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Which of These Top Garmin Watches Is Your Next Training Partner?

We Compare the Forerunner® 245/945 vs fēnix 6/6S/6X Pro, Sapphire, & Pro Solar

When it comes to Garmin Forerunner vs fēnix 6 fitness watches, the two families have a flotilla of top-notch features in common. But there are differences, and those differences will seem subtle to some and huge to others—which is why you should get to know all of these top Garmin watch models.

For example, do you want on-watch music? Would solar-charging be life-changing? How much does build quality factor in to your multisport watch purchase? Will exclusive activities be a game-changer?

Let's face it, the more expensive Forerunner 945 and fēnix 6 Pro, Sapphire, and Pro Solar are the height of what Garmin sport watches can offer—or any brand for that matter. But do you need (or want) the most expensive one? Find out in this article as we compare the following categories: Display and Build Quality, Navigation, Smart Features, Health Monitoring, Training Features, and Battery Life.


Benefits of Owning a Garmin fēnix 6 or Forerunner Fitness Watch  

What about health and training?

Yup. It's all in there. The fēnix 6 and Forerunner 245/945 fitness GPS watches are loaded—and then some!

Will my fēnix or Forerunner battery last?

You bet. From the Forerunner 245 to the fēnix 6X Pro Solar, you have options for managing your battery life!

Is there a Garmin fēnix or Forerunner to fit me?

Both the Forerunner and fēnix 6 come in various sizes—there's one for every wrist!

Do These Garmin GPS watches have reliable tracking?

Every fēnix 6 and the Forerunner 245/945 watch comes with multi-GNSS for tracking in the most challenging environments!

Can I stay connected with my
Garmin fēnix or Forerunner?

Roger that. Count on Bluetooth® Smart, ANT+®—and even Wi-Fi® in upgraded fenix and Forerunner models!

Are they durable enough for me?

Um, yeah. The Forerunner 245/945 and the fēnix 6 series are water resistant and have quality build.




Garmin Forerunner vs fēnix
Train Your Way


Garmin vs fēnix Display and Build Quality

We're serving up lots of details in this section because size and build quality can be a major factor in your GPS fitness watch purchase. A runner may want a slimmer, lighter watch, whereas a bulkier Garmin watch may be more resistant to the elements and have more room for features. A smaller display may be perfect for some workouts, while a larger screen may offer more stat data at a glance. It all comes down to you!

Garmin Forerunner 245

The Forerunner 245 has a 1.2" (30.4 mm) diameter color display with a Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 lens. The bezel and case are made from fiber-reinforced polymer for a lightweight 38.5 g watch, catering to a runner's wrist. Physical dimensions of 42.3 x 42.3 x 12.2 mm make it the thinnest of this lineup. It's strap is silicone, and it has a 5 ATM water rating (Withstands pressures equivalent to a depth of 50 meters and splashes, rain or snow, showering, swimming, diving into water, and snorkeling).

Garmin Forerunner 945/945 LTE

The Forerunner 945 has a 1.2" (30.4 mm) diameter color display with a Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX lens. The bezel and case are made from fiber-reinforced polymer for a lightweight 50 g watch, catering to a runner's wrist. Physical dimensions of 47 x 47 x 13.7 mm (44.4 x 44.4 x 13.9 mm for 945 LTE). It's strap is silicone, and it has a 5 ATM water rating (Withstands pressures equivalent to a depth of 50 meters and splashes, rain or snow, showering, swimming, diving into water, and snorkeling).

Garmin fēnix 6/6S (standard)

The fēnix 6 has a 1.3" (30.4 mm) diameter color display with a Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX lens. It has a stainless steel bezel and fiber-reinforced polymer case with metal rear cover watch, making it a heavier watch at 80 g. Physical dimensions of 47 x 47 x 14.7 mm—making it a little thicker than the 945.

The fēnix 6S has a 1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter color display with a Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX lens. It has a stainless steel bezel and fiber-reinforced polymer case with metal rear cover watch, making it still heavier than the Forerunners at 58 g, but the lightest of the fēnix 6 series. Physical dimensions are 42 x 42 x 13.8 mm—making it smaller than the fēnix 6 and Forerunner 945 models.

The strap for both the fēnix 6 and fēnix 6S is silicone, and they have a 10 ATM water rating (Withstands pressures equivalent to a depth of 100 meters and splashes, rain or snow, showering, swimming, diving into water, snorkeling, and high-speed water sports).

