Garmin Forerunner 245 Music review: Hitting all the right notes

Quick verdict

If you are taking your running more seriously and you can’t stomach paying big money for a top-end Garmin, the Forerunner 245 should offer you all you need and give you a solid smartwatch experience too.
Read full verdict

For

  • Slimmer and lighter design
  • New training insights
  • Easy to use music features
Against

  • Battery drain with music streaming
  • Missing altimeter
  • No Garmin Pay

Like its ancestor, the Forerunner 235, the Garmin 245 Music is a watch focused on any individual who’s prepared to begin paying attention to their running following more.

Sitting over the financial plan agreeable and more essential Forerunner 45, the 245 acquires more the method of bits of knowledge and investigation into your exercise meetings. It’s additionally bringing more smartwatch features, including – as you may have speculated from its name – an inherent music player.

That is totally accomplished from a design that is slimmer than its forerunner. Everything is set up to hence make this another extraordinary alternative for sprinters.

Littler, lighter, still lively

Measures: 42.3 x 42.3 x 12.2mm
/Weighs: 38.5g

1.2-inch 240 x 240 presentation

5ATM waterproofing

Size alternative: 42mm

The primary thing to note here is that there are two variants of this watch. There’s the standard Forerunner 245, and the 245 Music that we’re inspecting here – the last being pricier in light of the fact that it brings included music features. Design-wise they appear to be identical.

Smaller, lighter, still sporty

The 245 without music features the equivalent 42mm polymer case with the decision of a merlot or dark lash. The 245 Music comes in dark, white and water hues with a similar red emphasize around the upper right physical catch to distinguish that is the catch to press to get following.

There’s five physical catches altogether and no touchscreen, so those catches are your methods for exploring watch screens. For a games watch, we can live without the touch board, since you would prefer consistently not to be gazing at the screen. Moreover, it won’t take long to get to holds with the activities those catches are doled out.

The 245 Music is observably littler and lighter than the 235 and, therefore it’s more comfortable to run and work out with. We’ve had no issues taking it to bed either to scrutinize the rest observing. That comfort reaches out to the 20mm silicone watch tie, which is removable on the off chance that you need to toss on one of Garmin’s legitimate ties or an outsider alternative.

While the size of the screen is generally equivalent to the 235, it has improved the screen goal to flaunt your details on recognizably more honed environmental factors. It’s a transflective showcase, to improve perceivability in splendid daylight

51AW28bT80L._SL1000

There’s a backdrop illumination to help evening runs, however you don’t be able to fiddle with splendor like you can on pricier Garmin watches. On the off chance that you can adapt without the sort of full shading touchscreen show that you will discover on Garmin’s Venu watch, it’s a strong enough screen that is acceptable to see at day or night.

On the off chance that you need to take it for a plunge (and you can), Garmin has hit it with a 5ATM waterproof rating – making it alright for a shower and a dip up to 50 meters profundity.

An extraordinary running partner

GPS, Glonass and Galileo satellite frameworks

Worked in heart rate screen

Heartbeat oximeter sensor

all day, every day wellness following

The 245 is additionally fit for following cycling and (pool just) and offers Garmin’s staple wellness following features – including step following, notwithstanding stress and rest observing.

Smaller, lighter, still sporty

Be that as it may, it’s a watch essentially worked for running, which is the place it’s principle request lies. A large portion of the key sensors are ready to convey key running measurements. That incorporates support for key satellite frameworks to offer far reaching planning. Garmin’s most recent age Elevate heart rate screen is there as well, just like an accelerometer to follow indoor running.

It additionally figures out how to crush in a heartbeat oximeter sensor, which is designed for keeping you more secure during high height preparing, yet will likewise open more extravagant rest information. However, as we discovered, rest following isn’t generally that dependable, especially with regards to perceiving when you’re in reality sleeping.

One sensor it passes up is an altimeter. In the event that you care about following rises in your runs, you pass up that here.

However, on the off chance that you can live without that, at that point this is a strong watch to go running with. GPS signal get is quite quick, constant running measurements are anything but difficult to ingest, and critically hold up exactness thought about against Garmin’s Fenix 6.

With regards to heart rate checking, Garmin looks to its own Elevate sensor and performance has positively improved from what the 235 served up most definitely. For equitably paced runs, it was commonly well in accordance with a Polar H9 chest tie we set it in opposition to. Yet, when it’s an ideal opportunity to increase the force with some stretch running, a few errors creep in. It’s surely not the most noticeably terrible entertainer out there taking care of those all the more testing heart rate testing conditions, yet it’s not exactly comparable to a chest lash. Luckily, you do be able to combine it with one on the off chance that you so wish.

