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Garmin Forerunner 245 vs 255 – Should You Upgrade?

Garmin Forerunner 245 vs 255
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Unlike its predecessor, the Forerunner 245, the Forerunner 255 is a true multisport GPS smartwatch featuring both auto and manual multisport activities. It also has a long battery life, an NFC that enables Garmin Pay plus an altimeter that enables it to count floors. Furthermore, the Forerunner 255 is equipped with most of the newly introduced health metrics as well as features the multi-Band GPS sensor that improves location tracking accuracy. It’s clearly a step above its predecessor, and in this post, we’ll try to show you the differences between the Garmin Forerunner 245 and 255, and perhaps help you decide if you should upgrade.

Garmin Forerunner 245 vs 255 Full Specifications

Garmin Forerunner 245Garmin Forerunner 255 Music
garmin forerunner 245 vs 245 music

EDITOR'S RATING

Design:
4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
Battery:
4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)
Fitness tracking:
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
Features:
4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)
Price:
3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)
Average:
4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
Design:
4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)
Battery:
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Fitness tracking:
4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
Features:
3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)
Price:
3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)
Average:
4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

ABOUT DEVICE

Device nameGarmin Forerunner 245Garmin Forerunner 255 Music
Device typeFitness/GPS smartwatchFitness/GPS smartwatch
PredessesorGarmin Forerunner 235Garmin Forerunner 245
SuccessorGarmin Forerunner 255__
Released dateApril, 2019June, 2022
Ideal forUnisexUnisex

DISPLAY

Display typeTransflective memory-in-display (MIP)Transflective memory-in-display (MIP)
Display size1.2 inch1.3 inches
Display resolution240 x 240 pixels260 x 260 pixels
Pixel density282.8 PPI282.8 PPI
Input type 5 buttons, (Not touchscreen) 5 buttons, (Not touchscreen)
Always-onYesYes
Customizable watch faceYesYes

BODY

ShapeCircularCircular
Dimension42.3 x 42.3 x 12.2 mm45.6 x 45.6 x 12.9 mm
Weight38.5 grams49 grams
Casing materialFiber-reinforced polymerFiber-reinforced polymer
Strap/band materialSiliconeSilicone
Bezel MaterialFiber-reinforced polymerFiber-reinforced polymer
Strap size20mm22mm
Interchangeable band Yes, 20mmYes, 22mm
Screen protectionCorning Gorilla Glass 3Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Water resistant/ProtectionYes, 5ATMYes, 5ATM
Swim-proofYes, recommendedYes, recommended
Color(s)Black
Aqua
White
Whitestone
Black

MEMORY

RAM----
Internal storage4GB4GB
Memory card slotNoNo

CONNECTIVITY

BluetoothYes, and ANT+Yes, and ANT+
Bluetooth callingNoNo
Wi-FiNoYes
NFCNoYes
Payment systemNoGarmin Pay
GPSGPS/GLONASS/GalileoGPS/GLONASS/Galileo

CELLULAR TECHNOLOGY

TechnologyNoNo
SIMNoNo
BandNoNo

NOTIFICATIONS

Email alertYesYes
SMS alertYesYes
Calls alertYesYes
Event reminderYesYes
WeatherYesYes
Third-party appsYesYes
Text responseYesYes

FITNESS TRACKING

Sleep apneaNoNo
Sleep trackingYesYes
StepsYesYes
Floors climbedNoYes
Heart rate monitoringYesYes
CaloriesYesYes
DistanceYesYes
StressYesYes
VO2 Max.YesYes
Blood oxygenYesYes
Blood pressureNoNo
Menstrual cycle trackingYesYes
Swim trackingYesYes
Under-water heart rate trackingYesYes
Preloaded mapsNoNo
On-screen workout modesNoYes
Triathlon modeNoYes
ECG TrackingNoNo
Preloaded sport modesYesYes
Safety trackingYesYes

