Garmin Forerunner 645 Music – First Pictures Emerge

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– Samsung SmartThings

Leaks of some rather pretty images of the impending Garmin Forerunner 645 Music have finally surfaced.

As there is a 645+Music then so there is a 645 sans music.

There may be other functionally different variants too. We shall, no doubt, see soon enough.

Will there be cellular streaming of music like the Apple Watch 3 or just simply music storage like on the ‘high-end’ TomTom-Runners or something else?

UPDATE: Full Specifications and Detailed comparison to 935 and 735XT

Clicks through to the source image - when that is removed so will be this image
Clicks through to the source image – when that is removed so will be this image.  to click through to but feel free.

These are the broad degrees of music playback types. The bet would be that the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music sits in option 2.

  1. Built-in SIM card (eSIM) enables streaming over your data allowance, inevitably with music caching of some sort
  2. Synchronisation with a computer-based music library (one or more 3rd parties)
  3. Simple, remote device to control your smartphone’s music playback

Options 1. & 2., of course, require that, for the first time, Garmin need to be able to playback the music over a bluetooth connection to paired bluetooth earbuds/headphones. This is one area to be mindful of when we assess the 645 as earbud BLE connections can be troublesome when a non-supported pair are used AND there are LOTS of earbud models. Garmin will not have checked them all for compatibility. Indeed there will probably be compatibility with an included pair that are much more likely to work than others.

Will it sneak into the Best Running Watch of 2017? Have a look:

2021 Best Running Watch | All obvious choices compared Garmin, Apple, Fitbit, Polar


We also need to consider what streaming service is supported. Is it your current one?…or the other one? Or a new Garmin one (doubtful)? If your local, ‘legacy’ computer-based music library is supported (I don’t think this will be the case) then which library software will/will not be supported?

Clicks through to the source image – when that is removed so will be this image


On the one hand the circular-faced device looks like the normal sort of watch you can wear all day. Kinda handy if it’s going to have all these fancy functions on it such as the Samsung SmartThings as indicated in the image at the top.

But don’t you think it looks a bit soulless? As bland as a bland thing can be?

Sensible strap. Lots of buttons and possibly no touchscreen. Probably lightweright/cheap materials like the 935.In fact it looks not too dissimilar from the 935. But they look soulless and metaphorically grey. They do NOT look like running watches but rather ‘watches you can run with’ without them falling apart physically and functionally.

The Forerunner 645 is likely to be a candidate for the best running watch ever. Not that I wish to hype it up or anything 😉



Rumour: Garmin only make one watch but keep turning bits of functionality off and changing the number and price on the front 😉 (not true of course, said jokingly)

Publicising these leaks is a bit of a thankless task. It generates lots of awareness ahead of the official launch for Garmin. Then when the device is properly launched you all go an read the review on your favourite review site to boost their already stellar traffic levels. Other than about $4 of advertising revenue I make nothing from it apart from happiness.



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This is also likely why Ray’s VA3 and AW Series 3 reviews have been pushed out a bit. It wouldn’t make sense to compare the VA3 and AW Series 3 without a 645 Music in the mix (since it would almost be a more direct competitor than the VA3).


My Apple Watch 3 and Vivoactive 3 reviews are simply behind due to the entire month of September being nuts and only having so many wrists. Things like the GoPro Hero6 reviews take more time because…video. Plus, deferring time (and wrists) to stuff like the Suunto Baro and FR30 delay it as well, as well as the Fitbit Ionic review squished in there too.

As for Apple Watch, it’s available on Amazon like everything else on earth, so doesn’t really impact me either way.


Makes sense. There’s been a boatload of launches in the past 4-5 weeks. Was more speculation that if there were a 645 incoming soon-ish, having it be a part of those comparisons would be ideal.


If this is true it feels like a weird decision from Garmins part – why include music playback in this model, their top of the line model for professional runners who “should” primarily be interested in the professional aspects of the watch, and NOT include it in the Vivoactive 3 which should appeal to the more “causal” crowd and thus be more interested in this type of functionality?

