Garmin Forerunner 745 vs Venu 2

Garmin Forerunner 745 vs Venu 2

The Garmin Forerunner 745 is a highly capable GPS triathlon watch. It is basically a Garmin Forerunner 945 Lite, which is another way of saying that it boasts almost all the triathlon technology that Garmin has to offer. 

The Garmin Venu 2 is a very well-rounded GPS activity tracker with a great selection of sports modes. It has a beautiful high-resolution AMOLED touchscreen and surprisingly imprressive battery specs. It’s a very solid choice for people that do a bit of everything in terms of sports and fitness. It also feels more like a smartwatch than the Forerunner 745, mainly because of the gorgeous high res touchscreen. 

Now that you know a bit more about each watch, let’s take a closer look at all the differences and similarities between these two sports watches.  

Key Similarities Table - Forerunner 745 vs Garmin Venu 2

Forerunner 745

Garmin Venu 2

GPS, GLONASS & GALILEO

Wrist-based HRM

Optical HRM Under Water

Indoor + Outdoor Running

Indoor + Outdoor Cycling

Indoor + Outdoor Rowing

Pool Swimming

Music Storage

Payments from Watch

3rd Party Running Power

Garmin Running Coach

Body Battery Score

Barometric Altimeter

Gyroscope + Accelerometer + Compass

Pulse Oximeter

Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi

Garmin Connect IQ

Respiration Rate

Safety/Incident Detection

VO2 Max

Waterproof Rating

5 ATM

5 ATM

Topographical Maps

Key Differences Table - FR745 vs Garmin Venu

FR745

Venu 2

Price

More Expensive

Less Expensive

Dimensions

43.8 x 43.8 x 13.3 mm

45.4 x 45.4 x 12.2 mm

Display Size

1.2" (30.4 mm) diameter

1.3" (33.0 mm) diameter

Screen Resolution

240 x 240 pixels

416 x 416 pixels

Weight

47 grams

49 grams

Music Storage

Up to 500 Songs

Up to 650 Songs

Smartwatch Battery

Up to 7 Days

Up to 11 Days

GPS Battery

Up to 16 Hours

Up to 22 Hours

GPS Battery with Music

Up to 6 Hours

Up to 8 Hours

UltraTrac GPS Battery

Up to 21 Hours

N/A

Total Sports Modes

30

25

Triathlon Mode

Open Water Swimming

Garmin Running Power

Garmin PacePro

Garmin ClimbPro

Advanced Running Dynamics

Point-to-Point Navigation

Heat + Altitude Acclimation

Training Load + Training Focus

Cycling Power Meter

Strava Live Segments

Daily Workout Suggestions

Golf Mode

High Res AMOLED Screen

Touchscreen

Sports Modes Comparison - FR745 vs Garmin Venu 2

Garmin Forerunner 745

  1. Strength Training
  2. Cardio
  3. Elliptical Training
  4. Stair Stepping
  5. Floor Climbing
  6. Indoor Rowing
  7. Pilates
  8. Yoga
  9. Running
  10. Treadmill Running
  11. Indoor Track Running
  12. Outdoor Track Running
  13. Virtual Running
  14. Trail Running
  15. Hiking
  16. Walking
  17. Skiing
  18. Snowboarding
  19. Backcountry Skiing
  20. XC Classic
  21. Skate Skiing
  22. Stand up Paddleboarding
  23. Kayaking
  24. Rowing
  25. Pool Swimming
  26. Open Water Swimming
  27. Swimrun
  28. Cycling
  29. Indoor Cycling
  30. Mountain Biking

Garmin Venu 2

  1. Strength Training
  2. Cardio
  3. HIIT (Interval Training)
  4. Elliptical Training
  5. Stair Stepping
  6. Floor Climbing
  7. Indoor Rowing
  8. Yoga
  9. Pilates & Breathwork
  10. Running
  11. Indoor Track Running
  12. Treadmill Running
  13. Walking
  14. Hiking
  15. Indoor Climbing
  16. Bouldering
  17. Skiing
  18. Snowboarding
  19. XC Skiing
  20. Stand Up Paddleboarding
  21. Rowing
  22. Pool Swimming
  23. Cycling
  24. Indoor Cycling
  25. Golf Tracking

Why You Should Choose The Forerunner 745 Over The Venu 2

Forerunner 745 Reasons

1 Better For Serious Runners

There are four main reasons which make the Forerunner 745 a better choice for runners specifically. 

1 – Additional Running Modes: While both watches include GPS running, treadmill running and indoor track running, the Forerunner 745 also gives you access to outdoor track running, trail running and virtual running. That’s three extra running modes for the FR745. 

2 – The Forerunner 745 is compatible with Garmin Running Power: Cyclists have been using power output as a key metric for training and analysis for years. With the FR745 on your wrist, you can now do the same as a runner. However, you will need to invest in a compatible accessory in order to unlock running power. These include: 

3 – Advanced Running Metrics: If you choose to buy one of the accesories referenced above, you can also unlock advanced running metrics on the Forerunner 745. This means you get the following extra training metrics when running: 

  • Ground Contact Time – The amount of time your foot spends on the ground with each stride.
  • Ground Contact Balance – The symmetry between your left and right foot when running. 
  • Vertical Oscillation –  The degree of upward ‘bounce’ in your running motion. Lowering this stat can increase running efficiency. 
  • Vertical Ratio  – The cost-benefit ratio with stride length. This allows you to discover the ideal stride length for chasing down a new PB. 
  • Cadence – Real time cadence stats displayed on the FR745. 
  • Stride Length – Real time stride length stats displayed directly on the Forerunner 745.  
  • Garmin Running Power – Measure your running power output in Watts (kinda like cyclists do).

