It’s a busy week on the watch front – yesterday we learned about Apple’s new Series 6, today we learn about an exciting new watch from Garmin.
We’ll have a more in depth look at this new watch once we’ve had more time with it, but here are a few quick thoughts from a morning and one run with the Forerunner 745:
- It looks, and feels, a lot like the Forerunner 945, but is a bit thinner and smaller – weighing about 3 g less and with a slightly smaller overall size (43.8 x 43.8 x 13.3 mm vs. 47 x 47 x 13.7 mm), but the display size is the same at 30.4 mm, as is the resolution of 240 x 240 pixels.
- All the things we’ve come to expect from Garmin’s multi-sport GPS watches seems to be here – quick satellite syncing, accurate tracking info, easy set up and intuitive interface.
The Forerunner 745 will replace the popular Forerunner 735XT, offering detailed training stats, daily suggested workouts and smartwatch functions. The new 745 will retail for $700, which saves roughly $130 compared to Garmin’s flagship multisport watch, the Forerunner 945.
As one would expect with a Garmin multisport GPS watch, the 745 has lots of built-in activity profiles, including triathlon, swimming (pool and open water), cycling (indoor and outdoor) and running. Monitoring speed and distance is just a tiny part of what the 745 can do, though. VO2 max, training load, training status and aerobic and anaerobic training effects are all measured, and the watch can even make workout suggestions based on that data.
Health information has become a must in high-end sports watches these days, and the 745 provides lots of data. Pulse Ox sensors provide info on how you’re sleeping or how you’re acclimatizing to altitude, and there’s a Body Battery energy monitor to help you track energy levels. There’s also a menstrual cycle tracking feature to help women adjust their training when needed.
Once a workout is completed the watch easily syncs through Garmin Connect, which can upload your workouts to training programs such as TrainingPeaks, or social apps like Strava. You can also use Garmin Connect to plan and download routes using the course creator.
The 745 is an able smartwatch, too, providing text, e-mail, social media updates and other notifications from your phone. You can also store up to 500 songs, and sync playlists from Spotify, Amazon Music and other music streaming services. The 745 can also use the Garmin Pay contactless payment solution.
Even though the watch is smaller and lighter than the Forerunner 945, the 745 offers impressive battery life – up to seven days in Smartwatch mode, six hours in GPS mode with music and 16 hours in GPS mode without music. We’ve obviously not had a chance to test that out, but a day’s use and a run have hardly dented the battery level, so those numbers seem more than reasonable.
Garmin has also announced a new heart rate strap, the HRM-Pro ($180), which, when coupled with the 745, provides running metrics including cadence and stride length in addition to the super-accurate HR measurement.