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Garmin Forerunner 245 vs 945

Garmin Forerunner 245 vs 945

The Garmin Forerunner 245 and the Garmin Forerunner 945 are both high-quality smartwatches that can take you to the next level. The Forerunner 945 comes with more advanced capabilities and proves to be longer-lasting. But the Forerunner 245 includes useful features as well.


In this article, we will give a detailed comparison of the Garmin Forerunner 245 vs the Garmin Forerunner 945. Read on to find out which watch is right for you.

Garmin Forerunner 245


Garmin Forerunner 945


The Garmin Forerunner 245

Released by the company in 2019, the Garmin 245 has a sleek design and all the essential features that a serious runner needs. This watch offers great value as it combines functionality at a reasonable price.

Garmin Forerunner 245


  • Lightweight design
  • Sweatproof silicone material
  • Free adaptive training programs
  • Built-in pulse oximeter


  • Limited display brightness in dark settings
  • Cumbersome navigation between settings using side buttons

Overall, the Garmin forerunner is an effective training tool with all of the features you would expect to find in a reliable smartwatch, including that built-in pulse oximeter and adaptive training programs for runners of all skill levels.

The Garmin Forerunner 945


The Garmin 945 is one of the newest and most advanced watches in the forerunner series. While it’s significantly more expensive than the 245, Garmin released the Forerunner 945 around the same time. This watch will give detailed tracking of all your most important training metrics.


  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Large display screen
  • Full-color maps with navigation
  • Different workout settings for your cross-training days


  • Limited screen resolution
  • Numerous features leading to a complex user interface


The Garmin Forerunner 945 brings a new perspective on what a smartwatch can offer a runner. But let’s see how these special added features hold up in a one-on-one Garmin 245 vs 945 showdown.

Garmin Forerunner 245 on left and 945 on the right

Garmin Forerunner 245 vs 945: a Head-to-Head Comparison 

Below, we’ll evaluate the Forerunner 245 vs 945 in the following categories:

  • Battery life
  • Overall weight
  • Display
  • GPS
  • Metrics
  • Settings
  • Compatibility

Battery Life

If you run long distances, you need a watch that won’t give out before the end of your workout. Long battery life makes it less likely that your watch will need a recharge before you do.

But many factors can influence battery life even within the same watch model. This is mostly dependent on what features you are using.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 has a base-line battery life of seven days. This assumes that you aren’t using GPS or listening to music. When you are using your GPS, for instance, the 245’s battery life shrinks to just 24 hours.

By contrast, the Garmin Forerunner 945 has double the battery life at a maximum of 14 days. When using GPS, this watch can run for a full 36 hours.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 945

Regardless of the setting, the Garmin Forerunner 945 lasts longer. If you plan to take long runs, with your watch, the 945 will require fewer recharges than the 245.

Overall Weight

As your mileage increases, the last thing you want is to have your watch weigh you down. With so many sophisticated features, smartwatches often weigh more than other sports watches. Here is how much weight those useful features will cost you between the Garmin 245 vs 945.


For a smartwatch, the Garmin 245 is relatively streamlined in its overall form. This watch weighs in at 38.5 grams. Despite this lightweight, this watch manages to remain durable.


On the other hand, the Garmin 945 tips the scales at 50 grams. This extra weight comes from the 945’s thicker band and a slightly larger size. The built-in technology needed for its many features and settings also plays a role.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 245

If weight is your main concern, the Forerunner 245 is a better fit for you. The weight difference between these models is significant as the 245 is nearly 12 grams lighter.

Garmin 245 vs 945 side by side comparison
The Garmin Forerunner 945 is on the outside and the 245 in on the inside


Both these watches come with a 240 x 240 pixel resolution. Regarding size, they are also identical. Each display is circular with a 1.2” diameter. 


To add to these Forerunner 245 vs 945 display similarities, both come in full color. They are also both safe behind a durable glass surface.


Differences between these watch displays are minimal but worth noting. The Garmin 245 has limited display brightness making nighttime use more challenging.


The Garmin Forerunner 945’s display stands out more for what it can display rather than the specifications of the display itself. The 945 can show full maps while giving turn-by-turn navigation.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 945

The Garmin Forerunner 945’s display can simply show more. That combined with the 245’s poor performance in low light conditions gives the 945 an edge in display quality.

Training Suggestions and Pace for the Garmin 245 and 945


Like most smartwatches, the 245 and 945 use GPS to monitor your runs. This is an essential aspect of any high-tech training watch. But GPS capabilities differ between these two watch models.


When connecting to GPS, you may experience some delay when using the Forerunner 245. The Forerunner 945 improves upon this connection speed. 


Once connected, the Garmin 945 makes better use of GPS. This watch can provide a detailed map of your running route as well as directions. While both watches use GPS, 945 leverage this technology better.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 945

This watch uses GPS to give you more information than its counterpart. With a faster connection, the Garmin 945 is superior in its GPS capabilities.


