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Garmin Forerunner 235 vs 245

Garmin Forerunner 235 vs 245

As technology continues to advance, there are more products available to track metrics important to athletes. With the simple addition of a small watch, you can take your running game to the next level. 

One of the top producers of athletic watches is Garmin, who has been in business for the past couple of decades. One of their most popular products is the Forerunner 235, but the newer Garmin 245 model may steal the show. Today we will be comparing the Garmin Forerunner 235 vs. Garmin Forerunner 245 to help you find the best running watch.

Garmin Forerunner 235

  • Smart notifications about email, texts, events, and calls
  • Heart-rate sensor 
  • 11-hour battery life while training
  • Customize watch and training analytics


Garmin Forerunner 245

  • Includes safety features in case of an emergency
  • Customize the watch with apps
  • Offers advanced running analytics
  • Let’s you know if you are pushing yourself too far


About Garmin Forerunner Watches

The Garmin company started in 1989 and has focused on creating GPS technology for everything from aviation to automobiles. In 2001, Garmin registered the Forerunner name and started producing the first Forerunner watchings in 2003. 


Since then, they have produced dozens of models, each one sporting the newest technology. The Forerunner 235 came out in 2015, and they released the Garmin 245 model more recently in 2019. 


Both watches are ideal for athletes, specifically runners, that want to track metrics while they exercise. The Forerunner 235 model has been prevalent for the last several years, so we’re going to look at whether the Garmin 245 model lives up to its predecessor. 


Before we dig into each watch’s details, let’s get the main idea of what each model offers.

Forerunner 235 vs 245

Overview of the Garmin Forerunner 235

The Garmin 235 is a running watch with numerous features from a weather widget to smart notifications from your email and social media. The VO2 Max estimates the amount of oxygen you can use for each physical activity. Plus, the activity-tracking features give you essential data about distance traveled, calories burned, and steps taken


Key Features:

  • Smart notifications about email, texts, events, and calls
  • Heart-rate sensor 
  • 11-hour battery life while training
  • Customize watch and training analytics
Key Features Garmin Forerunner 235

Overview of the Garmin Forerunner 245

As one of the newer Garmin models, the Forerunner 245 has a sleek appearance with detailed analytics. The running analytics track your stride, vertical oscillation, and cadence, among other things. In addition to staying connected with your friends and loved ones, you can share your location in an emergency.


Key Features:


  • Includes safety features in case of an emergency
  • Customize the watch with apps
  • Offers advanced running analytics
  • Let’s you know if you are pushing yourself too far


One prominent feature of the Forerunner 245 is that there are two separate models: the generic 245 described above and the 245 Music


The Forerunner 245 Music includes the features listed above plus the ability to sync your playlists. You can either transfer your 500 favorite tunes directly to the watch or stream music from Deezer and Spotify. 


While the 245 Music model is quite popular, we will focus on the regular Forerunner 245 model for the rest of this article when comparing it to the 235. 

Key Features for the Garmin Forerunner 245

Garmin Forerunner 235 vs. 245: Design

When we compare the Garmin 235 vs. 245, many of the physical design aspects are the same, but the 245 has some more advanced features. 


The Forerunner 235 measures 45 mm x 45 mm x 11.7 mm. The newer 245 model is comparable, with measurements of 42.3 mm x 42.3 mm x 12.2 mm. 


The 235 model actually has a larger display size. The screen is 31.1 mm in diameter, while the 245 watch only has a 30.4 mm diameter. However, the smaller display screen may be easier to read because the resolution is 240 x 240 pixels, a significant improvement from the 215 x 180-pixel resolution found in the Forerunner 235. 


The slightly smaller dimensions of the Forerunner 245 gives it a more lightweight feel. The total weight is 38.5 grams or less than one-tenth of a pound. The previous 235 model weighs only a few grams more, totaling 42 grams. 


The material of a sports watch is crucial to its durability. You want a product that will survive through weather changes, any accidental falls, and even sweating.


