Garmin Forerunner 45/45S | Full Analysis


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The Garmin Forerunner 45 was presented along with two bestsellers, the Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 945These two are the ones that occupied most of the public's interest, but we must not forget the renewal that Garmin proposed for its low range. 

And what a renewal, because with the FR 45 Garmin it repeats the recipe of the other two models: make the new watch have the functions of the previous range immediately above it. This means that in the Forerunner 45 we find almost everything we had before in the FR235The new system has been designed with the consequent renewal of hardware (new GNSS chipset, new optical sensor, etc).

The cheapest Forerunner in the range is no longer that simple, cheap watch with very few functions. It is now much more capable in many ways, although that can also work against it: anyone who wants a cheap, simple Garmin is going to be orphaned. Yes, you can still get hold of a Forerunner 35but by the time they're gone...

I've been testing the Forerunner 45 for a few weeks now, enough to know what it is proposing. Garmin has provided a test unit that, once the analysis is complete, will be sent back. There is no compensation from the brands when they perform these tests, which are totally independent. It's important to remember this, because all the tests I perform are done in the most objective and impartial way possible.

If you like this review and find it useful in deciding to buy your next GPS watch, please use the links on this page (well, you can buy that GPS watch you want or anything else, anything goes). You won't pay more than it's worth, but the seller returns a small percentage which helps to cover the cost of hosting the site and, obviously, my work. Or you can become a VIP member..

Without further ado, shall we talk about all the details of Forerunner 45?

Garmin Forerunner 45

Garmin Forerunner 45

Overall - 9
Training possibilities - 7.5
Platform and applications - 9
Battery life - 7.5
Finish and comfort - 7.5
Price/performance ratio - 7



For less than $200, Garmin offers almost all of the performance of the top models in the Forerunner 45. However, the key is in that "almost" and that the competition is also tightening up. The FR45 does a lot of what you can ask of a racing watch, but maybe it was asking for $30 less.

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The good

  • Mid-range performance, now in the low range
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Ability to follow advanced trainings, either own or downloaded

The bad


  • You've lost that simple, easy-to-use clock feeling
  • Specific strap and anchorage which, if broken, forces the watch to be pulled
  • High price compared to the competition

New Garmin Forerunner 45

As I was saying, Forerunner 35 was a simple watch. Easy to use, easy to set up and with very few options that could mess you up. But it did give you access to the Garmin ConnectThat simplicity and ease of use was the main selling point for a watch that was certainly very basic.

But the Forerunner 45 goes furtherObviously it continues the same path of trying to be a watch easy to use and without presenting many complications for a user who is usually more basic, but still incorporates a lot of functions These are its new features, compared to the Forerunner 35:

  • They are now two the available modelsThe Forerunner 45 (42mm circumference) and the smaller Forerunner 45S with only 39mm
  • Change the format. It used to be square and now it's gone to round screenlike the rest of the range. It also happens to have 5 buttons instead of the 4 on the Forerunner 35
  • Change the screen which is logically round, but now it's colorfulFR35 only had a black and white screen
  • It allows change the dial of the clock through Connect IQ (but does not support applications or widgets)
  • New wrist pulse sensorThe Garmin Elevate v3
  • Body Battery to measure the resources available
  • New Sony GNSS chip with support for GPS, GLONASS and Galileo
  • Sports Profiles differentiated, e.g. cycling
  • Constant heart rate recording at rest, with alerts if a certain range is exceeded
  • Alerts: of pace/speed
  • Compatible with advanced trainings that can be designed from the application or from the web. Until now, no watch in the lower range has ever offered this possibility
  • It allows to synchronize trainings of Garmin Coach and has support for training calendar, so you can follow training plans for 5K, half-marathon, etc.
  • Incident detection, It sends a message to the chosen contacts in case of a sudden deceleration or any situation that the watch may assume to be a fall. It is conditional on carrying the phone with you as it will be the one to take care of the communication (the watch itself is not capable of doing this)
  • VO2Max estimation
  • Support for ANT+ sensors and, as a novelty, also for Bluetooth Smart
  • Battery life up to 13 hours in GPS mode

Not bad for a watch whose focus is on simplicity, right? Technically there's nothing new about Forerunner 45 that stands out, it just does because many of the features that were reserved for higher end models are now available in the lower end.

There's a downside to all this: the price has gone up from the model it directly replaces. Both the Garmin Forerunner 45 and Forerunner 45S come to market with a price tag of $199.

Garmin will continue to maintain the Forerunner 35 on sale (for the moment), precisely to cover that access segment, as well as a simple and straightforward clock for those who want nothing more than rhythm and distance data.

But this analysis is to talk about the new model, not the old one, so let's focus on the Forerunner 45 and Forerunner 45S.

Garmin FR45 at a glance

The first thing to note is that the Garmin Forerunner 45 is offered in two different sizes: the FR45 and FR45S. There is only one thing that changes, the diameter of the watch. The Forerunner 45 has 42mm diameter, while the Forerunner 45SThe smaller ones are... 39mm.

Where does that reduction in size come from? Exclusively from the size of the bevel, the screen is the same size in both cases (1,04″ in colour, unlike Forerunner 35), so all you have to decide is what space you want the watch to occupy on your wrist.

But everything else? Exactly the same. Functions, autonomy, thickness... Everything is the same between 45 and 45S. From now on I will refer to both models as Forerunner 45but I include both models.

As I indicated earlier, the display has been upgraded from the monochrome display that was present on the Forerunner 35 to a transflective technology colour display. This type of display always remains on and unlike an LED display, the more light there is, the clearer it looks.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Transflective screen

Naturally, in a watch designed for outdoor use and enjoyment, that's what we want.

