CES 2018 continues to see many firsts from manufacturers and Garmin's Forerunner 645 is the first fitness smartwatch with onboard storage for wireless music playback.

The brand is known for its lineup of GPS-ready smartwatch models for different users. Most of the company's various series of wearables already have fitness-tracking capabilities. However, the Forerunner series is intended for individuals who love to hit the road running, jogging, or walking.

Smartphone Dependent

Longtime users of Garmin's Forerunner lineup know that the wearables were able to control music playback. However, the files were stored on the smartphone, not on the watch itself. It means users were actually using their paired smartphones to play music through wired earphones or wirelessly through Bluetooth connectivity.

Furthermore, as long as there is network data coverage, owners could likewise use the wearable to control music apps like Spotify.

New Features

The Garmin Forerunner 645 is available in two options. The version without onboard music playback costs $400 while the music-ready variant is $450. Both models share the same features like Garmin Pay contactless payments and more.

The music-enabled model stores up to 500 songs locally, so users no longer need to pair their compatible smartphones to listen to their tunes. The only drawback is its lack of a 3.5mm audio jack for wired headsets. Nevertheless, the 645 wirelessly pairs with Bluetooth stereo headsets, which seems ideal to avoid movement restrictions during a workout or road run.

Design And Build Quality

The smartwatch features a circular 1.2-inch always-on Chroma display with a 240 x 240 resolution. It is protected by a scratch-resistant mineral glass and a stainless steel bezel.

The wristband is made of silicone with a metal clasp and quick release buckles. The body seems to be made out of polymer, which presumably keeps its weight down to an estimated 42.2 grams or about 1.49 ounces.

Overall, the Forerunner 645 boasts a sturdy construction and charges via a clip-on pogo-pin cable that helps keep it waterproof up to 5 ATM.

Fitness Tracking Features

Just like any other Garmin fitness smartwatch, the 645 has an array of built-in sensors that provide users with various workout data. Its built-in GPS, compass, barometric altimeter, gyroscope, thermometer, accelerometer, and the optical heart rate monitor combine to gather all required data regarding any activity.

Bluetooth connectivity keeps it paired with a compatible smartphone for notifications and what not. Garmin claims that the Forerunner 645 lasts up to seven days with regular usage and up to five hours with its GPS mode along with music playback.

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