Both the 235 and the 245 have a silicone strap. However, the Forerunner 245 has 20 quick release bands. 


The Garmin company replaced the chemically strengthened glass of the Forerunner 235 model with the heavy-duty Corning Gorilla Glass 3 of the Garmin 245 watch. Plus, the fiber-reinforced polymer bezel surrounding the display screen adds an extra level of protection. 


Even with the improvement of the lens material, both watches have the same type of display. Whether you get the 235 or the 245, you will be able to read the information on the screen in direct sunlight. Plus, they both have transflective memory-in-pixel displays.


Both Forerunner watches are incredibly water-resistant. Garmin has seven water ratings for each of their products, and these watches rank on the 5th level. Their ranking is 5 ATM, or suitable for swimming. The watches can survive water pressure up to 50 meters deep. In other words, you can use these watches while running in the rain and snow, showering, and even snorkeling. 


Interestingly, the Forerunner 235 has a longer battery life when in Smartwatch Mode. You can use it for up to nine days, while the 245 model only lasts for seven days in the same mode. 


Now, if you switch them both over to the GPS mode, the 245 watch wins with a battery life of 24 hours, more than double the 11-hour life of the Forerunner 235. 


When it comes to storing information, the Forerunner 235 and 245 can store up to 200 hours of activity data.

Garmin 235 Better Battery than the Garmin 245

Garmin Forerunner 235 vs. 245: Features

While the designs of these two Garmin watches are relatively comparable, the most important thing to consider when comparing the Garmin Forerunner 235 vs. Garmin Forerunner 245 is the athletic features. 


Even though the Garmin 235 had extensive metric tracking, the Garmin 245 takes those features to the next level. 


Let’s start with the basics. Any watch, even a sleek sports watch, needs to have the essential clock features. Both the 235 and the 245 models have the following features:


  • Date and Time
  • Stopwatch
  • Automatic switch to accommodate Daylight Saving Time 
  • Alarm clock
  • GPS time sync


The only improvements the Forerunner 245 made on the clock features include a timer and the local times for the sunrise and sunset

Health Monitoring

The Forerunner 235 has basic health monitoring features. It tracks your heartbeat every second – even when you sleep! – and records your resting heart rate. 


You can access the extra features that track your hydration levels and menstrual cycle through Garmin Connect. 


With the newer Forerunner 245 model, you get all of these features, plus some extras. Not only does it track your heart rate, but it also alerts you if your heartbeat is abnormally high or low. Also, you can check your blood oxygen saturation and stress level throughout the day. 


The Garmin 245 also has a unique Body Battery energy monitor that tells you how much energy you still have on a scale of 1 to 100. This calculation comes from analyzing your stress level, how much activity you have done, and your heart rate variability.


Other exciting features include accessing your fitness age in the app and using a timer for relaxation breathing exercises.


Since both the Garmin 235 and 245 can track multiple areas of your health, they need to have high-quality sensors. Each watch includes an accelerometer and a wrist heart rate monitor. Additionally, they have advanced GPS sensors to track your location and record how far you’ve traveled.


Only the Garmin 245 has the Pulse OX blood oxygen monitor. Plus, it also includes a compass and another GPS called Galileo.

Smart Features

In terms of smart features, the watches are reasonably similar. Both include the following features:


  • Connect IQ
  • Notifications 
  • Calendar access
  • Updates on weather
  • Find my phone feature
  • VIRB remote
  • Compatibility with your iPhone or Android
  • Control your smartphone music
  • Ability to pair with Garmin Connect Mobile


The only main change on the Foreman 245 watch is that you can respond to texts and phone calls with a text message. However, this feature is only available with Android phones.

Phone Calls, Emails, Texts, Garmin 235 vs 245

Safety Tracker

One of the main selling points of the Garmin 245 is its improved safety features. The previous Forerunner 235 watch only had the live track feature. This newer version lets you share live events with your Android phone and even has an accident detection feature for certain activities. You can even contact emergency assistance straight from your watch.

