Garmin 935 Vs 945 comparison

Garmin 935 Vs 945: Which One Is Better?


Billy Hughes
August 20, 2021

If you want to add more tech to your workouts, you might want to reach for a Garmin fitness watch.

Garmin is a popular brand of fitness devices that will give you useful data about your workouts.

What’s the Garmin Forerunner? Garmin has released a Forerunner series of smartwatches. These are focused on giving you tons of features to enhance your workouts and monitor your performance.

There are two Forerunner models worth knowing about: the Garmin 935 and Garmin 945. What are they about? Let’s explore their similarities and differences. 

The Garmin 935: What Are Its Features? 

Garmin 935 pros and cons

This fitness watch is a multi-sport watch that was released in 2017. Here’s what you should know about it and what it has to offer.

  • The Garmin 935 is easy to put on and comfortable to wear. This is as a result of its silicone strap that stretches between the lugs.
  • It has metal buttons around the watch’s display that are user-friendly and give it a striking appearance.
  • It’s got a screen that’s easy on the eye because it can be read even in harsh sunlight. This is as a result of its transflective technology that reflects the ambient light. 
  • Underneath the watch is the Garmin heart rate monitor. 
  • You can view four data screens on the watch at the same time. The default screen contains data related to your time, pace, and distance. Another screen displays your heart rate – you’ll also get to see a color wheel that tells you what heart zone you’re working out in. The other screens need to be activated, but you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to what they can display, such as maps and music.
  • This watch comes with 24-hour GPS tracking, and the GPS loads quickly.
  • This watch offers a ton of tracking features. These include cadence, pace, elevation loss/gain, calories, training effect, stride length, open water swim metrics, step monitoring, and even sleep monitoring.
  • The menus are intuitive so it’s easy to navigate through all the watch’s features.
  • It’s been found that the Forerunner 935’s heart rate monitor is more reliable than some of its competitors and you can also connect it to an external heart rate strap or power meter, which makes it even more versatile. 
  • When working out in nature, you’ll sometimes want to create your own routes. The Forerunner 935 enables you to do that as a result of how it allows you to upload GPX files so that you can create your own routes. Don’t want to do that? You can use it to import routes from other sources instead.  

What Are The Forerunner 935’s Drawbacks?

Although the Garmin 935 has many benefits and features to use, it does have some potential drawbacks. These include the following:

  • The watch has a circular face. This can get in the way of your wrist movements during exercise as compared to rectangular watches.
  • It’s got a more basic display than competitors, such as Apple watches.
  • It has a bit of an input lag when it comes to certain functions, such as switching screens or saving your workouts.
  • Some people who have purchased this watch have reported that sometimes its GPS feature does take a bit long to work. 

The Garmin 945: What Is It? 

garmin 945 features

The Garmin 945 hit the scene in 2019, but it shares some similarities with the 935 model.

Both smartwatches have the same shell or case – you might battle to tell them apart, actually, unless you take a closer look to inspect their buttons. The Forerunner 935 has a silver button while the Forerunner 945 has a dark grey button.

Both watches also have a similar strap or band, which is great because this means that if you already own the 935 you’ll be able to use the same bands on it as on the 945. Interchangeable bands make switching to a new watch so much more convenient. 

What Are The Features Of The Garmin Forerunner 945?

  • This Garmin watch excels when it comes to its battery life. When using GPS on the watch, you’ll get 36 hours of use if you’re not listening to music, and 10 hours with music. The battery life is an improvement of 50 percent from the Garmin Forerunner 935 model.
  • On the subject of its GPS features, this watch contains preloaded maps that are excellently detailed.
  • It’s a watch that you’ll love having if you want to monitor your fitness progress. It comes with fitness tracking that includes monitoring your steps, calories burned, and the steps you’ve climbed, as well as fitness monitoring in the form of respiration rate, stress levels, hydration, and menstrual cycling.
  • It provides you with lots of information about your surroundings, such as the weather and it’s also got a barometric altimeter. It will inform you of how well you’re acclimatising to the heat when the temperature is higher than 22 degrees Celsius and altitude when that’s more than 800 meters. 
  • It offers a large amount of storage – 16GB of maps and 200 hours of activity data.
  • It’s water resistant up to 50 meters so you’ll be able to swim with it without encountering a problem.
  • It provides you with post-training analysis that will help you improve your fitness. You will get details on the training effect of your workouts, which is especially useful for running. The 945 gives you a rating of your overall workout load and gauges if it’s productive, then analyzes the previous four weeks of your training into high-aerobic, low-aerobic, and anaerobic categories so you can see if you’re getting the correct balance between them. 