MEDIA

Audiomp3/mp4mp3/mp4
Music streamingYesYes
Bluetooth musicYesYes
RadioNoNo
LoudspeakerNoNo
MicrophoneNoNo
CameraNoNo

SENSORS

PLATFORM

Operating system (OS)Proprietary OSProprietary OS
Chipset----
CPU----
GPU----

BATTERY

Type of batteryNon-removable Li-ion batteryNon-removable Li-ion battery
Battery capacity ----
Battery lifeSmartwatch Mode: Up to 7 days
GPS mode: Up to 24 hours
Smartwatch mode: Up to 14 days
GPS-only mode: Up to 30 hrs
GPS mode with music: Up to 6.5hrs
Charging typeUSB charging cableUSB charging cable
Charging timeAbout 1-2 hoursAbout 1-2 hours
Battery saver modeNoYes
Solar powerNoNo
Rapid chargingNoNo

CLOCK FEATURES

Time/DateYesYes
StopwatchYesYes
AlarmYesYes

OTHER FUNCTIONS

Control cameraYesYes
Music controlYesYes
Find phoneYesYes

MISC

Compatibility Android and iOS
Check if your device is compatible
Android and iOS
Check if your device is compatible
Companion appGarmin connect IQGarmin connect IQ
Voice commandNoNo

BOX CONTENTS

Garmin Forerunner 245 MusicGarmin Forerunner 255
StrapsStraps
USB charging cableUSB charging cable
Quick start guideQuick start guide
NOTE: We can't guarantee that all the information on this table are 100% correct. Read full disclaimer. Please, report an error.
Official SiteOfficial Site

Forerunner 245 vs 255 – What’s New?

The Forerunner 255 welcomes new features. Image credit: Garmin

  1. Unlike the Forerunner 245, the Forerunner 255 comes in two sizes, 41mm and 46mm units.
  2. The Forerunner 255 is equipped with an altimeter that enables it to count floors climbed as well as show you elevation data.
  3. NFC is also onboard the watch, this enables Garmin Pay which allows you to make payments directly from the watch.
  4. Forerunner 255 features onscreen animated workouts and onscreen animated muscle maps. These two features are not present on the 245. The popular health snapshot is also present on the Forerunner 255.
  5. The Forerunner 255 has more gym profiles as well as features HIIT, yoga, and pilates workouts.
  6. New training features have been introduced to the Forerunner 255, this includes improved intervals, rest timer, training load focus, auto multisport, and manual multisport activities.
  7. New health tracking metrics have also been added to the Forerunner 255, this includes race glance, morning report and HRV status. While the morning report gives you an overview of your recovery, sleep quality, HRV status as well as weather, HRV status gives you a better understanding of your overall well-being based on your heart rate variability during sleep.
  8. The Forerunner 255 also welcomes new running features that include an ultra running profile, running power (doesn’t require third-party apps) and a race predictor based on your course and weather.
  9. New outdoor recreational profiles like hiking, skiing, snowboarding, XC classic skiing, stand Up paddleboarding and rowing have been added to the Forerunner 255. It also features up ahead, elevation profile and barometric trend indicator with storm alert.
  10. New cycling profiles like mountain biking, eBiking and eMountain biking have been introduced to the Forerunner 255. It also features bike lap and is compatible with a power meter.
  11. Unlike the Forerunner 245 which only tracks pool swimming activities, the Forerunner 255 now supports tracking for open water swimming. It will track your strokes, calories, distance, pace and swim efficiency (SWOLF) when you swim in open water. It also features other swim tracking features like time and distance alerts, pace alerts and critical swim speed.
  12. The Forerunner 255 has up to 12 days of battery life compared to about 7 days of the Forerunner 245.

In essence, the Forerunner 255 is a more equipped smartwatch than the Forerunner 245.

Garmin Forerunner 245 vs 255 Features Review

Garmin Forerunner 245 vs 255

  • Design
  • Beyond the new features that have been introduced to the Forerunner 255, it shares a lot in common with its predecessor.

