Garmin Forerunner

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Forerunner 205
Garmin Forerunner 205 being worn

The Garmin Forerunner series is a selection of sport watches produced by Garmin. Most models use the Global Positioning System (GPS), and are targeted at road runners and triathletes. Forerunner series watches are designed to accurately measure distance, speed, heart rate (optional), time, altitude, and pace, all of which can be important to athletes in training.


The Forerunner series consists of the 101, 201, 301, 205, 305, 50, 405, 60, 405CX, 310XT, 110, 210, 410, 610, 910XT, 70, 10, 220, 620, 15, 920XT, 225, 25, 230, 235, 630, 735XT, 35, 935, 30, 645, 645 Music, 45, 45S, 245, 245 Music, 945, 745, 55 (listed in chronological order by release date). All models except the 101 include a way to upload training data to a personal computer and training software.

Garmin registered the name "Forerunner" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in August 2001 but released the first watches — the 101, 201, and 301 — in 2003.[1]

In 2006, the improved 205 and 305 appeared. These models are smaller than the first generation and feature a more sensitive SiRFstarIII GPS receiver chip.

In late 2007, the Forerunner 50 was introduced. As opposed to GPS, this model paired with a foot pod to measure displacement. The Forerunner 50 also came packaged with a USB stick that allowed training data to be transferred wirelessly to one's pc.[2] This feature has since become a staple of Garmin's more full-featured sport watches.

The Forerunner 405 was introduced in 2008 and is significantly smaller than its predecessors, only slightly outsizing a typical wristwatch. The 405 also featured improved satellite discovery and connection.

In 2009, Garmin produced three new models: the Forerunner 60 (an evolution of the Forerunner 50), the Forerunner 405CX (405 chassis), and the Forerunner 310XT (an evolution of the 305 chassis).[3] New features included additional battery life and vibration alerts on the 310XT and advanced calorie consumption modeling on all watches. The new calorie consumption modeling in these devices was the result of Garmin's first collaboration with Finnish physiological analytics firm Firstbeat.[4][5] The 310XT was also the first watch of the Forerunner series to be waterproof, thus allowing its use for swimming and on all legs of a Triathlon, also thanks to an extended battery life. In 2010 a firmware update added vastly improved open-water swimming metrics.[6]

In 2010, the Forerunner 110, 210 and 410 were introduced. The releases included the addition of a touch-sensitive bezel on the 410, presumably, although heavily debated, allowing for easier scrolling and selection of functions. It was touted as providing "unmatched reliability in sweaty, rainy conditions."[7]

The Forerunner 610 was released in the spring of 2011. It features a touch sensitive screen as well as vibration alerts.[8]

In 2012 the Forerunner 910XT was introduced, which is a development of the 310XT. This version was originally supposed to be released in Q4 of 2011, but the November date had slipped and it was eventually released in Q1 of 2012. New features are the inclusion of the SiRFStar iv chipset, a barometric altimeter, and improved swimming metrics using an accelerometer in the watch. This allowed it to automatically count pool lengths and to recognize swimming styles.[9]

A further addition to the series was the Forerunner 10, a simple watch offering just GPS tracking of activities and run metrics like distance, pace and calories burned.

At the end of 2013 the Forerunner 220 and 620 were introduced, with color screens, Bluetooth Low energy (BTLE; allowing connections to some smartphones), and, for the 620 only, a touchscreen, Wi-Fi (allowing automatic activity download) and enhanced "running dynamics" given by an updated Heart rate monitor. These watches also abandon syncing via the ANT+ protocol in favor of wired (USB) and Wi-Fi (620 only) data transfers. They are also fully waterproof, but do not include any kind of swimming mode.[10][11]

In 2014, the Forerunner 15 and 920XT were introduced. The 15 is a development of the 10, adding activity tracking, increased battery life, footpod and heart rate monitor capability. The 920XT is the successor of the 910XT, featuring all the capabilities of it (except ANT+ scale and fitness equipment capability) and adding features found in the 620 such as a color screen, Wi-Fi data transfers and running dynamics. Additionally, battery life over the 910XT was improved, daily activity tracking, GLONASS support and a swim drill mode added, and the 920XT is the first Garmin watch extensible with custom apps built using the Garmin Connect IQ software development kit.[12][13]

Announced in May 2015, the Forerunner 225 is the first Garmin watch with an integrated optical heart rate monitor.[14]