Not only has the user interface been modernized, it is now shared with the rest of the current range. Gone is the interface used in the older models where everything was based on lines of text. Now we also have quick access menus, icons, etc.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - User Interface

This change in the interface comes with the inclusion of one more button, again matching the rest of the range. We now have three buttons on the left side and two on the right.

In terms of pure performance, it's pretty much the same as what Garmin offered with the Forerunner 235, although it's simpler in features like smart clocking. Forerunner 45 doesn't allow you to install applications, widgets or data fields downloaded from Connect IQ. For some this will be a major limitation, for the vast majority who see in the FR45 a simple clock... they won't care at all.

We can download screen balls, which you can do from the Connect IQ.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Connect IQ Sphere

Although the clock does not include the option to download widgets, we do have several that we can see in the clock. They are screens with weather information, notifications, activity monitor and other generic information of the activity. You can choose which ones to show from the application.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Widgets

So you can see information on the clock about things like heart rate (with a graph of the last few hours), activity monitor details, notifications, etc.

Among them all, one stands out, which is Body BatteryThis measurement tells you how much energy you have left to finish the day, and recharges at night depending on how you've rested. 

Think of it as your mobile phone battery. Throughout the day and depending on your use (if you are sitting, if you are training, if you are constantly moving...), the remaining energy will decrease and you will be able to see at all times what is available to you.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Body Battery

This is a good indication of whether you have enough energy for a training series, or if you have had a very difficult day and you should opt for a recovery session.

As for the activity details, you will be able to see them on the clock itself, but the best way to check them is, without a doubt, through the Garmin Connect application on your mobile.

These details include heart rate during the 24h of the day, identification of sleep and the different phases, level of stress, steps taken and at what time. etc. It is practically the same thing that you will have with much more expensive Garmin watches (beyond specific functions such as Pulse Ox), in this aspect the experience is the same with all models.

As the title of this section heads, this is just a quick review of the Forerunner 45 to see what it has to offer and what you should know. We're going to move on to talk about the sports features, which is ultimately what you're most interested in knowing about this watch.

Garmin FR45 during sport

The fact that it is a watch intended for the lower end of the range means that it has limitations somewhere. This is normal as there have to be things available for higher end models. In this case the limitations come in the configuration options for the sports profiles, but not in the amount of sports available.

The Forerunner 45 is, above all, a running watchWhich is not to say it's the only sport you can play.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Sports

By default, the following sports profiles are available: running, treadmill, bike, walking and cardio. And through the application you can activate a few more sports like elliptical or yoga. 

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Available Activities

Perhaps the most notable absence is swimming, but as I said earlier... cuts must be made to justify the existence of superior models.

Each of these profiles can be configured independently; although here we will also find more limitations than in higher models, starting with the data screens.

In the case of Forerunner 45, each screen can have a maximum of three pieces of data. There are only three display possibilities, with 1, 2 or 3 fields. In addition, these fields cannot have the description above the figure as usual, but you will simply be looking at the data.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Data screen

And how do we know what each thing is? When you move between screens, the description of that data field appears briefly, which will then be replaced by the data itself.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Data screen

The problem is that it only appears the first time you access that screen. The next time you reach the screen in the rotation, the description will not appear, so you better remember what data you have configured.

The number of screens you can configure is not too high either, you can only have 5 available. Although it is true that at the moment of truth we do not have enough data to fill them in because -here the main limitation- the data to be selected is very basic: time, distance, pace, calories, heart rate, heart rate zone, lap time, lap distance, lap pace, average pace, cadence, steps and time of day.

Then we must take into account the differences in each sport, for example in cycling instead of having a field of rhythm we will have a field of speed.

Is it too little data? I honestly think not, it's enough for the type of user Garmin wants to target with this watch. If you need more data on screen or more selection options, you'll have to go up a notch and opt for the Forerunner 245.

The rest of the options are the usual ones and without any extra frills. Alert configuration (of rhythm, distance, run/walk, etc.), automatic and manual lap, and automatic pause.

Although there is a last option to highlight, which is the possibility of configuring the satellite reception in three different ways: GPS, GPS + GLONASS or GPS + Galileo onlyThis is thanks to the incorporation of the new Sony GNSS chipset, the same one that is present in all the watches presented in 2019 (and previous years) not only in Garmin, but in the rest of the manufacturers. 

But if there is one thing that stands out about Forerunner 45's sports performance, it is that it is now fully compatible with advanced trainingsAnd not only those that you can create in the application for a day of series, also when it comes to downloading training plans from Garmin Coach.

These are the ones you can configure yourself in the application, where you can select the different phases, rhythms, objectives and the way to fulfill them. It is quite fast and intuitive.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Advanced Training

Once you have set up your workout, you can synchronize it to the clock and select it before you go out to train. The clock will indicate at each moment what step we are at and if we are meeting our objective.

Using the example of the previous training, we will have 15 minutes of warm-up without any kind of goal, beyond the jogging pace you want to do. After a minute and a half break, a series of 5 1 kilometer intervals will start, for which there is a set running pace: between 3:35 and 3:45 min/km. If you go over that pace (both above and below) the clock will warn you with vibration and tones.

Tras completar el kilómetro, automáticamente hay un periodo de recuperación de dos minutos, tras lo cual volveremos al intervalo (y ya «sólo» quedan cuatro).

