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Fitness Trackers, Sports Watches - News & Reviews 2020

Garmin Forerunner 45 Plus | Entry-level GPS sports watch for runners

The Garmin Forerunner 45 Plus all of a sudden appeared on some of the companies european websites – without any rumors, any speculations and no official statement from Garmin so far. Seeing the number of unreleased products that found their way on Garmin’s website – this publication seems not to be by mistake.

Garmin offers different product series, where the Forerunner series’ products focus on running and runners. Starting with the Forerunner 30 up to the Forerunner 945 you’ll find various sports watches of different feature sets and price.

Though the model numbers indicate that the Forerunner 45 Plus is superior to the Forerunner 30 and 35, it still is an entry-level GPS running watch.

Garmin Forerunner 45 Plus (Source: Garmin)

Garmin Forerunner 45 Plus - New and noteworthy

Plus models are traditionally updates to existing products which offer limited number of additional features. Usually these features already have been part of more up-to-date or superior models. This accounts for the Forerunner 45 Plus as well, whose predecessor – the Forerunner 45 – has been released about a year ago.

Except for a new wristband and housing color the Forerunner 45 Plus exactly looks the same as the Forerunner 45. It’s no surprise that the common specs haven’t changed either. Thus the Forerunner 45 Plus will be available in a smaller sized version with a 39mm display and a larger sized model with 42mm display.

Compared to the predecessor Forerunner 45, the Forerunner 45 Plus offers two new functions:

  • Race Prediction

    Based on your VO2max the Forerunner 45 Plus estimates the race time for various distances (5 km, 10 km, half-marathon, marathon). The more training data there is, the better the results are. Though this approach is pretty sophisticated it misses other influences, e.g. weather, temperature or elevation profile.

  • Recovery Advisor

    Training is most beneficial if the body can recover between training sessions. This is where the recovery advisor comes into play. It will recommend recovery time up to 4 days depending on your training load, training effort and your overall fitness.

In my opinion these two features can be added to the Forerunner 45/45S by firmware update. Though there have been firmware update to more pricy models lately that added new functions, this strategy doesn’t seem to apply for entry-level products.

For whatever reason, if you like to use the race predictor or recovery advisor you have to buy a Forerunner 45 Plus or one of the superior Forerunner models.

 FR 45FR 45+FR 245FR 645FR 945
Race Predictor-++++
Recovery Advisor-++++

Garmin Forerunner 45 Plus - The basics

Except for the new features recovery advisor and race predictor there are no changes to the Forerunner 45 Plus. It is sporting the same basic functions like activity tracking, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, body battery, stress monitoring (all based on Garmin’s latest edition of the Elevate HR sensor). There is a GPS/GLONASS/Galileo chip onboard that allows for pretty accurate recording of track, pace and elevation.

In case you stumple or fall, there is an incident detection that can automatically inform others, by sending an alert along with your position. This requires a paired smartphone taken with you.

Availability and prices

As the Forerunner 45 Plus is listed on several of Garmin’s national websites, a product launch seems to be imminent. With no official date given so far, expect the Forerunner 45 Plus to hit the shelves in late August / early September.

Unfortunately there are no prices on Garmin’s website. Right now, on the german website the Forerunner 45 is on sale for 189,99 €. I won’t be surprised if Garmin lower’s the price to ~180 € and introduces the Forerunner 45 Plus for ~220 €. This would allow for keeping distance to the Forerunner 245 which is having way more functions than the Forerunner 45 Plus.

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