Garmin Forerunner 645 vs 945 Side by Side Comparison


Garmin Forerunner 645 vs 945

The Garmin Forerunner 645 and the Garmin Forerunner 945 are two Garmin smartwatches that are well-known for their music features. The fact that both watches are similar within the Forerunner line often leads to consumer frustration in determining which is the better choice. Both watches are known for their intricate and alluring design patterns and long battery life, yet one watch does feature more features that may push it over the edge in this comparison.

The Garmin Forerunner 645 and the Garmin Forerunner 945 both feature advanced settings for heart rate, incident detection, and activity tracking. The main difference is that the Forerunner 945 is more of a men’s watch while the Forerunner 645 is unisex in its design pattern.

Both of these Forerunner smartwatches score high marks in all the essential key points for rating a fitness watch. This article will explore everything that needs to be known about both products, with a specific emphasis on what makes the watches different from one another. Read on to find out more and discover which is better suited to your needs.

Garmin Forerunner 645 vs 945

What is the Difference Between Garmin 645 vs 945?

When you sit these two watches side-by-side, immediate differences stick out. The Forerunner 945 is more skewed towards men in its design pattern. The bezel of the 945 is larger and more round with a strong black coloring; the 645 is more lightweight and features a range of full color around the frame and band.

Garmin Forerunner 645 is not as durable in terms of scratch resistance as the Forerunner 945 features corning gorilla glass dx, which is surprisingly left out of the Forerunner 645 design specs that features the less durable corning gorilla glass 3.

Both watches feature the ability to sync music. Unlike other Forerunner models, both the Forerunner 645 Music and the Forerunner 945 allows you to sync music to your onboard music storage system right inside of the software of the phone. You can sync your Spotify playlist or choose to use a preprogrammed playlist specification if you are on the run and don’t have time to sync your favorite songs to the music storage portal.

Both watches can be labeled as a GPS watch; however, the Forerunner 945 has more routable maps. With the Forerunner 945, you can customize maps and routes with GPS Glonass and Galileo protocols which allow it to track in a wider range of environments and terrain than what can be achieved with traditional GPS technology. The mapping technology is colored and interactive, which allows you to receive even more detailed and visually attractive routes based on your location.

Distinct Differences

The Garmin Forerunner 645 is more in line with the Garmin Forerunner 245. There is a feature-packed GPS mode, however, it is more like a GPS mode without music, whereas the Garmin Forerunner 945 has GPS mode with music.

Both watches feature pulse oximetry data. Like most models in the Garmin Forerunner series, both the Garmin Forerunner 945 and the Garmin Forerunner 645 also analyze heart rate, heart performance conditioning, and heart rate with oximetry data to provide variability based on a wide range of different performance types. This feature gives real-time assessments of how you are faring during your workout and how long you can continue before you reach various thresholds.

There is a major difference between the two models when it comes to the number of preloaded activity profiles that are accessible. The Forerunner 945  is designed to appeal to a wide range of multisport activities and triathletes.

Innovative and detailed activity profiles are now expanded for swimming, running, bicycling, and triathlons, which are all part of the profile selections that you can pick from with this model. This model also includes a range of recommendations if you wish to have some ideas to change up your fitness routine, whereas the Garmin Forerunner 645 features only a select few recommendations accessible with the Garmin Coach feature.

The final major difference between the Garmin Forerunner 645 and the Garmin Forerunner 945 is the number of different activities that are possible between the two. Simply put, the Garmin Forerunner 945 is great for triathletes. This model is designed with users in mind who want the knowledge that their smartwatch will be able to keep up with a wide range of performance statistics across a triathlon if need be.

Through updated and improved features to measure cadence, ground contact time, stride lengths, and all of the capabilities that sync with accurate heart rate readings and performance statistics, the Garmin Forerunner 945 goes beyond the basic performance tracking features of the Garmin Forerunner 645.

Garmin 645 and 945 Comparison Charts

There are many small variations between the two models as well, which are covered in this handy comparison chart. Use these details to make a quick comparison between the two models before you decide on the best model.

