Garmin Forerunner 645 Music

7.9 score
(TheGearHunt) score (7.9)/10

Our TheGearHunt score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
Editor rating: 8.6 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Garmin Forerunner 645 Music Review Facts

Coming as no surprise to most, Garmin is a name that will surface time and again when you are searching for a fitness tracker. The reason for this is because they have such a variety all over the price scale and each one offers its own variance of style and things it can do. In fact, anyone who owns a fitness tracker likely either considered one of this respectable brand's watches or they already own one. Whether you have one and are looking to replace or upgrade, the Forerunner series is one you may want to check out. This one has a lot to offer when tracking your activities and even has the ability to play music without needing your phone on hand, instead, it has Spotify and can even run downloaded MP3s you put on it from your computer through a wireless headset. This is the main feature that jumps it head and shoulders above the rest. Though this in itself is indeed impressive, we do intend to go in as we usually do and find all the pluses and minuses to this particular tracker so that you can decide for yourself it is worth the going price. Of course, there are options that help to lower the price, and knowing that makes it continue to hand with the rest. This one in the Forerunner line definitely deserves looking into and really hashing out what you want and deciding on if it is worth every penny you’ll likely be saving up to get the top of the line. Without further hesitation, let us dive into the pros and cons of the 645 Music and Fitness tracking smartwatch!

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Plays music without a phone
  • A lot of activities
  • Light weight
  • Good looking
  • High speed GPS
  • Physical buttons instead of touch screen
  • Trusted brand
  • Decent battery life (when only using watch or heart monitor)
  • Battery runs down fast if using other tracking constantly


The number of activities this tracker has is incredible. Most only cover walking, running, cycling, and maybe swimming, but the 645 actually has several other activities. Not only does it cover everything we listed, but it also covers strength training, yoga, paddle boarding, skiing, snowboarding, and a few other exercise machines as well. Not only is it capable of tracking all of these activities, but you can set it to play music as well, so you can enjoy your activities with some good tunes. The lightweight of the watch makes it easy to do everything and not feel like you have a weight already attached to one arm, and it is thin enough that you won’t fear as much of it getting caught on things. Not to mention the fact that the music is via completely wireless headsets, so you don’t need to worry about a cord getting in your way either. Talk about a great companion for workouts! However, there is one downside to all of this. If you intend to use it for an extended period of time, most people have only been able to get between 7 and 10 hours with it. The only things that don’t drain the battery so fast are the heart monitor and watch modes.

Basic Features

The basic features are about the same as any other Garmin fitness tracker. As expected you will get a heart monitor, watch mode and the normal basic exercise tracking for running, swimming and cycling. It has one feature that some may not be as excited as we are though, instead of fighting with a touch screen to switch between modes and hoping it reads us tapping at it, this Forerunner has five buttons which are used to switch between modes and scroll the menus. This makes things just a little bit easier when you want to be able to get to the mode you are looking for and see the information you want or need. This may seem like a step back for some, but despite its larger and more easily read screen, a lot of the trackers with touch screens are finicky about reading your taps and which direction you are going with it. The other great part about not having it be a tap screen is that it doesn’t require all that extra space which can bulk out the size and make it weight more. We feel it’s a definite step up.

Advanced Features

There are a lot more features when it comes to this watch. With added fitness tracking modes for exercises that aren’t normally covered, you can add to your agenda for getting into shape, or at least changing up your activities so that you don’t feel trapped in a circle to oblivion with your routines. Adding in yoga was definitely an interesting concept, and it seems with these new features you get a whole new chart of what the watch tracks in each mode, so you can get the most out of each exercise. Along with the fitness additions, though, you also get music! We have come across a couple of these where you can run music through your phone, or where you can at least add a few of your own tracks, but recently the 645 added Spotify! So, even if you don’t want to go through the hassle of picking out tracks, you can still have music available to you without having to drag along your phone when you would rather be getting away from the busier side of life.


While the connection to the internet is actually pretty good, the connection to headsets seems as sketchy as ever. Let us get into one of the surprise smooth connections first, though. Many of the trackers that offer GPS tracking and route forming are not exactly all that useful in keeping track while on the move, however, most of those who have used the 645 has discovered that its GPS is much faster and smoother than others in the same line of trackers both made by Garmin and by other brands. It connects super-fast and can keep track of where you are with a decent enough speed to make many blink, and come to actually enjoy this function. Of all of its apps, this one seemed to draw just as much attention because of its excellent connection, as the music feature that serves as its highlight. Unfortunately, that same highlight is also what drags down both the battery life as well as its lead in connectivity. While it has a great connection to the net it seems, it lacks that same near-perfect connectivity when attempting to connect to the headset. This is a common issue with most full wireless headsets though, so it is almost expected. Not everyone seems to have the same level of connection issues, but it does need to be mentioned since no ones seem to be perfect.


The number of apps available to this one is one of the features we have mentioned several times already, but we can definitely afford to mention again. Are you ready for a fitness watch that covers a wide variety of exercises? This watch features a heart monitor, as one might expect from anything in this line of product. It also can track how much activity you have versus down-time, another app feature most of the other companies supply. Of course, it also tracks steps and cadence to walking, running and jogging and has the usual round for cycling, and your strokes and laps for swimming. Why stop there though? Let’s take down your strength fitness into consideration as well, tracking your reps, and how about your Yoga? Because that also helps you stay fit and ready for the world. Why do any of it in silence? You can have your music you like to listen to, and you can even set it for GPS and route tracking if you want to go hiking as well. This watch covers all your bases and lets you do so with ease.


