Garmin FR 945 vs Vantage V again

I started three days ago a new session of comparing Vantage V (now the current day to day watch) with the Garmin 945, by using both of them in training sessions. I won’t wear them simultaneously all day to compare other aspects, but only their abilities as sport watches.

Today I had a longer running session and I used on the left hand the 945 paired with Stryd (because I have the calibration done, and Polar doesn’t support it yet) and the Vantage V on the right hand.

Surprisingly, the distance was pretty much the same – Vantage V measured 10.61km and the 945+Stryd measured 10.60km … since I trust the Stryd calibration and I know it’s measurement were consistent, I’d say that Vantage V did a great job. [The measured distance difference was 13 m, accounting for 0.1% difference]

I used the Quantified Self platform for comparison of the other data fields .. here’s the side by side info:

  • Average heart rate (measured with the oHR sensor on both): 149 bpm vs 149 bpm [there were some differences, but the whole difference was only 0.3% – I saw some moments when the devices were displaying different values with 1-2 bpm, but there weren’t many]
  • maximum heart rate: 157 bpm Garmin vs 156 bpm Polar
  • cadence: 94 rpm (Polar) vs 93 rpm (Garmin) – I feel that actually the difference is non existent, since Garmin reports in a different way the steps per minute – 186 spm
  • energy: 800 kcal (Garmin) and 866 kcal (Polar) – some of the difference might be related (or not) to the weight difference registered in the two platforms (there is a difference of 0.2kg)

The GPS track looks pretty much similar with a better representation from Polar, just looking more in the details:

GPS Track: Orange (Polar) vs Blue (Garmin) – Polar is better

Since I’m still using the planning from Training Peaks (synced with Garmin), I’m not comparing anything from Polar Flow data with what I see in Garmin Connect.

Based on the Running Index from Polar, I’d say that the estimation of race time for HM and marathon are too optimistic – I can’t see myself running the marathon in 3:35 .. so, from this point of view the FirstBeat based new estimations from Garmin are more realistic (3:54 seems more reasonable), since those take into account more of the training history. Actually, it might be an unfair comparison, since Polar doesn’t have the training history Garmin has.

I’ll see how things will evolve .. but so far, both watches are great for training.

Author: Liviu Nastasa

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

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