Announced in May 2016, the Forerunner 735XT is a triathlon-ready Garmin watch with integrated optical heart rate monitor.[15]

In April 2017, Garmin announced the Forerunner 935, billing it as a watch for running and triathlons with features similar to the Fenix 5. The watch boasts 24/7 wrist-based heart rate monitoring and new advanced training features.[16]

On March 12, 2018, Garmin released the Forerunner 645 and 645 Music marketed as a high end running watch. The watch adds Garmin Pay, an NFC enabled touchless pay system and the 645 Music is Garmin's first watch with onboard music storage (4 GB).[17]

The Forerunner 45/45S, released on April 30, 2019, is an entry level running watch. The 45S has a smaller bezel (39mm) than the 45 (42mm) - there are no other differences. It has a 3rd generation optical heart rate monitor which features stress detection and Body Battery™ energy, along with earlier-generation OHR metrics. Bluetooth connected features include audio prompts, Live Track, and smart notifications. The activity profiles include outdoor running, treadmill, walk, bike, and cardio, with the ability to configure more through Garmin Connect. The Forerunner 45 also has built-in incident detection and assistance, which notifies a predetermined contact if you crash or fall and provides a live track link of your location.[18]

The Forerunner 245/245 Music, released on April 30, 2019, are mid-range running watches. The 245 has all of the same capabilities as the 245 Music, though the 245 Music allows you to store and play up to 500 song directly on the watch or play music through music streaming services, such as Spotify or Deezer, through wireless bluetooth earphones. The 245 has Garmin Elevate with a 3rd generation optical heart rate monitor which features Pulse Ox, stress detection, Body Battery™ energy, along with earlier-generation OHR metrics. Also new for the Forerunner is a detailed Activity summary screen, improved Race Predictor and Training Status.[19]

The Forerunner 945, released on April 30, 2019, is a triathlon-focused feature-rich watch. The 945 allows you to store and play up to 1000 song directly on the watch or play music through music streaming services, such as Spotify or Deezer, through wireless bluetooth earphones. The 945 has all of the capabilities of its 935 predecessor and all of the features of the Forerunner 245. Garmin Pay. Other new features of the 945 are heat and altitude acclimation, training load balance, mapping with Trendline™ popularity routing, respiration rate, Around me mode, Climbpro™ future elevation plot, cartography support and topographical maps, XERO™ location, and for the golfer, the 945 is preloaded with 41,000 courses.[20]

GPS functionality[edit]

The Forerunner can be used to record historical data by completing a workout and then uploading the data to a computer to create a log of previous exercise activities for analysis.

Additionally, the Forerunner can be used to navigate during a workout. Users can "mark" their current location and then edit this entry's name and coordinates, which enables navigation to those new coordinates. The watch uses the (hours, minutes, and minute decimals) coordinate format. The 310XT can display additional formats; it also has a screen to display current coordinates in real-time.

Computer interface[edit]

The user can download a previously-traveled course/route to the Forerunner using Garmin's Communicator software together with the ANT+ technology, and then follow this course/route to "race" against this historical course/route. Until recently this download was possible via the tethered USB connection on the older 205 & 305 models. However, the current version of the software has eliminated this option, requiring the user to acquire a newer model with wireless connection in order to use this feature.

The user can also make new courses or routes, which can be downloaded to the watch and then followed. This is a convenient way to go on a cross-country bike ride while navigating with the Forerunner. Note: navigating with a course is better than navigating with a route, because a Garmin course can store more points than a Garmin route.

Additionally, a user can create downloadable points of interest (POIs) by creating a custom map with Google Maps. POIs can be transferred to the 205 or 305 but not to the 405 or 310XT.


Model Release date Image
Forerunner 101 2003-03-02[21] Garmin Forerunner 101-1862.jpg
Forerunner 201 2003-08-14[22] Garmin Forerunner 201 cropped.jpg
Forerunner 301 2005-01-05[23]
Po 16 latach bateria trzyma 14 godzin.jpg
Forerunner 205 2006-01-03[24] Garmin Forerunner 205 cropped.jpg
Forerunner 305 2006-01-03[24] GarminForerunner305 cropped.jpg
Forerunner 50 2007-08-08[25]
Forerunner 405 2008-01-03[26] Garmin Forerunner 405.jpg
Forerunner 60 2009-01-30[27]
Forerunner 405CX 2009-04-02[4]