You would think with all this watch offers, it might be lacking in comfort, but it isn’t. Where most of these trackers that go the extra mile tend to be bulky with all the extra tech to work with. Thankfully Garmin has been at this for long enough to know how to minimize the bulk without giving up all the extra features. They cut out some of the stuff that has problems anyway and gave the watch a nice sleek design. This means your tracker will be thinner and weigh less, but not sacrifice on performance in any way. In fact, getting rid of the touch screen, which is finicky in all brands, and replacing it with easy to use buttons reduced a lot of the bulk. The only downside is they also didn’t seem to find a good way to extend battery life with these extra features.


Although it doesn’t have a lot of choices when it comes to colors (five in total) the watch itself has a slim and sleek appearance that looks good with just about any wardrobe. Its smaller size actually gives it a hand up in the style department simply because a lot of others are just bulky and can often appear overly gaudy. Instead of taking up space and having to try to cover the fact it can’t go under a sleeve unnoticed, like most, it actually can slip under most sleeves and not be obvious in its presence. Even if you don’t want it to tuck away, it is about the same size as a regular watch, and because of that doesn’t immediately scream to everyone around you that you are looking to jump into the fitness guru side of life. It just looks good while doing its job which definitely says it is meant for those looking to do the same.


This little tracker is much more durable than one would expect. Of course, with its ability to track swimming, you know that you don’t have to worry too much if it gets water on it, it’s designed to handle it. But the gorilla glass adds quite a decent amount of protection to the face. It’s more scratch resistant and not very likely to crack if taken care of and handled properly. Even a few minor accidents aren’t likely to ruin it for you. Add to that the band is a nice soft silicone right off the bat making it able to easily handle water and sweat without getting worn out quickly. If you aren’t able to wear it though, Garmin has plenty of other options- and like many of its trackers, you can swap them out with a much larger selection.


Some feel the face should be bigger, and others smaller. One thing they agree on is that it is pretty easy to read. The rounded face does make it harder to read if you are trying to go for four statistics worth of information at once, but then, given the size, even if they had gone with a square or rectangular face of the same size ratio, it wouldn’t be any easier or harder to read, and you can still get everything you need from it. Again, most of what the issue is in what the user decides to try and press out of the watch.


If you don’t decide to change anything about the initial package and design when ordering this watch, it comes with a soft and flexible silicone band. This is great for many users, and it is comfortable as well as durable. If, however, you have sensitive skin or are allergic to the material, there is the option of switching it out for plastic or even metal bands if you need to. Most Garmin brand trackers have interchangeable bands with both previous and current versions in their line- so even if you don’t see what you want with this specific watch/tracker, you can likely use one from another Garmin watch.

Ease of Use

This is one of the easiest to use Garmin trackers to date. Why? Because they took a break off of the touch screen to bring you a much easier route. It has five buttons which control everything and are easy to learn how to navigate. Some may ask how this is better or easier than a touch screen, and well, we will point out a couple of reasons for you. In watches/trackers, touch screens are often finicky and don’t respond easily to the user. They can react too slow, too fast or not at all. A few even have the problem of interpreting where you are trying to scroll it to and until you get used to things, this can make it too excessively frustrating to navigate. The second is that, as with anything touch based, you could accidentally end up scrolling around or have it do so if someone else brushes past it. Buttons mean nothing goes where you don’t need or want it to. You press the button you want and tell it where to go. No accidental scrolling and you will get a response every time.


This is where most of the contention over this watch comes into play. There are those in every opinion on this from lasting longer than expected, to about average, all the way to being disappointed. Overall, we found the watch performs exactly as expected. It doesn’t have a wow factor for battery life, but it doesn’t leave us disappointed either. As with any tracker, your battery life depends on what you are using it for, things that require a lot to run on any device (like a constant monitor or need to be constantly updated via internet) are going to make it run for shorter periods, while things like MP3s that are on the watch itself, or just using the watch as a watch, will let the battery run for a lot longer. Expect about 7-12 hours under heavier use. The more you push, the shorter the time. But you can expect several days of battery on the flip side and only using it for a watch most of the time. Either way, charging is simple and only takes a little while to be ready to go again.


This one is a little on the pricey side, so, if you definitely can’t do without the very few extras this one offers (a couple of extra exercises and music) than go for it, It’s an awesome watch just like the rest of Garmin’s products. However, if you don’t need a couple of fancy extra’s you can find other Garmin line trackers for just a little cheaper (or a lot cheaper).


Other than having the ability to choose between just about any Garmin brand wrist bands, there aren’t really any additional accessories for this tracker in specific. It has everything you need in the watch itself. It has a wireless headset and of course its charger, so you can get them replaced as well. The only real accessory is a carrying case, but there is no mention of it being an additional purchase for this watch.

Key Features

-Additional exercise features
-MP3 storage
-Super fast GPS
-Gorilla glass face
-Wireless headset
-Garmin Brand

Bottom Line

This is one for those who simply can’t do without all the bells and whistles on their fitness tracker. It is a great watch, after all, it is Garmin, but if you can handle not having Spotify and a couple (like 2 or 3) of the odd extra exercise routines, you can find a Garmin that is just as good for a lot less. We aren’t saying it is not worth it, only that it isn’t a necessary upgrade to have a great watch- just a fun thing.