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Garmin 245 vs 745 (2021): Choosing The Right Running Watch

The Garmin Forerunner lineup has expanded over the years to include feature-packed watches across budget, midrange, and premium price points. In this current catalog, the Garmin Forerunner 245 is perhaps the most popular model, owing to its affordability and functionality. It also comes in a Standard version as well as a Music variant.

The Garmin Forerunner 745, on the other hand, replaces the 735XT and has plenty more features to dig into. Although comparable to the premium 945, the Garmin 745 cuts corners to make it a slightly less expensive device. Now, if you’re in the market for a multi-sport watch, check out our review below to see which Garmin is the better choice.

Garmin 245 vs 745 Comparison Chart

ModelGarmin Forerunner 245Garmin Forerunner 745
TypeRunning watchRunning watch
VariantsStandard, musicn/a
Display 1.2 inch transreflective display1.2 inch transreflective display
Water Resistance5 ATM5 ATM
Maximum Battery Life7 days (Smartwatch mode only)7 days (Smartwatch mode only)
Music StorageUp to 500 songsUp to 500 songs
Blood Oxygen MonitoringYesYes
Running DynamicsYesYes
Sleep TrackingYesYes
Smart NotificationsYesYes
Garmin PayNoYes
Dimensions42.3 x 42.3 x 12.2 mm43.8 x 43.8 x 13.3 mm
FitWrist size of 127-204 mmWrist size of 126-216 mm
Weight38.5 g47 g
Launch DateApril 2019September 2020

Design and Hardware

The Garmin Forerunner 745, which comes with more sensors, is larger and chunkier than the Forerunner 245

Garmin 245 vs 745 Design
Both the Garmin 245 and 745 come in different colors.

In terms of appearance, there is little separating the Garmin 245 and 745. Forerunners have largely been following a template when it comes to design. Aside from the sleek circular watch case, these wearables sport a standard silicone band and a physical five-button array.

What sets the two watches apart, instead, is size. The Forerunner 745 is slightly bigger and bulkier than the Forerunner 245. Users who want a more inconspicuous wearable will definitely like the 245’s lightweight form better. Despite the contrast in size, Garmin has found a way to fit both models with the same 1.2-inch transflective display.

The extra chunk of the 745 can be attributed to the extra sensors it is equipped with. The device comes with a barometric altimeter, gyroscope, thermometer, and NFC chip. These are features missing on the 245, although the budget model still comes with a built-in GPS, compass, and a SpO2 sensor.

Garmin likes their wearables rugged. So it’s no surprise both the 245 and 745 are constructed from durable materials. The bezel of the watches, for instance, uses a sturdy fiber-reinforced polymer. On the other hand, their lenses are made from scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass. Both watches are also available in different colors. With the Garmin 245, however, the color option will depend on whether you get the standard model or music variant.

Fitness and Activity Tracking

Garmin’s Forerunner 745 tracks more activities and evaluates more metrics compared to the Forerunner 245.

Garmin 245 vs 745 Fitness and Activity Tracking
Train for your next marathon with the Garmin Forerunner 245 (left) and Forerunner 745 (right).

Although Garmin markets the Forerunners as running watches, these devices are quite versatile companions for fitness enthusiasts. For instance, both the Garmin 245 and 745 will measure key metrics like calories burned, daily step count, and intensity minutes. The wearables also come with a slew of workout profiles, including yoga, cardio, and strength training.

However, since the Garmin 245 doesn’t have an altimeter, the floors climbed aren’t measured. The Garmin 245 doesn’t monitor respiration rate, too. It’s usually in these specific metrics of the activities tracked by the watches that the 745’s advantage emerges. The mid-range Forerunner 745 simply captures and provides more information.

Fortunately, there are several shared features between the two devices. Both devices have solid running features to evaluate performance stats. As expected, these wearables are also compatible with Garmin’s other products for running, including its lineup of heart rate monitors. Users will also appreciate the pre-loaded running profiles on the watches.

The training, planning, and analysis features of the 245 and 745 are quite comprehensive, too. Perhaps the highlight yardsticks are training status, training effect, and training load. All three metrics offer meaningful insight into whether you’ve been effectively training or overdoing it.

