First contact with Garmin Forerunner 945

Here it goes again … I can’t help it and the need to experiment and change pushed me to change my Fenix 5x+ with a brand new FR945.

My new FR 945

Don’t ask me more about the motivation – did I really need a new watch? The honest answer is NO .. I didn’t actually, since I was using a very competent all-rounder – the Fenix 5X+.

I wanted a change .. I tried that with Polar Vantage V, but at that moment, too many things were missing to keep it so I postponed any change of the platform till end of September-October this year, when I’ll finish the marathon training plan … and by that time, Polar will do their magic with the Vantage line and hopefully with the Polar Flow connectivity as well.

Till then .. let’s see what Garmin baked into the new 945. It looks nice, not different from 935 .. maybe not that stylish as the Fenix line, but still – looks decent. Actually, what I really miss from Fenix is not particularly the look but the size (?!) and the sturdiness feeling. Fenix 5X+ was bigger (51mm vs 47mm) and had a 26mm band which looked more manly (I know that’s subjective .. but my hand ..and eyes were used with that). Also, what’s missing is the sapphire glass from Fenix .. I hope I won’t really miss it, like when scratching the Gorilla glass from 945.

The (perceived) screen contrast is higher, but that’s not a huge difference – most probably because of the glass, because sapphire makes it a but washed.

I had a run today with the new tool, after updating it to the latest beta firmware available (2.48 currently), added the Stryd (calibrated to 101.7 and no auto-calibration – based on the previous measurement earlier this week). What I forgot to do is adding in the running app the custom Stryd field … so, no power measurement for the run.

The GPS track (1 second recording with GPS + Glonass) looks decent, without being dramatically (if any) better than the Fenix 5X+. I’ll try it more over the next days and see how it performs, but for the moment, since I’m relying on Stryd for distance and pace, I can’t say that there is a change (improvement) in the accuracy of the GPS track. Below you, can see the same run (almost, with the exception of the FR 920) with different watches over the years – FR 945, Fenix 5X+, Fenix 5, Fenix 3 and FR 920.

GPS track with Forerunner 945 (FW 2.48)
GPS track with Fenix 5X+ (FW 7.10)
GPS track with Fenix 5 (FW 8.0)
GPS track with Fenix 3 (FW 7.11)
GPS track with FR 920 (FW 5.20)

When looking at the same area, after running with Vantage V (FW 3.1), you’d say that Polar managed either to have a better track or at least a better representation … but it looks better.

Not exactly the same track, but better representation by Polar Vantage V (FW 3.1)

Now, coming back to 945, there are some new data gimmicks – like Body Battery, combined with Stress .. those are nice, but not important.

Body battery – new for 945
Body battery and stress evolution

Also, there is a new metric – Respiration Rate (if you use an HR chest strap) – I still don’t know yet what to do with this information – but that’s a valid affirmation for other statistics collected by Garmin.

Respiration Rate – don’t know yet how to use this info

The more juicy stuff, the First Beat powered metrics for V02Max or Training Load are more interesting and deserve a bit more time to be properly assessed and used.

Training load over the last 4 weeks (deserves some attention)

I’ll continue to see how things will evolve, in terms of battery, GPS accuracy and other metrics and I’ll post about that. For the moment, the transition from Fenix 5X+ to 945 went smoothly using the Physio True Up and we are back in training, linked with the Training Peaks plan.

Author: Liviu Nastasa

Passionate about software development, sociology, running...definitely a geek.

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