We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites, this is at NO extra cost to you. These small fees allow us to create great content and keep striving to create better content.

Garmin Forerunner 245 Review

Garmin Forerunner 245 Review

GPS watches have become a favorite accessory among the running community. These wearable devices allow you to track performance, set new goals, and keep an eye on the metrics that can make a difference during a race.

Today we’re taking a closer look at a popular running watch in our Garmin Forerunner 245 review. Here’s what you need to know if you’re wondering if this mid-range watch is a good fit for you or if you’re hesitating between the Garmin 245 and Garmin 245 Music model.

  • Choose between the 245 and 245 Music model
  • Access a huge selection of performance metrics
  • Add more functionalities with the Connect IQ store
  • Wear a comfortable GPS watch with a stylish design
  • Read data easily thanks to the bright and colorful display


Garmin 245 Overview

We should start our Garmin Forerunner 245 review by stating that this wearable device stands out immediately thanks to its stylish and sporty design. It’s a performing smartwatch that you can use to monitor your performance, track activity levels, improve your running form, set goals, and more.

Garmin released the first products in the Forerunner series in 2003. The first smartwatch with music-playing capabilities was the Garmin 645, released in 2018. Garmin introduced a more affordable model that can play music in 2019 with the 245 model.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 introduces other innovations to the product line, including a new activity summary screen that makes your data easier to read at a glance and improvements to features like the Race Predictor and Training Status.

The Garmin 245 stands out from other GPS watches because it comes with all the core features you would expect from a Forerunner watch at an affordable price point. It delivers an outstanding mix of quality and value, stands out thanks to the accuracy of the GPS data and the wide selection of performance metrics you can track. We also like the dashboards that make data easy to read, even if you’re new to using a GPS watch.


  • Choose between the 245 and 245 Music model
  • Access a huge selection of performance metrics
  • Add more functionalities with the Connect IQ store
  • Wear a comfortable GPS watch with a stylish design
  • Read data easily thanks to the bright and colorful display


  • Some users don’t like the menu navigation
  • The owner’s manual isn’t very intuitive

What to Consider Before Buying the Garmin Forerunner 245

This running watch is your go-to accessory for tracking your speed, pace, distance, heart rate, calories burned, and so much more. It doubles as a smartwatch you can use to receive phone notification or control music playback on your iOS or Android device while running.

It’s an ideal option for anyone who is interested in seeing how their performance evolves over time. It’s perfect if you’re training for a race and need precise data to stay on track with your training program, but it’s also a fun watch to use if you want to be more active and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Here are a few questions to ask before purchasing the Garmin 245:

  • What are the key metrics you need to track when you work out?
  • What kind of activity profiles do you need? Will you use the watch primarily for running or other activities?
  • Will you wear the watch 24/7 or only use it when you work out?
  • Do you need the music storage and Wi-Fi connectivity features of the 245 Music model?
Built in Vo2 Max Feature
Vo2 Max is one of the many features the Garmin 245 has to track your health.

Top Features and Benefits of the Garmin 245/245 Music

The Garmin 245 is a performing GPS watch packed with features. Here are some of the key features and benefits you should know about.

Track Your Running Dynamics

Running Dynamics are one of the most interesting features for runners. The watch can track an impressive range of metrics that will help you improve your technique and posture when running. You can access precise insights about things like ground contact time, cadence, stride length, vertical oscillation, and more.


Running Dynamics are an advanced feature that paints a comprehensive picture of how you run to help you get to the next level.

Heart Rate, VO2 Max, and OX Sensor

The Garmin 245 comes with a number of features that help you track heart health. You can connect the watch to an ANT+ chest heart rate monitor to get more accurate results or rely on the wrist-based heart rate monitor to see how challenging your cardio workouts are.


You can track your heart rate 24/7 and see this data on a convenient dashboard.


The VO2 Max feature gives you an idea of the kind of performance you can expect when you start a workout or go for a run. This smart feature takes heat and altitude into account and will help you avoid overexertion.

The OX sensor is another interesting wrist-based feature. It estimates your blood oxygen saturation levels to give you an idea of how well your body absorbs oxygen while working out and resting.

Wrist Based Sensor Forerunner
Wrist Based Sensor on the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

Training Status and Training Load

The Training Status is one of the features the Garmin Forerunner 245 improves on. It’s a dashboard that looks back on recent activity. You can use the Training Status feature to pace yourself and make sure you stay on track for your fitness goals.


The Training Load is somewhat similar. It looks back at your activities from the past seven days and compares it to historical data. You need to use the GPS watch for a while to get the full benefit of this feature.


The Training Status and Training Load dashboards will help you challenge yourself and prevent you from relapsing if you have been progressing.

Training Load feature on the Forerunner


The Garmin 245 doesn’t come with full GPS maps, but the watch has some simple navigation features. You can track your route on a map when you go for a job and save some locations. The watch has a built-in navigation feature you can use to get home.


You can switch from different GPS datasets, including GPS navigation, GPS and GLONASS, and GPS and GALILEO. Having access to these different systems ensures optimal coverage anywhere in the world.


You can get more out of the built-in GPS by installing apps and widgets from the Connect IQ store. There are apps and widgets that give you access to GPS maps and other navigation functionalities.

