Garmin 645M

Bought my first sports / smart watch. Been eyeing them for quite a while… looking at Suunto, FitBit, Pebble, Apple Watch. Finally decided to reward myself with a purchase last Jul.

I bought the Garmin 645M via iShopChangi. I had more or less decided on a Garmin watch, but could not quite decide which one I needed. I was also considering the Forerunner 935 or the Fenix 5 / 5S / 5X. Both the FR935 and the Fenix 5 were quite expensive and beyond what I was prepared to pay. I was also considering going for the older FR735, VivoActive series, or Fitbit Ionic.

In early 18, the Garmin 645 was released. FR645 Review (Link to dcrainmaker.com) The key differences are

  • 30-40% cheaper than the FR935 or Fenix 5
  • Smaller, lighter
  • Music storage and playback
  • Garmin Pay

Music

I thought the music storage and playback would be convenient for me as I enjoy jogging with my wireless earbuds. With this, I no longer need my phone when jogging. But adding music to the watch is not that convenient. It cannot be done from the phone, and instead of allow the app to randomly select the songs, I now need to select my own music to transfer.

You can also subscribe to a streaming service. Only KKBox was supported initally, but this has since expanded to include Spotify. You can then subscribe to a playlist and the watch will sync the playlist automatically (via wifi). As of today, I have not jogged with any music playing from my FR645M.

Garmin Pay

I did not expect to use this. I could not find information on the technology used online. The competing players is this area then were (and still are) Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay. I was concerned about storing my credit card information on the watch and with Garmin or some unknown provider.

The “pin” also seemed clunky and cumbersome to enter on the watch. It seemed like you had to enter the pin everytiime you wanted to pay with the watch, which made it a lot more inconvenient compared to using my phone.

However, I decided to put a credit card on my watch recently as a back-up in case I lose my wallet and phone. It worked very well. There was the usual tokenisation security, and the pin only had to be entered once as long as the watch remains on the wrist. It seems only OCBC supports Garmin Pay, and the transactions are not listed on the Garmin app.

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