In recent times, people have started to put a lot of thought into fitness, eating healthy, and staying active. With so much happening around you on a daily basis, it is not possible to keep track of how much exercise you get in a particular day and whether it is enough to satisfy your goals. Here’s where fitness trackers like the Garmin Forerunner 230 prove useful.

Whether your goal is to lose weight and get in shape or to train for an upcoming sporting event, a fitness tracker can help you monitor your level of activity and motivate you. The fitness tracker has quickly evolved from being just a device that can record the number of steps you walked in a day to being able to track so much more. For instance, the Garmin Forerunner 230 is a fitness tracker that keeps track of different activities that you engage in, monitors your health, and helps you stay motivated.

In this article, you will learn more about the Garmin Forerunner 230 and how it stacks up against other similar trackers.

What Is the Garmin Forerunner 230?

The Garmin Forerunner 230 is a successor to the Forerunner 225 and is a wearable activity tracker that you can slip onto your wrist like a watch. This wristwatch tracker houses plenty of sensors that record everything you do, right from monitoring your sleep to measuring the number of calories burnt and the distance that you’ve covered.

Apart from that, it can also pair up with your smartphone to display notification information, so your workout or exercise is not interrupted. The 230 supports Garmin Connect, which can be used to sync your activity data onto the cloud, making it accessible to you wherever you are.

Product Specs

The Garmin Forerunner 230 measures just 11.7 millimeters in thickness, making it one of the thinnest trackers available on the market. The device is waterproof and can safely withstand pressures of up to 5 ATM. The battery life is pretty impressive, with an ability to offer up to 5 weeks of usage in smartwatch mode and up to 16 hours in GPS mode. The watch sports a modest 215x180 resolution, aided by sunlight-visible and trans-reflective MIP display. It also has the ability to record up to 200 hours of activity data.

Pricing

The price range of the Garmin Forerunner 230 extends from $220 to $250. Additional accessories such as the strap-on heart rate monitor are not included with the watch and are to be bought separately. The Forerunner 230 can be bought from online marketplaces such as Amazon, Clevertraining.com, Garmin.com, Walmart, and Rei.com, among others.

How it Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

  • Garmin Forerunner 230

  • Garmin Forerunner 35

  • Garmin Forerunner 235

  • Garmin Forerunner 935

Product
Image
Details
Rating 
Price

Garmin Forerunner 230 - Force Yellow (Renewed)

Longer battery life than the 220, 16 hours in training mode and up to 5 weeks in watch mode. 

Garmin Forerunner 35, Easy-to-Use GPS Running Watch, White

helpful vibration alerts notify you of running prompts, activity tracking milestones, smart notifications and virtual pacing progress

Garmin Forerunner 235, GPS Running Watch, Black/Gray

warm gives you heart rate all day and night -no additional Strap required

Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)

Premium GPS running/triathlon watch with wrist-based heart rate

Garmin Forerunner 230 - Force Yellow (Renewed)

Garmin Forerunner 230

Ease of Use

Fitness Tracking

Design Quality

Warranty

Ideal for runners and athletes, the Garmin Forerunner 230 is a smart fitness activity tracker that lets you track the distance, pace, and VO2 Max. With a GPS module built right into the watch and a dedicated GPS mode, you can accurately pinpoint your current location and also trace the path that you took to arrive at your current location.

The Garmin Forerunner 230 also acts like a smartwatch and allows you to switch between music tracks and playlists and receive your phone notifications on your watch, including social media updates.

Price: $$

The Garmin Forerunner 230 can be found on Amazon.

Ease of Use

Unlike the previous edition, the Garmin Forerunner 230 features a large display and small bezels. This makes it easy for you to read the watch even when you’re running. Also, with an almost 60 percent increase in the battery life, you’ll find yourself charging it less and using it more. The watch is versatile and supports the ability to pair it up with a chest strap for an accurate heart rate reading.

The charts, graphs, and maps are easy to comprehend and can be uploaded to the cloud via Garmin Connect. This way, you can record your activities, create a log, and compare the data.

Fitness Tracking

The Garmin Forerunner 230 excels at tracking your runs. The tracker connects to GPS satellites almost instantly, eliminating the need for you to wait outside your house for the watch to connect so that you can start your run. Apart from running, the watch also has indoor modes (which turn off the GPS) for when you bike or run on a treadmill. The watch also tracks your mundane daily activities such as the number of steps, distance walked, and calories burnt. The tracker in combination with the powerful Garmin Connect app blows the competition out of the ground with its huge range of features and stats.

Design Quality

The design of the Garmin Forerunner 230 is just what you would expect from an activity tracker. The tracker features a circular watch face with thin bezels and is made entirely out of durable and light-weight plastic. The watch comes with a rubber strap that is sweat resistant. With waterproofing up to 50 meters, the watch can be worn safely out for a short swim. The display is a bit of a downer tas it only features basic colors and is hard to read in the dark.

Warranty

Garmin offers a one-year limited warranty for the Garmin Forerunner 230.

Pros

  • Highly accurate
  • Exceptionally long battery life
  • Features audio prompts
  • Equipped with a larger display than the previous model

Cons

  • Does not feature a built-in heart rate monitor
  • Display is dull and has readability issues in the dark  
Garmin Forerunner 35, Easy-to-Use GPS Running Watch, White

Garmin Forerunner 35

Ease of Use

Fitness Tracking

Design Quality

Warranty

The Garmin Forerunner 35 is a basic running watch with GPS and a wrist-based heart rate sensor. Perfect for no non-sense runners who prefer to keep it simple, the Forerunner 35 is loaded with just the right tech to keep track of your runs. Unlike the Garmin Forerunner 230, the Forerunner 35 features a square watch face with a bright monochrome display.

