Garmin Fenix ​​​​​​6 v Forerunner 945: The best watches compete - Wareable (2023)

If you're looking for a sports watch for running, swimming or cycling, the Fenix ​​6 and Forerunner 945 tick all the boxes.There are two options that you will get to quickly.

In our comprehensive reviews, both scored an industry-leading 4.5 out of 5, comfortably two of the best.The best sports and running watches you can buy right now. That's great, but what's best for you?

The two watches share many features, but there are important differences, and making the right choice will not only improve your training, but also save you money when paying for features you don't need.

We've spent many hours with both, so we've looked at comparing the two multisport watches to help you decide which one to buy.

  • Read our full review:Garmin Fenix ​​6 em tests|Garmin Forerunner 945 em test
  • See how they rank:The Best Garmin Watches Reviewed and Tested

Current price and offers

So this is where it gets a little tricky. Mainly because of the large number of models available in the Fenix ​​​​​​​​6 series collection.

There is only one Forerunner 945Model.


If you want the cheaper Fenix ​​6 model, you can go for the Fenix ​​6S without music, maps and Wi-Fi features.

To put the Forerunner 945 in perspective with other Fenix ​​models, here's a list of all prices:

High-quality materials and new features like a solar-powered display come at a price. If you want the best that Garmin has to offer, Fenix ​​has you covered. Be sure to read ourThe Ultimate Guide to Garmin Watches.

design and screen

ready to useGarmin Fenix ​​​​​​6 v Forerunner 945: The best watches compete - Wareable (1)

The first thing we talk about is models. There is only one version of the Forerunner 945. There are many others for the Fenix.

For starters, you can choose between the 6S, 6 and 6X, which sit at the top of the family. They also have Standard and Pro models for all of these watches if you want to add extra features. These included a built-in music player, the ability to view maps, and Wi-Fi to take full advantage of music and map support.

You can also choose a Fenix ​​with sapphire crystal for extra display and protection, and there are even titanium and stainless steel case options. You have many options here.

ready to useGarmin Fenix ​​​​​​6 v Forerunner 945: The best watches compete - Wareable (2)

The Forerunner 945 is certainly sportier than the Fenix. From the silicone strap to the polymer body, it's suitable for activities like running and swimming or if you have small wrists.

It has a 47mm case, which will be big for many women and men with smaller wrists, so it's something to think about.

(Video) Garmin Fenix 6 vs Forerunner 945 - They're Not So Different Anymore!

The Fenix ​​6 shares the same 47mm watch case as the Forerunner 945, although the bezel that wraps around the screen makes it look larger on the wrist.

That said, even on our slim wrists, the Fenix​​6 doesn't feel as bulky as Fenix​​watches of the past and they feel closer than ever in comfort and stature.

  • Forerunner 955 em test

But more importantly, if the 47mm case feels too big, the Fenix ​​6S offers a significantly smaller 42mm watch and the bang is minimal. You do lose battery life and some screen real estate, but for our money the Fenix ​​6S is the best of the bunch.

For those interested in straps, both offer the option to swap them out for new ones, although the Fenix ​​uses the more standard 20mm straps, while the Forerunner 945 uses 22mm straps.

Garmin offers a variety of different options, whether you want something less sporty or it's easier to dress the Fenix ​​up with a smarter band to mask some of its sporty shapes.

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When it comes to monitors, you get more than one and better resolution on the Fenix.

The Forerunner 945 has a 1.2-inch transflective screen with a resolution of 240 x 240, just like the Fenix ​​​​6S.

Upgrade to a Fenix ​​6 and you get a 1.3-inch 240 x 240 screen and a 1.4-inch 280 x 280 screen in the behemoth Fenix ​​6X.

There are no touchscreens here, with the same arrangement of five physical buttons used to navigate the onboard screens.

Does that extra screen size and resolution drastically change the viewing experience? We primarily use the Fenix​​6 Pro and we would say no. It might be a different proposition to the Fenix​​6X, offering more space for stats and maps, but it doesn't seem like a dramatic difference from a visibility standpoint.

For those who enjoy swimming, all Fenix ​​6 models offer increased water resistance of 10 ATM (up to 100 meters) compared to the 945's 5 ATM (up to 50 meters) water resistance.

Verdict: If you're looking for something that's better suited to heavy use, has the option of a larger screen, and can tone down its predominantly sporty look, go for the Fenix. If you don't care and just want something that feels small and light on your wrist, go for the 945.

Sports and activity tracking

ready to useGarmin Fenix ​​​​​​6 v Forerunner 945: The best watches compete - Wareable (4)

The Forerunner 945 is known as the ideal Garmin collection watch for triathletes. It'll also be a good choice for runners looking for more metrics and information and wanting longer battery life, which you get with watches like the Forerunner 245 and 645 below.

Fenix ​​is ​​Garmin's watch designed for outdoor activities, so it makes a great contribution to outdoor sports tracking, navigation and mapping capabilities.

