It’s been on the grapevine for the last 2 months now but Garmin finally made it official by announcing their maiden music enabled wearable in time for CES 2018. The new Garmin Forerunner 645 Music is modeled after the Forerunner 600 series; traditionally a running focused GPS watch. So you won’t be seeing multi-sport modes the likes of the Forerunner 935. That being said, music playing capability and storage is definitely a blast and Garmin has also added a dash of Garmin Pay to make this GPS watch a true runner’s companion.
Interestingly, the confirmed Garmin Forerunner 645 Music actually appears significantly different from the leaked images a while back. The Forerunner 645 is getting a steel bezel, resembling that on the Vivoactive 3, along with sunlight visible Garmin Chroma Display on chemically strengthened glass.
There are runners out there who simply can’t go without music and there are those who simply can’t run with music. The former will rejoice with Garmin Forerunner 645 Music’s 500 song storage from your computer or download offline playlists from select music streaming services such as iHeartRadio, Deezer.
Garmin’s instructional videos appear to show readily accessible music playing mode just by long pressing the down key and both music transfer and control looking simple enough.
And to make listening to music more convenient, Garmin has worked out a 50% discount off Method Wireless by Skullcandy earphones when you purchase the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music. At this point, I think only a full hands on will reveal if the Forerunner 645 is music to the ears.
For runners who find music during runs not your cup of tea, Garmin will also be releasing an edition of the Forerunner 645 that’s basic – no music playing capability – at $50 less.
Even though the Forerunner 645 has been imbued with Garmin Pay, the reach is still considerably less than the lead Apple Pay has established. Point in case, Garmin Pay is available in 8 countries as of publication and Singapore still isn’t one of them.
Garmin Forerunner 645 Music features:
- 24/7 fitness tracker. Tracks steps, distance, calories, sleep.
- Plays music via Bluetooth connected earphones
- Stores up to 500 songs
- Optical heart rate sensors with Elevate HR
- Full-color high resolution Garmin Chroma Display
- Altimeter, barometer, compass and in built temperature sensor with GPS & GlONASS
- Vibration and audio beeps enabled for smart notifications, alarms, move alerts
- Smart notifications, pick up phone calls from watch. Reply feature enabled when connected to compatible Android devices
- Garmin Connect IQ compatible for apps, widgets and watch face downloads
- VO2 Max score, recovery advisor, race time predictor, stress score, performance indicator, lactate threshold, training load, effect and status
- Training functions such as intervals, race an activity, and Virtual racer
- Strava Segment on device
- Water resistant to 5 ATM
- Up to 7 days battery life in smart watch mode, 5 hours in GPS and music mode
- ANT+ compatible, Bluetooth Smart, and Wi-Fi enabled
- Garmin Quick Fit strap compatible
So if you’re holding on to the Forerunner 630 or 235, is there a need to upgrade? It depends on how important you deem contactless payment options or music playing capabilities. Then again, a new wearable seem to have that mystical effect of jumpstarting your lacklustre training regime, even if its for a short while.
But you’ll need to bear in mind that battery is a mere 5 hours when used during GPS tracking along with music.