Monday, January 08, 2018

Garmin Announces Forerunner 645M: M is for Music On Board a Stylish, Super Serious, Smaller Run Training Watch. Hands on Pictures from CES.

January 8th Garmin announced its next generation of runner focused Forerunner watches, the Forerunner 645M ($450) and Forerunner 645 ($400).

RoadTrailRun went hands go hands on with the 645 at the CES Show. The watch is noticeably light, small and comfortable on the wrist.  We expect to have a sample for testing soon.

The 645 weighs roughly 42.2 grams, so a touch lighter in weight than 43.8 g similar looking Vivoactive 3 ($270, see our article here). The 645M  is actually a bit smaller in diameter than the very small Vivoactive 3 but about 2 mm thicker.

Unlike the Vivocative with its single button and touch screen the 645 has 5 buttons arranged and functioning similarly to the Forerunner 935, so easy to operate with wet fingers.

It is lighter and smaller than the flagship Forerunner 935 ($500, see our article here) whose main difference is its up to 24 hours training battery life vs.12 hours for the Forerunner 645M in GPS and wrist heart rate training mode.

Dimensions and Weights
Forerunner 645M: 42.5 x 42.5 x 13.5 mm, 42.2 g
Vivoactive 3 : 43.4 x 43.4 x 11.7 mm, 43.8 g
Forerunner 935: 47 x 47 x 13.9 mm, 49 g
If the aesthetics of the slight increase in thickness is not an issue, the form factor should be great looking and performing (wrist heart rate) on smaller wrists,
On Board Music Player
The 645M has an on board music player for the first time in a Garmin with 500 song capacity. While Apple Watch, various Android Wear watches, and the Fitbit Ionic on board music the Forerunner 645M represents the first watch with deep run training and recovery tracking with such a capability.

Training Capabilities
And the training capabilities are very deep and exceed those of the Vivoactive 3 and are on par with the 935 or Fenix. They include the ability to pair the Garmin Running Dynamics Pod for bio mechanics data. it has practically every imaginable option including breadcrumb route navigation and a barometric altimeter, recovery and physiological analysis including V02 Max, Training Load and Status along with of course wrist HR and external Bluetooth and ANT+ sensor connections.

Smartwatch Features
Easily customizable through the Connect IQstore, Forerunner 645 Music users can download free data fields, watch faces, widgets and apps including UBER ETA, SmartThings, AccuWeather MinuteCastand more.

Both feature Garmin Pay for instant after run coffee or beer payments and a metal bezel for the first time in a Forerunner.

The 645 includes a full suite of activity and sleep tracking and other connected features such as phone notifications.

Battery Life
Battery life is rated at approximately 7 days in smartwatch mode. With GPS, wrist heart rate and music playing the battery life spec is 5 hours. Without music you will get approximately 12 hours of run tracking GPS and HR from the 645M and 645, We noted its charger is clip on in contrast to the rear charge of the Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 935.
We expect that the added style, smaller more practical size, Garmin Pay and music on board will be popular with serious runners seeking a full training watch and system they can be keep on 24/7 as a smartwatch and for those whose smaller wrists have been a bit overwhelmed by larger size Forerunner, Fenix, and competitors' watches.

See complete specs at Garmin here:  Forerunner 645M and Forerunner 645

The Forerunner 645M and 645 will be available in the February March 2018 time frame but can be ordered now below.

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Jeff Valliere said...

Wow, very nice. Glad to see they are re-thinking the charging cable and getting music on board (though I am surprised by the toll on battery life). Either way, looks like another hit from Garmin!

Sam Winebaum said...

Music not only has to “play” from the processor but added to that battery toll is the BT transmission. All the options Apple Watch, Ionic,etc seem to tap out about 5