Garmin Forerunner 945 – Too Expensive?

Q: Is the Garmin Forerunner 945 too expensive?

A: It depends

I suspect you expected that answer. Let’s assume that the target market is well and truly ‘95% triathletes’. I’m one and you probably are too.

LATEST: Garmin Forerunner 945 Review

Argument 1: Other stuff is even more expensive

Well, in my case, I’ve recently spent £50-odd quid on a Conti-GP6000 tyre that will probably last all year. It’s probably the best all-round performanceish tyre and I would say it’s a ‘must-have’.

Garmin Forerunner 945 ReviewI also recently spent £60ish pounds on some beetroot juice concentrate shots. They are ‘essential’ for races and, if I’m riding with someone a bit better than me – which is often, then I need every last watt I can get to keep up. Heck, I’m even considering some HVMN Ketone for races this year and at £30 a pop they are ridiculously expensive. Admittedly the only HVMN stuff I’ve used so far was kindly donated by the manufacturer for a trial. I have been procrastinating over my 2019 purchase for about 3 months now. Is yet another noxious substance to ingest a legal substance-too-far on the finance front?

A: Possibly. You can see where I’m going with this.

Argument 2: Hourly cost is low

At £519 for a Forerunner 945 that works out conveniently as £10 a week or about £1 an hour if I do 10 hours/week training (I do more). If I use it for two years it’ll be 50p and hour, which is less than $1 an hour. The chances are I’ll be able to sell it for more than half the price so, again, the cost per hour is roughly halved again.

Argument 3: My 935 is getting old

I’ve scratched the screen on my 935 (first time I’ve ever done that with a sports watch…I’m careful), the battery life is less than it used to be and, even with just two active CIQ apps (Humon Hex & STRYD data fields) the flow from page to page is MUCH SLOWER than it used to be, to the point where it is starting to annoy me. It’s fine once I start a workout…it’s just the rest of the time. Like plugging it into a USB cable now can take a MINUTE for my PC to decide to talk to it. #PITA

Argument 4: Garmin is making too much money

Our wonderful, privileged lives in the grand historical scheme of things, stem from the success of rampant, evil capitalism. Companies have to make money.

Like IBM’s PCs and others that came before, Garmin WILL FOR SURE one day cease to exist but for now, they are riding the crest of a wave and leaving others in their wake. By some measures their products are ‘the best’ and they have a brand that is trusted by many and, as a consequence, they charge undoubtedly premium prices. Kinda like Apple and Samsung and many others.

Yet, MAKING TOO MUCH MONEY, means profit and not sales. I would imagine that the marginal cost of production of a Forerunner 945 will eventually settle at less than $50 a unit. So there is a whopping gross profit in there to divvy up to cover internal overheads and distributor margins. But a whopping profit will still be left at the end ‘cos Garmin will sell many tens of thousands of the 945s.

Garmin Forerunner 945 ReviewArgument 5: I don’t care

More precisely, “I don’t care about the price but I care about who else knows about the price“. Garmin has played a masterstroke here. The 945 looks EXACTLY like the 935. So I can buy one and collect it from somewhere other than home and my partner will REALLY never, ever, ever, ever, ever realise. #Brilliance 😉

Argument 6: I love new tech but…

I’ve always liked new tech but I’m not instinctively a first adopter as I have been burnt many times with wasting hours/days of my life getting new stuff to work. Over the years I have always joked that I should be a professional tech-tester as everything I touch inevitably breaks or, better put, ‘doesn’t work as it should‘. Bizarrely, which you won’t believe, I tend to have better luck with getting sports tech working than other tech.

So, normally I’d wait for you guys to help Garmin sort their bugs out and then buy one in a couple of months time when it ‘just works’.

However, Garmin has, in my opinion, got notably better over the last couple of years with reducing the number of release bugs. So even with the more obscure uses that you will be using the 945 for, there’s a good chance that all will be good.

The other problem with my ‘wait a couple of months’ argument is that the tri season will be over and the price will probably still be about the same. So I might as well buy it and use it. If I have problems then I can switch to the 935.

Argument 7: Some of the new stuff appeals to me

I know that many readers of this, and other, blogs love the Firstbeat stuff. New physiological insights here will appeal to some of you. But, me?, whilst I like the new ClimbPro rather than any specific new Firstbeat tech, I’m somewhat a creature of sporting-habit so I’m relatively sure that I will use the 945 in exactly the same way as I use the 935 right now when it comes to ‘me’ doing sporty stuff.

