Garmin normalized many of their smartwatch features across a range of budgets today with the release of 3 new main lines of watches. This is certainly a great time to be a runner and to have data supplied for your workouts!
Brand New Garmin Watches for Every Budget
There are three new lines of Garmin watches that were announced today. DC Rainmaker has done an incredible job reviewing each one so make sure you check out his reviews and videos (and use his links!) to get the low-down on each of them.
In this post, I will just cover some of the highlights of these new watches.
Garmin Forerunner 45 Series
Link: Garmin Forerunner 45
This is Garmin’s new GPS smartwatch that breaks the $200 barrier. It packs in a lot of great features while keeping the price low for the runner that wants to keep things cheap.
The Garmin 45 will have built-in heart rate monitoring, GPS features as well as coaching features, and the great safety feature that will notify a safety contact if you fall or if you need to notify someone of troubles.
It also has smart notifications when connected to your smartphone so that you never miss a notification. The battery is rated to last for 7 days in smartwatch mode and 13 hours in GPS mode.
There are two size versions – 39mm and 44mm and they cost $199.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Series
Link: Garmin Forerunner 245
The Garmin Forerunner 245 is a huge upgrade over the very dated Garmin 235 and even steals a lot of features from the top-tier running model, the Garmin Forerunner 645. It starts at $299 (the music model is $349).
The Garmin Forerunner 245 is really a great new watch for all runners and it provides a ton of metrics and features at a price that is a full $100 less than the Apple Watch Series 4 (the music model is $50 less). The battery life is rated to be very good – 7 days in smartwatch mode and up to 24 hours in GPS mode! That blows the Apple Watch out of the water!
The increase in battery life on all models is thanks to the new Sony chipset that is now present on the latest Garmin watches (as well as other contemporary running watches). According to DC Rainmaker, it does come with the downside in a slight loss of accuracy. Still, this can be improved and should be better than the smoothing of the Apple Watch Series 4.
This model also comes with the fall detection and alerts – one more way this can compete with the Apple Watch Series 4 (though the fall detection only works during events but the alert system can be activated at any time). It also comes with the PulseOx feature that was introduced on the top tier Garmin Fenix 5X Plus last year – a device that costs at least $500 more than this watch!
Garmin Forerunner 945
Link: Garmin Forerunner 945
This brings us to the final release today and this is a huge one. This is built for the triathlete (while the 245 is more runner-centric) but really can be used for running very well also, especially with some of the new features built-in.
According to DC Rainmaker, this has features that beat the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus and even takes some features from the much more expensive Garmin Marq. It does all this from a $599 price point.
It has built-in mapping (for the geographic region that it was purchased in), it has Garmin Pay, built-in music storage, incredible battery life (over 30 hours of GPS usage!), greatly increased VO2max tracking to include heat and altitude factors, as well as a bunch of performance features to help you keep track of your training and recovery.
At $599, this is not a cheap watch and is $300 more than the 245. But, it does have a ton of high-end features that could definitely make it worth it. I will be reviewing this one and this could be the Garmin that pulls me away from the Apple Watch Series 4!
Garmin now has 2018/2019 watches that stretch from the $199 mark all the way up to $1,500 for athletes. These include watches that have music storage, contactless payment, and a ton of features while absolutely crushing the Apple Watch Series 4 in terms of battery life.
At this point, unless you need things like the built-in barometric altimeter and a few other features, I would not buy the Garmin Forerunner 645 and would instead opt for the 245. You would save about $100 and get a watch that is over a year newer.
When it comes to the Garmin Fenix 5 watches, if you want the Fenix 5 at its current price of $349, go with that. But, if you are thinking about the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, it would likely come down to whether you want the more metal build of the Fenix or the new features of the 945. Personally, I cannot wait to try out the Garmin Forerunner 945 and I have already used both the Garmin Fenix 5S Plus and Fenix 5 Plus (and still ended up going with the Apple Watch Series 4).
By choosing the Forerunner 945 over the Fenix 5 Plus, you would save on 36 grams in weight and still have the same size display.
Finally, the Garmin Forerunner 45 presents an awesome option for beginning runners or anyone that does not want a ton of metrics out of their watch. At $199, this is an awesome watch that can serve up smart notifications and a long battery life for your runs.