4 – Garmin PacePro: PacePro offers pace guidance during training and races. When PacePro is applied to a course loaded on the Forerunner 745, it analyzes elevation changes along the course to calculate a pace strategy. The strategy tells you when to increase or decrease your pace along the course for the best overall pace.

2 Better For Cyclists

The story for cyclists is somewhat similar to the story for runners, in that the Forerunner 745 will be better equipped to meet your needs. Additional features for cyclists includes: 

Cycling Power Meter Support – This can easily be a dealbreaker for serious cyclists. The FR745 supports power meters, the Garmin Venu 2 does not. 

In addition, the following features are only found on the FR745. 

  • Mountain biking mode
  • Functional threshold power
  • Compatible with Garmin Vector
  • Compatible with Varia Vision

3 Better For Swimmers

You are probably noticing a fairly obvious trend. The Forerunner 745 smokes the Garmin Venu 2 at all endurance sports. When it comes to swimming, both watches give you pool swimming metrics, including:

  • Lengths, distance, pace, stroke count, swim efficiency
  • Stroke type detection
  • Basic rest timer
  • Time and distance alerts
  • Underwater HRM

However, only the Forerunner 745 unlocks the following: 

  • Open Water Swimming
  • Open Water Swimming Metrics
  • Auto Rest (Pool Only)
  • Pacing Alerts (Pool Only)
  • Pool Swim Workouts
  • Critical Swim Speed

4 Designed For Triathletes

The target market for the Garmin Forerunner 745 is endurance athletes, with triathletes being front and center with every function that is included with the FR745. It basically gives you all the triathlon-specific features that you find in more expensive models such as the Forerunner 945 and the Garmin Fenix 6. 

While the Garmin Venu 2 is a highly respectable GPS activity tracker packed with sports modes, it simply does not cater to the triathlon market. 

5 Navigation Capabilities

Navigation capabilities is another avenue where the Forerunner 745 dominates the Garmin Venu 2. If you go for the Forerunner 745, you can access:

  • Point-to-point navigation
  • Bread crumb trail in real-time
  • Back to start
  • TracBack
  • Distance to destination
  • Elevation profile
  • Total ascent/descent
  • Vertical speed
  • Trail run auto climb
  • Barometric trend indicator
  • Future elevation plot

Forerunner 745 (Neo Tropic)

Forerunner 745 (White)

Why You Should Choose the Venu 2 Over the Forerunner 745

1. High Resolution AMOLED Screen

The original Garmin Venu was the first product in their line-up to introduce a truly high-resolution touchscreen. With the Venu 2, Garmin has stepped it up a notch, increasing the screen resolution from 390 x 390 pixels to 416 x 416 pixels. In other words, they’ve taken the best feature of the original Venu and made it even better. 

On the other hand, the display of the Forerunner 745 is perfectly respectable. However, it lacks color detail and sharpness that you will find in the Venu 2’s AMOLED offering. In addition, with the FR745, you need to rely on buttons to navigate through the menus and features of the watch. The touchscreen of the Venu 2 is far more user friendly in a smartwatch capacity. 

2. Better Battery Specs

If there’s one chink in the armour of the Forerunner 745 it’s the battery life specs. For a high end triathlon watch, it just doesn’t do itself justice in this particular department. 

Thankfully the Garmin Venu 2 doesn’t share this weakness. Case in point, the standard GPS battery life of the Garmin Ven 2 (22 Hours) is longer than the UltraTrac GPS battery life of the Forerunner 745 (21 Hours). The full details below make the difference in battery life crystal clear. 

Garmin Venu 2 Battery Specs

  • Smartwatch Battery Life: Up to 11 Days
  • GPS Battery Life: Up to 22 Hours
  • GPS + Music Battery: Up to 8 Hours

Forerunner 745 Battery Specs

  • Smartwatch Battery Life: Up to 7 Days
  • GPS Battery Life: Up to 16 Hours
  • GPS + Music Battery: Up to 6 Hours

3. Built-in Golf Tracking

The Garmin Venu 2 includes almost all of Garmin’s best golf tracking features. This includes: 

  • Yardage to the whole
  • Yardage to hazards
  • Automatic measurement of shot distance
  • Digital scorecard
  • Round timer

In other words, the Garmin Venu 2 basically has all the same features that you would expect in a dedicated GPS golf watch. The Forerunner 745 has no golf tracking abilities. 

4. Additional Music Storage

The extra music storage in the Venu 2 isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker but it’s still worth noting. Simply put, the Venu 2 can hold 150 extra songs. 

  • Venu 2 Music Storage: 650 Songs
  • Forerunner 745 Music Storage: 500 Songs 

5. More Affordable

Based on the initial recommended selling price, the Garmin Venu 2 is about 100 dollars cheaper than the Forerunner 745. If you don’t compete in triathlons and you are casual runner, you might not need all the extra endurance sport features baked into the FR745. Instead, you could potentially save $100, whil still getting a highly capabable GPS sports watch. 

Garmin Venu 2 (Black)

Garmin Venu 2 (Rose Gold)

Final Thoughts

If you’re still undecided at this point, these final buying tips may help. 

Go for the Forerunner 745 if:

  • You’re a serious runner
  • You’re a passionate cyclist
  • You want all the swimming metrics Garmin can offer
  • You participate in triathlons
  • You need navigation capabilities

Go for the Garmin Venu 2 if: 

  • You want to save about $100
  • You don’t do triathlons
  • You play golf regularly
  • You prefer using touchscreen watches
  • You want the highest resolution screen that Garmin has to offer
  • You want a well rounded GPS sports watch that represents good value for money

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