Garmin Forerunner 245 | In-depth review and opinion


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If you are a runner, there are many reasons why you should be interested in the new Garmin Forerunner 245The FR245 is right at the top of the range: it's not as expensive as the top-of-the-range models, but it has almost the same features as them.

I have been using the new Garmin Forerunner 245 Music for over a month. It is not a loaner unit but I bought it so that I could play it for as long as I needed, and of course also so that I could keep it close by and answer any questions that come up that are not covered in this (difficult) test.

If you like this analysis and find it useful to decide the purchase of your next GPS watch, please use the links you will find on this page (well, you can buy that GPS watch you want or anything else). You will not pay more than it is worth, but the seller will pay me a small percentage which is what helps to cover the costs of hosting the site, buying watches and, obviously, my work.

Once I've explained everything and after more than a month of getting to know each other, I'm ready to tell you all the good and bad things about Garmin's new model. Are you ready? Here we go.

Garmin Forerunner 245


Overall - 9
Training possibilities - 8.5
Platform and applications - 9.5
Battery life - 9.5
Finishes and comfort - 9.5
Price/performance ratio - 8.5



The Garmin FR245 Music is a great choice if you're looking for a reliable, all-round watch to go with you on your workouts. It's taken almost all of Forerunner 645's features and put them into a more affordable option. And it's even got more range and a more up-to-date pulse sensor. For this price, no other model offers a longer specification list than the Garmin Forerunner 245.

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The good

  • It has almost all the functions of its higher-ranking siblings
  • Optical pulse sensor is slightly better than the previous version
  • Career dynamics, training status, training effect...
  • It has a lot of features that have never been seen before in a Garmin of this price

The bad

  • Without Garmin Pay
  • No magnetic compass
  • Not that I would expect this, but for some people the absence of a barometric altimeter can be a problem, especially since it does not track ascended floors or does not allow you to be compatible with the Connect IQ Garmin Running Power
  • Garmin still has work to do on the new satellite chipset

Garmin Forerunner 245, at a glance

The Garmin Forerunner 245 doesn't have any new features we've ever seen, but it does have many features that we used to were only present in higher-end devices.


If we compare it to the Garmin Forerunner 235 (which is the model Forerunner 245 is coming to replace) you'll find many options that weren't available before. They're not just related to software features, there are also hardware changes in the new model.

  • New Garmin Elevate 3 optical sensor with Pulse Ox (pulse oximetry estimation)
  • New chipset Sony GPS for greater autonomy, compatible not only with GPS but also GLONASS and Galileo
  • Adds music playback (Forerunner 245 Music only) and support for streaming platforms such as Spotify or Deezer
  • Performance MetricsThe same as the ones we can find in the high range from Garmin Fenix 5 This includes Training Status, Recovery Status, Training Load, etc.
  • Career Dynamics MetricsAgain, this is the first time we have seen it in the 2xx range. However, you will need an HRM-Run or HRM-Tri pulse sensor, or the Running Dynamics Pod in order to obtain data on stride length, ground contact time or vertical oscillation ratio among others
  • Navigation complete route planner (without maps), with digital compass
  • New security and tracking features with incident detectionYou can send an alert to the chosen contacts in case you detect a sudden deceleration or any other situation that could lead to a fall. You can also send a help message simply by pressing a button
  • Profiles of swimming pool and gym with repeatability
  • Allows to pair sensors ANT+ and, besides, BluetoothThis is the same as the other current models, but the 235 did not offer it. However, it is not compatible with cycling potentiometers
  • Connection WiFi for workout, activity and music synchronization (Garmin FR245 Music only)
  • Compatible with training plans of Garmin Coach or with advanced trainings created directly on the platform
  • 42.3mm sphere diameter and only 38.5 grams in weight
  • Lens with protection Gorilla Glass 3
  • Autonomy of up to 24 hours with use of GPS, or up to 6 hours if we are playing music
  • Add Virtual Partner and Virtual Racer
  • New widgets with Body Battery and stress monitoring

If you thought Forerunner 245 was simply an FR235 with the added ability to play music, you were very much mistaken. In many ways the FR245 is identical to the top model, the Forerunner 645 that was introduced last year.

What do you mean, you want to know how the two models compare? Well, ask and you shall receive!

Garmin Forerunner 245 vs Garmin Forerunner 645

If you take a look at the list of features on the Garmin Forerunner 245 and Garmin Forerunner 645, you'll see that they're both pretty much the same. So it's only natural that you'll start thinking about why there's a theoretical price difference between the two, if they both offer the same...

There are a few differences you should be aware of, but here are the features that Forerunner 245 doesn't have:

  • The Garmin Forerunner 245 does not support Garmin PayPerhaps this is what has caught my attention the most, as Garmin is trying to incorporate wireless payment on all of its devices, as it is an additional source of income for Garmin
  • There is no barometric altimeter Therefore the height measurement will be done exclusively through GPS (which is not exactly the most reliable thing in the world) It's enough to run on asphalt but if you intend to tackle slopes you might miss it
  • Due to the absence of a barometric altimeter, in the FR245 there is no monitoring of ascended floors
  • And for the same reason it is also not compatible with Garmin Running Power
  • It has no Strava function. I mean, there's no Live Strava segments nor Strava Beacon
  • While the FR245 is made entirely of plastic, the 645 has a stainless steel bezel
  • There are no profiles of skiing, snowboard or rowing sportsThey are present in 645

You must not forget that since it is a model that has just arrived on the market it also has some of the new features present in the whole range and which are not in the 645.

Thanks to Sony's new GNSS chipset the autonomy of the FR245 is far superior, especially if we talk about its operation with GPS only use, with 10 hours more battery life in favor of the 245. Pulse Ox.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Optical Pulse Sensor

Thanks to the new wrist heart rate monitor there are two new things that FR245 will track: Body Battery and SpO2.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Widget Body Battery

So if you have doubts between the two models you'll have to think about which options you prefer. But let's get to the point and see how it works.

Use and enjoy training

There aren't many changes in this new Garmin Forerunner 245 but, at the same time, many things are new or different. The user interface has changed, adding icons next to the different menu options. Thanks to the new processor it's now a little faster. But the important thing is that if you come from any other Garmin model you'll still feel at home.

With each new model, Garmin adds a unique face to the model, this time showing the total distance you've run in the current week. It only shows kilometers recorded in the running profile, if you've cycled 300km or walked 95km it won't appear on that screen.

Garmin Forerunner 245

Don't worry, you can select any of the classic options directly from the clock menu or you can download any other from the new Garmin Connect IQ App Store. Or use the Face It option to customise your own face with the photo of your choice.

Garmin Face It

Widgets have also seen improvements. When you use it, you'll see changes in the effect when you slide screens, but I'm talking about new information.

To give you an example, we now have the new Pulse Ox widget that shows you the last oxygen saturation reading (taken at night, if you have the option enabled), or that you can take at that very moment.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - sp02 measurement

As I was saying, this is not the only new widget that Garmin has included in FR245. We also have the History and Last Activity widgets.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - History

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Last activity

The notifications and the calendar also show a different image. And speaking of notifications, it now shows the colored emoticons. But we still can't answer messages from the clock (it only allows to send some previously established texts, and only in Android phones), it doesn't show the photos that are sent to us, and when it comes to see the messages, it only shows the first lines. So you can forget about reading those 500-word work emails directly on the clock.

Forerunner 245 is fully compatible with the advanced workouts you can design in Garmin Connect, both in the application and on the website.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Advanced Training

Speaking of training, another novelty is the Garmin Coach adaptive training plansIt's a free training platform that allows you to choose a target distance, to be performed in a given time. Once you select your target, Garmin Coach will ask you which days you want to train and you can even choose one to be the day of the long roll.

Once the workout is created, it's not a fixed thing that you have to stick to, Garmin Coach will modify the workout plan to suit you. If one day you haven't trained as you should, it will be taken into account in the following days' workouts, adapting them to those changes. 

I leave you this gallery so that you can see for yourself what it offers and what you can select.

You know the best part? IT'S TOTALLY FREE!

I haven't tried them personally because my main sport is triathlon and my training is guided by my coach, so I can't tell you more about how it works. Anyway, I guess you understand the concept of how it works.

Let's talk about sensorsThe Garmin FR245 is compatible with both ANT+ like BluetoothSo if you come from a different brand (mainly Polar, Suunto or TomTom) and already have a pulse sensor, you can be pretty sure you'll be able to use it with your new watch.

I'm not forgetting that FR245 has an optical pulse sensor, but as you'll see later on there are occasions when you'll prefer to keep using the classic chest sensor.

Heart rate sensors aren't the only ones you can pair with the watch, it supports all of these:

  • Heart rate (ANT+/Bluetooth)
  • Footpods (ANT+/Bluetooth)
  • Speed and/or cadence for bike (ANT+/Bluetooth)
  • Smart lights (ANT+)
  • Garmin Running Dynamics Pod
  • Garmin Varia Radar
  • Garmin Varia Vision
  • Garmin VIRB cameras
  • Garmin Tempe Temperature Sensor

But speaking of heart rates, the Garmin Forerunner 245 includes the latest revision of the Garmin wrist heart rate monitor that includes the Pulse Ox feature, which we first saw on the very expensive Garmin Fenix 5X Plus. The new sensor is called the Garmin Elevate 3.

In addition to the pulse oximetry estimation there are also small changes in the pulse measurement (I will expand on this later). But before we go any further... What is pulse oximetry and what can you do with the data it provides?

Pulse Ox takes an estimated reading of your blood oxygen saturation. It does this at night, provided you have the function enabled, so you can get advanced sleep metrics.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Advanced Sleep Metrics

Although in principle on FR245 Pulse Ox only works at night, you can take a SpO2 reading at any time of the day through the Pulse Ox widget.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Measuring Pulse Oximetry

What it lacks is the ability to monitor it throughout the day, something that is present in the top-of-the-range models.

But in those the approach to this metric is different, being oriented to climbing and hiking in high mountains. Anyway, if you don't usually go around high peaks or move in altitude, you don't lose much.

Press Ox is that red light that lights up from time to time on the back of the clock (not to be confused with Amsterdam's red light district).Garmin Forerunner 245 - Measuring sp02

Returning to the sport part, Forerunner 245 has more features than the model it replaces, but not as many as we can find in Forerunner 645.

Garmin orients the FR245 (and therefore the entire FR2xx range) as a watch exclusively for runners, so it does not have as many functions as the FR645, but we do have more possibilities than before.

We have sports profiles of career (outside, inside track and belt), cycling (exterior and interior as well) and also andar, swimming pool and other indoor sports such as elliptical or weight training.

So... what do we lose with respect to 645? Well, other sports like rowing or skiing. And obviously we don't have the multi-sport profiles we can find on FR945 either.

Each sport I mentioned above allows individual configuration; almost all options are customizable; from data pages to alerts, automatic lapping, GPS configuration and so on.

What it means is that you can have a running profile not only with the data pages you need specifically for this sport (pace, etc.), but also other settings such as alerts or automatic laps for sports like cycling, where you will also prefer to see speed instead of pace.

Besides the data pages, this is all you can set up:

  • Alerts (heart rate, run/walk, pace, time, distance, cadence, calories)
  • Metronome
  • Automatic return, also allowing you to select what data you want to see when it is displayed 
  • Automatic Pause
  • Automatic Scroll
  • GPS Modes (GPS, GPS+GLONASS, GPS+Galileo, Ultratrac)

To define your data pages you can select from one to four data pages per screen, as well as add some of the default pages; such as the activity map, music control and race dynamics. And by the way, the font that Garmin uses now is different, a little more rounded than the previous one.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - New Font Type

I have talked about running dynamics, yes, because this is another option inherited from the superior models and now found in the FR245. You must remember that in order to display these metrics you will need an external accessory: Garmin HRM-Run, HRM-Tri or the Running Dynamics pod.

