Garmin Forerunner 45 vs 55 – What is the Difference?

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Garmin Forerunner 55 is the successor to Forerunner 45/45S, and it comes with additional features. Surprisingly, both smartwatches are priced at $199.99. So, what’s the difference between these two? If you already own Forerunner 45, should you upgrade to Forerunner 55? This post will guide you to making the right choice as we compare the difference between Forerunner 45 vs 55.

Garmin Forerunner 45 vs 55 Full Specifications Comparison

 
 
Product Info
Garmin Forerunner 45 Specs

Garmin Forerunner 45 Specifications, Features and Price

Garmin Forerunner 55 features

Garmin Forerunner 55 Specifications - Features - Pros - Cons and Prices

Price $129.95 $199.99
ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE
Device name Garmin Forerunner 45 Garmin Forerunner 55
Device type Fitness/Sport smartwatch Fitness/Sport smartwatch
Gender Unisex Unisex
Release date April, 2019 June, 2021
Predecessor Garmin Forerunner 35 Garmin Forerunner 45
Successor
Versions Garmin Forerunner 45, Garmin Forerunner 45S
BODY BODY BODY
Dimension 42 x 42 x 11.4 mm 42 x 42 x 11.6 mm
Weight 36 grams 37 grams
Shape Circular Circular
Case material Fiber-reinforced polymer Fiber-reinforced polymer
Strap material Silicone Silicone
Bezel material Fiber-reinforced polymer Fiber-reinforced polymer
Strap size 20 mm 20 mm
Screen protection Chemically strengthened glass Chemically strengthened glass
Water resistance Yes, 5ATM Yes, 5ATM
Durability test
Swim-proof Yes Yes, recommended
Color Black, Red Black, White
DISPLAY DISPLAY DISPLAY
Display size 1.04 inches 1.04 inches
Display type LCD, Memory-in-pixel (MIP), transflective LCD, Memory-in-pixel (MIP), transflective
Display resolution 208 x 208 pixels 208 x 208 pixels
Pixel density 282.8 PPI
Always on Yes
Custom watch face Yes Yes
Input type (not touchscreen), 5 Physical buttons (not touchscreen), 5 Physical buttons
CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY
Bluetooth Bluetooth ANT+, Bluetooth
Bluetooth calling No No
GPS Galileo, GLONASS, GPS Galileo, GLONASS, GPS
NFC No No
Wi-Fi No No
MEMORY MEMORY MEMORY
RAM
ROM 8GB
Memory card slot No No
CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY
Technology None None
SIM type None None
Band
NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS
SMS alert Yes Yes
Calls alert Yes Yes
Email alert Yes Yes
Event reminder Yes Yes
Third-party apps alert Yes Yes
MEDIA MEDIA MEDIA
Audio No mp3/mp4
Bluetooth music No Yes
Loudspeaker No No
Microphone No No
Camera No No
Radio No No
SENSORS SENSORS SENSORS
Accelerometer Yes Yes
Altimeter No No
Ambient light Yes
Barometer No No
Compass No No
ECG No No
Gyroscope No No
HRM Yes Yes
Pulse oximeter (SpO2) No No
Thermometer No No
Other sensors
ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING
Blood oxygen No No
Blood Pressure No No
Calories Yes Yes
Distance Yes Yes
ECG tracking No No
Heart rate monitoring Yes Yes
Sleep tracking Yes Yes
Steps Yes Yes
Floors climbed - No
Stress Yes Yes
Incidental fall detection Yes Yes
Menstrual cycle Yes
VO2 Max Yes Yes
Swim-tracking Yes Yes
Underwater heart rate tracking No Yes
On-screen workout No No
Sport modes Yes Yes
BATTERY BATTERY BATTERY
Battery type non-removable Lithium-polymer non-removable Lithium-polymer
Battery capacity
Battery life GPS mode: 13hrs, Smartwatch mode: 7 days GPS mode: Up to 20 hours, Smartwatch mode: Up to 2 weeks
Charging type Charging dock Charging dock
Charging time 1-2 hours 1-2 hours
Solar power No No
PLATFORM PLATFORM PLATFORM
Chipset
CPU
GPU
Operating system Proprietary OS Proprietary OS
MISC MISC MISC
Companion app Garmin Connect Garmin Connect
Compatibility Android, iOS Android 6.0+, iOS 13.0+
Payment system None None
Interchangeable strap 20mm, Yes 20mm, Yes
Voice command No No
Find my phone Yes Yes
Box content Charger, Garmin Forerunner 45, Manual, Straps Charger, Garmin Forerunner 55, Manual, Straps
Price $129.95 $199.99

The main difference between Forerunner 45 and 55 is that you will get PacePro, menstrual cycle tracking, respiration tracking, hydration tracking, recovery time, underwater heart tracking alongside more swimming features, and more gym and run profiles with Forerunner 55, and it also has a longer battery life. You won’t get these features with Forerunner 45/45S. In other words, you will get more activity tracking features with Forerunner 55.