Health and Safety Features

The Garmin Forerunner 745 offers more health and safety features than the Garmin Forerunner 245.

Garmin 245 vs 745 Health and Safety Features
Garmin’s Forerunners come with incident detection and all-day heart rate monitoring.

If you don’t have much use for fitness metrics or running dynamics, the health monitoring tools of the Garmin 245 and 745 still make these wearables worth buying. For starters, you get all-day wrist-based heart rates from the watches. You can also set up alerts for abnormal heart rate readings and observe their stress levels throughout the day.

Garmin’s Forerunners also come with some interesting measurements. Both the 245 and 745, for instance, can check your fitness age in tandem with the Garmin Connect app. You can even check out your energy levels via the Body Battery feature. Similar to many of today’s smartwatches, the Forerunners are equipped with SpO2 monitoring as well.

As expected, the 745 does have more to offer when it comes to health and safety. The mid-range device has 24/7 respiration rate tracking and delivers more comprehensive sleep insights. On top of incident detection and live tracking, the Forerunner 745 also offers a Group LiveTrack option.

Smart Features and Battery Life

Both the Garmin 245 and 745 support smart notifications and come with respectable battery life.

Garmin 245 vs 745 Smart Features and Battery Life
The Garmin 245 Music (left) is compatible with Spotify while the Garmin 745 (right) supports Garmin Pay.

Both devices work with the Connect IQ platform, so you can download apps and customize watch faces. They also support smart notifications and can be used to control music from your phone or watch. For the Garmin 245, however, the latter feature is only possible if you get the Music variant.

On both Forerunners, users can respond to texts and answer or reject calls using the watch itself. Keep in mind this feature is only possible if you’ve paired the watch to an Android device. In addition to these controls, the Garmin 745 comes with Garmin Pay for contactless payments. It’s a feature once again missing on the NFC-chip-less Garmin 245.

In terms of battery life, this duo is quite comparable. On smartwatch mode, both wearables will give users about one week of battery life. With GPS turned on, the Garmin Forerunner 245 will run for up to 24 hours, while the 745 lasts about 16 hours. But turn GPS and Music on, and you’ll find the battery life for both watches is subpar at 6 hours only.


The Garmin Forerunner 745 is better than the Garmin Forerunner 245. But if you’re on a budget and don’t mind missing some features, the 245 will do.

A look at the spec sheets and a review of their features clearly show the Garmin Forerunner 745 is the better device. The watch tracks more metrics, supports more activity profiles, and boasts more smart features. It also comes ready to play and manage your music. This recommendation, however, comes with the caveat the 745 is a slightly larger device that’s about twice the price tag of a regular Garmin Forerunner 245.

Now, if you think the added features are just fluff, then the Garmin Forerunner 245 is a reasonable and affordable alternative. It has most of the core fitness and health capabilities but does miss out on standard features like metrics for floors climbed and respiration rate monitoring. You can save more money if you opt for the standard model. But those who want a playlist while running will obviously like the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music more.


๐Ÿ“Œ What is the difference between the Garmin 245 and 745?

The Garmin 245 is a smaller and more lightweight Forerunner compared to the Garmin 745. However, the Garmin 245 does lack some features, including contactless payments, respiration rate monitoring, and a few fitness metrics, which the 745 has.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the Garmin 245 come in different colors?

Yes, the Garmin 245 is available in multiple colors. Customers can get the standard model in Slate Gray and Berry. If you opt for the Garmin 245 Music variant, you can choose between White, Black, and Aqua.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Garmin 745 the top-of-the-line Forerunner?

The Garmin 745 is the midrange device of the Forerunner lineup. For the premium option, users can look into the Garmin 945 instead. You can also see how both watches fare against each other in our Garmin 745 vs 945 comparison.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Garmin 745 compatible with the iPhone?

Yes, the Garmin 745 is compatible with the iPhone. However, some features of the wearable may not work when paired with an iPhone, including responding to texts and answering or rejecting calls.

Last update on 2022-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.