Another novelty is the Garmin Coach adaptive training plansIt's a free training platform that allows you to choose a target distance, to be performed in a given time. Once you select your target, Garmin Coach will ask you which days you want to train and you can even choose one to be the day of the long roll.

Once the workout is created, it's not a fixed thing that you have to stick to, Garmin Coach will modify the workout plan to suit you. If one day you haven't trained as you should, it will be taken into account in the following days' workouts, adapting them to those changes. 

I leave you this gallery so that you can see for yourself what it offers and what you can select.

You know the best part? IT'S TOTALLY FREE!

I haven't tried them personally because my main sport is triathlon and my training is guided by my coach, so I can't tell you more about how it works. Anyway, I guess you understand the concept of how it works.

When you have finished training we now have a new training summary screen, which includes an estimate of your VO2max for that session, and only that particular session. 

Garmin Forerunner 45 - VO2Max

In this picture for example you can see the result after a very smooth activation workout before a race. My VO2max is usually superior (not much more, but superior), and yet it is the one applied to that workout.

You can see the rest of the details if you scroll down, but it is more limited than in other superior models.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Activity Summary

If you want to see all the details, you'll have to wait until you've paired up the activity (via Bluetooth with your phone is easiest), but then you'll be able to see it both in the application and in Garmin Connect.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Garmin Connect

This is quite standard with respect to any other model, the main difference being the amount of data it is capable of recording.

Optical heart rate sensor

The Garmin Forerunner 45 includes the latest optical pulse sensor, the Garmin Elevate V3. The only difference it has from what's offered on more expensive models is that the pulse oximetry sensor is not active, but for the rest it's exactly the same.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Optical Sensor

As a reminder, keep in mind that a wrist pulse meter does not work the same way on every body. We are all different, and if we also put things like skin tone, tattoos, body hair into the equation... the difference from person to person can be quite large.

In my tests it is not that the spectrum of users is very broad: it is me, myself and I. So what works well for me might not do it for someone else, or it might be better.

But the most important thing to keep in mind is that you have to follow some guidelines to wear the sensor. It should be tight (but not cut off your circulation), enough to keep the watch from moving freely on your wrist, leaving a separation of approximately one finger from the wrist bone. By following these details you will ensure that you get the best results that your conditions can offer.

Well, I'll start the tests with this more or less constant pace training, but with several slopes in between. It's not as easy for the sensor as a flat ride at a constant pace, but it's not as difficult as a series training either.

It is an intermediate difficulty, but one that any sensor today must be able to record correctly.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Comparative optical sensor

The line corresponding to Forerunner 45 is the dwelling. It has a somewhat hesitant start, especially between minutes 4 and 10. While the other sensors have a similar behaviour, FR45 seems not to find its place in the world.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Comparative optical sensor

It's possible that I wore the watch without pressing it enough (and look what I just said...) and adjusted it a little more, but from that moment on everything stabilizes again.

Even in the final stretch, where it's the Polar Vantage M who seems to have the same doubts as FR45 did at first. 

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Comparative optical sensor

Meanwhile the other two sensors, the Polar H10 paired to the Garmin Forerunner 945 and the Polar OH1+ (which was simply recording the activity without being paired to any other device) more or less coincide throughout the training.

This time I'm looking for a more constant pace, but both the beginning of the route and the end (it's a round trip route) are full of slides, so the intensity changes again, which is the most difficult thing for the optical sensor.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Comparative optical sensor

In this case both the Garmin Forerunner 945 like the Garmin Forerunner 935 I had them synchronized with the sensor HRM-Tri And besides the FR45, of course with its sensor, it had the Polar OH1+ I had one last watch on my right wrist, the Polar Ignite, but I forgot to synchronise it before resetting it to send it back to Polar the next day ????♂.

I wanted to leave the first graph as it came out, with all the mixed lines of the HRM-Tri sensor on both Garmin watches, but this is what I mean to tell you that the sensor is not going through its best moments.


Garmin Forerunner 45 - Comparative optical sensor

While the optical sensors remain more or less stable, going up and down accordingly, the Garmin chest sensor keeps going up and down, making everything much more complicated to read.

So let's just leave the chart of the Polar OH1+ along with the Garmin Forerunner 45, to show everything more clearly. And what do we have?

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Comparative optical sensor

Almost perfect. Both the OH1+ and the FR45 coincide during the entire 90-minute workout. There are only two moments when they vary: in the middle of the workout I stop to drink from a fountain, and at the peaks in the last quarter of the workout.

At the time of making the stop we can see that there is a slight delay in the graph of Forerunner 45. It is something habitual and always present in the optical sensors of wrist (if you notice, the OH1+ doesn't have that problem), nevertheless in all the tests I have found that the delay of the sensor Garmin Elevate v3 has always been smaller than the one of the previous v2.

There are a few more strange spikes around the 1:06 point, but I can't determine who's taking the correct reading. Not even with the data from the chest sensor, because in this workout it's been so unstable that I don't know which one to listen to.

So let's move on to another example, this time mountain racing, so the changes in intensity will also be assured.

In this case, in addition to the Forerunner 45, I have a Fenix 6 making use of the optical sensor (the same as that of the FR45, but on a heavier watch) and the Forerunner 945 paired with a Polar H10. And of course the OH1+.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Comparative optical sensor

In this case it is the Fenix 6 that suffers the most. I count up to 7 peaks at the beginning of the activity that are irregular.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - Comparative optical sensor

Except for peak number 1, the rest are very sudden climbs that, in my opinion, are caused by the weight of the watch. The first minutes of this training are on a very steep climb (average slope of 19%), so the brace is quite high, which can cause the watch to move due to its high weight. However the Forerunner 45, much lighter, has not had that problem at any time.

