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Garmin Forerunner 245 and 245 Music

Replacing the Forerunner 235, this new running watch features a slick new design, an improved screen, lighter weight, and some of the company’s most advanced sensors for additional tracking features. Much like its predecessor, the Forerunner 245 comes in two forms—a basic version, and a second version that adds onboard music storage to the mix via the usual host of digital music services (Spotify, Amazon Music, etc).


Quick Take


At a basic level this is a solid upgrade from its predecessor without bothering to reinvent the wheel —a practice we see far too often in the fitness tracking space. With integrated music capabilities, Garmin enhances the basic runner’s watch with helpful training features. It can track your running form and suggest improvements, as well as features specifically tailored for those training for marathons and 5Ks. The music capabilities are welcome, though not always intuitive.


Highly accurate fitness tracking and heart monitoring
Long battery life
Onboard music storage


No Garmin Pay
No barometric altimeter or gyroscope.



The 245 retains the five-button layout common to the Forerunner series, though the important start/stop button now has red-lined markings for increased visibility. Garmin did the difficult task of making the case size smaller, now 42mm instead of 44mm for the previous Forerunner 235, yet the screen is much more colorful, doesn’t wash out in sunlight as easily, and fills the entire shape of the case. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 ensures durability. While there is no touchscreen, we found that the five-button layout was intuitive enough to scroll through different data sets such as heart rate, health tracking, running analysis, weather, and notifications synced to a smartphone. The screen is customizable, though a formidable array of menus reflect the features Garmin was able to pack into one watch.




Since the Forerunner series is aimed at runners, as its name reflects, one helpful feature is its ability to analyze one’s running form, which means that it can detect such specifics as cadence, ground contact, balance, and stride, among others. Some additional helpful features include Training Status and Training Load, which tracks your progres and allows you to access past results from the last seven days of workouts. Aerobic and anaerobic effects are also a boon to runners in building endurance and power, and the Forerunner 245 divides your workout into low-intensity, high-intensity aerobic, and anaerobic categories.


The 245 shares the previous Forerunner 235’s optical heart rate tracking, and it is compatible with chest heart rate monitors as well as the Running Dynamics Pod, sold separately from Garmin. The Forerunner 245 has the ability to display your running route, but it doesn’t come with preinstalled maps. Further tracking can be synced to the Garmin app for iOS or Android.




Tracking: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo tracking.

Training: Personalized training and recovery insight that monitors every workout.

Garmin Coach: Personalized training plans include distance running for 5Ks up to full marathons.

Menstrual Cycle Tracking: Lets the user log physical and emotional symptoms and other information in the Garmin Connect app during phases of their cycle.

Body Battery Energy Monitoring: Suggests when to get rest based on your vital signs, activity and stress levels.

Music storage: Up to 500 songs, with access to popular apps like Spotify or Amazon Music.

Battery life: Up to 7 days in smartwatch mode; up to 6 hours in GPS mode with music.


The music feature is something that most runners aren’t willing to train without these days, and for good reason. There’s nothing more cumbersome than dealing with wedging your smartphone into the pocket of your running shorts, or strapping on one of those smartphone armbands. For a $50 upgrade, it’s pretty easy to see the value in this if you’re a seasoned runner. For those who opt for the music variant, playlists can be downloaded in no time from Spotify via the Forerunner 245’s built-in WiFi. Switching between playlists wasn’t very intuitive, however, and the buttons can be tough to access for skipping tracks while in motion. Bluetooth was easy to connect to, and never dropped its signal.


The Verdict


A healthy battery life and specific tracking metrics devoted to running make this watch a winner, albeit one that is tuned towards a very specific niche in the market. It’s good to see Garmin incorporating its more advanced features like menstrual cycle tracking and what it calls Body Battery across its lineup, which makes this a suitable replacement for the Forerunner 235. For $349 it remains at a competitive price point, and the 245 without music packs even more value at $299. It will soon be a device that serious runners can’t train without.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does the Garmin Forerunner 245 have Garmin Pay?
A: No, the Garmin 245 does not have Garmin Pay available.
Q: How do I put music on my Garmin Forerunner 245 Music?
A: You can load your personal audio files, such as .mp3 and .aac files, to the Forerunner 245 Music device from your computer, using the included USB cable.

Rating: 88%


Product Type


Brand/Model Series

Garmin Forerunner 245/245 Music

Overall Rating

88 %

Phone Control


Case Size

42 mm

Number of Available Colors


Type Of Display

Sunlight-Visible, Transflective Memory-In-Pixel (MIP)

Screen Size

1.2" (30.4mm) diameter

Screen Resolution

240 x 240



Sleep Tracking


Steps Tracking


Calories Tracking


Downloadable Apps


Bluetooth Enabled


Heart Rate Monitor


Water Resistance Rating

Swim, 5 ATM

Max Battery Life

168 hrs

What is included in the box?

Garmin Forerunner 245/245 Music, Charge/data cable, Documentation





On-board music storage


NFC Touchless Payment


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