But let's start with these all-important sensors.

(Video) Garmin Forerunner 945 vs Garmin Fenix 6: Top running watches compared

Both offer the same core sensors, including built-in GPS, Garmin's latest Elevate heart rate monitor technology, and an accelerometer to record activities like indoor running and steps for fitness tracking. Sleep monitoring is also based on accelerometers.

ready to useGarmin Fenix ​​​​​​6 v Forerunner 945: The best watches compete - Wareable (5)

For extra outdoor data, you also get a thermometer and compass to generate additional metrics. Pulse oximeters are also featured on both watches, used to offer better sleep tracking. It also offers information on altitude acclimatization when working out on the mountain, Rocky style.

Running, golf, cycling and swimming (open and pool) are available for dedicated sport modes. There are profiles here for trail running, kayaking, skiing and snowboarding, all with the ability to provide metrics specific to those activities.

We've done a lot of running, swimming, HIIT training and walking with these two watches, and we can say that they offer almost the same performance.

ready to useGarmin Fenix ​​​​​​6 v Forerunner 945: The best watches compete - Wareable (6)

The decision to pair an external heart rate chest strap is also a wise decision for both of you.

While heart rate monitors generally offer decent performance for many activities, you can still get more reliable results by investing in a chest strap.

This also feeds into the broad range of continuing education insights and analytics offered for the 945 and Fenix​​6.

In our experience, training status, load, focus, VO2max, and even heat acclimatization are more reliable when based on data from a chest strap.

What exactly does the more expensive Fenix​6 get from the Forerunner 945?

The answer is that you get some dedicated activity modes that you don't get on the Forerunner 945. Things like XC Skate Ski support, Jumpmaster, Tactical and Boat modes are missing. These modes are the type of features designed for the military.

So if you're planning on jumping out of a plane or need to see something with night vision goggles, then you're going to want the Fenix. That said, these two are good for sports tracking.

cartography and navigation

ready to useGarmin Fenix ​​​​​​6 v Forerunner 945: The best watches compete - Wareable (7)

Many people look to these watches for their ability to help you explore or even get you home safely.

The good news is that both watches offer Garmin's best mapping and navigation features.

In the case of the Fenix, you will need to purchase the Fenix ​​​​​​​​​6(S) Pro model to access the mapping.

(Video) Garmin Fenix 6 vs Garmin Forerunner 945 || 7 Key Differences

You can expect topographic maps preloaded with thousands of ski areas.

You can also create routes in the Garmin's Connect companion app or other compatible third-party apps and upload them to your watch.

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For example, when you're ready to get started, you can navigate to points of interest, view real-time trail routes, find saved places, create routes, and access useful features like Back to the Start and Backtrack.

While it's by no means the perfect mapping and navigation experience, it's certainly still a cut above its competitors in terms of how it works and what features are available to you.

Map and navigation features are almost identical on both watches. While the modes may look slightly different on the menu screens, they perform pretty much the same, and that's what matters. On Fenix, you get map themes to streamline the activity data of your choice and some slightly richer detail on the information available on the map screens.

However, if you opt for a Fenix ​​6 or 6X, you get a larger, higher resolution screen that spreads those mapping and navigation features across a larger surface area, giving it a slight advantage over the Forerunner 945. .

smart watch features

ready to useGarmin Fenix ​​​​​​6 v Forerunner 945: The best watches compete - Wareable (9)

Both watches have the same smartwatch features, but in the case of Fenix ​​​​​​​​​6 only if you go for the Pro version. Upgrading your Fenix​​​​6 gives you the built-in music player and Wi-Fi that comes standard on the 945.

This music player works the same on all watches, allowing you to stream music from your computer or compatible music streaming services like Spotify and Amazon Music. Of course, you'll need paid subscriptions to go through the playlists.

There is a difference between support and storage of this music player. The Fenix ​​offers space for 2,000 songs compared to the 1,000 songs you can squeeze into the 945. So if you want more storage, the Fenix ​​is ​​what you're looking for.

Elsewhere, both work with Android and iPhone via Garmin's Connect app. There's also support for Garmin's Connect IQ store, available as a separate phone app.

ready to useGarmin Fenix ​​​​​​6 v Forerunner 945: The best watches compete - Wareable (10)

When it comes to dealing with notifications triggered by their phones, Android owners still have the advantage of replying to text messages or rejecting calls. For example, third-party apps like Twitter also allow you to like tweets.

For payment fanatics, the 945 and all Fenix ​​models offer Garmin Pay support, so you can leave your wallet, purse or loose change at home.

It's worth talking about the watch's UI here too, as it's a major software difference between the two and how information is presented on the watches. Fenix ​​includes a new widget-based user interface that lets you scroll through a stream of different data right from the watch face. On the 945, the same data resides on individual watch faces.

