You don’t need to be a fitness freak to know how music can enhance your workout performance and this very fact has caught the attention of manufacturers of smart watches and activity fitness trackers. Be it biggies like Apple Watch 3 or Samsung gear sports, or the mid-range trackers like Fitbit Ionic, Fitbit Versa, all these devices now days are owning the music feature which lets you enjoy your workout sessions along with your Favorite playlist. Garmin Fitness watch, the well celebrated brand of fitness trackers and smart watches is not lagging behind either giving its competitors a run for their money. In Feb 2018, Garmin introduced the Garmin Forerunner 645 music in the forerunner series, which is their maiden Garmin fitness tracker to sport this music feature.
Garmin claims its latest offering as a lightweight yet most powerful smart watch to cut you free from a phone entirely. So let’s find out if this high-end Garmin Fitness Tracker is a worthwhile pick for your fitness pursuits.
Product: Garmin Forerunner 645 music
Price: Rs 39990 (in 2018)
- Advanced running dynamics
- 4GB internal memory to store 500 songs
- Contactless payment
- Inbuilt GPS
- Battery life up to 7 days
Design & Looks
Garmin Forerunner 645 music is impressive as far as design and looks are concerned. It is light on your wrist and sports a stainless steel rim that gives an overall plush feel to the device. The silicone straps are comfortable to wear throughout the day and can be swapped easily as per your liking and preference.
Unlike other Fitness watched like Huawei band 2 pro fitness or Fitbit charge 2 , this Fitness tracker by Garmin does not come with touch screen, instead it has got 5 physical buttons (3 on the left and 2 on the right) along the circumference of the dial to operate and navigate through various menus. Each of these buttons is labelled on the edge of the dial, which is very helpful; still new Garmin users will take time in getting familiar with their functions. Old users of forerunner series will have an advantage here as they are already accustomed with these functions.
The 1.2 inch screen of this Garmin Watch is protected with gorilla glass and metal rim. Notwithstanding the rounded shape of the dial showing things in a rather congested way, the sharp display makes the figures very much legible. Like other Garmin Running Watches, the display of this Garmin Forerunner 645 music is based on transflective technology, and thus remains bright and clear in all lighting ambiances. Moreover it comes with a back-light, which can be turned on in the dark, either manually by pressing one of the buttons given on the side or just by moving your wrist up to have a look.
App & Set up
Garmin fitness watch can be paired with your mobile phone through Garmin Connect app and ConnectIQ . It will open up a new world of apps, widgets, watch faces and a lot more. Once both are paired, the watch will keep notifying you regarding your messages, calls, emails and calendar reminders. On the flip side, it’s rather cumbersome to view notifications and reply to messages-it takes three presses up from the watch face followed by two presses on the notification before you can view the preset general responses. Android users can like social media posts and archive mails.
You can enter your personal details and even select & customise your workouts with the vast Garmin data base. This fitness partner of yours not only provides you detailed metrics about your health & workout performance but also motivates you to improve on it by comparing your figures with those of other users of your gender and age group.
There are a lot of options of interactive watch faces to choose from in Garmin ConnectIQ store. The app also lets you rearrange your favourite workouts to get faster access. Overall, the experience with this app is completely smooth and a treat for Garmin fitness watch users; a big thumbs up from my side.
Garmin Forerunner 645 Music is the first product by Garmin (a company known for the accuracy of the metric it offers), which includes this music feature and gives you the liberty of dumping your mobile phones during your workout sessions without compromising on entertainment. Going by the specifications, Garmin Forerunner 645 music can store up to 500 songs (4 GB of internal memory), which is superb. But getting those songs into this device is quite a task as no live streaming of music is supported here and as of now, the company doesn’t have any plans to work on that front.
Currently, Garmin only supports iHeartradio, which has very limited options. The other way to customise your playlist into this Garmin Forerunner 645 music is by connecting it to your PC, downloading the Garmin PC app (express), selecting & importing your favourite songs into the watch through this app. Once you are done with this transfer, you may connect it with your Bluetooth headset and get into the groove. No interruptions were observed during the indoor activities; however in outdoor sessions, the Bluetooth connection may flicker a bit.
Smart Watch Control
The control this smart watch offers you on your playlist is completely hassle-free. You may easily swap between your workout screen and music screen with just a press of the button. The audio quality is similar to what most of the smart watches offer now-days, nothing exceptional here. It is actually disappointing that the one feature supposedly the USP of this Garmin Fitness Tracker doesn’t turn out as amazing as it was expected to be.
Coming to fitness activity tracking, Garmin watches are always the front runners and this Garmin Fitness Watch is no exception. Garmin Forerunner 645 music can track your step-count, heart-rate, sleep quality, Vo2 max, stress, aerobic exercises and also various sport activities like swimming, skiing, hiking, cycling, yoga with impressive accuracy and detailing. Anyone would fall in love with the way it provides the post workout analysis which includes the impact of your workout and recommended recovery time. To start tracking, like other watches of forerunner series, in this Garmin fitness watch too, you have to launch the workout screen by pressing the start button. Use the respective buttons to scroll through the in-built workouts and choose the one you want to indulge in.