These watches record many important metrics that influence your training. These metrics are related to your athleticism and your surrounding environment.


From a physical standpoint, both watches can give you the following important measurements:


  • Heart rate
  • Vo2Max
  • Calories burned
  • Recovery time
  • Race time prediction
  • Respiration rate
  • Aerobic and anaerobic performance levels


The physical metrics don’t end there for the Garmin Forerunner 945. In addition to those metrics, also calculates your lactate threshold. This is an important metric that can guide the training schedule of any serious runner. The Garmin945 can also perform heart rate variability tests during your workouts.


Along with these accurate bodily measurements, the Forerunner 945 can monitor exterior factors as well. These include:


  • Temperature
  • Altitude
  • Air pressure


Still, the Garmin 945 goes a step further providing some synthesis of these two forms of data. This watch does not only measure bodily and weather-related stats. It can also give important information about how your body is reacting to the weather. 


As an example, the 945 can monitor your acclimation to both heat and altitude. This paints an increasingly detailed picture of your running progress.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 945

This is where the added value of the 945 becomes apparent. The metrics of the 245 and 945 appear to match initially. Then the 945 pulls ahead with more statistics related to your body and the world around you.


One great aspect of smartwatches is their ability to connect to other devices. This compatibility is what allows you to pair your smartwatch with the technology you already own.


When looking at the Garmin 245 vs 945 you’ll see that both meet basic compatibility needs. Both watches work with iPhone and Android smartphones. They also have ten-meter Bluetooth ranges as well as automatic wireless data syncing.


The main difference lies in compatibility with non-smartphone devices. The Forerunner 945 can connect to Mac OS X and Windows operating systems. The Forerunner 245 cannot.


Also, the Garmin 945 also has near-field communication (NFC). This lets the 945 to communicate with nearby devices to facilitate convenient transactions.

Winner: Garmin Forerunner 945

The Garmin 245 only connects to smartphones. The Garmin 945 has compatibility with smartphones, laptops, and tablets. The NFC in the 945 helps you make quick data transfers and easy purchases. For these reasons, the Garmin 945 has a compatibility advantage.

245 vs 945 Comparison

Garmin Forerunner 245 Standout Features

Here are some of the special features that make the Garmin 245 an incredibly effective smartwatch.


  • Hydration monitoring: This watch comes with the ability to track your water intake throughout the day. Monitoring the water you drink contributes to your overall health and can improve your athletic performance.
  • Menstrual tracking: Your cycle can affect how you perform during your runs. The Forerunner 245 lets you log the effects of your menstruation so you can see how it influences your training.
  • Separate Music Version: The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is a separate version of the Forerunner 245. This model allows you to listen to your favorite songs with a six-hour battery life when music and GPS are running.


The Garmin Forerunner 245 has many admirable qualities. Among the masses of smartwatches on the market, the 245 is a perfectly viable option.

Garmin Forerunner 945 Standout Features

The Garmin 945 includes many of the same features as the 245 and more. Below are some of the capabilities that make the 945 stand out.


  • Built-in Music Syncing: The Forerunner 945 can connect directly to Amazon Music and Spotify. It can store up to 1,000 songs and ten hours of battery life when in music mode.
  • Garmin Pay: This feature makes the Forerunner 945 great form more than just running. Through Garmin Pay, you will have a contactless way to pay as you shop.
  • Barometer: The Garmin 945’s barometer feature can help predict sudden weather changes. A significant drop in barometric pressure can warn you that a storm is coming your way.
  • Multiple workout modes: Runners do more than run. When it is time to swim, bike, or hike, set the 945 to one of its alternative workout modes. This ensures accurate exercise tracking for the days you choose not to run.
  • Elevation profiles: After downloading a running route, the Garmin 945 can display an elevation profile for your run. This lets you anticipate inclines as this feature provides stats on steepness and distance of upcoming slopes.


With this list of special features, it appears that there is very little that the Garmin 945 can’t do. Considering its multiple workout modes, this may be one of the best watches for triathletes in training.

Garmin Forerunner 245


Garmin Forerunner 945


Garmin Forerunner 245 vs 945: Final Thoughts

When looking at the Garmin Forerunner 245 vs 945 you’ll find that both are suitable smartwatches for runners. You’ll also notice that the Garmin 945 has more to offer.


To summarize, here is a final breakdown of these watches and when you should consider buying one or the other.


Choose the Garmin Forerunner 245 if:


  • You want a more affordable watch with plenty of essential smartwatch features
  • You value a thinner lighter weight watch
  • You are only interested in tracking your running workouts.

Choose the Garmin Forerunner 945 if:


  • You want a longer battery life
  • You want to log workout types other than running
  • You want to track the most physical and environmental metrics

Both options are top-of-the-line watches, but the Garmin 945 just gives you that much more. Purchasing one today can improve the quality of your training sessions and help you track your ongoing progress.

Picture of 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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