Garmin Forerunner 245 Running Watch Review 

Garmin Forerunner 245 review

June 23, 2019

On April 30, 2019, Garmin unveiled a variety of brand new watches they’re adding to their much loved Forerunner family. They have seemingly included a watch for every runner.

Among these releases is the exciting Forerunner 245. This is the successor of the mega popular but slightly outdated Forerunner 235, which we want to tell you all about so you can decide if this is the smart fitness watch for you.


Here’s a fun fact for you: back in the Gulf War of 1991, the US Army became Garmin’s first customer.

Since its inception in 1989, Garmin has come a long way and is one of the leading multinational technology companies in the world today.

Garmin is known for being the top manufacturer of GPS technology for automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor and sporting activities.

More recently, they have stepped into the world of wearable technology. They are making waves with their innovative designs that are steadily gaining in popularity - giving the industry big boys like Fitbit and Apple a run for their money.

The company prides itself on being at the forefront of innovation, creating superior quality products and the level of respect they show to their customers, partners and employees.

Moving With The Times:

In a highly anticipated move, one of Garmin’s most beloved running watches, the Forerunner 235 just got a serious upgrade!

As we all know, the Forerunner 235 is a great fitness tracker. Boasting a clever design and many awesome features that led to it’s astounding popularity, solidifying it as a firm favorite amongst users.

The big question is, does their upgraded model do its predecessor justice? Let’s find out.

Introducing the Garmin Forerunner 245!

The Forerunner 245 is a highly customizable smartwatch packed with innovative features, widgets and tracking capabilities in a new, sleeker design.

With ANT+ connection with compatible devices (both Android and iPhone) and WiFi, this device sure does put the ‘smart’ in ‘smartwatch’!

In this section we are going to look at the product specs and then we will head the differences between the 235 and the 245 models: 

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music, GPS Running Smartwatch with Music and Advanced Dynamics, Black
  • Lens material: Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Bezel material: Fiber-reinforced polymer
  • Quick Release bands: Yes (industry standard)
  • Physical size: 42.3 x 42.3 x 12.2 (mm)
  • Display size: 1.2” diameter
  • Display resolution: 240 x 240 pixels
  • Display type: sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
  • Colour display
  • Water rating: Swim, 5 ATM
  • Memory/History: 200 hours of activity data
  • Battery life: Smartwatch Mode up to 7 days, GPS mode up to 24 hours

What Are The Differences Between The Garmin 235 & 245?

The Garmin Forerunner 245 is a step up from the previous 235 model in almost every respect.

We say ‘almost’ because there is one notable downside to the Forerunner 245 and that is its lack of a barometric altimeter which makes elevation tracking less accurate. 

Size and Weight:

The Forerunner 245 has a slightly smaller physical weight and size, so nothing weighs you down whilst running!

  • Forerunner 245: 38.5g weight and 42.3 x 42.3 x 12.2 mm 
  • Forerunner 235: 42g weight and 45 x 45 x 11.7 mm


The Forerunner 245’s lens material is the incredibly durable Corning Gorilla Glass 3, whereas the 235 is made from chemically strengthened glass.

The material used on the strap of the Forerunner 245 is the same silicone as that used on the 235, except it is now soft on the inside of the silicone and textured on the outside. 

Better Display:

The Forerunner 245 has significantly better resolution and is smaller and thinner than that of the 235. Garmin stuck with the sunlight-readable color display type which we are happy about:

  • Resolution: 240 x 240 pixels on the 245 vs 215 x 180 pixels on 235
  • Size: 1.2” (30.4mm) diameter on 245 vs 1.23” (31.1mm) diameter on 235

More Color Options To Choose From

Where the Forerunner 345 only had three colour options to choose from - Frost Blue, Black & Gray and Marsala - the Forerunner 245 is available in five:

  • Aqua
  • Berry
  • Black
  • White
  • Slate Gray
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music, GPS Running Smartwatch with Music and Advanced Dynamics, Aqua

245 in Aqua


When a product is as jampacked with features as the Forerunner 245 is it’s no wonder the Smartwatch Mode only lasts up to 7 days when the 235 lasts up to 9 days.

But, the GPS Mode has more than doubled with the 245 up to 24 hours and the 235 up to 11 hours. 

Forerunner 245 Music Option

For an additional $50 you can opt for the Forerunner 245 Music option which, thanks to a clever partnership with Spotify and Deezer, allows you to store and stream up to 500 songs on the device.

