Garmin Forerunner 45 Vs. 55 Vs. 245: Best Running Watch

Garmin’s Forerunner line of GPS running watches covers a wide range of features and price points to meet the needs of all types of runners. With so many options to choose from, it can be tough to decide which model is the best fit for your training needs and budget.

Three of Garmin’s most popular Forerunner watches are the 45, 55, and 245.

But how do you determine which of these running watches is right for you? This comprehensive guide compares the key features and performance of the Forerunner 45, 55, and 245 to help you select the ideal GPS running companion.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureForerunner 45Forerunner 55Forerunner 245
Display Size1.04″ square1.04″ square1.2″ circular
DesignSlim, lightweightSlim, lightweightSporty look, larger face
Battery LifeUp to 14 days smartwatch mode, 12 hrs GPS modeUp to 14 days smartwatch mode, 12 hrs GPS modeUp to 14 days smartwatch mode, 12 hrs GPS mode
GPSBuilt-in GPSBuilt-in GPSBuilt-in GPS
Heart Rate MonitoringOptical sensorOptical sensor + Pulse OxOptical sensor
Run Tracking MetricsBasic pace, distance, intervalsBasic pace, distance, intervals, advanced dynamics like VO2 max, recovery advisor
Training FeaturesGarmin Coach adaptive training plansGarmin Coach adaptive training plans, on-wrist workouts
Smartwatch FeaturesNotifications, weather, music control, customizable watch facesNotifications, weather, music control, customizable watch faces, women’s health tracking, hydration trackingFull notifications, music storage, Garmin Pay, Connect IQ store

Overview Of The Garmin Forerunner 45, 55, And 245

Garmin Forerunner 45 Vs. 55
Garmin Forerunner 45 Vs. 55

The Forerunner 45, 55, and 245 have many similarities, along with some key differences that runners should understand before making a purchase.

Forerunner 45 – Garmin’s most affordable GPS running watch. It offers basic run tracking and activity monitoring in a slim, lightweight design.

Forerunner 55 – A step up from the 45 with additional features like built-in workouts, pulse ox sensor, and women’s health tracking. Retains the slim form factor.

Forerunner 245 – Garmin’s popular mid-range running watch. More advanced metrics and training features compared to the 45 and 55. Larger display size.

Now let’s dive into the details on how these three watches compare across the metrics that matter most to runners.

Also Read: Comparison Between Wahoo Watch And Garmin.

Design And Display

When it comes to the design and display, the 45 has the smallest footprint, while the 245 is the largest of the three watches.

The Forerunner 45 has a 1.04″ square display with a slim profile that’s light and comfortable for all-day wear. The minimalist design is ideal for new runners transitioning from a basic activity tracker.

Garmin Forerunner 55 Vs. 245
Garmin Forerunner 55 Vs. 245

The Forerunner 55 has the same compact square face and lightweight build as the 45. The slim styling prioritizes comfort and wearability during workouts.

The Forerunner 245 rocks a 1.2″ color display that’s significantly larger than the 45 and 55. The circular watch face provides more real estate for data, while the side buttons offer intuitive control. The 245 has a sporty look and substantial feel on your wrist.

If you want a running watch that disappears when worn, the 45 or 55 is your best bet. For runners who want a larger, higher resolution display to see more workout stats and details, the 245 is the way to go.

Tracking Features And Sensors

When it comes to the core tracking features, the 45, 55, and 245 have a lot in common, along with a few key differences.

All three watches use GPS to record your pace, distance, route, and other run stats. They are compatible with external sensors like foot pods and heart rate monitors for capturing cadence and heart rate data. Each model also has an optical heart rate sensor built into the back of the watch.

The Forerunner 45 offers basic run tracking features like intervals, auto lap, auto pause, and pacing alerts.

The Forerunner 55 adds a pulse oximeter sensor that estimates your blood oxygen saturation levels. It also includes support for Garmin Coach adaptive training plans.

The Forerunner 245 maxes out the run tracking capabilities with advanced dynamics like ground contact time, vertical oscillation, and more. It also measures performance stats like VO2 max and a recovery advisor. The 245 also supports on-wrist workouts.

For most runners, the tracking and sensors on the 45 and 55 will provide all the data needed for effective training. Athletes who want more running dynamics metrics and on-watch coaching will benefit from upgrading to the 245.

Also Read: Is Garmin Vivoactive Better Than Vs. Vivoactive 4?

Navigation And Connectivity

The GPS navigation and connectivity features are very similar on the Forerunner 45, 55, and 245. All three models have built-in GPS that maps your pace, distance, and route when running outdoors. They connect to satellites quickly to track your run stats accurately.

In terms of connectivity, the watches use Bluetooth to pair with your smartphone and external sensors. Receive notifications, sync your activities, and customize settings through the Garmin Connect app. They all lack advanced navigation features like trail running modes and navigation integration you’ll find on higher-end Garmin watches.

