(Pocket-lint) – Garmin has announced the arrival of the Forerunner 945 LTE, an incremental upgrade for the flagship GPS running watch.
The launch comes alongside the entry-level Forerunner 55, with Garmin using the inclusion of LTE to prioritise safety features for exercisers.
Unlike other GPS watches and smartwatches, which often focus on LTE as a way to enable wrist-based calling or music streaming, the Forerunner 945 LTE will instead be using the connectivity in order to track users and help keep them safe.
If they require assistance, the device is able to sync up with Garmin-powered International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC), providing the user with two-way communication with the emergency service.
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It also helps Garmin LiveTrack – the feature that allows you to share your current location during a workout – to work without your phone, too, and can send a message to your emergency contacts if it senses an incident has occurred.
As we say, it doesn’t appear Garmin is targeting day-to-day communication with this LTE upgrade, since texts, calls and voice functionality isn’t a part of the package.
Naturally, though, like other connected watches, it will still require a subscription in order to open up these LTE safety features. Details around the amount of this monthly fee are currently scarce, but we do know that the 945 LTE itself can be yours for $649 – and is available with a black or white band.
And, aside from the newfound LTE smarts, this is still the same impressive package that we saw with the standard model of the Forerunner 945.
That means you get all the latest and greatest features from the Forerunner line, including offline music streaming, daily workout suggestions, Garmin Coach, tracking modes for pretty much every sport you can name and access to all of Garmin’s proprietary metrics and plans around training, recovery and performance.
At present, the Forerunner 945 LTE only appears to be available in the US, but we’ll update this piece if the device receives wider availability in the future.
Writing by Conor Allison.