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(Pocket-lint) - Garmin has officially unveiled the Forerunner 955 series - the latest flagship model in the line of running-focused watches.

Replacing the Forerunner 945, the 955 introduces a number of significant upgrades, including solar charging, a touchscreen interface and multi-band GPS for improved accuracy.

The standard model starts at $499.99 / £479.99 / €549.99, while the Solar edition will retail for $599.99 / £549.99 / €649.99.

Solar charging is actually something we've seen from other recent top-end Garmin models, such as the Fenix 7, and it appears to contribute to much-improved battery life expectations.

Garmin says that the 955 is capable of reaching 20 days of battery life in smartwatch mode, or up to 49 hours in GPS mode. If that holds up, it'd represent a big boost on what we saw with the 945, released in 2020, which offered around two weeks of battery life (and 36 hours in GPS mode). 

Another similarity the 955 shares with the latest Fenix is the shift towards a touchscreen interface, meaning the experience is now no longer just controlled through the device's five buttons. As we found with the company's multisport watch, this should make swiping through maps and data screens much more straightforward, and purists (or those with sweaty hands) still have the option to fiddle with the pushers.

In terms of software features, there's a steady amount been added here - focusing, as you would expect, on training. HRV Status now tracks the user's heart rate variability while sleeping in order to garner a more accurate idea of recovery, while Training Readiness uses sleep, recovery time, HRV status and other metrics to provide an insight into how ready the body is to take on exercise strain.

For those training towards a specific event, there's also the new race widget, which provides a shortcut to race day-specific information, such as performance predictions, weather and a countdown clock. Once a race is scheduled, daily workout suggestions will also adapt based on this.

Native running power is also being added through the 955. Providing you have a Running Dynamics Pod or HRM-Pro, you're able to receive real-time metrics on running power straight to the watch.

All your outdoor tracked exercise, as well, will be backed up by the new multi-band, multi-satellite GPS tracking, which should see improved lock-on and tracking. 

Since this model sits at the top of Garmin's Forerunner line, there's a whole host of features and trinkets that we haven't mentioned, too, such as offline music playback (remember when that was a headline feature!), offline map support, Pulse Ox monitoring and tons of tracked metrics.

We're currently testing out the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar, with our full verdict hitting the site over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned.


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Writing by Conor Allison.