Garmin Forerunner 45 vs 55 – Design

Garmin Forerunner 45 vs 55 design and display comparison
Both Forerunner 45 and 55 spot same compact and lightweight design
There is no noticeable difference in design as the Forerunner 55 has just about the same features as Forerunner 45. It’s the same thermoplastic case and silicone bands. The bands on both smartwatches can be changed. Navigation is through the five physical buttons and the 1.04 inches display of both smartwatches is still powered transflective memory-in-pixel MIP. So there is no noticeable difference in the design of these two smartwatches.

Garmin Forerunner 45 available colors

Garmin Forerunner 55 available colors

Although, color varies. Forerunner 55 is available in black, aqua, and white colors, while Forerunner 45 is available in black and Lava red. Each of these two is compact, lightweight, and durable. It’s also a 5ATM rating for both 45 and 55.

Garmin Forerunner 45 vs 55: Activity/Fitness Tracking

Forerunner 55 has more Activity Tracking features than Forerunner 45. Although both smartwatches are equally equipped with the same number of sensors, Garmin has added some additional activity tracking features to Forerunner 55 which is where the main difference between these two lies.

Any of these two will track your steps, calories, sleep, and heart rate. You will get alerts for abnormal heart rate as well as your resting and maximum heart rate. Each of these two also features stress monitoring, Fitness Age that tells if your body is older on younger than your age, and Body Battery Energy Monitor that tells how to fit you’re for the next workout.

There’s inbuilt GPS in both smartwatches that allow you to track your routes and location when working out outdoor. You will also get preset sport modes on both watches.

However, Forerunner 55 comes with more activity tracking features not available on Forerunner 45. This include,

  1. Forerunner 55 comes with menstrual cycle tracking for Women
  2. It features PacePro that can help you plan your next run.
  3. It also features respiration rate tracking to help you see how well you’re breathing. And hydration tracking can help you stay hydrated.
  4. It features recovery time that can give an estimate of how much rest you need before the next training.
  5. It has more gym profiles, HIIT and pilates have been added.
  6. It has more running profiles, track running and virtual running have been added.
  7. You will get a suggested workout and relaxation reminders with Forerunner 55.
  8. Forerunner 55 features a pool swimming profile and can track activities like calories, distance, pace, and swim efficiency (SWOLF). It will also track your heart rate underwater.
  9. Forerunner 45 lacks these aforementioned activity tracking features.

    Garmin Forerunner 45 vs 55: Battery Life

    Good enough, each of these two has a decent battery life that allows you to go long from a single charge. However, Forerunner 55 has a longer battery life than Forerunner 45. You can expect up to 7 days on smartwatch mode with Forerunner 45, while you can get up to 2 weeks on smartwatch mode with Forerunner 55. With continuous GPS tracking, you can get up to 20 hours of battery life with Forerunner 55 which is longer than about 13 hours with Forerunner 45.

    Garmin Forerunner 45 vs 55: Managing SMS, Calls and App Notifications

    Both smartwatches will allow you to manage Notifications you receive on your phone. You will need the Garmin Connect app which is the companion app for both smartwatches just like other Garmin smartwatches. You can enable the apps you want to receive notifications from on the companion app, and you will get a vibration on any of these two when there is a new notification. Although, these two lack the ability to respond to notifications.

    Garmin Forerunner 45 Features

    Garmin Forerunner 45 Features

    • Comes with a 1.04 inches transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) display, bright and easy to read outdoors.
    • Features a handful of preloaded sport modes.
    • Clock features include time/date, GPS time sync, auto daylight saving, alarm, timer and stopwatch.
    • Download watch faces, widgets, data fields and apps from the Garmin Connect IQ Store.
    • Find my phone, watch, control music on smartphone and remote camera control.
    • Keeps you connected to all that matters to you, so you never get to miss important updates.
    • With 5ATM waterproof rating, the Forerunner 45 is swim-proof.
    • 20mm interchangeable straps with quick release feature.
    • Compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
    • Sync and upload data from watch to the Garmin Connect community – a thriving community of fitness enthusiasts where you can connect and share.
    Garmin Forerunner 45 Activity Tracking Features
    • Safety and tracking features include LiveTrack that lets you invite others to join in your training goals and group LiveTrack that lets you invite more people to join in your training activities.

      Features incidental fall detection and assistant that let you seek help when a fall has occurred. Holding the light button down until you feel the watch vibrate 3 times will automatically send your location to preset emergency contacts when an incidental fall or a problem has happened (phone must be connected to the watch to enable this feature). Also new, is the live event sharing that lets you share your training activities with members of the Garmin Connect community.

    • Activity tracking features includes steps counter, sleep monitoring, calories, floors climbed, distance, intensity minutes, fitness age and all-day stress tracking.

      Features body energy monitor that tracks your body energy to determine when you’re fit for the next training which can help you train more productively without breaking down.

    • Gym and fitness equipment includes available gym profiles which includes strength, cardio, elliptical, rowing, stair stepping, and yoga.
    • Training, planning and analysis features includes downloadable training plans, VO2 max, activity history on watch, GPS speed and distance, create custom activity profiles and advanced workouts.
    • Heart rate tracking features includes HR zones, HR alerts, HR calories, % HR max and HR broadcast data to paired device.
    • Running features includes GPS-based distance, time and pace, run workouts, foot pod capable, and available run profiles such as running, indoor track running and treadmill running. Also available is cadence (real-time steps/min).
    • Cycling features includes time/distance alerts, speed and cadence sensor support and available cycling profiles such as biking and indoor biking.

