Garmin Forerunner 245 Music & Garmin Forerunner 245 – Almost Here, “Speculation”

Vivoactive 3M – not 245M

It looks like speculation for the next Garmin sports watch has finally & correctly switched to the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music (FR245M) and non-Music variant (FR245). Indeed, from several sources over the last few months, I would say that the speculation you can read about elsewhere on the net is now almost certainly correct with a release of both the FR245 & FR245M being imminent. This is going to happen in mid-April followed by the Forerunner 945 in May…or the other way around.

As reported first elsewhere on the net, the Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 245M were both registered on the FCC in late 2018 and so it looks like these were the devices that were pulled from CES2019 by Garmin. However, if you look more closely at the FCC registrations and follow through with some related research on the same site, then the case for a 245 is not as clear cut as that link might, at first, suggest.

To be clear: This is all speculation. I don’t know for sure but I do have a high degree of confidence in all of this.

Background

The Forerunner 235 is a solid and ‘proper’ running watch with sensible buttons and functionality in a sensible, sporty format. It is the last CIQ1 device from Garmin that is in need of an techy upgrade, most probably to CIQ3 like nearly all of Garmin’s other high-end devices. This will happen, although I was a little unsure for a while as Garmin released the Forerunner 235L, with no CIQ, as a cut-down model in the Far East in April 2018.

But, as well as needing a techy upgrade, there is also the fact that the 235/245 sits in a LARGE market segment. And that segment is being encroached upon to a limited extent by cheap Chinese models eg Amazfit but also by stalwarts such as Polar with the Vantage M, Suunto with the Suunto Spartan Trainer WHR and Coros with the Apex.

Let’s look at the Forerunner range.

The entry-level TEAMMATE devices are non-CIQ and the EXPERT devices are full-function triathlon watches. Thus all the Forerunner 245 needs to do is replace the 235 in the middle MENTOR tier and, most likely, have a few extra features or, said more correctly, it will be the same as the Forerunner 645 but with some of the 645’s features disabled! It’s unlikely to have ANYTHING that the 645 does not already have – although it is perhaps possible that one entirely new feature might be rolled out to the 245 before any other model.

Garmin Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 245M – Likely Details

The specs for the 245 are under wraps. However, it’s not too hard to infer what will be in them

Music Support

First up, I’m pretty sure that the 245 Music will support Bluetooth headphones 😉 As well, of course, as all the awesome new Music support that Garmin have recently been working on, the latest being Spotify.

You then have to think what general area will be improved in the 245. It could be SMARTs (Garmin Pay), it could be token support for other sports (swimming like the 645), it could be new physiology metrics (Firstbeat) or it could be more core running features. The 235 was always a ‘runner’s watch’ and so, put like that, it would seem more sensible to assume that the 245 will be more likely to gain more competence in true running functionality.

Running Functionality

So, I think the main area that Garmin will add to the 235 to give us in the 245 will be ADVANCED RUNNING DYNAMICS – by now a relatively old feature.

Form Factor & Hardware

In terms of the overall form factor: the screen will be improved to match the 645; the watch should stay light; and the battery should still be good enough to support ULTRAs and, to an extent, perhaps counter the new Coros Apex and the success it has been having. After all ‘being able to run for longer’ is still a true running feature.

Next, as we’ve already said, it will have CIQ3 to differentiate it from the FR25/FR35. CIQ3 requires that the 245 will have a better and faster processor behind the scenes to make the watch run more quickly and support many of the wonders of CIQ. The CIQ apps are now impressive in what they can offer. So just the addition of “CIQ” is WAY more than just 3 token techy letters and can add map, swim and tri support – to name but a few.

Then, POSSIBLY, add to that a BAROMETER and this will give the Forerunner 245 the ability to display running power via the Garmin Running Power app – nah (I don’t think it will have a barometer). You’ll still need a more expensive Garmin or STRYD for running power.

Oh yes and quick release bands too.

Social

The social side of running is embodied by STRAVA segment support and group/live tracking. There’s a good chance these will be added too. Full STRAVA live segment support is now much more mainstream than it was a couple of years ago and is offered in brands beyond Garmin.

Training, Coaching, Planning

Garmin Coach: The 245 will also support Garmin’s running plans (kinda obvious). But these running plans have somewhat stagnated in their depth and breadth since they were first introduced in July 2018. Perhaps Garmin will expand the scope of adaptive plans beyond 25 minute 5k training plans?

Physiology

I suspect that there will be a Firstbeat feature or two added, like Anaerobic TL, but certainly NOT the whole raft of Firstbeat features found on the 645 as this is one ‘nice-to-have’ area that differentiates the 645 from the 245/235. Tieing in with the previous section, we might see a wholly new adaptive plan from Firstbeat find its way onboard as well…mainly because Firstbeat already provide them to Suunto and others but I suspect Garmin will, instead, stick to its own plans.

