After months of leaks and rumors, Garmin has officially launched a number of new GPS watches in its Forerunner line. This includes the 45/45S, 245/245 Music and 945. There will still be 6 devices across the entire Forerunner range but they are now more modern looking and come with some additional features.
Forerunner 45 and 45S
This is the most affordable of the new bunch and is the option for those looking for an entry into the world of running watches. The device replaces the Forerunner 35.
Unlike the B&W screen of its predecessor, the display of the new model is full color. Garmin has also moved from a rectangular screen to a circular one.
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The watch comes with Garmin’s Elevate wrist-based heart rate technology, built-in GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO and accelerometer. In addition to being a running watch, the thing also doubles-up as a 24/7 activity tracker delivering steps, calories, distance, intensity minutes, stress and sleep.
Garmin has thrown in a few advanced performance stats, too. This includes VO2 max, Fitness Age, the new Body Battery function, heart rate zones, cadence and more.
An interesting addition is incident detection. This has been around for a while now in Garmin’s bike computers and the LTE version of Vivoactive 3 Music. When an incident is detected the app will send an automated text message and email with your name and GPS location to your emergency contacts. The watch uses your paired compatible smartphone to do this.
Although far from being a fully featured smartwatch, the Forerunner 45 will also spit out notifications for incoming calls, voicemails and text messages. Battery life is up to 7 days in watch mode, and 13 hours in GPS mode.
There is a small (Forerunner 45S: 39.5 x 39.5 x 11.4 mm) and large (Forerunner 45: 42 x 42 x 11.4 mm) model to choose from. Both are available in a choice between Iris, White, Black, Lava Red colors.
Forerunner 245 and 245 Music
The only difference between the 245 and 245 Music is the option to locally store up to 500 songs. Other than that, the watches take everything from the Forerunner 45 line and slap on a pulse Ox sensor and compass. Interestingly, both the 45 and 245 lack a barometric altimeter for counting floors.
The 245 is meant for more advanced runners. Its performance analysis includes VO2 max, aerobic and anaerobic training effects, recovery time and training status. Furthermore, the watch connects to external sensors such as running dynamics pods and heart-rate chest straps to capture even more data.
In addition to running, the 245 also tracks strength workouts, cycling, swimming and outdoor recreation activities (hiking, climbing, skiing, snowboarding, rowing, kayaking and more).
In normal mode the 245 has the same one-week battery life of the 45. But it will last a full 24 hours with GPS switched on and six hours when using both GPS and music playback.
The 245 and 245 Music can be ordered from Garmin’s website. The regular version will set you back $299.99 and the music version $349.99. Both are available in a choice between White, Black, Aqua, Slate Gray and Berry colors. It’s also available on Amazon (check price).
The daddy of the new bunch is the Forerunner 945. It takes everything the other ones can do and slaps on NFC for Garmin Pay, a barometric altimeter, thermometer and gyroscope. Music memory is larger allowing storage for up to 1,000 songs.
Built for those serious about training, the watch comes with advanced physiological features. Training status now has adjustments for heat and altitude acclimation status. There is training load focus which separates your training load into different categories based on the intensity and structure of each activity recorded. Other new Firstbeat features include recovery time, and more detailed aerobic and anaerobic training effects.
The other important upgrade are full-color, onboard maps that guide you on your run so you never get lost. This is similar to what you get on the most recent Fenix line.
Despite the extra features, battery life is pretty much unchanged from the predecessor device (the 935). Users will get up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode, 10 hours in GPS mode with music or 36 hours without music.
The 945 is available on Garmin’s website. You can pick up the $599.99 device in black. There is also a blue option if you choose the $749.99 bundle that includes the HRM TRI & HRM Swim HR monitors. It’s also available on Amazon.
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