Aashutosh Chaudhari, a sports entrepreneur, an ultra-marathon runner, and a triathlete from Bangalore, compares Garmin Forerunner 235 with Garmin Forerunner 245. Aashutosh considers running his meditation, runs 5km to 100km and more, and also trains people in achieving their running goals.
Garmin Forerunner 235 (FR235) has been a go-to watch for most amateur runners world over. And, rightfully so, as FR235 packs nearly everything that its users would need without burning a serious hole in the pocket. So, when Garmin announced an upgrade in the form of Forerunner 245 (FR245), there was anticipation in the running community around two things. What more? And how much?
So when I was offered an early opportunity to sample FR245, I jumped at it. It is only fair that I share my experience for the benefit of the larger running community. So, here I go.
Slim and Trim
FR245 sits lightly on the wrist and to my utter surprise, it is also smaller than FR235. However, there is absolutely no compromise on the screen real estate – thanks to improved bezel design. Overall, FR245 fits snugly on the wrist without any compromise in the screen space despite overall reduction in the dimensions. Well played Garmin!
Additional Workout Modes
FR245 pleasantly surprises the user with several additional workout modes—some notable ones being: pool swimming, treadmill and bike indoor. Apart from the usual heart-rate monitor at the back, there is also a pulse-oximeter to measure blood oxygen saturation level, commonly known as SPO2. This is an important addition and will surely excite trail and high-altitude runners.
For cyclists, the FR245 can give you additional functions like cadence when used with an appropriate smart trainer.
Training Status, Load and Anaerobic Training Effect
The FR245 also incorporates training status, training load, and anaerobic training effect making it a much more activity-aware watch. Serious runners would find this useful to closely monitor workout effort and also optimize their training loads. It also integrates Garmin Coach which is good for beginners training for their 5K/10K/HM.
Running Dynamics Pod for Advances Running Data
FR245 also supports add-on accessories like running dynamics pod. This can throw in advance running data like ground contact time, vertical oscillation and much more. These features were hitherto available only in the advance series. Add-ons would, however, cost extra and is only for runners who are serious about analysing advance run data.
Music on the Go
Runners who love music on the move have a reason to rejoice with FR245. Garmin finally caught up on the music integration front with FR245. This was a much-needed enhancement and Garmin gets it right with features like 500 songs memory and integration with Spotify.
With breadcrumb maps, runners can now pre-load course, follow the GPS track and also find way back to the starting point. Trail runners would love this feature.
FR245 is also quite a looker. The sleek form comes with a completely new strap system which allows runners to change straps easily. And Garmin has added several cool and stylish color options for straps. Hope the same strapping system comes to the advance lines as well. Why should runners continue to struggle with those weird screw drivers. Garmin, are you listening?
If I have to seriously nitpick about anything, it would be the absence of barometric altimeter and gyroscope. However, these are meant for high-end outdoor watches so folks can’t complain.
Verdict – Additional Features are Worth the Money
Garmin has clearly hit a PB with FR245. The upgrade took some time but FR245 packs in a lot as compared to its predecessor. FR235 to FR245 is an upgrade worth considering for runners who are looking to go up the ladder in their running pursuits. It comes with a bit of a price but I think it worth the money!