Garmin Forerunner 245 review

Garmin Forerunner 245 review

Last Updated on by Daniel Lawrence

After being out of the fitness band game for quite a while, Garmin has returned with the Forerunner 245. It’s a great-looking, great-sounding watch that I like a lot, but there are a few caveats. Read on to find out if it’s worth the money.

GARMIN FORERUNNER 245: The Competition

If you already own a Forerunner 235, should you purchase the Forerunner 245? We recommend you do so, as the Forerunner 245 has been significantly improved since its predecessor was released. In 2020, the Garmin Forerunner 245 is the best running watch for people who run, thanks to improvements in its hardware.

Garmin’s Forerunner 245 has improved on many key features compared to its predecessor. For example, its battery lasts twice as long as the FR 235’s (11 hours as opposed to a whopping 24 hours for the FR 245’s in GPS mode, though this figure drops to 6 if you get the 245 Music and use it as a Bluetooth music player as well).

In addition, the Forerunner 245’s screen has a higher resolution: it has 240 x 240 pixels, while the Forerunner 235’s only has 215 x 180 pixels. Also, the newer Forerunner weighs less than its predecessor (FR 235 – 42g, FR 245 – 38.5g).

We found Garmin’s Elevate heart rate sensor to be much more precise and reliable than the Forerunner 235’s optical heart rate sensor.

GARMIN FORERUNNER 245: Ergonomics and Build Quality

Garmin Forerunner 245 review

With the Garmin Forerunner 245, you can run in comfort. Even if you are not used to wearing watches on your runs, the Forerunner 245 won’t bother you, nor will it weigh you down.

As mentioned above, the Forerunner 245 has a higher resolution screen on a lighter and more compact body than its predecessor. In bright sunlight or overcast gloom, the 240 x 240-pixel memory-in-pixel display can be read easily.

This device is encased in a fiber-reinforced polymer case and protected by crack- and scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Since the Forerunner 245 is water-resistant to 5 ATMs, you don’t have to worry about ruining it if you sweat in the shower.

Unlike the fully touch-enabled Polar Ignite, the Garmin Forerunner 245 does not have a touchscreen. Instead, it is controlled by the five pushbuttons around the edge of the case, which, to be honest, is a better method. Using the Garmin Forerunner 245 won’t be difficult if you have used a Garmin watch before, but even if you haven’t, the button layout is quite ergonomic, especially if you are right-handed.

However, despite the watch being well-built, the combination of lightness and polymer (plastic) case doesn’t give it a sense of quality. Despite this, the Forerunner 245 does not feel cheap or flimsy. There’s no doubt it’s not as sturdy as the Garmin Forerunner 945, but that’s twice the price of the Forerunner 245.

GARMIN FORERUNNER 245: Features and Usability

fitness trackers

The Garmin Forerunner 245 is highly customizable, as are all Garmin smartwatches: you can customize the watch face, the activities list (even the activities themselves), the widget layout, controls, sensors, and anything else you can imagine.

Although it doesn’t have the most features, the Garmin Forerunner 245 still has a lot of useful features, and having access to the most useful ones can save you a lot of time when you are exercising. By pressing the quick access button, you can access all the main features, such as music, notifications, and more.

Garmin Forerunner 245 offers the ‘Training Status’ feature, which estimates your VO2 max and suggests recovery times after training. Additionally, the Training Status provides a ‘Race Predictor’ view where it estimates your race times based on your performance and fitness.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 has a few features that might appeal to casual fitness watch users: it displays your stress levels and your ‘Body Battery’, which identifies your energy level based on how much you rest or exercise.

It also features PulseOx, a non-invasive way to measure the saturation of oxygen in a person’s bloodstream. If you’d like to track that as well.

In addition to supporting smart notifications, the Garmin Forerunner 245 counts basic stats, such as steps taken and calories burned, just like any other fitness wearable.

We recommend the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music to runners who do not like carrying a phone while running but would like a bit of motivational soundtracking. All you need is a pair of the best running headphones to enjoy a light and smartphone-free running experience. Featuring six hours of battery life, Spotify playlist storage, GPS, and pulse tracking, this is the perfect running companion.

Precision and activity tracking

fitness tracker

There are three satellite systems that the Garmin Forerunner 245 can connect to GPS, Glonass, and Galileo. As you exercise outdoors, the watch picks up the signal quickly and doesn’t lose it. Since I tested the Forerunner in an urban environment, I cannot tell if it would perform similarly in rural areas, although I suspect it might.

As I tested the Garmin Forerunner 245, I did strange patterns, like sprinting back and forth and going off-road, to see if the GPS could keep up with me. It could, and in the map view of the run in the Garmin Connect app, I could see the zig-zag pattern in my virtual snail trail.

For a wrist-based device, the heart rate sensor is relatively accurate. It’s basically the same optical sensor in the Fenix 6/Forerunner 945, and that’s accurate enough for most uses, especially for HR averages. You might want to consider getting a heart rate monitor for even more accurate readings.

Running, Treadmill Running, Indoor Track Running, Trail Running, and more are all available out of the box with the Garmin Forerunner 245

Cycling, indoor cycling, swimming, strength training, cardio training, elliptical training, stair-stepping, rowing indoors, and yoga. Several options.

The Garmin Forerunner can only display three data fields at a time, but you can find more information by scrolling through the different screens using the navigation buttons on the side. Comparatively, the high-end Garmin Forerunner 945 and Fenix 6 Series can display up to six data fields on one screen. With these watches, you can customize what is shown in each set of data fields, so you get the information you want with less effort.

Pros Cons
Plenty of running and casual features The polymer case is sturdy but feels a bit cheap
Precise heart rate tracking (for a wrist-based sensor) A small screen can only display three real-time data fields
Fast and precise GPS chip
Good build quality


For whom is the Garmin Forerunner 245 designed? The Garmin Forerunner 245 is a great choice for runners of all abilities because of its affordable price point, a wide range of features for recreational and hardcore runners, and top-notch technology.

Thanks to its small and light hardware, it will fit well even on smaller, bonier wrists, and its weight of under 40 grams will not weigh anyone down. As a result of the compact form factor, the 240 x 240 pixel screen only supports three data fields on the screen, so if you need more real-time data while running, opt for a larger model such as the Forerunner 945 or even the Fenix 6.

Garmin Forerunner 245 is probably the best option for beginner runners who are just about to upgrade from a fitness tracker or smartwatch to a proper running watch. Garmin Coach and advanced running metrics can help these runners prepare for a longer race and run faster and more efficiently.

You can expect Garmin’s Forerunner 245 to get even more precise, capable, and feature-packed as time goes on. At its price, it is unbeatable.

My recommendation is the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music, which has built-in memory for music storage and Bluetooth connectivity to connect directly with running headphones.