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Garmin Enduro vs Forerunner 945
Are you an athlete or outdoor enthusiast looking for a smartwatch to track your progress? You can count on Garmin to provide wearable, multifunctional watches. While both of these have similar features, these two models boast a few differences, including the price tags.
Depending on use, either the Garmin Enduro or the Forerunner 945 will enhance your running or outdoor experience. Discover the details of each below in this review of Garmin Enduro vs Forerunner 945.
Before we jump into the Garmin Enduro vs Forerunner 945 review, we wanted to share the process we went through to make it happen. This isn’t a sponsored post; we have purchased both watches to check out their features and take our own pictures. In the question of whether you’d prefer the Garmin Enduro vs Forerunner 945, it’s going to come down to looking at specs to decide which features are most important.
Garmin is a multinational company founded in 1989. Since then, they have brought GPS navigation to many industries, including outdoor fitness, automotive, marine, and aviation. With the advent of wearable technology, Garmin joined the game, rivaling Fitbit and Apple.
The Garmin Enduro’s standout feature is its capability for solar charging. This is what sets it apart from other models. In addition to advanced features, the solar charging feature is targeted at endurance athletes. It can last hours up to days without charging.
Garmin announced the Enduro on February 16, 2021. Released a mere two months ago, this GPS watch is targeted at ultrarunners or other high endurance athletes. Its ultraperformance features will last longer than you while also providing insights to monitor your progress.
- Battery Life: several different modes, including a smartwatch, battery saver, GPS, max battery GPS, and expedition GPS
- Solar charging feature that allows for longer battery life mentioned above
- Targeted specifically to endurance athletes
- Large display
- Stainless steel or titanium bezel
- Weather-resistant and easily adjustable
- Price tag
- Lack of maps and music
The Forerunner 945 is also a great watch for athletes. Among several outstanding features of this model, the two that stand out are the music streaming services and the Onboard color maps. You can store up to 1000 songs and listen on via Bluetooth. The maps feature Trendline popular routing.
The Forerunner 945 is the new version of the 935 and was introduced in early 2019. The previous model was introduced two years earlier. The Forerunner 945 has upgraded features and now comes with assistance and incident detection to contact your emergency contacts should an event arise in which you need help.
- Lower price tag
- Extra hours of battery life, more than its predecessor
- Music and map capabilities
- Smaller and lighter than the Enduro
- Interchangeable bands
- No solar charging
- No battery saving modes
Features Face to Face: Garmin Enduro vs. Forerunner 945
Let’s take a closer look at how the features of each compare.
Design and Specs
While both the Enduro and the Forerunner 945 share similar designs and specs, there are a few small differences in each of these. Let’s start with the price tag. The Enduro starts at around $800. If you’re looking to spend a little less money, the Forerunner 945 will run you about $600.
The display size difference might make a difference for you when you decide which of these two to choose. The Enduro display size is 35.66 mm or 1.4 inches. A little smaller, the Forerunner 945 measures 30.4 mm or 1.19 inches.
Both the Enduro and the Forerunner 945 are designed to be lightweight watches. The difference between the two is negligible. The Enduro weighs 60 grams or .13 lbs. The Forerunner 945 weighs 50 grams or .11 lbs.
Both models call for a lithium battery, and the battery comes with both models. Also, both watches include a charging and data cable and documentation. Overall, with the designs and specs, there isn’t a whole lot of difference, so it seems that the Forerunner 945 is a better deal for the money.
Let’s break down this very important aspect of both of these smartwatches. You will see a significant difference when it comes to battery life.
Beginning with the Enduro, this model boasts power management settings. This addresses what drains your battery and why. You can change these settings while in motion, and this will compensate for a charge that might interrupt your workout. These power-saving functions work great even when you’re not using the solar feature. We will break this down in detail.
- Smartwatch Mode: 50 days, 65 days using solar
- Battery Save Watch Mode: 130 days, one year with solar
- GPS Workout Mode: 70 hours, 80 using solar
- Max Battery GPS: 200 hours, 300 with solar
- Expedition GPS Activity: 65 days, 95 days using solar
Be aware that the above numbers are dependent on about three hours outdoors.
The Forerunner 945 doesn’t have as much battery power as the Enduro. But let’s look at the specifications for this model in comparison to its competition.
- Watch mode: up to two weeks with activity tracking, wrist-based heart rate, and smartphone notifications
- Watch mode plus music: up to 14 hours with activity tracking, wrist-based heart rate, smartphone notifications, and music
- Activity mode: 36 hours GPS mode with wrist-based heart rate
- Activity mode with music: up to 10 hours with GPS mode, wrist-based heart rate, and music
- UltraTrac mode no music: 60 hours, or 50 hours with wrist-based heart rate
Overall, if battery life is a priority, you want to consider purchasing the Enduro, as its battery life far outweighs the Forerunner 945. This is one of the main selling points of the Enduro, so when choosing a smartwatch based on battery life, this is the clear winner.
The Enduro has many features that go beyond regular GPS tracking. It will find a signal quickly, and there are a lot of connectivity and navigation features. The Enduro will track in more challenging environments, as it has access to many global navigation satellite systems.
You can easily pair the Enduro with the Garmin inReach Mini satellite communicator to send and receive text messages. This can be easily attached to a vest or hydration pack and is lightweight. The location sharing also includes an interactive SOS. This will notify emergency responders in the area by tracking your device location. It will also keep you in communication with your emergency contact(s).
The Forerunner 945 also has great GPS capabilities. It includes a multi-network (GPS, Galileo, and GLONASS) satellite reception for more challenging environments. When you pair the Forerunner 945 with your smartphone, you can email, send and receive text messages and get social media updates. You can also send your location to chosen contacts with built-in incident detection.
