Image source: Garmin

Is the Garmin Forerunner 955 plagued with a battery drain problem?

Check the Garmin forums and you’ll notice some users are complaining about a Forerunner 955 battery drain issue. Here are our initial observations.

The device was released alongside the Forerunner 255 a couple of weeks ago. The 955 is perhaps Garmin’s greatest watch yet – at least in terms of ability. It has a few new recovery metrics, namely HRV Status and Daily Training Readiness, which add a whole new dimension to your training. Granted we are expecting other Garmin devices to inherit this ability, namely the Fenix 7 range, Epix 2 and 945 LTE.


Garmin Forerunner 955 – battery drain

The advertised battery life of the Forerunner is 15 days between charges with typical use or 42 hours in GPS-only mode without music. Of course, switch the all-systems GNSS mode on and this comes swiftly down to around 20 hours.

These figures improve slightly on what you can expect on the 945 line. Of course, there’s also a solar option of the 955 which (in ideal conditions) adds 5 days to smartwatch mode and 7 hours to GPS-only mode without music.

Essential reading: Garmin Forerunner 955 vs Fenix 7 – comparison feature

But does the device live up to these battery life claims? The answer if you head over to the Garmin Forums is – perhaps not.

There’s a growing thread there discussing battery consumption on the device. It seems that some people are experiencing a battery drain issue.

“I have noticed an unexpected battery drain, where I am losing about 10% per day, even on the days when I’m not using GPS. Glad I’m not the only one.” says one person.

“Also losing a lot. Lost around 10% without any activities over a 12 hour period. No notification etc as those disabled SO2 also off.” another one chimes in.

Granted, the forum thread is a mix of people reporting the issue, and those saying there are not experiencing a battery drain. So it’s a mixed bag.

I’ve had my Garmin Forerunner 955 for about a week and am getting battery consumption that is more or less in line with the advertised figures. With all-night SpO2 monitoring switched on, it equates to about 5-6% on days that I don’t train. Which is what I would expect.

I would suggest to stick to default watch-faces at the outset. For example, it is good to avoid watch-faces such as Titanium which has been reported to be a battery hog. That may be an explanation for the poor performance you are seeing. Stick to watch-faces which do not have too many data fields. And avoid using the data fields which require high refresh rates. 

A couple of weeks of use is probably needed to get reliable data. As this is a new device, there’s always the chance the watch might be doing something in the background. Such as trying to download maps. Someone has even mentioned there may be an issue with Garmin Connect- the sync service sometimes keeps going on the watch. Or the battery gauge could be poorly calibrated.

Essential reading: Garmin Forerunner 955 vs 255 – which should you get?

You can always do a reset by holding down power button for 30 sec and powering back up. This has been known to clear battery issues with other Garmin devices.

Of course, there is an outside chance your Forerunner 955 could be faulty. In which case you should return your device.


Give it more time

In fairness, it is probably way too early to start this type of discussion. The device hasn’t been around for very long and it is only on its first firmware update. A battery drain with certain configurations of the watch might be a price you need to pay if you are an early adopter.

The company has had these types of problems before. You just need to go back a few weeks for the most recent occurrence. Firmware update 21.00 for Garmin Fenix 6 brought a bunch of useful features. But for some users it also brought heavy battery consumption.

So far Garmin has not commented on the potential issue with the Forerunner 955. We will report back if they do or there’s a firmware fix.

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One thought on “Is the Garmin Forerunner 955 plagued with a battery drain problem?

  • I have a Garmin 945 and train almost every day. Purchased last year March, and I lose 25% battery every day. I did log the issue last year . I am not happy.

    Reply

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