Garmin Forerunner 245 vs Forerunner 55

The Forerunner series smartwatches come in Forerunner 945, 945 LTE, 245, 245 Music, 45, and 55 editions. We look at the key differences between the Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 55. Both watches are suitable for athletes, fitness experts, and triathletes. There is a price difference of $100 between the two Forerunners. So, which Forerunner would be more suitable for passionate runners?

Display & Size

Display, physical attributes, and size are some key differentiating factors between Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 55. One of the striking aspects of Forerunner 55 is the very small size of the display screen. Some folks may not like it!!!

  • Forerunner 245 is a 42 mm watch that is marginally bigger than the Forerunner 55. To the eye, there will be no difference in the size between Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 55.
  • Forerunner 55 is thinner as it has a thickness of 11.6 mm. Forerunner 245 has a thickness of 12.2 mm.
  • Forerunner 245 weighs 38.5 g and Forerunner 55 weighs 37 g.
  • The display size of Forerunner 245 is 30 mm. This is more or less the normal display size for smartwatches. Forerunner 55 display screen is a little over 26 mm. Some people may not like the small size of the display screen on Forerunner 55.
  • The display resolution of Forerunner 245 is 260 x 260 pixels. The display resolution for Forerunner 55 is 208 x 208 pixels. This can be partly explained by the difference in the size of the display screen on both watches.
  • Forerunner 55 is available in white, black, and aqua colors. Forerunner 245 is available in slate gray and Berry colors.

From the perspective of display and size, there are not many differences. If you are comfortable with the size of the display on the Forerunner 55, you can be assured of a good quality fitness watch.

Display Screen Glass

The glass quality on the Forerunner watch models is a significant factor. You must take into account the quality of the glass material used on Forerunner 55 and Forerunner 245.

  • Forerunner 245 uses Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 has better scratch and damage resistance over the chemically strengthened glass. Corning has stated that the Gorilla Glass 3 is better is respect to hardness and scratch resistance.

Gorilla® Glass 3 is not only chemically strengthened — its atomic configuration is formulated so that the glass is fundamentally tougher and more damage resistant, even before chemical strengthening.This is the unique feature of Gorilla® Glass 3. Something Corning is able to provide due to a proprietary glass composition that is better able to resist the deep scratches that cause glass to break. How tough? In our lab tests, highly damage-resistant Gorilla® Glass 3 provides up to a 4x improvement in scratch resistance when compared to competitive aluminosilicate glasses from other manufacturers.

from Corning’s website.
  • Forerunner 55 uses a chemically strengthened glass for the watch display screen.

In terms of glass quality, there can be no two ways about the fact that the Forerunner 245 offers a better hardened glass that can take the normal push and shoves easily.

Battery life

Forerunner 55 is a basic fitness watch. It offers basic features on the watch. The battery life of the Forerunner 55 is better than the Forerunner 245 smartwatches.

  • On the smartwatch mode, the Forerunner 245 has a battery life of up to 7 days. Forerunner 55 has a battery life of 2 weeks on the smartwatch mode.
  • On the GPS mode, Forerunner 55 offers 20 hours of backup and Forerunner 245 has a backup of 24 hours.

Practically speaking, the battery life between the Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 55 is a trivial factor. Both watches have a decent battery backup. Forerunner 245 battery drains faster than Forerunner 55 as it has additional apps and functionality over the Forerunner 55.

Health Monitoring

In terms of health monitoring, the Forerunner 245 has the following incremental capabilities over the Forerunner 55:

  • Forerunner 245 has the Pulse Ox Blood Oxygenation sensor that can track oxygen saturation in blood. Forerunner 245 can take spot readings of the Blood oxygen saturation. Or, you could track blood oxygenation levels while sleeping. Forerunner 55 does not have the Pulse Ox sensor to track oxygenation saturation levels in blood.
  • Forerunner 245 can take skin based body temperature readings. You will need the tempe sensor to take wrist-based skin temperature readings. Forerunner 55 does not the ability to take temperature readings.
  • Forerunner 55 can track your breathing rate on a perpetual basis, 24 hours a day. Forerunner 245 does not have the ability to track breathing rate.

Both, Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 55 share other health tracking features.

Call Handling

Garmin Forerunner 245 can pair with Android and iOS cell phones. It can be used to accept or reject incoming calls on an Android smartphone. Forerunner 245 can also be used to send pre-written text message replies if the paired smartphone is an Android smartphone. These features are available only on the Android mobile operating system version 7 and higher. There is no such integration between a Forerunner 245 and iPhones.

Forerunner 55 cannot be used to handle incoming calls or send in text message replies for Android phones or Apple iPhones.

Compatibility with Garmin devices

If you are a biker, you should prefer a Forerunner 245 over Forerunner 55. This is because the Varia bike lights and radar are not compatible with Forerunner 55. And, you do not want to rule out the possibility of using a Varia on your bike.

On a similar basis, Forerunner 245 is also compatible with Garmin’s VIRB camera systems including the VIRB 360 and VIRB 30. Forerunner 55 cannot support VIRB remote camera systems.

Forerunner 245 can connect with VIRB and Varia devices over ANT+ wireless protocol.

Activity and Sport tracking

Substantial differences can be seen between the Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 55 when it comes to activity tracking, sports tracking and outdoor recreation profiles. Forerunner 245 offers in-depth insights about each sport mode and activity mode. We list the main differences between the Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 55 for activity tracking below.

The following features are available on Forerunner 245. These are not available on Forerunner 55:

  • Garmin Connect Challenges app through the Connect IQ store.
  • Gym profiles for Indoor Rowing and strength training are available on Forerunner 245. Forerunner 55 does support HIIT workouts.
  • Cardio workouts
  • Strength workouts
  • Automatic rep counting
  • Trail running profile is available on the Forerunner 245.
  • Running dynamics for Running profile.
  • Vertical oscillation and ratio for Runners.
  • Ground contact time and balance for Runners.
  • Stride length (real time) for Runners.
  • Performance condition for Runners.
  • Point-to-point navigation
  • Bread crumb trail in real time
  • Back to start
  • TracBack® UltraTrac mode
  • Distance to destination
  • GPS coordinates
  • Cycling course maps
  • Cycling race activity

Forerunner 245 is designed for runners, cyclists and people hitting the Gym for fitness. It has, therefore, incremental features that can add a lot of value to your workout or cycling activity.


Forerunner 245 has a list price of $299.99 and the Forerunner 55 has a list price of $199.99. There is a difference of $100 between the two Forerunner devices.


Personally speaking, I would prefer Forerunner 245 over Forerunner 55 at any point of time. You may still consider Forerunner 55 if this is your first Forerunner. But, if you are half serious about running or cycling, then invest on a Forerunner 245 over the Forerunner 55. Forerruners have a good life. In the course of next couple of years, you may decide to get more value out of the Forerunner 245 by using the insights offered through extensive activity tracking and cycling profile. Finally, do not forget the Corning Gorilla Glass on the Forerunner 245 smartwatches. The glass is definitely harder and more scratch-resistant than the normal chemically strengthened glass of the Forerunner 55 smartwatch.

You may also like to read the following content about Garmin smartwatches:

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Helen Kurt - Contributor on TECHEPAGES.COM. Reach me on email.

Helen Kurt is a geeky nerd who loves to cover the wearables space. She has over 5 years of experience in the smartwatch domain. You can reach her on email at [email protected].