If you are looking for a watch with great GPS capabilities, either of the models above will suffice. Therefore, the Forerunner ekes out a win in this category. For a lower cost, you still get most, if not all, of the GPS features.
This section will be quite short. The Enduro does not include a mapping feature. While it does have turn-by-turn directions, this can often be confusing when running on trails or other terrains that do not follow standard turns.
However, the clear winner in this category is the Forerunner 945. It has both turn-by-turn directions and full-color mapping that can also be accessed offline.
Sensors and Monitors
The Enduro has quite a few sensors and monitors, so let’s dig in.
The Enduro monitors your sleep, noting REM and light or deep sleeping cycles. It also measures your pulse OX and respiration data. You can view all of this information on a dedicated widget that includes insights such as your sleep score.
Wrist-Based Heart Rate
This heart rate technology gauges intensity as well as heart rate variability or your stress level. It also works underwater with a heart rate strap.
Pulse OX Sensor
This sensor will work as a sleep monitor or altitude acclimation. It gauges how well your body is absorbing oxygen using light beams at your wrists.
Body Battery Energy Monitor
This monitor will give you information about your sleep, stress, and heart rate variability to gauge when you should be active, or you should rest.
The tracking logs your daily fluid intake, and with the auto-goal enable, you see your sweat loss after activity.
This monitors how you are breathing throughout the day.
On the other hand, the Forerunner 945 only comes with the wrist-based heart rate monitor that will give data and alerts to let you know if your heart rate is too low or high while at rest. It also tells you, even underwater, how hard your heart is working. Therefore, the clear winner in this department is the Enduro.
Sports Tracking and Training
The Enduro has some pretty cool features for sports tracking and training. These include:
- Sports Apps: This includes preloaded activity profiles for running, trail running, biking, swimming, hiking, skiing, rowing, and more.
- PACEPRO Technology: With grade-adjusted guidance, this will help you keep on pace.
- Backcountry Ski: This distinguishes between climbing and skiing and is preloaded. It also tells you your metrics for ascent and descent.
- Surf-Ready Feature: Pair your smartphone with Surfline Sessions to create a video of your surfing experiences.
The Forerunner 945 seems to have more practical or useful sports tracking and training features that make it the winner in this category. These include:
- Garmin Coach: Includes workouts and free training plans from expert coaches synced to the watch that adapts to fit you and your goals.
- Built-in Sports Apps: This includes activity profiles for track running, cycling, pool and open-swimming, stair-stepper, elliptical and more.
- Running Dynamics: This measures running metrics such as stride length, ground contact time, balance, cadence, and more. You will need to use this with a compatible accessory.
- VO2 MAX: This will indicate how you expect to perform, accounting for changes due to heat or altitude.
- Performance Condition: This analyzes your heart rate, heart rate variability, and pace while you’re running.
- Training Status: Showing recent exercise history and performance indicators, it will tell you if you’re training productively, overreaching, or peaking.
- Training Effect: This shows how your workouts are impacting endurance, power, and speed while also giving you aerobic and anaerobic feedback.
- Training Load: This measures the volume from the last week and compares it to the optimal range for fitness and training history.
- Daily Workout Suggestions: This gives you daily run and ride recommendations based on your training status and load.
- Recovery Time: This tells you how long to rest before another hard workout.
The Enduro can hold 64 Mb of memory, while the Forerunner 945 can hold 200 hours of activity data.
The clear winner in this category is the Forerunner 945, which can stream music and also store music. The Enduro cannot do so.
Ease of Use
To be honest, both the Enduro and Forerunner 945 are fairly easy to use. Search the web, and you won’t find one beating the other when it comes to ease of use. However, you may find that the more the watch offers in certain categories, the harder it might be to navigate. You will want to prioritize which features are most important to you and move from there.
While most of these are covered within the information above, we will touch on some again to reiterate the fact that they’re noteworthy. Some of the features mentioned might be new to this article.
The Enduro shines when it comes to battery life, and the solar capability is a real standout feature. Some of the other features that didn’t necessarily get mentioned are listed below.
- Choice of Titanium or Steel bevel
- Power Manager
- MTB Dynamics: This gives you mountain biking metrics and details.
- Heat and Altitude Acclimation
- Connect IQ Store: You can get apps and widgets, add data fields, or get custom watch faces here.
The Forerunner 945’s best features are the capability for music and mapping. It also includes the following:
- Interchangeable bands
- Great features for fitness tracking and training
- Roundtrip Routing: You can plug in a distance, and it will give you suggested round trip routes.
- Women’s Health Tracker: This tracks your menstrual cycle or pregnancy. You can log symptoms or get nutrition and exercise education.
- Garmin Connect: This allows you to interact with others in a community.
- Livetrack: This gives information to your selected contacts about where you are in your workout.
Both watches have the climpro feature, giving real-time information for current or upcoming climbs. Also, both have Garmin Pay and Connect IQ Store.
All said, both watches are great choices for athletes, particularly for fans of long endurance activities. With that in mind, it is really up to you to choose the watch that will best fit your needs. The price might also be a consideration. A Garmin watch is a rather substantial purchase, so make sure to choose the model with the features most important to you.
You may want to choose the Garmin Enduro if you need the following:
- Long battery life/battery saving modes
- Solar charging feature for the above
- A large display for endurance activities
- You have the money to spend
The Garmin Enduro is available in a number of places; get yours today!
The Garmin Forerunner 945 might be your choice if you need:
- A lower price tag
When shopping for a smartwatch, you will want to check out the Forerunner 945 for your athletic needs.