Garmin Forerunner 745 vs Vivoactive 4

Garmin Forerunner 745 continues to be a compelling choice for runners. Vivoactive 4 has been one of the highest-selling lifestyle smartwatches of Garmin.

We look at Forerunner 745 and Vivoactive 4 in a detailed comparison study below.

Main differences

  • Forerunner 745 is costlier than Vivoactive 4 by almost $150.
  • Forerunner 745 was released in September 2020. Vivoactive 4 debuted in September 2019.
  • Forerunner 745 has a DX-coated 3rd generation Corning Gorilla Glass. Vivoactive 4 has a 3rd generation Corning Gorilla Glass. So, the Forerunner 745 has a better display lens than Vivoactive 4.
  • Forerunner 745 lacks touchscreen functionality. Vivoactive 4 has a touchscreen feature.
  • You can expect to see a higher number of in-built programs for running, outdoor recreation, and cycling in a Forerunner 745.
  • Forerunner 745 has an in-built thermometer. Vivoactive 4 can measure skin-based temperature using a tempe sensor. Tempe sensor will cost additional money to the tune of $39.99.
  • Forerunner 745 does not support Golf. Vivoactive 4 offers Golf feature.
  • Sleep score and sleep insights are missing in Garmin Vivoactive 4.
  • Forerunner 745 is compatible with VIRB remotes to manage an ANT+ action camera device using the smartwatch directly.
  • Forerunner 745 has a device storage of 4 GB while the Vivoactive 4 can store activity data up to 200 hours.

The differences between Forerunner 745 and Vivoactive 4 are trivial. However, for runners or athletes, the Forerunner 745 makes a compelling alternative.

We look at some of these differences in detail below.

Garmin Vivoactive 4

Display specifications

Forerunner 745 and Vivoactive use the MIP (Memory-in-pixel) screen. The display resolution is low; but, the battery life increases because of this.

The display lens of Forerunner 745 has a DX coating. DX coating is an anti-reflective coating that helps in improving the readability experience under bright sunlight.

The other display specifications are shared below in the table of comparison.

Display specificationsGarmin Forerunner 745Garmin Vivoactive 4
Display lensCorning Gorilla Glass DXCorning Gorilla Glass 3
Display size1.2″ or 30 mm1.3″ or 33 mm
Display typeMIP (Memory-in-pixel)MIP (Memory-in-pixel)
Display resolution240 x 240 pixels260 x 260 pixels
Color displayYesYes
TouchscreenNoYes
Ambient light sensorNoNo
LED FlashlightNoNo

Some significant omissions in Forerunner 745 include the touchscreen functionality and an ambient light sensor. Vivoactive 4 does have a touchscreen functionality.

Physical specifications

Garmin Vivoactive 4 comes in two size variants. There is a Vivoactive 4S variant with a 40 mm size and the standard edition Vivoactive 4 has a size of 45 mm.

We look at Forerunner 745 and Vivoactive 4 specifications below.

Physical specificationsForerunner 745Garmin Vivoactive 4
Watch size43.8 x 43.8 x 13.3 mm45.1 x 45.1 x 12.8 mm
Thickness13.3 mm12.8 mm
Watch weight47 g50.5 g
Watch bodyFiber-enforced polymerFiber-enforced polymer
Bezel materialFiber-enforced polymerStainless steel
Band materialSiliconeSilicone
Band size22 mm22 mm
Recommended wrist circumference135-200 mm126-216 mm
Water rating5 ATM5 ATM
Device storage4 GB200 hours of activity data
NFC or Contactless PaymentsGarmin PayGarmin Pay
Swimming profilesPool Swimming, Open Water Swimming, SwimrunPool Swimming
Wireless ConnectivityANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
GPSGPS, GLONASS, GALILEOGPS, GLONASS, GALILEO
Multi-band GPSNoNo
Barometric altimeterYesYes
CompassYesYes
GyroscopeYesYes
AccelerometerYesYes
ThermometerYesYes (with tempe sensor)
iOS CompatibilityiOS 15 or higheriOS 15 or higher
Android compatibilityAndroid 7 or higherAndroid 7 or higher

The important physical differences between Garmin Forerunner 745 and Vivoactive 4 are:

  • Forerunner 745 has an in-built temperature sensor to take skin-based temperature readings; Vivoactive 4 will need a tempe sensor to take temperature readings.
  • Forerunner 745 has 4 GB internal storage while Vivoactive 4 can store up to 200 hours of activity data.

Music

Forerunner 745 and Vivoactive 4 offer full music functionality. This means that you can use the following music features on Forerunner 745 and Vivoactive 4:

  • You can store music on the smartwatch storage.
  • You can manage music on the smartwatch through the watch interface directly.
  • You can stream music using streaming apps like Spotify. For this, you will need to download the app from the Connect IQ store. Premium subscription of Spotify and other streaming apps will be needed.
  • You can also control music on the paired smartphone.

Additional profiles

Forerunner 745 offers additional profiles than Vivoactive 4. We have summarized the additional activity profiles below.

ProfilesForerunner 745Vivoactive 4
CyclingBiking, Indoor Biking, Mountain Trail BikingBiking, Indoor Biking
Outdoor recreationHiking, Skiing, Snowboarding, Backcountry Skiing, XC Classic Skiing, XC Skate Skiing, Stand up Paddleboarding, Rowing, KayakingSkiing, Snowboarding, XC Classic Skiing, Stand Up PaddleboaRunnrding, Rowing

RunningRunning, Outdoor Track Running, Treadmill Running, Indoor Track Running, Trail Running, Virtual RunningRunning, Treadmill Running, Indoor Track Running

Battery life

There is no significant difference between Forerunner 745 and Vivoactive 4 in terms of battery backup. Battery backup offered in different watch modes for Forerunner 745 and Vivoactive 4 is mentioned below.

Watch modeGarmin Forerunner 745Garmin Vivoactive 4
Smartwatch modeUp to 7 daysUp to 8 days
GPS mode without musicUp to 16 hoursUp to 18 hours
GPS mode with musicUp to 6 hoursUp to 6 hours
Garmin Forerunner 745

Golf

Garmin Vivoactive 4 supports Golf and is compatible with Garmin Golf. It supports Golf features like the Garmin Autoshot, Round Timer, Automatic club tracking, and Digital scorecard.

Garmin Forerunner 745 is not compatible with Golf.

Costs

Garmin Forerunner 745 has a list price of $499.99 and Garmin Vivoactive 4 has a list price of $349.99.

Final verdict

Garmin Forerunner 745 is apt for runners and athletes. The watch is designed to offer exceptional battery backup, a better display experience under the sun, and multiple tracking profiles for runners and outdoor recreation sports.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 is a popular lifestyle smartwatch. It makes for a compelling option, especially if you are fond of Golf.

Suggested watch comparisons

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