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Garmin revamps Forerunner smartwatch lineup

Putting the runner back in Forerunner.

Garmin Forerunner 245

Garmin has rejiggered its Forerunner smartwatch line with a greater emphasis on the needs of runners -- tracking stats and analyzing them to understand your performance, training history and goals. The new line consists of five models: the Forerunner 45, 45S, 245, 245 Music and 945.

The entry-level Forerunner 45 and 45S series will ship in May starting at $199.99. These have heart-rate monitoring via a wrist sensor and GPS; the 45S is a smaller size of the 45, at 39 millimeters versus 42mm. Features include tracking for more workouts in addition to running, 24/7 operation, steps, distance, calories and sleep. Battery life is rated for up to 7 days (13 hours as a GPS).

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Adding more data options, the Forerunner 245 and 245 Music include VO2 tracking, running dynamics and tools for post-run health analysis like a pulse-ox sensor. The Music variant has storage for up to 500 songs and playlist syncing from services like Spotify or uploads from your personal collection. They are rated for up to 7 days of smartwatch use; 6 hours with GPS and music. They're available now starting at $299.99.

At the top of the food chain, the Forerunner 945 combines the capabilities of the 245 Music, adding space for 1,000 songs, along with support for Garmin Pay and maps. Targeted at more competitive athletes and those focused on training, it includes on-watch running dynamics, activity profiles and pulse-ox monitoring. Its battery life is rated for two weeks in smartwatch mode and 10 hours in GPS with music. It's available now starting at $599.99; there's "triathlon bundle" with a couple of silicone bands, Garmin's HRM-Tri and HRM-Swim monitors and a quick release kit for $749.99.

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