Forerunner 935 vs 945: Full Comparison and Review

Garmin is one of the pioneers of the smartwatch/fitness tracker industry. It has an incredible number of models available on the market today, and it keeps ongoing. Hence, it’s relatively easy to get confused by all of the different options, features, and designs.

That’s why we’ve decided to discuss two of the most famous models today to highlight all of their differences and similarities. Let’s get straight to the point and discuss the forerunner 935 vs. 945 dilemmas.

Comparison Table

ModelForerunner 945Forerunner 935
Incident DetectYesNo
Water Resistance100m50m
Contactless PaymentGarmin PayNo
Battery Life (GPS Mode)10 hrs24 hrs
Heart Rate MonitorYes (ELEVATE)Yes
Pulse OximeterYesNo

Forerunner 935 vs. 945: Full Comparison

Battery Life

Battery life is one of the very first things that people look at whenever they’re purchasing a smartwatch. Logically, as the number of features and capabilities of the watch increases, the battery life will start to go down.

Nonetheless, Garmin has managed to find a decent balance between these two factors, as the 935 has a battery life of 2 weeks in watch mode and 24 hours in GPS mode.

Moreover, it’s fitted with the UltraTrack mode, a battery-saving option that can up the battery life to 50 or 60 hours, whether or not you opt for using the heart rate monitor.

On to the 945, this one, as you’ll see later on in the article, has a ton of trackers and sensors that are working around the clock. Therefore, it must drain the battery more often than its predecessor.

Although its average battery life is 2 weeks, the battery life in GPS mode is only 10 hours, with a maximum of 60 hours if used with the UltraTrack mode.


Many different trackers get installed into smartwatches today to make them as advanced and inclusive as possible. Naturally, when speaking about a model and its successor model, you’ll be seeing impressive improvements, and that is precisely the case with the Garmin 935 and 945.

Let’s start with the Garmin 935 as it comes with a bunch of different sensors, trackers, and analyzers such as an electronic compass, an altimeter, and a built-in barometer that all work together for the benefit of the location services.

It also monitors your training in general and helps improve your routine, especially when we’re talking about specific sports such as swimming and running. That is done through its Ground Time Concept Balance and Stride Length. Last but not least, it, of course, involves a heart monitor.

Taking a few steps ahead, let’s talk about the Garmin Forerunner 945. Now, this thing is a beast. First of all, it has a completely revamped heart rate monitor, that is, the Garmin ELEVATE monitor, which is way more advanced and accurate than the previous monitor.

It has also been fitted with a pulse oximeter, the V02 max, which continuously keeps track of your blood oxygenation levels. This is rather convenient for hikers so that they remain grounded and informed.

Moreover, it has many trackers such as Respiration rate, Training Load Focus, Recovery Time, Aerobic and Anaerobic training, and Acclimation Status.

Still, the Garmin 945 doesn’t stop there. It’s advertised as a triathlon smartwatch, which means that it also caters to athletes who quickly switch from one sport to another.

Hence, it can keep up with the change and calculate the entire workout to give an inclusive summary of it. This is aided by the variety of the preloaded activities available on the 945 in relation to the 935.

Read also: Vivoactive 3 vs Forerunner 235: Which Garmin Watch Is Best?

Safety Options

Hikers, runners, cyclists, and athletes, in general, are exposed to different dangers almost every day. When they’re running in different trails that could be a bit isolated, going up and down mountains, or even training in the gym, accidents tend to happen at all times.

That is why manufacturers have turned towards installing safety options in their smartwatches in order to limit the extent of injuries.

Unfortunately, the 935 doesn’t enjoy such options, but the 945 does. This smartwatch comes with Incident Detection, which immediately calls your emergency contacts in case of you falling down, your vitals dropping suddenly for no reason, etc.

Contactless Payment

Contactless payment has been a blessing in disguise for many years, and now, it’s simply essential to limit the spread of germs and viruses, which is precisely what we need in these times.

As a result, the 945 is fitted with Garmin Pay which is spreading exponentially throughout the world. The same, unfortunately, can’t be said for the Garmin 935.


As for the display, both watches enjoy a 1.2-inch display. Hence, it’s reasonable in dimensions, but the more important aspect of that point is the build of the lens and how much wear and tear it could take.

As for the 935, we’ve got the ordinary chemically strengthened glass without further protection, which is OK, but not the most remarkable thing considering the number of blows that watches tend to take per day.

On the other side of the spectrum, we’ve got the 945, which comes with the Corning Gorilla Glass DX protection, which is always a welcome plus. Lastly, both of these watches have a resolution of 240x240px, which ensures crisp text and sharp images.


Sports mean music or at least podcasts. You need to be listening to something to drive you on, keep you company, and all the good stuff. The great news is that the Garmin 945 comes with Spotify, Deezer, and YouTubeMusic compatibility.

So, you can use these apps on your watch in order to listen directly from it. As a result, you don’t need to be dragging your smartphone with you on your run if you don’t want to, as it can be heavy.

As a matter of fact, the watch is advertised to be capable of storing around 1000 songs if you want to go offline. That certainly isn’t an option for the Garmin 935.


Another thing that has been wholly updated when making the switch from Garmin 935 to the Garmin 945 is the GPS.

The 945 model is fully colored, fitted with countless POIs, and is easily re-routable, meaning that navigating it has never been easier.

Plus, both the Garmin 935 and 945 enjoy GPS and GLONASS; the thing is, with the Garmin 945, Galileo satellite has also joined the party, which is partially why the system has evolved so much. It allows you to see all of the obstacles in your way, your target, and your goal, all on a simple full-color, the point, display.

Water Resistance

Naturally, both of these watches are water-resistant, sand-resistant, dust-resistant, and all of these essentials. Any smartwatch that is fitted with activity tracking options should be; still, how far can you go under the water is what we’re looking for.

The Gramin 954 can endure a whopping 100m of distance under the water, while the 935 can only do half of that, which is definitely a huge difference.


It is pretty understandable that newer models are always much more expensive than older ones and the difference in price between these two models is considerable. You see, $300 of difference between the 935 and the 945 is rather huge. You’ll have to factor in your available funds as well before you make your purchase.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the forerunner 935 vs. 945 comparisons has shown the major differences between the two models. It’s a significant improvement that Garmin has brought to reality.

As a result, we would advise you to always go for the better, more advanced model, rather than the older one. Still, budget is always a detrimental factor.