Summary Judgement: Garmin Forerunner 745 Accuracy – Run Bike Swim

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Garmin Forerunner 745 Accuracy: Summary Analysis & Verdict

A Very Mixed Bag and a Little Bit Disappointing if I’m Honest

Garmin does seem to have improved GPS/GNSS accuracy in some situations with the Forerunner 745, most notably in Open Water Swimming and to an extent cycling. However, the general GPS experience is variable and sometimes worse than found in competitive products, yet confusingly superior at other times. That said, I rate the Forerunner 745‘s accuracy as ‘broadly acceptable overall‘. The tracks produced for swimming and cycling are generally good and for running they are broadly acceptable until you get into areas of tricky reception.

I normally recommend GPS-only for Garmin GNSS reception but I can’t do that for the Garmin 745 this time around and I recommend that you take the battery hit and use GLONASS.

Unless you have good GPS reception conditions, the FR745 won’t be able to accurately tell you your running pace without a footpod.

Garmin’s Gen 3 optical sensor, called ELEVATE, has been their best-to-date however the optical HR performance you see from the wrist will depend on the unique environmental and physiological factors of your workout. The 745 is a light watch and this should normally help oHR as there should be less watch movement…not this time. There were several times, in varied conditions, where the Forerunner 745 simply performed badly with the oHR.

Worryingly for Garmin, the HR sensor on the Apple Watch is certainly superior to the one from Garmin for sports usage when worn in EXACTLY the same way on the other wrist.

As always, I recommend a heart rate strap and footpod if you want accuracy.

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10 thoughts on “Summary Judgement: Garmin Forerunner 745 Accuracy – Run Bike Swim

  1. Oddly enough – I see the same with the 745 – my 245 before performed pretty well during different kind of workouts.
    Maybe its just the lack of Firmware Updates on the 745. Currently its on the Vanilla Software.
    All in all it seems Garmin pushed out this watch a bit too early – Sleep Widgets missing – No entry about the Software in the garmin forums – seems all very odd to me ..

      1. Hopefully this gets better with firmware Updates – to be clear the performance is not bad its just not as good as i saw on the 245 – for fairness : the 245 is lighter + i wore it with a velcro sports loop – which could also improve readings.

        Honestly the biggest pain in my ass is , that a new watch does not have one of the features i wanted the most atm – sleep widget in conjunction with the improved recovery advisor was very interesting on paper.

        But unfortunately they pulled it and no word about it on the forums yet – 2 weeks after release … :/

  2. Just out of curiosity – have you tried to use a “lighter” watch strap – such as the velcro ones on the Coros Apex 2 or Vertix ? I think the strip down on weight will increase the heart rate accuracy.

    I put a Velcro strap on my 745 and it went down from 47 g to 34 g ! which should have a high impact on accuracy – my 245 was VERY accurate – even in high intensity and it weighted 32 g.

    Just my input here 🙂
    I wonder why garmin does not produce and use such light straps themselves.

    1. weight is a good point to raise
      no i hadn’t thought of trying that.
      i tend to do ‘out fo the box’ testing. i even avoid pairing sensors unless absolutely necessary…keep it clean.
      i had mused more generally over the light weight of the 745 but i owul dhave though at it’s current level it should not cause issues per se….but, of course, it might.

      1. I still hope and think they will refine it over time with firmware updates – as they do this with every watch – testing gamins with vanilla firmwares is a thing for itself 😛

        i do not see why this unit should be worse in accuracy than a Fenix 6s or fr 245 – from a hardware standpoint.

        1. the antennae would be smaller, components could be closer together and may or may not be sufficiently shielded (unlikely).
          gps/ohr algos should be/are the same
          i think the gps algo changed in the last month
          things like that
          i just test what is there to be tested. it’s up to garmin what they ship

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