Garmin Forerunner 55 vs 245 – Product Comparison

Garmin Forerunner 55 vs 245 – Product Comparison

The Garmin Forerunner 55 and the Garmin Forerunner 245 are actually surprisingly similar running watches. 

Even though the FR55 is technically Garmin’s entry-level running watch, it can go toe-to-toe with the FR245 in terms of sports modes, running features, and activity tracking technology. 

However, there are a few key differences, with the music storage and advanced running dynamics being the biggest drawcards of the Forerunner 245. 

Now let’s dive into the details of this product comparison. 

Key Similarities - Garmin Forerunner 55 vs 245

FR55

FR245

GPS

GLONASS + GALILEO

OPTICAL HEART RATE MONITOR

UNDERWATER WRIST-BASED HRM

24/7 ACTIVITY TRACKING

ACCELEROMETER

RUNNING INDOORS + OUTDOORS

CYCLING INDOORS + OUTDOORS

POOL SWIMMING

FITNESS AGE

BODY BATTERY™ ENERGY MONITOR

ALL-DAY STRESS

ADVANCED SLEEP TRACKING

SMART NOTIFICATIONS

SAFETY TRACKING

AUTO LAP® + MANUAL LAP

CONNECTIVITY

Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®

Bluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®

WATER RATING

5 ATM

5 ATM

Key Differences - Forerunner 55 vs Forerunner 245

FR55

FR245

PHYSICAL SIZE

42 x 42 x 11.6 mm

42.3 x 42.3 x 12.2

LENS MATERIAL

Chemically Strengthened Glass

Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3

DISPLAY SIZE

1.04" (26.3 mm) diameter

1.2" (30.4 mm) diameter

DISPLAY RESOLUTION

208 x 208 pixels

240 x 240 pixels

WEIGHT

37 grams

38.5 grams

SMARTWATCH BATTERY

Up to 2 weeks

Up to 7 days

GPS BATTERY

Up to 20 hours

Up to 24 hours

GPS + MUSIC BATTERY

Up to 6 hours

TOTAL RUNNING FEATURES

11

16

TOTAL SPORTS MODES

14

15

HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING

RESPIRATION RATE (24X7)

INDOOR ROWING

PULSE OX BLOOD OXYGEN

MUSIC STORAGE

Up to 500 Songs

Running Features - FR55 vs FR245

  1. Running
  2. Treadmill Running
  3. Track Running
  4. Indoor Track Running
  5. Virtual Running
  6. Distance, Time & Pace
  7. Cadence
  8. PacePro Pacing Strategies
  9. Run Workouts
  10. Race Predictor
  11. Foot Pod Compatible
  1. Running
  2. Treadmill Running
  3. Track Running
  4. Indoor Track Running
  5. Virtual Running
  6. Distance, Time & Pace
  7. Cadence
  8. PacePro Pacing Strategies
  9. Run Workouts
  10. Race Predictor
  11. Foot Pod Compatible
  12. Trail Running
  13. Running Dynamics (with accessory)
  14. Vertical Oscillation and ratio (with accessory)
  15. Ground contact time (with accessory)
  16. Stride length (with accessory)
  17. Performance condition

Sports Modes - FR55 vs FR245

  1. Running
  2. Treadmill Running
  3. Track Running
  4. Indoor Track Running
  5. Virtual Running
  6. Cycling
  7. Indoor cycling
  8. Pool Swimming
  9. Cardio Training
  10. Elliptical Training
  11. Stair Stepping
  12. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
  13. Pilates
  14. Yoga
  1. Running
  2. Treadmill Running
  3. Track Running
  4. Indoor Track Running
  5. Virtual Running
  6. Cycling
  7. Indoor cycling
  8. Pool Swimming
  9. Cardio Training
  10. Elliptical Training
  11. Stair Stepping
  12. Indoor Rowing
  13. Pilates
  14. Yoga
  15. Trail Running

Reasons To Choose The Forerunner 55

Garmin Forerunner 55 Features

It's almost the same watch, but it cost $100 less

When you look at the specs of the Forerunner 55 side by side with the Forerunner 245, it should be pretty clear that these watches are very similar from a technical perspective. 

By opting for the FR55, you essentially get all the main features of the FR245, with the exception of music storage and a few advanced running metrics. 

Basically, if you don’t listen to music while you’re running outdoors, there isn’t all that much reason to go for the FR245. You can basically pocket that extra $100 and simply opt for the F55 instead. 

Forerunner 55 (White)

Forerunner 55 (Black)

Reasons To Choose The Forerunner 245

Advanced Running Metrics

The main advantage the Forerunner 245 has over the Forerunner 55  for runners specifically, is support for Garmin advanced running dynamics. This opens up the following running metrics on the FR245. 

  • Ground Contact Time – The time your foot spends on the ground with each stride. 
  • Ground Contact Balance – Symmetry between left and right foot when running. 
  • Vertical Oscillation – The amount of ‘bounce’ in your running motion. Reducing the amount of bounce in your stride can improve your running efficiency/economy. 
  • Vertical Ratio – the cost-benefit ratio with stride length. This stat can help you find the ideal stride length for setting new a PB, in any distance. 
  • Cadence – Real time cadence metrics,  displayed on your watch
  • Stride Length – Real time stride length data, displayed on your watch

However, it’s worth mentioning that in order to unlock these advanced running dynamics, you will need to invest in one of the following Garmin accessories. 

  1. Garmin HRM-Run (Chest Strap)
  2. Garmin HRM-Tri (Chest Strap)
  3. Garmin Running Dynamics Pod

Music Storage

This is one of the key selling points of the FR245. You essentially get 3.5GB of music storage (about 500 songs) and you can also play music through the following apps:

  • Spotify
  • Deezer
  • iHeartRadio
  • Apple Music

Perhaps more importantly, music storage is quite literally the most compelling reason to choose the Forerunner 245 over the Forerunner 55. If you take this feature away, it makes sense to simply keep the extra money in your wallet and go for the FR55. In other words, music storage is a dealbreaker in this particular product comparison. 

Forerunner 245 (Black)

Forerunner 245 (White)

Leave a Comment