Apple Watch vs Garmin Forerunner 645 Best Smartwatch 2020

Fitness trackers took a huge hit when the Apple Watch first came out. The Apple Watch was designed to be a smartwatch and a fitness tracker all-in-one, and at a similar cost. So, where does that leave fitness trackers like the Garmin Forerunner 645? The Apple Watch is certainly eating up their market, but there’s still a place for a fitness tracker, especially Apple Watch vs. Garmin Forerunner 645. Not everyone wants a smartwatch to be an extension of their phone — they want something that can help them achieve their fitness goals.

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GarminGarmin Forerunner 645Check Price on Amazon

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That said, if you’re looking at picking up yourself a new watch, and are stuck between Apple Watch vs. Garmin Forerunner 645, be sure to follow along with us below. We’ll pit the two against each other, and show you which one comes out on top. So without further ado, let’s dive right in.




Apple Watch

Apple’s smartwatch has a square-shape to it, with a digital crown on the right side of the case. That’s used for waking and sleeping the display, as well as navigating to and through apps. There are some different contextual things that it can do as well.

The Apple Watch comes in a variety of different materials. The cheapest option is aluminum, with stainless steel feeling a little weightier with a luxury style. Some older models are available in Ceramic, but that material was gotten rid of in the Series 4.

It also comes in a variety of colors to meet different style needs — there’s Gold, Rose Gold, Space Gray, and Silver. There are other colors based on the type of material you get.

Bands are also interchangeable. By default, you get a neutral, silicone sport band with your purchase, but since they’re interchangeable, you can swap out the band for any compatible band. You can purchase leather bands, chain bands, fabric bands, and other types of band materials that meet your preference of style.


Garmin Forerunner 645

The cool thing about the Garmin Forerunner 645 is that it resembles that traditional watch with its circular face, giving it a little bit more style.

There are different colors that you can choose with the Garmin Forerunner 645, but you’re stuck with the same aluminum case. There’s no stainless steel or ceramic options available here.

One of the beautiful things about the Garmin Forerunner 645 is that it has interchangeable bands. You can swap bands out for another style, but it does come with a black, silicone band by default.

Winner: It’s a tie! Design is incredibly subjective; however, both smartwatches look nice, it’s just a matter of deciding whether you like square or circle and if you care about more premium case materials or not.


Apple Watch

When it comes to smartwatches, what sets them apart from each other comes down to the software. That said, the Apple Watch has a ton of amazing features.

Your Apple Watch is a phone extension smartwatch. It connects up directly to your iPhone, allowing you to make and take phone calls on your Apple Watch, even giving yourself the ability to send and receive text messages as well.

The Apple Watch intertwines with a bunch of other services as well, such as Facebook Messenger, Facebook, Slack, WhatsApp, Outlook, eBay, bank accounts, and so much more. There are millions of apps that work with the Apple Watch.

This one is a full-blown fitness tracker as well. The Apple Watch has a handful of built-in sensors that give you all sorts of activity tracking. You can measure steps taken, distance traveled, and can even track your running and jogging routes.

Some features allow you to track individual workouts as well, which gives you better tracking of pace, calories burned, and more.

Lastly, one of the things that we really about the Apple Watch is that many of the watch faces for it are all Apple-created. That means you get a ton of premium, luxury watch faces, instead of a market full of poorly created watch faces.

Garmin Forerunner 645

The Garmin Forerunner 645 is nice because it works with both Android and iOS. It comes with several Garmin built-in watch faces for you to show off, but also get a quick overview of things like steps taken, heart rate, weather, and more.

Garmin’s watch also comes with its own proprietary contactless payment system called Garmin Pay. Simply open Garmin Pay, move your wrist near a supported payment terminal, and the transaction happens instantly. No need to pull out your wallet!

Of course, the Garmin Forerunner 645 comes with several different fitness features, as well. Forerunner 645 Music lets you change up with ease to the tune of your fitness activity. There are built-in activity profiles for running, cycling, swimming, elliptical, paddle sports, strength training, and more. The Garmin even lets you create your workouts.

The Garmin Forerunner 645 also provides advanced running dynamics, including ground contact time balance, stride length, vertical ratio, and more. This gives you better and more accurate measurements for things like steps taken, calories burned, and more.

On top of that, the Forerunner 645 uses heart rate data with the built-in heart rate monitor to offer more features, such as giving you suggestions for elevating your workouts.

Winner: It’s a tie between the two. The Apple Watch has both smartwatch and fitness features, but the Garmin Forerunner 645 takes fitness features to a whole new level. The Garmin 645 has several calling and text features with supported phones, too.


As you can see, there are several differences between the Apple Watch and the Garmin Forerunner 645. While the Apple Watch has some fitness features, it doesn’t have nearly as many as the Garmin. Likewise, the Garmin doesn’t have almost as many smartwatch features as the Apple Watch.

That said, Apple Watch vs. Garmin Forerunner 645 all comes down to what you want out of a smartwatch. Do you want more fitness features for better activity tracking? Then the Garmin Forerunner 645 will be more up your alley. Want a regular, everyday smartwatch to carry you through the week? Then the Apple Watch is the better option.

AppleApple Watch Series 4Check Price on Amazon
GarminGarmin Forerunner 645Check Price on Amazon

* If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.