How Is The Garmin Forerunner 945 Better Than The 935? 

How Is The Garmin Forerunner 945 Better Than The 935

There are some important features that the 945 boasts which are considered to be improvements from the 935 model. These include the following:

  • You can listen to music offline. If you have a subscription to Spotify or Deezer, you can easily download playlists and then play them on the Forerunner 945 without requiring your smartphone.
  • You can use the 945 for mobile payments. If Google Pay or Apple Pay are accepted at certain places, then your Garmin Pay will also be. This is great if you want to be able to head to the grocery store without your wallet.
  • You can get emergency help. Imagine if you’ve gone on a long-distance run or hike and twisted your ankle or gotten lost. This Garmin will come to your rescue, thanks to its emergency notifications that you can make use of by clicking a few buttons to notify your loved ones, and your location will also be sent to them. 
  • You’ll be able to create running routes on the spur of the moment. The mapping feature of this Garmin watch has been improved so you can create routes wherever you are and use them instantly. 
  • You’ll have a stronger watch. The Forerunner 945 has damage-resistant glass that’s not present on the 935.
  • You can add details about your workouts after completing them. The 945 enables you to do this, whereas this feature isn’t available on the 935.
  • You can track how much water you drink daily. This is another feature that’s been added to the 945 model which the 935 doesn’t have. 

What About Its Drawbacks?

As with the Forerunner 935, the 945 has some potential drawbacks. These include the following:

  • The watch is expensive.
  • It contains some hidden features that will take you a bit of time to get used to.
  • Its blood oxygen sensor has questionable accuracy. 
  • While it does have sleep-tracking software which means you can wear the watch while you sleep, it is on the large side which could make doing this impractical.

Garmin 935 Vs 945: Which Garmin Forerunner Should You Choose? 

garmin 935 vs 945

As we’ve seen in our review so far, both the Garmin Forerunner 935 and 945 have many features to enjoy.

This might make it difficult to know which one you should choose. Here’s the lowdown.

  • The Forerunner 945 is a good watch to buy if you want to track your fitness progress and analyze it. It’s the best of the best when it comes to offering you these features, so it’s ideal for serious athletes. It also has improvements on the Forerunner 935, such as better battery life, the monitoring of blood oxygen levels, it connects to GPS faster, and it also offers achievements so that you can feel motivated to achieve your goals. 
  • That said, the Forerunner 935 is still a worthwhile investment. It will also track your exercise workouts in many useful ways, such as by estimating your VO2 max and lactate threshold, and telling you how stressful your running session was for both anaerobic and aerobic systems. It’s great for casual and experienced or competitive runners, swimmers, and cyclists as it offers many advanced metrics and monitoring features. It’s also cheaper than the 945, so it’s great for you if you’re on a budget.

Related Questions 

Do Garmin watches count your exercise reps?

A common feature of Garmin watches is the ability to count your reps automatically. They will also detect the exercises you’re doing in your gym workouts. 

Do the Garmin Forerunner 935 and 945 models have touch screens?

No, you won’t get touchscreens on these smartwatches. But this is actually a good thing as it prevents you from battling to use the watch when your hands are sweaty. 


As Garmin is one of the most renowned smartwatch brands on the market, you can’t go wrong with its Forerunner 935 or 945.

After reading our guide, you can see how the Forerunner 945 has more to offer but you might choose to stick with the 935. Either way, both are valuable investments with tons of features to enhance your workouts.


Billy Hughes

Billy Hughes is a fitness trainer based out of New York. She has registered success in training clients at multiple fitness centers and thus aims to establish her module relevant to the post-pandemic era. Her space,, is an attempt towards encouraging and educating more people on the scope of indoor fitness. She believes the power of fitness can transform attitude, personality, and way of living. She also finds it rewarding to help people achieve their goals and make their lives better.