Garmin Forerunner 245 Review – Tried and Tested

As soon as Garmin unveiled the Vivoactive 3 almost two years ago, I wondered how precisely they would replace the Forerunner 235. The Vivoactive 3 was better in terms of tracking features, even though the FR 235 featured a higher number of buttons than the Vivoactive 3.

As a result, the Forerunner 235's mainstream, bulky look vanished by the time it was released. Is Garmin's answer to the next edition the same? Nope, they decided to make it look simpler and work faster for smarter training decisions.

Garmin Forerunner 245 is basically a Forerunner 235 with a few more features from the Fenix 5 thrown in. Don't forget the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music version.

The best part is that its body now lasts twice as long as the previous model when GPS is turned on. Is the small size of this smartwatch a trade-off for its many features? Let us investigate this further.

Forerunner 245 Design, Display, and Comfortability

People will not purchase Garmin Forerunner 245 Music as an extension of their smartphone or as a fashion accessory, because it was not created for those purposes.

When it comes to accurate fitness tracking, the Garmin Forerunner 245 is an excellent choice for folks who exercise regularly but aren't aiming to be the next Paula Radcliffe.

As a consequence, it isn't extremely noticeable on the wrist, but its plastic construction also makes it seem and feel cheap. It weighs only 38.5g and has a diameter of 30.4mm, which is smaller than the company's Fenix line.

As a result of its slim profile and compatible heart rate strap, the Forerunner 245 is an absolute delight to wear throughout any kind of physical activity. It doesn't even feel like you're wearing it at all.

Our Independent Rating

Wearing a wristwatch during a yoga session is, in my opinion, is the ultimate measure of its comfort level. You know your gadget is comfortable if you can comfortably arm balance and back bend your way through one hour of vinyasa without the need to take it off.

A big thumbs up for the Forerunner 245's comfort, which I tested through two yoga sessions and while sleeping four nights in a row with it on.

Perhaps because it is smaller and lighter overall, the Garmin Forerunner 245 seems to be thinner than its predecessor. This lightweight device has shrunk from a 45mm casing to a 42.3mm case, a difference that only Forerunner 235 users would notice.

It's a decent size for monitoring your workout progress and running form. It still has the same Garmin physical button layout.

The lack of a touch screen in this area is deliberate. Not only does it perform better in water, but it also conserves battery life, which is critical for many strenuous activities. If you're a newbie to Garmin devices, this button layout will take some time to get accustomed to, but it will all be clear in no time at all.

Garmin has improved the Forerunner 245's screen resolution from the Forerunner 235's 215 x 180 resolution to a 240 x 240 resolution, which adds welcome clarity and detail. The 1.2-inch screen is also a reasonable size, providing you with the information you want without overwhelming you with data.

Garmin Forerunner 245, GPS Running Smartwatch with Advanced Dynamics, Slate Gray
Garmin Forerunner 245, GPS Running Smartwatch with Advanced Dynamics, Slate Gray

Those acquainted with Garmin products know that the company doesn't use a backlit AMOLED screen, as found on many other smartwatches, in order to attain brightness. Instead, a transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) technique is used to illuminate the screen and the information shown within.

With the Forerunner 245, I never had a problem seeing the data on the screen, and this was particularly true in direct sunlight when the comprehensive health stats, heart rate, Garmin Coach recommendations, and elevation were all clearly visible.

A backlight that can be activated by pressing a button is available for those occasions when the lighting is less than ideal (again, to save on battery life).

Forerunner 245 Performance

Among the many ways Garmin has improved the Forerunner 245 over its predecessor is the sports-tracking features and tools it offers. Those added features provide customers more insight into their training history and more precise statistics; it is an accurate fitness tracking device.

This is a repeat of previous preset monitoring options: jog/trail/indoor track; yoga; cardio; treadmill; cycling; indoor rowing; walking; elliptical; stepper; detailed running stats, energy levels, and so on.

