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Garmin Forerunner 945 vs Fenix 6

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Forerunner 945

As a runner and outdoor explorer, you’re likely having a tough time deciding if the Garmin Fenix 6 or Forerunner 945 is best for you. You may want functional versatility but don’t want to buy a watch with features you won’t use. 

Although the Fenix 6 is far more versatile and much more multifaceted than the Forerunner 945, they both have features that make them more suitable for specific applications than the other. Here we’ll analyze the Garmin Fenix 6 vs. Forerunner 945 to determine what separates the two and conclude which will best meet your needs

Garmin Forerunner 945

4.5/5

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar

4.5/5

Overview of the Garmin Fenix 6

Garmin introduced the Fenix series back in 2012 to equip outdoorsmen with a rugged piece of technology that could keep up with their tireless athleticism while withstanding the unforgiving wilds’ harsh environmental conditions. 

More recently, they developed the Fenix 6 series with the boldest explorers in mind, which is illustrated in the company’s emphasis on endurance, resilience, and adaptability in the watches’ designs. 

This Garmin watch, released in 2019, is an incredible amalgamation of sports monitoring, health tracking, navigation, and so much more. 

There are four different editions of the Fenix 6 watch, all of which vary by size and features. For those who need only the baseline of this multifaceted piece of tech, Garmin offers the Standard edition, which adventurers can select without the addition of premium features. 

However, if you want to experience the full range of a Garmin Fenix watch, you can select either the Sapphire or Pro edition with all premium features included. The watches are available in 42 mm, 47 mm, and 51 mm case sizes. A solar edition is also available with a self-replenishing battery.

Key features of the Garmin Fenix 6 watch include:

  • Heart rate monitoring with the Pulse Ox2
  • Pacing guidance for runners, an adjustable feature that adapts to the grade of the environment you’re running in
  • 2,000 preloaded ski resort maps
  • Statistical tracking for running and cycling
  • Integration of music streaming service

Garmin Fenix 6 Pros and Cons

While there’s a lot to like about this watch, there are also some features that aren’t quite so awesome:

Pros:

  • Compatibility with numerous Garmin GPS and camera devices
  • Multifaceted health monitoring (heart, respiration, menstrual tracking, and more)
  • Wide range of activity profiles, both indoor and outdoor
  • Powerful GPS features, contains topographical maps, expedition mode, and turn-by-turn directions

Cons: 

  • Sapphire models are relatively large and heavy
  • Solar, Sapphire, Pro X editions are very expensive
945 vs Fenix 6 - Fenix 6 Feature

Overview of the Garmin Forerunner 945

The quintessential runner’s watch, the Garmin Forerunner series emerged in 2003 and is now one of the company’s longest-running models. The Forerunner watches have always been designed with runners in mind, aiming to provide an all-encompassing, supportive piece of technology that fulfills nearly all of a runner’s monitoring and navigational needs. 

The Forerunner 945 was introduced in April of 2019 and has done well to uphold the exceptional nature of all-encompassing Garmin watch technology. 

Although there is only one edition available, runners can choose to purchase the watch on its own or in a bundle. When opting for the “Tri-bundle,” you will receive an extra set of black bands, an HRM Tri™ monitor, HRM-Swim™ monitor, and a quick-release kit. 

Whether on its own or in this dynamic collection of supportive tech, the Forerunner will meet all your essential needs as a runner without weighing you down, thanks to its lightweight, sleek design. The silicone band and Corning Gorilla Glass DX lens were included to produce a perfect watch for the briefest of sprints to the longest marathons.

Key features of the Forerunner 945 watch include:

  • Music syncing
  • Tracking and display of performance metrics
  • Contactless payment application, Garmin Pay™
  • Full-color onboard maps
  • Safety and tracking features to help keep runners aware and on-track
4.5/5
  • Accurate and high-tech GPS
  • Ultra-lightweight with a durable and waterproof design
  • Music syncing
  • Contactless payment
  • Safety tracking features

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Forerunner 945 – Different Versions

As stated above, Garmin offers four different editions of the Garmin Fenix 6 watch. Each of these differs in their physical and technological designs. 

For starters, the most basic editions of the new Fenix series watches are the Standard and Pro versions. The Standard edition does not come with Premium features like Trendline Popularity Routing, PacePro, ski maps, and preloading music capabilities. 

Standard

Standard watches are only available in the 42 mm and 47 mm case sizes, so keep this in mind when shopping. The only aesthetic factor to keep in mind is that you can only choose between watches with silver or black bands when opting out of the Standard edition’s premium features. 

Pro

Next is the Pro edition, available as the Fenix 6S (42 mm), 6 (57 mm), and 6x (51 mm). These automatically come with the previously listed premium features, and are offered in four different colors, depending on the selected case size. 

Sapphire

While only the presence of premium features distinguishes the Pro edition, the Sapphire takes things a step further with a scratch-resistant sapphire lens. This is perfect for climbers, backpackers, and others who expect to be out in the rugged wilderness with the risk of damaging the watch’s face. 

