recommended
Color Black, Whitestone Light pink, Powder gray
Display size 1.3 inches 1.1 inches
Display type LCD, Memory-in-pixel (MIP), transflective LCD, Memory-in-pixel (MIP), transflective
Display resolution 260 x 260 px 218 x 218 px
Pixel density 282.8 PPI 282.8 PPI
Always on Yes Yes
Custom watch face Yes Yes
Input type (not touchscreen), 5 Physical buttons (not touchscreen), 5 Physical buttons
Bluetooth ANT+, Bluetooth ANT+, Bluetooth
Bluetooth calling No No
NFC Yes Yes
Wi-Fi Yes Yes
Memory card slot No No
Technology None None
SIM type None None
SMS alert Yes Yes
Calls alert Yes Yes
Email alert Yes Yes
Event reminder Yes Yes
Third-party apps alert Yes Yes
Reply to Notifications - -
Audio mp3/mp4 mp3/mp4
Bluetooth music Yes Yes
Loudspeaker No No
Microphone No No
Camera No No
Radio No No
Sensor(s) Multi-band GPS sensor Multi-band GPS sensor
Blood oxygen Yes Yes
Blood Pressure No No
Calories Yes Yes
Distance Yes Yes
ECG tracking No No
Heart rate monitoring Yes Yes
Sleep tracking Yes Yes
Steps Yes Yes
Floors climbed Yes Yes
Stress Yes Yes
Fall detection Yes Yes
Menstrual cycle Yes Yes
VO2 Max Yes Yes
Swim-tracking Yes Yes
Underwater heart rate tracking Yes Yes
On-screen workout Yes Yes
Sport modes Yes Yes
Battery type non-removable Lithium-polymer non-removable Lithium-polymer
Battery capacity
Battery life GPS mode: Up to 30 hrs, Smartwatch mode: up to 14 days GPS mode: up to 26 hrs, Smartwatch mode: up to 12 days
Charging type Charging dock Charging dock
Charging time 1-2 hours 1-2 hours
Solar charging No No
Operating system Proprietary OS Proprietary OS
Companion app Garmin Connect Garmin Connect
Compatibility Android 7.0+, iOS 14.0+ Android 7.0+, iOS 14.0+
Payment system Garmin Pay Garmin Pay
Voice command No No
Find my phone Yes Yes
Box content Charger, Garmin Forerunner 255, Manual, Straps Charger, Garmin Forerunner 255, Manual, Straps

Forerunner 255s vs 255 – The Differences

Garmin Forerunner 255 vs 255s
The Forerunner 255 has a bigger display size and a slightly longer battery life than the 255s

As we mentioned earlier, the Forerunner 255 comes in 41mm and 46mm sizes. The difference between these two is the sizes, available colors, weight and battery life. Everything other things including the price are the same.

  1. Since the 46mm is bigger, it has a bigger 1.3 inches display size compared to 1.1 inches display of the 41mm unit.
  2. The 46mm weighs 10 grams more. It comes in at 49 grams compared to 39 grams of the 41mm unit.
  3. The non-music editions of both sizes are available in different colors while the music editions come in the same colors.

    The non-music 46mm unit is available in tidal blue and slate gray colors, while the non-music 255s unit is available in light pink and powder gray colors. Meanwhile, the music editions of both sizes come in whitestone and black colors.

  4. The strap sizes also differ. The 255s unit has an 18mm strap while the 255 has a 22mm strap size. Both sizes come with interchangeable silicone straps which you can replace with any other compatible strap of your choice.
  5. Thanks to its bigger case size, the Forerunner 255 also has a slightly longer battery life than the Forerunner 255s. You get up to 14 days of battery life with the 46mm unit, while you get about 12 days of battery life with the 41mm unit.

Beyond these few differences, both sizes have the same build quality, display type, activity tracking features, and price.

So which size is right for you?

The smaller unit is an ideal choice for women and individuals with smaller wrist sizes while the bigger Forerunner 255 is a nicer fit for moderate to fat wrist size individuals. A simple way to know which size is right for you is to simply take a measurement of your wrist using a meter rule, this will give you an idea of which is the right size for you. You want the watch sitting comfortably on your wrist, not too small and not too big on your wrist.

Forerunner 255 vs 255 Music – which is Right for you?

We pointed out earlier that both sizes of the Forerunner 255 are available in the music and non-music edition, the difference between these two is that the music edition comes with about 4GB storage capacity that allows you to load music to the watch which you can listen to offline.

You can add your personal music to the watch via Garmin Express app on your computer OR load music from supported streaming services such as Amazon Music, Deezer, and Spotify.

As a result of onboard music capability, the Forerunner 255 music is priced at $50 more than the non-music edition. Personally, I like to listen to music offline on my watch, it offers a lot of conveniences that no doubt make it a better deal.

If you walking out outdoors, it’s always obstructive to carry your phone along, especially if you’re running. Moreover, you become wary of sweat damaging your phone.


In conclusion, the Forerunner 255 comes with a significant number of new features that in my opinion is a worthy upgrade. And being available in two sizes gives you the option to choose your preferred size. We recommend the smaller unit for women and individuals with moderate to slim wrists, while the 46mm unit would be more suitable for individuals with moderate to fat wrist sizes.

If you want to load music to the watch which you can listen to offline, the Forerunner 255 music edition is the best deal. Though, it will cost you $50 more.