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Best Garmin GPS running watches in 2020 | Forerunner Series | See differences here

Best Garmin GPS running watches in 2020 | Forerunner Series | See differences here

Se Jesper Petersen's profil
 By Jesper Petersen

 

 

Garmin make probably the market's best running watches. Their Forerunner watches are a series of dedicated GPS running watches. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or elite runner, you’ll find the watch you’re after among their Forerunner series.

In this article you’ll learn about the differences between the Garmin Forerunner 45Garmin Forerunner 245 MusicGarmin Forerunner 645 MusicGarmin Forerunner 735XT and the Garmin Forerunner 945.

Take a look at our guide to choosing a Garmin running watch below.

 

    

OVERVIEW

This article consists of the following headlines. You can click on any of the headlines to go directly to that section.

- COMPARISON OF THE GARMIN FORERUNNER SERIES - TABLE

- GARMIN FORERUNNER 45 / 45S

- GARMIN FORERUNNER 245 MUSIC

- GARMIN FORERUNNER 645 MUSIC

- GARMIN FORERUNNER 735XT

- GARMIN FORERUNNER 945

  

  

COMPARISON OF THE GARMIN FORERUNNER SERIES

Here you can find a clear overview of what all the GPS running watches in Garmin’s FORERUNNER series can actually do, as we compare the Garmin Forerunner 45, Garmin Forerunner 245 Music, Garmin Forerunner 645 Music, Garmin Forerunner 735XT, and the Garmin Forerunner 945.

  

garmin forerunner 45 vs forerunner 245 music vs forerunner 645 music vs forerunner 735xt vs forerunner 945

    

  


 

   

GARMIN FORERUNNER 45 / 45S

Of their many running watches, Garmin’s Forerunner 45 is the easiest to use. Despite its simplicity, it has ALL the standard features you’d expect from a running watch - and much more.

The watch comes in two versions: The Garmin Forerunner 45 and the Garmin Forerunner 45S. The watches can do EXACTLY the same thing - the only difference is their physical size. The Garmin Forerunner 45S is slightly smaller than the Garmin Forerunner 45.

Recommended for: The Garmin Forerunner 45 is an affordable running watch for beginners and athletes looking for a relatively simple running watch.

garmin forerunner 45 / 45S

   

GARMIN FORERUNNER 45 ADVANTAGES:

- Measures all the basics: Distance, Pace/Tempo, Time, Heart rate.

- Optical heart rate monitor at the wrist.

- Fitness assessment (VO2 Max).

- Activity tracker features: Step counter, Sleep, Calories, Estimated distance, Stress, Energy level measuring (Body Battery).

- Smart notifications: Incoming calls, messages, reminders etc. directly on the watch. 

- Music: Control music on your smartphone from the watch. 

- Safety and tracking features (Incident Detection).

- FREE adaptive training plans through GARMIN COACH.

- Activity profiles for Running, Treadmill, Cycling, Walking, Cardio, Indoor running, Indoor cycling (spinning), Indoor walking, Elliptical (Cross-training), Stepper, Yoga, and more.

- Easy to use.

- Affordable.

  

GARMIN FORERUNNER 45 DISADVANTAGES:

- Lack of advanced training features and data.

- No Garmin Music, Garmin Pay, or built-in maps.

- Not possible to download apps or widgets from Garmin Connect IQ (app store).

   

Read more about Garmin Forerunner 45 and purchase here:

Buy Garmin Forerunner 45 here 

 

  

    


 

   

GARMIN FORERUNNER 245 MUSIC

The Garmin Forerunner 245 is Garmin’s take on an intermediate-class running watch. It has a long list of advanced functions that we earlier only saw in Garmin’s top models. This makes the Garmin Forerunner 245 an incredibly good running watch for the money. The vast majority of runners would find the Garmin Forerunner 245 satisfies their every need.

The watch can be found in two models: Garmin Forerunner 245 and Garmin Forerunner 245 Music. Both do exactly the same, except the Music model allows you to directly transfer music onto the watch – and therefore play music without the need for a smartphone close by.

Recommended for: The Garmin Forerunner 245 is a great running watch that will meet the criteria of the majority of runners - regardless of experience.

 

garmin forerunner 245 music

  

GARMIN FORERUNNER 245 ADVANTAGES:

- Has EVERYTHING the Garmin Forerunner 45 has.

Plus:

- Larger display (1.2” vs 1.04”).

- Changeable strap/band (Quick release)

- Longer battery life in GPS mode.

- Electronic compass.

- Pulse Ox sensor (measures oxygen levels in the blood).

- Full Connect IQ compatibility (Download watch faces, data fields, widgets, and apps).

- Music storage on the watch – Spotify compatible (Premium account needed) – Only on the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music.

