This is NOT good. Very disappointing and discouraging. I, like so many others, was rooting for the Garmin Forerunner 645. On paper it looks irresistible.
Shame that Garmin rushed it out before it was ready for prime-time.
That step count accuracy is poor is extremely damning. That is the basic, core function. IF you can’t trust that, then there is no point getting the FR645.
I am more or less sure that I will not get a FR645 anymore. Not worth the risk. Thinking of getting a Forerunner 935 which gets better reviews, on a consistent basis, and has been on the market for over a year. So, it is proven.
The highlighted (i.e., in red box) comment, on the last line above, sums it all up — the impression that Garmin released it before it was ready to be released.
That was what they did with the Vivoactive 3 — as I found to my cost.
I had a hunch this would happen with the Forerunner 645, which is why I have maintained, from the start, that I was going to wait. I am so glad that I did NOT rush to get one.
I am, as you can see, monitoring this and keeping you posted. I will continue to do that.
It is, however, possible that I might not get a FR 645 after all! I might get a Forerunner 935 instead. It is a proven product which appears to be solid, stable and reliable.
The Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 645, in particular, do NOT support ‘Open Water Swim’ though they do support ‘Pool Swim’.
This distinction and restriction drives folks nuts, so, I decided to get to the bottom of it.
It has all to do with GPS/Glonass support — or lack thereof IN WATER.
GPS does not work very well when the sensor is submerged in water. THAT IS THE CRUX OF THE ISSUE.
If you just want a GPS distance and track while you swim in open water you could try putting your watch into running mode and having it attached to a swim cap. That is supposed to work.
‘Pool Swim’, by definition, means that GPS is DISABLED. Pool swim data is measured using the ACCELEROMETER. Got that? No GPS … just accelerometer.
So, how do the more expensive watches like the Garmin Forerunner 935 and Fenix 5 support open water swimming? They use the GYROSCOPE.
With the gyroscope you only need occasional GPS fixes. The gyroscopes fills in the gaps between the GPS readings. The Vivoactive 3 does NOT have a gyroscope. Hence why open water swim is not available.
But, alas, a gyroscope alone is also NOT enough. For open water swim you ALSO need a powerful enough CPU to continually calculate the data. Got that?
Hence why open water swim is not supported on the Forerunner 645 though it has a gyroscope. The CPU in it is not as powerful as that in a FR935. Got that.
So, that is the deal.
To get open water swim support you need a gyroscope and a big enough CPU. Without that you only get pool swim which only uses the accelerometer.
You can TRY and use running or pool swim in open water — though the results will be mixed and most likely inaccurate.
So, that is the story. Now you know.
Right now this is but a suspicion … a rumor.
What makes this of concern is that 2 of the detailed fixes in Firmware 2.50 had to do with elevation!
This would be a TOTAL dealbreaker for I.
Measuring and keeping track of ALL elevation is a huge part of my fitness regime.
So, this is of CONCERN.
I will, of course, monitor it and keep YOU posted.
It was rolled out to ~50% of customer base in the first 24-hours — and I have no clue how big that base is at present. A few hundred? Less than that.
As always there is the “numerous other fixes” and I bet it does.
The elevation/altitude related fixes are disquietning. Altitude is a BIG metric for I. If they haven’t got it right, then the FR645 is of no use to I.
Nobody knows what “changes to support factory” means and Garmin is NOT telling.
So far I have NOT seen anybody complaining about problems — in marked contrast to the barrage I am seeing for the Fitbit Ionic Fitbit OS 2.0 Firmware update,
As always I will keep you posted. Let ME know if YOU hear or experience anything so that I can SHARE.
Garmin has told some users that they will be releasing a new Firmware update, March 19, 2018, that fixes at least some of these bugs.
So, this is a heads up.
March 19, is Monday. If you have a Forerunner 645(M) you should connect it to Garmin Express sometime Monday evening and see if you can get the new Firmware downloaded.
At Garmin Product Forum
I kind of anticipated that there would be some teething problems — which is why I was not going to pre-order or buy one in the 1st month — but this seems more SERIOUS and deep-seated than I had hoped.
Best to wait … which is also what I am telling folks still about the Vivoactive 3.
I will, of course, be monitoring the situation and WILL keep you apprised.
At Best Buy
Kind of strange and doesn’t make much sense.
Garmin says that it won’t have the Forerunner 645M (the ‘M’ denoting ‘music‘) for 3-5 weeks, WHILE Amazon and “Heart Rate Monitors USA” are claiming that they already have it stock and are ready to ship.
On the other hand, the Forerunner 645, which was supposed to be available before the 645M, is NOT in stock. Very strange.
I will, of course, keep you posted. I will be checking on a regular basis.