Garmin - career dynamics

When you're done training, you can sync your activity with the Garmin Connect online platform, using Bluetooth if you're in close proximity to your phone, or WiFi if you've set it up on your Garmin Forerunner 245 Music (regular Forerunner 245 doesn't have WiFi). If neither option is viable, you can always use the USB data cable.

After syncing, you can review your workout on the Garmin platform, both in your phone application and on the website. And as a bonus, Garmin Connect also includes the list of songs you've been listening to while you've been running. It's completely private and only you will see it, even if you share your workout with a friend.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Synchronized Training

Route navigation

Route navigation is another feature that was not present in the mid-range in the past, but has made an appearance in the Garmin Forerunner 245.

It's exactly the same as the one we have in the FR645, so it's a slightly cut-down navigation compared to what you can have in a Fenix series watch. And I'm not talking (exclusively) about the maps in the Fenix 5 Plus, but about another set of slightly more advanced navigation features.

Make no mistake, this is not a criticism. It's simply that the navigation we have in Forerunner 245 is slightly simpler than the other models. Is that bad? Not necessarily. It's perfect for the occasional route use you may need, but it doesn't have the feature level of the more advanced models.

On the Garmin Forerunner 245 we have three specific functions for route navigation:

  • TravelsTo follow predefined routes that you have created from the app, from the web or imported from external services
  • ActivitiesThe following is a list of activities that you have completed in the past
  • Saved LocationsNavigate to a saved location, which you have marked from the clock (only directly, not with a guided path)

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Navigation menu

The reality is that the function you are going to use is the "Routes" function. With this function you can easily create a route in Garmin Connect.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Creating Routes

You can create it manually or import an external file, whichever you like, but if you want to create a route, it's much more convenient to do it from your computer. The Garmin Connect application also allows you to create routes, but it's a pain.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Creating Routes from the Connect App

It allows you to set your starting point and then you can keep putting more points on the map, but it's anything but intuitive. You can design the route... but it's going to take you a while to get there.

But on the other hand you have the option to create a route with the "Automatic" option, as you can see in the screenshot above. It is much more interesting because you simply select a starting point, the approximate distance you want to travel and in which direction you want to go. From there the app will calculate an option for you automatically.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Creating Routes from the Connect App

This is the perfect option for those of you who travel and don't want to rack your brains trying to figure out which routes to take when you get to your destination. You'll get a navigation route that's based on Garmin's popular route feature, called Trendline. With data from thousands of activities uploaded to its servers, Garmin knows which routes and trails are used by other users in that same area.

After creating your route (from the web, application, imported or whatever) you can synchronize it directly to your clock and, when you are about to start your adventure you can enter the options to load the route you have synchronized.

From then on, the clock display will show a route like the one below.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Navigation

If you enter the navigation options you will also be able to zoom or scroll the map to see different details

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Zoom map

So what are the functions you're missing from the Fenix range or Forerunner 945? Obviously in the case of Forerunner 245 there are no maps, but it also doesn't have functions like points of interest, Sight 'n Go and the like. But perhaps most importantly, in FR245 we don't have a magnetic compass.

This means that the clock will know where you are looking only if you are moving, but if you stop at a fork to try to decide which way to go, the map will not move with your movements.

That's the main drawback we found in FR245's navigation, apart from this detail it's something totally functional for your escapades in the forest.

Training and Performance Metrics

One of the most interesting aspects of the new Garmin FR245 is the advanced performance metrics. This was the main feature shown on the Garmin Fenix 5 and Garmin FR935, and now they have finally reached the mid-range.

This is a collection of algorithms that, far from being developed by Garmin, is the work of the Finnish company Firstbeat. With many years studying and developing heart rate functions, they are the ones behind most of Garmin's features. Just take a look at your website to see the number of proprietary algorithms available in Forerunner 245.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Firstbeat Features

All this data is available on the clock through a widget. Let's say it's the cover for all the performance metrics that Garmin (and Firstbeat) call Training Status.

The data shown on the display will change each time you complete a workout, updated with the latest activity and putting it in context with what you have been doing up to that point. It will also change if you don't train, reflecting for example that you are recovering.

This information is extracted from the VO2max estimation, something that was already present in previous models.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - VO2Max

This estimate will be reliable after several weeks of data recording, so before you have consistent information you should have done some workouts with different intensities. It is a metric that needs to be adapted to you and how you train, you should wait at least that long for weeks of varied and serious workouts before you begin to see meaningful data. 

Within that same widget we also have access to the recovery status, including the remaining hours until you are fully recovered.

The main news is that now, in that sum of hours, you will see the recommendation you should take into account about your next training, if you can train normally or it is better to take it easy.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Recovery status

Below is the training load screen, where you will find the indication of COPD accumulated in the last 7 days.

>> What is COPD? Excess oxygen consumption after exercise (Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption).

Training Load is just a concept, a figure that represents the physiological demands you've been experiencing with your training, taking into account that each of us has a different level of endurance.

That means that this number is entirely personal, and will also vary with the time of the season you are in. A training load of 600 may be optimal for me, but it is surely a week's rest for a professional.

And in the same way that training load can be very high when I'm out of season, or relatively low if I'm training for a specific competition.

This metric uses historical data to determine if your training load is correct or if you are increasing your load too quickly.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Training load

As I said at the beginning, all this data is summarized in the initial screen of the widget. 

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Training Status

It is divided into two values: exercise and load. The arrows indicate how the training is affecting you. Here what we especially do not want to see is that our fitness (exercise) decreases while we increase the load. That means that we are working too hard but without much benefit, so you should increase the intensity of the training. 

The news doesn't end here. After completing a training session we have a new screen, called Training EffectHere he separates aerobic and anaerobic work.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Training Effect

These two metrics indicate how the workout you have just completed will affect your fitness. Being separate, it allows you to better categorize the aerobic and anaerobic impact of your workout, since depending on what you are training for, you will prefer to improve one or the other aspect. Because the physical changes you are looking for by training for a 5km run are completely different to those you are looking for in a marathon.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Training Effect

This data is not only displayed on the clock or when you enter history, it is also available in data synchronized to Garmin Connect.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Training Effect

Are the values shown valid? I think in general they are quite real. The workout shown was mainly a steady pace start, but including three or four short intervals. This has resulted in an aerobic effect of 3.5; considering that it was not an excessively long workout I think this is correct.

I also got an anaerobic effect of 1.3, thanks to the short intervals I did. It wasn't a training series as such, just a few changes of pace and not too difficult, so I wouldn't expect a higher number.

Now, how about a near-threshold pace roll? I started out easy, increasing the pace slightly in the last few minutes of the workout, but with the sole intention of increasing the mileage. No intervals or a pace that would be too much for me.

Garmin Training FR245

Presumably for this workout we should find good aerobic value, without affecting anaerobic capacity too much, right? At least that's what I intended with this workout (because I'm going through a solo injury). So what does the Garmin Forerunner 245 say about it?

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Training Effect

Yes, it seems that we are in tune. You can see that it was not a recovery training as the heart rate was over 160, but as I did not make any change of pace I entered Z5, there is no anaerobic improvement.

In this sense, the information provided is good because it is perceptible and the average user can use and understand it. The key is to know how to mix your workouts so you don't get stuck doing the same thing all the time.

The first version of Training Effect was a simple value that gave a qualification to our training, but without differentiating in any way. We could get the same value for a long run of 3 hours as for 30 minutes of intervals. And, obviously, they are two exercises that produce very different effects on our body.

Music playback

When you buy the Garmin FR245 you have two options: With or without musicIf it's the non-music version that interests you, then you can move on to the next section. Are you a music lover? Then don't go anywhere, stay here with me.

Well, I lied to you anyway. Music isn't the only thing that's different, the selection of colors available also varies between the Garmin Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 245 Music. It's not just the color of the strap, but also certain accents on the watch. 

In the case of choosing the version without music, you can opt for grey or maroon. Which as I say is not only the strap, also the accents are different. There is a ring on the main button and a small line next to it.

You don't like those colors? Then you can choose from three other colors, but only available in the 245 Music version: black with red details, white (with black bezel) and light blue.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Specific accents

But hey, enough talk about colors, we're here to talk about music. Only the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music has the hardware to make it all work, including memory to store files and the ability to use Bluetooth to stream music (to a headset, speakers, your car, or whatever you want), as well as WiFi, which allows you to sync music wirelessly - and your workouts and other data as well.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - WiFi

In terms of available memory, the watch has a total of 4GBWe have a total of 3.6GB of available space that is shared among all of the stored files, with the rest reserved for use by the system. This includes not only music, but also the rest of the training files, applications, etc. But all of this takes up very little space, leaving almost all of the space available for music. According to Garmin's calculations, about 500 songs in total.

From here we have several options on how to transfer music. The classic option, in which we simply transfer files manually to the clock; or do it 2019 style, synchronizing the music from our favorite music streaming platform. I'll start with the manual method.

Manual music sync to the Garmin Forerunner 245

We can do this through the Garmin Express application or, if you use Windows, by dragging files directly into memory. By connecting the clock to the computer and activating the computer's MTP mode, we have access to the two available memories.

(I will use the examples of 645, but in 245 it is all exactly the same).

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music - Internal Memory

On a Mac, you only have access to main memory, not media memory. But there's a catch, if you install the Android file transfer application (Android File Transfer) you will be able to see that memory and operate normally with it.

Android File Transfer and FR645

However, it is more advisable to do so through the Garmin application, since the corresponding playlists will be created for each album you synchronize, and you can later access the music through the names of artists, albums, songs, etc.

Simply select what you want to sync and send it to your device.

Garmin FR645M - Music Transfer

Synchronization with music platforms

Manual music synchronization is fine, but I bet 5 real fleece that many of you don't save any music file on your computer anymore and depend totally on streaming platforms. You don't have to worry, because FR245 also allows you to synchronize your playlists to the clock.

Right now Garmin has applications for Deezer, iHeartRadio and yes, Spotify too!

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Spotify

How does it work? First, you need to install from Connect IQ the application of the music provider of your choice -Spotify, Deezer or iHeartRadio-Once downloaded, you can find the app among the music provider options on the clock.

All the information I will show will be in reference to SpotifyAnd based on the number of downloads from the different platforms, it's the one most of you choose.

Adding music and podcasts

I'm going to assume that since you're a regular Spotify user, so you already have different playlists created on the platform, this works for both lists created by you and lists created by others (whether other users or Spotify), as well as dynamic or latest playlists. And you'll also be able to sync podcasts that you've subscribed to.

You only have to mark what you want to listen to and, once done, it will use the WiFi connection to download the files, which you must have configured in advance. You can do it from the clock, but I recommend that you do it from the application on your computer or phone as it is much easier to write the password there than to do it on the clock.

However, it has to be a private network with a password, it is not possible to do this in open networks such as hotels, airports or similar access points.

I found the download to be reasonably fast. Not as fast as if you were downloading from your computer, but it's not an eternal process. I downloaded a playlist of 200 songs in about 15-20 minutes. But the best part is that it doesn't require the user's attention at all.

Remember that this is the first download, so if you want to update the list tomorrow because you've added 10 new songs, you'll only have to download those 10 songs, not the whole list again. And unlike other platforms like Deezer, it seems that in Spotify the limit is set by the amount of free space in the clock memory (Deezer limits to 500 songs stored in memory).