Again, smartwatch features are evenly combined. If you opt for a Fenix ​​Pro version, you'll get twice the music storage compared to the 945. We prefer to say that we prefer the Fenix ​​UI too. It's not a big deal here in terms of everyday use, but it's more fun to interact with information outside of sports tracking.

battery life

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The good news is that both watches offer long battery life.

(Video) Garmin Forerunner 945 for Surfing

The 945 promises up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode, 10 hours using GPS and music, and up to 36 hours using GPS.

If you choose the Fenix​​6s, you get up to 9 days in smartwatch mode, up to 6 hours with GPS and music, and up to 25 hours with GPS.

Switch to the Fenix​​6 and expect up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, 10 hours with GPS and music, and 36 hours with GPS. So this model is the same as what you get in the Forerunner 945.

Step into the Fenix ​​6X and you can expect up to 21 days in smartwatch mode, 15 hours with GPS and music, and a whopping 60 hours with GPS. With the 6X Solar Edition, you can keep charging your battery even when you're out in the sun.

The Fenix ​​offers some extra battery modes you won't find on the 945, which was built for those big adventures.

Hidden in the settings you will find a power manager where you will find a battery saving mode. This allows you to put the watch into power saving mode, where it also disables battery draining features when not in use. In this modality you can oscillate between 40 and 80 days depending on the Fenix ​​model you choose.

There are also power modes where you can maximize battery usage using UltraTrac mode (also on the Forerunner 945), turning off music, notifications and heart rate monitoring to give you up to 72 hours in GPS mode. A jacket mode disables heart rate monitoring to provide up to 40 hours of GPS tracking.

Last is the Expedition mode, designed to record multi-day activities. This mode offers a battery life of up to 28 days.

It's worth noting that features like a pulse oximeter and streaming music take a noticeable toll on battery power on both watches, in our experience. So, if you are not interested in these features, please disable them.

If you want longer battery life and more control over how long that battery lasts, go for the Fenix​​6. The 945 is no slouch in this department, offering enough time between charges for most. The additional battery-focused features certainly make more sense in a watch designed for those looking for their crampons more than a pair of running shoes. Verdict

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To be clear, these are two fantastic multisport watches. In terms of features, you get a very similar experience for sports tracking and smartwatch features.

So how do you choose? Well, that's our take on whether you go for the Fenix​​6 or the Forerunner 945..

Compre o Forerunner 945: if you value a multisport watch that is light and not too bulky on your wrist. You get the same robust sports tracking and smartwatch features as the entire Fenix ​​lineup.It also offers a ton of battery life.

Buy the Phoenix 6- If you want a more attractive watch that offers the best a Garmin watch can currently offer. If you look beyond the Garmin Venu's AMOLED color display, you'll find everything good about Garmin in the Fenix. From the most luxurious materials to the widest range of sports and activity tracking modes. Mapping is a slightly nicer experience here too.

Gives you longer battery life and more control over power-hungry features.

As we said, these are two of the best watches we've ever used, and Garmin has managed to squeeze many of the Fenix's features into the more compact Forerunner 945. We look forward to seeing if this is repeated in the next high-end precursor and new land of the Fenix.

(Video) Garmin Fenix 6 vs Forerunner 745 - Routable vs Breadcrumb Maps - How to Create and Follow a Course!


What is the difference between the Garmin Fenix 6 and Forerunner 945? ›

The Forerunner 945 can last much longer than the Fenix in Smartwatch mode, with a maximum of two weeks. Using functions like GPS mode and music drastically reduces its lifespan, though, as it drops to 10 hours with music and 36 hours without.

Why is the Fenix better than the Forerunner? ›

The Fenix 7 has either a stainless steel or titanium bezel and rear casing, the Forerunner 955 a tough plastic resin shell. It's what makes the Fenix 7 slightly higher-end, and also slightly heavier. No-one's going to call the Forerunner 955 a no-frills fitness watch, but its use of plastic is pragmatic and value-led.

What is the best Garmin watch for multisport? ›

Read our full Garmin Fenix 7X review (The Garmin Fenix 7X won the Best Multisport Watch category at the T3 Awards 2022!)

What is the difference between Fenix and Forerunner? ›

The Forerunner comes with a slightly smaller display size compared to the fēnix and can fit wrist circumferences between 124 mm and 220 mm, depending on the model you opt for.

Which Garmin watch is best? ›

Don't know which Garmin is right for you? The top watches compared
  • Garmin Fenix 7X: Solar Edition. Best Garmin watch overall. ...
  • Garmin Vivoactive 4. Best cheap Garmin watch. ...
  • Garmin Venu 2 Plus. Best Garmin watch for the business-focused athlete. ...
  • Garmin Forerunner 745. ...
  • Garmin Instinct 2: Solar Edition.
Jan 24, 2023

Is Garmin Fenix 6 outdated? ›

Garmin released a firmware update earlier this year that added new sports profiles to the Fenix 6 line, plus tweaks to the interface. It's far from outdated, and it's encouraging to see Garmin adding new features to old tech.


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