But it's not the usual thing, since we usually won't have those slopes all the time. In the rest of the training, with much more normal slopes, you can see how the behaviour of all the sensors is on par. 

In general I see a better performance compared to previous models, something I've been able to see with all the tests I've done on watches using this sensor, so I can already confirm that the sensor, as such, has improved.

However, the fact that the sensor has improved does not mean that we can still completely forget about the sensor on the chest. It will still be necessary for the days of series training or for the bike, but I can tell you that on days of shooting at a constant pace I have no problem trusting the data from the optical sensor. As long as there are no sudden changes in the intensity it has no major reliability problem.

Garmin Forerunner 45 GPS

The FR45 includes, of course in 2019, Sony's GNSS chipset. main strength is the remarkable increase in autonomy that all the manufacturers have achieved although they're still trying to tame the measurements they get. 

Another advantage of this chipset is the ability to use additional satellite configurations. The Forerunner 45, like the higher-end models, allows for three configurations: GPS, GPS + GLONASS and GPS + Galileo.

Garmin Forerunner 45 - GPS

Just like the optical sensor tests you saw earlier, the GPS comparisons are done the same way: with the watches accompanying me in my regular workouts.

Carrying Forerunner 45 as well as other models, and checking where the problems appear, I have no defined route to establish a score for the simple reason that there are other external factors that we should never forget.

Things like clouds, leaves on trees or simply the satellite position can alter the GPS results from one day to the next, which is why I prefer to do this type of comparison instead of having a predefined path and assess it from there.

I'll start the comparison with this pre-race activation training. It's a fairly simple course, but the difficulty lies in the low pace at which I perform it.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

This test is also interesting because of the three models I'm carrying: Garmin Forerunner 45, Garmin Fenix 6 and Garmin Forerunner 945.

All three are Garmin. All three use Sony's GNSS chipset. However the results are disparate, which proves that not everything is the chipset used, in the end the most important thing is the adjustment of the software to other features such as the antenna used in each model.

This is the start of the route. As with optical sensors, the start is always more complicated, because the clocks still do not have the maximum number of satellites found. If we add to that the running between tall buildings makes it difficult.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

It's not that the result is bad, but it doesn't go beyond what is acceptable. In this section, further on, you can see how none of the three clocks have hit the real route. I've gone past where I marked the line in orange. As for the tracks, they are all straight, but displaced to a greater or lesser extent. Both the Fenix 6 and the Forerunner 45 are displaced by about a metre, while the FR945 is a little further on.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

As soon as I get to a more open area quickly all three clocks are back in tune.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

However, the mistakes keep coming. I've marked in orange which was my real route to enter that turn. There's a small kerb so you have to get around a fence. 

None of the three succeed in making the turn correctly, making a kind of loop that is not real. Of course I'm also asking you to record the change of direction made in a tile correctly, but that's what the difficult tests are for, right?

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

But I don't want to be left alone with that. Once we continue the path parallel to the river, the Fenix 6 seems to be unclear about where we are going, while the other two clocks are in a perfectly straight line.

And it's not the only trouble spot for the Fenix 6. Further on it has detours and curve cuts again. Curiously enough it goes off the road to come back, and so on. 

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

Both Forerunner 945 and Forerunner 45 are perfectly aligned at this point.

Now let's play some field. This is a route around a small peak that, except for a short stretch, has no tree cover of any kind. Beyond the low speed at the steepest moments (about 20% of slope), there is not much more difficulty. The clocks used are the same as in the previous example.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

In general, the results on this route have been better than the previous example (where the sky was quite cloudy), and there are some curious things, such as the fact that the Google maps are not well aligned.

You can see it perfectly in this picture.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

On the way I've made the mark I pass the uphill and downhill. With three watches it's a total of 6 tracks. The 6 are perfectly aligned, and yet they don't pass the way you see in the picture. So there are several possibilities:

  • In a few months the road has eroded and changed location (the satellite photo is from 2019)
  • All three clocks have failed to rise and fall, coinciding in exactly the same error
  • Although there is a path I have decided to climb the slope to 20% doing cross country, because I am that great
  • Google does not have the image aligned correctly

I'm almost stuck with option 4... Which means you don't always have to trust these satellite images.

This is the area where you cross a fairly lush forest. You can't see the path in the picture, but the three clocks are fairly aligned. There is only one that moves slightly, which is the Fenix 6.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

Something that keeps repeating itself for the rest of the route.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

Again, both Forerunner 945 and Forerunner 45 mark the same layout, with the Fenix 6 being the only one that deviates slightly. Clearly Garmin must continue working on the Fenix firmware, which has just arrived on the market and has not had any updates, while both FR945 and FR45 have received updates in this time.

However, when the day is clear and you run through areas without much difficulty (no trees or tall buildings) the results you can expect are very good, as is the case below.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

Although that doesn't mean that we see perfection, mainly because that doesn't exist. In the image below you can see how the errors (light ones, that is) happen. First in the curve that can be seen by the Polar Vantage MThe first is a new route, deviating from the actual route marked by FR45 and FR945.

And a little further on it is FR945 that is doing the roundabout wrong, while FR45 has been the only one to draw the roundabout exactly as I have done.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

And yet further on it is the one that fails, making a totally straight line when passing through another small roundabout.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

Why the error? While the Polar and the 945 record GPS data per second, the FR45 only allows recording that Garmin calls intelligent.

