I was pretty intrigued by the latest Garmin watches and was planning to buy one to replace my aging Fenix 3 one day. Key phrase there – one day. My Fenix 3 was doing just fine and given I had just hit the end of my race season I was in no rush to even consider a new watch. I’m just coming up on 3 years with the Fenix 3 and was hoping to get one more full race season out of it. The Fenix 3 had other plans. When I got to Navarre Beach last weekend, I powered it on for the first time since Steelhead (which had been only a few days previous) and was greeted by a flickering mess.
The screen wouldn’t stay on and flickered with a variety of different screens when I hit buttons. I tried everything from resetting it to a full hard factory reset. Nothing worked. I left it alone for a couple of days and it continued to do it’s flickering thing so I finally broke down and purchased the Garmin Forerunner 945. That was not the first time the Fenix 3 had done it’s flickering thing, which I only remembered a couple days after I even ordered the 945. Of course when I got home from the beach I discovered that my Fenix 3 had stabilized itself.
I considered cancelling my 945 order but I decided, ultimately, that with this being the 2nd time this has happened and the watch remained unusable for 4 days before reverting back I just couldn’t depend on it anymore. While I can certainly run & swim without it, my athletic hobby is something I pursue almost daily and I get pleasure and value from the training tools that I use. I am excited about a few things with the 945 that the Fenix 3 did not do:
- VO2 Max calculation takes ambient temperature into account. Given my heat struggles, this is actually pretty big for me.
- Extended Display support. I don’t have a bike computer for this yet but my 520 will be upgraded to a 530 before my first race next year.
- Built in music. I don’t listen to anything when I run outdoors but for the treadmill this is pretty awesome.
- Garmin Pay. This will be great at home when I’m out for a run and decide last minute that I want something from the coffee shop.
- Built in HR. Not something I absolutely will always want to use since I think my Scosche Rhythym 24 is more accurate (slightly) but if I’m not going to be hitting some hard intervals or in a race, then I probably will rely on the built in HR.
I think the biggest feature I’ll get a fair amount of use of is going to be the improved mapping/navigation features. When I’m on the road it really is helpful to have a route to run. I recently was at a week long meeting at Pinehurst and while everyone else wanted to golf, I just watned to run & swim. I ran all 3 mornings I was there and got lost. All. Three. Times. It was fairly humorous but I seriously never hit the route that I planned. If my boss hadn’t been running with me I might still be trying to find the hotel. DCRainmaker has a great review of all of the features.