If I had just bought a VA3 and then found out the 645 is released with music playback I would be really pissed of…

Still, hope it’s true since I want to upgrade my Fenix 3 and would definitely go for this instead of Fenix 5/VA3 if music is included 🙂


VA3 will almost surely not be getting music. Re-reading Ray’s preview, “music” is mentioned 50 times between the article and comment section. He also exclaims that he is perplexed they wouldn’t put it on their “$299 watch” — which, given the new information, could indicate they might on more expensive watches.

From a marketing/business standpoint it makes sense to keep music on the higher end watches initially. Also, there is no value in adding them to previous watches, other than to cannibalize sales from your “new” watches. Customers purchased them without the feature.


RE: VA3 not getting music. What would stop a non-runner from buying a 645 for the music? If it has all the same functions + more? (you get them to spend a bit more..)

I agree it seems confusing, but we’re not Garmin nor are we seeing the data they are.


Could be a size issue? They may have wanted to keep the VA3 thinner?


Music storage and playback isn’t simply a “new feature” — it fundamentally changes things about the device. New BT protocols (and even BT radios possibly), different storage (possibly even class of storage), they’d likely want to use faster USB hardware. It’d either require an entirely new app or huge changes to GCM (or allow for very little customization). BT headphone compatibility, battery life impacts, etc..

Not saying it all definitely isn’t there, but it makes little sense to launch the device with all this secret hardware to then be like “surprise!”.


@javaski03 I am just weary of any kind of new radio coming from Garmin in general. Take the early F5(X/S) debacle with Ant+ AND BT issues. I will admit I haven’t kept up with those issues (Once I moved over to the 935 I just worried about that), but still I personally don’t know if the disconnect had to do with the body manufacturing that interfered with the signal, if the actual radio models were bad, if some were bad but not all (based on S/N) if the programming was off.

With Garmin now working with potentially ALL new hardware, and hardware within the same year as the release of new flagship models, I am weary of whatever comes in the 645. Just on the surface like most tend to state: wait 6 months before delving into the device, by then they most likely have smoothed out the kinks (if there are and if they can be).

Still, music on board….little late to the game here. I cringe at the thought of the Havoc CIQ apps are going to unleash on the device.


I wish it would be $399, but I guess we all know it will be at least $499.
With that in mind, do You think 935 vs 645, being at the same price, will be multisport/swimming vs music? As simple as that? Will there be any other major differences?

John Kissane

Hopefully not the same price!

As a matter of interest do people listen to music or podcasts while running? It’s nearly always podcasts for me so not sure how useful a watch with music will be to me (unless it has a podcast client as well)? At moment I’ve an old Samsung S3 which I shove into a running belt and a pair of BT headphones that cost < €7 via ebay which does the trick nicely and give me a music option as well.


Generally podcasts for me (marathontalk, talkultra, and my current fav TRStriathlon). Also audio books using the ability to load audible books onto my shuffle. Music if I’m doing a major interval/hill session or a tempo that needs a bit of Calvin Harris or chart junk to get my arse moving.
Back to battery life.. the shuffle lasts for weeks!


Hmm… BT music in a high end running watch that would likely be for distance and marathon training?? The battery life on most headphones is about 5 hours (I think?), so that means charging every other day in order to ensure some headroom, and no chance using for any reasonable time during ultra. Charging that often would drive me nuts – especially considering the excellent battery on my new 935. I found it hard enough to remember to charge my scosche, and that’s 10 hours!
I would rather have a smaller, secure and more functional version of a mighty (it’s ugly, bulky, again poor battery and doesn’t support Google music). My shuffle is ok for now, but it’s getting very old. Such a shame about the pebble core – I really hope a top notch alternative comes along.


I’ve been reasonably happy with the in inbuilt HR for most steady runs – intervals are a different matter though. Comparing the Scosche, HR strap and inbuilt using aux HR on the 935 shows the scosche is pretty good during high intensity intervals; whereas the inbuilt is garbage. So I only use the scosche about once a week now – meaning I have to charge is even less frequently and an upgrade to the OH1 probably isnt worth it. Runscribe needs charging about every 20 hours (hopeing the plus will be the same), the 935 about once a week.
Having to charge headphone every 5 hours of use just seems such a backwards step. Suppose I could use a BT bridge with a larger battery, but that just means carrying even more!
Does anyone know how many units the tomtom music devices sold? Even more interesting would be to know how many people actually used the music function?
I just wish someone would make a wired device that could cashe music – like the mighty but better, Lets hope it evolves, or gains some competition.
(ps – have you got a runscribe plus yet ?)