GPS Map feature on the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

Plan Your Workouts with the Sports Apps and Garmin Coach Plans

The Sports apps allow you to select different activity profiles to get accurate fitness tracking depending on the type of workout you’re doing. The Garmin 245 includes activity profiles for running, cycling, swimming, indoor rowing, elliptical, and more. These different Sports apps make the watch more versatile and improve the quality of the data.


Another feature you can use to plan your workouts is the Body Battery Energy Monitor. This monitor tracks your activity levels and performance to give you an idea of when you should exercise and when you should rest.


You can get more from this GPS watch with the Garmin Coach Plans. It’s a connected feature that syncs data from your watch with the Garmin Connect app installed on your phone or tablet. You can access training plants developed by professional coaches and use data from your watch to stay on track. We like this feature because it’s a simple and accessible way to train for a race while following advice from professionals.

Activity Profiles on the Garmin 245

Connected and Safety Features

One of the benefits of wearing a smartwatch when you run or exercise outdoors is to stay safe and connected. You can sync your Forerunner watch with any iOS or Android device to receive notifications on your wrist and never miss anything important.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 has a built-in incident detection feature. If the watch detects a fall, it can text or email an emergency contact with your location. It’s a useful feature if you often go for runs alone, but you can turn it off if you decide you don’t need it.


There are other features that help you stay connected, like the LiveTrack functionality that allows friends and family to follow your activities in real-time, or the Live Even Tracking feature you can use to share updates during a workout or event.

Forerunner 245 Assistance

Connect IQ Store and Garmin Connect App

You can get more from the Garmin 245/245 Music thanks to the Connect IQ store and the Garmin Connect app.

Install the Garmin Connect app on your mobile device and sync it with your watch to review your data, create workout plans, see your performance and records, and earn badges. You can compare your performance and progress with other users if you need motivation.

The Garmin Connect app provides you with a convenient dashboard where you can see all the metrics the watch measures and some helpful built-in tools for setting and achieving goals.

The Connect IQ store is a platform where you can download apps, widgets, and faces for your watch. There are plenty of fun options for customizing your watch, and you can even find games. The Connect IQ store also has some useful products, including watch faces that display more data, weather widgets, GPS apps, and more.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 has a beautiful and sleek design

Build, Display, and Battery

The Garmin 245 is a durable investment with its sweatproof silicone band and Gorilla glass face. The watch has a sleek and low profile that is perfect for an active lifestyle, and it has a water-resistance rating of 5ATM. You can wear the watch when swimming or showering without damaging it.

The watch features a 42mm case and a display with a resolution of 240×240 pixels.

The battery lasts for seven days in watch mode and 24 hours in activity tracking mode. The battery of the 245 Music watch lasts up to eight hours if you listen to music while tracking a workout.

You can get a better idea of what the watch looks and feels like in this YouTube video.

245 Music equipped with Spotify

Garmin 245 Music

The Garmin 245 Music watch costs a little more than the standard 245 model. It comes with storage for 500 songs and Wi-Fi connectivity.

You can use the Garmin 245 Music to download and store songs and podcasts from Spotify and other apps. The standard model allows you to control music playback from your phone, but it can’t store music.

This YouTube video will show you how to set up Spotify on the 245 Music watch.

What People Are Saying 

The Garmin 245/245 Music has received an overwhelming number of positive reviews and is a favorite among the running community.

Forerunner 245 Reviews Google 4.5 Starts

Best Alternatives to Consider

Choosing a GPS watch is an important decision. Here are a few additional products to consider if you don’t think the Garmin 245 is the right fit for you.

Garmin 235

The Garmin 235 comes with the same core features at a lower price. It’s an older model from 2015, but it’s still popular among runners.

It’s a little slimmer than the 245 model. It uses an early generation heart rate sensor that is slightly less accurate, and you won’t find features like the Body Battery. There is a smaller selection of metrics to track, and the Garmin 235 focuses on running and cycling.

Polar Vantage M

We recommend the Polar Vantage M if you would like to explore other brands. The Polar Vantage M features a unique athletic design and comes with 130 different sport profiles with settings you can customize.

The watch delivers more detailed metrics for activities like swimming and comes with built-in breathing exercises and a fitness test.

Garmin 645

The Garmin 645 is a high-end GPS watch from Garmin. Like the 245, it comes in a standard and music model.

The Garmin 645 has some additional features, including a barometric altimeter that is interesting if you want to go rock climbing or run on inclines. It introduces an additional running power metric and comes with more exercise modes, including skiing and snowboarding.

The Garmin 645 also comes with the Garmin Pay functionality so that you can use the watch to make contactless payments.


We should end our Garmin 245 review by reiterating that the Garmin 245 is a great all-around GPS watch that delivers accurate activity tracking, keeps you connected while exercising outdoors, and helps you tailor your exercise program to your unique goals and level.

We recommend this watch because it’s one of the best values for the money in the Forerunner product line. It stands out thanks to the huge selection of metrics you can track and the accuracy of the data. Being able to store your favorite songs with the 245 Music watch is another benefit.

Click here to see the Garmin 245 or the Garmin 245 Music.

Picture of Robby McClung

Robby McClung

This article was written by Robby McClung and the editorial staff of the Canaan Valley Running Company

  • Choose between the 245 and 245 Music model
  • Access a huge selection of performance metrics
  • Add more functionalities with the Connect IQ store
  • Wear a comfortable GPS watch with a stylish design
  • Read data easily thanks to the bright and colorful display

Related Posts

Running Watch Guides