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music, GPS Running Smartwatch with Music and Advanced Dynamics, White

New Sensors:

The Forerunner 235 boasted GPS, GLONASS, Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate monitor and accelerometer while the 245 includes all of this as well as these incredible new features:

  • Compass
  • Galileo (The European Satellite System software)
  • Pulse Ox (Estimates your body’s blood oxygen saturation, which can help gauge how your body is absorbing oxygen)

Safety Features:

Like the Forerunner 235, the 245 offers the LiveTrack feature, but also included in the newer model are:

  • Incident Detection during select activities
  • Live Event Sharing
  • Assistance (Android only)
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music, GPS Running Smartwatch with Music and Advanced Dynamics, White

Even More Brand New Features of The Garmin 245

new features in Garmin Forerunner 245 watch

In case you remain unconvinced, below you will find the impressive list of all the new features included in the Garmin Forerunner 245 that make this product truly exceptional.

New Clock Features:

In addition to the Time/Date, GPS Time Sync, automatic daylight saving time, alarm clock and stopwatch as featured in the 235, The Forerunner 245 includes the following:

  • Timer
  • Sunrise/Sunset times

New Daily Smart Features:  

On top of the numerous daily smart features that the Forerunner 235 has are the following features that simply take the 245 to another level of convenience:

  • Text response/Reject call (Android only at the time of writing) 
  • Find My Watch (in addition to the popular Find My Phone feature)

New Activity Tracking Features:  

The Forerunner 245 has taken activity tracking in general to a whole new level by including the following features:

  • Move IQ
  • Fitness Age
  • Body Battery Energy Monitor
  • All-day stress tracking

New Training, Planning & Analysis Features:  

It’s hard to believe the impressive 17 features already included in the Forerunner 235 can be topped, but the 245 now includes the following:

  • Configurable lap alerts
  • Training status (allows you to check if you’re training effectively by tracking training history and fitness level trend)
  • Training load (your total training load for the last 7 days calculated from estimated EPOC)
  • Training Effect anaerobic (on top of aerobic)
  • Virtual Partner
  • Race an Activity
  • Course Guidance
  • Physio TrueUp

New Heart Rate Features:

The following are included in addition to the HR zones, alerts, calories and Recovery time that are included in the 235:

  • % HR max
  • % HRR
  • Auto max HR

New Outdoor Recreation Features:

The Forerunner 235 has “Back to Start” and “Distance to Destination” and the 245 has added a few more outdoor recreation features on top of these:

  • Point-to-point navigation 
  • Breadcrumb Trail in real time
  • TracBack
  • UltraTrac mode
  • GPS coordinates

New Running Features:

Used predominantly by runners, it is no surprise Garmin has added the following running features to the Forerunner 245:

  • Running dynamics (with compatible accessory)
  • Vertical oscillation and ratio (the degree of ‘bounce’ in your motion and the cost-benefit ratio with stride length—also with compatible accessory)
  • Stride length real time (with compatible accessory)
  • Ground contact time and balance (shows your running symmetry while running by comparing how much time your foot is on the ground vs in the air)

New Swimming Features:

A nice surprise is the added features for swimmers! The Available profile is the Pool Swimming profile:

  • Pool swim metrics (lengths, distance, pace, stroke count, calories)
  • Stroke type detection (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly)
  • Swim efficiency
  • Drill logging
  • Pool swim workouts

New Cycling Features:

Again, it’s really awesome to see that the team at Garmin have included different features in the Forerunner 245 making it ideal for different activities.

They have added the following on top of the cycling features already included in the 235:

  • Courses
  • Race an Activity
  • Time/Distance alerts notify you when your goal has been reached
  • Drill logging
  • Compatible with Varia Vision, Varia radar and Varia lights

Final Thoughts:

There is no denying it, the wearable technology industry is booming along with people’s desires to increase their fitness and performance. Who wouldn’t want the best strapped to their wrist?

With an aesthetically pleasing new design, breadcrumb maps, a huge amount of tracking capabilities and the added option of music, we can’t help but recommend you upgrade to the Garmin Forerunner 245 and upgrade your fitness.

About the author 

Kevin Lee

Health and fitness have always been a passion for me; whether its being in the weight room, going for a run before work or even participating in a half iron man triathlon. ShapeJunkie was created to share to knowledge and love of fitness with others.

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