Garmin Forerunner 245 Music and Advanced Dynamics Smartwatch
You do the running. Forerunner 245 Music does the thinking. It even gets to know you, mile after mile and song after song. This GPS smartwatch has storage for your favorite tunes, so you can keep moving to the music without having to lug your phone along. It also tracks your stats, crunches the numbers and gets to know all about your performance, your running form, your training history and even your goals. All you need to focus on is putting one foot in front of the other.
- GPS running smartwatch with music advanced training features
- Sync with music streaming services, such as Spotify, to easily store and play your favorite songs right from your watch
- Evaluates your current training status to indicate if you’re undertraining or overdoing it; Offers additional performance monitoring features
- Get free adaptive training plans from Garmin coach, or create your own custom workouts on our Garmin connect online fitness community
- Provides advanced running dynamics, including ground contact time balance, stride length, vertical ratio and more (When used with Running Dynamics Pod or HRM Run or HRM Tri monitors (sold separately))
Batman Cheefheart –
If you’re thinking twice: don’t. This works out of the box with minimal setup. Using this with Jaybird headphones and was up and running – phone free – after just a few minutes of setup. The future is now! Also has all the functions and fitness add-ins you’ve come to expect from Garmin. Six stars!
Scott E. Benson –
A bit about me1. I’ve owned the Garmin Forerunner 235, Fenix 3 and Fenix 5X (among several older watches from Garmin and others)2. I run 25-35 miles/week (4x outdoors + occasional treadmill) and bike indoors 1-2x per week on Zwift3. I use the Stryd Live footpod4. I sync all of my data to StravaWhy I purchased this watch- I’ve been using the Garmin Fenix 5X for the past year, and it has been a great watch. It’s definitely a huge watch (arguably too big) with a lot of great features, some of which I used and some I didn’t. However, it doesn’t have music, which is a feature that I really wanted. I really don’t like carrying around my phone to listen to music on runs, so the idea of having a watch that had that feature was appealing.- However, I wasn’t ready to shell out $650+ for the Fenix 5 Plus for the music feature. I had been looking at the Forerunner 645 Music, but it was pricey, and the Vivoactive 3 which was priced right but isn’t really a pure running watch.- Enter the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music which was released in late May 2019.What I like about the 245’s form factor- Lightweight and barely noticeable on my wrist- Very crisp, high resolution (240×240) display (easier to see than the Fenix 5X despite its smaller size)- Screen is Gorilla Glass 3 (less likely to scratch than some older Forerunner models)What I like about the 245 for running- Uses the same basic interface as all Garmin running watches, so it’s intuitive for me to use by now (takes some getting used to for newbies, though)- Running metrics that were in the Fenix 5X are all available (e.g. pace, heart rate, cadence, training effect, VO2 max estimate, etc.)- You can load pre-designed courses (for directions during a run), workouts (for interval training and such) and training plans (5k/10k/Half Marathon plans)What I like about the 245’s music features- Can hold 500 songs (~3.6GB available)- Music options include Spotify, Deezer and manual loading of MP3 or AAC files from your computer- Wi-Fi syncing of musicWhat else I like about the 245- Connecting to my Stryd footpod and bluetooth headphones was quick easy- Sleep tracking (deep sleep, light sleep, REM, awake)- New “Body Battery” feature that measures the amount of energy reserve you have throughout the day- New blood oxygen sensor (Pulse Ox) will probably tell me something interesting (maybe?)What I wish it had- I purposely decided to “downgrade” from the extremely large and heavy Fenix 5X (51mm) to this watch (42mm). While I don’t regret the decision, I wish the Forerunners’s size was somewhere in between (maybe 45mm).- Battery life for this watch is fine if you’re not running ultras (estimated at 6 hours for music + GPS) but I’d be willing to give up a little weight in exchange for a larger battery to keep this one going longer between charges.- Barometric altimeter – not a must have for me in flat Florida, but this allows you to measure elevation and stairs climbed; instead, elevation is pulled using GPS data which may be less accurate- Spotify and Deezer music services require premium membership ($8-$10 / month)- Podcasts don’t sync automatically via Spotify; manual syncing required (or there’s a paid app call Runcasts, but it has mixed reviews so I haven’t tried it)- At some point, I’m going to miss the pre-loaded elevation maps that the Garmin Fenix 5X had; I didn’t use them very often, but they did come in handy every now and then- Price point is pretty high at $349 retail –> Garmin can get away with it now because of their strong reputation and advanced features, but I’m not sure they’ll be able to get away with such a price premium for much longerOther potential concerns- I’ve read that some people have issues with the music cutting in and out on Bluetooth headphones. I haven’t experienced this when running, but it did start to cut in and out while walking during my cool down. My assumption is that this happens because the antenna on the watch is too far away from my ears when my hands are down by my side while walking (as opposed to closer to my chest when running). This isn’t a big deal for me because 99% of the time I’ll be running while listening to music.- Potential solution: I have read that one solution is apparently to make sure the watch is on the same side of your body as the antenna for your headset (typically the right side). You might want to try that if you’re having the same issue.*********************2 month update: I continue to like this watch, so my overall rating hasn’t changed. I’ve found it to be incredibly accurate when running (like all modern Garmin watches) and the battery life is holding strong. I haven’t managed to scratch it despite wearing it every day since I bought it. Garmin also recently added Amazon Music support to the watch, which is great if you’re like most people and have a Prime membership (premium music subscription not required).I have had an issue with an inaccurate heart rate reading, but only while riding my indoor bike (not while running). My heart rate reading will “plateau” well below my actual heart rate and won’t budge much thereafter. Garmin apparently is aware of this issue, so I’m hoping they come up with a fix soon.As for Bluetooth headphones, I’ve been happy with the Mpow Flame2 (also sold on Amazon). They maintain strong connectivity while running – rarely dropping signal.
