Garmin Forerunner 945 vs. 935: Running watch gets more power, but is it worth it?

Garmin recently unveiled not one, but five new fitness smartwatches in its running-focused Forerunner series. The new flagship watch is now the Forerunner 945, which replaced the Forerunner 935. The Forerunner 945 sits atop Garmin’s Forerunner lineup, and overflows with fitness and wellness features. We’ve compiled a list of these new features so you can decide if the Forerunner 945 is worthy of your wrist — and your money.

What’s New

Garmin packs as many new features as possible into its new Forerunner 945. Those who don’t like to bring their phone on a long workout will appreciate its support for onboard music. The watch holds up to 1,000 songs and allows you to sync playlists from Spotify or Deezer. The Forerunner 945 also includes another major highlight: full-color maps. Just use the navigation function to follow a preloaded course, navigate your way back to the start of a run, and more.  This feature is critical for runners who enjoy long runs in uncharted or unfamiliar territory.

Garmin knows the Forerunner 945 is for serious athletes and has added several useful training features to help you dial in your workouts. Those who are training for a triathlon or any other multisport activities will appreciate the new training feature, training load focus, that breaks your training history into categories and doesn’t just lump them all together. There’s also an improved VO2 max (the maximum rate of oxygen consumption measured during incremental exercise) calculator that now adjusts for heat and altitude. Runners who hit the hills or rack up mileage in the hot weather will absolutely love this feature.

Garmin introduced its first wearable with a pulse oximeter last year, and now that sensor has migrated to other devices including the Forerunner 945. The sensor will monitor your oxygen absorption while you sleep so you can detect sleep disturbances like apnea. It also can be used while hiking or mountaineering to check your acclimation at higher elevations.

And that’s not all. Other new features include:

  • Garmin Pay
  • Stress level
  • Body battery
  • Training effect labels
  • EPOC (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption)
  • Heat and altitude acclimation
  • Improved race predictor
  • Incident detection
  • Assistance discrete messaging
  • New profiles for skiing, hiking, golfing and more

Who should buy the Forerunner 945?

If you are serious about your running, then the Forerunner 945 is hands down the best watch for your training. It takes all the features from the Forerunner 935, one of our favorite fitness watches, and adds even more. All this training goodness is packaged into a watch tailor-made for runners and other elite athletes.

Should you upgrade to the Forerunner 945?

Absolutely! The music, maps, training load focus and updated VO2 max calculations on the Forerunner 945 are all compelling reasons to upgrade. Sell your old watch on eBay, Craigslist, or a running group website and use those funds to snag the Forerunner 945. You won’t be disappointed.

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