This means that the clock records location data in a variable way. This can be every second or every 3 seconds, as you see fit. At that location you can see the pattern clearly marked, having taken one point before entering the roundabout and another at the exit. The result is a completely straight line.

However, later on there is quite a consensus (although the Polar deviates slightly).

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

Even in this area where I really like to see the watches recover from a loss of signal after going under the motorway, none of the three have suffered in doing so or done any strange things.

Garmin Fenix 6 - Forerunner 45 - GPS

The summary? I haven't seen anything strange in the graphs of Forerunner 45, neither in the examples I've put nor in the other trainings where I've used FR45. Of course there are errors, there always will be, but you can't say that I've identified constant unsolved patterns as I can see in the graphs of Vantage M or Fenix 6.

The only drawback I can put to it is the intelligent data recording and not being able to use per second recording (something that in 2019 no longer makes any sense, but Garmin is determined to keep it up). But the only thing it can cause is graphics with slight cuts in the curves, when you see rhythms or distances on the clock it doesn't affect at all, unless you're going to run a marathon doing that.

Garmin Forerunner 45 Competition

There is no doubt that Garmin has added a lot of features to the Garmin FR45 that were not previously present in the lower range, but it is equally true that this has meant a price increase of 50 with regard to FR35 And if you are looking for something simple and cheap...

Where is Forerunner 45's main problem? In its competition. FR35 is not its only intra-brand competition, there is also the Forerunner 235 In some aspects it's a better option (full but old Connect IQ, 4 data per screen and more to choose from), but there's a generation between the two and it's something you can notice, especially in the optical pulse sensor and the new functions that have been coming into the Garmin range (Galileo, incident detection, Bluetooth support...).

And without leaving Garmin we have a whole Vivoactive 3which is going to cost you less money and has other advantages such as barometric altimeter, Garmin Pay and even a version with music playback.

But the situation gets worse when we look at the competition. There's for example the Polar M430which in some respects is more powerful (although Garmin also has things to breastfeed for) and savings are importantNot to mention the Polar Vantage MThe Forerunner 45 is a much more powerful watch than the Forerunner 45 and is available at very similar prices to little Garmin's.

Buy Garmin Forerunner 45

I hope that this complete analysis has helped you to decide if it is a valid device for you or not. All the work I do you can consult it without any cost, but if you want to support the web and with it the work I do, the best way to do it is to buy your new device through the links I provide below. And if you don't buy it today, remember to stop by when you are going to do it!

Through these links not only will you get a very competitive price and the best customer service, but I will also receive a small percentage without costing you any additional outlay, which is what allows me to continue offering you proofs like this on the page.

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Opinion Garmin Forerunner 45

In short, as I told you in the FR45 competition section, their main obstacle is the price. Not because it is not worth it, which is debatable (it should not be forgotten that despite being low range, it has grown in possibilities); but mainly because of what other manufacturers offer for similar prices.

The Forerunner 35 has one thing that makes it special: its simplicity. It does this because it has hardly any options with which to dizzy a user who is not interested in additional data. Although the FR45 is not a complicated watch, it is no longer as simple as the 35, so it has lost that special factor.

I don't want to forget the Forerunner 45S, though. If you're looking for a watch that's totally focused on sport and is small in size (less than 40mm), then things change, because there aren't many things on the market that are that small.

I say all this with reference to current prices, of 189 ?. However, I think that Garmin has prepared the launch of this watch with more than enough margin to undertake price reductions not only in seasons of high sales, but to lower the base price permanently. If we were talking about a price of 139 ?, the situation would change radically.

And with that... thanks for reading!

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  1. Hola Eduardo, como siempre muy entretenido tu review, gracias, estoy valorando adquirir el fr45, mi deporte principal es el ciclismo, tengo un edge 530 que por andar leyendo aquí adquirí… jajaja… el caso es que pienso en el fr 45 como complemento del edge, quiero decir que busco un equipo que me permita hacer seguimiento a mis actividades diarias, horas de sueño, estado de entrenamiento y descanso, caminatas y desplazamientos urbanos en bici, lo anterior sin tener que salirme el «ecosistema» de Garmin, ¿que opinas?

    I appreciate your help in advance

    1. For that use I see the Vivoactive 3 as a better option. However, keep in mind that neither one nor the other will add training information to the general training status.

  2. I didn't understand, training like walking and urban cycling, are not they added to the ones made with the edge?

    Thank you very much.

    1. Yes, but what I mean is that the data will not be taken into account for the training load or the load focus, since neither the FR45 nor the Vivoactive 3 are compatible with that function. Besides the new Edge, only the Fenix 6, FR945 or MARQ would be compatible.

      But since you'll be doing low-intensity activities, I wouldn't worry too much about it either.

  3. Hi, Eduardo,

    I'm reading several of your reviews but I still have some doubts, so I was wondering if you could recommend me your watch based on the following needs:
    - Activities: exercise bike and ergometer, what you are most interested in is your pulse (I wouldn't mind buying a chest band if it would improve accuracy)
    - Mobile Notifications
    - Size contained (it's for a woman who doesn't want it to be too big).
    - Take it daily on the street.

    Thank you very much in advance.

    1. Jon, regarding the indications the Forerunner 45S can be a good choice, but since it is for daily use I think a Vivoactive 4S sería mejor opción por su terminación más «elegante»

  4. me ha parecido muy útil tu análisis, pero tengo una duda casi existencial ahora mismo a día de 09/03/2020 están a estos precios en amazon:
    Garmin Vivoactive 3 180€
    Garmin Forerunner 45/G 149€
    me gustaría un reloj para salir a correr un par o tres de veces a la semana y llevar un registro de las métricas en principio me decantaría mas por el Forerunner 45 pero del Vivoactive 3 me gusta el echo de que tenga brújula digital y altímetro para las salidas de senderimso por montaña pero claro entiendo que el Vivoactive 3 esta ya superado por el 4, pero la diferencia económica no se si me compensa la verdad igual el Forerunner 45 es suficiente para lo que quiero

    no se, que opinas? por esos precios cual seria mejor opción?

