Garmin today announced the Forerunner 230 and the Forerunner 235 runner’s watches, which are the step down models from the top-of-line Forerunner 630. All models are sized the same, but the cheapest 230 watch does not include built-in heart rate monitoring, although it can track heart rate with a paired chest strap. Surprisingly, the battery on the 230 lasts 30% longer than the 235 watch in training mode (11 vs. 16 hours). Meanwhile the 630 watch adds a touchscreen, running dynamics, and physiological measurements.
The Forerunner 235 is the first product to feature Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate technology, which displays heart rate and zone on an easy-to-read, colorful graphic interface, so runners new to tracking heart rate can train more effectively. The Forerunner 230 requires pairing with a chest-worn strap to get all the same data right on the watch. When connected to a compatible smartphone, runners can stay connected with smart notifications and motivated with music controls and audio prompts that announce their lap times. Daily activity tracking features including all-day heart rate tracking on the 235 keep runners apprised of their all-day steps, calories and sleep. The 230 and 235 are also compatible with the Connect IQ smartwatch platform. With Connect IQ, users are able to customize their watch with additional apps, widgets, watch faces and data fields.
Measure more than just distance and pace with the 230 and 235 by tracking other essential data such as heart rate, heart rate zone and VO2 max. The Forerunner 235 with Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate technology features a built-in optical sensor to measure heart rate at the wrist, giving runners the option to run without a strap, while the 230 is compatible with ANT+ heart rate straps. Both the 230 and 235 have new, 44% larger, sunlight-readable displays with a color graphical interface to display heart rate data, so runners can get the data they need at a quick glance. Also when used with heart rate, Forerunner 230 and 235 users can get their VO2 max estimate, predict race times, and get a recovery timer, so they know how long to rest before attempting their next hard run.
Through a compatible smartphone, 230 and 235 users can stay connected and motivated during and in-between workouts with smart notifications for call, text and email alerts, music controls and audio alerts for lap and lap times during a run. The Forerunner 230 and 235 are both compatible with the Connect IQ smartwatch platform, so users will be able to customize their watch with additional apps, widgets, watch faces and data fields.
The 230 and 235 automatically sync with the recently updated Garmin Connect Mobile app when in range, so users can check in throughout the day to view reports on activity progress, track their sleep hours, join step challenges and more. Garmin Connect Mobile’s easy-to-use interface provides daily information and trends over time and can be linked to a MyFitnessPal account to automatically sync calorie and nutritional information, allowing users to view active and consumed calories, and remaining calories (based on goals set in MyFitnessPal).
With up to 16 hours of battery life in training mode and 5 weeks in watch mode with activity tracking and smart notifications, the Forerunner 230 boasts extended battery life to get more workouts in on a single charge. The 235 can get up to 11 hours of battery life in training mode and up to nine days in activity tracking mode with smart notifications. Both the 230 and 235 are also water resistant to 50 meters to withstand the elements.
Price and Availability (Q4 2015)
- Forerunner 230 $249.99 (black/white, purple strike/white and force yellow/black
- Forerunner 230 Bundle with Premium Heart Rate Monitor $299.99.
- Forerunner 235 $329.99 (black/gray, black/marsala and frost blue/black)