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Following months of leaks, the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music was finally made official at CES 2018. As its name implies, the watch comes with built-in storage for music and Garmin Pay.
“Listening to music helps most of us keep our momentum going during those long or particularly difficult runs,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales.
“Now, with the addition of integrated music and Garmin Pay, the Forerunner 645 Music will help give athletes the independence they’ve been looking for while still providing them with the quality and accuracy of our other running products that they have come to rely on.”
When it comes to design, the successor to the 630 has seen a significant revamp. Resembling a blend between Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 935, the lightweight device comes with a round screen and discreet crown.
There are five physical buttons on the sides. They have names next to them and read the same as the current Fenix and Forerunner 935 series. So clockwise from the top right hand side: Start/Stop; Back; Down; Up; and Light.
As the pictures show there are a number of colours to choose from. The bracelet is textured, and the watch is fitted with QuickFit straps.
The 5 ATM water resistant device includes built-in GPS, a heart rate sensor and barometer, the latter two being obvious omissions from the previous version. Garmin Pay is also included so you can make payments phone-free. The feature made its debut on the Vivoactive 3.
Essential reading: Which Garmin fitness trackers should you buy?
There are profiles for running (indoor/outdoor), cycling (indoor/outdoor), swimming (pool but not open water), elliptical, paddle sports, strength training and more. You can also create your own custom workouts.
In terms of performance metrics, you’ll get info on training status, training load and anaerobic training effect. If you have a compatible heart rate strap or Garmin’s Running Dynamics Pod, you’ll also benefit from some advanced running dynamics, including ground contact time balance, stride length, vertical ratio and more.
Garmin devices are known for their decent battery life and the 645 is no different. In smartwatch mode it will keep going for up to 7 days, which comes down to 5 hours in GPS mode with music.
And this last bit is the main novelty of the device – the integration of a music player which is a first for Garmin. There is enough on-device music storage for up to 500 songs, and you can connect Bluetooth headphones and sync music from select streaming services for offline listening.
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