- Diverse activity profiles incl. Swimming (pool).

- Advanced training features (Training status, Training effect, Training load, Recovery time). 

- Virtual partner (train against a digital profile).

- Navigation/Outdoor functions (Point-to-point, follow a route, back to start, GPS coordinates, UltraTrac mode).

- PacePro pacing guidance.

- Running dynamics (when used with accessories such as heart rate monitors or foot sensors).

- Run calculator.

- Built-in swimming functions.

  

GARMIN FORERUNNER 245 DISADVANTAGES:

- No Garmin Pay.

- Lacks the most advanced training features and data.

- No barometric altimeter, which measures precise altitude.

- No built-in map or real navigation.

- Not many activity profiles – lacks e.g. triathlon profile.

  

Read more about Garmin Forerunner 245 and purchase here:

Buy Garmin Forerunner 245 here

    

   

 


 

     

GARMIN FORERUNNER 645 MUSIC

The Garmin Forerunner 645 is Garmin’s high-end GPS running watch. It’s loaded with advanced training functions including Garmin Pay, which makes it possible to pay directly with the watch. 

The watch comes in two models: Garmin Forerunner 645 and Garmin Forerunner 645 Music. They are exactly the same watch, apart from the Music version allows you to transfer music directly to the watch – and therefore play music without the need for a smartphone close by.

Recommended for: The Garmin Forerunner 645 is a running watch for the serious runner, who’s looking for advanced training statistics and functions, and the ability to pay for goods with the watch.

garmin forerunner 645 music

   

GARMIN FORERUNNER 645 ADVANTAGES:

- Can do (for the most part) everything the Forerunner 45 and Forerunner 245 can do.

Plus:

- Garmin Pay: Use the watch to pay for goods where contactless payment is possible.

- Estimated acid threshold (anaerobic threshold).

- Barometric altimeter (air pressure change): More precise elevation data and height profile.

- Bezel in rust-free stainless steel.

- Strava live segments compatible (Strava Premium account needed).

- Outdoor activity profiles: Skiing, Snowboarding, XC-skiing, Stand up paddleboarding, Rowing.

  

GARMIN FORERUNNER 645 DISADVANTAGES:

- Missing a few training functions found on the Forerunner 945 and Fenix 6 series.

- No built-in map or real navigation.

- Not many activity profiles – lacks e.g. triathlon profile.

   

Read more about Garmin Forerunner 645 and purchase here:

Buy Garmin Forerunner 645 here

   

     

 


  

    

GARMIN FORERUNNER 735XT

The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is the final watch in the Forerunner series that is yet to be updated. On the other hand, that means you get a great choice of functions for an attractive price. The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is the best ”cheap” triathlon watch on the market.

Recommended for: If you’re looking for an advanced GPS multi-sports watch with built-in triathlon features, the Garmin Forerunner 735XT is the watch for you.

 

garmin forerunner 735xt 

 

GARMIN FORERUNNER 735XT ADVANTAGES:

- Multi-sports watch.

- Triathlon activity profile.

- Supports the HRM-Swim heart rate monitor. 

- Advanced swimming, cycling, and running dynamics.

- Has the majority of training functions found in the Forerunner 645.

 

GARMIN FORERUNNER 735XT DISADVANTAGES:

- Lacks many of the advanced training functions developed after the Forerunner 735XT was released.

- No built-in map or real navigation.

   

Read more about the Garmin Forerunner 735XT and purchase here:

Buy Garmin Forerunner 735XT here

     

  

 


 

   

GARMIN FORERUNNER 945

The Garmin Forerunner 945 is currently the best training watch on the market. Full stop. It’s loaded with all the newest training functions and also has a built-in map with real navigation, Garmin Music, and Garmin Pay. The Garmin Forerunner 945 has pretty much the same functions as the Garmin Fenix 6 series, but in a lightweight package. 

Recommended for: The Garmin Forerunner 945 is the multi-sports GPS watch for the serious athlete who craves the best of the best and is interested in advanced data and statistics. It meets all the criteria of even the most demanding runner or triathlete.

 

garmin forerunner 945

  

GARMIN FORERUNNER 945 ADVANTAGES:

- Can do EVERYTHING mentioned previously in the Forerunner series.

Plus:

- Longer battery life.

- Built-in topographic map with real ”turn-by-turn” navigation.

- Newest and most advanced training functions, including ”Training Load Focus,” and heat and altitude acclimation.   

- Advanced outdoor features.

- Over 20 activity profiles including Golf, Mountain biking, Skiing, and Open water swimming.

 

GARMIN FORERUNNER 945 DISADVANTAGES:

None.

    

Read more about the Garmin Forerunner 945 and purchase here:

Buy Garmin Forerunner 945 here

   

  

 

  

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