Activity Tracking

The general activity tracking features have remained the same between the Forerunner 235 and 245. Each watch includes all of the following trackers:


  • Calories burned
  • Step counter
  • Distance
  • Daily goals set by the watch
  • Intensity minutes
  • Move bar
  • TrueUp, which lets you since tracking data across multiple devices


The only change between the 235 and 245 watches is the new Move IQ, which recognizes activity patterns and tags them. 

Workout Metrics

Finally, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty workout features! This area is where Garmin made the vast majority of changes in the Garmin 235 vs. 245 watches. 


Only the Forerunner 245 has specific metrics for working out at the gym. You can track your strength and cardio workouts, as well as have automatic rep counts. Select your activity profile and start recording the metrics. The available profiles include stair-stepping, strength, cardio and elliptical training, and indoor rowing and yoga. 

Training and Planning

The Garmin watches offer a wealth of features to set your desired goals and choose what you would like to analyze. Each watch has over 20 settings, including everything from your heart rate zones to custom alerts to downloadable training plans. 


The Foreman 245 has several new features. One of the more prominent aspects is your training status, which shows you if your workouts are effective. Other usual settings include a virtual partner, course guidance, and Physio TrueUp.

training status


Runners often use Garmin Forerunner watches to track their workout information. When they designed the Forerunner 245 model, Garmin considered what other metrics runners would like to follow. As such, the 245 watch has several new tracking features specifically for running. 


In addition to the GPS-based distance, run workouts, and race predictors, the Garmin 245 has several advanced features. You can track how much bounce you have when you run, the contact time with the ground, and your stride length. Plus, the watch helps you track what your physical condition is after running.


The Garmin 235 includes general cycling profiles, alerts, and cadence sensors for cyclists, but the Forerunner 245 has several improved features. It offers you different biking courses and races, and the watch is also compatible with Varia Vision. 


Even though you can use the Forerunner 235 underwater, it has no special features for any water activities. 


The Forerunner 245 offers swimming profiles, drill logging, general swimming metrics, and automatic detection of the stroke type. The watch also tracks your underwater heart rate and your swimming efficiency.

Swim Features Garmin 235 vs 245

Outdoor Activities

For general activities like hiking, both watch models measure your distance to destination. The Forerunner 245 includes several extra settings, like navigation, GPS coordinates, and a breadcrumb trail to guide you back to your starting point. 

Garmin Forerunner 235 vs. Garmin Forerunner 245: What’s the Verdict?

Garmin Forerunner 235

  • Smart notifications about email, texts, events, and calls
  • Heart-rate sensor 
  • 11-hour battery life while training
  • Customize watch and training analytics


Garmin Forerunner 245

  • Includes safety features in case of an emergency
  • Customize the watch with apps
  • Offers advanced running analytics
  • Let’s you know if you are pushing yourself too far


The Forerunner 235 has been a favorite watch among athletes for years, and for a good reason. It includes numerous workout features, sensors, and tracking abilities. 


However, the Forerunner 245 has dozens of new features that accommodate various types of athletes and track even more aspects of your health. 


In the Garmin Forerunner 235 vs. 245 battle, the Garmin 245 clearly takes the lead.


Nevertheless, the Forerunner 235 is still a viable option for you if you are not looking for a watch with extra features. This older model’s price is almost half that of the 245, making it a cheaper option that still has dozens of useful features. 


At the end of the day, the perfect watch comes down to what you need. The Forerunner 245 is an incredible option for dedicated athletes and people looking to track their health and workouts in great detail. On the other hand, the Garmin 235 is a quality option at a lower price for people that don’t need the added features. 

Picture of Robby McClung

Robby McClung

This article was written by the editorial staff of the Canaan Valley Running Company and Robby McClung. Robby is the founder of the Canaan Valley Running Company. You can read more in the about section of the website on Robby and the Canaan Valley Running Company.

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