Garmin Forerunner 245 Music review: A smartwatch designed to survive rocky terrain
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music review: Priced at Rs 34,990, the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is a premium smartwatch that competes against Apple Watch 5, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4G, Huawei Watch GT 2 and other products at the same price point. So, let's see how good it is, in this Garmin Forerunner 245 Music review.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music review: The Indian smart-wearable market is finally exploding. For long, experts have tipped them to be the next big thing after smartphones but 2019 seems to be the year when users really started adopting smart-wearables in good numbers. The market grew by 30.9 per cent sequentially in Q2 in India and witnessed an all-time high of 30 lakh shipments in a single quarter, the latest report by IDC revealed. The growth was led by smartwatches that alone grew by 99.6 per cent (Year-on-Year) and 42.9 per cent (QoQ) in the second quarter of 2019.
The Swiss smartwatch manufacturer Garmin is one of the brands trying to have a large slice of the Indian pie. Earlier this year, it launched the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music - a rugged smartwatch designed to survive rocky terrain and allow fitness enthusiasts to have a carefree experience. Priced at Rs 34,990, the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is a premium smartwatch that competes against Apple Watch 5, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4G, Huawei Watch GT 2 and other products at the same price point.
I have had this watch for almost a month and thanks to my broken leg (caused by a freak accident at the gym - at least that's what I tell people), actually started using it only recently. So, let's see how good it is, in this Garmin Forerunner 245 Music review.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music review: Design
The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music has a distinguished design. Whether you like it or not, it all comes down to personal preferences. While the watch is designed for athletes and has a sturdy feel to it, the ability to draw instant attention is missing. In 2019, we have seen some beautifully designed watches like Fossil Gen 5, Huawei Watch GT 2 and Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 4G. Some of these have even closed the gap between a smartwatch and a traditional watch.
The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music, on the other hand, relies on durability and build quality. It is available in three colour options - Black, Lava Red and Aqua. We had the last for review purposes and while other options looked attractive in images, this one seems slightly dull.
Another issue with the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is that it uses buttons for navigation instead of touch. Now, while Garmin believes that this helps athletes keep the display sweat-free, it can be frustrating at times. Also, if you have been using a smartwatch that supports touch (as I have been), it will take some time before you get used to the navigation.
There are five navigation keys on the watch - two on right and three on the left.
The overall build quality of the watch is quite good - it is built to last. Unlike some other smartwatches, you don't need to worry about breaking this one because it may refuse to. The dial size is of 1.2-inch and the watch fits well on the wrist. The display is big enough for you to read the text on it.
At 38.5 grams, the watch is lightweight too.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music review: Performance and Battery
The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is packed with several features and claims to offer an enhanced running experience with detailed data, safety and tracking features along with other advanced training options. It comes with steps tracking, sleep tracking and a heart-rate sensor.
For a man with one functioning leg, I managed to maintain a decent step count for most days. The watch turned out to be accurate in most cases. To make the best use of the watch, you need to download the Garmin Connect App. It collects and shows the data from all your activities and is quite handful for tracking and improving your fitness regime.
The App itself is quite useful and gives you several options and features like ability to create a personalised workout session. There is a nice calendar on the app as well that shows you data from each day. This includes - steps, sleep, heart rate, and stress.
There is a separate window on the app for 'challenges'. It basically allows you to create challenges or join weekly challenges created by other Garmin users. You can try these if you find life isn't challenging enough! Didn't see this dark statement coming, did ya? Gotcha!
Now, throughout this review, you must be wondering what the 'Music' in the name of this watch is all about. Well, pretty simple - the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music allows you to sync it with Spotify and load music from your PC or Mac. It can hold up to 500 songs which is good if you are a frequent traveler or visit locations with unstable internet connection.
To sync Garmin Forerunner 245 Music with Spotify, you need a stable connection otherwise you will have a tough time starting it. Once you are able to pull it off, the watch works almost fine.
One big challenge you are likely to face is typing on this watch. As there is no touch, it can be really frustrating to type by using the navigation keys. It reminded me of the old feature phones and even the smart TV I have which forces me to use the remote to type. It is so annoying that I prefer 'casting' my smartphone. Ergh!
Coming back to the watch, it does have a pretty impressive battery life - an issue that I faced with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4G. The latter failed to last for more than 36 hours but this one keeps running for around four to five days even on high usage. Since there is a proprietary charger, you need to carry an extra cable.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music review: Final Verdict
The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is certainly not the most flashy or eye-catching smartwatch in India. If you go truly by the first look, it might not impress you. But, what's inside is what makes the difference. Garmin has used top-quality material on the Forerunner 245 Music which will take all the hits that you throw at it - in short, it will survive the toughest conditions. Nevertheless, the navigation buttons can be tough to manage and its price will make you think twice before making the purchase.
There are several other smartwatches available for equal or less in India. However, some of them might not offer as comprehensive tracking as the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music. So, if you are a fitness enthusiast and looking for an able tracker, this is surely an option.
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