    In terms of design, just like the Forerunner 245, the 255 also has a fiber-polymer case paired with silicone straps while Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protects the display. Both watches have 5 physical buttons, 3 on the left and 2 on the right.

    Both watches are also rated 5ATM, meaning they are waterproof up to 50 meters. You can wear any of these while swimming, and like stated above, the Forerunner 255 will now track your swimming activity in open water.

  • Display
  • Display wise, both watches have a transflective memory-in-pixel display, although not as colorful as AMOLED is easy to read outdoors. The 46mm unit of the Forerunner 255 with a 1.3 inches display has a bigger display size than the 1.2 inches of the 245. Meanwhile, the 41mm model of the Forerunner 255 has a 1.1 inches display size.

    You get lots of watch faces on the Garmin IQ store to choose from. You can also make your personal picture a watch face. These watch faces have a customizable widget that you can adjust to your preference.

  • Activity Tracking
  • The number of available activity tracking features is where the Forerunner 255 has the edge over the 245. The 255 welcomes new activity tracking features as stated above which are not present on the Forerunner 245.

    With an altimeter onboard the Forerunner 255, it can now count floors. The multi-Band GPS sensor introduced to the Fenix 7 series is also available, this sensor enables improved location tracking accuracy. Moreover, as stated earlier, there is the health snapshot feature that gives you an overview of vital stats that include stress, spo2 and respiratory rate. Also present are onscreen animated workout and onscreen animated muscle maps which will not come to the Forerunner 245.

    Nonetheless, the Forerunner 245 has lots of activity-tracking features. Just like the Forerunner 255, it will track your steps, calories, sleep, heart rate 24/7, respiratory rate, stress and blood oxygen. It also features other activity tracking functions like body battery energy monitor, fitness age and more.

  • Media Storage
  • Just like the Forerunner 245 music, the Forerunner 255 music also comes with 4GB storage that allows you to add music to the watch which you can listen to offline. Supported music services include Amazon Music, Spotify and Deezer.

  • Notifications
  • Both watches will alert you when you receive a notification on your phone. You need to enable this from the Garmin Connect app to be able to receive message alerts on the watch and your phone must be nearby.

    As mentioned earlier, the Forerunner 255 is equipped with an NFC chip that enables Garmin Pay. This is a non-contactless payment system that lets you make payments from the watch without carrying your debit card. Note that Garmin Pay is not available in all countries.

Garmin Forerunner 255 vs 255s – Which Size is Right For You?

Unlike the Forerunner 245, the 255 is available in two sizes; 41mm and 46mm. These two are basically the same in every aspect including price and have almost the same battery life.

However, the 46mm model is bigger and as a result, has a bigger display size. The 46mm model also weighs a little more even though both sizes are still very compact and lightweight.

The 41mm model measures 41 x 41 x 12.4 mm, while the 46mm model measures 45.6 x 45.6 x 12.9mm. Thus, the 46mm model has a 1.3 inches display compared to the 1.1 inches of the 41mm unit.

In terms of weight, the 46mm weighs 49 grams while the 41mm unit weighs 39 grams. The available colors also differ, the 46mm model is available in tidal blue and slate gray, while the 41mm model is available in light pink and powder gray colors.

Meanwhile, the 46mm model is compatible with 22mm straps while the 41mm unit is compatible with 20mm straps.

The aim of the two size options is to give you the end user a choice to choose the size that is right for you. In this case, the 46mm unit is a better fit for men and individuals with a fat wrist size while the 41mm unit will be more suitable for women and individuals with small wrist sizes.

