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Garmin Forerunner 245 vs. Galaxy Watch Active 2: Which should you buy?

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Fitness focused

Garmin Forerunner 245

$290 at Amazon


Highly accurate GPS tracking
Comprehensive workouts and training
Great screen visibility in sunlight
Full-week battery life


No touchscreen
Limited apps and notifications
Hardware is too sporty for some

Garmin focuses on fitness above all else, and it shows. The Forerunner 245 has excellent GPS and heart rate tracking, as well as in-depth training software and every bit of data analysis you could want. However, in turn, it gives up daily usability, with no touchscreen and slimmed-down software. Thankfully, you get long battery life in return.

All-around features

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

$260 at Amazon


Beautiful looking screen with touch
Full-featured apps and widgets
Complete notification management and replies
Simple and solid hardware with neutral look


Battery life 2-3 days at most
Less accurate GPS tracking
Touchscreen a hassle for workouts

The Watch Active 2 comes at fitness from the perspective of an all-around capable smartwatch. Its full-featured software and beautiful touchscreen let you use apps, widgets, and notifications with ease. It gives up on hyper-accurate fitness tracking, though, and it doesn’t have the long battery life or in-workout ease-of-use of the Garmin.

Should you buy a Forerunner 245 or Galaxy Watch Active 2?

When you’re looking for a fitness-focused smartwatch, there are two parts of the equation: its daily use “smart” features and fitness tracking capabilities. Both of these watches have their strong points, with the Galaxy Watch Active 2 coming out on top in the daily category and the Forerunner 245 pulling ahead of it in terms of fitness.

In some ways, the watches are very comparable in their hardware. They’re both roughly the same size and weight and come with similar sporty straps but you can replace them with standard-sized straps. Their casings are 5 ATM water-resistant, making them more than robust enough for swimming, and though the Forerunner is plastic and the Watch Active 2 is metal, they’re both pretty tough and built to take some abuse.

Forerunner 245
Galaxy Watch Active 2

1.2-inch, 240x240Non-touch
1.35, 360x360Touch screen

6-7 days
2-3 days

Water resistance

Bluetooth, Wi-FiGPS, GLONASS
Bluetooth, Wi-FiGPS, GLONASS

Heart rate

Pulse OX

42.3 x 42.3 x 12.2 mm38.5 g
44 x 44 x 10.9 mm36 g

The most notable difference to start is the Galaxy Watch Active has a larger, nicer display that has a full touchscreen compared to the Forerunner 245’s smaller non-touchscreen. Every interaction on the Watch Active 2 is faster, smoother, and better looking. You can quickly move through screens, make precise selections, and see everything happen in robust colors with sleek animations. You have to navigate the Forerunner with side buttons, which gets the job done but isn’t as intuitive or fast. Side-by-side the Forerunner’s screen looks a bit washed out and low resolution as well.

For day-to-day activities, and ‘smart’ features, Samsung takes the cake.

Those screens lead to notable differences in daily use. The Watch Active 2 has more fully-featured software with complete app experiences, multi-tiered menus, interactive notifications, and more — this is more like a small smartphone experience. The Forerunner handles notifications, messages, and basic information like weather and calendar just fine, but anything beyond that is either difficult or impossible. The Watch Active 2 can go deep into full-featured third-party apps and widgets with really dense information, while the Forerunner basically keeps you locked into watch faces and a handful of basic widgets mostly focused on fitness tracking.

When it comes to serious fitness tracking, the Garmin takes the lead, as you may have expected. It’s fully-focused on fitness, with continuous heart rate monitoring, a blood oxygen sensor, and software designed to quantify and track your daily movements and workouts.

Garmin’s fitness tracking is excellent, and you can do more with the data too.

Both watches have the same basic set of sensors, from GPS to heart rate, but in my head-to-head testing the Garmin routinely performs more accurately and consistently. In my own experience running with both watches, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is anywhere from 5-10% off in its distance tracking with GPS, which is considerably worse than the roughly 1% margin of error observed in the Forerunner 245.

The Forerunner’s downsides in the display category for daily use actually make it a better choice for fitness. Not having a touchscreen, and having to rely on side buttons is actually a welcome feature when you’re trying to quickly make a selection or change your display during an activity. Plus, its always-on low-reflectivity display is easy to see at all times. Its simpler software and non-touchscreen also lead to incredible battery life, averaging about a week between charges while the Watch Active 2 is only good for a maximum of two days if you’re using it for sleep tracking.

