a replacement Garmin 945 (again) – what was annoying in the setup?

I’m already on to my 3rd Garmin Forerunner 945, it’s a little annoying that I was without my FR945 for a week yet good that Garmin or their retailers do replace these pretty quickly. I probably got sent a refurb unit both times which probably should bother me more than it does in reality. I’ll be selling it before the 955 LTE dons my wrist.

  • Q: What was wrong with the 945?
  • A: Not too much. It was the buttons both times and the 2nd 945 was also returned because the charging cable didn’t properly allow a PC sync.

Yes, But what was annoying in the setup?

The main thing is that there are still several actions that I needed to perform to get my watch ‘just right’. I could probably have copied the file structure from the old one to the new one but I don’t know the inner working of Garmin devices that well to be confident about doing that. Re-setup probably took me about an hour all told and I’m reasonably sure that I know what I’m doing more than the average Garmin customer.

Here are some petty annoyances that there probably was a faster way to achieve workarounds for

  • I had to reinstall the watch face(s) and CIQ apps, some of which required configuring. Luckily the Humon Hex data fields are still on the CIQ store.
  • I had to recreate swim/bike/run sport profiles to set up data screens and GNSS constellations
  • I had to repair and rename (that IS annoying) just the sensors that I could be bothered to do. I have a lot of sensors. Furthermore, I had to remember which ones to set as disabled.
  • I had to wait for about 90 minutes for the latest firmware and maps to be updated.
  • Something didn’t look right…ah yes it took me a while to remember I had not re-enabled the awesome WIDGET GLANCES.
  • I had to remember once again just quite how I wanted the oHR to work…to do the PulseOx thing? the overnight recovery thing? to defer to the accuracy of an HRM during sport.
  • I had to copy across my MP3s. I do have Spotify and Amazon music accounts but I just listen to the same old songs from that golden year just before the end of university…you know, the same year as you. (maybe) 😉
  • I had to re-install my credit card for Garmin Pay (I guess that’s good from a security point of view)
  • I went for a 5k walk to discover my VO2max was 40. Oh dear, I’ve lost a lot of fitness over the last week. I did have Physio TrueUp enabled too.
  • My happiness returned when I went for a run, naturally, when I got back I had achieved my best ever 1 mile, 1km and several other record times. Hmmm. I’m guessing I might hit a new FTP on my ride tomorrow.
  • The one thing that is annoying me is that on my old 945 (in Connect) I once manually set the LTHR too high and it’s never shifted since. Apparently, the workaround is to set it to an artificially low number and then immediately make it automatic again. I did that and it’s still wrong. Hopefully, the new 945 will somehow mysteriously correct that.
  • Grrr. I didn’t remember STRYD’s auto-calibrated setting. Although on the positive side, the STRYD Zone data field now seems to properly pull my zones from PowerCenter when I’m sure it didn’t before. Yay!
  • Pool length! Hmm. I think I’ll be on my 4th 945 by the time I need to reset that to my local’s 36m.

Still. You expect that have to do all of that for a $500 watch, don’t you?

Do you?!?

And yes, I’m still calling the 945 the best triathlon watch despite all of the above. When it sings, it sings so sweetly; it just takes a little while to warm up the vocal cords.

Then I just thought that I might have the same, or similar, to do all over again when I fork out another $500 on a mystery new Garmin bike computer soon. Very soon.

Please share any 945 grumbles or setup tips below.


Resource: This link (Garmin Support) explains some settings that can be backed up and copied to a new device


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16 thoughts on “a replacement Garmin 945 (again) – what was annoying in the setup?

  1. I just sold my 945. My 935 is out the door too. The 945 feels like they rushed it to market in retrospect.
    They had the boondoggle that was the F5 replacements coming down the pipeline, then you had the fantastic 935 that was aging and then you have those MARQ watches with a bevy of options that were all in one place, and on top of that, you have Forerunner users used to having the bells and whistles of the Fenix line, but in a cheaper, and in lighter body.
    So, out they churned the 945, with major physical issues (the buttons) and entire sku’s with battery issues (my 2nd was eating 40% battery in one day, with no tracked activites or GPS, just 24/7 mode), just to appease users that wanted onboard music and maps and Garmin Pay.
    Then they put out the Fenix 6 line, which from I can see, works well AND has all the FR945 did and then some. It’s like the 945 was crafted in this weird manufacturing limbo of ideas.
    I don’t know if or when the 955 is coming, but honestly, I personally am just exhausted with all of it.