Solar

Lastly, there is the Solar edition, which comes with all the bells and whistles of the Pro watch, but includes a Power™ Glass lens that takes in solar energy to supply an incredibly long-lasting battery life. 

Forerunner 945

The Forerunner 945 was made with a much more specific intention: to provide runners with as much information on their routes and bodies as possible while out on the track or trail. Garmin offers only one version of this watch, so you don’t have to stress and wonder which edition is best for your running style. 

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Forerunner 945: Price

When comparing the Garmin Fenix 6 vs. Forerunner 945 in terms of price, you’ll find significant differences, depending on the version of the Fenix you’re looking at. 

The cost of the baseline edition of the Fenix 6 and Forerunner 945 are both $599.99. However, if you’re looking at getting the Forerunner bundle, the price will jump to $749.99 instead.

If you need more from your Garmin watch, consider the Pro, Sapphire, and solar Fenix 6 models’ price points. This is where the most significant cost differences are, starting with the Pro, which will cost either $699.99 for the 6S and 6 models or $749.99 for the 6X. 

Finally, the Sapphire 6S and 6 editions are available at $799.99 and $849.99, while the 6S and 6 Solar Fenix watches cost $849.99 and $1,149.99, respectively. These models demand a pretty penny, so you must do some serious thinking about your navigational, monitoring, and other needs before committing to a purchase. 

Garmin Fenix 6 vs. Forerunner 945: Design

In terms of both physical and functional design, the Fenix 6 and Forerunner 945 are completely different beasts. Let’s dig into exactly what sets these two apart and determine what physical and operational characteristics may work best for you. 

Size

Since there are several editions of the Garmin Fenix 6 watch, let’s start there. 

Standard and Pro 6S

The Standard and Pro 6S watches are designed with “smaller wrists” in mind, with a 30.4 mm (1.2″) display diameter, weighing only 58 g in total. The watch itself measures at about 42 x 42 x 13.8 mm, and band sizes range from 108-180 mm in circumference, depending on the material you choose (silicone, suede, fabric, or metal). 

Standard and Fenix 6 Pro

One step up are the Standard and Pro Fenix 6 watches, which is only slightly larger than its sibling model at 47 x 47 x 14.7 mm. The display is nearly the same size, with a diameter of 33.02 mm (1.3″). Compatible wristbands range from 125-215 mm, all available in the same materials. This watch is significantly heavier than the Standard 6S (but still lightweight) at 80 g. 

Sapphire

The Sapphire editions generally have the same dimensions as the Standard types but are slightly heavier because of their material. The 6S Sapphire watch weighs 61 g, while the 6 can be either 83 g or 72 g, depending on whether it’s made with a steel case and silicone band or titanium case and silicone band. 

Remember that the Sapphire is available as a 6X as well. It is fitted with a 35.56 mm (1.4″) display and measures at 51 x 51 x 14.9 mm. Available band circumferences range from 127-225 mm, and the whole watch weighs 93 g. 

Solar

The Solar edition slightly deviates from these models. Unlike the Standard and Pro versions, its sizes differ with each type:

Side View of the Garmin Fenix 6 vs Forerunner 945

Forerunner 945

The Forerunner 945 is most similar in size to the Fenix 6 models, as its dimensions are 47 x 47 x 13.7 mm. The display is equivalent to the 6S watches at 1.2″ in diameter, and, suitable for runners, it’s much lighter than all the Fenix watches at only 50 g. 

Clock

The Garmin Fenix 6 watches feature a fully functional, easy-to-read, aesthetically pleasing clock that displays the date along with the time of day. The clock automatically adjusts to Daylight Savings time and can be used as a timer or stopwatch. 

To ensure that you don’t stay out too late on your next hiking, climbing, or other outdoor expedition, the clock also provides information on sunrise and sunset times. For a comprehensive look at your planned routes, you can also sync the clock with GPS features. 

All these clock functions are available in both the Garmin Fenix 6 series watches and the Garmin Forerunner 945. 

Battery Life

The Fenix 6 series watches’ battery life may vary slightly, depending on what mode it’s in and what features you’re using. For example, Standard Fenix battery life can last up to 9 days when used as a Smartwatch, but in Battery Saver Mode, its life extends to 34 days.

Using features like GPS can dramatically change the battery life, though. Even when using the most basic navigational features, it falls to 25 hours. 

These metrics apply to all the Fenix 6 series watches, with the exception of the Solar edition, of course. When used as a Smartwatch, the Solar Fenix watch can last between 9-10.5 days. In Battery Saver Mode, you can get anywhere from 34-59 days of battery life and 25-28 hours with the GPS. 

The Forerunner 945 can last much longer than the Fenix in Smartwatch mode, with a maximum of two weeks. Using functions like GPS mode and music drastically reduces its lifespan, though, as it drops to 10 hours with music and 36 hours without. 

Memory

The Fenix 6 watch blows the Forerunner 945 out of the water in terms of available data storage. While the Fenix watches can retain up to 32 GB of information, the Forerunners store only 200 hours of activity data. 

