Garmin Forerunner 945 – Gripes so far

Garmin Forerunner 945 ReviewI’m probably going to end up loving the 945 but in the pursuit of balance here are the things that have mildly annoyed me so far.

LATEST: Garmin Forerunner 945 Review

Gripes (edit: some updates 24Jun)

  • It took a long while to setup but that was more due to the fact there are more features to setup. Setup is probably improved in reality over the 935, I guess, ie in the individual elements of setup.
  • Manual music sync is super-slow from your personal collection. Like, sloooooow.
  • Sound quality with my Jabra’s sounds alright/good/normal. The 945 is only going to have an SBAC codec so you can’t expect much more. But that’s the same CODEC same as every other music-enabled watch. NOT as good quality as many smartphones that have better HD CODECs like AptX HD.
  • The buttons don’t seem positive enough to me and a bit ‘weak’ on the push. I compared it to the 935, guess what? Same!
  • There are some issues with CIQ stuff not YET being flagged as supported by the 945 (eg I think Humon Hex and also my favourite watch face). Consequently, you can’t use them (yet). this means that it does not appear on the CIQ store and you can’t easily install it – EIDT: GENERALLY OK
  • No-one has really mentioned the auto-elevation recalibration by GPS en route. Sounds nice. Doesn’t work too well.
  • ELEVATE v3 and GPS…you can guess how good they are right? ….meh. Same old same old, no doubt other reviews will say how brilliant they are but you’re a clever lot so I won’t try to fool you ๐Ÿ˜‰ EDIT: Actually it’s not too shabby at all. As per the review (linked above) it is an improvement
  • I’ve been looking at GPS+GALILEO performance and GPS-only performance and, once again, the Galileo performance does not amount to anything special AT ALL. The easier, biking performance with GNSS has been generally alright though.
  • I’ve got another SpO2 device right now and the 945 looks more correct than the other one (the other one tells me I am dead sometimes!…seriously)
  • I can’t get the freakin’ thing to connect as a mass storage device and give me the 945 as a drive letter. It always connects like a smartphone with no drive letter assigned #BIG-PITA. I’ve had this problem with music-enabled Garmin devices since the 645 and yes I know there is a setting and that I can re-install USB drivers – which doesn’t work ๐Ÿ™ . For anyone who can solve this, I will forever be in your debt (drive mapping does not work and I don’t want to use tapiriik and dropbox or anything similar and WebDav requires an actual Android device. OneDrive/GoogleDrive+mapping could be a solution and there is a paid-for solution in the comments that might work) edit: there is a bit of (paid for) software that can do this but I eneded up recording a macro in windows.
  • The 945 is definitely faster than the 935, I would have preferred a bit more speediness. But it’s alright. #ModestImprovement
  • I had hoped that the new ELEVATE sensor would be enabled for swimming. But…it’s not.
  • Several CIQ apps and watch faces do not YET work on the 945. No worries. Go to the GARMIN/APPS folder onย  your 935 and copy the .PRG file to the 945…voila !! They work (or entirely crash and ruin your device as they are not supported ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) the CRYSTAL watch face and the HUMON HEX data field both DO work using that method. Edit: Generally OK
  • The ANT+ connection service sometimes 100% fails. It will not pair or connect to any ANT+ device. A restart of the watch fixes it. Edit: Seems alright now
  • Menus are pretty much the same and as complex as ever although with a makeover that does look prettier and a LITTLE bit more sensible in how it works. Post-workout menu stuff IS better. My fave feature is bizarrely the Firstbeat workout label which really helps nail the workout physiological classification of what you’ve just done (eg TEMPO) and it matches how I felt. Or I could just trust how I felt in the first place ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • I can’t find the swimrun auto-sport change. Then again there’s quite a bit I can’t find on my 935 and I’ve had that 2 years ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  (partly joking to make a point).
  • Random screen freeze as the 14km lap popped up with music playing/GPS/STRYD/HUMON. It sill recorded though. (Press and hold top left button and choose to RESUME after restart) edit: not re-occurred
  • First open water swim GPS disaster added below…the Vantage V actually looks quite good (only one lap, it was cold…statistical significance..errrr)

But it’s still a ‘happy camper 9/10 rating’ so far. Can’t wait for my proper GPS test but it’s down at about 5th on that list. Eesh.

See, I’m trying to put you off buying one but we both know you’re going to get one. So just do it now! Wiggle UK/PMC USA will deliver next day – see following link https://geni.us/GarminForerunner945

Garmin Forerunner 945 – Shipping NOW (EU/UK)

Vantage V in red (looks about right) and 945 in blue…that’s not right and yes i had a gps fix.

