Garmin Forerunner 45 vs Forerunner 245 – Comparison

Garmin Forerunner 45 vs Forerunner 245 – Comparison

The Garmin Forerunner 45 is the latest entry-level running watch from the biggest brand in wearable tech.

The Forerunner 245 is just as new, and it brings some powerful technology to the table that you won’t find in the FR45.

But it’s also a lot more expensive.

To help you understand if it’s worth the extra cash, we are going to unpack all the key differences and all the key similarities between these two watches.

Let’s get stuck in.

Garmin Forerunner 45 vs Forerunner 245 - Key Similarities




Wrist HRM

Indoor + Outdoor Running

Indoor + Outdoor Cycling

Autopause & Autolap

Virtual Pacer

V02 Max Estimate

Body Battery Score

Safety Tracking

Garmin Coach (Training Plans)

Smart Notifications

Sleep Tracking

Stress Tracking

Barometric Altimeter

Garmin Running Power Compatible

Garmin Forerunner 45 vs Forerunner 245 - Key Differences

Music Storage & Apps

Recovery Time

Race Predictor

Pulse Oximeter

Advanced Running Stats

Training Load & Training Status

Anaerobic & Aerobic Training Effect

Pool Swimming



Connect IQ

Watch Faces Only

All Features

Visual Summary of Key Features

Forerunner 45 Product Features

Forerunner 245 Product Features

Features Unique to Garmin Forerunner 245

Before we dive into the features that are only found in the Forerunner 245, it’s worth emphasizing that every feature available in the FR45 is also available in the FR245. Now we can get started.

Music Storage & Apps - FR245 Only

This is one of the defining features of the Forerunner 245. It can store up to 3.5GB of music, and it’s also compatible with the following music apps:

  • Spotify 
  • Deezer

Obviously it helps if you have a good pair of Bluetooth sports headphones as well.

Pulse Oximeter - FR245 Only

Pulse oximeter technology was first introduced with the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus. Now it’s become a standard feature in Garmin’s midrange and high-end GPS watches. 

The primary function of the PulseOximter is to measure your blood oxygen saturation levels (Sp02). However, Garmin are also using the PulseOx to improve measurements of your sleep quality, which ties into your overall body battery score.

Advanced Running Metrics

This is another key difference between the Forerunner 45 and the Forerunner 245. The FR245 supports advanced running metrics, whereas the FR45 does not.

If you aren’t sure what this means, the bullet points should help clarify what those advanced running metrics actually are: 

  • Ground Contact Time (the time your foot spends on the ground with each stride)
  • Ground Contact Balance (Symmetry between left and right foot)
  • Vertical Oscillation (degree of ‘bounce’ in your running motion)
  • Vertical Ratio (the cost-benefit ratio with stride length)
  • Cadence (Real time)
  • Stride Length (Real time)

However, there is something else you need to know. If you want to measure all the advanced running stat mentioned above, you need to invest in one of the following four accessories:

It doesn’t necessarily matter which one you choose. Personally, I would go with the HRM-Run monitor or the HRM-Tri monitor, because then you can get super accurate heart rate tracking, and advanced running metrics. 

Pool Swimming - FR245 Only

This is another key difference between the FR45 and the FR245. 

Pool swimming is a pretty cool feature to have, but you can only access it if you opt for the Forerunner 245

This could be a game changer for people who do lots of pool training. For those who don’t, it doesn’t necessarily matter all that much. 

WiFi Connectivity

This might not seem like a big deal, unless you own a Huawei 😂

In all seriousness though, the convenience of WiFi data transfer adds up over time. It’s faster and more efficient than Bluetooth data transfer, and it’s only available on the Forerunner 245. 


FR45 vs FR245 - Sports Modes

We’re going to use some super simple tables to show the differences in total sports modes. You can view the comparison table below:

Forerunner 45 - Sports Modes Forerunner 245 - Sports Modes
01) Cardio Training 01) Cardio Training
02) Elliptical Training 02) Elliptical Training
03) Stair Stepping 03) Stair Stepping
04) Yoga (added through app) 04) Yoga
05) Outdoor Running 05) Outdoor Running
06) Treadmill Running 06) Treadmill Running
07) Indoor Track Running (through app) 07) Indoor Track Running
08) Cycling 08) Cycling
09) Indoor Cycling (through app) 09) Indoor Cycling
10) Strength Training
11) Trail Running
12) Indoor Rowing
13) Pool Swimming

So which one should you buy?

There’s no question that the Forerunner 245 is the more accomplished running watch. It actually gives the Forerunner 645 (Garmin’s advanced level running watch) a serious run for it’s money. 

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider the Forerunner 45. It’s comfortably the best GPS running watch in the $200 price bracket.

Ultimately, when choosing between these two watches, it comes down to this:

  • If you want the best value for money – FR45
  • If you want more technical features and advanced running stats – FR245
  • If money isn’t an issue – FR245
  • If you do lots of pool training – FR245
  • If you don’t want to carry your phone to play music on your runs – FR245

Garmin Forerunner 45 Colors

Garmin Forerunner 45 Purple
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Garmin Forerunner 45 Black
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Garmin Forerunner 245 Colors

Garmin Forerunner 245 Berry
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Garmin Forerunner 245 Aqua
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Garmin Forerunner 245 White
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Please note – The berry version (featured top left above) doesn’t have built in-music. That’s why it’s a bit cheaper. 

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