Garmin fēnix 6/6S/6X Pro & Sapphire

The fēnix 6/6S Pro & Sapphire have the same dimensions and display sizes as the standard fēnix 6/6S. However, due to some other materials offered, such as titanium and DLC coated steel, and a sapphire lens on the fēnix 6 Sapphire editions, the weight varies by several grams—titanium being a lighter material than steel. All in all, they are a bit heavier than their Forerunner counterparts.

The fēnix 6X is not available in a standard model (only Pro, Sapphire, and Pro Solar). The fēnix 6X has a 1.4” (35.56 mm) diameter color display with a Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX lens—sapphire crystal for the Sapphire edition. It offers a stainless steel or DLC coated steel bezel and fiber-reinforced polymer case with metal rear cover watch, making it the heaviest watch in this lineup at 93 g. Physical dimensions of 51 x 51 x 14.9 mm make it a considerably bulkier watch.

Garmin fēnix 6/6S/6X Pro Solar

The fēnix 6/6S/6X Pro Solar watches have the same dimensions and display sizes as the Pro and Sapphire editions. However, the lens is made of Power Glass™ for solar charging, and the weight varies because of a range of materials offered.

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Garmin vs fēnix Navigation Features  

Garmin Forerunner 245

  • Multi-GNSS (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo)
  • Compass and Accelerometer
  • Point-to-point navigation
  • Bread crumb trail in real time
  • Back to start
  • TracBack®
  • UltraTrac mode
  • Distance to destination
  • GPS coordinates

Garmin Forerunner 945/945 LTE

  • Multi-GNSS (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo)
  • Compass and Accelerometer
  • Point-to-point navigation
  • Bread crumb trail in real time
  • Back to start
  • TracBack®
  • UltraTrac mode
  • Distance to destination
  • GPS coordinates
  • Around Me mode
  • Elevation profile
  • Preloaded topographical maps, road and trail maps, golf course maps
  • Downloadable cartography support
  • Compatible with BaseCamp™
  • Projected waypoint
  • Cycle Map

 

Garmin fēnix 6/6S (standard)

  • Multi-GNSS (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo)
  • Compass, Accelerometer, Barometric Altimeter, Gyroscope, and Thermometer
  • Dual Grid coordinates
  • Point-to-point navigation
  • Bread crumb trail in real time
  • Back to start
  • TracBack®
  • UltraTrac mode
  • Distance to destination
  • Around Me mode
  • Elevation profile
  • Sight 'N Go
  • GPS coordinates
  • Projected waypoint
  • Expedition GPS Activity
  • Compatible with BaseCamp

Garmin fēnix 6/6S/6X Pro & Sapphire

  • Multi-GNSS (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo)
  • Compass and Accelerometer
  • Point-to-point navigation
  • Bread crumb trail in real time
  • Back to start
  • TracBack®
  • UltraTrac mode
  • Dual Grid coordinates
  • Sight 'N Go
  • Expedition GPS Activity
  • Distance to destination
  • GPS coordinates
  • Around Me mode
  • Elevation profile
  • Preloaded topographical maps, road and trail maps, ski resort maps, golf course maps
  • Downloadable cartography support
  • Compatible with BaseCamp™
  • Projected waypoint
  • Cycle Map

Garmin fēnix 6/6S/6X Pro Solar

All fēnix 6 Pro Solar watches have the same navigation features as the Pro & Sapphire editions.

 


Garmin vs fēnix Smart Features

Garmin Forerunner 245

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth®, ANT+®
  • Music: Controls watch music; Forerunner 245 Music: Plays and controls watch music; stores up to 500 songs for phone-free listening
  • Connect IQ™ (downloadable watch faces, data fields, widgets and apps)
  • Smart Notifications
  • Calendar & Weather
  • Find My Phone, Find My Watch
  • VIRB® Remote
  • Smartphone Compatibility: iPhone® and Android™
  • LiveTrack, Live Event Sharing, Live Event Sharing (Android only), Assistance

Garmin Forerunner 945/945 LTE

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi®; 945 LTE: LTE (with subscription)
  • Music: Plays and controls watch music; stores up to 1,000 songs for phone-free listening
  • Connect IQ™ (downloadable watch faces, data fields, widgets and apps)
  • Smart Notifications
  • Calendar & Weather
  • Find My Phone, Find My Watch
  • VIRB® Remote
  • Smartphone Compatibility: iPhone and Android
  • Garmin Pay™
  • LiveTrack, Group LiveTrack, Live Event Sharing, Live Event Sharing (Android only), Assistance; Forerunner 945 LTE: Spectator messaging (with LTE subscription), Assistance Plus (with LTE subscription)