Garmin Forerunner 405CX.jpg

Forerunner 310XT 2009-04-02[28] GarminForerunner310XT cropped.jpg
Forerunner 110 2010-03-29[29] Garmin Forerunner 110 2012.jpg
Forerunner 210 2010-10-04[30] Garmin Forerunner 210.jpg
Forerunner 410 2010-10-04[30]
Forerunner 610 2011-04-12[31]
Forerunner 910XT 2011-10-04[32] Garmin Forerunner 910XT.JPG
Forerunner 10 2012-08-28[33] Garmin10a.png
Forerunner 220 2013-09-16[34]

Garmin Forerunner 220 cropped.jpg

Forerunner 620 2013-09-16[34]

Garmin Forerunner 620 White.jpg

Forerunner 15 2014-05-06[35] Garmin Forerunner 15.JPG
Forerunner 920XT 2014-10-01[36]


Forerunner 225 2015-05-12[14][37]

Garmin Forerunner 225.jpg

Forerunner 25 2015-08-05[38]
Garmin Forerunner 25.jpg
Forerunner 230
Forerunner 235

Garmin Forerunner 235 20160315.jpg

Forerunner 630 2015-10-21[40]
Forerunner 630.jpg
Forerunner 735XT 2016-05-11[41]
Forerunner 735XT.jpg
Forerunner 35 2016-08-31[42]
Garmin Forerunner 35.jpg
Forerunner 935 2017-03-29[16]
Forerunner 935.jpg
Forerunner 30 2017-09-26[43]
Forerunner 30.jpg
Forerunner 645
Forerunner 645 Music
Forerunner 645 Music.jpg
Forerunner 45

Forerunner 45S

Forerunner 45.jpg
Forerunner 245

Forerunner 245 Music

Forerunner 245 Music.jpg
Forerunner 945 2019-04-30[45]
Forerunner 945 Music.jpg
Forerunner 745 2020-09-16 [1]
Forerunner 55 2021-06-02[46]
Forerunner 945 LTE 2021-06-02[47]


2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
10 15 25 35 30 45/S 55
50 60 110
101 201 205 210 220 225 230/235 245/245M
301 305 310XT
405 405CX 410
610 620 630 645/645M
735XT 745
910XT 920XT 935 945 945 LTE

More details : List of Garmin products#Launch dates 2

Feature Comparison[edit]

Forerunner Model 30[48] 45/45S[49] 55[50] 230[51] 235[52] 245[53] 630[54] 645[55] 735XT[56] 745[57] 935[58] 945[59] 945 LTE[60] fēnix 6S fēnix 6 fēnix 6X
Release date 23/09/2017 30/04/2019 02/06/2021 21/10/2015 21/10/2015 30/04/2019 21/10/2015 08/01/2018 11/05/2016 16/09/2020 29/03/2017 30/04/2019 02/06/2021 08/2019 08/2019 08/2019
Usage Running Triathlon Adventure
Width 35.5mm 39.5/42mm 42mm 45mm 45mm 42.3mm 45mm 42.5mm 44.5mm 43.8mm 47mm 47mm 44.4mm 42mm 47mm 51mm
Thickness 13.4mm 11.4mm 11.6mm 11.7mm 11.7mm 12.2mm 11.7mm 13.5mm 11.9mm 13.3mm 13.9mm 13.7mm 13.9mm 13.8mm 14.7mm 14.9mm
Strap width 20mm 20mm 20mm 22mm 22mm 20mm 22mm 26mm
Display size 23.5 x 23.4 Ø26.3mm Ø26.3mm Ø31.1mm Ø31.1mm Ø30.4mm Ø31.1mm Ø30.4mm Ø31.1mm Ø30.4mm Ø30.5mm Ø30.4mm Ø30.4mm Ø30.4mm Ø33.0mm Ø35.6mm
Resolution 128x128 208x208 208x208 215x180 215x180 240x240 215x180 240x240 215x180 240x240 240x240 240x240 240x240 240x240 260x260 280x280
Weight 37.3g 32/36g 37g 41g 42g 38.5g 44g 42.2g 44g 47g 49g 50g 49g 61g 72/83g 93g
Water rating 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM 10 ATM 10 ATM 10 ATM
Galileo Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Wrist Heart Rate Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Barometric Altimeter Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Compass Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Gyroscope Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Accelerometer Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Thermometer Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Blood Oxygen Saturation Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Topo maps Y Y Y Y Y
Garmin Pay Y Y Y Y Y Y Y

Key: Current Model


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External links[edit]