Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE In-Depth Review: 11 New Things to Know!
com here and i’ve got 11 new things to know about the new garmin 409 45 lte. This is not actually the first lde watch that garmin has made or sell your watch. That garmin has made that honor goes to the vivoactive 3 lte. A couple years ago, but you definitely didn’t, want that watch and this watch takes an entirely different approach. If you’re thinking of this, like the apple watch cellular connectivity model, this is entirely different. Garmin has thrown away kind of the playbook for how they’re doing lte and cellular connectivity and just focusing on the athletic side of it. But don’t worry i’m gon na explain all that and explain what’s there and what’s not there, and why is this kind of an interesting direction for the company going forward now two notes one is: i have a complete user interface menu video linked up in the corner? There i also have an entire deep dive into the emergency response section of this, where i actually trigger it in real life and show how it works. Please don’t do it in real life, but i do show how it works out in real life, also linked up in the corner there. So the first thing on the list here is actually not on the revenue things that’s, a freebie, which is the price. The price here is 649 us dollars, which is only 50 more than the list price for the non lte version. The non lte version will be sticking around, though so it’s not going anywhere, although there is, as you’ll see here quite a bit of a difference between these two watches.
On the left hand, side i have the lte version on the right hand, side i have the old school version. Okay, so let’s get into the first one on the list, which is the fact that it has lte connectivity, meaning that it has cellular connectivity built into it and it is not tied to your cellular plan or service. So if you have like a t or verizon or t mobile, whatever you have for your phone that’s great doesn’t matter here, instead, what garmin’s done is they’ve taken over that entire thing for you, so you pay a monthly subscription fee. If you sign up, you can buy this watch without signing up for that. If you want to, but you pay a monthly subscription fee of 5.99, if you buy an annual package or 6.99, if you buy on a per month basis, and then they deal with the entire contractual side for you, so it’s very similar, like what amazon does for Their kindles that have uh cellular connectivity and that you don’t even think about it, it’s just on the network and it doesn’t sing automatically. Now there are technically two different versions of this for the two different kind of main carrier networks. If you will uh, so you see those two different versions on the screen right there now, if you’re, looking at the list saying yo, my country is not on this, like what about italy or australia, and things like that.
This list is not final. This list is like as of today, but it will change over time. Uh you’ll have some countries that’ll be added near term. In some countries, it’ll be a long while some countries like realistically never mostly that’s garmin negotiating with the carriers in those countries to get all kind of the back end support up and running. But i expect to see that list expand over time, because this will probably be like a mainstay of garmin’s watches going forward, and so they want to be as broad as possible. So before we talk about all the crazy stuff that’s in here that use that cellular connectivity let’s talk about what doesn’t text messages you’re not going to text directly, this watch a regular text message. You will text it via spectator messaging and all sorts of other cool stuff that we’ll talk about, but, unlike an apple watch or unlike garmin’s, a first attempt for the viewfactor 3 lte, there is no direct text messaging to this. You can do it. The old school way using your phone and it pairs through and all that kind of stuff, totally normal – that still all works, that’s, how you use it the vast majority of the time. But if you throw your phone in the river, you will not be able to get a direct text message to this uh, just like a normal cellular connected watch and the reason for that is kind of two pronged.
One garmin simply can’t compete in that area and they can’t compete because they’re, not apple and so apple, has locked in a lot of that ecosystem and that third party watches can’t, send and receive text message directly on those networks using things like imessage and stuff. Like that that you want to be integrated for ios users, given the majority of garmin users are likely ios users, i know it’s different than android market share in general, but when you look at their particular market, that means that the experience would suck otherwise, and we Saw that with the vivo active 3 lte that experience sucked, you were like basically bifurcated on messaging and it it wasn’t pretty. So, with this whole thing, garmin’s entire idea is to say you know what screw it we’re, making a complete athlete, focused cellular, connected watch and all the features i’m about to talk about are athlete focused, so let’s talk about the biggie. The big one on this list is the assistance plus, and you can see that if you just simply hold this up or left hand button right here, you access that you see assistance plus there are a slew of ways you can get into this via crash detection. Uh, via long holds in a different variety of manners, but essentially this when i click this here, i get two options to contact: emergency response, services or contact. My contacts and so emergency response services goes to garmin’s international emergency response coordination center, the iercc.
