Garmin advances its Forerunner range with the exciting 945 model – check out our review to discover the numerous features this smartwatch has to offer.
If you’re serious about your fitness but want to go one step further with a wearable, a smartwatch from Garmin is a great place to begin your journey. Garmin has garnered lots of attention for its range of smartwatches in recent years, and they are always bringing out new and exciting models to suit the specific needs of the contemporary fitness and technology buff.
Not only does a 2-in-1 fitness tracker and smartwatch make your life easier, but it can seriously improve your health and overall success in achieving your exercise goals, while looking stylish at the same time. As well as offering every kind of fitness tracking tool imaginable, the Forerunner 945 also doubles up as a music player and contactless payment solution. Sound good?
Garmin’s Forerunner range is the company’s more affordable, less bulky alternative to the oft-lauded Fenix collection, but don’t for one minute think this is a ‘budget’ smartwatch. It responds quickly, has a more lightweight build, and provides an intuitive experience to the user. The 945 is the follow-up to the 935, and there are a few great advancements that make it worth a look. We’ve listed its key features below.
Garmin Forerunner 945: Key Features
- Full colour LCD display with backlight for easy visibility – 240 x 240 megapixels
- Dimensions: 47 x 47 x 13.7 mm
- Plan your fitness journey with incorporated map feature
- Slim build and compact design
- Track every activity – running, swimming, triathlon, skiing, strength-training, cycling and more
- Store up to 1000 songs for listening on the move
- GPS-equipped for effective route mapping and accurate activity tracking
- Track steps and calories even when you’re not formally exercising
- Track menstrual and menopause natural cycle
- Track aerobic and anaerobic activity and make workout plans accordingly
- Water-resistant up to 50 metres for swimming and watersports
- Pair with smartphone and receive text and social media notifications on your wrist
- Sync with your existing playlists from music streaming apps
- Gorilla glass, scratch-resistant screen
- Lightweight and comfortable on the wrist
- Track heart rate, steps, altitude, distance travelled, exercise minutes, temperature, health stats and more
- Easy access buttons for activating on the go
- Powerful Bluetooth technology and Wifi connection
- Create customised training plans by monitoring every element of your fitness journey
- IQ Store Compatability – easily download apps
- Up to 2 weeks battery life as smartwatch 36 hrs with GPS; 10 hrs with music
- NFC – use your watch for contactless payments
The Forerunner 945 is a truly feature-rich smartwatch with a focus on fitness, ideal for those who are into the gym as much as they love their gadgets. Now we’ll give a breakdown of the model’s pros and cons from our perspective, to help you make the right decision.
- Lightweight and compact design
- Fast loaded speed and reaction times – more so than the previous 935 model
- Maps make it easy to track your route
- Comfortable silicon strap, whatever your workout
- Reliable GPS
- Heart rate monitor with fitness tips and advice on stress
- Music player (including Spotify/Deezer connectivity) and pay features are nice to have
- Packed with numerous features – impressive for its size
- Makes it possible to track every element of triathlon training and more
- Ideal for planning, tracking and analyse the results of serious training
- Powerful sensor connectivity and access to external sites
- Battery life could do with some improvement – only 10 hrs while playing music
- Price – at around £500, this isn’t a ‘cheap’ smartwatch (although you may be able to find discounts later in 2019)
- Strap can be a bit fiddly
- Interface isn’t the most user-friendly experience
- Can’t really respond or do much about external notifications
- Some of them have issues with buttons
- Band may not comfortably fit smaller wrists
- Doesn’t track hydration
- Resolution on maps is limited
- Circular screen may not preferable for some people
As you can see from our list, the Forerunner 945 isn’t without its faults, but there’s lots to like, too. Choosing the right smartwatch comes down to a number of factors, including your own lifestyle, the budget you’re on and your personal preferences when it comes to technology.
For many, the Forerunner provides the ideal balance between watch and fitness tracker; for others, it may focus too much on fitness over being a lifestyle enhancer. The battery life may also be an issue for some.
How Does it Measure Up?
There’s a lot of competition for the Forerunner 945, including other models by Garmin. The Garmin Fenix and Fenix Plus ranges offer many of the same features but for a higher price tag. The Garmin MARQ Athlete is essentially the same machine but for a considerably higher price and a fancier shell.
The Polar Vantage V is similarly priced but focuses more on the fitness tracking functions than on being a smartwatch, while the Suunto 9 Baro is a more expensive option but arguably it combines the fitness features and smartwatch functions more cohesively.
The Bottom Line
If you’re serious about fitness – i.e. you love triathlon training or you’re a professional athlete, the Forerunner 945 is a great buy that will aid your fitness journey considerably. It’s packed with features that make your life easier, such as the music and pay options,
However, if you’re on the lookout for a slicker device in the smartwatch area, you might want to look elsewhere. The resolution and battery life could both do with some work, and the limited capacity for actually responding to notifications mean you’ll need to get your phone out to deal with calls, texts or social media.
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