It contains affiliate links and Extrabux will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on Extrabux links.


Garmin Forerunner 245 vs. 645 vs. 745 vs. 945: Which Makes the Best GPS Running Watch with Music?

Garmin Forerunner 245 vs. 645 vs. 745 vs. 945: Which Makes the Best GPS Running Watch with Music?

    • If you are a runner, chances are that you have heard of Garmin and their GPS running smartwatches. Today Garmin make probably the market's best running watches. Their Forerunner watches are a series of dedicated GPS running watches. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or elite runner, you’ll find the watch you’re after among their Forerunner series.One of the most popular and reliable series: the Garmin Forerunner 245,645, 745 and 945.In this article you’ll learn about the differences between the Garmin Forerunner 245, Garmin Forerunner 645, Garmin Forerunner 745 and the Garmin Forerunner 945. Let's learn about:Is Garmin 245 better than 645? What's the difference between Garmin Forerunner 245 and 745? Is the Garmin 945 worth it and so on...



What is Garmin Forerunner?

The Garmin Forerunner series is a selection of sport watches produced by Garmin. Most models use the Global Positioning System (GPS), and are targeted at road runners and triathletes. Forerunner series watches are designed to accurately measure distance, speed, heart rate (optional), time, altitude, and pace, all of which can be important to athletes in training.


The Forerunner series consists of the 101, 201, 301, 205, 305, 50, 405, 60, 405CX, 310XT, 110, 210, 410, 610, 910XT, 70, 10, 220, 620, 15, 920XT, 225, 25, 230, 235, 630, 735XT, 35, 935, 30, 645, 645 Music, 45, 45S, 245, 245 Music, 945, 745 (listed in chronological order by release date). All models except the 101 include a way to upload training data to a personal computer and training software.

Where to Buy the Garmin Forerunner ?



Other retailers:

Money Saving Tips: If you like online shopping, don't forget to sign up at!(What is Extrabux) , then you can enjoy up to 30+% cashback on your purchase from Extrabux! Sign-Up Bonus: Free to join it & get $20 welcome bonus! 

Garmin Forerunner 245 

Price and where to buy: $299.99 + 6% cashback @ Garmin


At 43mm wide and weighing 38.5 g, this GPS watch is still impressively lightweight. It packs all the features of the Forerunner 45 and many more.

The music edition – for an extra $50 – can store up to 500 songs and can sync directly with music streaming services (like Spotify). It also supports Wi-Fi for that purpose.

The bands come in 5 color options and are Quick Release bands so you can easily change them.
The battery life is up to 7 days in Smartwatch Mode, up to 24 hours in GPS mode without music and up to 6 hours in GPS mode with music.

It has some added sensors, such as a compass and a pulse oximeter to track you blood oxygen. This allows for much more in-depth heart rate analysis. For example; it can monitor your VO2 max and adjust your training accordingly.

More generally, the 245 has much more advanced training features and running dynamics for a detailed feedback on your runs.

Exclusive to the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

  • Pulse Oximeter

One of the newer features appearing on Garmin watches is the company's Pulse Oximeter, which is used to measure the body's blood oxygen saturation level. Combined with the rest of the heart data being tracked, Garmin is able to more accurately deliver recovery, health and sleep data.

  • Body Battery Score

Garmin's combined metric for stress, activity and recovery, the Body Battery Score, is only available through the 245. It's used to help inform users how intense their next bout of exercise should be


  • Good build quality

  • Scratch- and crack-proof lens

  • Picks up GPS signal quickly

  • Precise heart rate tracking (for a wrist based sensor)


  • Small screen can only display three real-time data fields

  • Polymer case is sturdy but feels a bit cheap

  • You may end up with Forerunner 945 envy

Who is Garmin Forerunner 245 for?

Anyone who uses a GPS watch regularly. It is especially great to go on long runs with music, and for people who enjoy detailed tracking of their performances and activities. Serious runners and data addicts, this is the watch for you.

Garmin Forerunner 645

Price and where to buy: $399.99 + 6% cashback @Garmin


The Garmin Forerunner 645 is Garmin’s high-end GPS running watch. It’s loaded with advanced training functions including Garmin Pay, which makes it possible to pay directly with the watch. 

The watch comes in two models: Garmin Forerunner 645 and Garmin Forerunner 645 Music. They are exactly the same watch, apart from the Music version allows you to transfer music directly to the watch – and therefore play music without the need for a smartphone close by.

