Garmin Vivoactive 5 vs Forerunner 245 Music

Garmin Vivoactive 5 is a newer variant released in September 2023. Forerunner 245 Music has been around since April 2019.

The differences between the Vivoactive 5 and Forerunner 245 Music edition watches are below.

  • Vivoactive 5 uses an AMOLED display. Forerunner 245 Music uses a MIP or Memory-in-pixel screen.
  • The display resolution of Vivoactive 5 is much higher than the display resolution of a Forerunner 245 Music smartwatch.
  • Vivoactive 5 supports NFC payments through Garmin Pay. Forerunner 245 Music lacks NFC support.
  • Vivoactive 5 has a longer battery backup than Forerunner 245 Music.
  • Vivoactive 5 adds a wheelchair mode to the watch. Forerunner 245 Music lacks it.
  • Vivoactive 5 has special apps for meditation, sleep coaching, and nap detection. These functions are unavailable on Forerunner 245 Music.
  • Vivoactive 5 has an anodized aluminum bezel. Forerunner 245 Music is completely made of fiber-enforced polymer.
  • Vivoactive 5 and Forerunner 245 Music differ in terms of activity profiles supported by each watch.
  • Vivoactive 5 is cheaper than Forerunner 245 Music by $50.

We look at these differences in detail below.

Garmin Vivoactive 5 new packing

Vivoactive 5 and Forerunner 245 Music use the 3rd generation Corning Gorilla Glass in the display lens.

Vivoactive 5 uses an AMOLED display and Forerunner 245 Music works on the MIP or Memory-in-pixel screen.

Due to the AMOLED display, the Vivoactive 5 has a higher display resolution than Forerunner 245 Music. It also supports the Always-on-display mode.

The generic display specifications of the Vivoactive 5 and Forerunner 245 Music smartwatches are listed below.

Display specificationsGarmin Vivoactive 5Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
Display lensCorning Gorilla Glass 3Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Display size30 mm or 1.2″30 mm or 1.2″
Color displayYesYes
TouchscreenYesNo
Display resolution390 x 390 pixels240 x 240 pixels
Ambient light sensorYesNo
LED FlashlightNoNo

Vivoactive 5 has an AMOLED display, Ambient light sensor, and touchscreen feature. Forerunner 245 Music lacks all these.

Garmin Vivoactive 5 supports NFC payments through the Garmin Pay app. Forerunner 245 Music lacks support for NFC or contactless payments. It is not compatible with the Garmin Pay app.

Vivoactive 5 uses a bezel made of anodized aluminum. Forerunner 245 Music is made of fiber-enforced polymer.

The physical specifications of the Vivoactive 5 and Forerunner 245 Music are compared below.

Physical specificationsGarmin Vivoactive 5Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
Watch size42 mm42 mm
Watch dimensions42.2 x 42.2 x 11.1 mm42.3 x 42.3 x 12.2 (mm
Thickness11.1 mm12.2 mm
BezelAnodized aluminumFiber-reinforced polymer
Watch bodyFiber-enforced polymerFiber-enforced polymer
Watch weight36 g38.5 g
Band size20 mm20 mm
Recommended wrist circumference125-190 mm127-204 mm
Water rating5 ATM5 ATM
Swimming profilesPool swimming, Open water swimmingPool swimming
Device storage4 GB4 GB
NFC PaymentsGarmin PayNot available
Wireless connectivityANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-FiANT+, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
AccelerometerYesYes
CompassYesYes
GyroscopeNoNo
Barometric altimeterNoNo
Garmin Pulse Ox SensorYesYes
Garmin Elevate Heart SensorYesYes
ThermometerYes (tempe sensor needed)Yes (tempe sensor needed)
In-built speakerNoNo
In-built microphoneNoNo
Android compatibilityAndroid 7 or higherAndroid 7 or higher
iOS compatibilityiOS 15 or higheriOS 15 or higher

The battery backup provided by Vivoactive 5 is marginally higher than the battery backup of Forerunner 245 Music.

A comparison of battery backup on various smartwatch modes is displayed below.

Battery modeGarmin Vivoactive 5Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
Smartwatch modeUp to 11 daysUp to 7 days
GPS ModeUp to 21 hoursUp to 24 hours
GPS Mode with musicUp to 9 hoursUp to 6 hours
All-Systems GNSS modeUp to 17 hours
All-Systems GNSS mode with musicUp to 8 hours
All-Systems GNSS mode plus multi-band with musicMulti-band not available
All-Systems GNSS mode plus multi-band without musicMulti-band not available
Battery Saver ModeUp to 21 days

Vivoactive 5 features a Battery Saver mode. The Battery Saver mode helps to extend battery life. You can use the smartwatch at low power settings as well.

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music in blue color

Vivoactive 5 and Forerunner 245 Music also differ in the activity profiles supported on each watch. A side-by-side comparison of activity profiles supported on each watch is given below.

Activity profilesGarmin Vivoactive 5Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
RunningRunning, Treadmill Running, Indoor Track RunningRunning, Outdoor Track Running, Treadmill Running, Indoor Track Running, Trail Running, Virtual Running
CyclingBiking, Indoor Biking, eBiking, Handcycling, Indoor HandcyclingBiking, Indoor Biking
SwimmingPool SwimmingPool Swimming
GymStrength, HIIT, Cardio, Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Indoor RowingStrength, Cardio, Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Indoor Rowing

Wheelchair mode is a special mode on Vivoactive 5. It allows wheelchair users to track pushes as part of daily workouts.

Garmin also features wheelchair workouts for wheelchair users.

The wheelchair mode is unavailable on Forerunner 245 Music smartwatches.

Garmin Vivoactive 5 carries a list price of $299.99. Garmin Forerunner 245 Music has a list price of $349.99. However, you can usually get discounts on the Forerunner 245 Music series as it is a dated model.

Garmin Vivoactive 5 offers significant feature upgrades over the Forerunner 245 Music edition watch. I will pick a Vivoactive 5 over the Forerunner 245 Music for the following reasons:

  • AMOLED display
  • Higher display resolution
  • NFC or contactless payments through the Garmin Pay app
  • Newer apps for meditation and sleep coaching.
  • Longer battery life

I will prefer a Forerunner 245 Music over the Vivoactive 5 only if I am into serious running and need metrics to track my efforts. Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is ideally suited for athletes due to the range of activity and running profiles it offers.

You may like to read more smartwatch comparisons below:

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