Garmin Forerunner 645 review

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music

It is now 2 months since the release of the Forerunner 645 Music (aka FR645M) as the first watch with music on-board. Though the past models allowed people to control music from their phones, the FR645M lets you load music on the watch and play to headphones. Certainly, this is a unique feature you should not overlook.

However, the idea behind the release of FR645M is more than music. Actually, the watch comes in 2 variants; non-music and music. The major idea behind the watch is to serve as a running wearable. That being said, the FR645M comes with great features and here is unbiased review of this watch.

Hardware and Design

The Forerunner 645 Music from Garmin comes with the most current look. Its face (42.5mm) and case makes it elegant. It comes with a 20mm silicon band (replaceable) alongside an instant release system.

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music

The tracker weighs only 45 grams. The screen is sharp enough and highly readable – even under sunlight. You can opt to keep your screen as 50 percent brightness to save your battery.

The design feature for the Forerunner 645 Music is a cute steel bezel. Such a design makes the watch look stylish and classic. Keeping in mind that the watch comes with changeable straps, the Forerunner 645 Music is a watch you can wear throughout your contexts.

Interface Navigation

Since the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music does not have a touchscreen, you’ll use the 5 physical buttons to navigate. There is a reason that made Garmin use buttons instead of a touchscreen. Any performance-focused watch requires physical buttons. In such a case, you’ll be able to use the watch even without looking at it. This is specifically helpful in activities such as running.

Touchscreen, on the other hand, is challenging to operate specifically when you sweat or on a rainy day.
Though five buttons might sound like overkill, which is a great number for Forerunner 645 Music. Once you get used to these buttons, you’ll find them really intuitive.

Here is as a quick overview of the 5 buttons:

To the left, the watch has three buttons: light, up and down button. And to the right, it comes with a start/stop button and a back button.

  1. The Light button switches on the backlighting of the watch’s face. If you want to view the quick menu, then long press this button. In doing so, you’ll view things like the timer, wallet,
    stopwatch and key lock.
  2. The Up & Down buttons help in navigating through the widgets. The two will take you through stuff like running, weather, notifications as well as other activity stats. Basically, these buttons do navigate up & down the menu that you are viewing.
  3. The star/Stop button helps you to open the activity widget. Hence, you can choose the activity you want to track. This button is an “enter” key for any other menu.
  4. The “Back” button takes you back to your previous page. Likewise, it works as a lap tracker while running or a stop during your swimming session.

On the run

Garmin Forerunner 645

The Forerunner 645 Music is a middle-high performance watch for running. So, you would expect it to deliver great results in that field.

For one, the wrist wearable is lightweight with a large dial that rests perfectly on your wrist. More so, the dial is easy to read even when the sunlight is at full range. For those who like running at night, they can switch the back-light on. However, you can set it in such a way that it only stays on when running. You know- just to save your battery.

There are options that you can select before you start running. The Run Settings, for instance, helps you to customize data screens such as cadence, distance, timer, and heart rate.
Training could be another option to select. This option lets you choose any workout you might have pre-downloaded. Alternatively, you can do standard workouts such as alternating walk/run or intervals.

A detailed hands-on review on the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music

As for Navigation as an option, you’ll be able to load up any course that you might have uploaded earlier. You can upload these courses from Garmin connect. Otherwise, you can come up with new ones from the Forerunner 645 Music watch.

After The Runs: Connectivity and Software

Similar to other Garmin GPS trackers, the Forerunner 645 Music will live your activities and stats on the Connect software eco-system. This is a system that you’ll fall in love with as you use the watch.

Once done with your running, activities will automatically synchronize over Wi-Fi. In addition, the “Physio TrueUp” feature will sync all the data from your Garmin items. Such functionality is ideal for anyone who likes using/testing more than one item.
Besides synchronizing data, Garmin Connect has great screens, widgets, and dashboards. Thus, you’ll view your activity levels such as sleep hours, steps and floors. And the built-in MyFitnessPal will let you know the calories burnt/gained.

Battery Life And Accuracy

The 645 Music has a battery life of 4 days when on heart rate mode, as well as 30 to 45 minutes of sports activity each day. At times combined with GPS, but at times not combined.

Sport modes

Garmin Forerunner 645

So you would like to head out for your favorite activity? No problem, this watch is officially meant to track different activities. Different from the old Garmin Forerunner watches, Garmin Forerunner 645 can track snowboarding, rowing, pool swimming, and even a sport such as skiing. This capability isn’t a new thing to people coming from the Fenix or multisport line-ups.


• Legible screen and lightweight watch
• Durable battery
• Tracks numerous exercises
• Enhanced design that is more comfortable than that of older models
• Five physical buttons are user-friendly; do not have touchscreen issues


• The music app compatibility is limited
• Choosy Bluetooth connection
• Its enhanced running metrics need extra hardware

The Verdict

If the price is not a concern, then you can purchase this watch. It has great features that you’ll fall in love with. The design looks well-made for aesthetics and functionality.

Though there are a few quirks that Garmin should iron out, the watch provides great information about your activity. This Forerunner 645 has screens that are extremely customizable.
Similarly, the battery life is great and it functions as a 24/7 activity GPs tracker. These are some of the features that justify the price of this watch.

For sure, the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music is a great option for any serious person who would like to measure their performance.

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