Technophile

Garmin Forerunner: Smart, stylish and packed with features

Jinoy Jose P | Updated on September 19, 2019 Published on September 19, 2019

The Forerunner 245 smart watches blend uber-cool technology with hi-fidelity functions and are aimed at focussed users: running enthusiasts

The first thing you’d notice with the Garmin Forerunner 245 is the band with strikingly shining colours. It’s a real stand-out and the colours are bright and beckoning. The watch is super light-weight, as most new smartwatches from Garmin are, and is cosy and nice on the wrist.

For serious runners

At the outset, let me tell you this is not a run-of-the-mill smartwatch. Yes, it has all the routine functions embedded. From incident detection to body battery, race predictor, the Garmin Forerunner 245, which is GPS-enabled, is loaded with new, cutting edge and more importantly, useful functionalities for runners. But according to Garmin, the watch mainly targets the running enthusiasts in India.

There are two watches in the Forerunner series: the 245 and 245 Music. The 245, which we review here, comes in myriad colours — from bright yellow to black and Lava Red to Slate Gray and Aqua Blue. The dial lens is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 while the bezel has fibre-reinforced polymer. The quick release bands are in the industry norm of 20 mm; while the strap is made of silicone, which makes it resistant to water and other damaging liquids. The watch has a size dimension of 42.3 x 42.3 x 12.2 mm and it fits your wrist with a circumference of 127-204 mm, which is quite decent. If you have a typical ‘Indian wrist’ (not big in size) the watch rests on it suitably well. The display has a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels, which is just enough. But given the price, the display could have been better.

Great battery life

The watch’s battery lasts really long; Garmin claims up to seven days. Our experience (moderate use daily involving less GPS-heavy functions) confirms this duration. With GPS, the watch exhausts pretty fast (within 14 hours in our experience). This is a watch you can take to your pool. The Forerunner 245 comes with a water rating of 5 ATM, which means it can withstand a depth of 50 meters in pools. This essentially means you can use it for surface swimming, basic, shallow diving activities and such. We did take it under water and the experience has been more than satisfactory during surface swimming. But when we took it deeper for a bit for diving, the dial seemed to be misbehaving for a while.

The watch can remember up to 200 hours of activity data, which is really great if you are going for long runs, especially on long treks where you won’t have access to data services. The watch comes with strong sensors; it has GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, etc, which means the Forerunner 245 is going to work smoothly in almost all geographies.

The watch has Garmin’s Elevate wrist heart rate monitor, which does an impressive job. The readings have medical-precision and the monitor responds fast and efficiently. The device is connected to your smartphone’s Garmin Connect app using bluetooth and the set-up is a smooth affair if you are familiar with watch-pairing. Else we recommend some YoutTube-ing for troubleshooting.

Frankly, I am not very happy with the watch faces. They are simple-looking but crude and lack elegance. Maybe the thinking behind them seems to be about keeping them simple and useful, but I would need some improvements on that front because people love their watch faces. The watch allows for smart notifications. You can send text responses to calls (basically reject them with a text in Android phones) and can sync your calendar with the watch. The phone also helps you control your smartphone’s music with it; this comes in quite handy during workout sessions. It also has Find My Phone and Find My Watch features enabled.

Safety features

The watch’s safety and tracking features stick to Garmin’s legacy. The Incident Detection faculty (during select activities, using the smartphone) is very advanced and makes a real difference to the lives of those who workout a lot or trek regularly.

The watch also offers advanced running dynamics, including ground contact time balance, stride length, vertical ratio and more. The watch also has gym activity profiles enabled, which helps users set their activities accordingly and track them. The available profiles include Strength Training, Cardio Training, Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Indoor Rowing and, yes, Yoga.

Quite usefully, the watch helps you evaluate your current training status to show if you’re undertraining or overdoing it. Based on your activities, you get some extra performance monitoring features. For instance, you may receive ‘free adaptive’ training plans from a Garmin coach or you can make your own workouts on Garmin’s online fitness forums. The Forerunner 245 Music can store some 500 songs and lets users sync playlists from Spotify or transfer music from a PC. Another impressive feature is the new Body Battery; this helps optimise your body’s energy by monitoring data that is collected from the user’s activities, which is used to measure one’s energy reserves at any moment so the user can plan their day accordingly, choosing when to workout and when to rest.

Targeting new-age fitness enthusiasts, the Garmin 245 offers enhanced running experience, collecting detailed data, offering better safety and tracking features and innovative and advanced training options. From running, cycling and swimming to basic fitness activities, the Garmin Forerunner 245 is a powerful companion for the fitness enthusiast in you.

Garmin Forerunner 245 smart watches
  • Price: ₹29,990
  • Pros: Light, powerful features, great looks, good battery, strong performance
  • Cons: Dull watch faces, display resolution could be better

Published on September 19, 2019
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