This is actually an entire entity. They acquired from geos back in january, and this has been used on their garment inreach devices like this. So you can see this right there, satellite communicators for contacting emergency services. So if you’re, you know your boat sinking or your plane is crashing the alaskan wilderness. So whatever the case may be, they’ve got thousands of examples of this up on the website like from a pr standpoint. They come in and save your life and when you contact this emergency response, assistance center, uh there’s a live human on the other end of that and they respond and ask you what kind of help you need you, then you can use predefined, pre canned options in The watch or you can text out a message using this little text, rotary thing that we’ll talk about a bit later from there that center will coordinate with the emergency response people in whatever area in the world. You are whether it’s the netherlands, where i am here or the side of mount everest or the middle of pacific ocean – they figure it all out and that’s their job and they’ve been doing it for a long long time. So this isn’t something new it’s just new to put it in a watch itself. Okay, so i’ve got an entire video that dives into that full process in a ton of detail showing you how it works out in in the wilderness. If you will uh with me and so check out that video up on the corner there, if you want more kind of details on on that particular thing, oh speaking of things, if you’re finding this video, interesting or useful formative, something go ahead and like that, like Button, the bottom there it really helps out this video and the channel quite a bit or hit subscribe for pointing more sports technology, goodness.
Okay, so with that i’m gon na go things a little bit faster now, the next one is live tracking via cellular uh. In a sense, this is the same as live tracking, normally phone with me at all. I just go out and run whatever for my house without taking anything else, and your friends and family will automatically get the live tracking link to them. Assuming you can figure it that way, they can track you on that route. They can track the course you’re going on all that. Stuff works exactly like it used to in the past, except no phone required, it’s it’s, really as simple as that. That kind of gets into the next one, which is live event sharing. This is something garmin introduced a few years ago as well: it’s, not new, but it’s. Also over lte. Now in the past, it wasn’t the main difference between live tracking and live event. Sharing is live event, sharing will text things as opposed to email them. So in the case of live adventuring, it’ll text, your friends and family uh it’s certain splits that you’ve defined, for example every mile or every kilometer, on a racecourse your status on that particular course or a particular race. The idea behind this is, if you got friends out watching on a marathon, they can get those status updates. Every split that you go through. That way, they can figure out where you are on the course it’s cool technology, just don’t like enable it for everyday use.
In fact, it automatically disables itself after 24 hours to prevent this sort of thing. Otherwise, your friends could potentially get like a text. Every lap that you do like go to an interval set like today did track work out. They would get like 35 text messages over the course of an hour. They’D they’d love you a lot after that, and you probably don’t want that. Next, though, are two unique features to lte, which is first off spectator text, messaging, the idea being that your friends can text you back messages that you will see on the watch itself, so they get that live tracking link that i talked about before, just like normal And then from there they can send a little text message back to you. They can put their name in that and they can just keep on sending you messages and you’ll see them on your screen when it pops up it’s kind of cool like over the last little while, but having some text messages come in, you see a couple of Them right there and it’s super fast, like 5 to 10 seconds, tops delay to get to me. We kind of timed it and stuff. The only downside is you can’t like see the message after it goes away. So if i’m doing something like say, i’m cycling and i have a chance to pull my wrist up and look at it. It goes away after, like i don’t know five or ten seconds stuff like that, and you can’t get back to those messages.
I asked garmin about that. They said that’s a something they’ve heard from their testers as well and are looking to find a way to incorporate that. The next thing you can do, though, is live audio messages. So the idea there being not just text but for audio message, that you go ahead and send those same things back or people can send them to you, so they receive that live tracking link and they can record a little audio snippet that they play back to You uh it’s again pretty wild now. The only way that works, though, is if you have headphones on or i guess you could technically use like a bluetooth speaker if you wanted to um. I did this for my demo up there in the corner. You can see that uh in my total user interface, video, so there’s, nothing. You have to do on the watch itself as you’re running along boom like voice from above, comes in and gives you that audio message from your friends and family it’s it’s. Again, a cool idea on race day, okay, so next into some of the hardware stuff on the back here, you will find a new optical heart rate. Sensor you’ll see it’s different than previous one. The main difference is this: is the elevate v4 version 4.0? This is the same sensor you will find in the new venue – 2.. In fact, in general, as a general wool thumb here. This watch is very similar to the garmin venue, 2 uh internally, obviously it’s a very different display.
