Garmin Instinct 2 VS Forerunner 245: Which On Is Better?

The Garmin Instinct 2 and Forerunner 245 are two mid-range GPS watches. However, they are marketed to different groups, with the Instinct 2 better suited for sturdy explorations.

And the Forerunner 245 is better suited for runners and athletes. This article will discuss why one is preferable to the other.

The watches have many features that help you record your bike rides, improve your training, and explore different routes, with mapping on both. 

They can also provide ‘wellness’ insights and some of the everyday functionality that we’ve come to expect from other smartwatches, such as contactless payments.

We’ve got the new Forerunner 245 and the Garmin Instinct 2 for review. We’ve compared the two watches to outline the most key aspects of these watches for you.

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Garmin instinct 2 VS Forerunner 245: Comparison Table

Features Garmin instinct 2 Forerunner 245
Weight 52 g 38.5 g
Dimensions 45 x 45 x 14.5 mm 42.3 x 42.3 mm
Display 0.9” x 0.9” (23 x 23 mm) 1.2″ (30.4 mm) diameter
Battery Life Up to 28 days on smartwatch mode/unlimited with solar Up to 7 days with activity tracking, smartphone notifications, and wrist-based heart rate
Water Resistance 10 ATM 5ATM
NFC Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Bluetooth Calling Yes Yes
Alexa Yes Yes

Garmin Instinct 2 VS Forerunner 245: Design

instinct 2

The Garmin instinct 2 has a 45mm polymer case and a matching polymer bezel that weighs 52g. 

This is paired with a removable 22mm silicone strap that uses Garmin’s Quick Fit mechanism, making it easier to swap out for official and third-party straps.

The Instinct 2 is slightly thinner than the original Instinct. The Solar model is 1g heavier, but not noticeably.

Again, the different versions have the same overall design and build, with 10 ATM(100m) water resistance, rugged construction, fiber-reinforced polymer case, and bezel.

The bezel on the Instinct 2 models varies slightly, with a different design on the Classification, Camo, Tactical, Surf, and dezl editions. The designs are identical to the original Instinct, with only color differences.

The Forerunner 245 is a lighter-weight fitness-focused wearable device with a decent-looking design with a slew of activity tracking features. 

Such as a pulse ox sensor that tracks blood oxygen, a body’s energy monitor, incidental fall detection, and an impressively long battery life that allows you to have more battery on a single charge. 

The Forerunner 245 is the entry-level version of the Forerunner 245 Music, including onboard music storage.

The Forerunner 245 comes with a reinforced fiber-polymer case and 20mm interchangeable silicone straps, and Corning Gorilla glass mounts the screen to protect the display.

The Forerunner 245 is suitable for both Android and iOS devices, and it keeps you connected to everything that matters to you, so you never miss out on important updates.

Garmin instinct 2 VS Forerunner 245: Display

forerunner 245

The display on all Garmin Instinct devices is the same. The 45mm devices are all the same size, with the 40mm Instinct 2S having a smaller display.

The system is the same, it’s Garmin’s Transflective MIP display, and they’re all protected by Corning Gorilla Glass to keep scratches.

Additionally, the devices with the name Solar also have the Power Glass layer, which provides a few charges from the sun to boost battery life.

It’s worth noting that the Instinct 2 models (45mm and 40mm) have a slightly greater resolution than the original Instinct.

On the other hand, Despite having a shorter 42mm resolution (compared to the 235’s 44mm), the Forerunner 245 has a screen that is nearly the same size as its predecessor. 

And, along with the 240 x 240 pixels resolution, more importantly, it does not have a softer look like the predecessor.

Garmin instinct 2 VS Forerunner 245: Features

garmin instinct 2

Whenever it comes to features, the Instinct 2, like all Garmin devices, packs a lot in. In terms of hardware, the Instinct 2 has more storage, expanding to 32MB from 16MB, allowing you to store more data. 

Other than that, many of the features are software-based, as all have GPS, heart rate, barometric altimeter, compass, accelerometer, and thermometer, which feed into the data it can collect. They all also provide blood oxygen monitoring.