Playing Music on the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

Once we have everything synchronized to the clock it's time for the party. You can play music while you're training, but also at any other time. Simply access the music option through the widget or by pressing and holding the lower left button on the clock.

You'll be asked what you want to play. You can add headphones in the same way you add any other sensor, and you can have more than one audio output source paired (but you can only play music to one device at a time).

The playback screen has direct access to three functions through the buttons: pause, next song and play menu. The outer circle indicates how much of the song has been played and how much is left over.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Playback screen

From the menu you can access the rest of the options, such as modify the volume, change the song, activate the shuffle mode or return to the music library.

You may wonder what the sound quality is like. It's not bad, but it doesn't offer any advanced codecs like apt-X or AAC. Data transmission is up to 328kbps, which is pretty decent but not perfect.

Remember that data transmission is digital, so the headphones must have a good DAC (digital audio converter) to enjoy good audio quality.

But considering that you will use this option mainly while training with a headset and that you will be more focused on keeping the rhythm in the intervals... it is perfectly valid.

The only problem you might have would be the signal cuts. But that depends on many things, and the watch wouldn't be the only one to blame. If you have cuts it could be perfectly well the watch; but also the headphones, the distance between the two, other things you have on you that are causing interference, or simply where you're wearing the watch.

I haven't had any disconnection problems with the different types of headphones I've tried, from Jaybird to AirPod copies. Maybe I can remember some cut-off occasion if I was walking with my hands behind my back, but not while running at any pace.

Garmin FR245 Wrist Heart Rate Monitor

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Optical Heart Rate Monitor

As I said earlier, the Garmin Forerunner 245 comes with the latest Garmin Elevate optical heart rate sensor. This is version 3, in theory the latest and most advanced Garmin.

The main difference from previous units is the Pulse Ox sensor and the red LED required for this particular function, but it also has some improvements that should make it better than version 2.

Based on this my expectation was to find something with a slightly higher registration than previous versions, but I also didn't expect to find an abysmal change. The optical sensors have been around for quite some time, if they had a wide margin of improvement it would have been done already, but it is possible to improve them by 1-2%, which is what I expected to find.

I'll make a little spoiler before I go into all the comparisons: Don't keep your chest sensor in the drawer yet, you're going to keep using it.

And as a reminder, keep in mind that an optical pulse meter will not work the same for everyone. Tattoos, body hair, skin tone... all of these can make a big difference between people.

These tests are conducted with a wide spectrum of users: one, which is me. What works for me may not work for someone else in the same way, or may work better for them.

But the most important thing is that you have to wear the sensor correctly, tight (but not as if you were making a tourniquet on your wrist) and leaving a separation of approximately one finger in relation to the wrist bone. If you make sure to follow these details you can be sure that you will get the best possible results for your skin color conditions, etc.

I'll start the comparison with an easy-paced workout. It couldn't be simpler.

For this training I was carrying an FR245 with me, both using the wrist heart rate monitor (both use the same sensor). The Polar H10 sensor was carried to validate data, and was paired with the Polar Vantage M.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Optical Heart Rate Comparison

What can we see in this graph? All three are practically the same. There is only a small difference in the FR245's, around the 26 minute mark, which I am sure occurred when I adjusted the watch strap. It is at this same point that I slightly change the intensity of the workout, when I reach a steep climb.

Let me zoom in on that area. Leaving the point error aside, I want to focus on the ups and downs of the graph. We can see that even though the optical pulsometer reaches the correct pulse values, there is a slight delay compared to the chest sensor.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Optical Heart Rate Comparison

It's something that happens exactly the same when I start to increase the intensity as when I'm recovering.

I start with a smooth and easy pace and finish with three different intervals, similar to a fartlek. This time I compare Forerunner 245's optical sensor with that of the Polar Vantage M. And with those two, I'm wearing a Garmin FR935 with the Garmin HRM-Tri sensor to try and figure out which one of them gives the best result.

At the beginning of the training you can see three perfectly aligned lines, but there is also some hesitation at the end with the intervals.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Optical Heart Rate Comparison

As there is not much to assess in the first part, I will focus on that end of the training with the changes of intensity.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Optical Heart Rate Comparison

As you can see, the same situation is repeated as before. There is a slight delay in the time of the climb and descent, but in this case the FR245 is somewhat faster than the Vantage M. Both Garmin and Polar offer the same heart rate data, but the Polar needs three or four more seconds to reach it.

There is also a peak around the 33-minute mark, both on the FR245 and the Vantage M graphs. Why is this? I had to cross a street, and it seems that neither of them were happy about the sudden stop. We must not forget that all this is based on an algorithm, so if there are dramatic changes it will be reflected in how it displays the information.

The plan was to do 6×400 with a 30-second break between sets, but clearly I can't even count, and in the end there were 5... well, it's the thought that counts.

They are not as intense as I would like, but being in full recovery is what I dare to do at the moment.

This time I change things a bit again. Obviously I still use the optical pulse sensor of the FR245, but I add the new Suunto 5 to the comparison, and the Garmin FR945 is paired with the Polar H10.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Optical Heart Rate Comparison

At first glance we can see that already during the warm up there is some problem with the FR245. Maybe I didn't wear it tight enough, because I remember to adjust the strap but already quite late in the training.

So that's no excuse, because even if you lose the first interval, from the second one you already recover. It's rare because usually in easy conditions like this heating the optical sensors usually make it almost perfect, in this case it's clear that it took some work to start recording correctly.

I will now expand the interval section.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Optical Heart Rate Comparison

Clearly, the first one is bad. Suunto 5 does it much better, although in recovery it also gets lost.

The second and third are not bad at all. The third has a somewhat strange peak, but within the usual range of optical sensors, but after making the recovery correctly in the fourth interval it makes a frankly bad start again.

This time it was the Suunto 5 that performed best, although when the Garmin Forerunner 245 had a good interval the truth is that the graph is quite positive.

Time to change gears, let's pedal. I know I said this is a running clock, but who doesn't like to take their bike out for a spin once in a while? 

In the case of cycling the optical sensor logging data has always been typically bad, so I didn't expect the FR245 to improve it too much. But I ended up a little surprised.

I'm not saying he's as good as running, but he's improved quite a bit. It won't make you forget about the sensor in your chest, but an improvement is an improvement and I have to stress that.

This is a simple cycling workout, just starting with the warm up (well, more than warm up is going to the zone I use to do my intervals), so the first few minutes are spent between traffic lights and roundabouts. Remember what I just told you about the algorithms? Well, you don't like this too much either.

For this test I used the HRM-Tri sensor paired with a Garmin Edge 1030, comparing it to the optical sensors in Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 945. The light blue line corresponds to Forerunner 245, while the red line is that of the HRM-Tri sensor.

As I said, there are three different parts to training: travel, intervals and cool down.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Optical Heart Rate Comparison

The scrolling part is pretty bad, so I'll just focus on the part of the intervals that is really interesting, because that's the focus of the exercise. It was just 10×70″ with a rest period of 50″. It's this part that I extend.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - Optical Heart Rate Comparison

Let me tell you that I was surprised at how the little FR245 recorded the intervals. The first two show quite a bit more lag than usual, but the rest are practically perfect. Much better than in the case of the Forerunner 945 which does a pretty lousy job, considering it's a multisport watch and you'd normally see quite a bit more cycling than that "running-only" watch.

Not that I'm saying it's enough to use on the bike, it's not. But it's good to see things are getting better.

As for the cooling down period, it is simply easy to pedal, and we have the same problems as at the beginning of the training.

In general I see an improvement compared to previous models. Maybe it's the hardware or just the usual software adjustments that occur every time a new model comes on the market, but the improvement is there.

It's not enough to make you forget about the chest sensor, you still have to use it for cycling and interval training; but I can tell you that I trust the optical sensor perfectly for easy training and even races where the pace will be constant. The truth is that it works well as long as there are no excessive changes in intensity.

Garmin Forerunner 245 GPS Reception

Just like the optical sensor tests you saw earlier, the GPS comparisons are done in the same way: with the watches accompanying me in my usual training. I wear both the FR245 and other models, and check where the problems appear. I don't have any defined route where I set a score for the simple reason that there are other external factors that we should never forget.

Things like clouds, leaves on trees or simply the satellite position can alter the GPS results from one day to the next, which is why I prefer to do this type of comparison instead of having a predefined path and assess it from there.

In any case, With the new Forerunner 245, GPS comparisons are importantGarmin has changed the GNSS chip to the new one from Sony, which is the one adopted by almost all manufacturers (whether Polar, Suunto...). On the one hand, it allows to significantly improve the clock's autonomy, but the associated problem is that the tracks they have been showing have been worse than those of older chips.

First I will start with this training in Seville with two interesting "rivals": On the one hand the Forerunner 935 with a frankly good performance after all the updates it has been receiving. And secondly the Polar Vantage M, which equips the same satellite chipset as the new Forerunner 245.

Both Forerunner 935 and Forerunner 245 are configured to log GPS data every second and with the option of GPS + Galileo. Meanwhile the Polar Vantage M does not allow configuration, but natively supports GPS+GLONASS (by October it will also support Galileo).

This is the chosen route: mixed, with a start that should be very easy because it has no sign problems (parallel to the Guadalquivir River), but on the way back very complicated areas through very narrow streets of Seville.

In this second part of the route I don't expect a good record of the track because given the characteristics it's impossible, with very narrow streets of even a little more than 1 meter with hardly any visibility of the sky, but I'm interested to see how it recovers the signal when I get to a more open area.

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music - GPS

This is the first part of the training, going down the park next to the monument of Christopher Columbus in search of the river.

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music - GPS

It is an easy area because of its wide parks and avenues, if any of them is lost here it would be a bad sign. However, the three clocks are almost always on the route, the same is true for the section parallel to the Guadalquivir.

Continuing along the riverbank the result is identical, as well as making the turn and returning along the same route. So far the two Garmin and the Polar coincide fully, so there are not many obstacles to be overcome (at the moment). It is also worth noting that the bridge where the Hotel Ribera de Triana is located is crossed underneath, so the signal is lost momentarily. None of them has presented any problem either on the way there or on the way back.

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music - GPS

Obviously when you enter from the centre things change completely, the coverage is very bad because the streets are extremely narrow. No clock is going to give a good signal in those circumstances, but it is interesting to see how you recover when things go wrong.

In this first section of the entrance on Reyes Católicos street, the three make the right turn, with FR245 being the one that best maintains its composure in the face of difficulties. FR935 loses quite a few metres and wanders over the buildings.

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music - GPS

The Forerunner 245 behaves reasonably well, very similar to the Polar Vantage V. However, the entrance looking for the Sierpes street is bad for the three of them, as they already arrive at that point with many difficulties, being the Rioja street extremely narrow. In fact, given the conditions it doesn't even seem that bad to me.

Garmin Forerunner 245 : First Impressions 1

The descent along Sierpes Street towards the Town Hall is very similar. Slightly wider but also presents the same problems. In this part of the route what I want to analyze is the arrival at San Francisco Square where the clocks can get signal again.

FR245 and FR935 soon join up and plot the same route, while the Polar Vantage M, as seen in its test, is consistent in its mistakes and maintains the original course.

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music - GPS

However, when the Forerunner 245 arrives at the cathedral it makes two strange and too abrupt turns, denoting that it has lost the signal and is simply joining those two points with a straight line.

We are going to change completely and I show you now a training much easier to handle. It is practically a straight line, in one direction and with perfect visibility of the sky. With these conditions I hope that the tracks are simply perfect.