Garmin fēnix 6/6S (standard)

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+
  • Music: Controls watch music
  • Connect IQ™ (downloadable watch faces, data fields, widgets and apps)
  • Smart Notifications
  • Calendar & Weather
  • Battery saver (customizable low power watch)
  • Find My Phone, Find My Watch
  • VIRB® Remote
  • Smartphone Compatibility: iPhone and Android
  • Garmin Pay
  • LiveTrack, Group LiveTrack, Live Event Sharing, Live Event Sharing, Assistance

Garmin fēnix 6/6S/6X Pro & Sapphire

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi
  • Music: Plays and controls watch music; stores up to 2,000 songs for phone-free listening
  • Connect IQ™ (downloadable watch faces, data fields, widgets and apps)
  • Smart Notifications
  • Calendar & Weather
  • Battery saver (customizable low power watch)
  • Find My Phone, Find My Watch
  • VIRB® Remote
  • Smartphone Compatibility: iPhone and Android
  • Garmin Pay
  • LiveTrack, Group LiveTrack, Live Event Sharing, Live Event Sharing, Assistance

Garmin fēnix 6/6S/6X Pro Solar

All fēnix 6 Pro Solar watches have the same smartwatch features as the Pro & Sapphire editions.

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Garmin vs fēnix Health-Monitoring Features  

Garmin Forerunner 245

  • Wrist-based Heart Rate (constant, every second)
  • Daily Resting Heart Rate
  • Abnormal Heart Rate Alerts
  • Pulse Ox Blood Oxygen Saturation (spot-check and optionally in sleep)
  • Fitness Age—Reinterprets your VO2 Max score in terms of age to make it more relatable by estimating the body’s age using chronological age, activity, resting heart rate, and either body fat % or BMI.
  • Body Battery™ Energy Monitor—Allows you to track your body’s energy levels so you can find the best times for activity and rest.
  • All-Day Stress
  • Relaxation breathing timer
  • Advanced Sleep
  • Hydration
  • Women's Health

Garmin Forerunner 945/945 LTE

  • Wrist-based Heart Rate (constant, every second)
  • Daily Resting Heart Rate
  • Abnormal Heart Rate Alerts
  • Respiration rate (24x7)
  • Pulse Ox Blood Oxygen Saturation (spot-check, and optional all-day acclimation and in sleep)
  • Fitness Age—Reinterprets your VO2 Max score in terms of age to make it more relatable by estimating the body’s age using chronological age, activity, resting heart rate, and either body fat % or BMI.
  • Body Battery™ Energy Monitor—Allows you to track your body’s energy levels so you can find the best times for activity and rest.
  • All-Day Stress
  • Relaxation breathing timer
  • Relaxation reminders (945 LTE only)
  • Advanced Sleep
  • Sleep Score and Insights
  • Hydration
  • Women's Health

Garmin fēnix 6/6S (standard)

  • Wrist-based Heart Rate (constant, every second)
  • Daily Resting Heart Rate
  • Abnormal Heart Rate Alerts
  • Respiration rate (24x7)
  • Pulse Ox Blood Oxygen Saturation (spot-check, and optional all-day acclimation and in sleep)
  • Fitness Age—Reinterprets your VO2 Max score in terms of age to make it more relatable by estimating the body’s age using chronological age, activity, resting heart rate, and either body fat % or BMI.
  • Body Battery™ Energy Monitor—Allows you to track your body’s energy levels so you can find the best times for activity and rest.
  • All-Day Stress
  • Relaxation breathing timer
  • Relaxation reminders
  • Advanced Sleep
  • Sleep Score and Insights
  • Hydration
  • Women's Health

Garmin fēnix 6/6S/6X Pro & Sapphire

  • Wrist-based Heart Rate (constant, every second)
  • Daily Resting Heart Rate
  • Abnormal Heart Rate Alerts
  • Respiration rate (24x7)
  • Pulse Ox Blood Oxygen Saturation (spot-check, and optional all-day acclimation and in sleep)
  • Fitness Age—Reinterprets your VO2 Max score in terms of age to make it more relatable by estimating the body’s age using chronological age, activity, resting heart rate, and either body fat % or BMI.
  • Body Battery™ Energy Monitor—Allows you to track your body’s energy levels so you can find the best times for activity and rest.
  • All-Day Stress
  • Relaxation breathing timer
  • Relaxation reminders
  • Advanced Sleep
  • Sleep Score and Insights
  • Hydration
  • Women's Health

Garmin fēnix 6/6S/6X Pro Solar

All fēnix 6 Pro Solar watches have the same health-monitoring features as the Pro & Sapphire editions.