Forerunner 645 features Garmin Pay contactless payment solution¹, which lets you pay for purchases with your watch. Use it just about anywhere you can tap your card to pay. A bottle of water here, a bite to eat there — just pay, and keep on moving.

The stated battery life is up to 7 days in smartwatch mode, up to 14 hours in GPS mode without music, and up to 5 hours in GPS mode with music.

Exclusive to the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music

  • Barometric altimeter

A barometric altimeter gives an indication of incline and decline measurements, using the changes in pressure to calculate vertical oscillation instead of the GPS. With this inclusion, those who want accurate measurements for hill running, trail running, biking and climbing will be better served with the Forerunner 645.

  • Running Power

The Forerunner 645 is the only option for those who want Running Power data, as Garmin will only calculate this with watches that have barometric altimeters. However, you'll still need to pair one of Garmin's chest straps or the Running Pod in order to gain these insights.

  • More exercise tracking modes

With the 645 Music, you'll be privy to a few more exercise modes than on the 245, with five more available. The addition of skiing, snowboarding, XC skiing, stand up paddleboarding and rowing tracking take the 645's tracking modes to a total of 18.

  • Garmin Pay

Both of these watches are fairly equal when it comes to smartwatch features, but the 645 Music does have one key advantage: Garmin Pay. This allows users to add their card to the watch and use it to make contactless payments. Throw your wallet away.


  • 500 songs download limit

  • Music synchronized with a streaming device

  • Accurately measures your heart rate

  • Allows payments to be made

  • Extra sensors for more advanced tracking and more activites


  • Missing a few training functions found on the Forerunner 945 and Fenix 6 series.

  • No built-in map or real navigation.

  • Not many activity profiles – lacks e.g. triathlon profile.

Who is Garmin Forerunner 645 for?

So who should buy the 645 over the 245, knowing that it costs $100 more? Any runner or athlete who is serious about tracking their performance and truly cares about having an altimeter and a gyroscope.

Comparison of Garmin Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 645 

Which is better Garmin Forerunner 245 or 645?

  1. If your priority is a strict budget, you can't go wrong with the Forerunner 245 Music. You get most of the same great tracking features as the 645 range for a cheaper outlay, and a thinner design and better battery life.

  2. That's not to say it's for everyone, though. The Forerunner 645 range, though a little longer in the tooth, still stacks up against the new Garmin devices for 2019.

  3. The battery life is slightly weaker, and it does cost a tad more, but those who want a watch that can help provide Running Power data, accurate data on vertical oscillation and more niche tracking modes – as well as the ever-handy Garmin Pay – should opt for the 645 instead.

Things in Common: Garmin Forerunner 245 and 645

Before I get into the differences of the Forerunner 645 and 245, here’s what they have in common when it comes to fitness tracking:

  • Fitness tracking for common activities: running indoors/outdoors, biking indoors/outdoors, pool swim, strength, cardio, indoor rowing, and yoga.

  • Trail running capabilities: trail running specific tracking, point-to-point navigation, and UltraTrac GPS mode (turns off GPS periodically to save battery, but does make tracking a little less accurate)

  • Everyday fitness stats: steps, heart rate, stress, sleep, menstrual tracking.

  • “Fancier” training stats: VO2 max (aerobic performance capacity), Training Status (whether your training has been productive—this one’s funny because it will actually say “unproductive” sometimes, which I find kind of rude lol), Training Effect (how your training has improved your aerobic and anaerobic fitness), Recovery Time (how long to wait before a hard workout), and Race Predictor.

  • Music option: you can download and play music from your watch if you’re connected to Bluetooth headphones or a speaker. You can also use Spotify Premium, Amazon Music, and Deezer. There are non-music versions of the watches, so make sure you get the music version if this feature is important to you.

  • Basic smartwatch features: weather, calendar, messages, find your phone, Smart Lock (automatically unlock your phone when watch is in range).

  • Safety features: LiveTrack—allows your friends and family to follow your activity in real time; Incident Detection—alerts your emergency contacts with your location if an incident is detected (you must be connected to your phone, though).

  • No touchscreen: this could be a good or bad thing, but button navigation is helpful if you’re wearing gloves, or if it’s raining.

What is the difference between Garmin Forerunner 245 and 45?

