Garmin Forerunner 945 vs Garmin Fenix 6 Pro

Garmin Forerunner 945 vs Garmin Fenix 6 Pro

This is a simple product comparison between the Garmin Forerunner 945 vs Garmin Fenix 6 Pro

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

Forerunner 945

Fenix 6 Pro

GPS, GLONASS & GALILEO

Wrist-based HRM

Optical HRM when Swimming

Indoor + Outdoor Running

Indoor + Outdoor Cycling

Indoor + Outdoor Swimming

Indoor + Outdoor Rowing

Triathlon Mode

Multiple Cardio Modes

Over 20 Outdoor Sports Modes

Music Storage + Spotify + Deezer

Payments from Watch

Garmin Running Power

Garmin Running Coach

Garmin PacePro

Body Battery Score

Barometric Altimeter

Gyroscope + Accelerometer + Compass

3rd Party Running Power

Advanced Running Metrics

Navigation Features & TOPO Maps

Golf Mode

Pulse Oximeter

Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi

TOPO Mapping

Replaceable Straps

Custom Watch Faces via Connect IQ

Garmin ClimbPro

Temperature & Altitude Acclimation

Training Load + Training Focus Metrics

Safety/Incident Detection

Respiration Rate

Sports & Activity Modes

29

29

3rd Party Running Power

Stryd + RunScribe

Stryd + RunScribe

Smartwatch Battery

14 Days

14 Days

Standard GPS Battery

36 Hours

36 Hours

Garmin Forerunner 945 vs Fenix 6 Pro - Key Differences

Forerunner 945

Fenix 6 Pro

Price

Less Expensive

More Expensive

Screen Resolution

240x240px

260x260px

Power Management Options

Enhanced ClimbPro

Ski Resort Maps

Pre-Loaded Golf Course Maps

Male & Female Version

Music Storage

Up to 1000 Songs

Up to 2000 Songs

Max Battery GPS Mode

72 Hours

UltraTrac GPS Battery

60 Hours

150 Hours

28 Day GPS Mode (Expedition)

Battery Saver Watch Mode

48 Days

Solar Charging

Fenix 6X Pro Solar Only

Features Unique To Forerunner 945

It comes in a bundle with 2 Heart Rate Straps - FR945 Only

Garmin Forerunner 945 Triathlon Bundle
View the bundle deal on Amazon

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.

HRM Swim: This is your go to chest strap for pool swimming specifically. It sticks to your body much better than a standard Chest strap. In other words, you don’t have to wear a swim suit or tri suit to keep this chest belt firmly in place. 
 
HRM Tri: You use this chest strap on race day, or when you are doing multiple disciplines during a training session (swimming + running or swimming + cycling or swimming, cycling & running) during a training session. 

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

Garmin Fenix 6 Family

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:

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. 

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