  2. I feel you

    I had to do all that weeks ago when I returned it to factory defaults because GPS tracks where horrendous. There’s a backup of sorts for some things but I didn’t bother…

    And I’ll have to do it soon because I’ll be sending it back as the down button is so sluggish…

    Probably I’ve learnt the lesson and I’ll do the backup this time

    (Push your records from connect to the watch. At least it allows you to do that)

    1. hopefully you feel FOR me 😉 Otherwise you might get arrested 😉
      Sigan con el buen trabajo Eduardo!

  3. I dread the day I have to replace my 935. Mine is over two years old, and hasn’t skipped a beat except for one time where it froze during a workout, and had to be restarted. It even has 5 satisfyingly clicky buttons! The OHR is cracked beyond recognition but is still spot on. Since I don’t care at all about Garmin’s gimmicky fluff, I plan on using this gem until it falls off my wrist.
    One thing though: Battery is really crappy by now. Need to charge like twice a week (I run about 12hrs/wk).

    1. yes, the battery was getting that way for me too.
      battery life would have been ok for me yet i regret selling the 935 to some degree, however, the battery deterioration can impact on those doing longer races when bells and whistles are enabled

  4. These two issues are the reason I moved away from Garmin; reliability and the faff of setting up the sports modes after every reset (which was once a month on the 310XT early firmwares…)
    I’ve had an Ambit3 for 5 years and had to reset it once (maybe twice?) in that time – and the settings are restored from the web via the app…
    Sadly they’ve taken leave of their senses at Suunto with regards to software development so who knows what I’ll buy if I need to replace my Ambit3.
    I have a suspicion that Google Wear devices may be getting close to being a meaningful replacement for my use case (competitive triathlete needing multiple sports modes, structured workouts etc.)

    1. not sure there are any WearOS multisport apps yet. suunto 7 doesn’t have that. i take your point tho.

      310XT….memories!! Jeez, tho, it’s WAY harder to setup a new device than it was back then.

      Polar is not too bad and copies the psorts profiles from the net. but then everyone has less features than Garmin so it’s easier for them

  5. I feel quite comfy with my square format, non-wrist HR 920xt. Having better Stryd Zones integration would be nice, but not £500 nice. It feels like the end of an era.

  6. Garmin should create a backup feature.

    I’m using a FR45. I thought of upgrading to a FR945 soon. I hope it’s all good.

  7. its really about time they brought in some form of migration feature like we are used to with apple and samsung/android phones – most of your stuff gets automatically transferred across to the new device. make it a pleasure to get a new garmin rather than a mix of “yay, i have a fancy new device” with “oh god, now i need to spend hours setting it up with those painful menus and button presses”

  8. You nailed with the thoughts that it is a sweet watch when its working but…..

    I am on to my second 945 & probably should be on my 3rd but can’t be bothered with the hassle of wasting half a day to go through the swap process and re set up.

    My first one worked perfectly for about 2months..then after charging it and putting back on….my body battery was’nt showing up, it would allow me to wifi connect, could not up load music and my garmin pay set up had been wiped. This was apparent after a transaction decline at a cafe after lining up for a coffee. Embarrassing as there is the thought that people around you think this guys broke!

    Got a replacement but for several months now my wifi will not connect. Done the reset, re up loaded Garmin connect been in contact support. I received an email with 10 steps to follow then had to send back a report from the watch…blah blah. Got told they we’re not aware of such issues…ha ha my response they need to google the watch reviews and complaints. I’m not alone with product concerns. She went quiet.
    Im in agreement with the comment here that this product was rushed to market. The end user should not be put in the position of product tester…..unless Garmin want to pay the purchaser to do so. Time is after all money…and obviously Garmins own product test team are not up to the task.
    I have a 2 Garmin 530’s and a scale. No issues. But from Garmins perspective a product with issues like the 945 is embarrassing….

    The watch cost me nearly $1000 AUD. Its not the cheapest product on the market….and one would think that at that price you’d get something that is100% functional!

    Its on my wrist now and spitting out the data i need. But some features i would like to use are not there….and i can’t be arsed sorting them. I have other things to do with my time.

    Im a little disappointed in my watch.

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