Price: $

The Garmin Forerunner 35 can be found on Amazon.

Ease of Use

The controls are fairly straightforward with buttons for starting and selecting a workout, moving through the menu, and turning on the backlight. All the buttons are placed on the front of the watch for easy access. The display is bright and easy to read under any condition, whether outdoors or indoors. However, a downward-arrow button is the only way to navigate between the menus and options and can quickly prove to be tedious if the list is pretty long.

Fitness Tracking

Although the Forerunner 35 takes a longer time to connect to the GPS satellites than the Garmin Forerunner 230, it’s still very accurate and precise at mapping the runs and tracking your location. It has all the standard tracking modes for various activities such as running outdoors, walking, and indoor workouts. On the downside, the optical heart rate monitor built into the watch is a little slow and takes quite a bit of time to measure and update.

Design Quality

The quality of the tracker is nothing to write home about. The buttons on the side of the tracker are of good quality and are easy to press. The soft silicone straps are comfortable on the skin and are resistant to sweat. Although the tracker is a one-size-fits-all model, the fit and comfort levels are pretty high even for people with smaller wrists.

Warranty

Garmin offers a one-year limited warranty for the Forerunner 35.

Pros

  • Comes with Garmin Connect
  • Equipped with vibration alerts for notifications
  • Features a built-in heart rate sensor

Cons

  • Takes quite a bit of time to connect to GPS satellites
  • Big and chunky design might not be appealing to most people
Garmin Forerunner 235, GPS Running Watch, Black/Gray

Garmin Forerunner 235

Ease of Use

Fitness Tracking

Design Quality

Warranty

Strikingly similar to the Garmin Forerunner 230, the Forerunner 235 differs only in the functionality and the features that it offers. The 235 comes with a wrist-based heart rate tracker, which is not available in the Garmin Forerunner 230. Also, the heart rate tracker can track your pulse round-the-clock and not just during activities or workouts.

Price: $$

The Garmin Forerunner 235 can be found on Amazon.

Ease of Use

Weighing just 42 grams, the Forerunner 235 is light on the wrist. The large memory-in-pixel display of the watch has excellent sunlight readability. The colors in the display are crisp and vivid. On the downside, the bump on the bottom of the tracker due to the presence of the heart rate sensor kind of compromises the comfort a little.

Fitness Tracking

Both the Garmin Forerunner 230 and the 235 offer the same fitness tracking experience with 4 exercise-related activities and day-to-day activities. The only difference between the two is the fact that the 235 comes with a built-in optical heart rate sensor.

Design Quality

Again, even the design quality of the Forerunner 235 is the same as that of the Garmin Forerunner 230, with the only differentiating factor being the silicone straps, which come in different color options for both the devices.

Warranty

Garmin offers a one-year limited warranty for the Forerunner 235.

Pros

  • Supports Connect IQ
  • Comes with a heart rate sensor built in
  • Supports round-the-clock heart rate tracking
  • Check Circle
    Features customizable and interchangeable watch faces

Cons

  • Battery life is significantly lower than that of the Garmin Forerunner 230
  • May encounter occasional connection and syncing problems
Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)

Garmin Forerunner 935

Ease of Use

Fitness Tracking

Design Quality

Warranty

Designed to look exactly like a wrist watch, the Garmin Forerunner 935 is a premium fitness and activity tracker equipped with a built-in optical heart rate sensor. Unlike the other Garmin Forerunner models, the 935 does not possess any touch controls. Instead, all of the controls are physical buttons placed strategically at the sides of the tracker.

Price: $$$

The Garmin Forerunner 935 can be found on Amazon.

Ease of Use

The physical buttons of the tracker are extremely useful and enhance the ease of use as, you don’t have to deal with any finicky touch controls to navigate. The tracker also supports Garmin’s QuickFit bands, enabling you to change the straps quickly and easily to match your outfit. The display is vibrant and colorful with great readability in sunlight.

Fitness Tracking

There’s very little this tracker cannot do. With a range of sensors and trackers packed into the Forerunner 935, the device can be used to keep track of various sports and athletics. It can accurately track running, sprinting, swimming, biking, strength training, and even triathlon races, among others.

Design Quality

The physical buttons are wrapped in metal, lending a nice striking element to the tracker’s appearance. Although it is made of plastic, the quality of the materials is one of the best you can get in a sports and fitness tracker.

Warranty

Garmin offers a limited warranty on the Forerunner 935, valid for a period of one year from the date of purchase.

Pros

  • Battery life is stellar, making it perfect for long-distance runners
  • Tracks multiple activities, ranging from running and cycling to swimming and strength training
  • Can measure temperature, elevation, and compass readings
  • Check Circle
    Tracking data is highly accurate

Cons

  • The watch face tends to get scratched easily
  • Can be very expensive

Conclusion

The Garmin Forerunner 230 is an entry-level activity tracker that’s geared specifically towards people who love to run. It can do much more than just track your runs, as it comes with a host of sensors such as GPS, GLONASS, and accelerometer to help record other vital information. It also has support for Garmin’s Connect IQ, which enables you to download apps and widgets onto your tracker.

The only thing holding this tracker back is the non-availability of a built-in heart rate sensor. Although you can still circumvent this drawback by getting a chest strap (which is a compatible accessory), it would have been nice to have one on the watch itself for added convenience. Irrespective of this drawback, the Garmin Forerunner 230 scores a healthy 4 stars out of 5 on our review.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
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