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Garmin Forerunner 945 Review

Garmin Forerunner 945 Review

All runners know preparation and training are essential for success on race day. That’s where a GPS watch can help. One of the best ways to keep your training program on track is by using a GPS watch. 


These devices allow you to plan your workouts and map out your progress. You have a better chance of reaching your training goals when you use a GPS watch.


The Garmin Forerunner 945 is one of Garmin’s Best GPS watches available today. This was released  in April of 2019. 


In this Garmin Forerunner 945 review, we’ll show you why this watch is becoming a favorite for runners. Serious competitors and multi-sport athletes will also find it a worthy investment. 

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

Garmin Forerunner 945 Overview

Founded in Kansas in 1989, Garmin is a leader in accurate GPS technology. They have a reputation for creating innovative products that withstand harsh conditions. They operate in several countries around the world, with more than 13,000 employees. 


The Garmin Forerunner 945 is a GPS smartwatch with a built-in heart rate monitor. You also get premium features like music syncing, performance metrics, and much more. This Garmin Forerunner 945 review will show how this watch is an upgrade over the Forerunner 745.


Let’s take a look at the primary pros and cons of the Forerunner 945.



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



  • Only available in one color
  • Long configuration process
Pros and Cons of the Garmin Forerunner 945

What to Consider Before Buying a GPS Watch


A GPS smartwatch tracks distance, heart rate, and other metrics. It catalogs training history and performance conditions. You can keep track of your progress and set new fitness goals. You can also customize a training program to help you reach them. 


Serious athletes are the ideal customers for the Forerunner 945. But anyone will enjoy using this watch. Casual runs and walks are more enjoyable with the music syncing function. Plus, the performance metrics and activity tracking help users visualize their progress.


GPS watches are large purchases. You may want to consider these questions before buying one:

  • What kinds of performance tracking data will help me to achieve my fitness goals?
  • Am I going to use this watch for running or for monitoring other sports and activities?
  • What extra features do I want in a GPS smartwatch? Do I need music syncing?
  • Would access to training plans and coaches help me achieve my goals?

Features and Benefits of the Garmin Forerunner 945

Here’s a detailed look at the Forerunner 945’s features and benefits.

Precise GPS Navigation

The Forerunner 945 connects to GPS satellites that pinpoint your exact location. It uses three satellite systems, combining GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. These systems map out the surrounding area, including remote regions. With these GPS abilities, you can get right to your workout. You won’t waste any time waiting for the watch to orient itself. 


This device offers full-color mapping for running in the city or on forest trails. The GPS gives you turn-by-turn directions that help you chart a course. It also alerts you to upcoming changes in the terrain.


These routing features give you more flexibility in your workout. You can plan your run ahead of time or trace a new path as you go. You can add challenges like hills for an extra boost.


The navigation features also allow you to save courses that you can access for future runs. If you activate a saved course, you can race against a virtual competitor as a challenge. This feature helps you push yourself to improve your running goals.

Map Feature Garmin Forerunner 945

Performance Monitoring

The Forerunner 945 has a wrist-based heart rate monitor on the back of the watch. It uses an optical sensor to calculate your heart rate, energy level, and stress level. You can even use this function when swimming in a pool or open water. 


Tracking your heart rate during exercise lets you reach targeted zones fitness goals. You can avoid undertraining or overexerting during a workout. You can also determine the optimal recovery time after training.


This watch also monitors your VO2 max. It calculates based on how much oxygen you consume. This measurement indicates how well you can expect to perform during an activity.  


Forerunner 945 gives you many crucial running metrics. These data include cadence, balance, stride length, and ground contact time. You can use this data to find areas of improvement to get you closer to your goals.

Sync Your Music

Not all GPS watches come equipped with music syncing abilities. This function sets the Forerunner 945 apart from competitors. This device gives you access to several third-party music streaming services. These services include popular apps, like Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer.  

This watch stores up to 1,000 songs, so you can listen to music anywhere. You can even access audiobooks and other audio content for your runs, giving you more variety.

With all these options, you get excellent versatility and a wide range of content to choose from.

Spotify Feature on FR 945

Multisport Apps

Garmin designed the Forerunner 945 with serious athletes in mind. This intention is evident in the multisport apps this watch offers. You can select from:

  • Treadmill
  • Run
  • Triathlon
  • Cycling
  • Stair-stepping
  • Indoor rowing
  • Swimming
  • Elliptical

These apps contain unique activity profiles. They calibrate the GPS, distance, speed, and other data specific to an activity. You receive only the most accurate calculations for better tracking and performance.


You can also add a customized activity if the one you want isn’t already programmed.

Garmin Coach

If you’re training for an event, Garmin Coach can set you up with personalized training plans. These programs motivate and educate you to reach your fitness goals.


Forerunner 945 gives you access to three trainers. They have experience in assisting runners from beginner to intermediate levels. Workouts sync with your watch and adjust based on your performance.


Garmin Coach keeps your training on track and pushes you to get to your next level. You also get to learn more about the science of running, which helps you exercise in a smart way for better results.

Garmin Coach feature

Garmin Pay

Contactless Garmin Pay makes this watch an excellent option for non-athletes. Most stores accept this payment option, which is quick and convenient when you’re in a hurry.

It’s simple to set up Garmin Pay by following the onscreen instructions. You can even save credit or debit cards to the watch to save even more time. 

It’s also straightforward to access your payment information. This convenience means you won’t be scrambling at the cashier and holding up the line.

