Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE vs. 945 vs. 935: should you upgrade

One of the most advanced and effective running and triathlon GPS watches on the market today is the Garmin Forerunner. The 935 is the model that I use and has provided me with reliable service for the past four years. It comes with pretty much everything I require in terms of connectivity, sensors, training metrics, and battery metrics already included in the package.

But in 2019, a newer model, the 945, took its place, and it has even more performance monitoring tools, capabilities, and sensors than the previous model. This is essentially a more affordable version of the Fenix 6, which features a plastic body that is thinner and silicone straps. It can be purchased here. In addition, we now have the 945 LTE, a cellular variant of the previous model.

If you own an older model of the Forerunner, you might be wondering whether it’s time to get rid of it and invest in the newest model instead. Are the additional cost and the trouble of selling your old smartphone worth the advances in features that it offers? Or, you might be thinking about purchasing a new watch but are undecided about whether or not to hold out for the 955.

Find out everything you need to know about how the 945 LTE, 945, and 935 compare in the following comparison chart. It is my sincere hope that reading this essay may assist you in making the appropriate choice

Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE versus 945 vs. 935: Hardware

Design

At first glance, there aren’t many discernible differences between the three of them in terms of their appearance. To begin, the Forerunner 935 and 945 feature a circular design and measure 47 mm by 47 mm. Both of these models have the same dimensions. The 945 has a thickness of 13.7mm and is 0.2mm thinner than the 940, although it is slightly heavier.

Much to the astonishment of a lot of people, Garmin has been able to reduce the size of the 945 LTE while maintaining its extraordinary battery life. This one has dimensions of 44.4 on 44.4 on 13.9 millimeters. Good job, Garmin. Because of this, the 945 LTE is better suited for individuals who have smaller wrists.

The memory-in-pixel (MIP) screen, which can be seen in bright sunlight and reflects light, is the same across all three of these devices. It has a pixel resolution of 240 × 240 and has a length of 1.2 inches. In order for Garmin to accomplish this, the 945 LTE bezel has been reduced in size. There is still a bezel, but it is significantly less thick than before.

Corning Gorilla Glass DX is used in the construction of the 945s’ lenses. The display of the 935 features chemically reinforced glass, which is excellent at preventing damage from drops as well as scratches.

There are no further variations in the design. The button layout on each of these three watches is identical, and they all have an impressive water resistant rating of 5 ATM.

The engine compartment

However, even if they may have a similar appearance on the outside, there are significant variances on the inside. Garmin claims that the internals of the 935 has been completely redesigned with the release of the 945. There is a newer processor that is much quicker, a newer Sony GPS chip, additional onboard memory, and a multitude of other hardware modifications. You will, in effect, be given a new watch that has the same appearance. In addition to that, the SpO2 sensor was added.

The 945 LTE is a little upgrade over the standard 945 models. It comes equipped with the most recent iteration of the ELEVATE heart rate sensor (V4), and it also has all of the technology that is necessary for cellular connectivity.

One of the best features of these watches is their long battery life. In smartwatch mode, each one of them will last for approximately two weeks. The differences become apparent when GPS is activated. The 935 will now have a battery life of 24 hours, the 945 will have a battery life of 36 hours, and the 945 LTE will have a battery life of 35 hours. When you turn on some music, the volume drops even lower.

The following is a table that outlines all

Forerunner 945 LTE Forerunner 945 Forerunner 935
 
Lens material Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX Chemically strengthened glass
Strap material Silicone Silicone Silicone
Bezel material fiber-reinforced polymer fiber-reinforced polymer fiber-reinforced polymer
Quick Release Bands Yes (22 mm, Industry standard) Yes (22 mm, Industry standard) Yes (22 mm, Industry standard)
Physical size 44.4 x 44.4 x 13.9 mm 47 x 47 x 13.7 mm 47 x 47 x 13.9 mm
Display size 1.2? (30.4 mm) diameter 1.2? (30.4 mm) diameter 1.2? (30.4 mm) diameter
Screen type sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
Display resolution 240 x 240 pixels 240 x 240 pixels 240 x 240 pixels
Weight 49 grams 50 grams 49 grams
Sensors Instruments such as accelerometers, heart rate monitors, barometric altimeters, gyroscopes, thermometers, and SpO2 meters are included. Accelerometer, heart rate monitor, barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, thermometer, SpO2 Accelerometer, heart rate monitor, barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, thermometer
Satellite  GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO
Battery life Smartwatch Mode: Up to 2 weeks GPS mode with music: Up to 12 hours GPS mode with music and LTE LiveTrack: Up to 7 hours GPS mode without music: Up to 35 hours Smartwatch Mode: Up to 2 weeks GPS mode with music: Up to 10 hours GPS mode without music: Up to 36 hours Smartwatch Mode: Up to 2 weeks GPS/HR mode: Up to 24 hours UltraTrac™ mode: Up to 60 hours without wrist heart rate
Water resistance 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM
Connectivity Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®, LTE (with subscription), NFC Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®, NFC Bluetooth® Smart, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®
Memory 200 hours of activity data 200 hours of activity data 64 MB
Colors Black, White Black  Black 
Regular Retail Price $650 $550 $500

The functionality of the Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE, the 945, and the 935

These Garmin Forerunners are not just amazing for running. They are equipped with an abundance of sports modes, allowing them to track virtually anything under the sun. In addition to this, they are great activity and sleep monitors that can be used around the clock. Clearly, there are a lot of things to appreciate.