When fitness comes first, Garmin wins — but Samsung has a more well-rounded smartwatch.

The Forerunner also has much more robust software for setting up training routines, running routes, workouts, and more. And though the readout on the watch itself isn’t incredibly in-depth, the Garmin Connect app on your phone goes into the gritty details of every aspect of your performance. The Watch Active 2 has Samsung Health, an all-in-one fitness platform, but it’s much more targeted at casual users and daily activity tracking than intense workouts and training.

If your primary use for a smartwatch is fitness tracking and workouts, the Garmin Forerunner 245 is going to be your best choice. It can get the job done for non-fitness function, but those clearly secondary for Garmin. On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 does an okay job at fitness tracking and is much better at the “smart” features in day-to-day use.

Fitness focused

Garmin Forerunner 245

$290 at Amazon

Fitness tracking first and foremost.

The Forerunner 245 is an excellent choice for anyone focused on fitness tracking and training, thanks to its simple software and great sensor accuracy. But it lacks in general smartwatch features.

All-around features

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

$260 at Amazon

A great all-around smartwatch with a lean toward fitness.

The Watch Active 2 is a great all-around smartwatch with powerful software and a brilliant touch screen. Its fitness features are just one of many things it can do, and so it doesn’t stand out as much in this area.

Read more: androidcentral.com

K-Edge’s new computer mount finally lets Trek Madones and Wahoo play nice

Aching for a tech fix now that the annual Sea Otter Classic trade show has been pushed back to October? Never fear! In its place, we bring you Pond Beaver 2020, our own virtual trade show where we’ve gathered up a mountain of information and images of new gear to come this season, all of which we’ll be rolling out to you in a satisfyingly steady stream over the next few weeks.

Trek has always offered its own Bontrager Blendr computer and accessory mounts for the current Madone’s integrated carbon fiber cockpits, but there’s been one key hiccup: it only works with Garmin computers. K-Edge now comes to the rescue with a new Wahoo-compatible mount for the Madone that’s not only stouter than the plastic ones Bontrager offers given its machined aluminum construction, but it arguably looks better, too.

The new mount also works with Garmin heads, of course, as well as any other brand supported by K-Edge’s interchangeable puck system, such as Sigma, Bryton, Lezyne, and Omata.

The K-Edge Madone mount secures with a single bolt, but yet is supposedly strong enough to handle bigger and heavier computers like the Wahoo Element Roam, Garmin Edge 1030, or Sigma Rox 12.0 Sport. K-Edge has also incorporated seven degrees of angular adjustment so you can tune the viewing angle of the screen to your liking (which is particularly important in this case since the Madone’s bar is also adjustable for angle). The underside of the mount will accept K-Edge’s optional $20 accessory mount in case you want to use a GoPro, Cycliq Fly12, or anything else that uses the GoPro finned interface.

Retail price for the standard K-Edge Madone mount is US$50, or US$65 with the combo mount included, beginning May 1. K-Edge is only offering it in black for now, but other colors may be available later.

A new race-day chain guide, too

K-Edge has also added a new Race chain guide, aimed at time-trial machines, gravel bikes, road bikes, and any other drop-bar application with a single-chainring drivetrain that could use a bit of additional security. According to K-Edge, the Race guide is optimized for chainrings between about 36 and 54 teeth, and was developed in collaboration with the Trek-Segafredo team to handle the rigors of WorldTour racing.

“We wanted it as small, light, and racy as we could,” said K-Edge brand manager Tim Kelley. “But it absolutely can not fail [in a race].”

As compared to K-Edge’s existing CX chain guide, the Race version is notably more pared-down with a smaller machined aluminum cage and lower weight. However, it still incorporates a fair amount of adjustment (such as height, lateral position, and yaw angle) to accommodate a wide range of frames and drivetrains. K-Edge is only offering the new Race guide in a braze-on fitment, however, so anyone needing a clamp-type attachment will need to search elsewhere for a proper adapter.

As with the Madone computer mount, the Race chain guide comes in a single color (black and silver, in this case). Retail price is US$100, and K-Edge expects these to be available beginning May 15. Pricing for other regions is to be confirmed.


[K-Edge also has a few other mounts that were recently announced, which we covered during Frostbike in February.]

Want more news on upcoming bike tech? You can find additional coverage on our continually updated Pond Beaver 2020 main page.

The post K-Edge’s new computer mount finally lets Trek Madones and Wahoo play nice appeared first on CyclingTips.

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The Best Garmin Fitness Trackers For Keeping Up Your Training Wherever Work Takes You

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