You may select activities tracking like swimming and strength exercise which have been added to the Forerunner 245. However, you can still construct your own program using the "other" option and add GPS or other monitoring technologies if you like. This is a simple process that gives you complete control over how your watch looks and functions.

The redesigned user interface on the Garmin Forerunner 245 was another feature that I found to be quite useful. With Garmin's upgrades, you'll be pleased with this new version of the Garmin Forerunner 235. It's now simpler to analyze data on the move thanks to a slew of new features, including bigger symbols and fonts, and better use of color.

Widgets are especially useful in this situation since they break down large amounts of information into smaller, more easily consumable portions. On the home screen, you may quickly scroll through a list of critical statistics, such as your latest daily activity and steps; the weather; heart rate sensor; smart notifications; music settings; Advanced Dynamics training monitor and the calendar, all of which can be accessed by touching the Up button.

Garmin also included a pulse oximeter in the 245, which was previously only available on high-end devices like the Forerunner 945 and Fenix 6.

This is a sensor that measures your blood's oxygen saturation level. At high elevations, monitoring your oxygen saturation might help you better understand how your body is coping with exercise volume and stress.

Garmin Forerunner 245, GPS Running Smartwatch with Advanced Dynamics, Slate Gray

As the name suggests, this is done by shining light into the skin and measuring the amount of light that is absorbed, or SpO2. In the Garmin Connect online fitness community, you can learn more about this pulse oximeter data, including trends over many days, by looking at the SpO2 percentage on the Forerunner 245.

The Forerunner 245 has another function that the 235 didn't have, which is all-day stress levels monitoring. Firstbeat, an advanced workouts assistance, serves as a helpful reminder of the value of relaxation, recuperation, and stress reduction in my daily custom workouts routines.

Heart rate variability is a term used to describe the interval between heartbeats. Just like chest strap does, this characteristic lets you rapidly evaluate how much of your time is spent under stress and how well you are coping with anaerobic training effects.

If your body isn't processing stress well, this tool will let you know, and it will encourage you to relax rather than track another activity until you can get your bearings again.

When it comes to daily activity monitoring, the 245 has all the advanced training features you'd expect from a Forerunner. It took less than a minute for the GPS to be discovered and linked, so I could get started on my run right away.

In comparison to the 235, the training load features and detailed running stats have been totally redesigned, making it easier to get started and analyze your exercise when it's over. You may get a better idea of how well-prepared you should be for your next activity by filtering out information like custom workouts effect, current training status, vertical oscillation, and training load (exercise history) from higher-end Garmin devices.

Garmin Forerunner 245, GPS Running Smartwatch with Advanced Dynamics, Slate Gray

Vertical oscillation (or vertical ratio) is the bounce you get while you're jogging. You can see how much your torso moves vertically with each step. Vertical ratio is useful information during race time to know how stable your running form is.

In addition, a new performance indicators measure your capacity to operate in real time and give you training effect feedback. A first assessment of your condition is based on your pace, heart rate, and heart rate variability data.

Distance, speed, and pace can all be tracked while jogging, and it's simple to make changes to the watch's numbers while you're out and about without having to open the app. The Garmin Forerunner 245 offered some helpful statistics on a brief outing, Garmin Coach, and it did so while responding promptly and intuitively at all times.

Other sports, like cycling and yoga, also performed well and seemed accurate due to the sensors on the Forerunner 245, which have been upgraded in this model. A good example of this is the Garmin Elevate optical heart rate sensor, which measures heart rate by illuminating blood flow in veins and capillaries.

Garmin's barometric altimeter, seen in the Forerunner 645 Music and Vivoactive 3 Music, is missing from this watch. However, this is only necessary if you plan to exercise in mountainous terrain and want to make use of elevation data.

Additionally, the absence of a multi-sports monitoring option was a minor letdown for those anaerobic training and triathlon efforts. A higher-end device like the Forerunner 945 or Fenix series will be necessary for this.

Forerunner 245 Music Version

If you're serious about using your wristwatch as a music player during your workouts, you may want to invest in the more expensive Garmin Forerunner 245 Music.

