While the ability to control or play music via your smart watch is relatively old news at this point, GPS watch maker Garmin is just now adding the popular feature to their own devices – starting with the upcoming Forerunner 645.
The 645 will be capable of storing music within itself, eliminating the need to sync up with a nearby phone or tablet – a feature no other Garmin fitness watch has housed before. One Garmin spokesperson said that mounting customer interest is what ultimately led to the decision, along with internal technological advancements.
The 645 will be able to pull music from saved iHeartRadio playlists as well as offline playlists from iTunes or Windows Media Player. The company estimates that the device will be able to hold roughly 500 songs in total, depending on their file size.
Aside from music playback, the Forerunner 645 will house a built-in GPS and heart-rate sensor, both of which are relatively standard fare within the fitness tracker market.
However, the 645 has one advantage over its competitors – style. While Fitbit devices typically emphasize minimalism (with a few exceptions) and functionality, Garmin’s upcoming device looks almost like a classic analog watch in some ways but with a full-color digital display.
Aesthetics aside, the 645 will also include integration with Garmin’s proprietary payment software, “Garmin Pay.”
If you’re interested in picking up a 645 for yourself, the device will be available in “5-8 weeks” in two separate models – a $450 music-enabled model, or the $399 music-free model, depending on your needs.