For runners, it is one dream gadget (true to its name) that not only does the advanced fitness tracking but also makes their training session a lot more entertaining with vast music storage. The in-built GPS is quick, accurate and doesn’t falter. This Garmin Fitness Watch equips you with the data on your pace, time, heart-rate, distance, impact and recovery time after every running session. It even notifies you as you start getting tired during your run. Professional athletes would be thrilled to know that it provides ground contact time and vertical oscillations too.
Garmin Fitness Watch Tracker
With Garmin Forerunner 645 music, you would also enjoy your cycling sessions a trifle more. Besides presenting the detailed metrics, this Garmin fitness tracker is also pretty good at supporting a wide range of cycling accessories like turbo trainers, bike lights, power meters, etc.
To track the gym and aerobic exercises, Garmin Forerunner 645 music uses accelerometer. Thus to get accurate metrics you have to remain conscious of the fitness envelope, which requires you to perform all your movements slowly and consistently. This is a good feature as it pushes you to perform your moves correctly; but at the same time it is not possible for every person to always remain so precise with his movements, and as a result your rep counts may not turn out to be so accurate. The rest timer though is a worthy add on to provide you breaks between each set. Overall I recommend the device for weight training if you can spare yourself to review the number of reps and weight after each set which I’m not sure is worth the effort every time.
With accelerometer and altimeter in its kitty Garmin forerunner 645 music lets you enjoy a variety of sports activities by remarkable tracking. Snowboarding, skiing, paddle boarding, rowing, swimming (in pool), yoga, elliptical workouts; the list is long and exciting. This Garmin fitness watch is surely one of the best sport partners.
Another interesting feature of this Garmin Fitness Watch is the way it gives you the insight into your stress by measuring the variance in your heart rate. It can also tell you about your sleep quality.
This feature, which was first introduced in Garmin Vivoactive 3 is now available on Garmin Forerunner 645 music too. It is certainly a very exciting feature which lets you make payments with your smart watch and you don’t need to carry your money or cards with you everywhere. You are required to input your card details and pin once into your smart watch and then you can make payments whenever and wherever you want. But the catch is that very few banks support this feature. So as of now, no matter how appealing this may sound to you, it is of little practical use.
The battery life of this Garmin fitness watch is neither great nor bad and depends a lot on the usage. If I compare Garmin forerunner 645 music watch with other watches of forerunner series, in terms of battery life, I must admit forerunner 935 will score higher. With continuous usage the battery of this watch can last up to 4-5 days, which is definitely not bad. It includes daily fitness tracking, GPS tracking and music playback. If you use it in moderation, you can easily make it last for almost 6-7 days. Unlike other Garmin watches, this one comes with a clipped on charger. Where the battery may generally take an hour to get completely charged up again.
Verdict for Garmin Forerunner 645 Music
- Big storage
- Stylish and comfortable design with sharp display
- Impressive accuracy in activity tracking
- Fast GPS
- Advanced post workout analysis
- Lots of in-built workout options and sports activities
- No streaming of music
- Contactless payments not supported by banks as yet
To summarise my opinion about this Garmin Fitness Watch, to me it seems to be a midway product. Garmin’s strategy to blend their expertise in functional fitness tracking with entertainment is definitely worthy of appreciation but the overall experience leaves a lot on the wish list. In the absence of live streaming of music, creating your desired playlist calls for too much of an effort which spoils the much hyped “music feature” of Garmin Forerunner 645 music completely. The worst part is that the company has no idea when it will be available in future.
New and Worthy
So for those of you who wish to upgrade to this Garmin Fitness Watch solely for the music element, please maintain a distance. Contactless payment is again a very tempting feature, but unless the banks start supporting this fast, it will remain a text book feature. However, as with the other watches by Garmin, this Garmin Fitness Watch too gets its basics right and proves to be an excellent fitness tracker. The detailed insights you get on your wrist after every workout session feels like a pat on the back and also motivates you to push yourself harder by comparing your metrics with other users.
The design is chic, comfortable and flexible to be changed as per your mood and preferences. The display remains clear and legible in every lighting and environment. I also like the fact that it doesn’t come with touch screen. Though many people wouldn’t appreciate straining their fingers too much, it is always comfortable to use your sweaty fingers for pressing the buttons than for clicking on the tiny screen.
All in all if you want a smart watch that can track your regular workouts and sport activities I would not recommend buying Garmin Forerunner 645 music, for its price tag. Garmin does sell a model sans music feature Garmin Forerunner 645 for lesser bucks but you can get a better deal with FitbitAlta, Fitbit Versa or Garmin Vivoactive3. This Garmin fitness watch is for those who want to train with specific metrics and of course for ardent Garmin fans.
Aafiya is a health and wellness enthusiast. She utilizes her spare time to contribute insightful articles around day to day lifestyle challenges and their remedies, that all can relate to.
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