For an additional fee, the smartwatch may store up to "500 songs" (3.5 GB) of locally downloaded tunes. Despite the fact that this model includes WiFi connection, you'll need to utilize the specific Garmin Express computer program, make sure that you are in the optimal range, plug up the wristwatch, and manually download the music (or playlists) to its onboard music storage.

Sleep Tracking

One of the most disappointing aspects of this watch is its sleep monitoring. Wearing the Forerunner 245 during the night will allow Garmin to record total sleep, recovery time, and periods of movement or restful sleep.

Even while the quantity of time logged as sleeping looked to be correct for four nights in a row, it failed to pick up several important occurrences. On the third night of sleep monitoring, I woke up to turn off the TV since the Sky box was updating itself automatically. It had marked this as light sleep when I checked the Connect app.

It's possible that Polar watches have a better sleep monitoring system than Garmin, but I haven't seen any evidence to support this. According to my testing of the Polar Ignite's sleep monitoring, Garmin misses several of the more Advanced Dynamics features I found on the Polar Ignite, such as sleep efficiency totals and precisely recorded snooze interruptions.

Pros

  • Highly accurate fitness tracking and heart rate monitoring.
  • Long battery life.
  • Great for active people.
  • Sleek and smart design.
  • Replaceable Watch bands.
  • Emergency features.

Cons

  • The price.
  • No barometric altimeter or gyroscope.

Body Battery

Body Battery is a Garmin feature that estimates a user's energy reserves throughout the day by combining heart rate variability, stress, and activity. Using a scale of 1 to 100, it measures an individual's energy.

In order to estimate your total Body Battery level, your device analyzes data from your heart rate, level of stress, sleep quality, and exercise. A fuel gauge-style indicator that shows how much energy you have left. People with low reserve energy have a body battery level of 0. People with medium reserve energy, high reserve energy, and even ultra-high reserve energy have bodies with body batteries of 26–50.

For activities that require a lot of energy, a larger number is better. Time to conserve energy may be indicated by a lower number. In contrast to other metrics, "Body Battery" is a long-term snapshot of a user's energy levels.

Other Features Worth Mentioning

The Forerunner 245 can deliver alerts from your smartphone to your wrist like other current smartwatches. A stopwatch, an alarm clock, crucial running metrics, automatic daylight saving updates, calendar sync, and weather information are all included.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 is one of the first watches that allows female users to monitor their menstrual cycle with Menstrual Tracking feature. It shows you period forecasts, and register any symptoms, making it a useful tool for women. However, you won't be able to use Garmin Pay at this location.

The inclusion of incident detection feature, which was absent from the Forerunner 235, is my favorite added feature. So, if you wreck your bike, the watch will send smartphone notifications to someone. There's also Safety/Tracking Assistance, which allows you to send an assistance alert to friends or family at the push of a button.

Garmin Forerunner 245, GPS Running Smartwatch with Advanced Dynamics, Slate Gray

Forerunner 245 Battery Life

Garmin says that the Forerunner 245 can be used continuously for seven days in smartwatch mode. While the 245's total battery life has decreased, its GPS battery life has grown from 11 hours to 24 hours, which is a major gain.

It took us four days of constant usage with the watch to deplete the battery by 47 percent, which is better than Garmin's stated seven days of continuous use. I also tracked five or six different sorts of sports activities (with GPS only for a couple).

If you're curious, the Garmin Forerunner 245 can be charged from a dead battery in less than an hour.

Final Thoughts

Garmin's Forerunner 245 is an excellent running tool with Running Dynamics Pod, even if it lacks some of the bells and whistles of the company's more expensive models.

To put it another way, if you don't care about the more advanced Running Dynamics Pod given by newer models like Garmin's Forerunner 945, this lightweight device may be a better option for you. Runners of all skill levels may certainly benefit from the information it provides.

There are many people who want to measure their overall health in a more comprehensive way than a simple fitness tracker can provide. Then, its excellent fitness tracking accuracy a great option for you.


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