Garmin has a few different kinds of watches – the entry-level GPS watches, the GPS watches for runners, the GPS watches for adventure-lovers/multi-sport athletes, and the triathlete’s GPS watch. The entry level, running-style, and adventure-model watches have seen some pretty impressive smartwatch upgrades over the last year. Now, it is time for the triathlete watch to get some great upgrades with the new Garmin Forerunner 945.
Edit: Check out DC Rainmaker’s great review of this now-announced watch!
Details on the New Garmin Forerunner 945
Link: Garmin Forerunner 945 – $599
While each of those watches can work well in other categories, Garmin has done a good job with each kind fo answer the needs of various athletes. They have also come a long way! I remember the old triathlon watches like the Garmin 310XT – a good watch but not something you will wear everyday!
Well, the next step in the Garmin triathlete family is about to be released, in fact, it is likely that the reveal will happen tomorrow. That is for the new Garmin Forerunner 945. It certainly won’t be a surprise as there have been many mentions of it and leaks around the internet but it took a nice turn last weekend when Amazon listed it as a pre-order. To my knowledge, this is the first time Amazon has listed a pre-order for an unannounced Garmin device.
Features of the New Garmin Forerunner 945
With that listing, there are some things that we can definitely look at for the details of this new Garmin Forerunner 945. Here are those details, as listed by Amazon:
- Premium GPS running/triathlon smartwatch with music
- Sync music from select premium streaming services when paired with a compatible smartphone (may require premium subscription), or store up to 1,000 songs on your watch, and connect with headphones (sold separately) enabled with BLUETOOTH technology
- Performance monitoring features include VO2 max and training status with adjustments for heat, altitude acclimation status, training load focus, recovery time, and aerobic and anaerobic training effects
- Garmin Pay contactless payment solution (available for supported cards from participating banks) lets you make convenient payments with your watch so you can leave your cash and cards at home
- Full-color, onboard maps guide you on your run so you never get lost during your workout
- Safety and tracking features include incident detection (during select activities) which sends your real-time location to emergency contacts through your paired compatible smartphone
- Battery life: up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode, 10 hours in GPS mode with music or up to 60 hours in UltraTrac mode
What Is New with the Garmin Forerunner 945?
Not much of this is a surprise as the previous model, the Forerunner 935, was missing some of the smartwatch features that had come to the Fenix, Vivoactive, and other Forerunner models. These included things like Garmin Pay (for contactless payments) and built-in storage for music playback. In addition, Garmin has added one more feature that was only present on the Garmin Fenix 5X and the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus series of watches – built-in mapping.
On top of those new features, there is another new feature to the Garmin Forerunner series and that is training status that has adjustments for variables like heat and altitude. I loved the training status monitoring of the latest Garmin watches but it can be difficult when it does not take into account for external variables that absolutely have an impact on your training performance.
Running a 6 minute mile at 120 feet of elevation and 50 degrees is not the same thing as running a 6 minute mile at 1,400 feet of elevation and 95 degrees.
Of course, all of these new features will mean a price increase and it is jumping $100 from $499 to $599. While that immediately sounds like a lot, consider the amount of features in it and you will notice that you are still getting it for less than the retail price of the Fenix 5 Plus series that is the only other watch series to share some of those features (like mapping).
Plus, the Garmin Forerunner 945 is made for the triathlete (while it can definitely be used for runners or other athletes) and has a triathlete bundle available for purchase as well that will bump the price up to $749.
The Amazon listing does not show just ordinary GPS usage for battery life but I would imagine it would be similar to the 935’s battery life of up to 24 hours. This puts it well above the Foreunner 645 and Vivoactive 3 and right in line with the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus so that would definitely be nice to see it hold to that life.
One Great New Feature
There is one new feature for the Garmin Forerunner 945 that, as an Apple Watch owner, I am really excited about. That is the “incident detection” feature. There is no word yet on what this is (but DC Rainmaker will certainly have all the info on this once an embargo lifts) but that is one of the things that had drawn me to the Apple Watch Series 4 over my previous Garmins.
When you are out and running on your own, accidents can and do happen. If they were to happen, it is nice to have a message sent to a loved one and emergency services to indicate where you are. Depending on the type of incident, such contact could mean the difference between life and death. I always run on my own and sometimes in new places and countries. Having this bit of assurance was one of the selling points for me with the Apple Watch.
When Will the Garmin Forerunner 945 Be Available?
Amazon lists the Garmin Forerunner 945 as being released April 30th. I highly doubt that Amazon will be making shipments out on that date. Smaller shops like Clever Training and others seem to get the early stock from Garmin. Plus, the wording is “released” and not shipping so it is likely that even the smaller shops may not be shipping April 30th.
However, I think that date shows that we should at least see the announcement from Garmin about the Forerunner 945 tomorrow, April 30th. I am a bit surprised that it seems that Amazon jumped the gun with this pre-announcement listing. At least it is a nice way for us to get some data and details on what the new Garmin Forerunner 945 should be packing!
I have to say – I am excited about the 945! I have been an Apple Watch Series 4 user now for 218 days (that is my streak of meeting my Move goal 🙂) and there are many things that I like about it. Those things are the same reasons that I was able to take off a Garmin watch as a daily watch for the first time in like 5 years.
That being said, I have anxiously been waiting for a watch that would give me some of the things that Apple has had. While Garmin will never match the Apple Watch in the apps or display department, for the serious athlete, Garmin definitely has more to offer!