Garmin Forerunner 245 vs. 245 Music: Which should you buy?

Garmin Forerunner 245
Garmin Forerunner 245 (Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

To make a long story short, the 245 Music does everything the 245 does while also offering Wi-FI connectivity and music storage. These are some pretty neat bonus features to have and you won't even have to pay that much more to get them.

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

Tracking, Wi-Fi, music

Wi-Fi connectivity
Music storage
Garmin Coach
No Garmin Pay
Lacking altimeter

Garmin Forerunner 245

This GPS running wearable is one for the books. You'll have your hands full with actvity tracking, heart-rate monitoring, stress tracking, sleep monitoring, and more. There are some fun new features, too, like Body Battery and Incident Detection.

Garmin Forerunner 245

Reliable tracking and GPS

Controls smartphone music
Garmin Coach
Long battery life
No Wi-Fi
No music storage
No Garmin Pay
Lacking altimeter

For the most part, these two models are practically identical. The good news is that there isn't all that much to consider when deciding which one is going to work for you. The only real difference is the 245 Music offers the bonus of Wi-Fi connectivity and music storage. Once you're connected to Wi-Fi, you'll be able to sync audio content from third-party apps, like Spotfiy and Deezer, and store up to 500 songs.

Comparing the two

How do you decide between the two? If you're less than thrilled with the idea of having to take your phone with you whenever you exercise, the 245 Music offers the convenience you're looking for in a smartwatch. You'll have all your music stored on your smartwatch anyway, so don't let your phone burden you during your workout. All you have to do is pair your Bluetooth headphones with your watch, press play, and start running.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Forerunner 245Forerunner 245 Music
Battery life: Smartwatch mode7 days7 days
Battery life: GPS mode24 hours24 hours
Battery life: GPS mode with musicN/A6 hours
Water resistanceUp to 50mUp to 50m
Built-in GPSYesYes
Heart rate monitorYesYes
Wi-Fi connectivityNoYes

You might experience less battery life with the 245 Music if you're consistently in GPS mode with music playing. However, six hours is still impressive. You could potentially complete a marathon while listening to music and still have some juice left in your battery. There aren't many other distinctions to make since the only features that don't overlap are the music storage and Wi-Fi connectivity. Regardless of which one you choose, many users will be disappointed that at this price point, there's no altimeter or Garmin Pay.

The 245 Music offers the convenience you're looking for in a smartwatch.

It's important to note that one of the exciting new features Garmin rolled out, Incident Detection, relies heavily on your smartphone. The feature can be triggered automatically when an incident is detected, such as a fall during your workout. You can also trigger it manually if you're in need of assistance. It will then share your location with your chosen emergency contacts. However, this will require your smartphone to be connected to the Garmin Connect app in order to work. That's a bit of a bummer considering many users were probably getting pumped at the thought of not needing to have their phone with them.

Making a decision

Garmin Forerunner 245

At the end of the day, either decision is going to leave you with a top-notch GPS smartwatch that's in the spotlight right now, and with good reason. The rollout of several new metrics are stealing the competitors' thunder. You'll now have access to Body Battery, which keeps you updated on your energy levels throughout the day so you can plan your next activity. There are also advanced training features that evaluate your current training status to let you know if you're undertraining or overdoinng it.

All things considered, both of these models are going to be a worthwhile investment with all they have to offer. The Forerunner 245 may not have Wi-Fi but you can still control the music playing on your smartwatch right from your wrist, which isn't a bad trade-off. However, if you desire the convenience of having both music storage and Wi-Fi connectivity, the answer is clear: go with the 245 Music.

Personally, I'd go with the 245 Music. For only $50 more you get that Wi-Fi connectivity, which is a huge plus.

Courtney Lynch

Courtney Lynch is a freelance writer at Android Central. She's obsessed with all things health, fitness, and music. At any given time, she can be found checking out the latest and greatest gadgets while simultaneously petting her dog and sipping iced coffee.