It doesn’t have the amoled display the really pretty display of the venue 2, but internally. This shares a lot more in common with the venue 2 than it does with something like the 400 945 or the enduro. A lot of people asked like or seem to speculate that it may be like a mini enduro, no garmin garmin pretty much laughed at that assertion. When i asked them about it, they said uh, no, it the enduro is a totally different beast for them. Uh internally – and this is definitely not an enduro in any way, shape or form, oh by the way for the accuracy stuff. If you want more details on that, i have that my full end up review down there and it’s very similar to what i’ve seen in the past, meaning it works well in a lot of areas, including interval, workouts, uh, less well in other areas like some of The outdoor cycling workouts that i’ve had so it’s not much different in the past, but i have all those charts and all that detail for both heart rate and gps in my in depth, written review that you can see down in the doohickey description thing there. The next thing, you’ll, probably notice, is it’s a little bit smaller it’s, two millimeters smaller than the garment of 40945. The screen is the same, however, but the uh bezel dead space. If you put on an angle there, this dead space around here right there that’s just the reflection off the thing, but you’ll see that bezel dead space is smaller as well, so they basically just shrunk.
The bezel dead space shrunk the entire case and made it two millimeters smaller. Next we got two interval features uh the first one is automatic categorization of your intervals, uh, and so for this one. If you just use a lap button, like you, probably do and you go out and do a manual workout, so you don’t have like a loaded, structured workout on this, and i just simply hit the lap button for each of the sets and then when i walked In between for recovery, i hit the lap button again and just like most people probably do it’ll automatically categorize those on the watch after the fact, and so you can then see later on garmin connect, those are the work intervals or the recovery rest intervals and it’s All pretty straightforward: it just uses your pace and your heart rate to kind of figure that all out – and this is mainly designed if you don’t – want a little structure workout, but you want easier analysis after the fact and so that’s pretty cool. The next piece, though, is what they called open intervals, which is honestly like the worst name for this ever, but what it basically means is you get a proper interval lap, summary page, meaning that uh, if you select the open interval option uh it doesn’t have like Structure intervals for you: instead, what happens is each time you press that lap button, it figures out whether you’re doing a work interval or a recovery interval, and then it shows you this lap summary page as well as the interval information page, so it’s kind of like Some of the automated uh swim categorization bits that it does for indoor pool workouts, but here on the watch itself for running so the reason that’s useful is, if you’re doing like 8×800 12×800 or, however many you want to do of something you get to like number.
Six number seven you’re like crap, am i a number six or seven or eight or maybe i’m just done? Who knows right? You don’t really know because you look at the interval number and it has all the different rest and work intervals mixed together. So you can’t figure it out with this. It removes all the recovery, all the rest stuff. If you will and just simply gives you the work one. So you quickly go through that and go yes. I’M on interval, number eight, okay! So the last one here is a bunch of user interface changes and most these are fairly minor, mostly like. If you’re the geek of the garmin side, you might be like ah that’s kind of nice. Essentially, a lot of the user interface here mirrors that we saw roll out on the venue two just a couple weeks ago: okay, so the last one here, it’s, mostly a bunch of user interface changes like if you’re into like the geeking out on tiny little things. You would notice these throughout the entire watch. Computer switch between the two of them uh so left hand, side the 945 actually e and the right hand side the 945, and you can see this is like the weather widget. For example, a bunch of little changes here. Keep in mind this isn’t celsius, this is fahrenheit but that’s. Besides the point, you can see differences uh, for example, how they’ve organized the wind speed the exact location.
This is coming from. As i go down here, you see it’s a little bit cleaner for the hourly graph, showing a little less detail, but kind of more detail that you want the daily graph and then down here. I got trends on this side, which is fine, but over here i’ve got the dew point humidity and uv index coming in, and this thing is the entire menu, whether it’s steps or heart rate or sleep. All those things are just a little bit different in a ton of different areas. So with that there you go a complete look at the new garmin 945 lte uh. I guess a lot of people probably ask me at this point like do i go out and buy this over my existing 945 and i think it really comes down to whether or not you value lte connectivity. And while you ponder that the other question i ask garmin is: is this like this weird watch that’s only good for a little while, like? Are we going to find a case where here we are two years later for the 9 45 and they released a 945 lte as opposed to releasing a 955, and when i asked that to garner, they basically said we actually contemplated, releasing it as the 955.. They said that that was something they considered, but ultimately they didn’t feel like it met the bar, their internal bar for what a 955 should be, which i think was a pretty honest way of looking at it, which then kind of brought up.
The question like is this: is this like this, in between watts that lasts like six or nine months before it gets kind of ditched by the side of the road, and they said no there’s plenty, more updates and love to come for this, and they don’t see That being ditched by the side of the road, now, whether or not i believe that i don’t know, but they did say that this will be the top dog 400 watch uh for quite some time anyway. So take that at what you want, i would say i wouldn’t probably upgrade from the 945 that 945 lte unless you wanted lte side of things that’s, like my my two second recommendation there. I think with that.