Garmin 645 Music Review – Is it Worth the Music?

I’ve done a lot of serious running and highly competitive racing so the Garmin Forerunner watches have been, no doubt, an amazing tool to use. So here I want to provide the best possible review for one of the top Garmin watches out there in the market right now, the Garmin Forerunner 645. From here, you can decide whether or not it deserves the spot on your wrist. Let’s get to it!

Forerunner 645 Music

Image by TheKleptomaniac

Product: Garmin Forerunner 645

Price: MSRP $449.99

Cheapest Place to Buy: amazon.com

Guarantee: 1-year warranty from date of purchase

My Ratings: 9 out of 10

Sleek Design and Look

  • When I’m running or training, I like to use my motto, “less is more.” This watch is very thin and lightweight without compromising any of its performance.
  • The face is just right in size, not too small, but not bulky either, being able to see things well in size.
  • It features a sunlight-readable display so there’s no worries if you hit any glares from the sun or anything else.
  • The Garmin Elevate HR sensor is a wrist heart rate monitors built into the back of the watch.
    • This is great for comfort and not having to worry about those heart rate bands you need to wear around your upper torso that can get annoying to wear and uncomfortable.
    • As far as accuracy goes, the watch is mainly designed for running, but with added cross-training for biking and swimming, so it’ll be more accurate with these sport activities and fitness that you’re not tensing up your arm muscles.
    • With fitness that does tense up your arms, it won’t be such an accurate read.
  • Quick-release bands. I really like this feature, especially if I’m in a specific setting like work or dressing up, you can change the look.
    • I struggled with this with my old Forerunner 620, especially being at work wearing professional clothes, but it’s not a problem anymore with the 645.
    • You can get quick-release bands from anywhere, other brands, not just Garmin. As long as it’s a 20mm wristband, you’re good to go. Better yet, it’s quick and easy because no tools are needed. Badabing badaboom!
    • The bands are also durable and stay pretty clean for a nice clean look.
  • Push buttons are used for controlling, like power on & off/backlight, up and down, start & stop;/select, and back button.
    • Honestly, the control buttons are what I like the least about the 645 version. With my old Forerunner 620, I was able to do most of the navigation with its touchscreen, which I think was much more easier, convenient, and streamlined. I hope that’s something Garmin can bring to the 645.

Standard Features for Garmin

  • GPS and Glonass (GLObal NAvigation Satellite System, a Russian based satellite system) for higher tracking accuracy, for better data and clearer mapping of your runs. Both can be switched on and off, but switch both on for double coverage.

    Image via Peakpx

    • In general, you’re always going to get the highest possible accuracy moving in straight lines, without curves, zigzags, etc., and away from tall trees and tall buildings.
  • UltraTrac Mode helps save the battery life. This feature occasionally turns off the GPS and defaults to using the accelerometer to calculate your runs.
    • The downside to this is the speed, distance and data tracking accuracy goes down. However, just get in a few GPS outdoor runs to improve the accuracy again.
  • Water-proof watch. It can go up to 5 ATM, which brings you to about 50m of water. So go swimming with it, do water sports, shower with it without worrying.
    • One very important tip. DO NOT PRESS ANY BUTTONS UNDERWATER!!! I learned this the hard way (and doing this isn’t covered under warranty). After I did this, I noticed my Garmin had condensation spots inside. I tried soaking it in rice (I found out kitty litter is better) to fix it, but I wasn’t able to get it to work normally again. I basically could only use it to just tell time after that.
  • Wrist HR Sensor not only monitors your heart rate, but it also pairs with other Garmin sensors like Bluetooth Low Energy sensors and ANT+ sensors like heart rate sensors, foot pods, and speed & cadence sensors.
  • Battery-Life. On average, it lasts anywhere between 3-5 days; that’s with one workout per day and using all the cool features.
    • For me, I don’t think that’s so bad. It’s better than having to charge it every single day, but for others, you may want to get more bang for your buck and have a longer-lasting battery.
    • With this, remember to have your power charger on hand to keep it juiced up.
    • One thing I wish Garmin could do is be able to plug in the USB directly into the watch instead of needing a special Garmin AC adapter.
    • Any of this info can be a make or break deal for you, so consider things first before making a final purchasing decision.

Sports Features

This watch is specifically targeting running, but it also features swimming and bicycling, perfect for those triathletes out there.