  • 46mm: Tidal blue and slate gray ($349.99) | ($400 – Music edition)
  • 41mm: Light pink and powder gray ($349.99) | ($400 – Music edition)

Forerunner 255 vs 255 Music – The Difference

Both sizes of the Forerunner 255 are available in music and non-music editions. The music edition comes with 4GB of storage capacity out of which about 3GB is available for use. This will allow you to load your personal music as well as the option to add music through music services such as Spotify, Deezer and Amazon Music. You can listen to music with the watch offline via a Bluetooth headphone. This comes with a lot of conveniences especially if you are involved in an outdoor workout like me. Note that offline music requires you to subscribe to the mentioned music services

I hate carrying my phone along when I go for an outdoor workout, I just load the music to my watch, connect my headphone and off I go. It’s an awesome experience.

Because the Forerunner 255 Music allows you to load music to the watch, it’s priced higher than the non-music edition. The price tag on the Forerunner 255 music is $400 compared to $350 for the non-music model.

Forerunner 245 vs 255 – Should You Upgrade?

From every indication, the Forerunner 255 is a better smartwatch than the Forerunner 245. It has a more advanced elevate v4 heart rate sensor that enables increased accuracy as well as a multi-band GPS sensor that improves location tracking accuracy. Beyond these, you get more activity-tracking features and longer battery life. It’s clearly a worthy upgrade.

Meanwhile, the Forerunner 245 is still one of the best midrange GPS smartwatches.

Garmin Forerunner 245 vs 255 Activity Tracking Features Compared

ACTIVITY TRACKING FEATURES

Garmin Forerunner 245Garmin Forerunner 255 Music

SMART FEATURES

Connect IQ (Downloadable watch faces, data fields, widgets, and apps)YesYes
On-device Connect IQ storeNoYes
Text response/reject phone calls with text (Android only)YesYes
CalendarYesYes
WeatherYesYes
Real-time settings sync with Garmin Connect™ mobileNoYes
Battery saver - customizable low power watchNoYes
Controls smartphone musicYesYes
Plays and Control Watch MusicNoYes
Find my phoneYesYes
Find my watchYesYes
Virb remoteYesYes

HEALTH MONITORING FEATURES

Wrist-based Heart Rate trackingYesYes
Daily resting heart rateYesYes
AbNormal heart rate alertYesYes (high and low)
Respiration Rate (24/7)NoYes
Fitness AgeYesYes
Blood oxygen (SpO2) monitoringYesYes (spot-check, and optional all-day acclimation and in sleep)
Battery energy monitorYesYes
Stress trackingYesYes
Relaxation remindersYesYes
Relaxation breathing timerYesYes
Sleep monitoringYesYes
Advanced sleep tracking/Sleep ScoreYesYes
Menstrual cycle trackingYes (in Garmin Connect™ and optional Connect IQ™ widget)
Hydration trackingYes (in Garmin Connect and optional Connect IQ widget)
Health SnapshotNoYes

SAFETY AND TRACKING FEATURES

LivetrackYesYes
Group LivetrackNoNo
Live event sharingYes (Android only)Yes (Android only)
Incident detection during select activitiesYesYes
AssistanceYesYes
Spectator Messaging (New)NoNo
Assistance Plus (New)NoNo

TACTICAL FEATURES

Stealth modeNoNo
Night vision modeNoNo
Dual Grid CoordinatesNoNo
Kill switchNoNo

ACTIVITY TRACKING FEATURES

Steps CounterYesYes
Move bar (displays on device after a period of inactivity; walk for a couple of minutes to reset it)YesYes
Auto goal (learns your activity level and assigns a daily step goal)YesYes
Sleep monitoring (monitors total sleep and periods of movement or restful sleep)YesYes
Calories burnedYesYes
Floors climbedNoYes
Distance travelledYesYes
Intensity minutesYesYes
TrueupYesYes
Move IQ

YesYes

GYM & FITNESS EQUIPMENT

Available gym activity profilesStrength, cardio and elliptical training, stair stepping, indoor rowing and yogaStrength, HIIT, cardio and elliptical training, stair stepping, floor climbing, indoor rowing, pilates and yoga
Cardio workoutsYesYes
Strength workoutsYesYes
HIIT workoutsNoYes
Yoga workoutsNoYes
Pilates workoutsNoYes
On-screen workout animationsNoYes
Automatic rep countingYesYes
On-screen workout muscle mapsNoYes

