Most people would say that I am a smart-watch fanatic and I can’t argue with that. I always research new models that come out and ask people that have them about their performance. That being said I do take a general liking to Garmin Forerunner and I currently use the Forerunner 55, on the other hand, my brother uses the Forerunner 245, and let me tell you it’s a never-ending show-off.
I decided to borrow the smartwatch from my brother, make a Forerunner 55 vs 245 comparison, and finally have a non-biased opinion on the matter, so let’s begin.
- Both the Forerunner 55 and the Forerunner 245 have an almost identical design.
- The Forerunner 245 has a higher-quality display.
- The Forerunner 55 has a longer battery life on smartwatch mode.
- The Forerunner 245 Music model is on the pricey side.
- The Forerunner 245 has more features than the Forerunner 55.
Quick Overview: Forerunner 55 vs Forerunner 245
So, before I go into detail, let’s get a few basic things out of the way. Both of these models have basic smartwatch features. They both track your basic activities like running, cycling, elliptical training, and so on.
They do this by tracking your steps and heart rate which are used to calculate your total burned calories. They also track your sleep schedule, stress levels, and menstrual cycle. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the menstrual tracking, but the other statistics were pretty accurate.
They both have training metrics that track your recovery time and energy levels based on your heart rate, stress, and activity. Also, they have a few workout program options that allow setting your pace, which I find useful for high-intensity interval training or HIIT for short.
Both models have safety features that, when connected to your phone, will alert your emergency contacts that something is wrong. This feature is extremely useful if you run at night or on remote tracks.
I would like to point out that, sadly, I have had some female friends who had unwanted interactions while running alone, and I always recommend getting a smartwatch with safety features like these.
Similar to other models out there the Forerunner 55 and the 245 have basic features such as a calendar, message reader, find my phone option, and the option to lock your phone from a distance.
Style: Forerunner 55 and 245
To be honest I kept confusing which one is a witch if they were not turned on. Both feel lightweight even though they look a bit bulky. Before I got my Forerunner I had a basic M6 smartwatch so the transition took some time to get used to.
However now, I don’t feel either of them on my wrist. As I mentioned you can’t tell the difference just by looking at the locked screen. Both classic-looking watches have a round design and both have 2 buttons on one side and 3 on the other.
If you pay close attention you can spot a little defense in the Start button. The black Forerunner 245 has a red detail on the button, and the black Forerunner 55 has a green detail with the word Start also being green.
The blue models are a bit more difficult to tell apart, the only thing giving them away is the blue letters on the Star button on the 55.
Both watches are button operated, which I find a lot better for runners, and generally all types of cardio. Buttons are easier to maneuver in my opinion than touch screens since a lot of times you are sweaty and the touch screens don’t pick up your commands very well. Also, they are very tiny so it’s difficult to push the right part of the screen while moving.
The logo is placed identically on both models at the bottom, on the black frame that goes around the display. Also, both have silicon straps that sit comfortably on your wrist and they come in different colors, with the 245 having a wider range to choose from.
The Forerunner 55 is 1.65 x 1.65 x 0.46 inches and weighs 37 grams, and the 345 is 1.7 x 1.7 x 0.5 inches and weighs 38,5 grams. So as I said they look almost identical, so I can’t pick a winner in this category.
Display: Forerunner 55 and 245
The Forerunner 245 has a slightly bigger display at 30.4mm, while the Forerunner 55 has a 26,3mm display. The resolution on the 245 is also better at 240 x 240 pixels, while the 55 has 203 x 203 pixels.
Both models’ display is easy to read, maneuver through, and visible in direct sunlight.
Personally, I don’t mind that the 55 has a smaller display but, I have to say that the 245 has a slight advantage here because of the better resolution it offers.
Features: Forerunner 55 and 245
The features are the main defenses between the Forerunner 55 vs 245, and although they are not groundbreaking they can be the key driver behind the decision of which one you should buy.
The main difference is that the Forerunner has more advanced tracking features that include indoor rowing, trail running, and track and trail running, while on the other hand, it lacks the yoga and Pilates stats that the 55 has.
The Forerunner 245 has better goal-orientated features that keep track of your progress which is very handy if you are working towards a personal record or a competition. Also, it has a map that draws out your running route so you have a full view of your daily training. Oh, and you can always use it to take a cool-looking Instagram picture.
The 245 Music version has the option to play music from Spotify, Deezer, or Amazon Music, so if you are someone who likes to leave your phone at home and still listen to no music, this is your solution.
I have to say that the Forerunner 245 is superior in this round, however, personally, even if I did have all the features of the 245 I wouldn’t use them all. I need just a basic few features that check my steps and distance.
My brother, on the other hand, tracks everything, and I do mean everything! So if you are more like me and you want a basic smartwatch, go for the 55, and if you want more fancy features go for the 245.
I want to point out that during certain activities, like weight lifting and yoga, both watches are pretty inaccurate in tracking calories since those activities are tricky to track in general.
Battery life: Forerunner 55 and 245
When it comes to battery life, in smartwatch mode, the Forerunner 55 can last for 2 weeks without charging, while the 245 can last for 7 days. This comes as no surprise since the 245 has a higher-resolution display.
In GPS mode, however, the 55 lasts 20 hours, while the 245 lasts for one day if you are not listening to music that is since that drains the battery faster.
I personally prefer the Forerunner 55 in this category because I prefer having a longer basic run, over a shorter fanny feature run.
Also Read: Nordictrack 2450 vs. 2950: Comparing Guide
Pros & Cons
If you are a visual person and prefer a list of pros and cons, I got you.
- Easy to use
- Fancy features
- Personal fitness programs
- Older model
- Easy to use
- Long battery life
- Recovery time
- Suggested training
- Screen is slightly pixelated
- Limited color choice
This is a tough one, but it all comes down to the price. The Forerunner 55 was released in 2021 and goes for around $200. On the other hand, the Forerunner is older, being released in 2019, and goes for around $300, and the music version for $350.
However, since the 235 is older, you can find a lot of discounts on it, especially around the holiday season. But for the sake of simplicity let’s take the original price.
I’d have to say the winner in this Forerunner 55 vs 245 is the 55 model.
I personally don’t think that the few extra features make up for the price differences, especially since I only used them once to try them out.
If you want a basic smartwatch to track your stats, go for the Forerunner 55, but if you want a workout buddy that will help you keep track your way to your new personal record, go for the Forerunner 245.
It’s been more than 15 years, and I’ve been running 3-4 times a week ever since then. I’ve achieved goals, won marathons, went through injuries and learnt a lot along the way. That’s why, I created Suzlyfe together with my husband (Ken) to share my findings and help others reach their goals. Both me and my husband are avid runners, and it’s a big part of our life.