The big news from Garmin at CES 2018 is the launch of the Forerunner 645 Music, the brand’s first GPS running watch with integrated music. The goal is to give athletes the freedom to go phone-free on the run without sacrificing their favorite songs, so this watch holds up to 4 GB of music, or about 500 songs.
You can also stream precreated playlists from streaming services like I Heart Radio and Deezer and listen to everything straight from the watch by pairing it with wireless bluetooth headphones. The Forerunner 645 Music also includes Garmin Pay, a feature that stores payment methods for tap-to-pay transactions, allowing you to leave cash and cards at home.
One thing to note: Although the watch supports leaving your phone behind, it doesn’t have a specified safety or SOS feature, so if that’s a concern, you’ll want to still have your phone with you. Otherwise, it also does all the things you expect a smartwatch to do including basic activity tracking for metrics like steps, calories, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, stairs climbed, and total weekly mileage.
Garmin’s goal was to make a truly dedicated run watch, so everything is controlled with five navigation buttons instead of a touch screen, which can act faulty in inclement weather. The sleek design actually looks heavier than it is. At just 42 grams (for reference, that’s just under the weight of an average golf ball), it’s lightweight and comfortable on your wrist, so you barely know it’s there.
The watch pairs with both iOS and Android, and includes smart notifications for text and emails (only Android users can respond from the watch). You have the ability to choose from a number of different watch faces and add widgets to fully customize the display. The battery lasts up to seven days on smartwatch mode and up to five hours using GPS and music, which should cover the majority—if not all—of your runs.
The Forerunner 645 Music costs $450 and will be available in February or March 2018.
Running Shoes & GearThe New Garmin Forerunner 645 Music Lets You Rock out on Your Run
CES 2018 First Look: Garmin Forerunner 645 MusicFirst Look411