TRAINING, PLANNING & ANALYSIS FEATURES

GPS speed and distanceYesYes
Customizable data pagesYesYes
Customizable activity profilesYesYes
Auto PauseYesYes
Interval trainingYesYes
Improved interval (Includes open repeats, intervals data page, rest screen and auto detection) (New)NoYes
Advanced workoutsYesYes
Downloadable training plansYesYes
Power modes - customizable in-activity battery settingsNoNo
Auto lapYesYes
Manual lapYesYes
Rest timer (New)NoYes
Configurable lap alertsYesYes
Heat and altitude acclimationNoNo
VO2 Max. (Run)YesYes
VO2 Max. (Trail run)YesYes
Real-Time staminaNoNo
Training status (lets you see if you're training effectively by tracking your training history and fitness level trend.)YesYes
Training load (your total training load for the last 7 days calculated from estimated epoc)YesYes
Training load focusNoYes
Training effect (aerobic)YesYes
Training effect (anaerobic)YesYes
Primary Benefit (training effect labels)NoYes
Improved Recovery Time (New)YesYes
Daily Suggested Workouts (New)YesYes (7 days)
Custom alertsYesYes
Audio promptsYesYes
Finish timeYesYes
Virtual partnerYesYes
Race an activityYesYes
Auto multisport activitiesNoYes
Manual multisport activitiesNoYes
Course guidanceYesYes
Garmin Live SegmentsNoNo
Strava Live SegmentsNoNo
Round-Trip course creator (running/cycling)NoNo
Trendline Popularity RoutingNoNo
Touch and/or button lockYesYes
Hot keysNoNo
Auto scrollYesYes
Activity history on watchYesYes
Noopener Noreferrer">Physio TrueupYesYes

HEART RATE TRACKING FEATURES

HR zonesYesYes
HR alertsYesYes
HR caloriesYesYes
% HR max.YesYes
% HRRYesYes
Recovery timeYesYes
Auto max HRYesYes
Morning report (New)NoYes
Race glance/widget (New)NoYes
HRV status (New)NoYes
Training readiness (New)NoNo
HRV stress test (measures your heart rate variability while standing still, for 3 minutes, to provide you with an estimated stress level; the scale of this is 1 to 100; low scores indicate lower stress levels)NoNo
HR broadcast (broadcasts HR data over ANT+ to paired devices)YesYes
Respiration rate (during exercise)YesYes

RUNNING FEATURES

Available run profilesRunning, treadmill running, indoor track running, outdoor track running, trail running and virtual runningRunning, outdoor track running, treadmill running, indoor track running, trail running, virtual running and ultra running
GPS-based distance, time and paceYesYes
Running dynamicsYes (with compatible accessory)Yes (with compatible accessory)
Vertical oscillation and ratio (the degree of 'bounce' in your running motion and the cost-benefit ratio with stride length)Yes (with compatible accessory)Yes (with compatible accessory)
Ground contact time and balance (shows how much time, in the running motion, your foot is on the ground rather than in flight and lets you check your running symmetry)Yes (with compatible accessory)Yes (with compatible accessory)
Stride length (real time)Yes (with compatible accessory)Yes (with compatible accessory)
Cadence (provides real-time number of steps per minute)YesYes
Running power (New)NoYes (with compatible accessory)
Performance condition (after running 20 minutes, compares your real-time condition to your average fitness level)YesYes
Lactate threshold (through analysis of your pace and heart rate, estimates the point where your muscles start to rapidly fatigue)NoYes (with compatible accessory)
PacePro pacing strategiesYesYes
Run workoutsYesYes
Race predictorYesYes
Course and weather-specific race predictor (New)NoYes
Foot Pod CapableYesYes
Run/Walk/Stand detectionNoYes

