I have spent a week and a half with the Garmin 45S and it doe what I expect the Garmin to do, but with more regular charges. The battery is rated to last for a week working as a watch and up to 13 hours working as a sports tracker. You can track your workouts with GPS, GPS and Galileo or GPS and Glonass.
This watch is designed for running, rather than walking or other sports, so it provides running data that is easy to read, whilst running. At the end of the run it provides you with useful data, as you’d expect from such a tracker.
It does track walks but it does not track hiking. If you buy this watch as a hiker then you will meet that limitation. Another limitation is that it does not count how many floors you go up, or down, so if you’re working on keeping a streak then you will lose it.
GPS satellite acquisition seems slower than with the Garmin instinct but I have not timed both to see whether this is an impression or a reality. It could simply be that the display is different.
After a week and a half of wearing this watch I only miss one thing that the Garmin Instinct has. Floor climb counting. If the Garmin 45s has that feature then I would quite happily swap out the instinct for the 45s. It’s simple, it’s light, it’s cheap and it seems dependable. The feature that has me sticking with the Garmin forerunner 45s is that it measures VO2 max with every workout.
The reason I want to run and cycle more, is to see that my fitness is growing, not declining, and with walking fitness apps like to make us feel that we are losing fitness, whereas with running and cycling the opposite is true.
Casio VS Forerunner 45s
For about 100-150 CHF you can either by a forerunner for as little as 99 CHF or a casio for between 100-150 CHF but the casio will map a workout via the phone and count steps internally, without measuring HR, despite the app having vo2max. If you’re getting a fitness tracker for a child, or beginner I would go for the Forerunner 45s because it’s cheap, and delivers on what you want from a fitness tracker.
The natural instinct is to go towards the higher spec, newer devices. The reality is that if we’re running, and walking for half an hour to an hour and a half a day the 45s will do what we want it to for half the price, and two thirds the weight. It is a small watch that fits smaller wrists. With the Suunto Spartan Wrist HR you say “I’m sporty, with the Apple Watches you say “I’m an apple drone”, with the garmin instinct you say “I am sporty” and with the Garmin 45s you say “My watch fits under my shirt sleeve at work.”
In conclusion, for the price of a fitness tracker you can get a running/walking watch that tracks your sports and displays that information on the device, as well as on the Garmin Connect app and website. Although this is a cheap watch, compared to others, it delivers more than fitness trackers. Remember, the cheaper the device you buy and play with, the sooner you can swap it for something better later on.
I would use the 45s for daily walks and runs, and for bike rides and proper hikes I would use the instinct Solar.