Garmin Forerunner 230 - Black/White
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Stay on pace for your next personal record with Forerunner 230, the GPS and GLONASS running watch with smart features1. Its built-in activity tracker2 keeps recording steps, even when you're not running. Pair your watch with a compatible phone1 for connected features like automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, smart notifications, audio prompts and live tracking. You can also download customizable watch faces and applications from Connect IQ. HR data such as heart rate, heart rate zone and VO2 max estimate allows you to train more effectively2. For more challenging runs, download advanced workouts and training plans to your watch from Garmin Connect.
Most helpful customer reviews
564 of 581 people found the following review helpful.
Love this watch!
By Kim W.
** UPDATE May 2017 (1 yr, 3 mo):
Watch is still working strong! No noticeable issues or decrease in GPS sensitivity. I've ran with this watch at least 3 times a week since I got it and I don't regret it at all. Battery life is still amazing, screen and backlight still works, no tears on the bands. The apps and info screens on the Garmin store are getting much better, including a race screen with all types of info you could possibly want with race finish time predictor (and you can tell it to round up/down with race mile markers in the cases where the course is slightly longer).
Over the past year I've used it for:
4 half-marathons and a ton of 5k-10ks
relay road race
a 8.5 hr hike (there's an app that can make a map on the watch)
lap swimming in a pool
Great addition to a runner's arsenal! And a month later...
After much deliberation, I decided to go in and buy one of these watches (FR 230, Purple) since started training for my first half marathon. I decided to ignore people's complaints about the terrible screen and poor battery (two comments I highly disagree with), and I'm really happy I did. And then I decided to write a review due to the lack of reviews and photos on small-wristed women, and the fact that as of Feburary 2016 I couldn't find one store that stocked these watches to try it on. You can see in my picture, the size comparison to a Fitbit Charge.
- Screen. THIS IS NOT A SMARTWATCH. Many people who hate the screen are expecting everything out of this watch, but honestly I love it. It's like an eInk screen akin to that of a kindle, but with color. Works GREAT is any normal daylight/working light conditions. I rarely need to use the backlight and I've never had issues ever seeing anything on the screen, even in bright sun. Sure, the colors don't look as vibrant as on a phone or apple/galaxy/moto smartwatch, but what you lose in color vibrancy, you earn in battery life.
- Battery. This thing can hold it's own. A weekend of wearing it through two separate GPS-tracked runs (2.5hr total), and keeping it constantly connected via Bluetooth to my phone left the battery at 80%. I tracked my whole half marathon with it, set on smart recording with bluetooth connection, and the battery was only 20% less. I've noticed that the total percentage when fully charged has decreased (now it's maxed out at 97%), but I'm not sure if this is actually because the battery capacity is decreasing.
- Weight. The watch does look big (the same size as the FR220/5 so if you can find one , but it's really quite light! About the same weight as a Fitbit charge, but quite a deal bulkier. I have mixed feelings about using this as an everyday watch, since my Charge really sits on my wrist without me noticing it as much.
- GPS. It found GPS satellites almost instantly while I was sitting in my living room of my house. Have never had issues finding GPS, even when my phone took minutes to lock on.
- Activity Tracker. Honestly this was pretty low on my Pros list because the step count system seems to be exactly the same as that of the fitbit. The only bad mark I'd give it is that on the Garmin app, you can't just set your walking or running stride length like you can on the Fitbit dash, but you have to fill out the amount of steps you can walk to get to a certain distance. Kind of counter intuitive because that math is super simple to just do yourself.
- Notifications. Seem to work just fine. On my S6+, I don't seem to need to have the app open or running, I just need to approve the app to intercept my notifications, and it sends it right over. Whenever I have my bluetooth on both the watch and the phone, they pair instantly (except in one instance it locked up and I had to restart the watch).
- Wireless sync. After I set up my MapMyRun and Runkeeper accounts to my garmin account, the second I'm done with the run, all the info is automatically uploaded. No hassle.
A couple bugs with the phone connecting sometimes, but this usually only happens when the app on the phone crashed. Sometimes the "Find my Phone" feature also bugs out and doesn't stop chiming and flashing until the bluetooth connection is ended or the phone restarted.
135 of 148 people found the following review helpful.
Great Watch with Great Extras!
For starters, I'm a runner so any additional activities (biking, walking, whatever) that this watch tracks are just bonus to me and there are certainly quite a few of them. Also, I can't speak to the VO2 and fitness testing since I don't have a HR monitor but I definitely like the option. I got this Garmin after researching some of the other "smart watches" available at the time (main competitors were Fitbit Surge, Garmin Vivofit and Microsoft Band2) and hearing a lot of positive feedback about Garmin in general from fellow runners (they do make some pretty solid GPS navigation for cars so I figured it would translate for running watches too). I didn't care much for a watch with HR monitoring built in (see Garmin 235) as the technology still seems a bit fluky and judging by the gnarly pictures of skin irritation, that concept still seems to have a ways to go. All of that led to choosing this bad boy and I could not be happier!
