Garmin Forerunner 245 is the successor to the Forerunner 235, and Garmin took four years to bring us the successor, but it was worth the wait, bringing in a slew of new features, sensor updates and tracking options.
It is an excellent all-round watch for a plethora of workout- type activities and for the price, the Forerunner 245 offers quite a lot of features for runners and casual users alike.
We will be taking a look at the following areas to see what makes the Garmin Forerunner 245 such a great Smart Watch:
- Build Quality
- User Interface
- Fitness Features
- Activity Tracking and Precision
- Battery Life
- General Purpose Features
1. BUILD QUALITY
The Forerunner 245 is a light watch. It is also relatively small, just over 40 mm in diameter, so even if you are not used to wearing watches during your workouts, the Forerunner 245 won’t bother you or weigh your arms down.
The 240 x 240-pixel memory-in-pixel display is sunlight-visible and easy to read, whether in bright sunlight or overcast gloom. All the tech is cradled into a fibre-reinforced polymer case and covered with a crack- and scratch-proof Corning Gorilla Glass 3 lens.
The strap is made of silicone, and since the Forerunner 245 is water-rated to 5 ATM, you can wash the sweat off it in the shower without having to worry about ruining your watch.
2. USER INTERFACE
The watch is controlled by five buttons and is not a touchscreen device. The interface of the Forerunner 245 is highly customizable and reasonably simple to use. You can tailor the watch face, the activities list (even the activities themselves), the widget layout, controls, sensors and much more!
It might not be the most feature-packed Garmin watch, but the Forerunner 245 still has loads of features and having access to the most important ones can save you time, especially if you are trying to work out.
It presents you with larger icons and fonts, and there’s now a better use of colour, making it so much easier to review data while on the go.
All the activity tracking data is fed to Garmin Connect Mobile App on your smartphone via Bluetooth in the background. And from there, it’s also accessible on the Garmin Connect website.
Further yet, some 3rd party sites like Strava, MyFitnessPal, etc. can also receive this data if you’ve authorized them. The Garmin Connect App shows all the data recorded on your watch in a crisp and precise manner, making it easy to analyze your workouts, sleep data, resting heart rate, etc.
3. FITNESS FEATURES
One area in which Garmin has gone to great lengths to improve the Forerunner 245 over the previous model is in its sports-tracking capabilities and related tools, which give users more in-depth insight into their training performance as well as more accurate results.
As before, preset tracking options are as follows: run, trail run, indoor track running, yoga, cardio, treadmill, cycling, indoor cycling, indoor rowing, walking, indoor walking, elliptical, and stair stepper. New options over the Forerunner 235 are pool swimming and strength workout-tracking.
However, as ever, you can create your workout via the ‘other’ option, adding whichever tracking tools you’d like to utilize, be it GPS or whatever else. This is easy to do and means you can customize the watch to your needs.
The Forerunner 245 was awarded the best running watch, and the below features explains precisely why this watch is all you need to improve your running game:
- Garmin Coach – Adaptive training plans feature guidance from expert coaches and free training plans that adapt to you and your goals.
- Training Effect – Training effect gives you a sneak peek at how each training session is expected to impact your future fitness levels. This helps you understand how your workouts influence the development of endurance, speed and power with an aerobic and anaerobic training effect.
- Training Load and Training status – Training Load measures your exercise volume from the last seven days and tells you if you’re training in the optimal range based on your fitness level. Training status evaluates your recent exercise history and performance indicators to let you know if you’re training productively, peaking or overreaching. The Training Status also offers you a ‘Race Predictor’ view where it estimates your race times, based on your performance and fitness levels.
- VO2 Max – VO2 max is an indication of your cardiovascular fitness and should increase as your level of fitness improves. The ability to see your current fitness level and track changes over time is a game-changer. It can help you set appropriate goals, evaluate progress and determine the effectiveness of your training.
- Recovery Time – After each workout, the built-in recovery time advisor lets you know how long to rest before another significant effort. It even accounts for all-day stress, sleep and daily activity outside of workouts.
- Performance condition – For a real-time assessment of your current ability to perform, look at your performance condition. During the first 6 to 20 minutes of your run, this metric analyzes pace, heart rate and heart rate variability. The higher the number, the higher you can expect to perform.
- Running Dynamics – With the help of external sensors like Garmin HRM-TRI strap, HRM-Run strap or RD Pod, you can get additional data such as vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc. which helps you to improve your running form and efficiency.
The Forerunner 245 has a few other features which might appeal to more casual fitness watch wearers: Stress levels and the status of your ‘Body Battery’, which scores your energy level from 0-100 and is based on how much you rest/exercise. The new PulseOx feature is also included, which measures the saturation of oxygen in the bloodstream. These pulse oximeter readings appear as a SpO2 percentage, which you can read more about in the Garmin Connect app, including trends over multiple days.
