Garmin Forerunner 245 vs 945 Comparison: Which Watch Should You Buy and Why?


Garmin Forerunner 245 vs 945

Garmin has cornered the market for running watches with the incredibly popular Forerunner line of smartwatches. Both the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music and the Garmin Forerunner 945 are similar, yet different in what the models offer users.

The Forerunner 245 Music is an updated version of the previous Forerunner 245 model and the Forerunner 945 takes those enhancements and expands further in terms of activity tracking and enhanced heart rate monitor technology.

But which watch should you buy?

The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music and the Garmin Forerunner 945 both offer versatile and enhanced features related to music storage.

The main differences between the two models come down to size variations and activity-tracking features; the Forerunner 945 is larger and has more features.

Both of these Forerunner smartwatches score high marks in all the essential key points for rating a fitness watch. This article will explore everything that needs to be known about both products, with a specific emphasis on what makes the watches different from one another.

Read on to find out more and discover which is better suited to your needs.

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music vs 945

What is the Difference Between Garmin 245 and 945?

In terms of overall performance metrics, the Garmin Forerunner 945 is more geared towards serious athletes, specifically triathletes. The Garmin Forerunner 245 is more suited towards a beginner or intermediate fitness level.

Both of these watches are so similar in terms of basic features and similarities in music storage that it can be hard to say that one is better than the other. The bezel of both watches is similar in size, yet the band on the Garmin Forerunner 245 has full color in comparison to the standard black color of the Garmin Forerunner 945.

Garmin Forerunner 245 is not as durable in terms of scratch resistance as the Forerunner 945 features corning gorilla glass dx, which is surprisingly left out of the Forerunner 245 design specs that features the less durable corning gorilla glass 3.

Both watches feature the ability to sync music. Unlike other Forerunner models, both the Forerunner 245 Music and the Forerunner 945 allows you to sync music to your onboard storage system right inside of the software of the phone. You can sync your Spotify playlist or choose to use a preprogrammed playlist specification if you are on the run and don’t have time to sync your favorite songs to the music storage portal.

Both watches can be labeled as a GPS watch; however, the Forerunner 945 has more routable maps. With the Forerunner 945, you can customize maps and routes with GPS Glonass and Galileo protocols which allow it to track in a wider range of environments and terrain than what can be achieved with traditional GPS technology. The mapping technology aids training effect capabilities and is colored and interactive, which allows you to receive even more detailed and visually attractive routes based on your location.

Hardware Forerunner 245 Music Forerunner 945
GPS: How far, how fast, where
+ GLONASS, Galileo
+ GLONASS, Galileo
Weight
42g
50g
Battery
7 days watch mode, 24 hours in GPS, 10 hours GPS + Music
2 weeks watch mode, 36 hours in GPS, 10 hours GPS + Music, 60 hours UltraTrac
Color sunlight-readable screen
TOPO maps with popularity routing
Health monitoring: steps, calories, distance, sleep, intensity minutes
+ all-day stress, body battery
+ floors climbed, all-day stress, body battery
Elevate 24/7 wrist heart rate
Barometer
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A Closer Look

Both Watches feature pulse oximetry data. Like most models in the Garmin Forerunner series,  Both the Garmin Forerunner 945 and the Garmin Forerunner 245 also analyze heart rate, heart performance conditioning with vo2 max, and heart rate with oximetry data to provide variability based on a wide range of different performance types. This feature gives real-time assessments of how you are performing during your workout and how long you can continue before you reach various thresholds.

There is a major difference between the two models when it comes to the number of preloaded activity profiles that are accessible. The Forerunner 945  is designed to appeal to a wide range of fitness activities; open water swimming, heat, and altitude metrics during outdoor training and incident detection with a strong body battery allow you to maintain a strong training lead focus with milestones and suggestions along the way.

The final major difference between the Garmin Forerunner 245 and the Garmin Forerunner 945 is the number of different activities that are possible between the two. Simply put, the Garmin Forerunner 945 is great for triathletes. This model is designed with users in mind who want the knowledge that their smartwatch will be able to keep up with a wide range of performance statistics across a triathlon if need be. Performance tracking settings that measure blood oxygen metrics with pulse oximeter technology are a particular standout.

Through updated and improved features to measure cadence, ground contact time, stride lengths, and all of the capabilities that sync with accurate heart rate readings and performance statistics, the Garmin Forerunner 945 goes beyond the basic performance tracking features of the Garmin Forerunner 245.

