Garmin Forerunner 55 vs Venu SQ Music

Garmin Forerunner 55 vs Venu SQ Music

The Garmin Forerunner 55 is an entry-level GPS running watch with an impressive selection of specs and features for runners specifically. 

The Garmin Venu SQ Music is a well-rounded and relatively affordable GPS sports watch with a touchscreen. It also has running features, but it’s the selection of sports modes together with the built-in music storage that makes the Venu SQ such a good value proposition. 

Now that you know a bit more about each watch, let’s dive into the details of this comparison. 

Key Similarities - Garmin Forerunner 55 vs Venu SQ Music

FR55

Venu SQ

GPS

GLONASS + GALILEO

OPTICAL HEART RATE MONITOR

UNDERWATER WRIST-BASED HRM

24/7 ACTIVITY TRACKING

ACCELEROMETER

RUNNING INDOORS + OUTDOORS

CYCLING INDOORS + OUTDOORS

POOL SWIMMING

BODY BATTERY™ ENERGY MONITOR

ALL-DAY STRESS

ADVANCED SLEEP TRACKING

SMART NOTIFICATIONS

SAFETY TRACKING

AUTO LAP® + MANUAL LAP

RESPIRATION RATE (24X7)

FITNESS AGE

Yes

In App

CONNECTIVITY

Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®

Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®

WATER RATING

5 ATM

5 ATM

Key Differences - Forerunner 55 vs Venu SQ Music

FR55

FR245

PHYSICAL SIZE

42 x 42 x 11.6 mm

40.6 x 37.0 x 11.5 mm

LENS MATERIAL

Chemically Strengthened Glass

Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3

DISPLAY SIZE

1.04" (26.3 mm) diameter

1.3" (33.1 mm) diagonal

DISPLAY RESOLUTION

208 x 208 pixels

240 x 240 pixels

WEIGHT

37 grams

37.6 grams

SMARTWATCH BATTERY

Up to 2 weeks

Up to 6 days

GPS BATTERY

Up to 20 hours

Up to 14 hours

GPS + MUSIC BATTERY

No

Up to 6 hours

TOTAL RUNNING FEATURES

11

16

TOTAL SPORTS MODES

14

17

PACE PRO RACING STRATEGIES

ESTIMATED FINISH TIME

TRACK RUNNING

CADENCE ALERTS

INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT)

GOLF MODE

INDOOR ROWING

PULSE OX BLOOD OXYGEN

MUSIC STORAGE

TOUCHSCREEN

Sports Modes - FR55 vs Venu

Garmin Forerunner 55

  1. Running
  2. Treadmill Running
  3. Track Running
  4. Indoor Track Running
  5. Virtual Running
  6. Cycling
  7. Indoor cycling
  8. Pool Swimming
  9. Cardio Training
  10. Elliptical Training
  11. Stair Stepping
  12. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
  13. Pilates
  14. Yoga

Garmin Venu SQ Music

  1. Running
  2. Treadmill Running
  3. Indoor Track Running
  4. Skiing
  5. Snowboarding
  6. XC Skiing
  7. Stand Up Paddleboarding
  8. Outdoor Rowing
  9. Cycling
  10. Indoor Cycling
  11. Pool Swimming
  12. Strength, Cardio
  13. Elliptical Training
  14. Stair Stepping
  15. Indoor Rowing
  16. Yoga
  17. Pilates and Breathwork

Reasons To Choose The Forerunner 55

Garmin Forerunner 55 Features

Longer Battery Life

For runners specifically, the longer the GPS battery life the better. In the case of the Forerunner 55 vs Garmin Venu SQ, there is a notable gap in the maximum battery settings. To be more specific:

Forerunner 55 Battery Specs

  • GPS Battery – Up to 20 Hours
  • Smartwatch Battery – Up to 14 Days

Venu SQ Battery Specs

  • GPS Battery – Up to 14 Hours
  • Smartwatch Battery – Up to 6 Days
  • GPS + Music Battery – Up to 6 Hours

Better Features For Runners Specifically

If your main sport is running, there are a number of reasons to choose the Forerunner 55 rather than the Venu SQ. The additional running features include: 

PacePro Racing Strategies: PacePro offers pace guidance during training and races. When PacePro is applied to a course loaded on the FR55, it analyzes elevation changes along the course to calculate a pace strategy. The strategy tells you when to increase or decrease your pace along the course for the best overall pace.

Virtual Running: The Forerunner 55 can be paired with compatible third-party apps (like Zwift) via Bluetooth to transmit pace, heart rate, and cadence data using the Virtual Run activity profile. You can use this feature with the internal sensors in the watch, or when your watch is paired with external sensors such as a heart rate monitor or foot pod.

Estimated Finish Time: Select a distance for your run, and you’ll be able to see a data screen that shows your estimated finish time. This can be very handy during speed training sessions and immensely valuable on race day. It offers a very simple way to estimate your expected race time and gauge how close you are to a new PB. 

Cadence Alerts: Most experienced runners will know the importance of hitting the right cadence range for optimal performance. With the Forerunner 55 on your wrist, the watch will automatically notify you when you move outside your target cadence range. 

It's A Bit Cheaper

Based on the initial recommended retail price, the Forerunner 55 is about $50 less than the Garmin Venu SQ music. If you are pressed for cash, this could be a dealbreaker, especially if you don’t plan to use the music features included with the Venu SQ. 

Forerunner 55 (White)

Forerunner 55 (Black)

Reasons To Choose The Venu SQ Music

Garmin Venu SQ Key Features

Better Selection of Sports Modes

When you consider the price, the Garmin Venu SQ really does have an excellent selection of sports modes. Running, Cycling and Swimming is pretty much stock standard with most Garmin’s, but it’s the combination of snow sports like skiing and snowboarding, together with indoor and outdoor rowing that really sets the Venu SQ apart. 

If you participate in a bunch of different sports and you do visit the alps on occasion, the Venu SQ should match your activity profile a bit better than the Forerunner 55. 

Music Storage

The Garmin Venu SQ Music includes 3.5GB of in-built music storage which works out to about 500 songs. In addition, you can also play music on the Venu SQ using popular music apps such as:

  • Spotify
  • Deezer
  • iHeartRadio
  • Amazon Music

Garmin Pay

The key benefit of Garmin Pay is that it allows you to pay for inexpensive items using your watch rather than your wallet. This can make training sessions a lot more convenient. You can leave your wallet somewhere safe, knowing that you can pay for coffees, smoothies, and other small items if you need to. 

The only thing worth pointing out is that the maximum payment limit of Garmin Pay is $50. Keep this in mind before you do a full-on grocery shop armed only with the Venu SQ on your wrist. 

Dedicated Golf Mode

Naturally, this feature is only relevant to golfers, but if you do play 18 holes regularly, this is a massive drawcard for the Garmin Venu SQ. 

You basically get an amazing fitness watch, that doubles as a dedicated golf watch. The golf features include:

  • Yardage to the front, middle, and back of the green
  • Yardage to hazard
  • Automatic shot distance tracking,
  • Digital scorecard
  • View the shape of the green

Touchscreen

This is another key difference between the Forerunner 55 and the Garmin Venu SQ. While the touchscreen might not be quite as convenient when running or cycling, it is a lot more convenient during everyday use.

In essence, the Venu SQ feels like more of a Smartwatch, because of the touchscreen. Anyone who operates a mobile phone regularly should be pretty comfortable when interacting with this watch.  

Venu SQ Music (Rose Gold)

Venu SQ Music (Navy)

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