    • Run: A really cool thing to bring up here, there’s a setting for indoor running, Indoor Track, and Treadmill which is actually pretty accurate. Just get a few indoor runs in with “Treadmill” so it can learn your stride length for best accuracy. There’s also Trail Run.
    • Swim: Tracks pool swimming. The bummer about this, it doesn’t track open-water swimming.

Image by EM80 from Pixabay

  • Bike: Settings for not only outdoor but indoor as well.
  • Walk
  • Snowsports (Snowboard, Ski, XC Ski)
  • Water sports (Stand-up Paddleboarding (SUP), Row (Indoor and Outdoor)
    Getting in the gym…
  • Strength
  • Cardio
  • Yoga
  • Floor Climb
  • Elliptical
  • Stair Stepper
  • Others

You can also customize the names of these.

Even though there’s a bunch of sport features, one that is missing is a Golfing feature, unfortunately, for those who love golf.

Special Highlights

  • Music Storage: Listen to your favorite beats on your runs, storing up to 500 songs directly onto the watch.I’ve never heard of this with a Garmin watch until now so it’s pretty revolutionary for them.
    • There are two ways to listen: Bluetooth headphones or a Bluetooth speaker.
    • And… check this out… get things done while running, listening to your Podcasts and Audiobook.
    • And… it gets better… Garmin also works with iHeart Radio. You can transfer your music if you have iHeart Radio all access ($9.99 a month). You can’t sync stations, but you can sync your personal playlist (all done via WiFi). Pretty darn cool, I’d say.
    • The one sucky thing about the music is the connection at times. There’s been a bunch of these complaints, but if the watch is on the opposite wrist from your headphone, the music would cut out.
    • Pretty annoying. If this happens, you can reconnect the watch to get it back to normal, but it is a pain in the butt to deal with, especially because of the money paid for it.
    • On the other hand, I think it’s still a way better option having the music on the Forerunner 645 Music as opposed to another bulky device to lug around while running, like a cell phone. Just saying.


Here’s a quick video on how to load and listen to music:

  • Garmin Pay using contactless payments, making payment for goods and services on the go, using MasterCard and Visa. It only works with select banks, so you’ll need to see if your bank is supported.
  • Connect IQ: You can customize your Garmin, adding a bunch of features and functionality, by downloading third-party apps like Spotify, Deezer, and more.
  • Other cool little features:  It also has widgets like Alarm Clock, Stopwatch, Timer, Weather, Thermometer, Compass (I’ve gotten lost on unfamiliar runs so this can literally be a life-saver), Calendar, Flashlight, Stress tracker and Relax Timer.
    • Stay connected while running (with compatible smartphones), getting notifications from your phone, reply to emails and text messages, LiveTrack with friends, and some other goodies packed in there.
  • Running Dynamic Features: Fine-tune your training with Biomechanical measurements. For the super-serious runners, improving speed, time, and training for races like marathons, and ultra-marathons.
    • You can use the Garmin Running Dynamic Pod hip clip to help track things like cadence (number of steps taken per minute), stride length, ground contact time and balance, (symmetrical measurement of time of feet on the ground between your left vs right foot) vertical oscillation (how much vertical bounce you have from each step), and vertical ratio (vertical oscillation divided by stride length, shown in percentage).

The list goes on. You can do a ton of cool stuff with this device.

With all this good stuff mentioned here, the 645 is just like using your phone too.

Fitness Tracking

Fitness Tracking includes Step counting, calories burned, distance traveled, daily steps goal, sleep (not very accurate), and heart rate. It also gives you an activity goal to work towards in auto goal mode, based on your average past activity.

It also has daily alarms and will prompt you to get up and start moving if you’ve been just moseying along, doing nothing.

Overall Scope

Overall, the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music is a pretty awesome high-end quality watch. I know it has a high price point, but you’re getting what you pay for, and that’s quality. My Garmin watches in the past have also had a long life-span, lasting for years, as a serious runner, doing a lot of activity with it.

There are some kinks to be worked out in the device and disliked preferences, but still a great watch; it still can do a lot of things, fulfilling the needs of serious runners.

I’ll let you decide for yourself whether or not it’s worth that chunk of change for what you need or want.

I hope this review has been a help to you. Thank you for taking the time to read my review and please, as always, feel free to leave any comments or questions you may have or even an email at liana@myrunningstrong.com.

Happy Watch Shopping,



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