Fenix 7 and Forerunner 945 are ideal smartwatch options that offer multisport functionality. Both watches do have a best-case scenario usage. Some people may be more inclined in getting a Fenix 7. Others may prefer Forerunner 945, especially the LTE model. What makes Forerunner 945 more suitable for some people? Or, what makes a Garmin Fenix 7 the choice of smartwatch users and fitness enthusiasts. We look at the key differences between the Garmin Fenix 7 and the Garmin Forerunner 945 smartwatch models in our detailed study. This should help you make a more informed decision about your next smartwatch. For the purpose of our study, we focus on the Forerunner 945 LTE and Garmin Fenix 7 Standard edition.
Size and Appearance – Fenix 7 vs Forerunner 945
Fenix 7 is a premium smartwatch. It has a stainless steel bezel with a case made of fiber-enforced polymer. The rear cover is made of metal. Forerunner 945 is a hundred percent fiber-enforced polymer. This makes Fenix 7 look much better, and more robust than a Forerunner 945. Steel bezel and metal cover add to the size of the Fenix 7.
- Fenix 7 weighs 79 g while the Forerunner 945 weighs 49 g. And, the 30 g weight difference can be explained on the size of the Fenix 7, stainless steel bezel and metal cover on the rear. Most athletes are happier with a lighter watch. This is so true when you are running or participating in triathlon events. You carry lesser weight on your wrist.
- Fenix 7 has a watch size of 47 mm with a thickness of 14.5 mm; Forerunner 945 is a little over 44 mm in size with a thickness of 13.9 mm. Essentially, Forerunner 945 will look more sleek than the Fenix 7.
- Display size of Fenix 7 is 1.3″ and the Forerunner 945 is slightly lower at 1.2″.
- Display resolution of Fenix 7 is 260 x 260 pixels. Forerunner 945 is maginally lower at 240 x 240 pixels.
Touchscreen feature – Fenix 7 vs Forerunner 945
Fenix 7 imbibes the touchscreen feature. The touchscreen functionality is not available on the Forerunner 945 watches. You will need to work with the line buttons to move from one screen option to another on the Forerunner 945 watches. Both watches have MIP or memory in pixel screen. We did expect that the AMOLED display may get introduced on the Fenix 7. But, the AMOLED display remains evasive for now on Fenix 7.
The touchscreen on Fenix 7 improves the user experience. The wearer of the Fenix 7 smartwatch can move around the smartwatch menu using the touchscreen functionality. You can make use of the line buttons of Fenix 7 as well. But, touchscreen-based navigation is more user-friendly.
Water resistance – Fenix 7 vs Forerunner 945
Forerunner 945 is a 5 ATM smartwatch. It is rated for water resistance and depth pressure of 5 atmospheres. You can wear Forerunner 945 in water. Forerunner 945 can withstand a depth pressure of 50 meters below water level. In terms of feet, this implies that the Forerunner 945 can take a depth pressure of 165 feet.
A Forerunner 945 is certified for water resistance during splashes, rain or snow, showering, swimming, diving into the water, snorkeling.
Fenix 7 goes a step above and is rated as a 10 ATM smartwatch. It can take a depth pressure of 100 meters or 330 feet below water level. This makes Fenix 7 fit for use during splashes, rain or snow, showering, swimming, diving into the water, snorkeling. Additionally, you can use Fenix 7 during high-speed water sports.
On-device storage – Fenix 7 vs Forerunner 945
Fenix 7 standard edition has on-device storage of 16 GB. Fenix 7 Sapphire and Solar editions have 32 GB on-device storage. Forerunner 945 has around 15 GB of storage. Out of the 15 GB storage, only 4 GB is available for your use. The remaining storage is in use by the smartwatch operating system and other apps. Technically speaking, the Fenix 7 standard edition and the Forerunner 945 have the limited size to add additional topo maps. Generally, the topo maps for your region come preloaded on the watch. However should you want to load additional region topo maps, you will run into space constraints on the Fenix 7 standard edition and the Forerunner 945.
This is where the Fenix 7 Sapphire and Solar editions will come in handy. These watch models have 32 GB storage. So, you could add topo maps from different regions on your Fenix 7 Sapphire or Fenix 7 Solar watches. And, you could always add music for offline listening.
Available space on Forerunner 945 allows you to store up to 250 hours of activity data. For athletes, the Forerunner 945 offers ample space to record and store activity tracking data.
Forerunner 945 has storage that could store up to 1000 songs on the watch storage. Fenix 7 standard edition can store up to 2000 songs on the device. Fenix 7 Sapphire and Solar editions have the double capacity of Fenix 7 standard edition.
Battery – Fenix 7 vs Forerunner 945
The Fenix 7 has a marginally higher battery life than the Forerunner 945 smartwatch. But, the difference is too narrow to consider battery as a differentiator between the Fenix 7 and Forerunner 945 smartwatches. We, however, list the available data for battery backup times of Fenix 7 and Forerunner 945.
