Garmin Forerunner 945 vs. Suunto 5: Daily Tracking Comparison Data

Want to see how the Garmin Forerunner 945 and the Suunto 5 compare in everyday data tracking (steps, calories, sleep) plus battery runtime? Here you go:

Garmin FR945 vs. Suunto 5 Step Tracking

Step Tracking, Suunto 5 vs. Garmin FR945
Step Tracking, Suunto 5 vs. Garmin FR945

All in all, often very close to each other. Sometimes, there are differences in the results, with the Forerunner 945 having measured more steps.

The trends are still very similar, which is what I would mainly look for.

(I switched around which watch I wore on which wrist, by the way, so that the differences should not just result from that.)

Calories Tracking

Calories should follow activity, which is what the steps count is really supposed to show. So…?

Calorie Tracking in Suunto 5 vs. Garmin FR945
Calorie Tracking in Suunto 5 vs. Garmin FR945

This is quite interesting. Apparently, the FR 945 “thought” I was burning more calories than the Suunto 5.

Honestly, I am not entirely sure I had set both up with the exact same physiological data (max HR, etc. all the way to activity level), so that could have influenced this.

Even so, once again: The trends are very similar, which is what makes these results useful.

(If you want to tell me it isn’t because you count calories, you’re on the wrong page.)

Sleep Tracking

Recovery is also needed, but do the watches measure anything useful…?

Fall Asleep / Wake Up Times

Times I fell asleep / woke up according to S5 vs. FR945
Times I fell asleep / woke up according to S5 vs. FR945

Except for the one day where the S5 “saw” me wake up at 04:52, the FR945 only at 05:58, those are pretty similar results.

(And that day, I did wake up that early, but then spent an hour in bed WeChat-ting with my wife. So, that was not sleep anymore, but also not exactly activity.)

Sleep Duration

Sleep times better reflect the similarity (and the one major difference):

Duration of sleep, as measured by Garmin FR945 vs. Suunto 5
Duration of sleep, as measured by Garmin FR945 vs. Suunto 5

This is a bit strange. For the most part, the length of my sleep was measured very similarly by both watches, except for the difference on the one day when there was a difference of one hour between the wake-up times registered.

Where the other day with much less sleep according to S5, much longer sleep according to FR945 – but nearly the same fell-asleep and woke-up times – came from, I have no idea.

It doesn’t make any sense, looks like the Suunto 5 lost some time somewhere – but I have not been able to find any issue anywhere that would account for this.

Garmin Forerunner 945 vs. Suunto 5: Battery Runtime

Data recording well and good, but how long does a watch record before it needs to be plugged in again to get charged?

Battery Discharge, FR945 vs. Suunto5

Funny thing there: This was just by chance. The Forerunner 945 and the Suunto 5 proved to have nearly identical rates of battery discharge, though.

After 5 days, they had gone from 100% to ~15% battery, at which point “low battery” warnings typically start to kick in.

I should note here that I used both watches with oHR constantly on, measuring HR, stress, etc.

In Conclusion

All in all, nicely comparable results… that probably don’t help decide between one or the other of the watches, if that is what you are looking for.

The data help to know that both Garmin Forerunner 945 and Suunto 5 are similarly capable devices, at least in this regard, though.

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2 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Does the Suunto 5 works better than the 9 in tracking this things you report? Thanks for the info

    • You’ll see (if I’m not entirely mistaken about my having data on that as well).

      But, in general, the higher weight of the Suunto 9 does cause some (slight) issues with tracking. (In case someone wants to complain that it’s horrible: That happens with pretty much all wrist-worn trackers. The wrist is not the best place for tracking steps, for example…)

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