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Garmin Forerunner 45 tracking and accuracy
- Includes GPS, GLONASS and Galileo
- Also has a heart rate monitor
- Tracking seems fairly accurate, if not quite a match for pricier options
When it comes to tracking, the Garmin Forerunner 45 isn’t messing around. It has got GPS, GLONASS and Galileo for the full complement of satellite link ups. However, interestingly in our tests it was always between 15-30 seconds behind our other devices to lock onto GPS.
It’s not the end of the world but don’t expect to select run mode and head straight off. You will have time to fire up your playlist or do those dynamic stretches you’re supposed to do before you run.
In terms of accuracy, we pitted the Forerunner 45 against the much more expensive Polar Vantage V, and we found the Forerunner regularly slightly over-estimated the distances but we’re talking 0.1 miles in each case.
And it's not just GPS that the Forerunner 45 can track. Proof that optical heart rate monitoring from the wrist is now a must-have for any running watch, even at the lower end, the Forerunner 45 packs a four-LED Garmin Elevate sensor.
In addition to tracking your mid-run beats per minute (bpm), the 45 also gives you your resting heart rate over 7-days and lets you track it over a 4-hour period. There’s also an abnormal heart rate alert that spots if your resting rate hits 100bpm.
During our runs we occasionally found the readouts to be a little low compared to the Polar H10 chest strap. Particularly on interval runs where the intensity was quickly upped, the Forerunner 45 seemed to struggle to respond as quickly as the chest strap.
Overall, data for the Forerunner 45 tended to trend lower. For example, during one test run it clocked our average heart rate at 116bpm and our max at 175bpm, against the H10 at 149bpm and 175bpm.
The final thing of note on heart rate is that you can also disable the optical sensor to extend the battery life, which is useful.
Garmin Forerunner 45 smartwatch features
- Lets you control your phone's music from your wrist
- Supports smartphone notifications
- New watch faces can be downloaded
Pairing your Forerunner 45 with your smartphone unlocks smart notifications for calls, WhatsApp, SMS, Facebook notifications, Instagram DMs, and all those other wonderful things. And you can stick a Do Not Disturb on fairly easily from the watch and set it to block out the beeps and buzzing during the night.
While some pricier Garmins now offer Spotify on the watch for phone-free music, or on-board storage for your music, the Forerunner 45’s skills are limited to letting you control the music on your phone. That’s still a step up from a lot of budget watches though, and ample for most people.
If you like a bit of customization, you can download watch faces from Connect IQ, but sadly the store's apps are only compatible with more powerful devices.
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