The watch constantly loses connection to my iPhone (iPhone Xs) and my old Garmin (FR35) hasn’t had these issues. The watch burns 2% of battery every hour (regardless of features enabled) so it is dead after two days. The watch itself is nicely made, but the software is what I’m assuming is the culprit!
William D. Iverson –
Garmin 245 Music seems to be a capable product. Tolerably possible to do basic activity tracking by a process largely of experimentation. Lengthy “Owner’s Manual” is terrible, however. Appears to have been written as a steam of consciousness by an engineer who already knew how to access and use various features. No effort to provide a simple “getting started” section. No effort to organize material in a sensible easy-to-exotic or other logical progression manner. No effort to test Manual against the needs of a starting user. Hence, the overall product is badly lacking. I write this as someone who has successfully navigated hundreds of new software and hardware packages, many more complicated and difficult than the Garmin 245 Music. In short, a good product if you want to use 5% of the purported features, or if you want to spend days — weeks? — discovering features by experimentation. Otherwise, go elsewhere.
Red Sevens –
I just wanted a cheap device that plays music and tracks my distance.The first problem many novice users will encounter is trying to get SPOTIFY working. The instructions say, “In the Connect IQ app, you’re prompted to log in to Spotify and connect your accounts. Tap OKAY to confirm”.I am in the Garmin Connect website, and the Garmin Express application, and nothing “prompts you to login to Spotify”. The watch has a fixed message, “”Garmin Mobile Application Required …”.After a few hours of clicking everything that is clickable. I gave up.It looks like it could be a nice watch if you can get it working.
A great watch, good feel, not perfect, great stat tracking, some deficiencies, worth 300$, mmmm, maybe 200$. But it’s pretty damned good. Moved on from a fitbit versa which was glitchy in some respects (stopped counting after extended periods of time)Pros – Feels great, Lots of little apps you can install on the watch for various activities or navigation. Lots of ways to ‘skin’ the look of the watch for regular use. Great stat tracking (online), and integration with other garmin devices like a heart strap or a cadence device for bicycles. Works great under water, in the shower. Pretty light weight, strap is noninvasive. Lets you turn off/on different modes, like auto-events.Cons – The batteries could last a little longer, I think on the music version they do. The strap seems to ‘chafe’ my wrist more than my fitbit alta hr did… This watch will stop counting paces/distance if you rest your arms/stop moving them, unlike the fitbit which seemed to be a lot more lenient. Little more expensive than I would like. Some of the apps don’t really work like they should, especially some of the ones you might want to pay a few dollars for.Bottom line, this thing destroys my old fitbit when it comes to stats, accuracy (heart rate especially), functionality. But if you just want something to track your heart rate, and not give you too much fuss on the elliptical, fitbit might be a better bargain. I had to ditch the fitbit because it would stop counting after long periods of time, and that was just too frustrating.
Alan Quayle –
If you love Spotify and you want to leave your phone at home when you run then I strongly recommended taking a closer look at this watch. Easy to use and very comfortable to wear. I’ve been very impressed. I like watches and have 4 others however find i wear this all the time now.
This is my first running watch and I’m impressed. The watch looks neat and isn’t too bulky on the wrist, is comfortable to wear (I am wearing the watch 24/7 with the optical heart rate monitor on) and has worked perfectly all along. I have so far used it mainly for running and also use the Garmin Coach, which has been a really positive experience.I use the Garmin Connect app, which is great and has lots of features, but also still sync the data to Strava, which works without problem as well. The sync maps to existing Strava segments along the route, but just creates standard 1k splits, not the splits created by the Garmin watch/ coach. I see myself working mostly with the Garmin app now though anyway as it gives me more features than my free Strava app and suits my needs very well.Noteworthy is that the HR monitor can give inaccurate/ erratic readings, if the sensor not cleaned regularly. I rinse it down with water after every run now, blot the watch dry slightly, avoiding the sensor and then wipe the sensor with optical glasses wipes instead of a towel or cloth. I also avoid body lotion on the wrist where I’m wearing the watch. The readings seem totally fine now.I use the watch 4-6 hours/ week with GPS on for running and have the HR monitor on pretty much all the time. With this, I charge the watch at most once a week. Adding Bluetooth phone connection, it needs charging app every 3-4 days. It charges pretty fast (around 1- 2 hours to full charge), so I’m very pleased with this also.