This time I have the FR245 configured with GPS+GLONASS, and I have "upgraded" from the FR935 to the FR945, using the GPS+Galileo configuration. The Polar Vantage M remains unchanged.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - GPS Comparison

By expanding and checking different areas I see some problems, but all related to the Vantage M and FR945, not to the Forerunner 245. For example, this is a problem I usually see in the testing of Polar Vantage. The track is separated about 8-10 meters from the original route, and it shows consistent with that error.

Instead of swerving briefly and returning to the right place, it stays in the fault. It is also a straight line so there is no impact on the instantaneous pace or total distance, but the track usually appears wrong.

I've marked the areas in yellow.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - GPS Comparison

In the meantime, both Garmins behave correctly. Not perfect, because sometimes they deviate 30-50cm from the right place, but quite precise at all times.

A little further down the line it's the Forerunner 945 that makes very strange movements, probably due to its GPS+Galileo configuration. A few days ago Garmin released a beta version to try to improve operation in that configuration mode.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - GPS Comparison

The rest of the route was quite normal and I could not find any flagrant error on the part of FR245.

It's the general trend I've seen in my training with Forerunner 245. Not perfect, because no watch is perfect, but very good for most of the course. Here's another example of a circular training.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - GPS Comparison

In this case, instead of the Vantage M, we have the Suunto 5, configured with GPS+Galileo, and as you can see with the naked eye, the result is virtually perfect on all three watches. 

I always like to take a look at the sharp turns, trying to pinch the algorithms that use the marks, but even if I make two 90º turns in a row it doesn't seem to upset any of them.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - GPS Comparison

There is a slight separation at the end of that image by FR245, but we are talking about centimeters.

The same goes for this other turn, where both the FR945 and FR245 do better than the Suunto 5 which seems to be a bit surprised, but after the last turn Forerunner 245 deviates slightly from the trajectory, maintaining the error, but soon gets back on track.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - GPS Comparison

As I say it is a punctual moment, but it is not the usual one. Here you have another area with numerous turns in which the three clocks mark almost exactly the same track.

Garmin Forerunner 245 - GPS Comparison

So, final opinion? Despite being in its preliminary firmware versions, the Garmin Forerunner 245 has shown a quite solid behavior, and sometimes better than other models using the same Sony GNSS chipset (Polar and Suunto).

But the results are not perfect. Proof of this is that Garmin is working on the GPS firmware and has recently released an update to try and solve some of the first problems I noticed when we selected the Galileo option.

Buy Garmin Forerunner 245

I hope that this complete analysis has helped you to decide if it is a valid device for you or not. All the work I do you can consult it without any cost, but if you want to support the web and with it the work I do, the best way to do it is to buy your new device through the links I provide below. And if you don't buy it today, remember to stop by when you are going to do it!

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If you have any questions, remember that you have the comments section at the bottom, where I will try to answer all your questions.

Opinion Garmin Forerunner 245

Garmin has tried to make the best running watch for the mid-range. Has it succeeded? I honestly think so.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 meets all the requirements to become the best-selling Garmin model, simply because it incorporates many of the features previously reserved for the high-end at a cheaper price.

Garmin's upgrade for its best-selling model was successful, both in terms of design (it's reasonably small, but with a very acceptable screen size) and in terms of everything it includes in its software: route navigation, more sport profiles, performance metrics, etc.

It is true that none of them are new, but we must not forget that most of them are functions that a little more than a year ago were in watches such as the Garmin FR935, whose price is practically double.

Not everything is perfect. Garmin still has to work on the firmware of the new Sony chipset, but so do the rest of the competitors. In this sense, all of them have suffered a greater or lesser impact in pursuit of a greater autonomy, at least in the combination of GPS+Galileo. In its GPS+GLONASS configuration I have not had excessive problems.

And as I said at the beginning, there are a couple of things I miss: wireless payments via NFC and barometric altimeter, both of which are available on the Garmin Vivoactive 3, a cheaper and simpler watch than the Forerunner 245.

Leaving aside the slightly improved appearance of the GPS and the absence of these two functions, the FR245 Music is a very serious watch that I have been able to train with perfectly. All these improvements that Garmin has added to the FR235 are the icing on the cake, making it without a doubt the best model in the mid-range of running.

Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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  1. I don't understand how being Garmin the strongest company in the world they don't consider very interesting to add the eSIM option to their watches, I don't understand it, it's ok that it consumes battery, but you can always deactivate it when you don't need it, but if you want to do sport without the mobile I think it's an essential option, to be able to call in case of emergency, or to be able to send your location in a message. What do you think?
    Thank you very much for your work.

    1. They already have a clock with eSIM, the Vivoactive 3 LTEBasically they have launched it to do a study of the real interest, and from there I suppose they will make decisions... but of course they have more than thought about it.

  2. Garmin is going to drive us crazy (I'm kidding): this 245, the 645, the F5 (not Plus) and Instinct can be found in the vicinity (and for not much more sometimes) of the 300
    Now seriously, something that comes to mind: Are performance metrics (training status, recovery, load, etc...) really necessary for trail? I know that, well, if I want everything, at Fenix but still...
    Let's see how the analysis goes!

    1. These are useful metrics if you train daily and do variety in your workouts (intensity, tempo, etc). If it is more for sporadic use and less structured it will be just another piece of information that may not be useful to you.

  3. I bought the 735XT a long time ago, I always thought it was a great model, but I don't know why it has never been talked about much... Right now you can find it for less than 280 Euros and I think it has almost everything this new Garmin model offers (the model without music).

  4. Hi, Eduardo.
    I have the Phoenix 3 and I only run on roads and mountains in 1 hour runs.
    How do you see it for unpretentious trail running?
    can link to Wikiloc paths?
    thanks and congratulations on the job.

    1. If you don't mind running out of the barometric altimeter you'll have no problem. The navigation is the same as on the Fenix 3, and you can pass routes without any problems.

  5. Well, with this model I can see in situ the unevenness that I have made? or I have to wait to lower the training to the app?

    1. No, Forerunner 245 does not have a data field with an accumulated slope, mainly because it lacks a barometric altimeter and the data shown here would not be useful.

  6. I currently have the Garmin 630 (which soon stopped talking about it when the 645 came out quickly) goes like a shot, but on a whim I would like to change heart rate monitor, but I see that mine was of "high or medium high range" would you recommend the 245? or take the 935?

    1. The 245 has many more features than the 630 so there's nothing to lose. With respect to the 935 I say the same thing; unless you do triathlon or need an altimeter, in the 245 you will find almost the same and at a lower price.

  7. I understand, maybe I'd get the Phoenix 5 S plus I guess? I'm in a sea of doubt.
    I wouldn't worry too much about the altimeter either.

    1. You have a lot more options obviously, but you already have to value if you are going to use them (mountain, maps, Garmin Pay) because of course, you are going to pay for them.

  8. Good Eduardo, first of all I would like to thank you for your reviews, they are very helpful. On the other hand, I would like to ask you about the instantaneous rhythm in this 245 model. If there is something about garmin that I don't like precisely is the instantaneous rhythm from the fenix 3, which is not reliable in any of the current models (except in the vivoactive 3).
    It's something I use every day along with the backbeat, and I need it to be as reliable as it is in Suunto.

    1. Personally, I don't use instantaneous rhythm (I prefer rhythm in turns), but it follows the same tone as the rest of Garmin's models, always showing it in multiples of 5 seconds.

  9. Good afternoon, Eduardo, I wanted to ask you, between the forerunner 245 and 935, which one would you stay with, I am interested in the optical pulse, and advanced metrics, like the calculation of the lactate threshold, thank you very much, and very good analysis.

  10. I have the 235, and my wife wants to take it over. She wants something better than her old Garmin. Seeing as I'm going to have to renovate it, make some asphalt and want to go back to making ultra trail, this 245 is good or almost good. Look at the 935. It'll be cheaper now.

    1. If the target is the trailer then I would value the 935 better, the barometric altimeter is a very important detail

    2. Well, unless you're serious about the ultratrail and you're going to be spending a lot of hours in the mountains and on slopes, I'd really prefer the Forerunner 245.

  11. Eduardo, thanks for the article, very well written.
    What are the available languages? Can it be changed to English or Portuguese?
    Is there an option to record an unknown route for me and what do I do for the first time following a friend and then repeat this route by following the instructions on the screen?
    Thank you.

    1. Yes, there are many languages available, Portuguese among them.

      As for navigation, it is indeed possible to re-navigate a previous activity directly from the clock menu.

  12. Good afternoon.
    The fact that it does not have a barometer, when you pass the information to Strava, for example, will not give you the profile of the route taken or indicate the accumulated difference in level?

    Thank you!

  13. Don't you think it's too small? In my case, when I try it on, it looks like a watch for a woman's wrist

  14. Hello:
    Right now the Phoenix 5, the 245 and the 265 are all around the same price.
    Which one would you advise me to buy?
    Soil running 70% asphaltv and 30% mountain

    1. It all depends on whether you value having reliable altimeter data while you're training. If the mountain trips are sporadic I guess not too much, and in that case I'd prefer the 245 with its extended range.

  15. Good morning.
    Unlike my previous partner, I'm between the Garmin 245 and the 645
    Asphalt 20% and mountain 80%
    Or do you advise another kind of Garmin?
    Thank you!

    1. In your case it's the opposite, since almost everything you do is mountain, so barometric altimeter yes or yes. The FR645 is a very good option, being another possibility the Fenix 5S. But the 5S has the disadvantage that the screen is of lower quality because it has less resolution. It would be to go to the 5S Plus that has the screen of the rest of the range, but the price shoots up ...

      If the route tracking you do is basic and what the 645 covers works for you, then I would choose that option (which is also now on sale).

      1. Good afternoon.
        I'm analyzing FR645 and the Fenix 5S.
        I like them both but I don't know which one to choose.
        Which one would you advise?
        645 I see that you have more sports profile (as far as Gym is concerned) and have more resolution. Is Garmin Pay reliable to use?
        But the Fenix 5S has more memory, has the Ultra Track function and when it comes to outdoor functions, I think it's better.

        I'm a mess because I like them both so much... ????

        1. Garmin Pay, if your bank is compatible, there's no problem.

          The main difference in favour of the Fenix 5S is the more complete navigation and that it allows multisport modes such as triathlon. If these two details are not important I prefer the 645 because of the quality of the screen and the lower weight.

  16. Hi Eduardo. Thanks for your analysis. I'm hesitant to buy vivoactive 3 or fr 245. Right now my physical activity is low, but I hope to return to it soon. What do you recommend? Do you think the pulse sensor is much more accurate and worthwhile to monitor daily/sleep activity?
    Thank you for your time.

    1. If your use is sporadic, it is better to opt for the Vivoactive 3. It is worth almost half and you will not notice any difference. The FR245 is a watch focused on running and constant training.

    1. No, it's not available at the moment. I don't know if it's some kind of exclusive with vendors like Wiggle, or that Garmin doesn't allow Amazon to sell it at the moment.

      But right now Wiggle is one of the few places where you can buy it (and it's just as safe as Amazon).

  17. Thanks for your reviews Eduardo, it's hard to be more complete. I read the reviews for the Vivoactive3, FR 645M and FR 245M. I only miss one part that I'm not very clear about. In the review of the VR3 you referred to the lack of information about the target in interval training (the clock does not warn if the pulses are too much for the stretch, or to consult the distance remaining to complete the interval). In the review I see that in the 245M you can set alerts, but I do not know if they are by interval or for the entire race.
    My profile is of a person who runs 10K and I'm starting to do trail runs. I came from an activity bracelet and I wanted something with more autonomy and precision. I had almost decided to buy the VR3 but now I'm opting for the 245M, to make me something expensive the 645M so I'm going to win (GPS barometer).
    Thank you

    1. Yes, in the Vivoactive 3 I specify it because it has that limitation. The Forerunners don't have it and in the FR245 you can program the trainings selecting the objective of it without any problem.

