Garmin Forerunner 945 vs Forerunner 945 LTE – The Difference

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One of the newest smartwatches on the rich Garmin wearable lineup is the Forerunner 945 LTE. A lot of Garmin fans would assume this is a successor to the Forerunner 945, sorry to disappoint you, it’s not. The Forerunner 945 LTE is an improved version of Forerunner 945 with a clear focus on cellular-connected sport. That’s to say although, the Forerunner 945 LTE has the LTE tag, it’s not your regular Standalone smartwatch that allows you to make and receive calls independent of a smartphone. You can’t make and receive calls with the Forerunner 945 LTE, nor will you be able to sync Spotify playlist or receive text messages over cellular. Rather, the Forerunner 945 LTE will allow you to stay connected with loved ones and can also help you get robust assistance if something goes wrong while working out outdoor. The Forerunner 945 is priced at $600, you will need to pay an extra $50 for Forerunner 945. So, in this post, we’ll compare the difference between Forerunner 945 vs Forerunner 945 LTE to help you decide which is right for you.

Garmin Forerunner 945 vs Forerunner 945 LTE: Specifications Compared

Product Info
Garmin Forerunner 945 Specs and features

Garmin Forerunner 945 Specifications, Features and Price

Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE - All features , specs, pros and cons

Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE Specifications, Features and Price

Price $498.75 $617.00
Device name Garmin Forerunner 945 Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE
Device type Fitness/Sport smartwatch Standalone/Fitness smartwatch
Gender Men Men
Release date April, 2019 June, 2021
Predecessor Garmin Forerunner 935 Garmin Forerunner 935
Dimension 47 x 47 x 13.7 mm 44.4 x 44.4 x 13.9 mm
Weight 50 grams 49 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 22 mm 22 mm
Screen protection Corning Gorilla Glass DX Corning Gorilla Glass DX
Water resistance Yes, 5ATM Yes, 5ATM
Durability test
Swim-proof Yes, recommended Yes, recommended
Color Black Black, White
Display size 1.2 inches 1.2 inches
Display type LCD, Memory-in-pixel (MIP), transflective LCD, Memory-in-pixel (MIP), transflective
Display resolution 240 x 240 px 240 x 240 px
Pixel density 282.8 PPI
Always on Yes Yes
Custom watch face Yes Yes
Input type (not touchscreen), 5 Physical buttons (not touchscreen), 5 Physical buttons
Bluetooth ANT+, Bluetooth ANT+, Bluetooth
Bluetooth calling No No
NFC Yes Yes
Wi-Fi Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Memory card slot No No
Technology None None
SIM type None None
SMS alert Yes Yes
Calls alert Yes Yes
Email alert Yes Yes
Event reminder Yes Yes
Third-party apps alert Yes Yes
Audio mp3/mp4 mp3/mp4
Bluetooth music Yes Yes
Loudspeaker No No
Microphone No No
Camera No No
Radio No No
Accelerometer Yes Yes
Altimeter Yes Yes
Ambient light Yes Yes
Barometer Yes Yes
Compass Yes Yes
Gyroscope Yes Yes
HRM Yes Yes
Pulse oximeter (SpO2) Yes Yes
Thermometer Yes Yes
Other sensors
Blood oxygen Yes Yes
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 Yes Yes
Stress Yes Yes
Incidental fall detection Yes Yes
Menstrual cycle Yes Yes
VO2 Max Yes Yes
Swim-tracking Yes Yes
Underwater heart rate tracking Yes Yes
On-screen workout No No
Sport modes Yes Yes
Battery type non-removable Lithium-polymer non-removable Lithium-polymer
Battery capacity
Battery life GPS with music: up to 10hrs, Smartwatch mode: Up to 2 weeks, Ultratrac: up to 60hrs GPS mode with LTE LiveTrack: Up to 10 hours, GPS mode with music and LTE LiveTrack: Up to 7 hours, GPS mode with music: Up to 12 hours, GPS mode without music: Up to 35 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
Operating system Proprietary OS Proprietary OS
Companion app Garmin Connect Garmin Connect
Compatibility Android, iOS Android 6.0+, iOS 13.0+
Payment system Garmin Pay Garmin Pay
Interchangeable strap 22 mm, Yes 22 mm, Yes
Voice command No No
Find my phone Yes Yes
Box content Charger, Garmin Forerunner 945, Manual, Straps Charger, Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE, Manual, Straps
Price $498.75 $617.00

How Does Forerunner 945 LTE Work?

