Garmin Forerunner 55 and 945 LTE announced: GPS sports watches for new and connected runners

Garmin added two new watches to its lineup with an affordable option focused on new runners and an advanced 945 with integrated connectivity to provide safety and tracking features when you run without a phone. Both watches are available starting today, Global Running Day.

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Image: Garmin

Garmin offers a number of watch options to meet every athlete's needs with the Forerunner lineup optimized for runners. The new Forerunner 55 provides a solid GPS sports watch for new runners at a reasonable $199.99 price. The Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE provides a premium running and triathlon experience with enhanced connectivity so you can truly leave the phone at home and maintain a high level of safety.

Today, June 2nd, is Global Running Day and both watches are now available for purchase in various colors. Garmin runners can also participate in a run today and earn a Global Running Day badge so get out and put in a mile or many on your road to improved health and wellness.

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Garmin Forerunner 55

The Garmin Forerunner 55 is available in black, white, and aqua so you can find one that appeals to your style. It sports a battery life in smartwatch mode of up to two weeks and up to 20 hours in GPS tracking mode.

In addition to integrated GPS, the Forerunner 55 has integrated wrist-based heart rate monitoring, all-day activity tracking, sleep tracking, daily suggested workouts, Garmin Coach training plans, and phone-connected safety features.

One might think that the entry-level running watch would compromise in many areas, but the Forerunner 55 also offers PacePro guidance, finish time estimator, cadence alerts, and recovery time so you can use the watch to help keep you informed about your performance, aid in planning for improvement, and provide information to keep running with fewer injuries due to over-training. Body Battery, women's health tracking, stress tracking, and more are provided through Garmin Connect.

Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE

A couple of years ago I evaluated the Garmin Forerunner 945 and we've been expecting a successor to this premium running and triathlon GPS sports watch. The Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE improves upon the 945 with integrated LTE connectivity, along with some slight design improvements and the latest Garmin watch software.

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Image: Garmin

The major new feature is the integrated LTE cellular connectivity that gives runners who ran with a phone for safety reasons the option to leave the phone at home. Over time Garmin watches added onboard music and Garmin Pay, but contacting someone in an emergency still required you to pack a phone when out for a run. The new Forerunner 945 LTE can be used to send key information through the Garmin (IERCC) International Emergency Response Coordination Center to local emergency services. Your name and location can also be sent to your specified emergency contacts for incident detection situations.

LiveTrack service is provided through cellular connectivity so that family and friends can follow your run or bike ride in real-time. Spectators can also send messages to athletes through LTE connectivity. Affordable monthly service options for connectivity are provided directly from Garmin and not a specific US wireless carrier.

All of the best GPS sports watch features from Garmin are present on the Forerunner 945 LTE, including Firstbeat Analytics, track running support, cycling dynamics, maps and routes, blood oxygen monitoring, women's health functions, onboard music for up to 1000 songs from Amazon Music, Deezer, or Spotify, Connect IQ apps, watch faces, and data fields, and much more. The watch is rated to last for up to two weeks in smartwatch mode and seven hours in GPS mode with music and LTE LiveTrack. The Forerunner 945 LTE is available in whitestone or black for $649.99.