Best Fitbit wellness tracker 2020: Which Fitbit is directly for you?

Train more brilliant

Garmin Coach

Programmed rep tallying

Propelled preparing experiences

That outer chest lash will likewise prove to be useful for the host of preparing and examination features that make the cut on the 245. It’s these features that truly discrete it from Garmin’s spending running watches.

These are led by Training Status, Training Effect and Training Load insights, which had previously only appeared on Garmin’s top-end watches.

Training status data is based on workout history, letting you know if you should’ve gone for that big run or maybe taken a rest day. Training Effect gives you an insight into future fitness levels based on each training session. Last up is Training Load, which breaks your sessions down into buckets to show whether you are dedicating time equally to all forms of training.

All of these insights are useful if the data underpinning them is reliable. Most are based on heart rate data, so if you value those insights, we think it’s wise to invest in a heart rate chest strap monitor.

Garmin Forerunner 245 on wrist photo 8

If you’re starting to think about moving from runs in the park to racing and don’t know where to start, Garmin also provides access to its Coach platform. It offers plans for 5K, 10K and half marathon distances with three coaches on offer. Upcoming sessions in your plan are uploaded to the watch and will account for missing a session or putting a temporary pause on your plan.

Let the music play

  • Phone notifications for Android and iPhone
  • Music storage up to 500 songs
  • Compatible with Connect IQ store

All of Garmin’s watches these days offer what you’d say were staple smartwatch features like the ones you’d find on an Apple Watch or something like the Samsung Galaxy Watch.

Garmin Forerunner 245 on wrist photo 3

It’s compatible with both Android and iPhones giving you notifications, weather forecasts and calendar appointments. The experience across the two platforms are largely the same, though Android phones users do have the ability to respond to texts and reject incoming calls.

If you opt for the music model version, then you are getting a pretty desirable feature in the way of a built-in music player, which first launched on the Forerunner 645. All 245 models will let you control music playback from your phone, but the 245 Music version gives you room for up to 500 songs or a decent amount of podcasts and audiobooks.

How you get those onto the watch is done in one of two ways. The first is a drag and drop job by connecting it to your computer through Garmin’s Express software. The other is by loading on playlists from supported streaming services, which include Spotify, Amazon Music and Deezer. You’ll need to be on Wi-Fi to do it all and have enough battery to transfer over.

Garmin Forerunner 245 review photo 2

The experience of running with music is generally pretty good too. One of the physical buttons is dedicated to launching the music app, which can be easily accessed during a run. You’ll need to pair Bluetooth headphones to listen and we successfully tested it out with the Jabra Elite Active 75t, Apple Airpods Pro and Aftershokz Aeropex headphones and had no issues getting them connected on the first attempt at pairing.

You’re also getting access to Garmin’s Connect IQ Store, which is by no means as polished a store front as Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store. It’s not brimming with things to download in comparison to Apple or Google, but if you want more watch face options, apps to improve tracking or additional data fields, there’s some solid options to sync over to the watch available.

Battery life

  • Up to 7 days in smartwatch mode
  • 6 hours in GPS mode with music
  • 24 hours in GPS mode

This is a running watch that’s built for those who don’t mind reaching for the charger after a week’s worth of workouts. If you’re regularly running over seven days, there should be enough GPS battery time to have you covered.

Garmin Forerunner 245 review photo 13

If you’re using it for a mixture of tracking and checking in on notifications and the time, you will comfortably get a week out of it and likely a little bit more than that. That screen doesn’t drain the battery in any horrible way and that’s a big reason why Garmin opted for this display tech for the majority of its watches.

There are some features that will have a more noticeable impact on battery performance. The first is music streaming. For a 30 minute run with music, GPS and heart rate, battery drop-off was around 10 per cent. That’s a bigger drop-off than running without music streaming. Keeping the pulse oximeter sensor switched on will also quickly dent the battery life, though Garmin does make you aware of that before you enable it.

Verdict

If you want a watch that’s well built for running, this is one of the best you can strap onto your wrist. It’s a big upgrade on the Forerunner 235 in a lot of ways. While it doesn’t offer the full complement of Garmin’s smartwatch features, it should be good enough for most.

There are a few missing features that we’d like to have seen included, particularly the altimeter, but we imagine they are unlikely to be deal-breakers for most.

The Forerunner 245 a watch where run tracking is the focal point and if that’s what you care about the most, it certainly delivers a great experience.