Garmin’s Forerunner series of fitness watches are aimed at those who want a no-frills device geared towards that one goal. Unlike the Apple Watch, which does invoke some anxiety in me for its safety, the Garmin watches appear to better destined to handle some rough usage. Still like the Apple Watches, Garmin’s fitness watches also sport a more premium price.
The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music comes with the ability to sync with Spotify and you can also load music from your PC or Mac onto this one. The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music comes in Black, Lava Red and Aqua with a hefty price tag of Rs 34,990. It also comes with the feature for VO2 Max, to analyze the amount of oxygen a person is utilising during intense exercise, which is limited to these watches. Here’s our review of the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music review: What’s good?
The Garmin Forerunner is a bulky watch, but I didn’t have too much trouble fitting this on my dainty wrists. What is reassuring with the watch is that I was never worried about damaging this seriously like I am with my Apple Watch. Garmin Watch relies on a number of buttons for navigating. There is an UP and Down button, a dedicated button to turn the display light on or off, a start/stop button and a back button. If you are used to a touchscreen smartwatch, it does take a while to figure out all these buttons and the user interface can be challenging.
Still as a fitness watch, the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music offers plenty of functions and works smoothly and accurately. This is packed with features like steps tracking, sleep tracking, a dedicated heart-rate sensor, ability to track different sessions like Yoga, even gym sessions with modes for exercises like bicep curls, lifts, etc.
The Forerunner can track as you do your sets with each exercise, and you don’t have to keep count all the time. I found it to be mostly accurate when it came to tracking these sessions and the rep count tracking does free one from the burden of keeping count. The only thing annoying is that if you are switching between different exercises quite often, you will have to of course change the session. The Connect App will break down each exercise session from the curl to tricep extension, etc, which is useful again if you are someone who needs all of this data.
The Forerunner 245 Music is excellent for those relying on this watch to track running, walking sessions. It was more conservative than my Apple Watch, both on the treadmill and outside walking sessions, a difference of around 100 metres. For those who are regular runners, and need a device to track these sessions, the Garmin App Connect does a pretty good breakdown of all the data. The watch is also GPS-enabled as well, though it is better to keep the feature off, if you want to better preserve the battery feature.
As a fitness device this is fairly comprehensive, covering most categories from swimming to your daily walks. Plus the Garmin Connect apps feature offers the option for coaching to create a personalised workout for those who are more dedicated and wish to train for a marathon or just generally want to improve their duration at runs.
The Coach plans can be downloaded for free and they will be sent to your watch to help you train with goals laid out clearly. It’s not something I really need, but again this would be useful for those who are relying on the fitness device to achieve some tangible goals.
The other good thing about the Garmin watch is the battery life, and the device certainly does not need to be charged every day like my Apple Watch or some of the other smartwatches I have reviewed in the past. It will easily last around five days with heavy duty usage, which would include notifications coming from your smartphone, fitness tracking etc. Of course it relies on a proprietary charger, which I recommend you keep someplace safe, because the tiny cable can easily get lost.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music review: What’s not good?
Getting used to the user interface takes time. Many times I would get very frustrated at having to press all those buttons, which is something I do not have to rely on with most other fitness bands or watches. At times, I would think I had started a session, only to realise I had not pressed the start button for the session or that I had accidentally paused the session.
The watch can also sync with Spotify and I had trouble doing this a few times. Yes, there is the option of transferring music to the watch from your PC or Mac, but given I rely on streaming services entirely now, I didn’t want to bother with the whole process, which is quite cumbersome.
When I did eventually connect Spotify to the watch, I realised the watch needed to connect to WiFi to actually play the music. Entering the password on the watch would prove to be an impossible task, given this is not a touchscreen, and would mean a lot of back and forth on the buttons. I was just not in the mood to do that, and had to give up. So overall for me, the user interface still needs work on the Garmin watches, especially for some of these fancier tasks.
Another problem for the Garmin watches would be the price, as they compete with other premium devices in the Indian market such as the Apple Watch, which is a clear winner in the market. There is another Forerunner 245 at a lower price of Rs 29,990 compared to this one without the Music feature.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music Verdict
The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music works well for those who need a fitness watch, which will also show all their notifications, etc. This is not for those who want a fancy smartwatch, but rather a dedicated fitness device with more comprehensive tracking than a simple band and one that is rugged enough as well. In that aspect Garmin delivers very well, though of course, this is not cheap given the asking price is above Rs 30,000.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines