Garmin 745XT – Will it have Galileo?

The Garmin Forerunner 745 is due for 2018. Of course it could be 2020.


Fibit Versa, Suunto 3 Fitness, Garmin 645 Music
Garmin 645 Music, Fibit Versa

Here is the evidence and speculation

  1. Product life cycle – The 735XT was announced in May 2016. There is usually a 2 to 3 year product life cycle.
  2. There is a Garmin registration on the FCC for Garmin part number A03405, which is a round watch format with a touchscreen (ty, see below). The documentation filed there is made public in early June.
  3. Product format – Garmin releases similar format products eg 230, 235 (an. Oct 2015), 630 (an. Oct 2015), 735XT. Garmin relatively recently released the Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 645 (music) which are also similar to the Fenix 5/935
  4. The Garmin Edge 130 (cycling watch) and Foretrex 601 / 701 (handheld) both support Galileo. Garmin officially comments on Galileo here (thank you Luis) and the M5 chipset software already supports QZSS in Asia.
  5. Garmin has sports and fitness products that include handheld, cycling and…running/tri watches. No running/tri watch has yet been announced to support Galileo. (Golf Watch Approach S60 was released at end of June 2017)
  6. CIQ 3 support for the 735XT will not happen. The 735XT is the major omission in Garmin’s range for CIQ3 support.
  7. The new Garmin Forerunner 235 lite appears not to support any version of CIQ

First up: this is all speculation. A bit of fun. So your opinions are as valid as mine. I’d love to hear them and I’ll update the text as we go.

Here are the conclusions I would draw:

  1. Looking at the Garmin product life cycle timelines, a Forerunner 245 is more likely than a 745XT
  2. The FCC registration is most likely to be either the 245 or FR745 (or whatever they are actually called)
  3. A touchscreen would certianly be more likely on a 245 than a Forerunner 745
  4. Both the 245 and 745XT would have the same 5-button, round format
  5. If Galileo is on an entry-level, but interesting (read the link) Garmin Edge 130 cycling watch, then it could plausibly also be on a Forerunner 245. The fact that a supposedly new, high-end feature is first appearing on a lower-end cycling watch throws open the normal assumption that a 245 would just be a dumbed-down 645.
  6. There is no guarantee that either the 245 or 745XT would have Galileo. Indeed there is no guarantee that Galileo would improve positional/speed stuff when running. Someone who knows more than me could perhaps explain why multi-frequency Galileo would be required for potentially large increases in accuracy over GPS+GLONASS.
  7. With the imminent arrival of CIQ 3 and lack of support of it from the 735XT and 230/235, then it’s likely both of those models will be replaced this year (2018). Or early next year at the very latest.
  8. CIQ brings better techy bits for MAPS, MUSIC and NOTIFICATIONS. Perhaps the Edge 130 is a testing bed for MAPS? (+Galileo) Perhaps the Forerunner 645 Music (review ed here) will be the testing bed for MUSIC? So what would test out NOTIFICATIONS? the 745XT or the 245? Probably the 245. Then, hopefully, roll some of the features up to higher models like the Fenix plus (the new modifications here possibly are the Fenix 5plus – based on one user experiencing better connectivity with a newer variant)
  9. CIQ3 is supported by Garmin devices in every end-use category apart from a ‘tri-lite’ model and an entry-level run model. On that basis, it’s a prime candidate for NEEDING to be replaced.

CIQ 3.0 – Garmin Connect IQ 3.0 Announced

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28 thoughts on “Garmin 745XT – Will it have Galileo?

      1. Galileo reports exceed the distance accuracy score. Look the graphs. Report says: “Availability figures are complemented with “Galileo-only” measured 3D positioning performance attainable when PDOP  6. The 95th percentile of Horizontal and Vertical 3D Positioning Errors (HPE and VPE, correspondingly) did not exceed 3.52 [m] and 6.46 [m] respectively”…

  1. The FCC posting mentions a touch screen – which makes the 745XT curious (no touchscreen on the 735XT). It also could be the Fenix 5 Plus. Or, it could be some Golf watch (sigh).

