Forerunner 945 & Vantage Titan – GPS Accuracy Update

I’ve been generally ‘satisfied’ with the recent GPS performance of the Garmin Forerunner 945 and with the Polar Vantage V TITAN.

In particular, the Vantage V TITAN is significantly better than the original Vantage V compared to when I tested it last year. Whether or not this is due to better GPS firmware updates, or if the hardware has been tweaked, I can’t say. But the improvements are fairly clear and in a recent, formal GPS test, the Vantage V Titan scored a very respectable 79%. There are still some ‘moments of GPS madness‘ that are found in nearly all other sports GPS watches too.

Polar Vantage V Review

The Forerunner 945 has also improved, coming in at 75%, which is to the upper end of what Garmin tend to deliver on the GPS accuracy front eg the Forerunner 245 last tested in at 71% & 69%.

I’ve used GPS-only for the Garmin and ‘Best’ for the Titan which I assume is GPS+GLONASS. I try to use GPS-only where possible as that allows most devices to be compared on a like-for-like basis and also GPS-only seems to be consistent across GPS firmware changes eg I could test GPS+GALILEO with Garmin but by next month there will be a new firmware update and, as we know, ‘new’ doesn’t always mean ‘better’.

GPS Results & Methodology Linked HERE

Here are 3 highlighted sections of the formal test (I base my overall view on normal usage too)…Garmin 945 (Red), Vantage Titan (Green), Ambit 3 RUN (Blue…on a different day)

 

One further comment to make is that a cursory look at instant running paces still may well show over 15 secs/km inaccuracy at any one time without a footpod. Yet, as always, instant pace is improved and is often usable when there are good GPS reception conditions.

Another thing that I have found is that the newly more stable GPS on the Vantage feeds through into an apparently better PACE figure when using STRYD and autocalibration.

My current dilemma is “Do I use the Vantage for a HIM later this month and risk a bit of inaccuracy or do I go with the 945 and risk it crashing. #DecisionsDecisions. I *HAVE* used the Vantage in a couple of Sportives and in a swim race this year.

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23 thoughts on “Forerunner 945 & Vantage Titan – GPS Accuracy Update

  1. Does the 945 crash often?! I have been using a fenix 3 for over three years and never a crash or really any issues at all. GPS is pretty darn accurate and I run only trails under near complete tree cover. Is the 945’s 75% rating higher than what you rated the fenix 3 for accuracy? I am on the cusp of buying, but can’t decide 945 or VV Titan. In 2019, why can none of these companies just deliver a product that works as advertised…

      • TFK, could you please retest next time (when you have time, of course) the following combinations:
        -Polar Vantage M vs V (with the same, latest firmware)
        -Polar Vantage V vs V Titan (with the same, latest firmware)
        -Polar M430 (1.1.34, if you still have it) vs any other

        Last month I have tested a Garmin Forerunner 245, a Polar Vantage M and a Polar M430. It was a huge quality difference in favor of the M430. Now, I’m thinking of returning the Vantage M.

        https://imgur.com/PlkYMlD
        Purple: Polar M430 (right wrist, 1.1.34)
        Red: Polar Vantage M (left wrist, 3.2.10)

        Thank you in advance!

        • each test takes about 3 hours including running and analysing and only one device is ever in the optimal position (those on the right wrist are marked as being in a sub optimal position)

          so what you are asking is going to take a lot of time. I might have to add a special category of ‘Supporter++’ for special requests 😉

          • I chose the Supporter+ package for the beginning. Even cheaper than buying those shiny gadgets 🙂

          • i saw that yesterday, many thanks! so what exactly do you want to find out? eg i doubt the m430 will have changed much on the gps front.
            i think galileo is being enabled so i might wait until after that?

          • Actually, I’m interested in the difference between Vantage M and V in terms of GNSS accuracy. The other tests are inessentials.
            I’m satisfied with the M430, but Vantage V looks good 🙂 However, if it is much more inaccurate than the Vantage M, then it would be just a waste of money for me. Unfortunately, so far, all my runs with the Vantage M have produced a similar result to that in the picture above. BTW, you’re right; it’s worth waiting with the testing until October.

          • Yes, I read the Vantage Bible; I saw the attached pictures and your summary spreadsheet too Those tests belong to firmware versions 1.0.5-1.2.3.

  2. Did you use the GPS beta 2.42 on the 945? That version gives me a lot better GPS+Galileo results than the last official version.

    Btw: I also took my Suunto 9 out of dust and tested it with the new Galileo enabled firmware. It also works a lot better for me. Looks like there has been some work done by the Sony guys in the last months.

    All in all I’m happy with my two Sony based devices now (945 and S9). Nothing which is really bad in a way that it would affect training or navigation.

    • i note the gps version on the spreadsheet when i remember. but no, i dont tend to use beta versions
      suunto: i’m tempted to get mine out again (I like it anyway).
      i think its work from suunto as well as from sony.

  3. That’s heartening to hear and at the right time for me because I just boxed up my 945 to return due to being a giant mess of a watch. Between the ridiculous battery life (2% per hour, every hour regardless to apps installed or not) and my down button fully getting stuck in the housing, I’ve been truly let down by this model. This was not ready for sale.

    So now I’m at my limits with Garmin. The V Titan seems to have all the options I need in a device and it getting GPS right now just adds to the reasons to move. I’m going to try one more 945 to give Garmin the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I got a bum watch. If it goes haywire like the 1st? Polar has my business from now on, and that’s a lot of business.

  4. Question on Vantage:
    Is the improvement only due to the firmware updates or is there in fact something different in the hardware of Titan vs the non-Titan that is improving the GPS? I’d love to get Polar’s feedback on that but I suspect they are unlikely to do so.

  5. Funny you consider the Vantage when it comes to stability/reliability. My Vantage crashed like 5 times within a month, while my 935 has crashed only once in over a year so far. I read though that the Vantage’s “ooops” messages have been greatly improved on. Longer Routes/Courses seem to be quite the lottery on both the 945, and V, still.

    • it’s one of those things, i guess, where ‘oops’ come as a esult of a certian series of action. I don’t do much navigation on watches so that might explain why i have rarely had such a message. actualyl i cant rememebr when i had one…i think i did but it was a LONG time ago.

    • my last ows with the 945 was 29 june for 2k or so. that was good.
      i think you just have to trust that garmin will fix these things (they tend to)…not ideal…but….

  6. I guess they will. Unless, like with Fenix 5 Bluetooth, they won’t. I mean, they will, by releasing a plus version :/
    My V800 is failing, so it’s time for shopping.
    I’ve been trying to keep it alive, but it seems after 4 years it reached it’s terminal state. I already replaced the band and glued on the glass as it started to peel off. But the altimeter goes up to 10K in an hour and the battery lasts for 5 hours tops. So no point trying to revive it. Fingers crossed for the 945 to be fully usable 🙂

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