The Instinct 2 adds a slew of new training features, including recovery, training effect, VO2 max monitoring, and performance condition, all of which are found on the Forerunner and are now available on the Instinct 2.

The Instinct 2 also supports Garmin Pay, allowing you to make payments directly from your watch.

Furthermore, some of the information provided by Instinct 2 is dependent on the version you purchase.

While all models support running, cycling, swimming, step tracking, and sleep tracking, the Edition models provide access to additional features.

Time/date, GPS time sync, auto daylight saving, alarm, timer, and stopwatch are also among the watch’s features. The Garmin Connect IQ Store is where you can get watch faces, widgets, data fields, and apps.

Interchangeable 20mm straps with a quick-release feature. Both Android and iOS devices are supported. Sync and upload data from your watch to the Garmin Connect community, a thriving community of gym-goers where you can connect and share your experiences.

It also has a Recovery time Feature, which measures how well you’ve managed to recover from previous training and helps you train at the best possible time, is also available.

Running features include GPS-based distance, time, and pace, run workouts, foot pod compatibility, and run profiles such as running, indoor track running, and treadmill running.

Cycling features include time/distance alerts, compatibility with varia, speed, and cadence sensor support, and available cycling profiles such as biking and indoor biking with a large selection of courses.

Pool swim metrics, stroke type detection, a basic rest timer, time/distance alerts, and pool swimming as an available swim profile are among the swim-tracking features.

When it comes to the Garmin Forerunner 245, the interface is highly configurable, as it is with all Garmin smartwatches: you can customize the watch face, the activities list (even the tasks themself), the widget design, controls, sensors, and anything else you can think of.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 may not be the most feature-packed Garmin watch, but it still has a lot of them, and having access to the most important ones can save you time, especially if you’re going to work out.

With a single push of a button, you can access all of the main features, including music, notifications, and more, from the quick access menu.

Tip: Long-press the Centre (up) button on the left to access the main screen of the Garmin Forerunner 245, while long-pressing the top (light) button on the left to access the quick access menu.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 has a feature called ‘Training Status,’ which estimates your VO2 max and suggests recommended recovery times after workouts. You can also use the Training Status’ ‘Race Predictor’ view to estimate your race times based on your performance and fitness levels.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 has a few features that may attract those who wear fitness watches on a more casual basis: Keep an eye on your stress levels and the state of your ‘Body Battery,’ which rates your energy level on a scale of 0-100 and is based on how much you rest and exercise.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 also has the new Pulse Ox feature, which uses “a non-invasive method for measuring the concentration of oxygen in the bloodstream.” If you’d like to keep track of that as well.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 is a connected smartwatch that supports smart notifications and counts basic stats like steps taken and calories burned, just like any other fitness smartwatch.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is a great option for those who don’t want to carry their phone on their runs but still want some motivational sound-tracking.

All you need are a pair of the best running earphones to complete a light and smartphone-free running experience with onboard Spotify playlist storage and six hours of battery life with GPS, pulse tracking, and music.

Garmin Instinct 2 VS Forerunner 245: Battery life

forerunner 245 vs garmin instinct 2

The battery life of your device will be determined by what you do with it. In general, Garmin devices have a good battery life, with the solar option allowing you to charge them while the sun shines.

Of course, using all of the sensors will reduce the battery life from weeks to hours but all will provide GPS tracking for longer than most people will require. 

The original Instinct has a battery life of up to 16 hours, but the Instinct 2 has a battery life of 28 days on smartwatch mode, and GPS mode runs for 30 hours. 

In contrast, Forerunner 245 battery capacity, watch mode With activity tracking, mobile phone alerts, and wrist-based heart rate monitoring, the battery can last up to 7 days. 

Forerunner 245 battery life, activity mode GPS and wrist-based heart rate monitoring for up to 24 hours

If you need more battery life, the Forerunner 245 has 8 hours on the Instinct in GPS mode (24 vs. 16 hours). However, the Instinct lasts two weeks in regular wearable device mode, whereas the Forerunner 245 only lasts one week. 

Both timepieces have UltraTrac mode for long events, and the Instinct 2 has a battery life of up to 42 hours. The UltraTrac battery life of the Forerunner 245 is not specified, but given the Instinct’s longer GPS battery life, it is likely to be longer.