  • The bezel of the 645 is stainless steel. The 245 model has a fiber-reinforced polymer bezel. Both screens are Gorilla Glass protected.

  • The 645 is 1 millimeter thicker.

  • The 245 comes with the newest heart rate monitor "pulse OX" feature which detects your blood oxygen level, the 645 does not have that feature.

  • The 245 watch has an up-to-date charging connector.

  • With the 645, you can pay for stuff because it supports Garmin Pay.

  • The 645 has HRV stress that measures the variations beat to beat with your heart.

  • The 645 also includes muscle oxygen fields.

  • The Garmin 645 has a thermometer, a barometric altimeter, and a gyroscope.

  • The Forerunner 245 lasts 10 hours longer with GPS on.

Garmin Forerunner 745

Price and where to buy: $499.99 + 6% cashback @ Garmin


The Garmin Forerunner 745 is the successor to the 735XT and remains an option that’s a good fit for runners and triathletes who can’t stretch to spending on the Garmin Forerunner 945.

Garmin has sought to pack its sports tracking features into a smaller case design than the 735XT, albeit while adding new sensors like a pulse oximeter and smartwatch features like a built-in music player and payments.

Like other Forerunners, you’re going to get a watch that delivers a great, largely accurate tracking experience for runners, swimmers, cyclists and even indoor activities like indoor rowing. There’s plenty of metrics to dig into during activities and after them with support for additional sensors and apps from Garmin’s own Connect IQ store.

The addition of payments and music means it plays better as a smartwatch too and it worked well paired up to an iPhone and an Android phone. Though payment support still doesn’t cover a huge range of banks and streaming music still does knock the battery life.

Exclusive to the Garmin Forerunner 745 Music

  • Swim, bike, run, tri — do it all with preloaded activity profiles.

  • Obsessed with stats? This watch is too. Get VO2 max, training load and more at your fingertips.

  • Get daily workout suggestions just for you, based on your recent training.

  • The right tunes are essential. Sync your favorite music right to your watch.

  • Garmin Pay contactless payments let you make purchases with a tap of your wrist.

  • Have enough juice for any race. Get up to 6 hours in GPS mode with music.


  • Lightweight and comfortable for extended wear

  • Full featured health, activity, and exercise tracker

  • Accurate outdoor track performance

  • Outstanding software providing all the data you could ever want

  • Support for a vast number of sports and activities


  • Expensive

  • No golf support

Who is Garmin Forerunner 745 for?

Comfortable for training, racing and for everyday life, Forerunner 745 is our smallest and lightest full-featured running and triathlon smartwatch.

Comparison of Garmin Forerunner 645 and Forerunner 745 

  • The Garmin Forerunner 645 is a good quality GPS watch built primarily for runners. It has built-in music storage a solid selection of sports features, advanced running dynamics and support for Garmin running power. 

  • The Forerunner 745 is a significant upgrade on the Forerunner 645. Support for open water swimming, triathlon tracking, and cycling power meters are massive upgrades, but the list doesn’t end there. The FR745 also has a pulse oximeter (to measure blood oxygen levels),personalized workout recommendations, and a better battery life. 

In essence, the Forerunner 745 can do everything that he Forerunner 645 can, plus a whole lot more. The only reason to truly consider the FR645 is price. 

Reasons to Choose The Forerunner 645

 It's cheaper, and you might be able to find it on special

Main Reasons To Choose The Forerunner 745

  • Open Water Swimming + Triathlon Tracking:Open water swimming and triathlon tracking tend to go hand-in-hand. If you opt for the Forerunner 745, you can unlock both of these features. To switch between each triathlon discipline, you simply need to push one button on the FR745. 

  • Garmin PacePro: PacePro offers pace guidance for  to help you stay on track during training. When PacePro is applied to a course loaded to your watch, it analyzes elevation changes along the course to calculate a pace strategy. The strategy calculates when to increase or decrease your pace along the course for the best overall pace. 

  • Garmin ClimbPro: ClimbPro detects the climb sections of a cycling course. 

  • Pulse Oximeter:This wrist-based sensor  in the FR745 monitors blood oxygen saturation levels to provide a clearer picture of how you’re sleeping or how you’re adjusting to altitude.

  • Body Battery Score:Garmin’s body batter score combines your training data, sleeping data and heart rate data into one overarching metric called Body Battery Score. 