Hardware Comparison

Hardware Forerunner 645 Music Forerunner 945
GPS: How far, how fast, where
+ GLONASS, Galileo
+ GLONASS, Galileo
Weight
42g
50g
Battery
7 days watch mode, 14 hours in GPS, 5 hours GPS + Music
2 weeks watch mode, 36 hours in GPS, 10 hours GPS + Music, 60 hours UltraTrac
Color sunlight-readable screen
TOPO maps with popularity routing
Health monitoring: steps, calories, distance, sleep, intensity minutes
+ floors climbed, all-day stress
+ floors climbed, all-day stress, body battery
Elevate 24/7 wrist heart rate
Barometer
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Garmin Forerunner 645 vs 945 – Which One Is Better?

Determining which model is better comes down to many different factors for a variety of different fitness enthusiasts. Much like the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music, the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music is prioritized around the enhanced music features.

On the same variable, however, is the Garmin Forerunner 945, which also has many of the music enhancements of the Forerunner 245 Music and Garmin Forerunner 645 Music. So, what is the determining factor between these two models?

Battery longevity is one deciding factor and the Forerunner 945 has a subpar battery life when compared to the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music. Unfortunately, the Forerunner 945 just doesn’t do well with battery life capabilities, especially when compared to the 7 days of battery life you can get with the Forerunner 645. This can be expected though due to the increased amount of superior features that have been added to the Forerunner 945.

Another negative leveled against the Forerunner 945 is that it just doesn’t work well with other apps. One of the convenient abilities that come with some smartwatches is the ability to customize the watch with other apps that track running or jogging in ways that you enjoy. With the Forerunner 945, you have to use its features exclusively.

But even with these minor inconveniences, the Garmin Forerunner 945 does safely emerge as the better choice between the two models.

Connected Features Comparison

Connected Features Forerunner 645 Music Forerunner 945
Full smart notifications
Connect IQ Store
Garmin Pay
Music storage and playback, Spotify and Deezer support
Up to 500 songs (music version only)
Up to 1000 songs
Safety and awareness features
Live Track, Incident Detection, Assistance
Live Track, Incident Detection, Assistance
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The Garmin Forerunner 945 Is the Better Choice

In terms of available features and attractive design, the Garmin Forerunner 945 edges out the Garmin Forerunner 645. The Garmin Forerunner 945 features many new updates to previous models. For one, the watch itself is completely changed in its design scheme from a more square-shaped design to a circular shape with new key stats showing on the screen, which is more in line with traditional smartwatches and is well-calibrated to handle the influx of new features.

In terms of performance tracking features, the Forerunner 945 wins again. Heat and altitude sensors, pulse ox sensor technology, a powerful heart rate monitor with a pulse oximeter, and a more well-rounded expansion of GPS technology make this model perfect to handle any training load.

The heart rate monitor in the Forerunner 945 is more attuned to measure blood oxygen levels along the lines of what is seen with the vo2 max indicator as seen in the Garmin Fenix 6 (see review). A pulse oximeter, also known as pulse ox, is an incredible way of utilizing activity tracking that measures blood oxygen levels every step of your workout.

Many of these stress tracking and fitness level tracking features are just not found in the Garmin Forerunner 645.

What is also great about this model is the two available sizes that you can choose from, 42mm or 39mm. Not all runners wish to have a large and bulky wristwatch, even though the display screen is the same size, which works well with the many different types of performance capabilities that are compatible with this model.

In comparison, the Forerunner 645 is smaller all around, with no real variations available for fitness enthusiasts seeking a larger watch. However, the Forerunner 645 is more compatible as a unisex model, whereas the Forerunner 945 is tailored towards men.

Additionally, the Forerunner 945 has pushable buttons, which eliminates the need to go through an app to change settings, you can now interchange settings and customizations through a simple push of a button unlike what is found with the Forerunner 645.

With just five convenient button settings, you are able to navigate the menu and customize the watch with a few simple pushes to your desired settings. There are no complex patterns to figure out with this model, you will likely have the routine down pat after one running session. The Forerunner 645 relies heavily on the Garmin Connect App, which means that essential notifications and features have to come through a secondary device.