But I’ve been using music much more recently than I used to. Mainly as I’m doing lots of long run stuff of 2-3 hours and just getting a bit bored with my own internal, mental witterings. So it’s been good listening to a few tracks on my Jabra’s from my somewhat static play list (creature of habit) as I run along the beautiful banks of the River Thames and elsewhere.

I’m also getting hacked off with carrying money and cards around. I seem to have ditched my wallet but, instead, carry a smartphone with a credit card tucked in the case. This is a real PITA to carry around in a trouser pocket. So I’m contemplating taking the jump and starting to use my Starling UK Bank account a bit more when it’s linked to the 945 and leaving my phone AND wallet at home…very 2020.


  • I’ve got one just because it’s faster.
  • The Garmin PAY and Spotify+Personal Music are a nice-to-have for me
  • I’ll sell my 935 in a couple of months to recoup some of the cost
  • And, yes, I really will tell my partner 😉 but you don’t have to.

That’s my thought process

Oh. And I have to spend a week writing a review of one this/next month.


Welcomed below.


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Garmin Forerunner 945 – Shipping NOW (EU/UK)

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25 thoughts on “Garmin Forerunner 945 – Too Expensive?

  1. “Like IBM and others that came before, Garmin WILL FOR SURE one day cease to exist…”.

    What? Did you mean Kodak? ^^

    IBM would like to have a word with you about their supercomputers and services to companies:

    1. I’m 100% sure that humanity will one day end. So my statement was a safe bet.
      Yes I have very close friends in senior mgt in IBM consulting so i know that part of the business exists (my old college flat mate from 4 years as it happens)

  2. Perfect summary!
    I like the new firstbeat stuff – but I only really glance at the current metrics the 935 spits out. Maybe advancing these a little in the 945 will make them more actionable ? I’m often ‘unproductive’ – the 945 should be able to tell me why and point me in the right direction.
    The music/payment features are interesting too. I sometimes put a bank card in my pocket when running – but often forget or don’t bother. I sync static music files and podcasts to a very old ipod shuffle. I’m keen to ditch that, but do I really want to have to remember to charge BT headphones ? The hit on the garmin battery will also annoy me I think – but I could live with that if I can ditch itunes! I need to understand better how manual music and playlists work on the device – hoping google play music and podcasts will come along at some point.
    As for Argument 5 – yep, you got me! 🙂 The resale value of the 935 will doubtless drop a little as the 945 picks up. I think there’s a window of about a month to get best price for the 935. I got a replacement tri unit from Garmin recently – so could sell mine as pretty much new and then swap the straps over!
    Does climbpro work for running ?
    I’m hoping Garmin increase CIQ field limits, and get native power sorted. They wont do either with the 935 I suspect.
    10% with the DCR code brings the cost down to £470 ish – pricey, but I think I’d get £250 for the 935.

    1. dude…i need to make some money so i can buy butter not margarine…dcr needs no help.
      i talked to developers about 3x ciq fields. nothing is being mentioned and they assume not

      1. Butter will kill you anyway….! 🙂
        Bummer on the CIQ – seems a waste considering the assumed better horsepower under the hood.

      2. yeah, i’ve made tentative efforts to delve into the 3xCIQ things and i don’t know the limiter.
        i think the medical advice on butter is on my side this week.

      3. Only if you stir it into your coffee!!
        How does manual music work – do I need to create my own m3u playlists, or does it go by folder etc? Can I do audible books??

  3. There are some nice additions but the deal killer is the lack of an eSIM as I’m always going to be carrying a phone with me anyway.

  4. Argument #5 lol
    I have to check back how much did the 935 cost when launched.

      1. I paid £426 in Sept 2017 – that was the best available at the time.

  5. Argument #5 – literally did that last year with the Fenix 5 to 5+ – wife still hasn’t noticed.

  6. I thought the Polar Vantage M was going to be your main tri-watch this season?

  7. Screen is scratched and you are going to sell it for half of the original price? I don’t believe that.

    The FR945 is just too expensive.
    And the fact, that Garmin does not want to bring the new Features to the Fenix 5 & 5 Plus is just meh…

      1. I did it myself on an old watch – a little kit from amazon I think., Very effective, easy and quick using a hand drill with the pad attached and the right fine abrasive paste.

      2. Yorkshire tip – use an electric toothbrush and whitening toothpaste. Same job but no cost 🙂

        Took out a scratch on an old Tudor I have

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