    Pros

    • A decent design that is lightweight and durable.
    • A comprehensive activity tracker.
    • Rated 5ATM which makes it swim-proof.

    Cons

    • Lacks microphone and loudspeaker.
    • Lacks NFC for Garmin pay.
    • Lacks onboard music storage.

    Garmin Forerunner 55 features

    Garmin Forerunner 55 Features

    • It comes with a 1.04 inches transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) display that is bright and easy to read outdoors.
    • Features lots of preset sport modes to choose from.
    • Clock features include time/date, GPS time sync, auto daylight saving, alarm, timer and stopwatch.
    • Download watch faces, widgets, data fields and apps from the Garmin Connect IQ Store.
    • Find my phone, find my watch and control music on smartphone.
    • Keeps you connected to all that matters to you, so you never get to miss important updates.
    • It is rated 5ATM which represents 50 meters waterproof rating (swim-proof).
    • 20mm interchangeable straps with quick release feature.
    • You can download custom watch faces, add data fields, and get apps and widgets from the Connect IQ Store.
    • Compatible with both Android and iOS devices. Check if your device is compartible
    • Sync and upload data from watch to the Garmin Connect community – a thriving community of fitness enthusiasts where you can connect and share.
    Garmin Forerunner 55 Activity Tracking Features
    1. Health Monitoring features include
    2. Heart rate monitoring with abnormal heart rate alerts. A battery energy monitor gives you insight into your fitness level to help you know the best time to train. Also, fitness age shows if your body is older or younger than your age. Others include sleep tracking, menstrual cycle tracking for women, hydration tracking, stress monitoring, and sedentary reminders.

    3. Safety and Tracking Features include
    4. LiveTrack lets you invite others to join in your training goals and group LiveTrack lets you invite more people to join in your training activities.

      Features Incidental fall detection and assistant that let you seek help when a fall has occurred. Holding the light button down until you feel the watch vibrate 3 times will automatically send your location to preset emergency contacts when an incidental fall or a problem has happened (phone must be connected to the watch to enable this feature).
      Also available is live event sharing that lets you share your training activities with members of the Garmin Connect community.

    5. Activity Tracking Features include
    6. Steps counter, sleep monitoring, calories, distance traveled, intensity minutes, TRUEUP and MOVE IQ.

    7. Gym and Fitness Equipment include
    8. Cardio and elliptical training, stair stepping, HIIT, pilates and yoga

    9. Heart Rate Tracking Features include
    10. HR zones, HR alerts, HR calories, and HR broadcast data to the paired device. Also available, are recovery time that measures how well you’ve recovered from previous training, helping you train at the best time.

    11. Training, Planning, and Analysis Features include
    12. Downloadable training plans, VO2 max, activity history on watch, GPS speed and distance, create custom activity profiles, advanced workouts, and more.

      In addition, recovery time lets you see an estimate of when you will be fit for the next training. This can help you plan and train more effectively.

    13. Running Features include
    14. GPS-based distance, time and pace, run workouts, foot pod capable, Racepredictor and PacePro.
      Available run profiles include running, treadmill running, track running, indoor track running, and virtual running. Other running features include cadence and run workouts.

    15. Outdoor Recreational Features include
    16. Area calculation (yes, via connect iq™), hunt/fish calendar (yes, via connect iq™), sun and moon information (yes, via connect iq™).

    17. Cycling Features include
    18. Alerts trigger an alarm when you reach goals including time, distance, heart rate, or calories. Also features speed and cadence sensor support. Available cycling profiles include biking and indoor biking.

    19. Swim Tracking Features include
    20. Pool swim metrics include lengths, distance, pace, stroke count, swim efficiency (swolf), and calories.
      Stroke type detection include freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly (pool swim only).
      Other features include drill logging (pool swim only), basic rest timer (up from 0) (pool swim only), “repeat on” rest timer (pool swim only), auto rest (pool swim only), time and distance alerts and countdown start (pool swim only).

      Also features underwater heart rate tracking. Available swim profiles include pool swimming.

      Pros

      • Lightweight and compact design.
      • Comprehensive activity tracker.
      • Swim-proof.
      • 2 weeks long battery life.

      Cons

      • Lacks microphone and loudspeaker.
      • Lacks music storage.
      • Lacks blood oxygen measurement.
      • Lacks atimeter that enables floor climbing.
      • Lacks Garmin Pay.

      Garmin Forerunner 45 vs 55: Should You Upgrade?

      Obviously, Forerunner 55 is a better smartwatch than Forerunner 45. Moreover, it’s about the same price. If you already own Forerunner 45, should you upgrade? Although both watches have the same design and lots of activity tracking features, Forerunner 55 has more features and a longer battery life. If these added features mean a lot to you, then it’s worth upgrading.