Garmin Fenix 6 and Forerunner 945

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Forerunner 945: Features

All Garmin watches are designed with the ultimate multifunctionality. Whether you choose to buy either watch, you won’t be disappointed with how they perform. Yet, certain features may suit you better than others. Let’s take a look at specific features of the Forerunner 945 vs Fenix 6.

Health Monitoring

Both watches are incredibly versatile in what they can monitor in terms of your health. Each of them are capable of tracking the following metrics:

  • Heart rate: The watch constantly monitors your heart and keeps track of your resting versus abnormal heart rate. If anything is out of the ordinary, the watch will alert you. 
  • 24/7 respiration monitoring
  • Pulse and blood oxygen saturation checks
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Hydration tracking
  • Menstrual cycle tracking

Both the Fenix and Forerunner watches will also provide relaxation reminders to help keep your stress levels down throughout the day. 

Sensors

In another tie in performance, both the Fenix 6 and Forerunner 945 watches are fitted with the same sensors, as they are both designed to monitor as many facets of your physical health as possible. 

Both are ABC (altimeter, barometer, and compass) watches and equipped with an accelerometer, thermometer, and heart monitors, among others. You can also rely on both for detailed navigation, as they each include multi-GNSS support. This is comprised of the following satellite systems:

Garmin 945 vs Fenix 6 Sensors

Smart Features

Both the Fenix and Forerunner watches will provide you with smart notifications, including email and text alerts. Yet, here is where the Fenix outperforms the Forerunner, as it is compatible with far more devices. 

If you’re someone who brings your dogs along with you on outdoor adventures, you may want to look into the Fenix watches, as they are compatible with Alpha and Astro dog collar tracking tech. They’re also compatible with several different types of Garmin GPSs, including the GPSMAP 66i and inReach models. 

For cycling, the Fenix 6 series watches can be used in tandem with Varia™ and Vector™ gear. You can even control sports cameras with the Fenix watches, specifically Garmin VIRB models. 

While the Forerunners are compatible with GPSMAP and inReach tech, too, they are only designed to be used with limited Varia™ and Vector™ gear. 

Lastly, both watches can be used with Garmin Connect and feature contactless payment capabilities. 

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Forerunner 945: Activity Tracking Features

To help you monitor your health and exercise progress no matter where you are, both the Fenix 6 and Forerunner 945 watches are fitted with tracking features that monitor various aspects of your physical status and environmental conditions. Let’s take a look at the Fenix 6 vs. 945 in terms of activity features. 

Gym and Fitness 

With both watches, you can monitor your cardio, strength, yoga, and pilates workouts, and each will keep track of your reps as you go. However, the two differ in the specific metrics they will provide. 

The Forerunner will measure factors pertaining to your running, including:

  • Cadence
  • Length of your strides
  • Ground contact time

The Fenix watches do not offer such information but can store activity profiles for many different types of outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, and more. 

Training, Planning, and Analysis

Both watches are chock full of features that monitor numerous facets of your physical health, including respiration, heart rate, and even menstrual cycles. 

Both have downloadable training plans to help you get in the best possible shape and suggest recovery times after your workouts. The Fenix 6 and Forerunners are also equipped with Physio TrueUp for syncing information between compatible devices.

Recreation 

The two watches’ recreational profiles are similar, but the Fenix 6 is undoubtedly far more versatile, given that the Forerunner is specifically designed for runners. The Fenix 6 watches include five more outdoor recreation profiles than the Forerunners, which are:

  • Indoor climbing
  • Bouldering
  • Stand Up Paddleboarding
  • Jumpmaster
  • Tactical
Garmin Fenix 6 vs Forerunner 945 Conclusion

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Forerunner 945 Conclusion

The Garmin Fenix 6 and Forerunner watches are both amazing pieces of technology. Yet, each has unique strengths and weaknesses that may make them the better or unsuitable choice for you. Ultimately, when comparing the Garmin Fenix 6 vs. Forerunner 945, which one is best for you? 

The Fenix 6 watch is best for you if:

  • You need versatile compatibility with GPS, camera, and cycling Garmin tech.
  • You will be using your watch for several different types of outdoor recreation, not just running.

If these points describe your motivation for shopping for a Garmin watch, check out our deals and buy yours today. 

On the other hand, the Forerunner 945 is best for you if:

  • You mainly need your watch to monitor your health while running.
  • You don’t intend to use the watch with a wide variety of compatible Garmin tech.

See our deals on Garmin Forerunner 945 watches and get yours today if these points accurately describe your needs.

4.5/5
  • Accurate and high-tech GPS
  • Ultra-lightweight with a durable and waterproof design
  • Music syncing
  • Contactless payment
  • Safety tracking features
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Robby McClung

Robby McClung

This article was written by the editorial staff of the Canaan Valley Running Company and Robby McClung. Robby is the founder of the Canaan Valley Running Company. You can read more in the about section of the website on Robby and the Canaan Valley Running Company.

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