GOLF FEATURES

Preloaded with 42,000 courses worldwideNoNo
Yardage to F/M/B (distance to front, middle and back of green)NoNo
Yardage to layups/doglegsNoNo
Measures shot distance (calculates exact yardage for shots from anywhere on course)NoNo
Digital ScorecardNoNo
Custom targetsNoNo
Stat tracking (strokes, putts per round, greens and fairways hit)NoNo
Garmin AutoshotNoNo
Full vector mapNoNo
Auto Courseview updatesNoNo
Green view with manual pin positionNoNo
Hazards and course targetsNoNo
PinpointerNoNo
Playslike distanceNoNo
Touch-targeting (touch target on display to see the distance to any point) (New)NoNo
Handicap scoringNoNo
Truswing compatibleNoNo
Round timer/odometerNoNo
Automatic club tracking compatible (requires accessory)NoNo
Tournament LegalNoNo

OUTDOOR RECREATION

Available outdoor recreation profilesNoneHiking, skiing, sNowboarding, XC classic skiing, stand Up paddleboarding and rowing
Point-to-Point navigationYesYes
Bread crumb trail in real timeYesYes
Back to startYesYes
TracbacKYesYes
Ultratrac ModeYesYes
Around me modeNoNo
Up aheadNoYes
Elevation profileNoYes
Distance to destinationYesYes
Barometric trend indicator with storm alertNoYes
ClimbPro ascent plannerNoNo
Trail run auto climbNoNo
Vertical speedNoYes
Total ascent/descentNoYes
Future elevation plotNoYes
Preloaded Topographical mapsNoNo
Preloaded road and trail maps (New)NoNo
Preloaded Ski resort mapsNoNo
Downloadable cartography supportNoNo
Compatible with BasecampNoNo
GPS coordinatesYesYes
Sight 'N GONoNo
Area calculationNoNo
Hunt/fish calendarNoNo
Projected waypointNoYes
Sun and moon informationNoYes
Xero locationsNoNo
Expedition GPS activityNoNo
TidesNoNo

CYCLING FEATURES

Available cycling profilesOutdoor biking and indoor bikingBiking, indoor biking, mountain biking, eBiking and eMountain biking
Alerts (triggers alarm when you reach goals including time, distance, heart rate or calories)YesYes
CoursesYesYes
MTB Grit & FlowNoNo
Cycle map (routable cycling-specific street map)NoNo
Bike lap and lap maximum power (with power sensor)NoYes
Race an activityYesYes
FTP (Functional Threshold Power)NoYes
Compatible with Vector (Power Meter)NoYes
Power Meter compatibleNoYes
Advanced cycling dynamicsNoNo
Compatible with Varia Vision (head-mounted display)YesYes
Compatible with Varia Radar (Rear-Facing Radar)YesYes
Compatible with Varia LightsYesYes
Speed and cadence sensor support (with sensor)Yes (ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart sensors)Yes (ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart sensors)

SWIMMING FEATURES

Available swim profilesPool swimmingPool swimming and open water swimming
Open-water swim metrics (distance, pace, stroke count/rate, stroke distance, swim efficiency (SWOLF), calories)NoYes
Pool swim metrics (lengths, distance, pace, stroke count, swim efficiency (SWOLF), calories)YesYes
Stroke type detection (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly) (pool swim only)YesYes
Drill logging (pool swim only)YesYes
Basic rest timer (up from 0) (pool swim only)YesYes
"Repeat on" rest timer (pool swim only) (New)YesYes
Auto rest (pool swim only) (New)YesYes
Time and distance alertsNoYes
Pacing alerts (pool swim only) (New)NoYes
Countdown start (pool swim only)NoYes
Pool swim workoutsYesYes
Critical swim speed (New)NoYes
Underwater wrist-based heart rateYesYes
Heart rate from external HRM (real-time during rests, interval and session stats during rests, and automatic heart rate download post-swim)YesYes