Before we continue with this comparison, let’s talk about how the Forerunner 945 LTE works and what you can do with it.
Whether you’re using Verizon or AT&T, it doesn’t matter. Garmin will deal with the carrier on your behalf. That’s to say, you won’t need to walk into any phone carrier store to set this up. Rather, you just pay Garmin $5.99/month (yearly) or $6.99/month (monthly) and they’ll give you LTE connectivity on the 945 LTE.

This LTE connectivity will allow you to get the following;

  1. You will get access to Assistant Plus – a feature that allows you to contact Garmin’s international emergency response center, and they’ll save your bacon and help you get assistance quickly. “This same emergency response has historically handled stranded boats in the ocean, crashed planes, and stranded hikers on Mount Everest” – DC RAINMAKER.
  2. You will be able to LiveTrack your event automatically via cellular and with Spectator messaging, your family and friends can send you both audio and text messages while also being able to watch you as a blue dot surfing the landscape.

These are the cellular features you will get with Forerunner 945 LTE. Beyond these, the 945 LTE is now more compact and comes with a new optical heart rate sensor.

Forerunner 945 vs 945 LTE Features Compared

  • Design – 945 LTE is more compact and has a thinner bezel
  • The Forerunner 945 LTE has a case made of the same fiber polymer material that was used for the body of Forerunner 945. The straps of both smartwatches come in silicone and these are interchangeable. The display size of both smartwatches is still 1.2 inches and this is powered by a transflective MIP display technology which is easy to read outdoors.

    Forerunner 945 LTE is slightly more compact

    Both smartwatches have 5 physical buttons for navigation and are also rated 5ATM, so you can wear any of these two under rain or even to the swimming pool.

    The only difference with respect to design between these two is the body dimensions. The Forerunner 945 LTE measures 42mm compared to 44mm of Forerunner 945. It also has a slightly thinner bezel and it’s also slimmer. And while the Forerunner 945 LTE is available in black and white colors, Forerunner 945 only comes in black color.

    The price difference between these two is $50 with Forerunner 945 LTE priced at $650.

  • Garmin Forerunner 945 vs Forerunner 945 LTE Activity Tracking
  • The Forerunner 945 LTE comes with as many sensors as Forerunner 945. Any of these two will track all your daily activities like sleep, heart rate, steps, calories, floors climbed, and distance covered. Both smartwatches feature blood oxygen measurement, Body Battery Energy Monitor and Fitness Age that tells if your body is older or younger than your age.

    Advanced activity tracking features include recovery time, training load, PacePro and preloaded topo maps with trendline popularity routing that can help you find the best route.

    The difference between Forerunner 945 LTE and Forerunner 945 as far as activity tracking is concerned is additional features that come with LTE capability. These are the ability of the watch to contact Garmin’s International Emergency Response Coordination Centre (IERCC) which will allow you to get robust assistance fast and secondly, Spectator messaging that allows your family and friends to send you audio and text messages as your event LiveTrack via cellular automatically. Other pecks are automated interval categorization and open repeats, these two might come to Forerunner 945 in the future via updates.

  • Media Storage
  • Both smartwatches come with an onboard storage capacity that allows you to store music on any of these two. You can add your Amazon Music playlists as well as Spotify and Deezer playlists. You can also add your personal music. All can be done through the Garmin Connect app. So, even though, the Forerunner 945 LTE has cellular capabilities, you can’t stream or sync your Spotify playlists over cellular.

  • Battery Life

The battery life of Forerunner 945 LTE is almost similar to what you get with Forerunner 946. Although, the LTE variant has a slightly longer battery life. You can get up to 2 weeks on smartwatch mode with both smartwatches. However, while you can get up to 12 hours with continuous GPS tracking and music on Forerunner 945 LTE, it’s up to 10 hours with Forerunner 945. Even though this might look small, it can be a big deal for many individuals.

Forerunner 945 vs 945 LTE – Should You Upgrade?

Forerunner 945 LTE is a more comprehensive smartwatch
For outdoor workout enthusiasts, safety is a very big deal and prompt help can be the big difference, those are the advantages that the 945 LTE offers. It will allow your family and friends to keep up with you and also allows you to get access to Garmin IERCC – an international response team that can get you the needed help. On the other hand, when you carry your phone along with Forerunner 945, you can LiveTrack your event and the watch can also call a preset emergency contact when a fall is detected, but you will not get access to Assistant Plus. In other words, Forerunner 945 LTE gives you robust Standalone safety features.

In addition, Forerunner 945 LTE is more compact and has a slightly longer battery life. However, you will have to pay Garmin $6.99/monthly or $5.99/month (yearly plan), in addition to $50 extra. So, are the additional features worth these extra monies? For us here, safety is worth everything. It’s up to you to decide.