    1. Si vas a estar pendiente de la altitud durante la salida sí es útil el altímetro, si sólo quieres ver la acumulación de metros al sincronizar la actividad entonces es secundario.

      Como reloj para correr el FR45 es mejor opción porque no tiene tantas limitaciones a la hora de configurarlo.

      1. buenas! pues al final me regalaron el FR45 justo antes de la cuarentena….y ahora que lo he podido probar he de decirte que estoy muy contento con el para el uso que le voy a dar perfecto para mi, muchas gracias

        ahora bien tras pelearme un poco con el me surge una duda que no se si podrás resolverme, me he creado un entrenamiento desde garmin de esos de andar x metros correr x metros y repetir x veces que va genial…pero claro te avisa con vibraciones y tengo que estar pendiente porque no me entero, normalmente voy escuchando música con el móvil por auriculares bluetooth, sabes si hay alguna forma de que te avise con sonidos o algo a través del movil??

        1. En Garmin Connect puedes seleccionar que te «hable», dentro de Opciones de actividad en la configuración del dispositivo. No sé si esas indicaciones suenan también en un entrenamiento de ese tipo de correr/andar, pero deberías probarlo.

  5. Hola Eduardo! Lo primero felicitarte por el blog y las reviews, son de lo mejor que he encontrado, y llevo una semana leyendo información sobre relojes para correr…

    Yo no tengo ni idea de relojes y demás, pero si que había corrido 10K con regularidad y ahora (cuando se pueda salir, claro) quería volver a entrenar, corriendo, escalada y algo de crossfit. Al principio había mirado los Amazfit gts, pero a medida que he ido leyendo veo que igual no es la mejor opción, sobretodo por precisión y demás. Que realmente lo que voy a hacer será tranquilo de entrada, pero es posible que me anime a más porque en mi grupo hay varios que hacen trail y carrera.

    Entonces, lo que he visto que podia ser más útil era el Polar m430 o bien el FR45, (o alguno de esa gama ) por precio y por ser sencillos sin mucha cosa que me abrume. He estado viendo la plataforma de Polar y me ha parecido muy interesante. La duda es que el M430 es del 2017 y el FR45 bastante más moderno, por eso sobretodo tenía dudas entre uno y otro. Que igual hay otro reloj similar, lo que valoro es que tenga gps sin depender del teléfono y que mida las pulsaciones para trabajar por fases, que es algo que posiblemente si use.

    Gracias y lo compraré a través de tus links!

    1. Hola de nuevo Eduardo, al final después de seguir leyendote veo que hay suficiente información para ver que para lo que yo hago, casi cualquier reloj deportivo me vale. Al ver el análisis del Amazfit Stratos si que se me quitan las ganas de algo similar, y se agradece mucho.

      Un amigo del grupo que suele correr me ofreció el Suunto Spartant Trainer y no le hice mucho caso, pero como me sale más barato que el M430 nuevo, aunque la mayoría de opciones de momento no las vaya a usar, yo que sé, están ahi. Leyendo tu review pues tan feliz que voy a ir.

      Thank you very much and best regards!

      PD; si entro en Amazon a tarvés de tu enlace, y compro cualquier otra cosa, tambien te beneficia?

      1. Gracias Pere.

        Efectivamente, a un nivel «básico» todas las soluciones son perfectamente válidas. Si solo vas a necesitar GPS y pulsaciones realmente cualquier reloj cumple. Lo único a tener en cuenta con el Spartan Trainer es el tamaño de pantalla, se puede hacer pequeña y poco legible.

        Efectivamente, comprando cualquier artículo de los diferentes vendedores que hay en la página también hay un pequeño beneficio. ¡Gracias!

  6. Hola Eduardo, me ha encantado tu blog. Esta review es de las mejores que he encontrado. Gracias por ser tan meticuloso con todos los detalles. La gente que queremos asegurarnos de que lo que compramos cumple nuestras expectativas agradecemos de verdad encontrar blog como este. Una única pregunta. En cuanto a precisión de GPS tracking, existe alguna diferencia entre FR35 y FR45? He visto la mejora de que FR45 dispone de diferentes sistemas GPS lo cual le da un más margen de tener a disponibilidad más satélites. Pero en igualdad de condiciones (digamos misma cobertura GPS) sabes si existe alguna diferencia entre FR35 y FR45? Alguna diferencia en la frecuencia de rastreo que haga FR45 más preciso? Muchas Gracias!!!

    1. Thank you Raul.

      El FR45 tiene el nuevo chipset de Sony con mayor autonomía. Aparte de eso en rendimiento GPS es muy similar, yo enfocaría la decisión más hacia otros apartados (funcionalidades, posibilidades de entrenamientos de intervalos…) que en el rendimiento de GPS.

      1. Buenos días, quería comprar el Garmin 45S y quiero asegurarme de que cuando salga a correr, el ritmo que me vaya a marcar el reloj sea correcto. Tiene buena precision en ese sentido?

