In terms of technological features, these watches are actually surprisingly similar. This is a good thing. They are both packing pretty much every single feature that Garmin has to offer.
However, the Fenix 6 Pro has a few extra tricks up its sleeve, which we will soon reveal.
Garmin Forerunner 945 vs Garmin Fenix 6 Pro - Key Similarities
Fenix 6 Pro
Garmin Forerunner 945 vs Fenix 6 Pro - Key Differences
Fenix 6 Pro
Features Unique To Forerunner 945
It comes in a bundle with 2 Heart Rate Straps - FR945 Only
The whole point of the Garmin Forerunner 945 bundle is to satisfy the needs and interests of veteran triathletes.
To achieve this objective, the FR945 bundle includes two chest straps. You might be wondering why on earth you would need 2 chest straps, rather than 1. This explanation will help.
Lower profile on your wrist - FR945
It’s great that the Fenix series has been slimming down over the years. However, it still can’t compete with the streamlined design of the Forerunner 945 (which is almost a carbon copy of the Forerunner 935).
Ultimately, the Forerunner 945 is flatter and lighter than the Fenix 6 Pro. As a result, some people may find it more comfortable to wear, and a bit less noticeable on your wrist.
Better Value For Money - Forerunner 945
You only need to take another quick look at the similarities table (at the top of this article) to appreciate just how similar the Forerunner 945 and the Fenix 6 Pro are, from a technological standpoint.
They basically share all the most important core functionalities.
In fact, most of the unique benefits of the Fenix 6 Pro center around battery life, product design, and the material construction of the product. This is not to say that these differences aren’t important. The point is simply to recognize that the Forerunner 945 is basically a budget friendly version of the Fenix 6 Pro.
Features Unique To Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
Double The Amount of Music Storage - Fenix 6 Pro
This one is pretty simple. The Fenix 6 Pro can literally store double the amount of music. The bullet points below should make this clear:
- Garmin Forerunner 945 – 1000 Songs
- Garmin Fenix 6 Pro – 2000 Songs
Max Battery GPS Mode - Fenix 6 Pro
Interestingly, the standard GPS battery life of the Fenix 6 Pro (36 hours) is actually the same as the Forerunner 945 (also 36 hours).
However, you can bump this up to 72 hours, by setting the Fenix 6 Pro to max battery GPS mode. This is a new option in the Garmin universe. It sits in between standard GPS mode and UltraTrac GPS Mode.
Standard GPS (36 Hours) –> Max Battery GPS (72 Hours) –> UltraTrac GPS (150 Hours)
I think this was a good call from Garmin. It means ultra endurance trail runners and adventure racing specialists have a slightly more accurate option to play with if the racing conditions call for a 50-70 hour GPS session.
Solar Charging - Fenix 6X Pro Solar Only
Solar charging is by far the biggest innovation from Garmin in the last 12 months (optical heart measurements while swimming come a close second).
In essence, it means that you can partially recharge the Fenix 6X Pro Solar, if you put the screen in contact with decent rays of sunshine.
On paper, solar charging is an awesome concept that seemingly increases the desirability of the product. However, the reality of solar charging struggles to match up with the hype.
Basically, the efficiency of solar charging is so poor, it relegates this particular feature into the ‘negligible’ category. If you’re thinking about the Fenix 6 Pro, don’t be swayed by the solar benefit. The technology just isn’t there yet.
Expedition (28 Day) GPS Mode - Fenix 6 Pro
This is totally uncharted territory for Garmin. Generally speaking, GPS battery life is measured in hours rather than days, so you could be forgiven for thinking it’s a typo on my behalf.
The point is, the Fenix 6 Pro gives you access to expedition mode, which is something the Forerunner 945 genuinely can’t do. When you activate expedition mode, the watch basically goes into power saver mode (ie reduced functionality), with delayed GPS connectivity.
The end result is that you can track your movements using GPS technology for up to 4 weeks!
For extreme hikers, adventure racing specialists and people who lead expeditions in expansive territories, this could literally be a gamechanger.
Power Management - Fenix 6 Pro
This is similar to what you would find on a typical smartphone. It allows you to identify which functions and features are draining the battery life, so you can drop them if you need to extend the watch’s battery life for whatever reason.
Ski Maps - Fenix 6 Pro Only
This technology is taken directly from the Garmin MARQ series. It gives you ski maps (with route names and difficulty ratings) for over 2000 ski resorts.
If you’re big into skiing or snowboarding, this is a big win for the Fenix 6 Pro.
Forerunner 945 vs Fenix 6 Pro - Sports Modes
|Forerunner 945 Sports Modes||Fenix 6 Pro - Sports Modes|
|01) Strength Training||01) Strength Training|
|02) Cardio Training||02) Cardio Training|
|03) Elliptical Training||03) Elliptical Training|
|04) Floors Climbed||04) Floors Climbed|
|05) Indoor Rowing||05) Indoor Rowing|
|06) Yoga||06) Yoga|
|07) Running||07) Running|
|08) Treadmill Running||08) Treadmill Running|
|09) Trail Running||09) Trail Running|
|10) Hiking||10) Hiking|
|11) Climbing||11) Climbing|
|12) Skiing||12) Skiing|
|13) Snowboarding||13) Snowbaording|
|14) Cross Country Skiing||14) Cross Country Skiing|
|15) Stand Up Paddle Boarding||15) Stand Up Paddle Boarding|
|16) Rowing||16) Rowing|
|17) Kayaking||17) Kayaking|
|18) Cycling||18) Cycling|
|19) Indoor Cycling||19) Indoor Cycling|
|20) Mountain Biking||20) Mountain Biking|
|21) Pool Swimming||21) Pool Swimming|
|22) Open Water Swimming||22) Open Water Swimming|
|23) Triathlon Mode||23) Triathlon Mode|
|24) Golf Mode||24) Golf Mode|
|25) Stair Stepping||25) Stair Stepping|
|26) Swimming/Running||26) Swimming/Running|
|27) Tactical||27) Tactical|
|28) Jumpmaster||28) Jumpmaster|
|29) Indoor Track Running||29) Indoor Track Running|
So which one should you buy?
It should be clear by now that even though they are both super powerful multisport GPS watches, the Fenix 6 range has regained supremacy as the King of Garmin’s wearable tech product line-up.
Despite being beaten in this particular battle, the Foreunner 945 is still an absolute beast, and it gives you access to almost all the same core features as the Fenix 6 Pro.
In my opinion, it comes down to this.
- If you’re a triathlete – Forerunner 945
- If you want better value for money – Forerunner 945
- If you’re into ultra long trail runs, hiking, adventure racing or mountaineering – Fenix 6 Pro
- If you ski or snowboard – Fenix 6 Pro
- If you want the better look watch – Fenix 6 Pro
- If you want the best Garmin that money can buy right now – Fenix 6 Pro