Garmin Forerunner 245 Music Review

When I bought my husband the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music, I knew he would love it. He’s a serious mountain biker and cyclist, and he’s a huge fan of the onboard GPS, music storage, and ability to track multiple sports. What neither of us expected was how much other people would love his watch. We’ve both worn smartwatches and fitness trackers for a long time, but he’s never been asked about a watch as much as he’s been asked about the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music.

This is a GPS fitness watch for anyone who is ready to really get into their sport, and the health and performance metrics you get are some of the most detailed I’ve seen on a fitness watch. While I think it is geared toward runners more than anything, it has the ability to track everything from hiking to cycling and workouts.

Appearance and features of Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music fitness watch is a 30mm
 watch that measures 4.23 cm x 4.23 cm x 1.22 cm
. It’s very lightweight and weighs only 38.5g

The watch is available in black, aqua, and white.

  • 1.2-inch 240 x 240 LCD colour display with backlight
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on watch face and fiber-reinforced polymer bezel
  • Silicone strap fits wrists from 12.7 cm to 20.4 cm
  • 5 manual buttons and has gesture controls
  • Monitors all activity in real time including cycling, indoor track or outdoor road, cardio workouts, rowing indoors or out, and exercise machines
  • Monitors pace, distance, calories, and steps
  • Performance monitoring including heart rate, Vo2 Max, Zones, and Pulse Ox
  • Sleep tracking monitors sleep patterns
  • GPS onboard so you get accurate on-watch tracking of your run, bike, or workout
  • Wi-Fi built in to download music and watch apps
  • Links to Spotify and Deezer so you can store 500 songs or download your playlists and listen to them without needing your phone
  • Smartwatch options include call and text alerts as well as calendar and email
  • Lithium-Ion battery gives you 7 days of battery life in Smartmode
  • Wireless syncing to Garmin Connect app

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music Review

Testing the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is a watch you can just strap on and start wearing. It has three buttons on one side of the bezel and two on the other, and you use these to scroll between the menus. It’s easy to use once you get used to the controls, but if you’ve never worn a Garmin before, it takes a while to get into all the features. Beyond the standard fitness tracking of steps, distance, and pace, there is a lot of performance and health metrics. You’ll need to download Garmin Connect to set them all up.

Wearing Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is a great looking watch, and it’s very comfortable to wear. The silicone strap doesn’t rub or chafe when you’re working out, and it’s so lightweight it almost feels as though you aren’t wearing a watch at all.

Music controls Garmin Forerunner 245 music

Music Storage

One of the reasons people choose the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is because of the built-in Wi-Fi and onboard music storage. It can connect to your favourite streaming service including Spotify and Deezer, and once connected it will store 500 songs on your watch.

My husband has destroyed two iPhones while riding, so the music storage is a huge plus because he doesn’t need to ride with his phone anymore. He just connects his Bluetooth earbuds to the watch and he can listen to music. It does drain the battery significantly though. With the GPS and music running you will only get around 6 hours of battery life. If you’re just using the watch normally you get around 7 days between charges.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music uses Bluetooth ANT+ USB/BLE + Wi-Fi to connect.

activity tracking forerunner 245 music

Fitness Tracking

You can track multiple sports with the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music. You can add more via the watch and app. You can track pace, distance, splits, and calories burned. On the more advanced side, you can also track your training including over-training, under-training, and your recovery. All of these metrics can improve your endurance at whatever sport you are into.

You can also utilize Garmin Coach to improve your fitness level, and your watch will guide you through training to run a 5K, 10K, or whatever you’d like to work toward. It’s extremely helpful to have the workout right on your wrist, and you don’t need to run a separate app to train.

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music side profile

The more you wear the watch, the more accurate your stats will be. My husband has been wearing the watch every day since July and he’s impressed with how accurate and detailed the data is. He’s currently working on a mountain biking training program, and as the watch has got to know his workouts and intensity level, it’s giving him tips on over-training and zones.

It’s great information for anyone who has a fitness goal and wants to meet it. It gives you the motivation to keep going. Even if you have those days when you don’t feel as though you are improving, you can see through the data that you are.

Fitness Tracking Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

GPS onboard

The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is a GPS watch. That means it gives you GPS-based data including a map of where you’ve been. The GPS-based stats include your distance, time out, and specific based pace information including stride length, cadence, and more.