The improvements that come with upgrading to 945 from 935

The music library is accessible when traveling.

The internal memory of the Forerunner 945 has been upgraded to the point that it can now store up to 1,000 songs. When linked with Bluetooth headphones, this feature gives you the ability to stream music without the need for a smartphone. Additionally, it grants access to a number of music streaming services, including Spotify, Deezer, and iHeartRadio, among others.

There is no capability of this kind on the 935. It does not even provide you the option to play or adjust the music that you view. Therefore, you should go with the 945 if this is something that is crucial to you.

Garmin Pay

Garmin Pay is now available for use on all newly released Garmin products, including the 945. Because the watch is equipped with an NFC chip, you may keep your credit card information in it and leave your wallet at home. FitPay is the company responsible for enabling this capability, and it supports debit and credit cards issued by major issuing banks that are Visa and Mastercard branded. The 935 does not contain this functionality.

The 945, in contrast to the 935, comes standard with preloaded, full-color, routable maps that also feature Trendline popularity routing. This function can be utilized for navigation, tracking one’s current location, and the development of round-trip routes—a helpful update for runners who enjoy competing in races held in uncharted territories.

Pulse oximeter

Your nighttime oxygen saturation levels will be measured by the 945, providing you with a better understanding of the quality of your sleep. This has the potential to be utilized to identify sleep problems such as apnea; however, Garmin will not diagnose these conditions. You are also able to do an oxygen saturation test whenever you like during the day.

Module V3 for measuring heart rate

A wrist-based optical heart rate monitor is featured on the Forerunner 945, just as it was on its predecessor, the Forerunner 935. However, it now includes the most recent Garmin ELEVATE heart rate module, thanks to a recent upgrade. The accuracy should improve as a result of this.

Longer runtime from the battery

The amount of time a single charge will last is mostly unaffected by the newly added features. Users will obtain up to two weeks’ worth of use from the smartwatch mode, ten hours’ worth of use from the GPS mode with music, or thirty-six hours’ worth of use without music. Because of this, the battery life of the 945 is increased by approximately 12 hours in GPS mode in comparison to its predecessor.

Assistance as well as the Detection of Incidents

This function may be found in Garmin’s cycle computers and the LTE version of the Vivoactive 3 Music, both of which have been available for some time. When the app detects that an incident has occurred, it will send an automated text message and email to your emergency contacts with your name and GPS position included in the message. The 945 accomplishes this by utilizing your attached compatible smartphone.

Additional performance indicators

The 935’s ability to provide a detailed analysis of performance is one of its selling points. Firstbeat Metrics, which include VO2Max, Aerobic and Anaerobic Training Effect, Recovery Time Advisor, Training Load, Training Status, Real-Time Performance Condition, and more, are significantly responsible for this result.

Users of the 945 will receive a few new Firstbeat Metrics in addition to some other bonuses, including the following:

Monitoring the energy levels of the body’s batteries: This gives you an idea of the energy levels in your body by analyzing data pertaining to your stress, heart rate variability (HRV), the amount of sleep you get, and the activities you engage in. The meter goes from 0 to 100, which allows you to quickly determine when to exert maximum effort and when to take a break.

VO2 max has been improved, and it now takes into account acclimatization to both high heat and high altitude. Your performance measures are no longer going to be affected by the things in the surrounding environment. There is also a Trail Run Vo2 Max that may be done separately.

Workout impact labels explain the principal advantage that one can anticipate from participating in an activity. This demonstrates how much of an improvement it made to either your endurance, your aerobic performance, or your capacity to conduct explosive efforts repeatedly.

The training load balance reveals whether or not the efforts behind your activities are sufficiently varied to stimulate the various systems in your body adequately.

Additional performance metrics and enhancements include the following:

  • Rapid assessment of your level of stress
  • More accurate tracking of sleep, as well as a widget for tracking sleep
  • Rate of Metabolic Oxygen Consumption During Exercise (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption)
  • Enhanced ability to forecast race results
  • Improved Sharing from the Garmin Coach Live Event
  • New sports profiles, in addition to other updates

The improvements that are included with the 945 LTE version

The LTE chip is the immediate improvement that has been made to the most recent Forerunner. You won’t be able to make phone calls with it, but you do get a few other methods to remain in touch, such as phone-free monitoring and safety measures.

