Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus vs. Garmin Forerunner 45

Vivosmart HR Plus
Forerunner 45
 GarminVivosmart HR PlusBuy NowGarminForerunner 45Buy Now

Basic Info

Suggested Price$179$199

Activity & Fitness

Cycling (Bicycling)


Duration5 days7 days


Windows Phone




Resolution160 x 68208 x 208
Size0.5 inches x 0.8 inches1.04 inches


Audio Speaker


Barometer or Altimeter
Ultraviolet Sensor
Water Resistance5 ATM5 ATM




Operating SystemNABuilt-in

Comparing Forerunner 45 and Vivosmart HR Plus

When it comes to fitness wearables, Garmin is no stranger to the market. With an extensive range of products to suit various budgets and needs, it might be challenging to determine which one is right for you. Today, we will be comparing two popular Garmin products - the Garmin Forerunner 45 and the Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus. Both watches sport a variety of features designed to cater to fitness enthusiasts at different levels.

Choosing the right fitness tracker or smartwatch is a crucial decision as it becomes an essential tool in tracking daily activity and progress. It helps you stay committed to your fitness goals by providing valuable insights and motivation. As such, it is paramount to make an informed choice.

Garmin, a well-established brand in the fitness tracker and smartwatch market, has built a reputation for offering reliable and accurate devices. The company, founded in 1989, has consistently delivered innovative and high-quality products, winning the trust of consumers worldwide.

In this comparison guide, we will delve into the design and build, features and functionality, user interface, and value for money of both the Forerunner 45 and Vivosmart HR Plus. This information will help in determining which watch is the better choice for your fitness journey.

Design and Build

Garmin Forerunner 45

The Garmin Forerunner 45's design consists of a chemically strengthened glass screen, a fiber-reinforced polymer case, and a silicone strap. It measures 42 x 42 x 11.4 mm and weighs 36g, making it lightweight and comfortable for long-term usage. The watch has a 1.04-inch color display with a resolution of 208 x 208 pixels, offering decent visibility and quality.

Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus

Rivaling the Forerunner 45, the Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus is also built with a fiber-reinforced polymer case and a silicone strap, ensuring durability and comfort. Its dimensions are 30.2 x 15 x 12.3 mm with a weight of 31g. The Vivosmart HR Plus features a smaller 0.5 x 0.8-inch LCD display with a 160 x 68-pixel resolution. Though the screen is smaller, it still provides clear information without being too intrusive on the wrist.

Comparison of design and build quality

Similarities in build quality between the Forerunner 45 and Vivosmart HR Plus include the fiber-reinforced polymer case and silicone strap. However, the Forerunner 45 boasts a larger, circular color display with better resolution, while the Vivosmart HR Plus has a smaller, rectangular monochrome screen. Both screens have touch sensitivity and are protected with chemically strengthened glass.

In terms of weight, the Vivosmart HR Plus is lighter compared to the Forerunner 45, but the difference in weight may not be significantly noticeable for most users.

Features and Functionality

Garmin Forerunner 45

Equipped with Garmin’s built-in operating system, the Forerunner 45 offers various functionalities, including GPS tracking, accelerometer, barometer, and compatibility with both Android and iOS smartphones. It features a seven-day battery life, fitness tracking capabilities like calorie counting, distance tracking, sleep monitoring, and more. Additionally, it supports music control, phone functions, and has the advantage of a built-in audio speaker.

Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus

While the Vivosmart HR Plus does not have a specific operating system, it still covers an impressive range of features. Just like the Forerunner 45, it is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Mac, and Windows, offering wide-ranging connectivity. The Vivosmart HR Plus provides up to five days of battery life, tracks calories, distance, heart rate, sleep, and steps. Albeit lacking major fitness tracking features like cycling and swim tracking, it does provide music control functions and supports phone notifications.

Comparison of features and performance

Both the Forerunner 45 and Vivosmart HR Plus share similarities in tracking features, compatibility, and fitness functions. The Forerunner 45, however, offers a more extensive range of functions, such as cycling and swim tracking, an audio speaker, and longer battery life. Consequently, the Vivosmart HR Plus offers a more affordable alternative without compromising too much on capabilities.

User Interface and User Experience

Garmin Forerunner 45

The user interface of the Forerunner 45 consists of a clear, colorful display and easy-to-navigate menus. It offers app customizability and compatibility with Garmin Connect. The watch can be connected to smartphones via Bluetooth, enabling phone functions and access to notifications such as calls, texts, and emails.

Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus

The Vivosmart HR Plus also offers an easy-to-read, albeit monochrome display and presents simple navigation through its menus. While it does not provide app functionality, it can sync with smartphones for notifications and supports phone functions like calls, texts, and emails.

Comparison of user interface and user experience

In terms of user interface and experience, both devices offer accessible menus and touch-sensitive screens. The Forerunner 45 provides a more extensive range of functions, like app support and customization options available through Garmin Connect. The Vivosmart HR Plus, on the other hand, provides a more straightforward interface with limited app functionality.

Price and Value

Garmin Forerunner 45

With a price of $199, the Garmin Forerunner 45 offers more features and functionality than its counterpart. Its longer battery life, better display, and additional tracking features make it a sound investment for fitness enthusiasts who require ample support from their wearables.

Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus

At $179, the Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus is a more affordable alternative, even with the lack of select features compared to the Forerunner 45. It still serves as a useful tool for tracking daily activities, and its lower price point makes it a suitable choice for those on a tighter budget or with simpler requirements.

Comparison of price and value

While both devices offer valuable features and reliable performance, the Forerunner 45 takes the edge with its more comprehensive range of functions, app customizability, and an overall better user experience. The Vivosmart HR Plus, however, still shows its value through a lower price and respectable set of features.


When comparing the Garmin Forerunner 45 and the Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus, the former emerges as the more versatile and feature-rich option. With a better display, extended battery life, and additional tracking features, it is suitable for those who demand more from their fitness wearables. On the other hand, the Vivosmart HR Plus provides a more straightforward, budget-friendly choice without sacrificing core functionalities necessary for everyday tracking.

Taking these factors into consideration, the final choice depends on individual needs and preferences. Whichever watch you choose, rest assured that you are investing in a reliable, trusted brand that will support you in your fitness journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Garmin Forerunner 45 or Vivosmart HR Plus better for beginners?

Both devices can cater to beginners, but the Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus, with its more simple interface and lower price, might be a more suitable option for those starting their fitness journey.

Are both watches water-resistant?

Yes, both the Garmin Forerunner 45 and Vivosmart HR Plus are water-resistant up to 5 ATM, enabling them to withstand swimming and exposure to water during workouts.

Can I control music on both devices?

Yes, both the Forerunner 45 and Vivosmart HR Plus offer music control functions, allowing you to control and play songs from your smartphone.

Do both devices have built-in GPS?

Yes, both the Garmin Forerunner 45 and Vivosmart HR Plus have built-in GPS, which allows tracking your routes and distances when running or walking outdoors.

Can I track my sleep with both watches?

Yes, both the Garmin Forerunner 45 and Vivosmart HR Plus are equipped with sleep tracking features that provide insights into sleep quality and duration.

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