Forerunner 645 – September or October? Evolution or Revolution? – SPECULATION NOT a Review

Source: Garmin (S60)

By mid-October we should see the new Garmin forerunner 645. That will be the optical HR replacement for the top-end Forerunner 630 (r. Oct 2015). We might even see it by mid September.

We might also even see it released in parallel with a Forerunner 245. That would be nice.

Please note that this is speculation and NOT a review in any form. This follows on from an earlier speculative piece in July 2017 and this one last month.

Here’s a summary of the fairly obvious with my guess, in brackets, of the likelihood:

  • (100%) It’s a running watch. For running.
  • (100%) It will have ALL the running-related functions we know about on the Fenix 5/935. So that means things like the new Firstbeat metrics.
  • (30%) It might have a new running-specific feature eg STRYD support (not so sure about STRYD)
  • (30%) it might have a new running-related feature eg onboard music (I suspect not as that is not in the Vivoactive 3 and such a feature would also need to find its way to the Fenix 5 pretty sharpish)
  • (60%) It might have a new trending feature such as Garmin Pay support (reasonably likely)
  • (20%) It might have other existing high-end features ported to it eg MAPS (like the on the Fenix 5X…but I doubt it). Maybe there will be some half-way house with a prettied-up breadcrumb view overlain with an extract from a map? Imagine the 14th hole displayed on the S60 and remember than Garmin has recently re-vamped the COURSES functionality on CONNECT.
  • (100%) It will be kitted out with the latest, existing sensors so we are looking at the supposedly improved ELEVATE optical HR sensor for 247 monitoring, as well as the Mediatek MT3333 GPS+GLONASS chip
  • (20%) It could exploit new features of those sensors eg GALILEO on the MT3333. This is not as far-fetched as it sounds as we now half-expect GALILEO support in some form or other in 2018 introduced into the Fenix 5.
  • (90%) It will support re-broadcasting of HR form ELEVATE
  • (100%) It will do other stuff like cycling but won’t have high-end non-running features eg power meter support
  • (100%) It will benefit from the new workout and course functionality introduced recently into Garmin Connect
  • (100%) It will support Samsung SmartThings
  • (100%) Bluetooth sensor support – that’s HRMs and foot pods
  • (90%) Barometric Altimeter
  • (80%) Touchscreen

Here is what I HOPE to see: MUSIC ONBOARD, NATIVE STRYD SUPPORT, MAPPING.

I know , I know. It’s probably all nonsense and I’m making it up even the SmartThings compatibility…

Source: Samsung via @Joop

 

or not 🙂

12 thoughts on “Forerunner 645 – September or October? Evolution or Revolution? – SPECULATION NOT a Review

  1. After releasing the Vivoactive 3, the only difference between top models like fenix 5 or 935 is “almost” the design and battery life. But for us, casual users, Vivoactive 3 is like Fenix 5 light version and the FR 645 should be extraordinary then 🙂 I hope….

      • That differentiation gap is getting smaller and smaller though. The Vivoactive 3 is packed with things just like the 2 was. The 935 has everything the F5 does (including base wifi). What could the 645 then do that (or not do) and how big of price difference makes it a viable choice? Then you have to wonder what the 235 replacement brings to the table.

        How piecemeal can they make the spread before the user base just gets fed up and either settles for one thing…and never moves (and at the a much lower price point that Garmin might like) or just buy something with all the bells and whistles (better for Garmin’s pockets, but negates literally the rest of their lineup). How long before it bleeds productions costs to keep a “robust” line-up when it might just make sense to get behind a handful of (like 4 at absolute most) per year, and make them rock solid, doing just everything from the bare minimum–to everything.

        People don’t want choices, people want a choice that tick all the boxes.

        • I hear you!
          on the one hand IF something exciting is planned to justify a new model then, by definition, it’s exciting!

          i’m doing a ‘best bike device’ at the moment and the issue is the same. you can get a device that will display power stats for less than US$100…it does EVERYTHING most atheltes would need and more. or you can buy the edge 1030 that makes espresso AND lattes

          but I disagree with you on the ‘boxes’ argument. most people don’t know what boxes they need to tick.

  2. I think you’re quite right about the expectations for the Forerunner 645. I hope it will support power natively (Stryd to be precise). I wonder though whether Garmin will support Stryd; it can be a lucrative market they want to have for themselves. The fact that none of the “recently” introduced watches (Fenix and Vivoactive) supports it, might be a sign.

    In the Samsung Smart Things link was also a Fenix 5 plus. I am wondering what Garmin will propose for that watch. It is be a bit strange that a plus version would be presented only half a year after the Fenix 5 was released.

    • hi
      there are a few posts on the 5 plus series (excluding 935)
      re stryd.
      on the one hand CIQ enables STRYD to do most of the stuff by themselves. garmin don’t NEED to support it (unless they have their own product)
      on the other hand if support was delivered then it would be delivered en masse across lots of products within a relatively short time frame. so when we see it, we will see it on all top end devices.
      ty for the earlier link

  3. Hello!

    Do you think that the Forerunner 245 could be released in time for the Chicago Marathon on October 8? I am in desperate need of a running watch but it would be a shame to buy the 235 now when it’s so close to the end of its life cycle… then again I wouldn’t want to run the marathon without a watch at all…

    Thanks!

    • there has to be an announcement AND then availability. so I think you are pushing it for the 8oct race.
      you can always send back the 235 if you don’t get on with it…

  4. I truly hope the 645 will be a touch screen forerunner. I have a Vivoactive HR+ and can’t imagine pressing buttons to navigate menus/screens. Althought i wouldn’t mind if it has touchscreen AND had buttons. I really want to upgrade to a Garmin with more advanced HR info and running dynamics and capable of accepting (uploading) training plans.

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