  • Better Cycling Features + Cycling Power Meter Compatibility:The Forerunner 745 is a better sports watch for cyclists specifically. You can access additional cycling modes, functional threshold power, and cycling power meter compatibility. 

Go for the Forerunner 645 if: 

  • You have no interest in triathlon tracking

  • You can find the FR645 on special 

  • Running is your primary sport

Go for the Forerunner 745 if: 

  • You want the better sports watch overall

  • You want Garmin’s latest technology like the pulse oximeter and body battery score

  • You’re passionate about cycling

  • You’re a triathlete

Garmin Forerunner 945

Price and where to buy: $599.99 + 6% cashback @ Garmin


This top-of-the-line watch supports on-board music, with up to 1000 songs.

It has a record battery life with up to 2 weeks in Smartwatch Mode, up to 36 hours in GPS mode without music, and up to 10 hours in GPS mode with music.

It has much more in-depth activity and fitness tracking. For example, it can estimate heat and altitude acclimatization. It even supports ski and golf in its activity profiles.

Multisport support is actually one of the greatest part of this watch: you can switch between sports / activity with a single button press. This makes it truly ideal for triathletes.

It is the only Forerunner watch that comes preloaded with color maps. It also supports Garmin Pay™ contactless payments.


  • Every advanced feature you could ever need

  • Build quality

  • Great for triathletes and other multisport athletes


  • Not a mid-range price

Who is Garmin Forerunner 945 for?

The Forerunner 945 is a true powerhouse aimed at serious runners / athletes who want extensive information and tracking of their training, performance and fitness. It is especially great for people who do more than one activity, such as triathletes. With its extended battery life; it is ideal for endurance runners and triathletes.

Comparison of Garmin Forerunner 745 and Forerunner 945 

Here is how the Garmin Forerunner 745 stacks up to the Forerunner 945, which was one of the first things I was curious about.

  • Price: The Forerunner 945 is $100 more than the Forerunner 745

  • Golf: I would seriously consider the 745 as my primary GPS watch, but it doesn't support golf or the Garmin CT10 club sensors while the 945 does.

  • Size: The Forerunner 745 is smaller and lighter at 43.8 x 43.8 x 13.3 mm and weight of 47 grams. The 945 is 47 x 47 x 13.7 and weighs 50 grams. These might seem like small numbers, but side-by-side and on the wrist, the 745 definitey feels smaller and is likely to appeal to more athletes.

  • Music storage: The Forerunner 745 holds up to 500 songs whereas the 945 holds up to 1,000 songs

  • Onboard maps: The Forerunner 945 has onboard maps while the Forerunner 745 does not

Things in Common:The Garmin Forerunner 745 and 945

  • The Garmin Forerunner 745 and the Forerunner 945 have a lot in common. Both watches have the same casing (reinforced polymer fronted with Gorilla Glass DX), same display resolution and type (240 x 240 pixels, Memory-in-pixel) and the same optical heart rate sensor (Garmin's Elevate V3).

  • They also both have built-in music storage and features such as VO2 max estimation, race predictor, training effect and recovery time suggestions, Garmin Coach etc. There are many similarities in terms of both software and – as you can see from the picture above – hardware.

What is the difference between Garmin Forerunner 745 and 945?

  • The Garmin Forerunner 745 is cheaper than the Forerunner 945. 

  • Not only the Garmin Forerunner 745 is lighter than the Forerunner 945 (47 grams vs 50 grams) but it has a smaller case size too, making it probably even more imperceptible on the wrist. 

  • The Garmin Forerunner 745 has cool new features The Garmin Forerunner 945 hasn't got (yet)

  • The Garmin Forerunner 945 has better battery life than the Garmin Forerunner 745 

  • The Garmin Forerunner 945 has offline map.

  • The Garmin Forerunner 945 has 16GB for maps and activities and 4GB for music all the while the Forerunner 'only' 4GB of storage altogether. 

Comparing Garmin Forerunner 245 vs.645 vs.745 vs.945


Garmin Forerunner 245

Garmin Forerunner 645

Garmin Forerunner 745

Garmin Forerunner 945

Display Size1.2" / 30.5 mm1.2" / 30.4 mm1.2" / 30.5 mm1.2" / 30.5 mm
Screen Resolution240 x 240240 x 240240 x 240240 x 240
Pixel Density283 ppiNot Specified283 ppi283 ppi
Watch Crystal MaterialCorning Gorilla Glass 3Corning Gorilla Glass 3Corning Gorilla Glass DXCorning Gorilla Glass DX



Accelerometer, Compass, Optical Heart Rate, Pulse Oximeter (Sp02)Optical Heart RateAccelerometer, Barometer (Altimeter), Compass, Gyroscope, Optical Heart RateAccelerometer, Barometer (Altimeter), Compass, Gyroscope, Optical Heart Rate, Pulse Oximeter (Sp02)
OS CompatibilityAndroid
Not SpecifiedNot ApplicableAndroid


Wireless ConnectivityBluetooth
Not ApplicableBluetooth
Global PositioningGPS, GLONASS, GalileoGPSGPS, GLONASS, GalileoGPS, GLONASS, Galileo


Estimated Battery Life

7 Days (Smartwatch Mode)

24 Hours (GPS On)

7 Days (Smartwatch Mode)

14 Hours (GPS On)
6 Hours (GPS and Music On)
16 Hours (GPS On)
21 Hours (UltraTrac Mode)
7 Days (Smartwatch Mode)
2 Weeks (Smartwatch Mode)
10 Hours (GPS and Music On)
36 Hours (GPS On)


MaterialPolymer, SiliconeStainless SteelPolymerPolymer, Silicone
Water Resistance Depth5 ATM (Pressure Equivalent to 164.04' / 50 m)5 ATM (Pressure Equivalent to 164.04' / 50 m)5 ATM (Pressure Equivalent to 164.04' / 50 m)5 ATM (Pressure Equivalent to 164.04' / 50 m)
Splash ProofYesNot SpecifiedYesYes



1.67 x 1.67 x 0.48" / 42.3 x 42.3 x 12.2 mm1.7 x 1.7 x 0.5" / 4.3 x 4.3 x 1.4 cm1.7 x 1.7 x 0.5" / 43.8 x 43.8 x 13.3 mm1.85 x 1.85 x 0.54" / 47 x 47 x 13.7 mm
Weight1.4 oz / 38.5 g1.5 oz / 41.8 g1.7 oz / 47 g1.76 oz / 50 g
Warranty LengthLimited 1-Year WarrantyNot SpecifiedLimited 1-Year WarrantyLimited 1-Year Warranty


Band MaterialSiliconeSiliconeSiliconeSilicone
Band Circumference5 to 8" / 127 to 204 mmNot Specified5 to 8.5" / 126 to 216 mm5.1 to 8.7" / 130 to 220 mm

Other Garmin Forerunner Serise 

The Garmin Forerunner 245 is Garmin’s take on an intermediate-class running watch. It has a long list of advanced functions that we earlier only saw in Garmin’s top models. This makes the Garmin Forerunner 245 an incredibly good running watch for the money. The vast majority of runners would find the Garmin Forerunner 245 satisfies their every need.

The watch can be found in two models: Garmin Forerunner 245 and Garmin Forerunner 245 Music. Both do exactly the same, except the Music model allows you to directly transfer music onto the watch – and therefore play music without the need for a smartphone close by.

The Garmin Forerunner 645 is Garmin’s high-end GPS running watch. It’s loaded with advanced training functions including Garmin Pay, which makes it possible to pay directly with the watch. 

The watch comes in two models: Garmin Forerunner 645 and Garmin Forerunner 645 Music. They are exactly the same watch, apart from the Music version allows you to transfer music directly to the watch – and therefore play music without the need for a smartphone close by.

Of their many running watches, Garmin’s Forerunner 45 is the easiest to use. Despite its simplicity, it has ALL the standard features you’d expect from a running watch - and much more.

The watch comes in two versions: The Garmin Forerunner 45 and the Garmin Forerunner 45S. The watches can do EXACTLY the same thing - the only difference is their physical size. The Garmin Forerunner 45S is slightly smaller than the Garmin Forerunner 45.

Garmin Forerunner 55 is a superb and affordable GPS-running watch - and a completely new update of Garmin Forerunner 45/45S. Garmin Forerunner 55 and the many new features, specific for running, makes it possible to improve as a runner and exerciser. 

Its a GPS-watch for the one who is looking to introduce more activity into his everyday life, learn more about his health in general and make training a regular part of his daily life.

Apple Watch 6 vs. Fitbit Sense vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Which is Best for You?

Complete Apple Watch Comparison Chart 2023 (Model, Generation, Size, Band, Price)

2021-07-10 02:066743