The watch itself is much lighter than I expected for a GPS watch so I barely notice it's there and it looks great. I really like the color screen and even though the pictures do make it seem a lot brighter than it actually is, the watch face is NOT hard to read unless you're in low lighting (in which case quit complaining and hit the light button). There are tons of customizable watch faces, apps and widgets (check out The Punisher watch face in the picture). The GPS itself connects super quick (thanks to the GLONASS) and on average it usually takes about 3 seconds to find satellites after hitting the start button. The controls are pretty easy to use and after tinkering with it for a day or two I had it figured out. I haven't let it run the battery all the way down to 0 but from a full charge to around 30% usually takes 2 weeks (this was with utilizing the GPS during my runs 5 times a week varying from 4 to 10 miles) and it usually takes me about an hour to charge back to 100%. Keep in mind, the more you're using the GPS, the quicker your charge will drop.
Connectivity to the phone is great, even with Android (I have an LG G3). Since I don't use iTunes I was a little worried about the music controls but they still work great, even with Spotify! There was a little delay when I first synced everything up but it's worked like a charm since. Additionally, as far as smart notifications go, I really was only concerned with texts and phone calls and they work very well.
The big bonus with this watch, as you may have seen on other reviews, is the Garmin Connect website/software. You can customize your own workouts, track your mileage, add gear/shoes to track how many more miles you've got on them! I can't go into everything it does, but it really is impressive and I give Garmin props for putting together such a great product!
246 of 267 people found the following review helpful.
Awesome additional functions make this a worthwhile buy!!!
By Amazon Addict
This is my review for the garmin 235 but all the functions here applies to the 230 as well so I posted this:
TLDR: Additional functions make this a worthwhile buy. GPS is quick, watch is reliable for running - we already know that. Read other reviews if you want to know about these things(DCRAINMAKER website goes into extensive details). I'm going to focus on the extras:
1. GLONASS - This is the GPS satellite owned by russians. It complements the GPS we already know and use. Your phone, your car GPS or the previous garmin 225/220/620 does not have this. GPS fix is almost instantaneous even in tall buildings because of this.
2. Find my phone - If I lost my phone somehwere you can use the phone to locate it by pressing a button! It's like a keyfinder - your phone will ring loud if you use this.
3. Support for mapmyrun, mapmyfitness, strava, nike plus, and other software - Just set it and as soon as your phone synchronizes with the watch, it will be automatically uploaded. No need to connect to a computer. It is simultaneous - similar to just having the app open when you run.
4. Smart notifications - I don't want a smartwatch, I just want something that will notify me. This is perfect - from snapchat, facebook messenger, anything that your phone alerts you, it will show it. You can also set it to just notify you of phone calls only. You cannot reply back.
5. Connect IQ Support - what is this? It's basically an app store for garmin watches. Things I have found useful:
-WATCH FACE - a lot of apps to change the watch face like a smartwatch, I use a normal analog face.
-FINDMYCAR - You can mark where you parked, come back to it later with an arrow pointing to the direction of your car and how far it is!
-COMPASS - I found this useful when navigating/hiking/simple walking or exploring the city. Simple points N S E W.
-dwMAP - if you go online, you can plan a course for yourself and you can follow this route while running or hiking.
6. Calendar and weather sync - Once connected to the phone, you will know how the weather and your schedule looks like during the day.
7. VO2 max - It is the ultimate measure of cardiovascular fitness. I interpret this myself in the laboratory and this is an estimate. I have found it very near my actual VO2 max. This is very useful if you wanna push yourself and see if you've improved - even more than just a HR function. (For the 230, you must use an external HR monitor to have this)
8. Recovery advisor - I'm not sure how they came about this algorithm, I'm in healthcare and I've never heard of a recovery "time" to run or hike again. I take it with a grain of salt but maybe to some people it is still very useful. Gives you the number of hours before you can work out again. As a rule to myself, I push myself every 48 hours anyway. (For the 230, you must use an external HR monitor to have this)
9. Activity/step tracker- I have been using fitbit for a while but I'd like to say that this took it a step further!!! You can set how long your steps are(different people have different strides) and it will determine the number of steps you made for the day. This is more accurate than fitbit. It also determines the number of steps you need based on your age and activity level(it's not always 10000 daily), which makes sense. It has a MOVE! alarm if you don't move in an hour.
10. Sleep monitor - It has deep sleep and light sleep. Just set a typical time you sleep and wake up once then it will determine when you sleep.
11. Silent alarm - you can set as many alarms as you can. Vibration and sound/Vibration alone. It is very good and vibrates pretty good!
So far these are the things I have discovered. I have owned this thing for a week. I will add as I use it.
If you have any questions, just feel free to comment/ask.
I got my garmin 235(again similar to 230 without the HR) watch from road runner sports because amazon ran out of stock.