The Garmin Forerunner 945 is brimming with many additional features, and the improvements upon the design scheme of the watch are also great. With many additions to measure training effect, recovery time, trail running metrics, and race predicting for triathlons, the Forerunner 945 stands above the features available on the Forerunner 645.

Performance Comparison

Performance Forerunner 645 Music Forerunner 945
Preloaded sport functions, run, bike, treadmill, walk
+ cardio, strength training, stair-stepper, yoga, pool swimming, ski/cross-country, and more
+ cardio, strength training, yoga, pool swim, open water swim, rowing, track and more
Training features: alerts, auto pause, auto lap, customizable screen, personal records.
+ interval training, training effect, training status, training load
+ workouts, interval training, training plans, training effect, training status, training load, training load focus
Garmin Coach + workout and training plan compatible
Heart rate analysis: shows heart rate zone, VO2 max
+ recovery time, HRV stress test, lactate threshold, performance condition
+ recovery time, HRV stress test, lactate threshold, performance condition
Triathlon race mode
Advanced dynamics
run
swim, bike, run
Sensor compatibility: foot pod, HRM
+ bike speed/cadence, Varia, Running Dynamics pod
+ bike speed/cadence, bike power, Varia, Running Dynamics pod
Navigational features
+ follow courses, compass, back to start
+ save locations, follow courses, where am I, compass, custom POIs, follow tracks and routes, back to start
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Should You Buy the Garmin 645 or 945 GPS Running Watch?

In terms of price, the Forerunner 945 is a more expensive GPS running watch. However, if you want a GPS running watch that builds upon the features seen in the Forerunner 645, the 945 model is certainly a better investment.

The Forerunner 945 is all about improving upon past exclusions in this popular Garmin line, and with this in mind, this makes the Forerunner 945 a great investment as this will likely turn out to be the only Forerunner model that you will ever need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Should I buy the 645 or 945 for triathlon training?

If you are a triathlete, the Garmin Forerunner 945 is the better choice. The Garmin Forerunner 945 is designed with users in mind who want the knowledge that their smartwatch will be able to keep up with a wide range of performance statistics across a triathlon if need be.

Q: Does Garmin 645 and 945 have maps?

Both the Garmin Forerunner 645 and the Garmin Forerunner 945 have access to maps. The Forerunner 945 is better across the board due to the inclusion of full-color maps that are available with a wi-fi connection. You can also create and edit useful routes with the Forerunner 945.

Q: Is Garmin 645 and 945 waterproof?

Both the Garmin Forerunner 945 and the Garmin Forerunner 945 are waterproof up to 50 meters, therefore, you can safely shower or even swim with both models. Care should be taken not to completely submerge the watches in water beyond 50 meters as the increased pressure could damage the watches.

Q: Do these watches work with Spotify Music?

In your Garmin Connect App, you can now access connectivity sync via WiFi from your Spotify account to both the Garmin Forerunner 945 and the Forerunner 645. You can easily play your desired Spotify playlists right on your watch.

Q: Can you track a golf game with the 645 and 945?

You can track golf with the Garmin Forerunner 945. Unfortunately, this feature is not available on the Garmin Forerunner 645.

You may be interested in: Garmin Forerunner 245 Music vs 945 Comparison

Throughout this comparison, we have explored the main differences between the Garmin Forerunner 645 and the Garmin Forerunner 945. The Garmin Forerunner 645 is a great watch in terms of design since the design pattern is geared towards unisex compatibility. However, the Garmin Forerunner 645 lacks many of the enhanced additions that are seen with the 945 Garmin Forerunner.

Activity tracking is better with the 945, yet either watch is certainly a good purchase to consider. The Forerunner 945 is more expensive than the Garmin Forerunner 645 but the Forerunner 945 is the better watch overall.

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Andy Brooks

As a running enthusiast, I found it frustrating that there were limited review sites available willing to give me an honest opinion on the latest technology to aid my hobby. I am certainly not trendy (my kids will testify to that), however I am an early adopter and just love getting my hands on the most up-to-date gadgets.

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