  18. The optical sensor is a piece of junk, same faults as my garmin 735xt, much worse than my polar m430.
    He's a whole minute late to catch any change of pace.

  19. I have never used Garmin and I am considering buying this watch. I would like to know if it gives running cadence data without using pod Running dynamics, either in the watch itself, in the summary or in the training data that comes in Garmin connect.

    1. Thank you, Javier.

      Yes, the clock records the cadence data without the need for an external accessory. It can be set as one of the on-screen data and data and graphs will also appear in the clock summary and in the Garmin Connect analysis.

  20. I've been a user of the M400 polar fleece since it came out almost 5 years ago, I've done some road racing and some cycling.
    I am evaluating the Polar vantage M and the garmin 245.
    When polar meets the upgrade roadmap what important differences will there be between them?

    1. If you're on the Polar platform I think the Vantage M wins big (because you're already used to the ecosystem and that's where you have your current workouts). More than important differences are differences in concept and how the information is displayed on the platform. Both are very similar in performance, perhaps most significantly the route navigation of the Garmin, or that the Polar allows multisport and open water swimming profiles.

  21. Another excellent analysis. Congratulations.
    Due to several fasciitis I am a sporadic runner (1-2 sessions per week of 10K, zero mountain). Since about a year ago, I have changed it for a lot of cross training work in the gym (4-5 sessions per week), which I also like to record.
    I know that all sports watches have their forte in outdoor activities, but in these conditions, what would you recommend, between the 245M, 645M, and Vivoactive 3 Music? The last one is a little bit backwards that has very few Firstbeat algorithms to which I'm already used to.
    By the way, my intention in the medium term is to reduce the load of cross-training and get back to running. Thank you!

    1. If your goal in a while is to spend more time and training in running then I think it is better to go directly to FR245. Today the Vivoactive 3 is going to be perfectly valid for what you are doing right now, but with that goal in mind FR245 will be a better option in the future.

  22. Thanks Eduardo. In the end I think I will go one step further and I will go for the 645M. The reason is none other than the design, I just saw the three in an English court and the 645, with its steel bezel, has much better presence than the 245. In the end they are watches that you end up wearing every day and what less you like to see it! And incidentally podré track my ski days next winter 😉.

  23. How about Eduardo.

    Joppa, my boy, thank you for these thorough studies.

    You've done 2 huge rvw's on the Vantage M and this Garmin 245. I have a Vivoactive 3 and I'd like to take a jump. I'm cycling and I'm starting to run, I think that's why I'm encouraging myself to take this jump to a watch that offers me more metrics. All this stuff about recovery, load level, etc., catches my attention and I like it.

    I bought the other day the Vantage M, but after reading this article I'm hesitating to change it. I haven't even opened the box yet :).

    Do you recommend I do it, or will I like the Vantage? I don't rule out pulling a little higher if you think it's worth it, type FR645.

    As a tip, I don't think I'll ever do triathlon or even compete in popular races (I'm not into that).

    I leave you open to recommend any brand, I propose these 2 because I have the feeling that they are the ones who are really distributing the toast.

    Thank you very much in advance and give hard to this that I see a quality distance from the rest very big and you will go of fable.

    1. Thank you Jose Luis.

      As for your doubt, I would recommend Garmin, because you are already on the platform and that's where you have your training, what you already know, etc. The change will be less traumatic.

      Of course, where Polar is working very well is in the training control and rest analysis updates that will come at the end of the year. These are very good things, but if you only do sport for fun you won't get much out of it.

  24. Hi, Eduardo.

    I'm hesitant to change the Vantage M to garmin 245.
    My intention is also to get a stryd.
    Do you think that the combination Vantage M + stryd is enough for our amateur training? Do you think that the 245 or 645 + stryd would bring me more than the Vantage M?
    I usually do rhythm change workouts, shootings and pool sessions.

    Thank you!

    1. If the main use is Stryd I think the Polar is a better choice. The Vantage M has direct support for running power, with specific data fields and in the future with possibilities like zone blocking or, hopefully, for use in training as another available zone to use. All that is not present in Garmin, depending exclusively on the Connect IQ applications. That is something to keep in mind.

      If Stryd is going to be used as an additional metric but without basing the training purely on it, then what Garmin has to offer is sufficient. As far as input is concerned, especially route navigation or the possibility of music, but it should also not be forgotten that today the GPS of the FR245 is giving better results.

      And in favour of the Polar you should not forget that there is TrainingLoad Pro, along with the sleep and rest analysis metrics that are about to be released on the Ignite.

      In short, with either you have the basics covered, but you must decide which of the extra possibilities you are more inclined to.

  25. IMPRESSIVE ANALYSIS,... I want to ask you a question as an expert,... I have the 735xt with which although I am happy (it has less resolution) and it seems more old-fashioned,... although I wear it all day, sportively it is only for running.
    Do you think it's worth changing for this 245?
    many thanks

    1. Thank you, Paul.
      You will have the training metrics, which is something that is not present in the 735XT. In addition to the new hardware (GNSS chipset and optical pulse sensor) and obviously all in a watch with more "packaging" as in that it improves quite a bit to the previous generation. Perhaps this is where you can win the most, in the image of the watch in everyday life.

  26. Is there a specific heart rate monitor or at least with applications for canoeing?

  27. Good morning, Eduardo,

    For swimming the device is compatible with HRM swim? In the product specifications of your website it is not indicated.

    Greetings and thank you.

  28. Hi, Eduardo.
    I usually practice mountain biking, hiking, weights and a bit of running. What watch would you recommend? 245 would be too much for me?
    Greetings and thanks for your page

  29. Very good and detailed analysis of gps sports watches I have been reading in your blog, to which I have come before the need to buy one. I come from the Polar M400 (4 years and a half has lasted me since I do not use it much and the failure in the end has not been the battery but the usb miniport with which it recharges, which gave me problems from the first day; they gave a battery life of about 3 years / 300 recharges and I think mine was left, according to my use (load +- 1 time / week, for year - year and a half): the truth is that I never liked its measurement compared to other runners with Garmin and that at the time, when I bought it, it was ("they said") one of the best.
    Well, now except for repair, it has passed to better life and being the use that I will give the "runner", my choice during this time was always the Garmin 235 ... but with the release of new models, I hesitated whether such a model of 2015 or the Vivoactive 3, about 26 years "younger" by offering virtually the same and new features (although they are smartwatch, which is not the use that I will give) for about 20 euros more. Now that there is the 245, I would obviously go for it but it is somewhat expensive for my budget. Faced with the release of the "Stratos" 3 and see the feedback of the same (if it is as decent as they paint the wrist meter and other functions) I would like to ask you which one you recommend for the use I will give it, and before the balance of price of the Stratos 3 for about 140 euros against the 220 euros of the 245 (price stipulated for BlackFriday which is when I will buy the watch as it is not a necessity good and this time I can make use of a conventional digital watch). In any case I know that the improvement over my previous model (and since I do not follow exhaustively the functionalities and possibilities of the same) will be considerable (I have a chest strap for pulse measurement that I have hardly used due to the friction it produced, but any of the 2 models (Garmin 235 or Xiaomi Sports Watch (known as Stratos 3) I think it would be worth via Bluetooth, right?).

    1. Between the 245 and the Stratos 3, for running, the Garmin is clearly a better choice. I have to try the new one, but I don't think the changes are important with respect to the Stratos.

      In a few days it will also be the presentation of the Vivoactive 4

  30. Thank you, Eduardo.
    Excellent article.
    I've already ordered the Garmin Forerunner 245. I mainly decided on it because of the improved wrist sensor. I bought the vivoactive 3 and returned it precisely because the measurements were very inaccurate. I have the Garmin Forerunner 225 and as hard to believe as it seems it has always given me quite accurate pulse measurements, both at rest and during training. I rarely use the chest strap. Less than that I'm not going to order. I hope we got it right this time.

  31. Hello, Eduardo, greetings from Mexico.
    I live in a wooded and mountainous area, I have just started to run, I practiced road cycling for a long time but time is not enough for me anymore. I am very interested in the functionality of being guided in my training as well as knowing if I need to rest or train harder, I am a little worried about the GPS coverage in this kind of area where I live. I have the possibility to acquire the 245 Music and the 645 Music, both for the same price. Which one do you advise me to acquire, I am very hesitant, help!

    1. If you are concerned about satellite reception, in both cases I see it as similar. Neither is superior to the other. The Sony chipset has had a hard time from the beginning, but it doesn't seem that Garmin has had a hard time "taming" it. In GPS+GLONASS configuration I've seen it perfect in the 245, not something that worries me.

      In your case I think the decisive factor to consider is the barometric altimeter. You live in a mountain area and I guess you will end up doing a lot of slopes. If you want to know data on altitude ascended DURING TRAINING, only FR645 will give you that information. If you don't worry about it during training and you will only consult it in the application after synchronizing, then it is not something you should take into account.

    1. No, 245 doesn't have the lactate threshold calculation. These are the ones that support it:

      Fenix 3 / Fenix 5 / Fenix 5 Plus / Fenix 6
      Forerunner 645 / 735XT / 935 / 945

  32. Hi, Eduardo.
    After reading all your (magnificent) analyses, I have the same kind of doubts as the others. I am already one age (52) and after several knee and neck injuries, I have had to give up mountain biking and have found in sport walking my sport. As there is no impact, the knees do not suffer. I do about 35 km a week, including series, and a couple of days of gym, including swimming pool (breaststroke). I also like to go out in the mountains for simple routes.
    Obviously I love the Fenix, but I'm out of price, and I was going to buy a FR235, but it has coincided with the release of the new range and I do not know what to do. Right now the option that throws me more is a FR 735 that I find the same price as the Vivoactive 3, and that is more complete and compatible with the app of Wikiloc. The FR 245 and the Vivoactive4 have sown the doubt, but worth 100 euros more, which is no small thing, and if I'm going to get into that, for a little more is the Fenix5. A without living.
    Is it advisable to take advantage of the prices of the previous range and get a 735? Does it fit my profile?
    If not, what do you recommend?

    1. With the 735XT you have the problem of the lack of altimeter. If you are going to do mountain you will be grateful to have complete data of altitude. With the FR245 you are in the same situation. The Vivoactive 3 would be a good option, but what it lacks is the navigation of routes... So if you want something that fits you with the use that you are going to give it... the Phoenix 5 or the FR935.

  33. Eduardo, excellent analysis, very useful. And now the question: has come out the Vivoactive 4 that surely soon will analyze. My doubt is that being even a little cheaper than 245, has the same or even better chances than this. To start with aesthetically has better packaging, more wearable, and then has almost everything of 245, including music, and NFC (which I do not really care because I will not use).
    For someone who runs mostly on the flat, who doesn't do triathlon or practically bike, what would you say is the best option? Thank you.

    1. Overall, both are very, very similar. You have to go into detail to see which one you're looking for. For example, the VA4 doesn't have the training load metrics or navigation that the 245 does. But it does have an altimeter and guided training.

      In short, simply by comparing the Firstbeat functions of the two models you will quickly see the differences:

      Forerunner 245:
      Vivoactive 4:

      I don't know how wrong Garmin is in launching products, because as you've already noticed, it's not easy to choose the one you need.

      As for the test, I'm up against the Fenix 6 and then the VA4 and Venu will come.

