What is the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music?
If you're a fitness fan who enjoys an accompanying soundtrack for your training, the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music may be the item you're looking for.
It's Garmin's response to the TomTom line of fitness trackers that play music, allowing you to listen to your favorite tracks while you exercise, without the need to connect your wrist device to a smartphone. Along with its top-notch fitness tracking features, this is one of Garmin's most attractive GPS watches for semi-serious athletes at some point.
However, its music playback capabilities are limited compared to most smart watches of the same price range. As a result, more casual fitness assistants who rely on streaming services such as Spotify should consider a smart watch such as the Apple Watch Series 3.
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Garmin Forerunner 645 Music – Design
From a distance, the 645 Music is a beautiful fitness tracker but identical to the regular Forerunner 645. It has the same circular main body, and the color is still identical too. Like the normal 645, the only obvious design that blossoms is the stainless steel metallic bezel that runs around the 1.2-inch 240 x 240 color screen.
The Forerunner 645 Music is Garmin's first portable device for offer local users music playback. Specifically, when combined with a set of Bluetooth headphones, the 645 Music can store and play up to 4GB of local music.
Garmin is not the first in this market to offer this, but it is nevertheless a great one step forward which means that avid runners and gym goers can enjoy a workout soundtrack without charging their smartphone . However, a few flies in the soup and omissions of characteristics hamper the general appeal of the music player.
The biggest of these is the lack of support for any third-party music playback service. Unlike Apple Watch, or many smart watches that compete with local storage, 645 Music does not allow you to transmit or cache songs from services such as Spotify. Deezer's support is promised; I was not active at the time of the review.
This might not be too problematic for an old gold man like me, who grew up buying music on CD and then ripping the files on a NAS, but for most people who will primarily use subscription-based services will be a annoyance.
It's even more annoying once you learn that Garmin is charging £ 50 extra for the improved version of Music from the 645. Not only that, but the "Garmin Express" software that tells you to use it to transfer files It is downright serious and prone to block. The attempt to transfer files to the Garmin through the application stopped halfway through the transfer every two times I tried to add music.
Fortunately, it is possible to add music to the device simply by dragging and dropping files with Music 645 connected to a PC, although Garmin does not make this clear in his instructions.
The lack of support for subscription services is a pity, because once you manage to transfer files, the music player works great. The Bluetooth connectivity is excellent, and apart from the super busy areas full of interference, I did not experience any loss, regardless of which set of headphones I used.
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Some may feel that the lack of other significant changes makes 645 Music feel a bit boring, but I am still a great admirer of the modest design and feature set. Like other Forerunner devices, the 645 is wonderfully comfortable to wear. This is helped by weighing only 42.2g and having only 13.5mm in thickness.
The screen is not as sharp or vibrant as the Apple OLED touch panel, but it's more than enough for a tracker. The brightness levels are decent, which means that the screen remains visible even outdoors.
Something that can throw at general users is the lack of touch controls. Like all Forerunner clocks, Music 645 is controlled by a set of physical buttons that are placed on the sides of the tracker. Specifically, you will find "light" controls up and down on your left side and start / stop buttons on the right. The menu system takes a while to get used to, but once you do it it will be properly intuitive for most people.
The lack of tactile support is also forgivable since wearables focus on build quality, which like all Garmin trackers I've tried, is excellent. The 5 ATM rating means you can survive the water adventures, and the Gorilla Glass 3 coating around your screen ensures that the device survives the strange blow or scratch. The 645 survived an accidental encounter with a free weight during a crack-free gym session.
Garmin Forerunner 645 Music – Tracking and Software
As a fitness tracker, music 645 is excellent and continues to register Garmin as one of the best in the business.
The company has packaged the watch with all the standard sensors that you would expect from a high-end fitness tracker. Highlights include GPS and GLONASS to track distances, a Garmin Elevate heart rate monitor, barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer and thermometer.
This combination, along with the 5 ATM water resistance of 65 Music, means that the Forerunner 645 can track all standard sports, including running, swimming and bicycling from the box. You can also expand its functionality to track more specific activities such as skiing and snowboarding, although taking into account the limitations I had at the time of the tests, I could only examine the first three.