The Forerunner 245 also has the sleep tracking feature which monitors total sleep and periods of movement or restful sleep if the watch is worn throughout the night. Still, it lacks depth and accuracy in sleep tracking as compared to other smartwatches.
Garmin Elevate optical heart rate sensor is the same as in the Forerunner 945, which makes heart tracking more accurate than the Forerunner 235. One sensor which is not available on the Forerunner 245 is Garmin’s barometric altimeter, which is embedded in the Vivoactive 3 Music. Although, that’s only really needed if you’re training on hilly terrain and want to make use of elevation data.
The watch lacks a multi-sport option which would have been ideal for those training for and wanting to track their triathlon attempts. For this, you’ll have to look into investing in a higher-end device, such as the Forerunner 945 or Fenix series.
4. ACTIVITY TRACKING AND PRECISION
The Forerunner 245 can connect to three different satellite systems: GPS, Glonass and Galileo. The watch picks the signal up quickly and doesn’t lose it as you exercise outdoors. The heart rate sensor is pretty accurate for a wrist-based device.
It’s essentially the same optical sensor that’s used in the Fenix 6/Forerunner 945, and that’s precise enough for most uses, especially for HR averages. If you want even more accurate readings, you might want to get a heart rate monitor.
Data fields-wise, the watch can only show three at the time, but you can find more information by scrolling through the different screens using the navigation buttons on the side.
For comparison, the high-end Garmin Forerunner 945 and the Fenix 6 Series can display up to six data fields on one screen.
5. BATTERY LIFE
Garmin claims the Forerunner 245 will offer seven days of constant use, or 24 hours with continuous GPS tracking.
While overall battery life has been reduced in the 245 over the Forerunner 235, GPS battery life has been increased to 24 hours from 11 hours in regular GPS mode, which is a considerable improvement. The watch can be charged from completely dead in an hour.
6. GENERAL PURPOSE FEATURES
Being a connected smartwatch, the Forerunner 245 also supports smart notifications, and it also counts the basic stats, like steps taken and calories burned, like any other fitness wearable.
There’s also menstrual cycle tracking, making the Forerunner 245 one of the first watches to enable female users to track their cycle, receive period predictions, and log any symptoms.
Another feature is the addition of Incident Detection. It means that if you crash your bike, the watch will notify someone. Similarly, there’s now also Safety/Tracking Assistance, which means at the press of a button you can send a help alert to friends or family.
The Forerunner 245 Music version allows you to sync your playlists from select music streaming services – such as Amazon Music and Spotify right to your watch. Or you could even download songs and transfer via USB cable from a laptop. The watch has a storage capacity of 3.5GB and can store almost 500 songs.
7. GARMIN FORERUNNER 245 VS FORERUNNER 235
To summarize, the Forerunner 245 has the following features which aren’t available on the Forerunner 235:
- Pool Swimming and Strength Tracking Options
- New Garmin Elevate Optical Heart Rate Sensor
- Garmin Coach Support
- Upgraded Training Load Features – Training Effect, Status and Load
- Increased Battery Life in GPS Mode
- All-Day Stress and Body Battery Tracking
- Pulse Oximeter Tracking
FORERUNNER 245 FOR RUNNERS, CYCLISTS & TRIATHLETES
It’s important to understand how the watch helps different athletes break down the Forerunner 245 from a runner, cyclists and triathletes’ perspective will make it easier for decision making.
For Runners – You don’t need to look anywhere else!! It’s perfectly suited for a runner and has almost everything covered. If you’re looking for additional running data, you can connect to an external device such as Garmin RD pod, HRM-Tri, etc. However, the watch lacks a barometric altimeter which gives better elevation metrics and has stair tracking option.
For Cyclists – The watch does a good job tracking outdoor and indoor cycling. Basic data such as speed, distance and time are accurately tracked. You can connect to an external speed and cadence sensor, but it does not connect to a power meter, and for this, you’ll have to look at buying the Forerunner 745/945.
For Triathletes – The watch does not have a multi-sport and open water swim tracking option though it tracks running, cycling and pool swimming individually. Triathletes’ would want to look at investing in the Forerunner 745/945 as it has triathlon mode and open water swim mode.
The Forerunner 245 is a brilliant running tool that’s still very competitive despite it not having all of Garmin’s more premium offerings. While it’s at its best for runners, the Forerunner 245 is also a capable training companion for most gym-goers and other types of fitness fans who aren’t trying to train or perform at the highest of levels.
With solid battery life, a comfortable fit and all the basics covered, this is also a healthy choice for almost anyone looking to track their general fitness better.
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