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Garmin's latest smartwatch can play music during your run

You don't need to lug your phone around to listen to some tunes.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
January 8, 2018
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Yes, you can listen to music on a smartwatch without keeping your phone nearby, but that usually means settling for relatively simple fitness tracking. Garmin may have a solution that eliminates those compromises, however -- it just introduced the Forerunner 645 Music, a GPS running watch that (surprise) stores up to 500 songs for playback over Bluetooth earphones. You can track your runs (or bike rides, or swims) and the detailed stats to match while listening to tunes you've saved either from your computer or from streaming services like iHeartRadio.

The watch is an upgrade in the style department as well. It's the first Forerunner with a steel bezel, so it looks more at home on your wrist when you're not in the middle of a half-marathon. You'll also get Garmin Pay (to buy that post-workout drink), an always-on color display and support for a Running Dynamics Pod that tracks stats like cadence and stride length. The battery will last up to a week in a regular smartwatch mode, although that shrinks to five hours if you invoke GPS and music.

The 645 Music is available for $450/£400, and there's a music-free 645 for $400/£350 if you'd rather listen to the great outdoors or the gym. That's potentially a bargain if you want a soundtrack while you train for a half-marathon, but just be sure that you intend to use Garmin's more advanced tracking. You might get more value from an Apple Watch or Gear Sport if you only need basics like calorie burn.

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