Garmin 935 vs 945: What You Need to Know Before You Buy

  • Description:

    The Forerunner 935 is a GPS watch that offers advanced running and training metrics. It has a wrist-based heart rate monitor, so you can track your heart rate without a chest strap.


The Forerunner 935 is a GPS watch that offers advanced running and training metrics. It has a wrist-based heart rate monitor, so you can track your heart rate without a chest strap.


Premium GPS Running/Triathlon Smartwatch.

Garmin 935 vs 945: What You Need to Know Before You Buy

Today we’re going to look at the Garmin Forerunner 935 vs Forerunner 945. These are very similar watches, but their differences will help you pick a clear winner. 

It can be a challenge to pick the right smartwatch especially between two similar models. That’s why we always look closely at the differences and compare the specs to find the best watch.

We’re going to show you the big takeaways between the Garmin 935 vs 945. 

The Garmin 935 and 945 at a Glance

The Garmin Forerunner 945 is our pick for the best of these two watches. These watches have very similar features, but at the end of the day the 945 has superior battery life and a stronger build quality.

There are definitely more things to consider than just the build quality of these two watches. There is a lot of nuance to this discussion and there are even some specific cases that can make one  watch the better choice for you personally.

If you want to pick the best smartwatch between the Garmin 935 versus the 945, here’s what you need to keep in mind. 

Comparing the Garmin 935 and 945

Let’s look at the three biggest features you need to consider when buying any smartwatch. We’ll pick a winner for each category to help you decide! 

Smartwatch Build Quality & Design


One of the most important features about any smartwatch is the build quality. The style and design of the watch is also important. 

The Garmin Forerunner 945 and the 935 are very similar models when it comes to how they are built. 

The 935 is actually a little larger. It’s got a 50mm width compared to the 49mm width of the Garmin 945. However, don’t let the larger size of the 935 fool you. 

The 945 has the more rugged style. It is a much more “masculine” and outdoorsy smartwatch. That makes it a much better choice for someone who wants their smart tech to look just as tough as they are. 

The Garmin Forerunner 935 has a more laid back style. It could be just as at home on a long hike as it would be while counting daily steps at the office. 

Style is mostly a personal preference, but the Garmin 935 is more versatile. 

Then we have to look at build quality. These two watches share the same materials and general design besides one, very important, part.

The screen of the Garmin Forerunner 935 is made from chemically strengthened glass while the screen on the 945 is Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX. 

This means the 945 is going to be considerably stronger than its counterpart. This is a deciding factor given these smartwatches are mainly used for fitness and getting outdoors. 

That’s a lot to consider, but we have to go with the Garmin Forerunner 945 as our winner for style and build quality. 

GPS Technology

GPS technology is one of the deciding factors for a smartwatch. This is specially important when looking at a Garmin smartwatches since this brand built their entire reputation on the GPS technology.

The Garmin Forerunner 945 uses both GPS Glonass and Galileo protocols. This means it has much more accuracy when it comes to routing. 

The 945 is perfect for stepping off well established city streets and trails. It can also handle crowded running environments, like busy races and cities, much easier than the 935. 

The 945 also has color-coded and interactive mapping. It can handle different terrain types and allow you to get much more accurate when it comes to GPS tracking data. 

The 935 only has your basic GPS functionality. It will allow you to track routes and record distance information, but you’re going to be working with a much more limited piece of equipment. 

Specifically, the 935 lacks the Galileo technology that makes the 945 stand out. 

There’s really no contest here. The Garmin 945 is the clear winner when it comes to GPS tracking. 

Health Data and Metrics 

If you’re buying a smartwatch, you’re probably looking to get greater insight into your health and wellness. The Garmin Forerunner 945 gives you much more data when it comes to tracking your health.

One of the big differences is that the Garmin Forerunner 945 tracks oximetry data. It’s got a built-in SpO2 monitor. 

This is very important for people who are looking to get a much clearer picture of their personal health. The Garmin Forerunner 945 just flat out gives you more health information to work with. 

The Garmin Forerunner 945 also has settings for open water swimming, heat data, and altitude. It even has the ability to automatically track incident detection. 

The Forerunner 935 is much more modest when it comes to health data. It tracks your basics like steps, distance, and heart rate with vo2 max data. 

Again, the clear winner is the Garmin Forerunner 945. It tracks much more data and even handles a wider range of fitness activities. 

Garmin 935 vs 945: The Winner

Garmin Forerunner 945

Premium GPS Running/Triathlon Smartwatch.

Check Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

The best overall watch is the Garmin Forerunner 945. It’s got a more rugged build, a more refined GPS system, and the ability to give you more health data to track. 

However, The Garmin Forerunner 935 is going to be the better watch for people who are looking for something a little less rugged when it comes to style.

The Garmin Forerunner 935 might have more modest features, but no one is going to look twice at that smartwatch at the office. 

Fans of outdoor sports, swimming, and more “extreme” fitness activities are going to want the Garmin Forerunner 945. The 945 smartwatch has a much tougher screen on top of its superior GPS and health tracking power.  

Which of these two GPS-enabled smartwatches is right for you? Are you going with the rugged powerhouse Garmin Forerunner 945 or the streamlined and stylish Garmin Forerunner 935? 

Whichever watch you pick, make sure you buy your Garmin smartwatch from a reliable retailer that sells products you can trust! 

Photo of author


Joe Davies
Joe has a keen interest in wearable tech, after running marathons and triathlons and trying just about every Garmin watch there is.