- Smartwatch mode – Fenix 7 has 18 days and Forerunner 945 has 14 days.
- GPS only mode – Fenix 7 offers 57 hours backup and Forerunner 945 offers 35 hours backup.
- GPS with music – Fenix 7 offers 10 hours and Forerunner offers 12 hours backup.
You will notice that the difference is too narrow to call the battery a key difference between the Fenix 7 and Forerunner 945 smartwatches.
LTE connectivity – Fenix 7 vs Forerunner 945 LTE
The Forerunner 945 LTE model offers LTE connectivity right off the smartwatch. eSim functionality for a 4G service provider is in-built into the Forerunner 945 LTE model. LTE connectivity allows you to run without carrying the paired smartphone. Further, the LTE model will allow you to make emergency calls in the event of fall detection or incident detection.
Forerunner 945 LTE model offers LTE connectivity in specific countries. You will need to check the countries and regions for which Garmin Forerunner 945 is compatible with the LTE networks.
Fenix 7 does not have LTE connectivity. We expected Fenix 7 to come with LTE or Cellular connectivity. However, Garmin seems to have chosen to give LTE connectivity a miss on the Fenix 7 series smartwatch. For the record, it may be pertinent to mention that the Forerunner 945 is the only smartwatch from Garmin that has an LTE model to connect to the LTE networks.
Other features – Fenix 7 vs Forerunner 945
There is a slew of miscellaneous features that differ between the Fenix 7 and Forerunner 945 smartwatches. We list these differences in brief below.
- Fenix 7 has Golfing features while the Forerunner 945 does not have the Golfing feature.
- Fenix 7 has additional outdoor recreation profiles. These profiles include Indoor Climbing, Bouldering, Mountain Biking, Skiing, Surfing, Kiteboarding, Windsurfing, Snowshoeing, Jumpmaster, Tactical.
- Fenix 7 has volumetric oxygen metrics. It can be used to track and measure VO2 max. Fenix 7 also has realtime stamina feature.
- Fenix 7 has an additional feature for the cycling profile to cover the sports of triathlon.
- Fenix 7 has an additional HIIT profile in the Gym category.
- Forerunner 945 has preloaded topo maps for the region you are in. Fenix 7 does come with preloaded maps.
- Fenix 7 has an additional running profile of track running.
There may be some other differences between the Fenix 7 and Forerunner 945 smartwatches. However, the most significant differences have been shared with you as part of the study.
Sore points of Forerunner 945 – Forerunner 945 vs Fenix 7
Forerunner 945 is, generally, liked and appreciated by serious athletes. The watch provides complete functionality that you would expect of it. However, there have been a few sore points when it comes to the Forerunner 945 or the Forerunner 945 LTE. We mention these sore points for your ready reference. The core functionality of the watch is top class. But, there are missing pieces in the puzzle here. And, we thought you ought to be aware of these before embarking on a buy decision.
- Forerunner 945 has poor quality ear buds. Some people have had a struggle in putting them on, and keeping them on while running. You could always buy a set of third party ear buds for better experience.
- Forerunner 945 watch strap quality does not look to be on par with what Fenix 7 offers. It is one of those things when you feel that this could have been a tad better.
Aside from these two known sore points, Forerunner 945 emerges as a strong and robust watch option for runners and athletes.
Cost difference – Forerunner 945 vs Fenix 7
- Forerunner 945 costs a little less than $600 and the LTE model costs $649.
- Fenix 7 standard edition is $699, and price could go all the way up to $999. Price depends on the Sapphire and Solar watch models.
For the price difference between the Fenix 7 and Forerunner 945, it would be a tough call to make a choice. We believe that the Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar at $899.99 is a nice watch to have. You could look for special discounted pricing and knock off around 20 percent from the MSRP of the Fenix 7 watch.
Both, Fenix 7 and Forerunner 945 have strong points. The main differences are mentioned in brief below:
- A Fenix 7 watch has a touchscreen.
- Forerunner 945 LTE has LTE connection in specific countries. We do suggest checking out the list of eligible countries for LTE connectivity.
- Fenix 7 has higher memory or on-device storage. Sapphire and Solar editions have 32 GB on device memory.
- Fenix 7 has additional profiles for outdoor recreation, golfing and cycling.
- Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar or Solar models have extended battery life. Fenix 7 standard edition and Forerunner 945 has almost identical battery life.
- If you do triathlons, go for the Forerunner 945 LTE or Forerunner 945.
You may also like to read the following content related to Garmin watches:
- Is Fenix 7 waterproof?
- Does Fenix 7 have ECG
- Garmin Fenix 6 Firmware 20.50 – Updated 14.02.22
- Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar Smartwatches
- Garmin Fenix 7 vs Epix 2 Smartwatches
- Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar vs Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar smartwatches
Rajesh Dhawan is a technology professional who loves to blog about smart wearables, Cloud computing and Microsoft technologies. He loves to break complex problems into manageable chunks of meaningful information.