Smarts & Connectivity

I would like Garmin Pay to be added but I don’t think it will be. Even though Garmin Pay would generate revenue for Garmin it would blur the lines when comparing the 245 to the Vivoactive 3.

I can’t see the 245 having LTE/cellular support like the VA3M LTE either.

So the improvements with the SMARTS will be better phone integration for calls and apps.

I think we will also see WiFi support added (controversial!) as well as BLE and ANT+ sensor support but do NOT expect cycling power meter support.

Other Sports

Finally, it would make sense for me to see the 245 have better gym functionalities (see below) but, at the same time, I don’t think new sport support will be given to add many/any outdoorsy/navigational features (see below). That would then start to encroach too much on the Instinct/Fenix range.

Price? $280-$300 and add $50 for music. Sorted, I’m probably going to buy one.

 

I reckon that’s about it. You can look below to guess for yourself what might be in the 245.

Garmin Forerunner 945 – Imminent?

 

Mar 2019: Sports Watch Update: ‘All’ new & current Bike/Run/Tri/Fitness Models with GPS. Rumours of replacement dates for Garmin, Polar, Suunto, Wahoo, Fitbit…more

 

Ends.

Background Research

 

THESE are the potential high-level areas that Garmin might add to the 235

Much of the differences shown above are Firstbeat functionality. With the addition of CIQ3 then it would seem silly not to make the most of the enhanced CIQ capabilities. So that would suggest that a lot more Firstbeat functions will be added. Maybe there will be one or two TOTALLY NEW ONES, perhaps linked to training plans? Maybe.

Another of the differences is the 235’s lack of Garmin Pay. Garmin Pay is a feature that Garmin can make additional revenues from so it would seem strange to omit that as a revenue stream. Probably.

But then if those two areas were implemented, all that would remain as a difference would be the metal bezel. Hmmmm. That’s not going to happen.

In fact there are quite a lot of differences between the 235 and 645 that Garmin’s chart above doesn’t show. So, in reality, there are a lot of other niche functionalities to play around with. These are shown in the following table but note that several CIQ apps can provide the missing functionality already

Garmin Forerunner 645 MusicGarmin Forerunner 235
Top-end running WatchMid-level Running Watch
Headline RRP USA$450$300
General
Lens MaterialCorning® Gorilla® Glass 3chemically strengthened glass
Bezel Materialstainless steel
Quick Release Bandsyes (20 mm, Industry standard)
Strap materialsiliconesilicone
Physical size42.5 x 42.5 x 13.5 mm45 x 45 x 11.7 mm
Display size1.2″ (30.4 mm) diameter1.23″ (31.1 mm) diameter
Display resolution240 x 240 pixels215 x 180 pixels
Battery lifeSmartwatch Mode: Up to 7 daysSmartwatch Mode: Up to 9 days
GPS mode with music: Up to 5 hoursGPS mode: Up to 11 hours
Memory/History200 hours of activity data200 hours of activity data
Sensors
Barometric altimeterYesNo
CompassYesNo
GyroscopeYesNo
ThermometerYesNo
Daily Smart Features
Text response/reject phone call with text (Android™ only)YesNo
Find My WatchYesNo
Garmin Pay™Yes
Activity Tracking Features
Floors climbedYesNo
Fitness Equipment/Gym
Preloaded gym activity profilesStrength Training, Cardio Training, Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Floor Climbing, Indoor Rowing and YogaNo
Cardio workoutsYesNo
Strength workoutsYesNo
Automatic rep countingYesNo
Training, Planning and Analysis Features
Virtual PartnerYesNo
Configurable lap alertsYesNo
Training Status (lets you see if you’re training effectively by tracking your training history and fitness level trend.)YesNo
Training Load (your total training load for the last 7 days calculated from estimated EPOC)YesNo
Training Effect (anaerobic)YesNo
Race an ActivityYesNo
Auto multisport activitiesYesNo
Manual multisport activitiesYesNo?
Course guidanceYesNo
Segments (Live, Garmin)YesNo
Strava features (Beacon, live segments)YesNo
LiveTrackYesNo
Group LiveTrackYesNo
Heart Rate Features
% HR maxYesNo
% HRRYesNo
Auto max HRYesNo
HRV stress test (measures your heart rate variability while standing still, for 3 minutes, to provide you with an estimated stress level; the scale of this is 1 to 100; low scores indicate lower stress levels)yes (with compatible accessory?)No
Records heart rate while swimmingyes (with compatible accessory)No
Running Features
Running dynamics (with accessory)YesNo
Vertical oscillation and ratio (with accessory)YesNo
Ground contact time and balance (with accessory)YesNo
Stride length with accessory)YesNo
Performance conditionYesNo
Lactate threshold (with accessory)YesNo
Outdoor Recreation Features
Point-to-point navigationYesNo
Bread crumb trail in real timeYesNo
TracBack®YesNo
UltraTrac modeYesNo
Elevation profileYesNo
Vertical speedYesNo
Total ascent/descentYesNo
Compatible with BaseCamp™YesNo
GPS coordinatesYesNo
Projected waypointNoNo
Sight ‘N GoNoNo
Area calculationNoNo
Hunt/fish calendarNoNo
Sun and moon informationNoNo
Dual grid coordinatesNoNo
Cycling Features
CoursesYesNo
Bike lap and lap maximum power (with power sensor)No PowerNo
Race an activityYesNo
FTP (with accessory)NoNo
Compatible with Vector™ (power meter)No PowerNo
No
Power meter compatible (displays power data from compatible third-party ANT+™-enabled power meters)No PowerNo
Swimming Features
Preloaded swim profilesPool SwimmingNo
Pool swim metrics (lengths, distance, pace, stroke count/rate, calories)YesNo
Stroke type detection (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly)YesNo
Swim efficiency (SWOLF)YesNo
Drill loggingYesNo
Pool swim workoutsYesNo