Having GPS on the watch and not as a tether to your smartphone means you can easily see exact data on how you are improving over the course of a week, month, or year. After using it for several months and watching the GPS in action, my husband’s only issue is how it occasionally offers a slightly different distance than an app like Strava. He has run both at the same time on routes he does several times per week, and he found Strava was more accurate when there was a discrepancy.

He chalks the difference in the distance up to GPS drift and believes it’s an issue because he rides in heavily treed areas with poor cell service.

Performance tracking on the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music has advanced performance metrics designed to enhance and improve your workouts. There are so many I could write several thousand words about them, so I’ll pick a few of the main metrics we focused on.

Heart rate garmin forerunner 245 music

Heart rate monitoring

The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music has a built-in heart rate monitor that will monitor you 24/7. We compared it to the Garmin chest strap my husband wore while biking and it was very accurate. It tracks your resting heart rate as well as heart rate and zones during workouts. It can also track your respirations minute by minute, which is an interesting metric to track.

The heart rate monitor gives you access to the Body Battery feature. That feature takes your heart rate variability, stress, and activity into consideration and gives you an estimate of your body’s energy reserves during the day. If you have a lower energy level you might want to dial back your activity, but if you have a high energy level you may want to hit the road and go for a longer run.

Garmin Pulse Oximeter feature

Pulse oximeter tracking

Pulse oximetry measures the oxygen levels in your blood, and the pulse ox sensor is one of the reasons I wanted my husband to have the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music. He has asthma and allergies, and if he gets sick, I wanted to make sure we could track his oxygen intake. The pulse Ox will take your pulse ox whenever you tap it.

It takes about a minute to register your pulse ox, and you have to hold still to register it. It will give you a number on the screen when it registers, and it will also track it in the Garmin Connect app. My husband’s pulse ox has varied between 92 and 95 over the past month, with 92 registering when there was a lot of smoke from forest fires in our area.

It’s a nice metric to have, and it reassures me when I worry about his breathing.

V02 Max Garmin Forerunner 245 Music gps

VO2 Max

Most serious athletes will go into a lab to assess their VO2 Max, but you can get your VO2 Max right on your wrist when you have the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music. It will ask you to run for a period of time in order to get a baseline, and after it will start providing you with updates on your VO2 Max.

My husband’s VO2 Max is 49. According to the app he is in the top 15% for his age and gender and has a fitness age of 20. He’s definitely not 20, so he’s pretty happy with that.

Assistance alert Garmin

Incident detection

One of the concerns with an activity like mountain biking is that you will crash and get knocked out in the middle of nowhere. With the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music on your wrist, your watch will send out an emergency text if that happens.

You’ll need to add a person as an emergency contact in the Garmin Connect app. If whoever is wearing the watch has an accident the watch will send a signal to their phone to alert their contact with a text message. The message will include their location, so in my husband’s case, if he’s somewhere on a trail I’ll be able to find him.

Smartwatch options

You can turn on smartwatch options for the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music and receive call notifications for incoming calls, missed calls, and text messages. You can also use the built-in calendar and email to access your daily messages and to-dos.

Lack of Altimeter in Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

Garmin 245 Music review

For my husband, the only downside to the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is the lack of a barometric altimeter. The watch won’t track elevation in real-time, and instead uses a GPS-based altimeter to calculate your elevation at the end of the activity.

When compared to Strava, the elevation is always different. While I don’t mind not being able to see real-time elevation for daily hikes or the rides I do, my husband likes to know how much he’s climbed while he’s climbing. If he wants to see how far he’s gone he has to use his bike computer or phone in addition to the watch.

It’s not a deal-breaker for him and he still loves the watch, but he’s said the altimeter would be the only addition that would make the watch perfect.

Should you choose the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music?

I’ve only scratched the surface of the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music fitness watch. More than any watch I’ve seen, it really gives you a complete view of your health, fitness level, and daily workout performance.

It is a great fitness watch for anyone who is serious about workouts and improving speed and endurance. The incident detection feature gives you peace of mind, and you get detailed heart rate monitoring too.

There is a lot to love about this watch, and for a cyclist or trail runner like my husband, the lack of altimeter is the only downside. It’s a huge plus for him to not have to take his phone along and still be able to listen to music too.

You can find your own Garmin Forerunner 245 Music fitness watch on Best Buy right now.

Shelly Wutke
Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag