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.

Specifications

General

Lens Materialchemically strengthened glass
Bezel Materialstainless steel
Quick Release Bands(20 mm, Industry standard)
Strap materialsilicone
Physical size42.5 x 42.5 x 13.5 mm Fits wrists with a circumference of 127-204 mm
Weight42.2 g
Water rating5 ATM
Display typesunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
Display size1.2″ (30.4 mm) diameter
Display resolution240 x 240 pixels
Color displayY
Battery lifeSmartwatch Mode: Up to 7 days
GPS mode with music: Up to 5 hours
Memory/History200 hours of activity data

Clock Features

Time/dateY
GPS Time SyncY
Automatic daylight saving timeY
Alarm clockY
TimerY
StopwatchY
Sunrise/sunset timesY
Face It™ watch face creatorY

Sensors

GPSY
GLONASSY
Garmin Elevate™ wrist heart rate monitorY
Barometric altimeterY
CompassY
GyroscopeY
AccelerometerY
ThermometerY

Daily Smart Features

ConnectivityBluetooth®, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®
Connect IQ™ (downloadable watch faces, data fields, widgets and apps)Y
Smart notificationsY
Text response/reject phone call with text (Android™ only)Y
CalendarY
WeatherY
Controls smartphone musicY
Find My PhoneY
Find My WatchY
VIRB® remoteY
Smartphone compatibilityiPhone® and Android™
Compatible with Garmin Connect™ MobileY
Garmin Pay™Y

Activity Tracking Features

Step counterY
Move bar (displays on device after a period of inactivity; walk for a couple of minutes to reset it)Y
Auto goal (learns your activity level and assigns a daily step goal)Y
Sleep monitoring (monitors total sleep and periods of movement or restful sleep)Y
Calories burnedY
Floors climbedY
Distance traveledY
Intensity minutesY
TrueUp™Y
Move IQ™Y
Fitness Age(in app)

Fitness Equipment/Gym

Preloaded gym activity profilesStrength Training, Cardio Training, Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Floor Climbing, Indoor Rowing and Yoga
Cardio workoutsY
Strength workoutsY
Automatic rep countingY

Training, Planning and Analysis Features

GPS speed and distanceY
Customizable data pagesY
Customizable activity profilesY
Auto Pause®Y
Interval trainingY
Advanced workoutsY
Downloadable training plansY
Auto Lap®Y
Manual lapY
Virtual PartnerY
Configurable lap alertsY
V02 maxY
Training Status (lets you see if you’re training effectively by tracking your training history and fitness level trend.)Y
Training Load (your total training load for the last 7 days calculated from estimated EPOC)Y
Training Effect (aerobic)Y
Training Effect (anaerobic)Y
Customizable alertsY
Audio promptsY
Finish timeY
Race an ActivityY
Course guidanceY
Segments (Live, Garmin)Y
Strava features (Beacon, live segments)Y
LiveTrackY
Touch and/or button lockY
Auto scrollY
Activity history on watchY

Heart Rate Features

HR zonesY
HR alertsY
HR caloriesY
% HR maxY
% HRRY
Recovery timeY
Auto max HRY
HR Broadcast (broadcasts HR data over ANT+™ to paired devices)Y

Running Features

Preloaded run profilesRunning, Treadmill Running, Indoor Track
GPS-based distance, time and paceY
Running dynamicsY
Cadence (provides real-time number of steps per minute)Y
Performance condition (after running 6–20 minutes, compares your real-time condition to your average fitness level)Y
Run workoutsY
Race predictorY
Foot pod capableY

Outdoor Recreation Features

Preloaded outdoor recreation profilesSkiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand up Paddleboarding, Rowing
Point-to-point navigationY
Bread crumb trail in real timeY
Back to startY
TracBack®Y
UltraTrac modeY
Elevation profileY
Distance to destinationY
Vertical speedY
Total ascent/descentY
GPS coordinatesY

Cycling Features

Preloaded cycling profilesBiking, Indoor Biking
CoursesY
Race an activityY
Time/distance alerts (triggers alarm when you reach goal)Y
Compatible with Varia Vision™ (head-mounted display)Y
Compatible with Varia™ radar (rear-facing radar)Y
Compatible with Varia™ lightsY
Speed and cadence sensor support (with sensor)(ANT+® and Bluetooth® Smart)

Swimming Features

Preloaded swim profilesPool Swimming
Pool swim metrics (lengths, distance, pace, stroke count/rate, calories)Y
Stroke type detection (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly)Y
Swim efficiency (SWOLF)Y
Drill loggingY
Pool swim workoutsY


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