  34. Thank you very much Eduardo for your magnificent analysis and congratulations on your work.
    Regularly popular runner of half and marathons.
    I train four days a week.
    Currently Polar V800 (I do not practice triathlon) and I want to change.
    I hesitate between the Polar Vantage M, the Garmin FR 245 and Garmin FR 645.
    Priorities: heart rate, programming of series and interval training, GPS.
    What would be your choice?
    Thank you again.

    1. Being used to Polar (and having all your workouts on the platform), that makes you more inclined towards the Polar. You know the series training schedule and you know what it is. However, the Polar GPS still needs a little work, it's a little worse than the Garmin. And as for the optical sensor, lately I'm seeing the best results with the new Garmin sensors.

  35. Hi, Eduardo. Excellent analysis. I'd like to ask you a question, see if you can help me because I'm a bit hesitant and you have a wider knowledge of the range.

    I am a multisport athlete although I am quite focused on cardio. I tend to do sports mostly INDOORS (a gym). I do treadmill running (although I want to get outside), spinning, rowing, swimming and weights. These 5 things are what pretty much make up my routine. I train 5-6 days a week at an average level. I'm not considering marathons or triathlons at the moment, as I'm doing "running" on my own and building up my endurance.

    I had thought about this model, I don't know how you will see it for what I want. I had also thought about the Polar Ignite and the Vivoactive 4 but the touch screen thing makes me go back. I prefer buttons. What sport profiles does this watch have? Can you add more with in Polar?

    Thank you very much for your help!

    1. The Vivoactive 4 is the one that will best suit your use, especially if you row frequently (because it has a specific sports profile).

      The 245 for gym has strength, cardio, elliptical, stairs and yoga.

      As for the Vivoactive 4 I am about to publish the full analysis, it will probably be available tomorrow.

      1. Thank you very much for your answer. The thing is that I usually do everything indoors, so the rowing, surely I have not specified well, I also do it indoors, in these typical gym machines, and it is usually warm-up, between 10 and 30 minutes. The generic profile of "cardio" would be valid to cover the rowing (or any other that does not have its own profile (step, body pump, spinning ...)? Attending to the reliability time/pulses/calories. That's what interests me the most, as advanced metrics (in general) don't interest me much. I value more that it is reliable in the heart rate monitor and calories burned.

        Does the heart rate monitor work in swimming on this 245? I have seen that on the Vivoactive 4, EL 945 and the Ignite Polar it does work.

        Thanks for your help!

        1. Yeah, in cardio you could get it all in without a problem.

          For that kind of use you are going to do with the Vivoactive 4 you are going to be more satisfied, because you also have the barometric altimeter and Garmin Pay, and if you are not going to use the racing or navigation metrics...

          The heart rate monitor is the same. And yes, in 245 it can be activated in swimming.

  36. Hi, I don't know if it happens to anyone else, but the photos don't load on my iPad with any browser

    1. Rare Alberto... I've tried several devices, several browsers and I've had no problem. Are you still having problems with images? Maybe it's detecting you as a desktop and trying to show you webp files...

  37. Hello
    How can I fix it?
    I tried to show it as a mobile site and it doesn't work and in several iPad browsers, on a laptop it looks good
    Thank you

    1. It's very rare because in all the devices I've tried (iPad included) I haven't had any problem. Try opening the page in incognito mode and loading from there, in case you have problems with cached files.

  38. Hi, Eduardo.
    As I see that you are kind enough to answer your readers' questions, I dare to go this way with mine, after having studied your website well.
    I am looking for a multisport watch, basically for running (1-2 times per week 5-10Km), swimming and functional training at home or similar (basically repetition exercises with your own body and not with weights, yoga or crossfit). I don't need smartwatch or music functions and not a thousand data for running either, but I do need it to have all the Fitness Tracker functions and have decent profiles for swimming and functional training or whatever it's called on each watch. I would also be interested in monitoring the pulse in the pool (without chest strap), as it seems to me that the thing sometimes accelerates a lot, although I read that the optical sensors do not go so well in the water, so depending on what you tell me maybe I would have to give up and that. With the criteria of the pulse in the pool and ignoring the higher ranges I see that the choice is reduced to Polar Vantage M, Forerunner 245 or the Vivoactive 4. Have I missed any models that pod I should also consider? The "raised floors" thing only the Vivoactive 4 has, but it's not a must either. Which one would have the most suitable sport profiles for me? If I give up the pulse function in the pool, which model would you recommend that respects the other criteria? Maybe Vivoactive 3 now that it is well priced?
    Thank you very much for your ideas and congratulations on the website.

    1. Yeah, you've basically narrowed it down pretty well.

      The pulse in the pool doesn't obsess you much either because it's not that precise. It's fine for an approximation of how intense you've been swimming, but not for more thorough analysis.

      I think the Vivoactive is the one you'll be most comfortable with. Both the FR245 and the Vantage M have options that I don't think you're going to get.

      1. Thanks for the quick answer, Eduardo.
        I see I've done my homework well and I understand everything you explain in your analysis.
        I was finally able to test the models in the shop and I have discarded the Vantage M because of its size, it is a bit of a humbug. Something more comfortable is needed if you want to wear it 24 hours a day and use the functions of fitness tracker, sleep monitor, etc. In that sense I think the FR245 is not only the prettiest but also the most suitable size. I would have options that perhaps I do not need, right, but the same goes for the Vivoactive, whose smartwatch or music functions I would not use. You always end up paying for functions that you do not need. However, I have not discarded the Vivoactive. They are also nice and the 4S can be more comfortable, although I doubt a little also because of the touch screen. It will depend on the price. We will see...

  39. Hi Edu, congratulations for the piece of analysis you've done. One question, with FR245 MUSIC, if I don't use music, can I use the 4GB to store the workouts, watchfaces, etc.? Thanks.

    1. Yes, perfectly. But come on, that's like having a 10,000 sq. m. shed to store your silverware and dishes...

      If you only want to save workouts, applications and so on, with the normal FR245 memory you have more than enough.

  40. Hello, good evening.
    The first thing is to thank you for all the comments.
    I'm hesitating between the M430 fleece, Garmin Vivoactive 3 or Garmin Forerunner 235, which would you advise?
    I go out for a run 3 days a week for about 1 hour a day.

    Greetings and thanks in advance

    1. If you simply run without competitive goals or need interval training, the Vivoactive 3 is the one you will like best.

  41. Good one.

    First of all, thanks for the piece of analysis.

    And the second thing is perhaps a bit silly: To use Spotify in the watch I need to carry my mobile with me, or do I need to have the Spoti premium? I've never had a watch like this and I don't know how it works.

    Finally, I'd use it for police mileage training. You see this as a good option for that, or would you recommend another one?

    Thank you and a greeting!

    1. Thank you, Javier.

      With 245 Music you don't need to have your phone with you as the music is on the clock, but you do need a premium Spotify account (or from Amazon).

      You have the possibility to schedule advanced trainings, so to prepare the kilometer test you go perfect.

  42. I'm thinking about buying one of them, taking advantage of the discount it has now in RunnerInn (280 euros for the music version), but I have a doubt:

    - Although there are different sport profiles, I understand that it is a watch more focused on running. What I do most currently is swimming (about 8-10 hours per week) and maybe I get 1 or 2 hours of dry exercise (which can be cycling, weights or some treadmill or walking, where I would use music). Is it an appropriate model for swimming considering this, that the 80-90% of my activity is in water?

    - I have seen that they have released the Garmin Swim 2 but I see that, for practical purposes, it is worth almost the same as this 245 with music (if you take the model without music it is even cheaper) because the Swim 2 hasn't received any important discount yet. Looking at the specifications I see that it is more complete in the swimming metrics (that I don't need something very advanced either), but it loses the music option and the multisport profiles like weights or indoor running and cycling. It doesn't seem like a good option right now unless you tell me otherwise.

    - I think 280 euros is a good price in RunnerIn but of course, we are in the dates that we are. Do you think it will go down even more in Black Friday?

    Thank you very much for your help.

    1. Yes, you can use it for swimming just like the Garmin Swim 2. There are only two main differences: there is no support for swimming in open water and it is not compatible with the HRM-Swim pulse sensor (but you can use the optical pulse sensor).

      I think that the Swim 2 has, at the moment, a rather high price, especially considering that part of the FR45 is a more economical model. Garmin needs to lower the price if they want to make it an interesting model.

      I have no confidence that the Forerunner 245 will be part of this year's Black Friday sales. It's a new model this year and it's selling very well, so there's not much point in lowering it. I may be wrong... but if I had to bet, my money would be on no sales for that model.

  43. Hi! I'm looking at a watch that can be used for running on asphalt and sometimes in the mountains. I would also do some mountain route hiking mode. Therefore, in addition to the GPS functions, rhythm, keystrokes, etc. etc, I would like you to be able to use it to follow a route well (so far, either I know the way or when I go hiking I have to go with my mobile phone in hand and Wikiloc to look). Do you think this watch can be used for that? If so, buy it safely, because in running functions it convinces me a lot. Thank you very much for the work!!!

    1. Yes, with the FR245 you will have no problem. The only thing you have to evaluate is if you do a lot of mountain, choose a model that has a barometric altimeter, if you are interested in having the data of ascent and descent in real time.

  44. Good night!
    I would like to know what watch pod would advise me. After years of stopping I have returned to half marathons and my Polar M400 is obviously obsolete. I am looking for a watch only for running (except for some hiking route)
    I started out looking at the Garmin 235 but paying about 170/190 euros for a watch that's several years old I don't know...
    Then I focused on the Garmin 735 but I see that it is mostly for triathletes.
    And finally I have seen the Garmin 245 for a price that ranges between 230/250 ,maybe this week with the black friday I will find some more bargains. In most of the sites it is in 299
    What would you recommend? Any other models I haven't mentioned?
    I want it almost exclusively for running, that it has a good GPS, that it measures you acceptably the FC, that it plans trainings I imagine that it would also come well...
    Thank you and a greeting

  45. Thanks Eduardo! From what I see the prices are similar. Between the two, which one would you choose? Which one do you think is more complete? I do half marathons and the training is also on asphalt
    Thank you for everything.

    1. It is a very personal decision because both have very similar performances. The FR245 stands out in having better finish and navigation, while the Polar does it in platform and in all the performances it has received after its last update.

      But in your case I think the fact that I'm already at Polar makes me more inclined towards the Vantage.

  46. I'm hesitating between the 735 and 245 or the vivoactive4. I just need it for running, with training series, rhythms,... and I usually do races and training by mountain. Can you help me in the main differences? Thank you very much for all the analysis, in what I can I will help you so you can continue.

    1. Of those three, rule out the 735... it has nothing to do with any of the other two.

      In the Garmin Vivoactive 4 test opinion section I'm talking specifically about the differences between the two. The 245 is more geared towards runners, while the Vivoactive 4 is a more "lifestyle" watch (which is not to say that it's not perfectly fine for running).

      But I understand that if you do a lot of varied training and train by mountain, you're going to make use of training metrics and navigation, so I think it's the right choice for you.

  47. Good morning
    Great review
    Since I'm making progress on this running thing, I've decided to change the stratos to a garmin.
    The use I'm going to make of it is mainly for running, basically on asphalt, and some day for mountain and hiking, even swimming in a pool. I basically do one or two days of gymnastics (bodypump or functional training), and three or four days of running.

    I'm looking at the 645, the vivoactive and this 245 and the truth is that, in the end, such comprehensive reviews end up making you more indecisive.

    I value the music. I don't make it the main theme because in the end I've gotten used to going out with another device, but I find it interesting.
    I'm interested in metrics, but I don't know how much use I can make of them. I'm a pretty normal runner, so I don't know how much use I can make of them either. I'm hooked and I want to improve, that's clear.

