Update: our Forerunner 55 review is now in. Check out our thoughts on Garmin's new entry-level running watch.
Garmin has added two new running watches to its roster, with a big upgrade for its budget GPS watch and its next LTE device.
We loved the Forerunner 45’s sleek build, clear screen and focus on the basics. The Forerunner 55 takes up the mantle, but does offer a lot more advanced running features for the same price.
The Forerunner 55 features an enhanced color screen, but the dimensions are the same as the original – which already makes this a worthy upgrade.
There’s 20 hours of GPS tracking and 2 weeks of smartwatch battery life, and you’ll get notifications on the wrist – although there’s no music storage or Garmin Pay here.
In terms of running tracking things are a lot more advanced. In addition to tracking pace, time and distance – there are also metrics for cadence. What’s more, there’s also a cadence alert, which will notify you if your steps per minute land outside of your desired target.
Garmin has added support for Garmin Coach, which means you can do guided run workouts from the wrist.
And it’s added the PacePro feature, which guides pacing for races and runs, taking gradient into account.
And there’s a renewed focus on recovery, and the Forerunner 55 will advise you on how long to rest after a session.
It’s a much more advanced feature set than the Forerunner 45. Although we loved the simplicity, there’s a lot more for runners here than before.
Forerunner 945 LTE
In addition, Garmin is also launching a Forerunner 945 LTE edition. It’s a slightly different take on the likes of Samsung and Apple LTE integration, with a bigger focus on safety.
Users of the LTE edition can use safety features if they’re in trouble or simply feel unsafe, which will hook up to Garmin IERCC, which will provide two-way communication with emergency services that will help resolve the situation and get help if needed.
Likewise, the LTE connection supercharges Garmin LiveTrack, enabling you to display a beacon of your location, which will be of huge interest to trail runners and bikers.
Of course, the Forerunner 945 is the most advanced in the range, with a host of sports modes.
The Forerunner 945 is set to be US only, and will cost $649 and require an added subscription. Details of the subscription and package are a little unclear – as are the extent of the LTE features. For example, music streaming still looks to be done offline, and the press materials clearly state that incoming calls are still handled by a paired smartphone.
We’ll update with more clarity as we get it.