Garmin released the Forerunner 945 LTE – a sophisticated GPS sports watch featuring LTE. Considering the model number it’s a minor update but with a couple of new features.
|Forerunner 945 LTE||Forerunner 945||Forerunner 745|
|Resolution||240 x 240||240 x 240||240 x 240|
|Dimensions||44.4 x 44.4 x 13.9 mm||47 x 47 x 13.7 mm||43.8 x 43.8 x 13.3 mm|
|Weight||49 g||50 g||47 g|
Garmin has introduced the Forerunner 945 LTE on Global Running Day 2021. It is the company’s first Forerunner model supporting LTE. Contrary to previous assumptions Garmin does not support eSIM, but offers carrier independent monthly or annual plan by themselves. LTE does not only bring a couple of new functions but independence from a paired smartphone.
Concerning the design Garmin sticks to the classical Forerunner design, which sports five buttons placed around the display.
However, Garmin has managed to reduce the watch’s dimensions to 44.4 x 44.4 x 13.9 mm, while the 1.2″ transflective colour display remains the same at 240 x 240 pixels resolution.
The display is protected by Gorilla Glass DX and as such no different to the Forerunner 945. The same account for the weight which is 49 grams for the LTE model and 50 grams for the predecessor.
Thanks to the Quickfit mechanism the 22 mm wristband is interchangable.
Forerunner 945 LTE - New features
The LTE support brings some new features to the Forerunner 945 LTE and decouples some others from the need for a paired smartphone:
Based on the Incident Detection, which Garmin introduced in 2019, the Forerunner 945 LTE can inform contacts stored on the watch in case of an emergency. It does so by sending messages – it does not support calls. Incident detection is triggered automatically in the event of serious falls, but can also be started manually in situations where appropriate.
With LiveTrack and during activities your current location can be shared with others – but only if a paired smartphone is available. Thanks to LTE, there is no need for a smartphone.
NEW: Garmin IERCC
Garmin IERCC takes Incident Detection one step further. The IERCC is a 24/7 staffed coordination center that can be reached with the Forerunner 945 LTE by sending a them an emergency message. Again, using the Forerunner 945 LTE for a call is not possible. Beyond sending messages to your personal contacts, the IERCC can inform emergency forces on site.
NEW: Spectator Messaging
Spectator Messages is another LTE-based feature allowing for receiving messages fom friends and family. The extent to which these messages are motivating and supportive depends on each individually.
NEW: Live Event Sharing
Live Event Sharing is a modified form of LiveTracking as it will send your imformation (e.g. laps / performance) from time to time to friends and family. In contrast to LiveTracking the messages aren’t send permanently but depend on your progress.
To clarify: The Forerunner neither supports receiving or sending text messages, nor does is receive or allow for making calls.
At least the spectator messages and live event sharing should work for a paired smartphone as well. It remains to be seen whether Garmin will make this function available to the older Forerunner models.
To use the LTE functions, it is necessary to subscribe to an LTE plan, that is offered by Garmin directly. The monthly subscription is €6.99, while it is $5.99 / month for annual subscription.
When it comes to sports the number of new features is much more restrained. The Forerunner 945 LTE essentially got all the features that have been given to subsequent models since the Forerunner’s release in 2019. In addition there will be:
Running on a track using GPS is a challenge as the accuracy of GPS is not sufficient to determine the right track. With many laps, the deviation adds up. With the knowledge that you are running on a 400-metre lap the track run mode compensates for this inaccuracy.
The Forerunner 945 LTE offers a new data page specifically for interval training. Here, fast and slow times are recorded and cleanly separated from each other.
In addition there will be new features that don’t depend on LTE. Some of them have been rolled out lately to Forerunner 245 / 645 / 945:
- Self evaluation
- Daily Suggested Workouts
- Improved calculation of Body Battery
- Sleep tracking widget with sleep score and insights
- Ultra Run activity profile
- VO2 Max for Trail Run activities
Apart from this much remains the same, as the Forerunner 945 has received numerous features by firmware updates.
|Forerunner 945 LTE||Forerunner 945||Forerunner 745|
|Smartwatch mode||up to 14 days||up to 14 days||up to 7 days|
|GPS||up to 35 hours||up to 36 hours||up to 16 hours|
|GPS + music||up to 12 hours||up to 10 hours||up to 6 hours|
|GPS + music + LTE||up to 7 hours||-||-|
Prices and Availability
After the first online shops leaked the product, there are few surprises in terms of price: The Forerunner 945 LTE has a 649 € price tag – a surcharge of 100 € compared to it the Forerunner 945. Regarding the colors, you can choose between black and white. The triathlon bundle will feature a yellow wristband, the HRM-Swim and HRM-Pro heatrate straps. The price of the bundle is €799.
Garmin states the availability on its US website as 1-3 working days.
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