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Garmin Forerunner 745 vs. Forerunner 735XT: Which should you buy?

Garmin Forerunner 745
Garmin Forerunner 745 (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

Garmin Forerunner 745

Garmin Forerunner 745

If you need access to as many premium features as possible and you don't mind paying more for it, you'll love the Garmin Forerunner 745. You'll get standard health and activity tracking perks as well as important performance monitoring tools, like VO2 max, training load, training status, and aerobic and anaerobic training effects.

Garmin Forerunner 745

Improve your performance

GPS, HRM, NFC
Training load and status
Blood oxygen monitoring
Music storage
Garmin Pay
Very expensive
Shorter battery life

Garmin Forerunner 735XT

Garmin Forerunner 735xt

There's a lot to love about the Garmin Forerunner 735XT, starting with its reasonable price tag. This watch proves that you don't have to spend a fortune to enjoy a GPS running watch. You get GPS, heart-rate monitoring, advanced running dynamics, 5 ATM water resistance, and over 10 days of battery life.

Garmin Forerunner 735XT

Start tracking your fitness

Onboard GPS
Heart-rate monitoring
Advanced running dynamics
Activity/sleep tracking
11 days of battery life
Lacks more advanced training features
No Garmin Pay or music storage

Garmin Forerunner 745 vs. Forerunner 735XT What's the difference?

Garmin has been one of the industry's top leaders for some time now, and the Forerunner 745 and Forerunner 735XT are prime examples of what the company is capable of. It's worth noting that the Garmin Forerunner 735XT was released over four years ago, so this upgrade is long overdue. However, it's still a great starting point for those who are looking to get more serious about their fitness tracking.

Although, if you already consider yourself a serious athlete and you're seeking an advanced GPS running smartwatch that will help you closely monitor and improve your performance, there's no better choice than the Garmin Forerunner 745. You'll have to be willing to spend quite a bit more, but for the right type of user, it will be an excellent investment.

The Garmin Forerunner 745 will help you achieve all your goals

Garmin 745

Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

The Garmin Forerunner 745 and Forerunner 735XT have fairly similar designs. While the case is a bit smaller on the 745, it's also a bit thicker. With more sensors, it's probably not much of a surprise that the Forerunner 745 is also slightly heavier than its predecessor.

You'll have a standard plastic cause with a circular 1.2-inch transflective display, which has a higher resolution this time around. Having more features also means you can expect a faster battery drain. The 745 offers up to 7 days of battery life in smartwatch mode, 16 hours in GPS mode, and 6 hours in GPS mode with music.

If you're curious about those aforementioned sensors, the Forerunner 745 is much more impressive on this front. You'll have GPS and GLONASS for location tracking on this model, but the Forerunner 745 also boasts the Galileo navigation system. It also has a barometric altimeter for precise altitude measurements along with a thermometer and gyroscope. It also has a Pulse Ox sensor, which measures your blood oxygen saturation levels.

Garmin Forerunner 745Garmin Forerunner 735XT
Display1.2-inch transflective display1.23-inch transflective display
Dimensions43.8 x 43.8 x 13.3 mm, 47g44.5 x 44.5 x 11.9 mm, 40.2 g
SensorsGPS, GLONASS, Galileo, heart rate monitor, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, accelerometer, thermometerGPS, GLONASS, heart rate monitor, compass, accelerometer
Water-resistance5ATM5ATM
Battery lifeSmartwatch mode: up to 7 days
GPS mode: up to 16 hours
Smartwatch Mode: up to 11 days
GPS mode: up to 14 hours
Blood oxygen monitoring✔️
Abnormal heart rate alerts✔️
Garmin Pay✔️
Music Storage✔️

Both models offer all of the basic health/activity tracking functions that you'd expect from a fitness watch, including a step tracker, reminders to move, floors climbed, distance covered, and calories burned. You'll also be able to track your intensity minutes, which helps you see how long you spend in various heart rate zones.

The Garmin Forerunner 745 also has more advanced performance monitoring tools. For example, it can determine your current training load and training status. This will help you see how effective your current training plan is and how hard you're working based on your fitness level. These features are just a few of the reasons that the Forerunner 745 is one of the best Garmin smartwatches on the market right now.

If you like to have some smartwatch features with your wearable, you'll love all the bonus perks the Garmin Forerunner 745 offers. Some examples include mobile payments with Garmin Pay, a music player with storage for up to 500 songs, and the option to send quick replies (Android users) and reject phone calls from the watch.

The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is a great starting point

Garmin Forerunner 745

Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

When you look at the various Forerunner models, you'll see there's no shortage of options to choose from. The Garmin Forerunner 735XT may not be the newest model in the lineup, but it's a perfect place to start. It's not for someone who has never used a smartwatch, but rather for someone who wants to start taking their fitness tracking more seriously.

It looks a lot like the new Forerunner 745. It's got a plastic body and a circular 1.23-inch transflective display. With fewer sensors and features, the Forerunner 735XT offers longer battery life than its successor. You get a whopping 11 days in smartwatch mode and 14 hours in GPS mode.

While it does offer advanced running dynamics, you'll need to use a compatible chest strap heart-rate monitor to access them. Some of the metrics you'll get include VO2 max estimate, lactate threshold, race predictor, and recovery advisor. You'll also get ground contact time balance, stride length, and vertical ratio, and underwater heart rate for swimming.

You'll have multiple activity tracking profiles to choose from, including indoor/outdoor running, indoor/outdoor cycling, pool/open water swimming, trail running, hiking, strength training, and more. You also can create your own workouts and downloading workouts for free from Garmin Connect.

Garmin Forerunner 745 vs. Forerunner 735XT Which should you buy?

Garmin Forerunner 745 Lifestyle 1

Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Centra (Image credit: Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Centra)

When deciding if you should by the Garmin Forerunner 745 or Forerunner 735XT, you'll need to consider how much you feel comfortable spending and what features you need from your watch. If you don't need all of the latest and greatest perks and want to save some money, the Garmin Forerunner 735XT is a solid choice. You get activity/health tracking, heart-rate monitoring, built-in GPS, and advanced dynamics for running, cycling, and swimming. You'll also have VO2 max, race predictor, and recovery advisor.

If you want to take your fitness tracking to the next level, you'll be better off with the Garmin Forerunner 745. It can do everything the Forerunner 735XT can and more. Some of the extra features include performance condition, training load, and training status. It also has an altimeter and thermometer, which can record heat and altitude acclimation. This helps athletes determine how hard they're working in difficult conditions so they can improve their performance.

If you don't mind the hefty price tag, the Garmin Forerunner 745 will give you everything you need to plan and achieve your fitness goals. Those who don't need the extras and don't want to spend the extra money might prefer the simpler approach of the Forerunner 735XT.