Garmin Wallet Feature FR945

Training Metrics

Garmin Forerunner 945 has several training modes to enhance performance. Training Status shows your exercise history and past performance. It helps make you aware of possible peaking or overreaching. This mode indicates if you’re training in the best way.

Training Effect gives you a look at how a given activity will affect your fitness levels. It calculates using aerobic and anaerobic data. It lets you know how a workout will impact your speed, endurance, and power so you can plan for future workouts.

Training Load looks at your last seven days of exercise. It analyzes your metrics to determine if you are on par with your fitness levels. You can figure out when to push yourself harder during a workout and when to take a rest day with this feature.

Training Metrics

Sync with Garmin Connect

The Garmin Connect app allows you to interact with the Garmin online community. You can upload all your data and activities from the watch to the app. It lets you compare your recent data, like sleep, calories, mileage, and more.

The custom dashboard gathers all your information in one place. It makes it easy to analyze data and pinpoint areas of improvement. All your health and performance stats are accessible and depicted in clear graphs. This layout makes it simpler to understand how you’re performing.

You can share your activities on social media for encouragement. You can also create and join challenges with other users to earn health and fitness badges. These milestones encourage you to keep achieving your goals.

You also have access to the Connect IQ store with the Forerunner 945. In the store, you can download apps and widgets to diversify your watch’s function. You can add customizations to personalize your watch, too.

Activity Tracking

This watch’s activity tracker monitors step count, calories burned, sleep data, and distance. This information is useful for maintaining health in your daily life. 

Sleep is an essential aspect of health. It keeps you energized and ready to work out. Tracking your sleep levels is perfect for optimizing sleep and achieving better performance.

The hydration tracker allows you to input your daily fluid intake to make sure you stay hydrated. You can set alerts to remind you to drink more water. It’s especially important on days when you sweat a lot and need to replenish fluids.

Battery Life

This watch uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The Forerunner 945 offers up to two weeks of battery life in smartwatch mode. You can use activity tracking and heart rate monitoring, too. You also get 14 hours of battery life when using GPS and music.

This watch does an excellent job of balancing battery life and powerful functionality. You get more use out of it without worrying about plugging it in to charge it.

Smart Notifications

The Forerunner 945 is compatible with Android and iOS devices. You can configure the watch to receive texts, emails, and other notifications. These messages come straight from your smartphone to the watch.


With this function, you don’t have to feel out-of-the-loop during a run since all updates come to the watch.

Safety Features

This device includes several safety features that make your run more secure. You can add phone numbers for emergency contacts. You can also request help should you find yourself in trouble.


If you request help, the watch sends a message to your emergency contacts that includes:

  • Your name
  • A LiveTrack link
  • Your GPS location


The Forerunner 945 will also send an emergency message if it detects an incident during your run. If you own an Android smartphone, you can use Live Event Sharing to send messages and updates in real-time.


Keep in mind that you must use the Garmin Connect app to use any of these safety features. You have to connect to it with Bluetooth during your run. 

Garmin Forerunner 945 Reviews

The Garmin Forerunner 945 has more than six hundred reviews on Google with an average rating of 4.5 stars. Let’s take a look at a few customer reviews to get a better idea of how this watch functions.

What are the Alternatives to the Garmin Forerunner 945?

In the search for the perfect GPS watch, it never hurts to look at a few other options.

Garmin Fenix 6 Solar

The Garmin Fenix 6 Solar is a larger and heavier GPS smartwatch than the Forerunner 945. It comes in three colors and sizes, unlike the 945, which only has one color and size. This watch also comes at a higher price than the Forerunner 945.

The Fenix 6 Solar also has a solar charging lens and power manager modes that boost battery life. Here’s a rundown of features the Fenix 6 Solar has that the Forerunner does not.

  • Animated workouts that make it easier to follow the exercises
  • Golf course maps from around the world
  • Compatible with Surfline Sessions
  • Solar-charged battery

Read more about the Garmin Fenix 6 Solar.

Garmin Forerunner 745

The Forerunner 745 is a bit lighter and smaller than the 945. It’s less expensive but doesn’t have the long battery life of the 945. The 745 also lacks full-color mapping and turn-by-turn navigation. The 745 doesn’t have an elevation planner, either. Here are the main differences between these two watches.

Forerunner 945:

  • More performance metrics
  • More powerful GPS function
  • Improved mapping
  • Better battery life

Forerunner 745:

  • Available in four different colors
  • Lighter and smaller
  • Less expensive

Click here to learn more about the Forerunner 745.

Polar Grit X

This GPS smartwatch is heavier and uses different technology than the Forerunner 945. But, much of the core function of these two watches is the same. They both have heart rate monitors, built-in GPS, expert coaching, and activity tracking.

The Polar Grit X is available in four colors and two sizes. You have a little more wiggle room for personalization than with the Forerunner 945. Here’s a list of the other bonus features you can find with the Polar Grit X:

  • Weather forecasts
  • Breathing exercises
  • Fitness tests
  • Data about your body’s energy sources, like carbs, fats, and proteins

Check out the Polar Grit X here.

Final Thoughts

It’s challenging to create and keep up with a training regimen. The Garmin Forerunner 945 can help you stay on track.

This watch’s GPS lets you plot new courses on different terrain. The performance metrics check your heart rate, oxygen consumption, and other data. You can use these to help push yourself and reach your fitness goals. You also get long battery life, contactless payment, and activity tracking.

This Garmin Forerunner 945 review analyzes this watch’s functions. It demonstrates that this device serves many purposes for different users. Anyone can enjoy this watch.

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