As the watches with GPS work, like the normal 645, the music is excellent. Testing the clock through a variety of 5 and 10 km tracks I had drawn in London, I found that the distance tracking was accurate and the clock was wonderfully agile when a GPS connection was secured. Overall, 645 Music secured a GPS lock a good minute faster than Vivosport and Gear Fit 2 Pro against the one who was testing it.
The heart rate monitor is also as good as you get from a wrist-based tracker. Although the figures did not match the dedicated HRM strap or the Jabra Elite Sport that I tried, the figures were uniform. Unlike other trackers that compete with each other, there were no sudden blips that deactivated my training data.
However, what differentiates the Forerunner from similar devices is the way in which the combined mobile application uses the collected data to offer training tips. and information about your general progress. Although the application is still one of the least intuitive, the information offered is excellent. By scrolling through activity pages, you can drill down into your specific turnaround times, set goals and track long-term progress.
The Garmin training status function is particularly prominent. This is one of the pre-installed submenus on the clock. It presents several points of view, such as VO2 max. Dear, the training load and the expected execution times.
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As always, the VO2 Max figure is at best an estimate that is only useful as a framework reference. VO2 Max is a useful measure that measures the amount of oxygen you can store in your blood; The higher the number, the better your resistance will be. To get an accurate reading of VO2 Max, you need to exercise near laboratory conditions until you can not physically continue. Testing with the Forerunner, their estimates of VO2 Max were uniform and gave me a vague sense of progress as a result.
The training load is a more useful measure, which collects data from all your recent activities to provide a rough estimate of your activity level in the last 7 days. Also use your heart rate data to track "intensity minutes – periods where your BPM increased tremendously, indicating intense periods of exercise in which you were burning the most calories" and then recommended rest periods. The combination of factors is a useful incentive to follow a training regimen without exaggeration.
Finally, the estimated "race times" are also a decent motivator to constantly improve. The function offers an estimate of how long it will take you to complete 5 km, 10 km, half marathon and marathon trips. The figures are, apparently, an average based on your recent careers, but in general I consider them a bit optimistic. Believe me, I have not broken the 10 minute 45 minute barrier yet. In spite of everything, I found myself regularly working harder in the middle of the race to make sure that at least I was close to complying with the calculation.
Notifications are also as good as ever. When combined with a smartphone (support for iOS and Android), you can configure the Garmin to send alerts for everything from incoming messages to calendar and weather alerts. The lack of a touch screen takes a while to get used to, but after a week with the device, I can answer for the fact that the physical buttons work fine.
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Garmin Forerunner 645 Music – Battery
The only serious flaw I have noticed in Music 645, apart from its lack of support for music streaming services , it's your battery life a bit lackluster.
Garmin cites 645 Music that offers up to seven days of juice as a basic smart watch, 14 hours of music playback and five hours using GPS. While all those figures are pretty standard for an exercise tracker, with the use of the real world I found that 645 Music did not fulfill Garmin's claims.
I still have to take out a full week of Music 645 with regular use. Regular use means taking advantage of the functions of your smart watch throughout the day, using the clock to control my music during the morning and afternoon trips and keeping track of my 30-minute morning workouts. The trainings included a combination of indoor cycling plus three 5km races each week. In general, the watch achieved between three and five days before dying.
The disparity in the figures comes down to my use of GPS and music player. GPS tracking is particularly exhausting; a run of 25 minutes with the ignition can drain up to 15% of the music's battery 645. Adding the local music playback in the mix that figure went up, and in a 10 km race I ended up with both active functions, the clock He lost about one third of his load.
These figures are fine for smartwatch standards, but far below what you would expect from an exercise tracker. The previous Garmin trackers I've tried have achieved at least six to seven days of a single charge.
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Why buy the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music?
If you're a semi-serious athlete who is bent on getting a suitable tracker with local music playback, the 645 is a reasonable option. But this is mainly because the fitness market is fed up with decent followers offering local storage. TomTom used to meet those needs, but has suspended many of its watches that included local music playback.
As it is, the only other wearables that offer this function are more focused on being smart watches: Apple Watch Series 3, for example. Its music playback functions are also much more developed and offer support for streaming services such as Spotify. As it stands, 645 Music is limited to local playback, although Deezer's support has been confirmed in the near future.
Forerunner 645's excellent music localization system and its almost indestructible design make it a better choice than Apple Watch for more serious athletes, however.
A reliable tracker, offering music playback OK.