Why the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar won our health and fitness tech of the year award

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar on forest floor with TechRadar Choice Awards 2022 logo
(Image credit: Future)

The Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar was one of the first devices I tested when I joined TechRadar as its Fitness and Wellbeing Editor this year, and it was immediately clear that it was something special. So special that it won our Health and Fitness Device of the Year award at the TechRadar Choice Awards 2022 sponsored by Sky Broadband – and it was an exceptionally well-deserved win.

I’ve been working in health and fitness journalism for many years prior to joining TechRadar, and in the time before and since joining, I’ve tested all sorts of health and fitness gear. This year's running watch crop ranged from the middling (Amazfit T-Rex 2) to the sublime (Apple Watch Ultra). However, I keep coming back to the Forerunner 955 as my personal running buddy of choice, and the best running watch I've tried.

It’s big enough to show me all the information I need at a mere glance, while not monstrously large. It offers a full suite of excellent running metrics, recovery tools such as Training Readiness and Body Battery scores, the Morning Report (which quickly became part of my daily routine), the ability to store and control my music from the watch, and accurate sleep tracking if you’re into that sort of thing. Its Power Glass solar technology means battery life runs at an impressive 24 days, whereas the Apple Watch Ultra clocks in at a measly 36 hours. 

The other half of the watch’s brilliant stuff is the fact it can use all the tools and information it receives from Garmin Connect, using PacePro and ClimbPro to add a sliver of intelligence to your run and send data to the app to graph it in detail. The watch is stuffed with info, is easy to use, and its smarts are great for everyone from active enthusiasts to professional triathletes. It lasts for absolutely ages. 

Despite all this, I never felt like it was “too much watch” for me in the same way I did the Garmin Enduro 2, for example. The 955, while rugged, never feels out of place in a public setting. 

There’s been a lot of great health and fitness tech this year: the Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0, otherwise known as the best electric bike, for example. Or the Oral-B iO Series 10, the best electric toothbrush yet that knows how you clean your teeth better than you know yourself. Or even the Apple Watch Ultra. But the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar straddles the perfect balance between usability and cost, earning itself a cool five stars in my initial review. And after a few months of reflection, I stand by that appraisal.

It's an excellent purchase at any price but if you find yourself in a position to get one for a bargain during the Black Friday deals, I can't recommend it enough – here's hoping for some huge Black Friday Garmin deals for all us runners.

Matt Evans
Fitness, Wellness, and Wearables Editor

Matt is TechRadar's expert on all things fitness, wellness and wearable tech. A former staffer at Men's Health, he holds a Master's Degree in journalism from Cardiff and has written for brands like Runner's World, Women's Health, Men's Fitness, LiveScience and Fit&Well on everything fitness tech, exercise, nutrition and mental wellbeing.

Matt's a keen runner, ex-kickboxer, not averse to the odd yoga flow, and insists everyone should stretch every morning. When he’s not training or writing about health and fitness, he can be found reading doorstop-thick fantasy books with lots of fictional maps in them.