This consists of a feature that Garmin refers to as Assistance and Assistance Plus. This feature is helpful in times of emergency because it will broadcast your name and location to predetermined contacts automatically. The Plus version of the same product contacts Garmin IERCC, an emergency response unit that is staffed around the clock (only available in select countries).

Live tracking, Spectator Messaging, and Live Event Sharing are some of the additional functionalities that involve cellular connectivity. These let you receive audio and text messages on the watch in addition to allowing you to broadcast your current location in real-time.

There are not a whole lot of other improvements over the 945. On the other hand, there is a brand-new heart rate sensor known as the V4, as well as an improved recovery time and a Mountain biking activity profile.

The following is a rundown of all of the distinctions that exist between the three in terms of the usefulness of tracking sports and activities, as well as smart features.

Forerunner 945 LTE Forerunner 945 Forerunner 935
Respiration rate (24×7) Yes Yes
Blood oxygen saturation Yes Yes
Body Battery Yes Yes
Relaxation reminders Yes
Sleep Score and insights Yes Yes
Yoga workouts Yes Yes
Pilates workouts Yes Yes
Heat and altitude acclimation Yes Yes
Training load focus Yes Yes
Primary benefit (Training Effect labels) Yes Yes
Improved recovery time Yes  
Daily suggested workouts Yes  
Round-trip course creator (running/cycling) Yes Yes
Trendline™ Popularity Routing Yes Yes
Run profiles Running, including Track Running both Indoors and Outdoors, Running on Treadmills, Running on Trails, Running Virtually, and Running Ultramarathons Running, Indoor and Outdoor Track Running, Treadmill Running, Trail Running, Virtual Running Running, Indoor Running, Trail Running
PacePro™ Pacing Strategies Yes  
Golfing characteristics (Automatic CourseView updates and preloaded with 42,000 courses from around the world) Yes Yes
Golfing features (PinPointer, Handicap scoring) Yes  
Outdoor recreation profiles Hiking, climbing, skiing, snowboarding, XC skiing, SUP, rowing, and kayaking are just a few of the activities available. Hiking, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Kayaking Hiking, Climbing, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Jumpmaster, Tactical
Environmental recreation (Around Me mode, ClimbProTM Ascent Organizer, Prospective elevation plot, Preconfigured topographic maps, Preinstalled road and path maps, Downloadable cartographic support, XEROTM Locations, Downloadable cartography support) Yes Yes
Sight ‘N Go     Yes
Cycling profiles Cycling, Indoor Cycling, Mountain Road Cycling, eBiking, eMountain Trail Cycling Biking, Indoor Biking, Mountain Trail Biking Biking, Indoor Biking, Mountain Biking
Cycling features (Cycle Map, Advanced Vector support) Yes Yes
MTB Grit & Flow Yes  
Swim profiles Pool Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Swim running Pool Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Swimrun Pool Swimming, Open Water Swimming
Swim features (Auto rest (pool swim only, Time and distance alerts, Pacing alerts (pool swim only), Critical swim speed, Underwater wrist-based heart rate) Yes Yes
Spectator messaging yes (with LTE subscription)
Live Event sharing Yes Android only
Incident Detection during select activities Yes Yes
Assistance Yes Yes
Assistance Plus Yes (with LTE subscription, select countries)  
Text response/reject phone call with text (Android™ only) Yes Yes
Plays and controls watch music Yes Yes
Storage for music Up to 1000 songs Up to 1000 songs
Garmin Pay Yes Yes

Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE versus 945 vs. 935: the verdict

Should you upgrade now or hold off when you get the 955?

Being a proud owner of a 935, I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed that the 955 will be an improvement. According to the Garmin two-year cycle, the year 2021 is the one in which one should land. However, given the recent release of the 945 LTE, it is not out of the question that this will be delayed. You can start making preparations for the 955 as early as this fall, but you shouldn’t be astonished if it doesn’t arrive until the beginning of the year 2022.

The top-tier Forerunners are of excellent quality. The 945 is loaded to the brim with features that promote health and fitness. It takes an already impressive machine and makes it even more impressive. If you are interested in purchasing a sports watch, the choice is obvious: the 945 is the better option than the 935.

But if you already own the version before it, should you upgrade? The answer to that question is more complicated because it varies from person to person.

If you intend to utilize services such as onboard music, Garmin Pay, and maps, then the answer is yes, without a doubt. If you are extremely serious about your training, the 945 comes with a range of new performance indicators that may help to take your performance up a level if you are very serious about your training.

The same logic should be applied to the choice of whether or not to upgrade to the 945 LTE. Although I won’t be purchasing one of these, I think that because of its more compact size and additional safety features, it could be a smart choice for ladies. Or for individuals who get a kick out of talking to other participants while they’re racing.

On the Garmin website, the 945 LTE can be purchased for $650, the 945 for $550, and the 935 for approximately $500. The latter two can frequently be obtained at a reduced price (check the latest price on Amazon).

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