I think it’s a welcome feature-addition to the Garmin lineup. But I think it would have made more sense to include it in the VA3, probably with a price adjustment along with it. The VA3 is a more direct competitor to the Fitbit Ionic, and most reviewers (including Ray) say the same thing about the VA3 – “just one thing missing, music”.

I feel that to regard music playback as a “high-end-feature” is just from a technical standpoint (since it’s technically challenging), whereas from a marketing standpoint it should be regarded more as a feature for the “casual fitness” crowd. But then again, maybe that’s how Garmin usually handle their models…

Also agree with the concerns about radios interfering etc…

Still, most likely my next watch if the rumours are true 🙂


I just meant these rumours around the 645 music, which are still rumours since it’s not yet been confirmed by Garmin 🙂

Not heard anything else…


So, my bet:

The 645 is almost a 935 – no combo-sport (duathlon/triathlon) but otherwise mostly the same.

No touch-screen (because why would you for a 5-button, Fenix-based device?), no WiFi, yes Bluetooth LE for music, training load data, running dynamics, Ant+. Aesthetics borrowed from VA3/Fenix.

To me, this fills the massive gap between the VA3 and 935.

645 will be for people who want the training performance features of the 235/935, don’t do duathlon/triathlon, but want a device that does double-duty for indoor gym work (treadmill, rower, weights etc) and outdoor activities like SUP-boarding, cycling etc covered by multi-sport fitness trackers (vivosmart 3/HR+).

Looks are subjective but to me it’s perfect: a mildly better looking 935 I can wear around the office.

John Kissane

Wonder when this thing is going to finally get announced, perhaps it won’t be ’til that new version of Connect IQ pops up in late Nov as DCR said on his preview of running power.

tfk, the5krunner

i’d say now it would be either 8nov (ish) or after black Friday. but it would depend on whethr they just plan to announce (to disrupt xmas sales of others) or actually sell before xmas (and that assumes that production is cranking them out NOW)


The fact that they haven’t announced it yet makes me think they’re going the “announce and then immediately available” route — rather than the Fenix type announcement that needs 1-3 months before units make it out the door.

tfk, the5krunner

if I had to bet. I would bet on that too. xmas=$$££ for a high margin device


Looks like the 630 is out of stock at REI, Bestbuy, and Dicks. It’s also now 40% discounted on Amazon. Not sure how long it’s been like this but seems to point to supply winding down.

John Kissane

Spotted on the DCR site –

“And obviously – if dive watches (or underwater videos) aren’t your thing, fear not, we’ve got more running watches coming in tomorrow (which I haven’t even discussed anywhere). And then more yet the next day; partly why I was so quiet last week. So hang tight!”

Read into it what you will 🙂


Isn’t a whole lot of reading into: 645 is out tomorrow or Thursday. Same with Fenix 5 plus line (also probably another surprise).


Apple Watch 3 review – Ray has been very open that he’s been working on that review in the last week and is hoping to publish this week. The other likely to be the 645. He works to tight embargos, so no surprises that he’s not even slightly mentioned any details of it.

John Kissane

No 645 then I fear!

tfk, the5krunner

ye of little faith.
we have seen the pictures.
they were leaked from a shop of some sort.
garmin don’t give that stuff to shops too far in advance of a RELEASE.

waiting waiting for….

after black friday now :which may then mean january….
i thnk the ciq run power stuff is next week…after that


Hello, I just bought vivoactive 3. Was highly disappointed with the purchase. The battery life did not last 7 days as it was advertised. However, the end button would freeze even after the various activities. Very faustrating I must say..
Guess I would need your advice

tfk, the5krunner

if it does not work as advertised you should send it back. don’t waste time trying to fiddle with it. if you bought from one of my affiliates please let me have more detailed info and i can chase for you.