  7. Hola Eduardo, impresionante review.
    Quiero adquirir mi primer reloj deportivo ya que hasta ahora corro con el móvil y estoy un poco abrumada con tanta variedad en el mercado.
    Suelo salir a varias veces por semana, haciendo entre 10 y 15 km, y suelo participar en varias medias maratones al año.
    Busco algo que me pueda ayudar a mejorar ya que hasta ahora sólo he salido a disfrutar, sin preocuparme en velocidad o pulsaciones.
    Estoy mirando el fr45, pero no sé si serían mejor otras opciones de diferentes marcas ¿qué me recomiendas?

    Muchísimas gracias por tu dedicación y ayuda

    1. Gracias Leyre.

      Take a look at the shopping guide, podrás ver los modelos que recomiendo según el uso.

      Si quieres un reloj sencillo, el FR35 siempre era la opción a elegir, pero cada vez queda menos stock. El FR45 ha aumentado las prestaciones, pero también las «complicaciones» (sigue siendo un modelo sencillo). Para ese uso con el 45 no te equivocas, desde luego.

  8. Good morning, Eduardo,
    Muy interesante la review. Suelo salir 3 o 4 veces en semana a correr y estoy pensando en comprarme un reloj para controlar y medir mis entrenamientos. He estado mirando el polar M430 y el garmin FR45 y tras leer sobre ambos aun no tengo claro cuál me vendría mejor a pesar de ver los dos útiles para mi actividad. Como te he comentado anteriormente suelo salir 3 o 4 veces a correr y querría un reloj para programar mis entrenamientos, medir distacias, pulsaciones y ritmo durante el entreno. Cuál de los dos me recomendarías? Muchas gracias por tu labor e información.

    A salute.

  9. muy buenas!! lo primero genial este blog, lo acabo de descubrir y me encanta, muy bien explicado todo. Estoy dudando entre el forerunner 45 y el polar m430. La verdad que viendo tus dos análisis me da la sensación de que dejas el polar en mejor posición y no se que hacer. El Garmin es ademas 35 euros mas caro que el Polar y no se hasta que punto compensa. Luego el polar no deja de ser un reloj de 2017 y no se si lo mismo el año que viene llega Polar y te saca el modelo nuevo…

    Principalmente lo quiero para correr, pudiendo llegar a 6 sesiones de entrenamiento a la semana y me gusta mucho planificar bien los entrenos.

    Un saludo y gracias!!!

    1. A día de hoy el Garmin es ligeramente superior al Polar. Los sensores ópticos de ambos tienen un rendimiento similar, pero el Garmin tiene mayor autonomía. Los materiales son también mejores en el Garmin.

      En definitiva, es un reloj más moderno y actual, lo cual se hace notar en las pequeñas diferencias y en algunos detalles. Lo cual no quiere decir que el M430 sea un mal reloj, pero quizás donde más se le nota la edad es en la pantalla, por resolución y por ser en blanco y negro.

  10. Lástima no haberte leído antes de comprar el FR45…justo me llega hoy, y lo primero que voy a configurar en la pantalla de datos es el desnivel positivo acumulado, ya que al hacer trail me gusta saber cuantos metros llevo acumulados…y al buscar leo que no lo muestra durante la carrera!! aghhhh perdí el vivoactive 3 y éste si que me lo mostraba pero no quería gastarme tanto total para sólo utilizar 4 datos básicos, resultando que no eran tan básicos….a devolverlo toca.

  11. Hola Eduardo! Encantado con el análisis a profundidad que has hecho, mire mucho y en definitiva este es el mejor.
    Tengo una duda. Yo hago calistenia como deporte principal, y ahora estoy empezando a hacer running y bici como para mejorar en el área cardiovascular que me siento un poco flojo, la cuestión es que estoy queriendo comprarme un reloj para registrar mis actividades en detalle. Mi primera opción fue el Garmin forerunner 45 por una cuestión de calidad/precio, pero lo malo de este es que no tiene muchos perfiles de actividad(me preocupa lo de calistenia).Me fijé en otros como el fr 375xt o el Polar vantage M que si tienes mas perfiles, hasta inclusive puedes crearlos. Pero no se si vale la pena gastarme de mas solo por eso, ya que el 45 tiene el perfil ‘cardio’ y puedo poner ese perfil cada vez que haga ese entrenamiento.
    Y mi otra duda es, que vi en varios artículos que los pulsometros de muñeca no son tan buenos para registrar actividades de fuerza (en mi caso la calistenia) y que las bandas de pulsos registran mejor este tipo de actividades. Es cierto esto?

    Desde ya, muchísimas gracias.

    1. Sí, creo que el FR45 para calistenia te puede servir bastante bien. Efectivamente tendrás que registrar el ejercicio en el perfil genérico, pero no tienes problema con ello.

      Para tu caso particular el sensor de pulso no va a servir para gran cosa. Hay mucha fuerza concentrada en la zona de las muñecas y el registro de pulsaciones no va a ser nada correcto. Efectivamente en tu caso el sensor en el pecho es obligatorio si quieres tener buenos datos de FC.

  12. Hola Eduardo, me lo he comprado hace un par de días y no consigo encontrar como puedo ver la hora cuando estoy con la pantalla de caminar. Es posible ver la hora mientras tienes puesta la pantalla de caminar sin interrumpir los datos te informa de la distancia, tiempo y ritmo?.
    Thank you very much in advance.

  13. hola Eduaro
    Suelo salir 3 o 4 veces en semana a correr con mi polar rcx3, un clasico, y estoy pensando en comprame un reloj donde pueda ver mis entrenos y poderlos pasar a mi teléfono.
    He leido tu review sobre fr45, muy buena, crees que hoy vale la pena hoy casi 2021, siempre me ha gustado el polar vantage m, pero no se si saldra una nueva version como pasó con el vantage v2, hay alguna marca que tenga un nuevo chip de gps o mejorado el sensor de pulso? en el rango hasta 200 euros o algo mas.

