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Garmin brings LTE connectivity to its premium running watch
Garmin’s fitness trackers are some of the best in the game, particularly for serious runners. With features like built-in maps, GPS tracking, music storage, and more, Garmin’s premium Forerunner series of watches are ideal companions if you’re looking to leave your phone behind. Its high-end offering, the Forerunner 945, is getting even better with the introduction of LTE connectivity. Here’s what you need to know about the Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE!
What does LTE connectivity get you?
Right off the bat, we should mention that LTE connectivity on the Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE will be a little different from what is available with traditional smartwatches, like the LTE version of the Galaxy Watch 3. Instead of the ability to make and receive calls and text messages and stream music without your phone, LTE features on the new Garmin watch are all about fitness and tracking.
LTE allows for advanced, real-time location tracking. If the watch detects an incident, it can send a message with your location to your emergency contacts. The watch will also automatically send your name and location to the Garmin IERCC, a professional monitoring and response center. Garmin IERCC will contact and coordinate with local emergency services. The center will also stay in touch with you using two-way messaging through the watch.
Garmin’s LiveTrack feature gets even better with LTE. Now, you don’t need your phone to let people follow you on your route and see your planned course. During a race, you can also send pace and mileage updates and receive motivational audio and text messages from loved ones. The Forerunner 945 LTE offers an impressive 2-week battery life and up to 7 hours via GPS mode with music and LTE LiveTrack.
What about health and fitness tracking features?
Other than the addition of LTE connectivity, the Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE is mostly unchanged when compared to its namesake. That makes sense, though, given that the regular Forerunner 945 remains one of the most feature-packed running watches you can buy.
The Forerunner 945 LTE includes features like Garmin’s PacePro and ClimbPro modes, training load focus stats, sleep and altitude acclimation, and staples like Body Battery, all-day stress tracking, and a pulse oximeter for SpO2 readings. You can also review sleep quality and receive insights on how it’s affecting training recovery on the watch.
Also read: Garmin wearables buyer’s guide
Built-in, full-color maps are also available here. This allows you to plan and download routes, follow a course with turn-by-turn directions, and know when the next turn is coming. Want to take the guesswork out of route planning? You can enter the distance you want to run or ride, and the watch will suggest loop courses that come back to the starting point.
Runners can prepare for a race with plenty of training data and monitoring tools to improve their performance. The watch will suggest daily workouts based on your current training load and status. You can sync indoor and outdoor training plans from both Garmin Connect and third-party platforms or use the built-in plans for 5K, 10K, or half-marathons. The Forerunner 945 LTE also lets you track other activities like cycling, pool and open-water swimming, cardio workouts, and more.
Other connected features
The Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE is also a pretty good smartwatch. You can receive notifications for incoming calls, messages, social media updates, and other alerts on the watch. Again, this is only available when paired to a phone and not using LTE.
You can also store up to 1,000 songs on the watch and sync playlists over Wi-Fi from music streaming services like Amazon Music, Deezer, and Spotify. You can also make payments on the go directly from the watch using Garmin Pay.
Pricing and availability
The Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE is available now for $649.99, a $50 mark-up from the non-LTE variant of the watch. It will be available in the US and Canada today and will launch in global markets later this summer.
You will also need to subscribe to an LTE plan to take full advantage of the new premium watch. Unlike the LTE-version of the Vivoactive 3 Music, which required an LTE plan from Verizon, you can get a subscription directly from Garmin via the Garmin Connect app. Garmin’s LTE plan starts at $5.99 per month with an annual contract. It goes up to $6.99 a month without a year-long commitment.
The new features are a useful addition for serious runners who spend hours away from home. The improved LiveTrack, the ability to get help without needing your phone, and the option to receive motivational messages during a race are great. However, you don’t get “classic” smartwatch LTE features here. You don’t have a way to make and receive calls and app notifications without your phone or the ability to stream music while on the go (you can still store songs on the watch, though).
The regular Forerunner 945 is as good as far as health and fitness tracking are concerned. So you might be better off saving the extra $50 and the subscription price unless the LTE features sound like a must-have to you.
Garmin also announced its new Forerunner 55 running watch. You can check out our full review right here.