  2. Just wanna share a piece of unrelated news, Garmin just announced 235 lite in Chinese market (probably other markets, but I didn’t see that on jp or kr), basically it’s a 235 without bicycle mode and some other functionalities like recovery time, alert, connectIQ and ANT+, but it does have a upgraded oHR sensor same to that of 735. As for the price, $100 cheaper than 235, interesting.

    1. could you email me the source please?
      yes the $100 cheaper price tag helps fill a gap in their price portfolio with a decent watch
      it could be related! (probably not)

  3. After using the Forerunners 10, 235, 630, 735xt and 935 and having sold or returned all of them except from the 235 I currently use, I for one am not jumping on any other semi-finished Garmin product unless they can provide decent GPS accuracy using some new generation chip (like the new Broadcom chips with L1/L5 support). Please Garmin finally make a runner’s running watch!

      1. Is possible to see in system what is present software for Vivoactive 3 GPS firmware? Thanks!

  4. it appears there are 3 watches launching – two more basic model plus the touch screen one. All 3 have Garmin Pay and include WiFi chipsets. My guess is the FR45/FR45 Music and then a Fenix 5 Plus. 5 plus will have music, mapping, and Garmin Pay. Same form factor.

      1. I am honestly leaning more toward the FR45 — since the 245 would have a hard time differentiating between VA3 and 645.

        As for mapping on the Fenix 5 Plus — I think a device with a touchscreen makes sense to have mapping on it. It would make the “Plus” version very differentiated in the marketspace. Add in higher res screen, stronger CPU, galileo, music, Garmin Pay, etc.. you have a pretty outstanding watch without even going to next generation of Fenix.

      2. ah. you’re falling into the mistake of giving the customer what they might want. Grmin want you to upgrade regularly. alterante a regular new numbered version one year and a plus version the next and you have a pretty profitable model. seriously i am with you on most of it as a possibility. i dont see the maps because of the 5X – but even then YOUR argument is supported because of the new CIQ mapping support. FR45…yeah could be; i just have no handle on how profitable that is for garmin. i’d imagine it gets harder every year..much better somthing like a 235Lite

  5. Re your question about dual-frequency Galileo. There are two factors, one physics, one engineering design. Physics is that, with dual-frequency reception, the unit can compensate for changes in ionospheric state automatically by comparing the two signals, because the variation with carrier frequency is well characterised. This is useful for accuracy of location when the sky view is good.
    Engineering is the bit rate of the modulation (chipping rate) on the second (L5 if memory serves) freely-available signal on Galileo; it’s ten times higher than the rate on the signal in the band GPS and GLONASS use (in that band, GPS and Galileo both use 1.023 MHz). This rate makes it a lot easier to differentiate direct and multipath signals. This is useful when the sky view isn’t so good, as a lot of the problem there is not just that the device can’t see enough satellites, but that some of the signals it sees are reflected, which causes position errors. So location should not go bad so quickly as the sky view worsens. The high chipping rate also helps a bit with accurate location, because the more frequent and sharp transitions between 1s and 0s help the precision of computing the time from satellite to receiver.
    I’ve read somewhere that the likely route for dual-band receivers is to implement one or the other of the above, as doing both requires more complicated signal processing and higher power consumption. Crossing my fingers that makers go with multipath resistance.

    1. Multipath, while possible in an obscured sky situation like trees, is far more likely in an open-sky situation *with a strong reflector present*.

      Dual-frequency GNSS reception = double power consumption. And while you’re correct that dual frequency is a great way to improve accuracy through ionosphere characterization, I’m guessing Garmin doesn’t see it as worth the (battery) cost, considering their existing lack of support for WAAS in the wearables.

      Multipath errors already seem to be the dominant issue, as we’re not the real world getting positional accuracy PDOP would predict. Then again having a poorly oriented antenna on your wrist prevents some of the best methodologies for improvement.

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