    PD:también he leido tu review fr 45 plus, nada nuevo y a precio antiguo

    1. Sí, para un uso sencillo y básico el FR45 continúa siendo un candidato perfecto.

      Con el Vantage M saldrá un modelo que lo sustituya, no lo dudes, pero lo mismo pasará con todos los demás que hay en el mercado…

      En cuanto a opciones en ese rango de precios, el COROS PACE 2 pero ahora mismo es imposible encontrar nada en stock.

  14. Good morning, Eduardo,

    Lo primero, enhorabuena por tus artículos, son muy completos e interesantes todos.
    Te comento, quiero regalar un reloj con GPS a mi padre (se está aficionando bastante a la marcha nórdica). Ya tiene uno, pero es bastante básico, y quiero regalarle algo de gama media en el que pueda controlar bien sus tiempos, ritmos, pulsaciones…etc.
    ¿Me recomiendas el FR30 o el FR45?
    Por lo que he leído, creo que el 30 es más básico, pero para lo que él lo quiere creo que está bastante bien. Sobre todo si es sencillo de manejar.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Gracias Pedro José.

      Con el Forerunner 30 tendría suficiente, aunque con la diferencia de precio que hay con respecto al 35 optaría por este segundo modelo. El Forerunner 45 sería más indicado si va a correr y a hacer entrenamientos, pero para hacer marcha nórdica con el más barato tiene suficiente y quizás es algo más sencillo de usar.

      Aunque también hay que valorar las funciones extra del día a día del FR45, como alerta de FC anormal o la pantalla a color.

  15. Hola Eduardo, en primer lugar felicitarte por tu web.
    Tengo el FR45s desde apenas hace un par de días y de momento solo me he podido probar el deporte de «caminar» y he detectado lo que podría ser un error bastante preocupante:
    Mientras vas realizando la actividad el reloj va perdiendo kilómetros, es decir, yo llevaba hechos 8,3 km y el reloj marcaba 5 km lo cual es un error de casi el 40%. Luego al pasar los datos a la aplicación si que lo corrige pero durante la actividad la lectura en tiempo real es erronea.
    ¿Sabes si esto es debido a que lo tengo mal configurado o es realmente el funcionamiento «normal» de este modelo?
    A salute.

  16. Hola,acabo de comprar un forerunner 45 y me queda justa la correa ,habria posibilidad de colocarle una pulsera mas larga.
    Un saludo.Gracias.

  17. Hi, Eduardo,
    Estoy buscando un reloj para nadar en agua abiertas, me interesa sólo distancia y tiempo que sea lo más exacto posible. También corro, voy en bicicleta (triatlón) pero no me interesa estadísticas ni nada por el estilo. Hago más deportes (esqui, tenis, trekking…). No soy obsesionada de datos y estadísticas, sino solo me interesa distancia, tiempo, velocidad fiables. Ahora tengo un Forerunner 735xt, pero se me rompió la pantalla, sigue funcionando bien, pero obviamente no lo voy a meter en el mar. Y quería encontrar un reloj más barato correa blanca y esfera pequeña de chica. Me recomiendas el 45s?

    1. No, el 45S no tiene soporte para triatlón, ni aguas abiertas. Debes irte a un reloj de triatlón puro. Echa un vistazo a la shopping guide, pero si quieres algo económico la elección sería entre el Polar Vantage M o el COROS PACE 2.

  18. Hola Eduardo. ¡Qué buen review! Uno de los mejores que he leído. Llegué aquí porque cambié mi actividad física. El forerunner 45 lo compré cuando salía a correr pero de unas semanas para acá lo estoy usando para hacer entrenamiento funcional. (Siempre lo uso con la banda de pecho Garmin) pero últimamente en varias ocasiones me ha pasado que a medio entrenamiento se ponen unas líneas y me deja de medir el ritmo cardiaco, mi pregunta es la siguiente ¿crees que pueda confiar en los datos que me arroje si dejo de entrenar con la banda de pecho y solo dejo el pulsómetro del reloj? ¡Muchas gracias!

    1. Para carrera sí, para otro tipo de entrenamiento es mejor usar la banda en el pecho. En cuanto al sensor, prueba a cambiar la pila a ver si dejases de tener esas caídas de señal.

  19. Hi, Eduardo,
    por tener un bolsillo flaco, me compre un IGPSport 618, sin saber que no podia crear entrenamientos para ciclismo
    como si se hace desde Garmin Connect y compartirlos con los Edge. Tengo un FR 35 que me alcanza para mi actividad runner pero tampoco sirve para lo requerido . Como sabras este reloj en el apartado bici aporta algo pero tampoco es un ciclocomputador.
    A partir de que modelo forerunner si es compatible la opcion que busco ( Crear entreno) , o aconsejas juntar billetes y comprar directamente un Edge
    En Argentina un 130 Bundle esta casi el doble que un FR 45 , por dar un ejemplo.
    saludos y gracias por compartir tus conocimientos

    1. En reloj ya son compatibles con entrenamientos desde el Forerunner 45 en adelante, pero por ejemplo no es compatible con potenciómetros. Para eso habría que ir a relojes multideporte de mayor precio.

      Para ciclismo mi recomendación es siempre un ciclocomputador, me parece más interesante. Pero claro, ya depende de precios…

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