For most runners, the GPS and connectivity features are likely sufficient for tracking outdoor runs and connecting the watch to your phone. Only trail runners or athletes who want navigation features like “back to start” guidance would need to look at more expensive Garmin options.

Battery Life And Water Rating

Getting up to two weeks of battery life on a single charge (in smartwatch mode), the Forerunner 45, 55, and 245 are very evenly matched when it comes to battery performance. The watches have enough juice for about 12 hours of GPS run tracking.

All three watches have a 5 ATM water rating, meaning they can withstand swimming and showering, but are not intended for prolonged underwater use.

For battery life and water protection, any of the Forerunner 45, 55, or 245 will fit the bill nicely for most runners.

Smartwatch Features

In addition to their running-focused features, the Forerunner 45, 55, and 245 also offer some basic smartwatch functionality for everyday wear.

The Forerunner 45 offers smartphone notifications, weather updates, music controls, and customizable watch faces.

The Forerunner 55 adds a few more smart features like women’s health tracking, hydration logging, and Garmin’s safety/tracking features.

The Forerunner 245 maxes out the smartwatch capabilities with full notification support, onboard music storage, contactless payments, and access to Connect IQ for downloading apps and watch faces.

The 245 provides the best blend of advanced training features and smartwatch functions for athletes who want an all-purpose GPS watch. The 45 and 55 still offer a nice mix of run tracking and smart notifications for the price.

Price Comparison

When it comes to price, the Forerunner 45 is Garmin’s most affordable option, while the 245 sits at a moderate price point.

The Forerunner 45 sells for around $150, making it the choice for new runners on a tight budget.

The Forerunner 55 costs roughly $200, providing some additional sensors and features over the 45.

The Forerunner 245 retails for approximately $300, slotting it in as a mid-range multisport GPS watch with advanced run tracking.

The 45 punches above its weight class at an entry-level price point. The 245 gives you the most features for the money as an intermediate GPS running watch with smart capabilities. The 55 sits in the middle in terms of functionality and cost.

Also watch the video!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Garmin Forerunner 45 or 55 better?

The Forerunner 55 is the better option between the 45 and 55. For just $50 more than the 45, the 55 adds a pulse ox sensor, support for Garmin’s adaptive training plans, a slightly larger display, and more smartwatch features like women’s health tracking and hydration tracking.
The 45 is best for new runners who want basic GPS run tracking at the lowest price point. But the 55 gives you more capabilities for just a little more money.

Is Garmin 55 or 245 better?

The Forerunner 245 is the better watch overall compared to the 55 thanks to its more advanced run tracking metrics, onboard music storage, contactless payments, and wider selection of apps and watch faces.
The 245 also has a larger, color display. But the 55 still offers solid GPS run tracking in a slim and lightweight build for $100+ less than the 245. So the 245 provides more robust features for serious runners, while the 55 is a great value for more casual runners.

Is the Garmin 245 better than 45?

Yes, the Forerunner 245 is the better watch compared to the 45. The 245 has a larger, color display, more run tracking metrics like vertical oscillation and VO2 max estimates, onboard music storage, Garmin Pay, and access to Connect IQ for extra apps and watch faces.
The 45 is limited to basic GPS run tracking. The 245 is worth the extra $150 for runners who want advanced training features, while the 45 excels at delivering core GPS tracking on a budget.

Is Garmin Forerunner 245 outdated?

No, the Garmin Forerunner 245 is not considered outdated, even though it was originally released in 2019. The 245 still has Garmin’s latest run tracking technology like GPS, optical heart rate, performance monitoring tools, and training features. When paired with a smartphone, the 245 also delivers notifications, music control, and other smartwatch functions.
While Garmin has released advanced watches after the 245, this mid-range model still provides modern features at an affordable price point compared to newer high-end watches. The 245 remains a versatile, accurate running watch that can capably handle most athletes’ training needs.

Also Read: Comparison Between Kore 2.0 And Fitbit.

The Verdict

So, which of these popular Garmin running watches is the best choice for your training needs and budget?

For new runners wanting a slim, lightweight GPS watch at an affordable price, the Forerunner 45 hits the sweet spot.

For female runners wanting a compact watch with advanced women’s health tracking, the Forerunner 55 is an excellent option.

For runners wanting robust training tools and daily smartwatch functions, the Forerunner 245 is hard to beat in the mid-range category.

Any of the Forerunner 45, 55, or 245 will provide you with accurate GPS tracking for all your runs. The differences come down to the sensors, workout features, smart connectivity, and price point. Evaluate which features would add the most value to your current training routine and choose the watch that aligns with your needs and budget.

With Garmin’s user-friendly designs and solid GPS performance, you can’t go wrong with the Forerunner 45, 55, or 245 as your running partner.

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