Review: Groove To Your Beat While You Workout With Garmin’s Forerunner 245 Music
By Chong Jinn Xiung May 26, 2020
- Feature packed fitness tracker that squeezes in a ton of features into a compact body
- Music big part of device but to enjoy feature, need to subscribe to premium service
Fitness has been at the forefront of everyone’s mind. It comes to no surprise that the wearable device segment, which includes smartwatches and fitness trackers, is thriving.
One of the best-known names in the game is Garmin and the company has followed up its popular Forerunner 235 model with the Forerunner 245 Music. A full-featured GPS Running Smartwatch with a focus on fitness, it comes with advanced training features and the ability to play your favourite songs.
Listening to upbeat music as you exercise can improve your physical performance. According to a new study by physiologist Luca Ardigò of the University of Verona in Italy, exercising seemed like less effort when people listened to high-tempo music.
That being said the Forerunner 245 Music, that retails for US$390 (RM1,699) though there are cheaper deals online, is an excellent fitness tracker in its own right with plenty of features that are sure to please sports enthusiasts.
A Matter Of Comfort
On the wrist, the smartwatch feels very lightweight, weighing in at 38.5g, while the silicone strap is comfortable to wear. So much so, that you may even forget that it's on your wrist.
The Forerunner 245 features a 42mm case, which is smaller than its predecessor’s 45mm case, though it is marginally thicker. Our review unit came in a bright blue Aqua hue, which was a bit too bright for our taste but perfectly fits the look of a sporty watch.
We love the fact that the screen is perpetually on so you don’t need to constantly ‘flick’ your wrist to check on the time like so many other smartwatches. Using the same transflective display technology like its predecessor, you can get a good read of the time and other information on the screen without having to power up the backlight, though that does come in handy when it gets dark.
On the dial, it sports a larger 1.2-inch display (240 x 240 resolution) that is respectably bright and readable even under direct sunlight. If you crave for a larger display then consider Garmin’s Fenix series.
Now it should be said that the Forerunner 245 does not use a touchscreen display. Instead, you need to navigate it with the 5 physical buttons. Admittedly, it does not feel intuitive at first and we often found ourselves tapping the screen to no effect.
But with some practice, you can get used to the physical buttons and it is easier to use while you are exercising.
Those who wish to customise their Forerunner 245 will be pleased to note that it uses a standard 20mm watch strap that opens it to a variety of different straps you can pair for different looks.
While it may look like one, the Forerunner 245 is not a smartwatch in the traditional sense. It tips more towards the realm of a speciality device that is aligned to fitness enthusiasts.
It comes with a robust list of features that will prove handy for exercise freaks. If you are wondering whether it will rain or shine during your next jog, there is a handy weather forecast function. Forgetful types will be happy with its calendar function that will alert you of upcoming events.
Music is a big part of the Forerunner 245, it is even in its name. You get the ability to tap into the vast music library of streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer and bring your favourite songs, playlists or podcasts on your next exercise session without needing to bring your phone around. But to enjoy this feature you will need to subscribe to the premium service. Sorry, lovers of free use.
Alternatively, you can transfer over your songs manually from a computer over the charge/sync cable. You can store up to about 500 music tracks.
Setup was relatively straightforward as much of the set-up is done through the Garmin Connect Mobile app. Once in, you just need to login to Spotify or Deezer to begin enjoying your music.
Of course, you will also need to pair your wireless Bluetooth headphones to the Forerunner 245 to fully take advantage of its music features. Again, the setup was quite simple and painless.
Music aside, the Forerunner 245 does a lot of standard smartwatch stuff like delivering notifications of your latest messages once you connect your iOS and Android device via the Garmin Connect app.
There is so much the Forerunner can do from telling you about the weather, upcoming calendar events, notifications to your heart rate, steps and workout history.
We loved that there is a safety aspect to this smartwatch as it comes with incident detection and safety tracking feature so should you get into trouble, it will alert your emergency contact with a message along with your exact location.
Always Ready For A Workout
Putting the Forerunner 245 to the test, we found the numerous sports profiles to be quite useful for capturing different workouts. Garmin provides some of the most accurate workout measurements in the market and thanks to the inclusion of GPS and GLONASS sensors that ensure tracking accuracy, it also has an accelerometer for tracking indoor activities.
All it lacks is a barometric altimeter, normally available on Garmin’s higher-end devices, so it can’t track your elevation like when you climb stairs or hike up a hill. It is not a deal-breaker but it is something to take note of if you value these type of activities.
From running, biking to even swimming, you can take the Forerunner 245 virtually anywhere, even the pool. Thanks to its 5ATM rating, the watch can safely be used in the pool down to 50m deep.
Possibly the best reason to get the Forerunner 245 over its predecessor is its enhanced battery life which lasts twice as long with a claimed seven-day battery life.
That being said, the battery’s performance varies as it highly depends on how often you use it to record workouts. If you workout every day and listen to music as you do so, you can expect to run the battery down a lot quicker. Also, if you leave the GPS constantly on, you will see the Forerunner 245 last just for a day.
When it is all said and done, the Garmin Forerunner 245 is a value-packed fitness tracker that benefits from the vast improvements the brand has made over the years.
It may not be the most affordable fitness tracker on the market but for the price of admission, you get plenty of great features that should satisfy most fitness buffs.
It is easy on the eyes and belongs on the wrist of any sports enthusiast. You can also rest assured that both your workouts and general health stats such as your sleep quality, stress and oxygen saturation (Sp02) are captured.
On top of that, the improved battery life means that you can wear the Forerunner 245 longer without having to worry about the next charge.
So if you are on a budget and are unsure if you want to spend on a dedicated fitness tracker, the Forerunner 245 is a great middle of the road option for those who want a unit that also plays music and shows notifications.