Garmin instinct 2 VS Forerunner 245: Are they worth it?

instinct 2 VS Forerunner 245

Outdoor enthusiasts who want some of the Fenix series’ outdoor features but don’t want to pay the travel watch price should consider actually purchasing the Garmin Instinct 2.

The Garmin Instinct 2 picks the best features of the original Instinct, such as its super-tough case and high-contrast dual-screen display, and revamps the entire package to make it more fun for you.

The Forerunner 245 is the best bargain running watch, walking the fine line between being inexpensive and not cutting too many corners. 

For the price, the Garmin Forerunner 245 provides a plethora of features for both serious athletes and casual runners.

In terms of effectiveness, the Forerunner 245 Music excels in all areas. During a one-mile treadmill walk, the watch logged 2,331 steps compared to a 3DTriMax pedometer 2,321, a difference of only 10 steps.

The battery life is excellent, the exercise tracking is as smooth and precise as I’ve seen, and the overall experience to use it is smooth and pleasant after the initial setup and customization.

Garmin Instinct 2 VS Forerunner 245: Price

Both Garmin Instinct 2 and Forerunner 245 falls in mid range smartwatch cetagory. Forerunner 245 costs $299 for its non-music varient where as its music model is availalbe for $349. On the other hand Instinct 2 comes in different models like sandard, Camo, Solar, Surf etc. The lowest price of Instint 2 starts from $349 and ends at $499 for its tactical varient.

Why Should You Buy a Garmin Forerunner 245?

The Forerunner 245 is the most advanced model in the most popular running watch series. Forerunners in the 200 price range have more features than entry-level watches but aren’t so complicated that you’ll get lost.

One of Forerunner 245’s main selling points is its training metrics, which can be useful for runners aiming for personal records. These are the metrics:

VO2 max: aerobic effectiveness capacity; oddly, the Instinct doesn’t have this because it’s on the lower end of the scale.

Training Status: whether or not your training has been beneficial.

Training Effect: how much your aerobic and anaerobic fitness has improved as a result of the activity.

Training Load: Whether or not your training is of sufficient intensity.

Recovery Advisor: How long should you rest before doing another strenuous workout?

Race Predictor: predicts 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon times.

PacePro will also create a pacing plan for your races and runs based on elevation and your goal time. You can change the plan depending on whether you want a positive, negative, or even split, as well as whether you want to take up hills easy or hard.

Why should You Buy a Garmin Instinct 2?

The Instinct 2 has many features that make it a must-buy for sport enthusiasts, it includes a barometric altimeter for more accurate elevation readings.

The Instinct 2 can track Floor Climbing as an activity and your daily floors climbed using the barometric altimeter.

In the relevant activity modes, you’ll also be able to see velocity components and total ascent/descent. If you’re in navigation mode, you’ll also see a future altitude plot to help you predict future elevation changes.

You’ll also get a barometric trend predictor and a storm alert as a result of the barometric altimeter. You can manually set the rate of change in barometric pressure that will cause an alert.

Stealth mode: Stealth mode disables wireless communication and does not log any data to the watch, but it still allows you to monitor time, pace, elevation, and location.

Night vision mode: reduces the intensity of the backlight for night vision goggles.

Dual grid coordinates: saves location as dual grid coordinates for future navigation.

Waypoint projected: create a new location to navigate to by projecting the distance and bearing from your current location.

Sight N’ Go: similar to a projected waypoint, point the watch at a distant object, lock in the direction using a compass, and then navigate to the object.

The moon phase: When hiking or stargazing, the moon phase, sunrise, and sunset can be useful.

In conclusion

The Forerunner 245 is best suited to improving the performance of road runners. Because of the extended battery life, navigation functions, and trail running mode, it can be a good option for trail runners, but the lack of a barometric altimeter isn’t ideal.

The Instinct 2 can also be used by runners, but it is best suited to runners who are also going on other adventure sports.

If you’re in tune with your body and can adjust your workouts accordingly, the lack of training stats isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker.

I’d recommend the Instinct 2 to hikers in particular because it has additional navigational characteristics and elevation data.

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