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41 thoughts on “Garmin Forerunner 945 – Gripes so far

  1. Hi the5krunner, thank you for your quick overview. Did you try adding more than 2 CIQ in the activity profile? Wondering if Garmin removed that limitation on 945 now with more powerful CPU and memory?

    • that’s not going to happen. I have talked to ciq developers and none of them have heard anything. ie it’s unlikely there are plans afoot…though EVENTUALLY it will be done. dont hold your breath

  2. ClimbPro. What are your thoughts?

    Seems great in principle but it gets what I consider the climbs on a given route completely wrong. You have a contact at Garmin – any idea if they are going to allow us to define manual climbs? Otherwise its a useless feature..

    • hi
      I do NOT have a contact at Garmin. I’m TOTALLY independent of Garmin. I do NOT even get press releases.
      got that cleared up!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I can’t see how a climb can be defined manually. in the sense of choosing it in a route. i can’t see that ever happening.
      however, I guess the slope/length criterion that garmin use for a climb could be opened up for changes.
      I can’t see that happening yet but it seems like a reasonable thing to be added down the line
      I’ll moan about this for you on and off for a while. Garmin do read this blog ! and even these comments. No doubt they sometimes ignore both.

      • Ah. Apologies for my confusion. I understand that you are completely independent but had incorrectly assumed that you had a direct line of inside track communication.

        Well.. in the same way that you can plot a route in Garmin connect. On the face of it it seems like a user could simply mark the points between which they want a climb to be defined. Why can you not see that happening?

        That said.. ClimbPro has been around for a while now and they havenโ€™t done it. It just seems weird as it seems so simple yet makes the tool infinitely more useful. In fact, for me the feature in its current form is useless.

        • exactly that. i can’t see garmin going to the effort of doing what you say.
          my suggestion of adding yet more complexity to the menus to define a gradient and length would be what garmin just couldn’t help themselves doing if they had to. plus that would also work with routes that come from outside of garmin connect’s route creator

  3. Are the summary lap screens configurable? Can you choose which metrics to be presented when taking a lap?

  4. Can someone report on running battery life? My 935 (2YO) loose 4-5% per hour in running mode, that is around 20 hours of battery life, if the 945 is really lasting more than 30 hours, it should loose no more than 3% per hour. This is a very important for people running ultras. Thanks.

    • yesterday i ran (first time, full charge) exactly 1h and the battery went down 3% (GPS only & OHR).

      so i think after a few more charges the battery will be at “working temperature” and you will get over 35 hours.

      • You need to be really careful about extrapolating from 1 hour. Battery drain, as displayed on any device, is rarely completely linear. I’ve had cases where after an hour of use, there is zero usage shown. I think it was the Edge 130 where at 25% battery remaining, you still had half the battery life left. Lots of complaints about it draining too fast, but no one ever let it drain completely to see it was actually pretty good. You really need to run it till it dies to know how long the battery will last.

        That said, the 935 had amazing battery life – and hopefully the 945 really is even better. Just don’t listen to music when you want the battery to last or you’re likely to be disappointed. But that’s true with any brand watch and music.

    • Battery drain is not linear. Haven’t tested it but with the SoC it should last several hours longer. Still this depends on many factor – Battery degradation (depends on high temp weather and usage time), cold battery (cold weather will lower its capacity significantly), type of terrain, satellite coverage, type of gps used, temperature at charging, type of wrist movements………

  5. Love the realistic, honest take on it! Everything else out there reads like marketing fluff. Still sounds like a great improvement over the 935!

  6. Can’t wait for V800-FR945 GPS accuracy comparison.
    I’ve been thinking of an upgrade but every watch so far has been disappoining, Vantage being probably the biggest disappointment.

    • don’t get too excited ๐Ÿ™ I’ve half done a Galileo test and it was not great at all. I expect GPS-only will be better…I could be wrong, the Sony chip throws things up in the air a bit. I think as I said elsewhere though, the 945 is alright.

    • dcrainmaker had done pretty extensive test on the coverage and it seems it’s pretty accurate compared to some of the other devices out there. Still it all depends on the coverage you have in the area.

      • garmin devices all have very, very, very accurate gps.
        one thing i have notice is that accuracy seems to vary by reviewer. I just dont know why

      • “pretty accurate compared to some” is not quite enough to justify the upgrade ๐Ÿ™‚
        I don’t need a smartwatch, I need an accurate tracking device.
        So far, Fellrnr seems to be the only person who does GPS tests based on a well-measured course. Everybody else just compares watches to watches. It gives you some idea but is not precise enough.
        0.5% distance error makes you over a minute late when pacing 4-hour marathon…

          • Great! Did you have a chance to measure the route with a calibrated bike or a Jones counter? I did not find it in the article.