    I've seen an offer of the 645 without music at a good price, even a little cheaper than the 245 WITH music.

    Which one do you recommend?

    1. Thank you, Jon.

      If you don't do a lot of mountain and it's just something sporadic, I don't consider the altimeter to be a decisive factor, which is the main difference between 245 and 645. But if you value having music, I would look for a watch that includes it.

      Maybe the decision would be between 245 and the Vivoactive 4. I don't know if you've seen the analysis of the Vivoactive 4, but in the opinion section I'm pretty clear on how you can approach the choice.

      1. The band is recommended for interval and series training, and is essential for cycling. It depends a lot on what your goal is in the series, if it is rhythm or heart rate. If it is rhythm or time with the optical sensor is sufficient; if the goal is a range of pulses then sensor in the chest.

        And like I said, if you're planning on cycling, it's mandatory.

  48. Hey, thanks for the article.

    You don't say anything about how long it takes to get the gps signal. I come from Forerunner 410, and this is usually a pretty common problem.
    On the other hand, I have the HRM band, but I want to buy something for the race metrics. Is it worth renewing it for the HRM-Run (which is almost sold out in all stores), or buying a Garmin Pod?

    Thank you very much!

    1. For many years now, this has no longer been a problem: the clocks now download the satellite prediction at each synchronization and the signal is obtained in a matter of seconds, both in the FR245 and in any other current model.

      1. Great, that's a relief.

        About the HRM-Run band, which is sold out everywhere, would you recommend it? Or better yet, the running pod?
        I have an old hrm band.


        1. On Amazon The HRM-Run is totally recommendable, in addition this year the HRM-Pro will arrive, which will be like the HRM-Tri (with race metrics and memory, but also Bluetooth like the HRM-Dual). I am more in favor of the pulse sensor because the clip is in permanent risk of going to the washing machine with the pants.

          1. hahahaha That and that I forget before leaving I had thought about it too.
            That's probably why it's sold out at the other stores. You know when the pro comes out?

            Thanks again!

  49. Hello,

    I'd like to know if anyone else has experienced the following problem at 245 music.

    I have an imitation airpod headset and the linking and playback of music is done without any problem, but at a very high volume and no matter how much I press the volume adjustment button it does not respond, which makes it impossible for me to listen to the music as it is very annoying.

    Has anyone ever had a similar problem?

    Thank you

    1. Yes, I've also had problems with Huawei Freepods headphones where they only allow playback at maximum volume.

    1. No, it's a matter of drivers and compatibility... it can only be solved by updating the headset (which won't come) or the clock firmware (which also can't test absolutely all headphones on the market)

  50. I would like to take this opportunity to ask another question, because no matter how much I look at the instruction manual, I can't find the key. Sorry if this is not the most appropriate way.

    I come from the Polar brand and with my previous heart rate monitor I had the automatic laps (1km) and then I had the possibility to do manual laps by pressing the "Back" button. Later, when I downloaded the training in the Polar application I could see the information of both the automatic 1km laps and the manual laps that I had set.
    Is this option not possible on the Garmin 245?
    I currently have the autolap set to 1km so that on the runs it gives me information for each km, but I would like at certain times I could mark the laps manually and then see that information in the Connect app. From what I had read I thought that pressing the "Back" button when I wanted to would be enough, but I tried it on yesterday's workout and didn't get it:
    I rode for 25′ and pressed the "Back" button to start doing 5′ pace changes. The idea was to hit the "Back" button each time I completed those 5′ but to my surprise, at 1km the lap would reset and therefore it was impossible for me to complete the 5′.

    1. No, the laps work differently in Garmin and Polar. To do it the way you want, you'll have to turn off the automatic laps because they're not separate.

  51. It's a shame, because the Garmin 410 had it exactly as David says. It looks like it's been ruined by the new models.

  52. I'm a newbie and I just bought a 245. I go out for a run and my GPS is not easily activated. I can't turn it green even if I stand still. Other times it activates after fifteen minutes suddenly. I would like you to tell me the steps to follow in case I'm doing something wrong

    1. You must be in an open place for the signal to be obtained correctly. The first time always needs a little more time, but usually it is a matter of seconds.

      It is important not to start running until you have set the signal, otherwise it will take much longer, like those 15 minutes you indicate.

  53. 15 min seems too long. It usually takes me 2-3 min. Sometimes 15s, sometimes 5min.
    It gets a little better if you go for a run with your cell phone connected to the clock, but it's not magic either.
    Follow the advice: open space, don't move until he locates you, let him look for the signal a few minutes before he starts running (at home, for example).
    I read that there is a system called SIRF Instant Fix that I don't know if it can be activated in the garmin. It records the satellites of your last position, so if you go out for another run from a nearby point, it locates you faster.

    But 15min still seems a lot to me...

    1. Currently all clocks do GPS location cache download with every synchronization. This is part of the reason why satellite fix time has been greatly improved.

      1. So with the new 245, with the phone linked, still, about 8m from the nearest building and in a wide street (30m), it usually takes me 2-3 min.
        Without the phone attached, it doesn't get much worse.

        Not at all for just a few seconds like you say. Does it ring a bell if it's a mistake?

  54. So with the new 245, with the phone linked, still, about 8m from the nearest building and in a wide street (30m), it usually takes me 2-3 min.
    Without the phone attached, it doesn't get much worse.

    Not at all for just a few seconds like you say. Does it ring a bell if it's a mistake?

    1. Whether the phone is connected at the time, the download occurs when there is a synchronization.

      It depends a lot on the geographical area, when the last training was done, how the buildings are (height, elements that bounce the signal, etc)... There is no absolute value.

    1. Funny... I suppose it will only affect some specific cases, because I usually go out with the 945 when I'm testing other models and I don't have any problem when receiving a signal.

  55. Hi!

    Which bike (mtb and road) and running clock: the 245 or the 735xt? Or do you recommend another model?

    Thank you!

    1. For that kind of use the FR245 is a good choice, and better than the 735XT because it is already quite old in comparison.

  56. I just purchased the FR245music. I came from a 735xt in which I had a lot of problems with the optical pulse sensor.
    First impressions of the watch are very good. The optical heart rate monitor is much more reliable than the one on the 735xt.
    What I have been disappointed with is the music section. On the one hand, after investing 50 € in the music version, I see that if I put the music on the watch, I can not control the volume of the headphones (some Xiaomi). On the other hand, when playing music from the mobile, the watch does not allow any control of the player, something that podía do with the 735xt.
    In short, selling a watch with the music extra and it not being functional seems to me a shame.

    1. That the headphone volume control does not work is not a matter of Garmin, it is a matter of Xiaomi and in general how non-standard Bluetooth standards are implemented.

      To control the music on the watch you simply have to change the music provider on the watch and select the phone.

    I bought it at the beginning of January 2020 and by mid-February, having tested it with about 40 high intensity activities (running, walking, swimming and cycling) I have podido see that it gives errors in distance run and heart rate results ranging from 10% to 25 %,
    For example, one day I swam 2,000 meters and the watch told me I had swum 2,500 meters. On the other hand, running the same from my home to work, sometimes it tells me 4.2 km and sometimes 5.3 km. On another occasion, I tested it with another watch that I also wore, and the Garmin showed about 10% less heart rate, i.e., maybe I used 175 heart rate and the watch told me I was at 157 (and at those thresholds that difference is very important in order to prevent heart injuries). Finally, sometimes, when measuring oxygen saturation, I get an error.
    Faced with this accumulation of failures, I went to the store where I bought it and they even told me that the same thing was happening to them (amazing) and that if they sent it to the factory, they would most likely return it to me after a month, telling me that nothing was wrong with it.
    My partner has bought another garmin whose model I can't remember right now, and I have the feeling that it has the same problems, so I deduce that the software of the brand is not good.
    Please do not pay any more attention to this blogger, as his comments are far from reality.

    1. You are absolutely right, that no one pays any attention to me (although I provide evidence of everything I say and compare), but nevertheless by all means pay attention to messages that do not provide any technical reason or anything beyond accusing anyone that their comments are far from reality.

      Forgive me, but you are the clear example of "talking without having a clue".

  58. Hi. I have seen that out of all the Garmin's you review, you give the highest score to the forerunner 245, being a mid-range watch, versus the high-end ones that are worth twice as much and supposedly should perform much better. what is the reason for that rating? Best regards.

    1. The valuations are not made with respect to a fixed scale for all models, but for each specific case and segment in which it is located. The Fenix 6 Pro is not the same segment as the FR245, and of course the price has nothing to do with it.

      The 245 gets a very good grade because it is a very complete watch for the segment it is in, and it is also not too high priced.

  59. Hello,

    I have a doubt between the 245 or 645. I am a runner both mountain and asphalt with an average of 60-80km. asphalt races half marathon and mountain races of 25-30km.

    I don't know if I'm right to discard the vivo active or not? anyway, which one do you recommend between the 245 and 645?

    thank you!!!

        1. in your link the music the one of 282€ is not available is from 326.99€.

          one more doubt, the 245 has a better gps chip, right? and the pulse oximeter, right? the metrics given by the 245 are better than those of the 645?

          Do both have the option to enter a track and follow it?

          245 without music 231€ and 645 without music 259€.

          Thank you for everything!

  60. Hello,

    The truth is that I'm not going to look during the training the difference in altitude, with that at the end I can have a close value is enough for me, that is to say if an outing is 25km with 1300m D+ that at the end more or less the watch marks something similar I don't need a perfect accuracy. Topic NFC already use the mobile.con es

    In the end I go running for pleasure, I train on my own and I don't need a lot of data either.

    Thank you for your time!

  61. Hi, can you tell me what autonomy have the forerunner 245 and 645, connected to a chest band by bluetooth and with gps and heart rate monitor working. Thank you. Thanks.

  62. Very good first of all say that the article is 11.Emtrando already in matter I come from a polar m430 very trayado and training, 6 days a week of 1h30 canoeing and some race. Other GPS watches like the forerunner 645 are already a little out of my way because of the band issue, which by the way the 240 would be compatible with the polar h7 band. And finally what would be your recommendation for this price range. Thank you very much in advance

    1. Yes, the 245 is perfectly compatible with the H7 sensor, via Bluetooth.

      However, if you are going to do mainly canoeing I would recommend another one that does have paddling profiles. Although on the FR245 you can install some Connect IQ application, since it will be your main use I would go directly for that option.

  63. Hi, Eduardo,
    One more question. Between the suunto 9 (which has dropped in price, 280€) and the Forerunner 245, which one would you choose?
    Thank you very much.

    1. It depends on what you are going to use it for. For mountain I prefer the Suunto for the navigation and the size of the screen. For asphalt the 245 is more comfortable and has everything you need.

  64. Hi, Eduardo,

    I have a question, I have an Edge 520 for cycling and I am thinking of buying a Forerunner 245 for running. My stats from my cycling activities with the Edge, will they be added to the Forerunner stats increasing, for example, the VO2 max? I don't know if I'm making myself clear. But I want to know if using a device without VO2 measurement as the Edge, when synchronized with the Forerunner it will calculate the data as if I had used the Forerunner.

    Thank you very much!

    1. Running and cycling VO2Max are different, one does not affect the other. As for cycling VO2Max you need a potentiometer, without it it is not calculated.

  65. Hi, Eduardo,

    Thanks for your analysis, today with all the updates received on the polar vantage m (is of my interest) how does it cope with the 245? they are within the same range. I have been using the m430 for about 2 years now.


    1. Thank you, Pablo.

      If you take a look at the shopping guideI would recommend either one of them. Both are good options, and it depends mainly on what you are looking for. In your case, being on the Polar platform, you might feel more comfortable with the Vantage.

