Fitbit Surge vs. Garmin Forerunner 45

Forerunner 45
 FitbitSurgeBuy NowGarminForerunner 45Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$250$199

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration7 days7 days


Windows Phonen/a




Resolutionn/a208 x 208
Size1.26 inches1.04 inches
TypeMonochrome LCDLCD


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance5 ATM5 ATM




Operating Systemn/aBuilt-in

Comparing Forerunner 45 and Surge

The Fitbit Surge and Garmin Forerunner 45 are two popular choices for fitness enthusiasts looking to track their daily activities and workouts. Both smartwatches offer a range of features to help users achieve their fitness goals, and they are designed by reputable brands with a rich history in wearable technology.

Choosing the right smartwatch is important because it can have a significant impact on the accuracy of tracking various activities and the overall user experience. In this article, we will explore various aspects of the Fitbit Surge and Garmin Forerunner 45, including their design, features, user interface, and price, to help readers make an informed decision.

Fitbit was founded in 2007 and has consistently produced high-quality fitness trackers and smartwatches. The Surge is no exception, offering a powerful range of features and functions for its users. Garmin, on the other hand, has been in business since 1989 and is well known for its GPS and wearable devices. The Forerunner 45 is a solid entry in Garmin’s lineup of fitness watches and provides many excellent features at an affordable price.

Design and Build

Fitbit Surge

The Fitbit Surge is built with a combination of elastomer and stainless steel, making it durable and comfortable for daily wear. It has a 1.26-inch monochrome LCD touchscreen display that provides all relevant information and exercise stats. The watch is water-resistant up to 5ATM and has a long-lasting battery life of up to 7 days.

Garmin Forerunner 45

The Garmin Forerunner 45 features a stylish and lightweight design, with a watch case made of fiber-reinforced polymer and a silicone strap. The 1.04-inch color LCD display is bright and easy to read, with a 208 x 208-pixel resolution. Like the Surge, the Forerunner 45 is water-resistant up to 5ATM and offers a battery life of up to 7 days.

Comparison of design and build quality

Both fitness watches are comfortable and durable, with water resistance ratings suitable for various activities. The Garmin Forerunner 45 has a more modern and lightweight design with a slightly smaller and clearer color display than the Fitbit Surge’s monochrome screen, which may be appealing to some users. However, the Fitbit Surge offers a slightly larger screen size, which may provide easier navigation for some.

Features and Functionality

Fitbit Surge

The Fitbit Surge runs on a proprietary operating system and offers features such as GPS tracking, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, steps tracking, and more. It can track various activities such as running, cycling, and weight training. The Surge also has Bluetooth connectivity for syncing data to smartphones and basic music control.

Garmin Forerunner 45

Equipped with a built-in operating system, the Garmin Forerunner 45 comes packed with features including GPS tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and the ability to track various sports such as running, cycling, and swimming. The watch also offers smart notifications, Bluetooth connectivity, and compatibility with additional apps from the Garmin Connect IQ Store.

Comparison of features and performance

Both the Fitbit Surge and Garmin Forerunner 45 offer a wide range of features and robust performance. However, the Garmin Forerunner 45 stands out for its swimming tracking capabilities and compatibility with third-party apps, whereas the Surge offers basic music control that the Forerunner 45 does not provide. Overall, the choice between these two watches comes down to personal preferences and desired features.

User Interface and User Experience

Fitbit Surge

The Fitbit Surge provides an intuitive touchscreen interface for navigating menus and accessing features. It is compatible with Android and iOS smartphones, allowing users to sync exercise data and receive notifications for phone calls and texts. While the Surge does not have a wide range of customizable options, it offers a simple and straightforward user experience.

Garmin Forerunner 45

With a clear, color display and easily navigable menus, the Garmin Forerunner 45 offers a pleasant user experience. The watch is compatible with Android and iOS smartphones, and users can customize the watch face and data fields. Additionally, the Forerunner 45 offers compatibility with a wide range of third-party apps, providing users with more options for personalization.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

The Garmin Forerunner 45 offers a more advanced user interface and customization options compared to the Fitbit Surge. However, the Surge provides a minimalist, easy-to-use interface that some users may find appealing. Both watches offer compatibility with popular smartphone platforms and provide essential phone notifications, making them suitable for daily use.

Price and Value

Fitbit Surge

With a price tag of $250, the Fitbit Surge offers a solid range of features and reliable performance for users seeking an all-around fitness tracking solution.

Garmin Forerunner 45

At a slightly lower price point of $199, the Garmin Forerunner 45 provides excellent value for money with a range of features, compatibility with third-party apps, and an accessible user interface.

Comparison of price and value

Both fitness watches offer a good balance of features and performance. While the Fitbit Surge is slightly more expensive, it includes basic music control not present on the Forerunner 45. However, the Garmin Forerunner 45 offers a more versatile user experience with app compatibility, swimming tracking, and a more modern design at a lower price.


When comparing the Fitbit Surge and Garmin Forerunner 45, it is important to consider the user’s specific needs, preferences, and budget. Both devices offer a compelling range of features and functions, with a few differences that may sway a potential buyer’s decision. The Garmin Forerunner 45 is an excellent choice for those seeking a versatile fitness watch with a modern design, while the Fitbit Surge remains a solid option for users who prefer simplicity and basic music control.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Fitbit Surge track swimming workouts?

No, the Fitbit Surge does not have the ability to track swimming workouts. However, it is water-resistant and can be worn while swimming or during other water-based activities.

Is the Garmin Forerunner 45 compatible with Windows and macOS?

The Garmin Forerunner 45 is not natively compatible with Windows and macOS for syncing data. However, users can sync their data to Garmin Connect via their smartphones, then access the data from a web browser on their computers.

Does the Fitbit Surge have built-in GPS?

Yes, the Fitbit Surge comes with built-in GPS tracking for accurate distance tracking and route mapping during outdoor workouts.

Can I receive smartphone notifications on the Garmin Forerunner 45?

Yes, the Garmin Forerunner 45 is capable of receiving smartphone notifications such as calls, texts, and emails when connected to a compatible smartphone via Bluetooth.

Can I control music playback on my smartphone with the Fitbit Surge?

Yes, the Fitbit Surge offers basic music control functionality, allowing you to control music playback on your smartphone directly from the watch.

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