We purchased a Garmin Forerunner 745 for our reviewer’s test.
Fitness trackers from brands like Fitbit and Samsung are versatile crowd pleasures that can cover basic wellness, but advanced wearables like the Garmin Forerunner 745 are on another level. Designed with athletes in mind, especially triathletes, this premium multisport fitness monitor provides information on everything from blood oxygen saturation to aerobic and anaerobic effect, training load and training efficiency.
The Forerunner 745 tracks all of these valuable metrics in a convenient format, along with other connected features that busy users will appreciate. Highlights include smartphone notifications, contactless payment, and the ability to store up to 500 songs to use this watch as a standalone music player when out and about, biking, or by the pool.
In two weeks, I’ve only experienced the tip of the iceberg in terms of what this watch can track, measure and support. As an occasional runner and cyclist, the Forerunner 745 truly felt like a personal trainer and training partner. But anyone looking to take their training to the next level or become a serious solo or multisport sports fan can get invaluable support and a smooth user experience from this capable tracker.
Construction: durable without being overwhelming
Designed to go from trail to pool like a champion, the Forerunner 745 is predictably rugged. Durable Corning Gorilla Glass DX covers the screen, the frame is made of fiber-reinforced polymer, and the silicone strap is smooth, breathable and sturdy, even down to the buckle. Garmin claims that the Forerunner 745 fits wrists from 126 to 216 millimeters, or about 5 to 8.5 inches. It lasted me and my 5.5 inch wrist that never felt overwhelmed.
In terms of overall size, this watch fits in among other triathlon-focused Garmin GPS watches, such as Garmin Forerunner 945 and Garmin Forerunner 735xt, which weigh 47 grams and measure 43.8 x 43.8 x 13, for a total of 3 millimeters. It is physically smaller than the 735xt and 3 grams lighter than the 945. The 1.2-inch sunlight-reflecting screen, a hallmark of the Forerunner series, offers unmistakable outward visibility and is large without looking like a clock. It is specially designed for men. In comparison, it didn’t look like it added much more hardware than the Garmin Venue, and the slimmer overall profile helps this watch blend into everyday use.
Anyone familiar with the Forerunner series expects to find the buttons. The Forerunner 745 has five buttons for all interactions (three on the left and two on the right). Garmin does a great job of making the buttons easy to use and this watch follows suit. Even if you’re a beginner, while using buttons can be awkward at first, buttons get used to them pretty quickly thanks to their intuitive placement and helpful reminders (both symbols and text pointers) when you need them.
Comfort: an easy accessory to use all day
The Forerunner 745 combines the desired combination of comfort and smart looks with top-notch tracking capabilities. Part of the flexibility for everyday use comes from the band and rim color options I tested, ranging from red, gray, black and light sea green (Neo Tropic), which gave it a sporty yet visually interesting look. The buttons on the frame are also attractive and nothing sticks out, neither the dial nor the buttons, which prevents the 745 from looking too much like a sports reel.
Sleeping with the Forerunner 745 was also pleasantly easy, even as a regular side sleeper. I have rarely experienced a feeling in the morning or (in the middle of sleep) that the band was too tight or my face too heavy to sleep comfortably.
While I didn’t have access to a pool to test the Forerunner 745 during my swim training, this watch is safe for swimming and snorkeling up to 50 meters deep. If its undisturbed in the shower is any indication (the screen was completely intact and the entire device looked barely wet), this watch is definitely ready for daily and training sessions in the pool and open water.
Achievements: detailed and unlimited possibilities
The Forerunner 745’s tracking capabilities are impressive to say the least. In addition to GPS, gyroscope, accelerometer and barometric altimeter, the 745 is equipped with an optical heart rate sensor and a pulse oximeter. These systems evaluate resting heart rate and active heart rate, VO2 max value, breathing and heart rate levels during sleep and wakefulness, and blood oxygen saturation, which the device uses to monitor general well-being and as an indicator. for height adjustment.
The Forerunner 745 summarizes all of this data to measure exercise effort and recovery with a weekly calculation that’s also based on excess oxygen consumption after exercise (EPOC), which basically explains how hard your body has to work to recover afterwards. .
Battery: the only major weakness
The Garmin Forerunner 745 is quite impressive as an advanced training aid, but its most notable weakness is its battery life. Garmin claims it lasts up to a week in Smart mode, or up to 16 hours in GPS mode with no music, and up to 21 hours in Ultra Trac mode, reducing the GPS speed update rate every minute. I used the watch in smartwatch mode, phone plugged in, heart rate always on and GPS mode left by default, and even without playing music, the battery dropped to 9 percent in four days.
Software: responsive and easy to use
The Garmin Forerunner 745 runs on the Garmin operating system and is heavily dependent on the Garmin Connect application. While the Connect app isn’t the coolest aspect, its intuitive and flexible layout complements and enhances the Forerunner 745’s already impressive performance. The Connect app has simple graphs to help you see the daily trends instantly, but in the long run weekly understandable. , monthly and year after year. In the top right corner of each data screen are also help sections with a concise and informative explanation.
All widgets on the Connect app home screen mirror the layout of the device itself and can expand and dig deeper at any data point. You can also reorder them through the mobile app or in the Widgets section of the watch. All of these customizations are possible in the My Device section of the app, where you can add and organize training apps, add payment information to Garmin Pay.
Garmin Forerunner 745 vs Polar Vantage V2
The Polar Vantage V2 is another next-level fitness tracker aimed at data-hungry triathletes and athletes. Like the Forerunner 745, it costs nearly $500 and matches many of the Forerunner 745’s metrics with several other tools missing from the former, such as the breakdown of energy expenditure during exercise based on carbohydrate consumption, fat or muscles. The Vantage V2 clearly exceeds the battery capacity of the Forerunner 745 with a promise of 40 hours in normal GPS mode and up to 100 hours when switching to a low-power GPS setting.
While the Vantage V2 has the advantage of an LCD touchscreen and five buttons like the Forerunner 745, the screen isn’t glare-free and the solid aluminum frame makes it heavier (52 grams vs. 47 grams). Also, the Vantage V2 can’t match the smart features of the Forerunner 745, except for notifications and the ability to control music with a smartphone. The Forerunner 745’s additional smart features (NFC payment, music storage), widget availability, and other useful wellness tools like hydration, menstrual cycle, and SPO2 tracking provide insights and customizations that the Vantage V2 lacks.
Sophisticated clothing for purpose-driven multi-sport athletes.
The Garmin Forerunner 745 is an innovative fitness tracker designed for serious runners and multisport athletes looking to improve their performance. While the high price is an obstacle that more casual exercisers may not want to overcome, the intuitive software, built-in music recording, a handful of smart features and a plethora of stats are all valid arguments for the investment. to grow