      1. Hi Eduardo, I bought the Forerunner 245 M and I wanted to ask you about the Maps r.486 app, how does it work? Is it useful to see the maps in the native app of Garmin or you have to see it in the original one. And in the navigation you can see all the details. Thanks in advance.

        1. I don't know which app you are referring to. I searched for "Maps r.486" and I can't find anything.

          In any case, Connect IQ apps are not displayed in the native watch profiles, they are a standalone app.

  66. Hello,

    I wanted to know if I can tulizar the Garmin forerunner 245 music for swimming in the sea.

    thank you.

  67. What's up friend, greetings from Michoacan Mexico. I just bought a 245 music, but the heart sensor turns off intermittently for two to four hours and then turns on by itself, without doing anything... Have you known of failures like this or will it be necessary to take it to warranty? Thanks for your comment...

  68. First of all congratulate you for this analysis made with so much dedication. Secondly, what watch would you recommend for running (with training with peaks of speed and recovery), which in terms of smartwatch is handled relatively well and a good pulse sensor that for example I measure the pulsations when I play Padel or performed strength exercises and HIIT? I think both this and the vivoactive 4 would work for me, but I look forward to your advice. Thanks!

    1. Thank you Miguel Angel.

      Seeing as you're interested in running workouts and you track well, you're better off opting for the FR245 rather than the Vivoactive, as you have running-specific metrics that you're going to poder use.

      1. Good morning Eduardo, my birthday is coming up and I'm still thinking about the watch. Looking at the Garmin page and in your analysis I would say that the 245 does not have the option to use it to follow hiking trails. What would be the watch that for quality/price you would look at?

  69. Hi, Eduardo,

    I have an FR245 and a 520Plus for the bike, I have tried to add the FR to the 520 as a Heart Rate sensor and have not succeeded. On the 245 I've enabled the Broadcast Heart Rate function but on the 520 it doesn't detect it.
    Is it not possible to link the watch to the 520 as a heart rate sensor?


  70. Hi Eduardo, I just discovered you and I wanted to congratulate you for your blog.
    I've been looking for a watch for a while and I had already decided on the FR245 (but the normal version) instead of the FR235 because among other things it had wifi connection. But you say that this option is only available in the FR245 Music version. It is the first time I see this distinction and right now I am left with the doubt... In my case the wifi connection is an added value for convenience but the price difference between one version and another is considerable. Honestly right now I don't know what to do, is it possible to synchronize the watch directly with the bluetooh of the mobile without the need of a computer?
    Thank you very much!

    1. Thank you Noelia.

      Indeed, the only one that has WiFi is the 245 (which needs it for downloading music from platforms like Spotify). The normal version does not have WiFi.

      Bluetooth synchronization with the phone is present in all Garmin models, so you have no problem. As soon as the watch is in range of the phone it syncs all the workouts, you don't need to connect it to the computer (not even to update, it will also do it via Bluetooth).

      Take a look at the best Black Friday offersThis post is specific to FR245.

  71. Congratulations for your blog. Very enlightening for those of us who like sports and technology. I just wanted to tell you that I have damaged the charger cable of my TomTom Spark 3 (4 years old) and I have taken advantage of the offers to change it for the FR 245, everything looks very good, but I wanted to note that in the same urban routes the FR 245 does not catch a single street well, it looks like a drunk gps. In comparison, the Spark3 marked the routes faithfully. I have tried combinations of GPS and recording but have not been able to get a decent GPS track. I don't know what the problem is.

  72. Hello first of all thank you for your blog, it clarifies a lot the features. Even so I still hesitate, I have an amazfit stratos 2, and I have a chance now to upgrade it, but I do not know whether to make the leap to the 945 of which there are almost no offers or with a 245 would be enough for me, I speak of the garmin since on the bike I use an old edge and it seems that I am more friendly garmin applications.
    I doubt also in the navigation of both, I do not know if poder could use either of the two on the bike to follow tracks which is what I do with my edge touring plus today, in this way I would unify watch to run and bike which is what I do, run mostly asphalt but we are also doing something trail hence I am also interested in poder follow some track.
    A salute.

    1. Thank you, Javier.

      If you give importance to navigation, the FR945 is undoubtedly a better option because of all the possibilities that the maps give you. The navigation of the 245 is basic, you can load a route but it is simple.

          1. And finally I see the 6S PRO, which by size would suit me well (I have wrist of 16) but it goes up 100 euros more, apart from some extra function, is it more resistant than the 945? wanting to use it also in the MTB I do not know if there will be difference or it is only aesthetic with the bezel and metal case.

          2. Resistance to use is the same, simply the materials are better in terms of touch and image (the 945 is plastic). But in a non-shock use, which is what we all want, the resistance is the same.

  73. Hello, good morning. First I want to say that it is an excellent article, very detailed about the characteristics of the Garmin, ideal for a proper analysis and poderlo compare with your other options. Secondly, how much should I doubt the battery? Is that I bought this forerunner 245 but from use, supposedly it was used 2 times, and although now that I have received it was probably more uses, it looks well cared for and not too many uses. However, what does not let me sleep peacefully is the battery. I'll put you in context: I charged it Saturday night to 100, early Sunday performs a run of 1 hour and 5 minutes, has activated activity tracking, steps, FC and oximetry for sleep, and today, Tuesday at 6 pm has the 35%, Is it normal in this model by the functions activated? Or is there a problem with the battery? I hope you can answer me soon, because I can still return it.

  74. Good, one question, the audio indications (time - lap pace) are reproduced without the need of the mobile, also the route indications? do they work well?

    Thank you

  75. Hi, Eduardo,
    For a 40% hiking use and a 60% hiking or trail use, which model would you go with? I'm between the Instinct (for price), 245 or 645.
    I wouldn't want to pay more for something that doesn't give me much more features in return. I could do without the barometric altimeter. I value autonomy and realistic metrics. Which one would you choose and why?
    Thank you very much.

    1. Hello Miguel.
      I think that with that type of use you fit perfectly in the Garmin Instinct user type. In terms of GPS and other functions is the same as the 245, the only thing you will not have are the training metrics but with the sports you practice, I do not think you'll need ...

      1. Thank you for your quick response.
        I read your review of the Instinct. Despite being an amazing watch, I'm still left with that "crappy" watch feeling as it's in black and white. Otherwise, it still has everything I need.
        I have discarded the 245 as it does not have a barometric altimeter.
        The other option I mentioned, the 645, I also like it a lot. What I like the least is perhaps the lower autonomy and its silver-colored bezel (it looks a bit tinted), although another option would be to buy it with a dark bezel.
        Do you think I'm missing a model in this price range that 1TP10Could be interesting for mountaineering? THE 735XT? Or is it already very outdated?

        1. No, in that price range Garmin has pretty much abandoned it. The 735XT does not have a barometric altimeter and the truth is that it is already showing its age.

          1. Hello Edu,
            Finally I bought the 645 Music taking advantage of the price on Wiggle (238€ in slate color), I hope I was not wrong, because I hesitated between this and the 245 Music for being more current. By the way, I used your link to buy it, I hope I did well.
            Best regards and thanks for the help you provide.

          2. Thank you Miguel for supporting the web!

            As long as you are clear about the differences between the two models and which one best suits your needs, you can be sure you won't go wrong.

  76. Hi, I am hesitating between buying this FR245 or the Coros Pace 2. I have been running for a while with my Galaxy Active (basically on asphalt, so the absence of Altimeter I do not give much importance) and although I think the Coros Pace 2 is better watch in general (plus cheaper) from what I have read, for me it is very important the issue of music (I would have to use my current Galaxy Active to carry my music) and I do not know if I would get much performance to the extras of the Coros Pace 2 as the power to train.

    My main question is if there is any estimated date for the renewal of the FR245 that has been on the market for almost 2 years, to know if it is worth waiting or try to buy it now (right now the cheapest price I see is 255€ which I think is pretty good).

    Thank you very much, the site is 10!

    1. Thank you, Pablo.

      If for you the fact of having music playback is important then do not hesitate, the FR245 better than the COROS (it also has a better platform). As for a replacement, there is nothing planned at the moment. My impression is that the situation with the pandemic has slowed down all releases, in fact in the time we have been going on only updates to current products have been presented, mainly focused on aesthetics.

      Indeed, the cheapest offer right now is Sprinter.

  77. Good afternoon, between the Polar Vantage m2 and Garmin 245, which one would you go with. Both are about the same price. I would use it for running, gym training, hiking trails and little else.

    Greetings and thank you.

  78. Hello Eduardo. I have had the FR245 for a week. Today I went out for a run and after 5 minutes it tells me battery saving mode and starts counting down 30 seconds. I hit continue xq I had a 30 % battery and sun was going to be an hour. The thing is that every 7-8 minutes the message came out again and in the end, when I finished it has not recorded anything, no trip, no frequency, etc.. And it still has 21% of battery left. I don't understand this. Do you know why?

    1. The power saver exits when you are in the sensor search screen and have not started the activity. You have to press the button again for the timer to start.

  79. Hello, are any type and brand of wireless blutooth headphones suitable for the garmin forerunning 245 music, or does it have to be any special type or brand? Thank you

    1. In principle it will work with the 99% headset, without any problems. Where you may encounter problems is when it comes to the buttons like volume up-lower, etc.

  80. I have the 245 but without music and it seems to me that it has very intuitive and practical functions. }
    I just have a doubt that I can't find those widgets that you show VO2max, EPOC, training load, Training Effect.

  81. Hello Eduardo. Thank you very much for your excellent analysis.
    In my case it is the first smartwatch I'm going to buy and I hesitate between the 245M and 645M. The battery life, the fact that it is newer (with the corresponding improvement of widgets and menus) and the Pulse OX are the most appealing features of the 245M. The altimeter, the NFC and the fact that it can be more "eye-catching" call me about the 645.
    As for the sport I practice it is running, cycling and swimming (not triathlon).
    Knowing that I can pick up both watches at the same price, which one would you advise me?
    Two more questions, do they both have the UltraTrack feature, and do you find it important that the 645 does not measure pulse in the pool?
    Greetings and thank you very much.

    1. I find 245 Music much more interesting, not only because of the initial features but also because of all the new features that have been arriving through updates.

      As for the pulse rate in the pool, it is very unreliable so it is not a relevant feature.

      Both have Ultratrac.

  82. Hi Eduardo thanks for all your reviews. Hagosendero, mountain and street. I am between the 235 and the instic. suggestion?

  83. Hello Eduardo. Thanks for your review. I don't know how the accuracy of the sleep and step metrics worked out for you but on my new garmin 245 they are pretty bad. From garmin they recommend me to remove the downloaded dials in IQ and reboot. I did that and there is no major improvement. In swimming (my basic sport) it counts some extra length. And the sleep monitoring is regular (worse than Xiaomi bands for example). It fails in start and end time (by minutes..many..).

    Was it the same for you? Do you think my watch might be defective? The rest works fine, although the dials are scarce and I need to put some of IQ because if not, it is not useful.

    Any alternative from garmin or competitor that offers the same in swimming and is more reliable? Regarding the heart rate, it nails it, but with a certain offset.

    Garmin also does not get very wet (send for repair...), but a watch that is barely a week old.... I do not know whether to wait... Change hands ... Or directly throw to another model or brand.

    Thank you!

    1. The length measurement depends on the movements you make while swimming. Everything is based on the accelerometer and if the movements are not clear it will not detect it. In my case I don't have any detection problems.

  84. Hello,
    Do you know if the garmin connect training plans for cycling are compatible with the forerunner 245?
    Thank you