Garmin revamps entire Forerunner family, new smartwatches start at $199

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Garmin has been slowly updating its smartwatches and fitness trackers over the past few years, and 2019 appears to be the year of the Forerunner. Today, Garmin announced three new types of Forerunner smartwatches—the Forerunner 45 and 45S, the Forerunner 245 and 245 Music, and the Forerunner 945—that will replace all but one of its existing Forerunner lineup. The remaining device is the $449 Forerunner 645 Music, which came out about one year ago and was the first of Garmin’s wearables to have onboard music storage.

The new devices that make up the new lineup have slightly new designs and many new features. However, Garmin’s naming system doesn’t really help differentiate one smartwatch from another, so we’ll break down the devices here. The most affordable of the bunch are the Forerunner 45 and 45S, both of which start at $199. The “S” signifies a smaller case size, so users can choose between the 42mm Forerunner 45 or the 39mm Forerunner 45S.

Garmin says these are designed for newbie runners or those starting a new exercise plan, and that thinking likely led to its affordable price tag and its array of features. Like most Garmin smartwatches, the Forerunner 45 and 45S track all-day activity and sleep, deliver smartphone alerts to your wrist, and are easy on the eyes thanks to an always-on, sunlight-friendly display. Even though the Forerunner 45 watches are the most affordable of the bunch, they still have a heart-rate monitor and built-in GPS, so users can make outdoor runs without the help of a smartphone.

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