          • The methodology explains what I do in some detail and you’ve read it. Each ‘run’ takes >3 hours if you include preparation and analysis time. This is not my day job. take my ‘findings’ with a pinch of salt if you like…it’s up to you. Ask DCR if he uses a Jones counter…of course he won’t. To make tests fully scientifically correct then the satellites have to always be in the same position…which is a ridiculous expectation. So, as data points increase so my total distance comparison to the median becomes more meaningful – I’m not even that interested in that figure myself and more interested in the smaller variations in different gps reception conditions at different points on the course. Your earlier comment points out the issue with a 0.5% error – look, I’m totally with you on this and I use STRYD as I want accuracy but a footpod is not for everyone.

          • I’m not trying to question what you do, just being curious. What you do is great just like what fellrnr did was. It’s probably the closest thing to true watch performance evaluation right now. For free (for me, not so much for you ๐Ÿ˜‰). I’m just interested in how much deviation from the true distance to expect. Guess it’s mostly because I’ve reached my limits, so no more easy PBs.

          • ๐Ÿ˜‰ def not free for me.

            please feel free to question what I do. As I say it is what it is..just don’t expect a detailed scientific study with 3rd party verification. I’m just me, trying to help.

            the spreadsheet shows the deviation. the results are surprising as almost every device is +/-1% to the median distance. but that masks variations over, say 500-1000m sections. Plus my test #DOES incorporate high buildings but is NOT representative of, perhaps, the distance that would be reported in an urban marathon where there could well be +/- several %age point variations because of very significant amounts of very tall buildings…#STRYD.

            Is a PB ever easy?…except the first one

  7. You can’t connect it as a mass storage device since this will mean that the watch itself has to unmount it’s memory. While this can be done with various success on different scenarios (memory to be partitioned in two different partitions) this creates more issues on a long run with devices with controllers like those(imagine scenario when power drops out and *uck the memory of the watch because it wasn’t unmounted properly(happened to me on the old phones where we didn’t had MTP and on many flash drives). This could render the watch unusable.
    It’s true that MTP and PTP have more issues and are supported only by windows and very little number of devices (and partially by unix) but it is the preferred way of communication since it doesn’t have the need to mount/unmount the memory each time you need to copy something to it.

    • thank you.
      I had a long chat with garmin support about this. they are ‘looking into it’
      to be clear tho: it only happens (for me) with the music-enabled devices. eg 5s plus, 645m, 945.

      • There is a small program mtpdrive that does just that – adds drive letter to MTP device and mounts it as a drive.

  8. Hi

    Thanks for the reviews

    Iโ€™ve just returned my 945 because it was seeing exceptionally high battery drain when just used as a smart watch. Without any gps tracking I was getting just 4 days use rather than the 14 days claimed.

    I wonder if my unit was just a one off because you donโ€™t appear to have noticed similar concerns?

    • I’d not noticed that especially. I do tend to transfer files by the cable…so it gets charged up.
      I did at first notice quite a high drain over a 2 hour run but sometimes I’ve heard that can happen with a battery untill its been through a few charging cycles.

  9. Hi – I asked some of these questions over on DCR’s blog and didn’t get much response so I’m hoping the 5Krunner crowd might be able to answer. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have noticed my 945 will change the white background to black background occasionally on some run activities. I canโ€™t figure out the logic behind it though, does any one know why this initiates?

    Is it not possible to create profiles on this device? Meaning I want say the โ€œbikeโ€ profile to only connect to certain power meters and sensors etc and my โ€œrunโ€ profile to only connect to certain power meters (stryd) and its own sensors.

    The other day I did a bike/run/bike commute to work and the device retained my Stryd power meter and registered obviously VERY low wattage for the bike commute portions that I had the Stryd stowed away in a pack. It seemed obvious to me that you would assign certain sensors to certain profiles (as other devices do) but I donโ€™t see it as an option here?

    • hi
      yes you can create custom sport profiles.
      the sensor pool has all sensors avaialble.
      do not pair stryd AT ALL as a PM. the stryd data field will silently pair to STRYD (yup!!). pair ONLY as a footpod for source of spped and distance if y ou like.

  10. I had problems connecting Forerunner 945 to HRM Tri via Ant+. Nothing seemed to work, though I already tried changing the battery and trimming my chest hair. ๐Ÿ™‚ Was never going to figure out that all I need is restart the watch, as this is my first sports watch. Thank you so much, you made my day!

  11. It looks, like open water swim is a TOTAL DISASTER. I mean it disqualifies this watch from purchasing. The note is absolute 0 out of 10.

  12. The open water test is TOTAL DISASTER. It disqualifies this watch from purchasing by any serious swimmer or triathlonist. The note is 0 out of 10. I mean this function is a joke. A very costly joke indeed.

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