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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