Garmin Forerunner 45 review

The Garmin Forerunner 45 is a surprisingly well-featured affordable running watch

Garmin Forerunner 45
Image credit: TechRadar
(Image: © Future)

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Garmin Forerunner 45 battery life

  • Up to 13 hours of battery life in GPS mode
  • 7 days in smartwatch mode

At this price, you’re ideally looking for a running watch that will last you a week of training on a single charge and one that has enough single-session juice to cover a long marathon. The Garmin Forerunner 45 does both easily.

In our tests the watch managed a full week with hour-long runs daily and then a 2-hour long run on the Sunday. We did, however, switch off the smart notifications out of preference and this may have extended the life a little. But there’s ample battery here.

Garmin Forerunner 45

Image credit: TechRadar (Image credit: Future)


Running watch tech has taken some giant leaps forward in the past few years and this richly-featured Forerunner shows that entry level runners can now expect some of the brilliant tracking smarts we once only saw in the flagship models.

The Garmin Forerunner 45 is a clever, compact and cost-effective device that has more than enough for beginner runners, and is far more practical than the recently released Garmin Lily, which puts looks above features like GPS.

All in all, it's a solid option that’s punching well above its price tag, even two years after its initial release.

Who’s this for?

The Garmin Forerunner 45 is a running watch for beginner runners who want to track their miles, and keep an eye on their everyday activity and health, but don’t want to spend their monthly pay packet on doing so.

But it will also suit those who prefer to keep their run-tracking simple and don’t need the extra frills and features that come on some do-it-all higher end devices.

If you run for fitness, are a weekly 5km-er or you’re training for a first half marathon and are not sure if that will be all you ever want to do, then this is your watch.

Buy it if...

You want a good value smartwatch

The Garmin Forerunner 45 is a good budget running watch. It can be picked up on the cheap and still provides plenty of metrics. 

Your main sport is running

Sure, the Garmin Forerunner 45 can track calories, offer notifications, and act as other smartwatches do. But if you don't run, you're missing out on what the watch has to offer. 

Don't buy it if...

You're a marathon runner

If you clock up serious distances, you might need a more premium watch to fine-tune your training. We recommend the 255 or the 955. 

You're a gym bunny

Hate the open road, but love the CrossFit box? This might not be the watch for you. 

First reviewed: July 2019, updated July 2022