Last month, Garmin Philippines sent me the new Forerunner 245 Music running smartwatch for a two-week testing period. While I’ve owned several iterations of the Forerunner running watch, I currently use a 920XT which doesn’t feature the optical heart rate sensor central to the Forerunners’ new features. (Check out my previous blog post about the new Forerunner watches.)
Here’s my vlog review detailing my experience with the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music running watch.
The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is available in black, aqua, or the Southeast Asia exclusive Lava Red colorways for P24,595. It’s a combination smartwatch and GPS running watch for the runner who likes staying connected.
In particular I was impressed by how Garmin uses the wrist-based HRM, which was within two beats of an optical heart rate sensor from a competing brand and within two beats of a chest-strap based HRM. I loved the freedom of no longer having a chest strap binding my breathing, or forgetting the sensor. The watch also picked up other sensors quite well, like the Garmin speed sensor on my bike’s rear wheel.
The info from all-day heart rate feeds into Garmin’s proprietary Stress Level and Body Battery analyses, which uses heart rate variability and lets you see how fatigued you are and strategize your recovery accordingly.
I also appreciated that sleep resting heart rate and blood oxygenation data was available for free on Garmin Connect; the competing wearable platform offers theirs at a premium.
Anyone who’s ever run with music from your phone playing over bluetooth headphones knows how much this kills the phone’s battery life. The 245 Music’s distinguishing feature is its capability of storing music for use even when it’s not connected to your phone, which was glorious for those occasions when I wanted to run as light as possible.
It’s also a very well-rounded activity tracker, allowing you to record not just swim, bike, and run, but also yoga, weights, and other forms of exercise. In fact, the only complaint I had about the 245 Music was its inability to track multisport activity. But I guess that’s reserved for the Forerunner 945, the top of the new Forerunner line.
One major drawback which this Forerunner shares with other Garmin wearable devices is its inability to sync step count with other fitness platforms like Google Fit. If you use other apps that incentivize step count for rewards (like GCash Forest, Pokemon Go, etc.), you can’t use Garmin products to collect the step count for you. Bummer.
Overall, if you plan on doing just one kind of activity at a time, this GPS running smartwatch has it all for you.