Garmin vs fēnix Training Features  

Garmin Forerunner 245

  • Activity tracking (step counter, move bar, calories burned, distance traveled)
  • Gym activity profiles: Strength, Cardio and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Indoor Rowing and Yoga
  • HR zones, HR alerts, HR calories, % HR max, % HRR, Recovery Time, Auto max HR
  • GPS speed and distance
  • Customizable data pages and activity profiles
  • Auto Pause®, interval training, advanced workouts
  • Downloadable training plans
  • Auto Lap®, Manual lap, Configurable lap alerts
  • VO2 Max (Run)
  • Training Status (lets you see if you’re training effectively by tracking your training history and fitness level trend.)
  • Training Load (your total training load for the last 7 days calculated from estimated EPOC.)
  • Training Effect—aerobic and anaerobic
  • Daily suggested workouts
  • Finish time, Virtual Partner, Virtual Partner, Course guidance
  • Touch and/or button lock, Auto scroll, Activity history on watch
  • Available run profiles: Running, Treadmill Running, Indoor and Outdoor Track Running, Trail Running, Virtual Running
  • GPS-based distance, time and pace
  • Cadence (provides real-time number of steps per minute)
  • Running dynamics with compatible accessory
  • Performance condition (after running 6–20 minutes, compares your real-time condition to your average fitness level)
  • PacePro™ Pacing Strategies
  • Run workouts
  • Race predictor
  • Cycling and swim features (pool swimming)

Garmin Forerunner 945/945 LTE

  • Activity tracking same as 245 plus stairs climbed
  • Gym activity profiles: Same as 245 plus Floor Climbing and Pilates
  • HR zones, HR alerts, HR calories, % HR max, % HRR, Recovery Time, Auto max HR
  • Respiration rate (during exercise)
  • GPS speed and distance
  • Customizable data pages and activity profiles
  • Auto Pause, interval training, advanced workouts
  • Downloadable training plans
  • Auto Lap®, Manual lap, Configurable lap alerts
  • Heat and altitude acclimation
  • VO2 Max (Run)
  • Training Status (lets you see if you’re training effectively by tracking your training history and fitness level trend.)
  • Training Load (your total training load for the last 7 days calculated from estimated EPOC.)
  • Training Effect—aerobic and anaerobic
  • Daily suggested workouts
  • Finish time, Virtual Partner, Virtual Partner, Course guidance
  • Garmin Live Segments
  • Strava Live Segments
  • Round-trip course creator (running/cycling)
  • Trendline™ Popularity Routing
  • Touch and/or button lock, Hot keys, Auto scroll, Activity history on watch
  • Available run profiles: Running, Treadmill Running, Indoor and Outdoor Track Running, Trail Running, Virtual Running; 945 LTE: adds Ultra Running
  • GPS-based distance, time and pace
  • Cadence (provides real-time number of steps per minute)
  • Running dynamics with compatible accessory
  • Performance condition (after running 6–20 minutes, compares your real-time condition to your average fitness level)
  • PacePro™ Pacing Strategies
  • Run workouts
  • Race predictor
  • Golf features
  • Available outdoor recreation profiles: Hiking, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Kayaking
  • Cycling and swim features (Pool Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Swimrun)

Garmin fēnix 6/6S (standard)

  • Activity tracking same as 245 plus stairs climbed
  • Gym activity profiles: Same as 245 plus Floor Climbing and Pilates
  • HR zones, HR alerts, HR calories, % HR max, % HRR, Recovery Time, Auto max HR
  • Respiration rate (during exercise)
  • GPS speed and distance
  • Customizable data pages and activity profiles
  • Auto Pause, interval training, advanced workouts
  • Downloadable training plans
  • Power Modes: customizable in-activity battery settings
  • Auto Lap, Manual lap, Configurable lap alerts
  • Heat and altitude acclimation
  • VO2 Max (Run)
  • Training Status (lets you see if you’re training effectively by tracking your training history and fitness level trend.)
  • Training Load (your total training load for the last 7 days calculated from estimated EPOC.)
  • Training Effect—aerobic and anaerobic
  • Daily suggested workouts
  • Finish time, Virtual Partner, Virtual Partner, Course guidance
  • Garmin Live Segments
  • Touch and/or button lock, Hot keys, Auto scroll, Activity history on watch
  • Available run profiles: Running, Treadmill Running, Indoor Track Running, Trail Running, Virtual Running
  • GPS-based distance, time and pace
  • Cadence (provides real-time number of steps per minute)
  • Running dynamics with compatible accessory
  • Performance condition (after running 6–20 minutes, compares your real-time condition to your average fitness level)
  • PacePro™ Pacing Strategies
  • Run workouts
  • Race predictor
  • Golf features
  • Available outdoor recreation profiles: Hiking, Indoor Climbing, Bouldering, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Kayaking, Surfing, Jumpmaster, Tactical
  • Cycling and swim features (Pool Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Swimrun)