Performance Forerunner 245 Music Forerunner 945
Preloaded sport functions, run, bike, treadmill, walk
+ cardio, strength training, yoga, pool swimming and more
+ cardio, strength training, yoga, pool swim, open water swim, rowing, track and more
Training features: alerts, auto pause, auto lap, customizable screen, personal records.
+ interval training, training effect, training status, training load and performance condition
+ workouts, interval training, training plans, training effect, training status, training load, training load focus
Garmin Coach + workout and training plan compatible
Heart rate analysis: shows heart rate zone, VO2 max
+ recovery time
+ recovery time, HRV stress test, lactate threshold, performance condition
Triathlon race mode
Advanced dynamics
run
swim, bike, run
Sensor compatibility: foot pod, HRM
+ bike speed/cadence, Varia
+ bike speed/cadence, bike power, Varia, Running Dynamics pod
Navigational features
+ courses, back to start
+ save locations, follow courses, where am I, compass, custom POIs, follow tracks and routes, back to start
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Garmin Forerunner 245 vs 945 – Which One Is Better?

So, what is the determining factor between these two models?

Battery longevity is one deciding factor and the Forerunner 945 has a subpar battery life when compared to the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music. Unfortunately, the Forerunner 945 just doesn’t do well with battery life capabilities, especially when compared to the 7 days of battery life you can get with the Forerunner 245. This can be expected though due to the increased amount of superior features that have been added to the Forerunner 945.

Another negative leveled against the Forerunner 945 is that it just doesn’t work well with other apps. One of the convenient abilities that come with some smartwatches is the ability to customize the watch with other apps that track running or jogging in ways that you enjoy. With the Forerunner 945, you have to use its settings exclusively.

But even with these minor inconveniences, the Garmin Forerunner 945 does safely emerge as the better choice between the two models. However, it can be said that many of the features that can be accessed with the Forerunner 945 can be closely modified with the Forerunner 245 by using the Garmin Coach app.

The Garmin Forerunner 945 is brimming with many additional settings, and the improvements upon the design scheme of the watch are also great.

With many additions to measure training effect, recovery time, trail running metrics, and race predicting for triathlons, the Forerunner 945 stands above the features available on the Forerunner 245.

Should You Buy the Garmin 245 or 945 GPS Running Watch?

In terms of price, the Forerunner 945 is a more expensive GPS running watch.

However, if you want a GPS running watch that builds upon the enhancements seen in the Forerunner 245, the 945 model is certainly a better investment.

The Forerunner 945 is all about improving upon past exclusions in this popular Garmin line, and with this in mind, this makes the Forerunner 945 a great investment as this will likely turn out to be the only Forerunner model that you will ever need.

Garmin 245 vs 945 Comparison Chart

There are many small variations between the two models as well, which are covered in this handy comparison chart. Use these details to make a quick comparison between the two models before you decide on the best model.

Connected Features Forerunner 245 Music Forerunner 945
Full smart notifications
Connect IQ Store
Garmin Pay
Music storage and playback, Spotify and Deezer support
Up to 500 songs (music version only)
Up to 1000 songs
Safety and awareness features
Live Track, Incident Detection, Assistance
Live Track, Incident Detection, Assistance
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Should I buy the 245 or 945 for triathlon training?

If you are a triathlete, the Garmin Forerunner 945 is the better choice. The Garmin Forerunner 945 is designed with users in mind who want the knowledge that their smartwatch will be able to keep up with a wide range of performance statistics across a triathlon if need be

Q: Does Garmin 245 and 945 have maps?

Both the Garmin Forerunner 245 and the Garmin Forerunner 945 have access to maps. The Forerunner 945 is better across the board due to the inclusion of colored maps that are available with a wi-fi connection. You can also create and edit useful routes with the Forerunner 945. The mapping details on the Forerunner 245 are not as visually appealing and only allow for path tracking and navigation.

Q: Is Garmin 245 and 945 waterproof?

Both the Garmin Forerunner 245 and the Garmin Forerunner 945 are waterproof up to 50 meters, therefore, you can safely shower or even swim with both models. Care should be taken not to completely submerge the watches in water beyond 50 meters as the increased pressure could damage the watches.

Q: Do these watches work with Spotify Music?

In your Garmin Connect App, you can now access connectivity sync via Wifi from your Spotify account to both the Garmin Forerunner 945 and the Forerunner 245. You can easily play your desired Spotify playlists right on your watch.

Q: Can you track a golf game with the 245 and 945?

No, you can only track golf with the Garmin Forerunner 945 and not the Garmin Forerunner 245.

You may also be interested in: Garmin Forerunner 645 vs 945 Side by Side Comparison

With all of these similarities and differences in mind, you may notice that both watches are far too similar to make a final choice. The best way to make the decision is to remember what each smartwatch is designed for. If you are a professional athlete or an advanced triathlete, you can easily go for the Garmin Forerunner 945. If you are a bit less advanced in terms of fitness training, the Garmin 245 Music is a great choice.

Both watches have stellar GPS mode with music settings that are sure to make your fitness routine easier and enjoyable. However, it would help to use GPS mode without music with the Forerunner 245 to help increase battery performance capabilities.

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Andy Brooks

As a running enthusiast, I found it frustrating that there were limited review sites available willing to give me an honest opinion on the latest technology to aid my hobby. I am certainly not trendy (my kids will testify to that), however I am an early adopter and just love getting my hands on the most up-to-date gadgets.

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