 

 

 

 

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Soap
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Soap

My cynical and simplistic belief is that the FR245 will be a VA3 in a 645 chassis, with the only additional features being FR235 carryovers like Race Predictor, maybe some more advanced workout options if we’re lucky.

Zach
Guest
Zach

Seems to me that it’s going to be hard to differentiate this watch from the 645. My guess is that the build quality will not be as good. Hopefully the gps accuracy will be better. I believe my old 230 is more accurate than my newer 935.

Roberto
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Roberto

Do you think this will delay the release of the garmin 945/935 plus? Or they might be released together?

Justin
Supporter
Justin

If this is all they are putting out this year, then I am a sad panda.

I’m starting to look at “competitors” because of this. My 935 is starting to show it’s age now as I stated before and the Coros Apex could be worth it…if they started to support Stryd. Suunto is beginning to look like an option.

Just put out an evolution device to the 935 GARMIN!!

Matt
Guest
Matt

Thoughts on the square faced watch just registered by Garmin with BT, WIFI, NFC? I would be very surprised at either 245M or 45M having a square faced screen.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

I tweeted this but no answer.
Given the Concept2 rower, bike and ski ergo and their popularity in the USA (5 million + users in x-fit alone elexcuding rowers) and globally in excess of 50 million total users,you’d think Gain could connect to the PM5 C2 ANT monitor. There is a huge untapped market. Polar don’t do it.. yet, so when is Garmin going to sort this out as you market that it can’t through ErgIQ but it doesn’t work.

Rob F
Guest
Rob F

Or you could buy an old 310xt era Forerunner to connect to ANT+ FE. The last place I worked had a PM5 C2 rower. I picked up a refurbished 310xt off eBay for about $50 and it worked perfectly. Only two problems:
1) 310xt doesn’t have Bluetooth, so I had to use an ANT+ dongle to sync it using my computer
2) It defaulted to a bike activity (maybe there’s a way to fix that?), so I had to remember to go in to any place that synced to my Garmin account (Strava, etc.) and change the activity type to indoor rowing so as to not mess up metrics in other platforms.

Doing this records pace, HR (assuming you use a HR strap), power, and total distance in Garmin Connect. Strava also shows cadence, but for some reason GC doesn’t display that one…

sal
Guest
sal

I don’t get it… what excactly would be the difference to the 645M ?

Soap
Guest
Soap

Look at the 230->630->735 progression (and we can probably ignore their early dabbling with touch screens for this exercise) to see how Garmin threaded that needle in generations past. Garmin successfully ran a BasicRunning:AdvancedRunning and BasicTri:AdvancedTri model progression before. Let’s look at this from the other direction: Garmin only really has one modern Tri watch, and that leaves a lot of money on the table. They currently use the (very long in the tooth) 735 as the lower-price-point Tri, but its becoming less and less compelling against increasingly inexpensive and increasingly sexy competition. Garmin has two paths forward if they want to target multiple price points: They can release a 745 and a 945 (or whatever the Tri-targeted model gets named) or they can release a 945 and continue to sell the 935 at a reduced price point. IF they go 745/945 then that differentiation is how you differentiate a 645 from a 245. (I believe these have been touched on in the article but…) 645 gets all 12-14 current Garmin-licensed Firstbeat metrics. 245 gets 4-6. 645 lets you load and run courses. 245 (like the 235) doesn’t. 645 has a barometer and thus running power. 245 (like the 235)… Read more »

derek
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derek

There’s only one way Garmin can make me kick myself for buying a 235 last week… and that’s by including running power and zones with alerts natively just like Polar haven’t quite done. I sincerely doubt they’ll do that, which means running power is a CIQ feature, which I can get on a 235.

Steve
Guest
Steve

Marq announcement have any impact on March release date prediction?

the5krunner
Admin

patience…. 😉
soon. the releases have moved around.
245 probably april now i suppose

Joop
Guest
Joop

The developer summit in Kansas is starting the 9th of April and included for the participants is a (often new) device. Last year the FR645 if I remember well. So expecting a new watch just before that!

the5krunner
Admin

fr245/m