Garmin fēnix 6/6S/6X Pro & Sapphire

  • Activity tracking same as 245 plus stairs climbed
  • Gym activity profiles: Same as 245 plus Floor Climbing and Pilates
  • On-screen workout animations
  • HR zones, HR alerts, HR calories, % HR max, % HRR, Recovery Time, Auto max HR
  • Respiration rate (during exercise)
  • GPS speed and distance
  • Customizable data pages and activity profiles
  • Auto Pause, interval training, advanced workouts
  • Downloadable training plans
  • Power Modes: customizable in-activity battery settings
  • Auto Lap, Manual lap, Configurable lap alerts
  • Heat and altitude acclimation
  • VO2 Max (Run)
  • Training Status (lets you see if you’re training effectively by tracking your training history and fitness level trend.)
  • Training Load (your total training load for the last 7 days calculated from estimated EPOC.)
  • Training Effect—aerobic and anaerobic
  • Daily suggested workouts
  • Finish time, Virtual Partner, Virtual Partner, Course guidance
  • Garmin Live Segments
  • Strava Live Segments
  • Round-trip course creator (running/cycling)
  • Trendline™ Popularity Routing
  • Touch and/or button lock, Hot keys, Auto scroll, Activity history on watch
  • Available run profiles: Running, Treadmill Running, Indoor Track Running, Trail Running, Virtual Running
  • GPS-based distance, time and pace
  • Cadence (provides real-time number of steps per minute)
  • Running dynamics with compatible accessory
  • Performance condition (after running 6–20 minutes, compares your real-time condition to your average fitness level)
  • PacePro™ Pacing Strategies
  • Run workouts
  • Race predictor
  • Advanced golf features
  • Available outdoor recreation profiles: Hiking, Indoor Climbing, Bouldering, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Kayaking, Surfing, Jumpmaster, Tactical
  • Cycling and swim features (Pool Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Swimrun)

Garmin fēnix 6/6S/6X Pro Solar

All fēnix 6 Pro Solar watches have the same training features as the Pro & Sapphire editions.

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Garmin vs fēnix Battery Life  

Garmin Forerunner 245

Smartwatch Mode: Up to 7 days
GPS mode with music: Up to 6 hours
GPS mode without music: Up to 24 hours

Garmin Forerunner 945

Smartwatch Mode: Up to 2 weeks
GPS mode with music: Up to 10 hours
GPS mode without music: Up to 36 hours

Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE

Smartwatch Mode: Up to 2 weeks
GPS mode with music: Up to 12 hours
GPS mode with LTE LiveTrack: Up to 10 hours
GPS mode with music and LTE LiveTrack: Up to 7 hours
GPS mode without music: Up to 35 hours

fēnix 6S, Pro, Sapphire, & Pro Solar

Smartwatch: Up to 9 days/10.5 days with solar
Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 34 days/59 days with solar
GPS: Up to 25 hours/28 hours with solar
GPS + Music: Up to 6 hours
Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 50 hours/64 hours with solar
Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 20 days/26 days with solar

fēnix 6, Pro, Sapphire, & Pro Solar

Smartwatch: Up to 14 days/16 days with solar
Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 48 days/80 days with solar
GPS: Up to 36 hours/40 hours with solar
GPS + Music: Up to 10 hours
Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 72 hours/93 hours with solar
Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 28 days/36 days with solar

fēnix 6X, Pro, Sapphire, & Pro Solar

Smartwatch: Up to 21 days/24 days with solar
Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 80 days/120 days with solar
GPS: Up to 60 hours/66 hours with solar
GPS + Music: Up to 15 hours/16hours with solar
Max Battery GPS Mode: Up to 120 hours/148 hours with solar
Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 46 days/56 days with solar

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