Fitbit Charge 3 vs. Garmin Forerunner 45

Charge 3
Forerunner 45
 FitbitCharge 3Buy NowGarminForerunner 45Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$150$199

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration7 days7 days


Windows Phone
WindowsNot yet




Resolution66 x 18208 x 208
Size.721 inches1.04 inches


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance5 ATM5 ATM




Operating SystemNABuilt-in

Comparing Forerunner 45 and Charge 3

Finding the right fitness tracker or smartwatch can be a daunting task, as there is a wide range of options available. In this article, we tackle two of the most popular devices, the Fitbit Charge 3 and the Garmin Forerunner 45. Choosing the right watch can play a crucial role in helping you achieve your fitness goals while making your life more convenient.

Fitbit and Garmin are well-known brands in the wearable industry, boasting a reputation for providing high-quality products. They have a history of innovation and commitment to helping customers live a healthier lifestyle. This article will compare and contrast these two devices to help users make an informed decision about which device suits their needs best.

Design and Build

Fitbit Charge 3

The Charge 3 employs a lightweight and comfortable design, using aerospace-grade aluminum for its case and features a sleek band made from durable elastomer material. It has a screen size of 0.721 inches with an OLED display offering a 66 x 18 screen resolution. The device is water-resistant up to 5 ATM and supports touch input.

Garmin Forerunner 45

On the other hand, the Forerunner 45 boasts a sturdy built with a chemically strengthened glass screen and a silicone strap for added durability. The device’s screen size is 1.04 inches, with a color LCD display offering a screen resolution of 208 x 208. Like the Charge 3, the Forerunner 45 is also water-resistant up to 5 ATM and includes touch input.

Comparison of design and build quality

The Fitbit Charge 3 and Garmin Forerunner 45 have distinct designs, with the Charge 3 being slimmer and more lightweight, making it more suitable for those who prefer a minimalist style. In contrast, the Forerunner 45 is bulkier and more prominent, catering to users who prefer a more robust appearance. Both devices use durable materials and are water-resistant, ensuring longevity and support for water-based activities.

Features and Functionality

Fitbit Charge 3

The Fitbit Charge 3 runs on a proprietary operating system and includes several sensor options like an accelerometer, barometer, and heart rate monitor. It boasts a battery life of 7 days and supports rechargeable batteries, and is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Mac operating systems. The Charge 3 provides features like GPS support (through connected phone), the ability to receive texts, emails, and phone call notifications. Although it does not have built-in GPS or Wi-Fi, it comes equipped with Bluetooth and NFC connectivity.

Garmin Forerunner 45

The Garmin Forerunner 45 runs on its built-in operating system and shares some common features like a 7-day battery life, rechargeable batteries, and compatibility with Android and iOS systems. However, the Forerunner45 has a distinct advantage, offering built-in GPS and Wi-Fi for enhanced navigation and connectivity. It also supports music playback and provides essential features like texts, emails, and phone call notifications while having Bluetooth connectivity.

Comparison of features and performance

Both devices offer a rich set of features like heart rate tracking, cycling, distance, swim tracking, sleep tracking, and others. However, the Garmin Forerunner 45 edges out the Fitbit Charge 3 slightly with its built-in GPS, Wi-Fi and music playback options, making it more versatile. The Charge 3 still holds its ground with features like the oxygen sensor and NFC technology for contactless payments.

User Interface and User Experience

Fitbit Charge 3

The Fitbit Charge 3 sports an easy-to-use interface, allowing users to navigate through its menu options seamlessly. It retains compatibility with a wide range of smartphones and includes an array of customizable settings and apps that cater to users' varying needs.

Garmin Forerunner 45

Similar to the Charge 3, the Garmin Forerunner 45 provides an intuitive user interface with customizable settings, apps, and smartphone compatibility. It also adds audio speaker support, allowing for audio cues and alerts for added convenience.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

Both devices have user-friendly interfaces, making them accessible to a wide range of users. The Garmin Forerunner 45 gains bonus points for its built-in audio speaker and advanced features like GPS and Wi-Fi, which enhance its overall user experience.

Price and Value

Fitbit Charge 3

At a price point of $150, the Fitbit Charge 3 offers excellent value for money, considering its rich feature set, sleek design, and compatibility with multiple platforms.

Garmin Forerunner 45

The Garmin Forerunner 45 is priced at $199, making it slightly more expensive than the Charge 3. However, its added functionalities, built-in GPS, and Wi-Fi support could justify the higher price tag for users who require these features.

Comparison of price and value

Though the Garmin Forerunner 45 is more expensive, its added features and functionality may make it worth the extra investment for some users. On the other hand, the Fitbit Charge 3 provides excellent value for its price, with its minimalist design and robust feature set.


Ultimately, the decision between the Fitbit Charge 3 and the Garmin Forerunner 45 will depend on individual preferences and requirements. If you desire a slimmer and more minimalist design with essential features and a lower price point, the Fitbit Charge 3 would be a better option. However, if you’re looking for a more robust device with added functionalities like built-in GPS, Wi-Fi support, and music playback, the Garmin Forerunner 45 would be the better choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which device has better battery life, the Fitbit Charge 3 or the Garmin Forerunner 45?

Both the Fitbit Charge 3 and Garmin Forerunner 45 have a battery life of 7 days, making them equal in this aspect.

Does the Fitbit Charge 3 have built-in GPS?

No, the Fitbit Charge 3 does not have built-in GPS. However, it does support GPS through your connected smartphone.

Is the Garmin Forerunner 45 compatible with Windows Phone and Mac?

While the Garmin Forerunner 45 is not compatible with Windows Phone, you can use it with your Mac computer.

Which fitness tracker is better at tracking sleep, the Charge 3 or the Forerunner 45?

Both the Fitbit Charge 3 and Garmin Forerunner 45 are capable of tracking sleep quality and provide valuable insights into your sleep habits.

Can I play music on the Fitbit Charge 3?

No, the Fitbit Charge 3 does not have music playback functionality. If this feature is essential for you, the Garmin Forerunner 45 would be an ideal choice, as it offers music playback options.

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