Garmin Forerunner 230 Review

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The Garmin Forerunner 230 is a fitness watch that uses GPS to track speed, pace, and distance of runs. It’s truly a watch that was made for runners and has several nifty features in addition to fitness tracking.

This makes the watch something very practical for day-today usage too.

Features of the Garmin Forerunner 230

  • GPS and GLONASS Tracking: This watch measures running data very effectively and accurately using all positioning satellites available. It locks onto your location quickly too.
  • Battery Life: The battery of the Garmin lasts an entire month with normal use as a watch and activity tracker or 16 hours of active mode where it uses the GPS to map running data.
  • Screen Quality: It features a color LCD display with a resolution of 215×180 pixels. While it is a bit dim by default, it has a backlight to make it easier to view in darker environments. It displays the time and your fitness data clearly.
  • Garmin Smart Connect App: The app, available on android and iOS devices, allows you to view all the data your watch collected as an activity tracker and when it was used to track running data. The app also relays notifications about messages, emails, calls and calendar reminders from your smartphone to the watch in the form of top notifications.
  • Garmin Smart Connect Website: The website has several features in addition to being able to view your running statistics. You can use it to plan custom workouts as well as design and discover routes for running.
  • Garmin Smart Connect IQ: This feature allows you to increase the functionality of your Garmin Forerunner 230 by downloading new apps for the watch. It can also be used to download and change the watch face.
  • Activity Tracker: This feature is great for when you’re not running. The watch counts the number of steps you’ve walked, estimates the distance traveled accordingly and tells you the number of calories you’ve burned. It also shows a Move bar which fills up as you remain stationary. It reminds you to move every once in a while when you’re sitting or lying still.

Is the Garmin Forerunner 230 Worth Buying?

The Garmin Forerunner 230 has all the features of that a modern fitness tracker for running should have, including some typically only found on more expensive smart watches. Its great functionality truly stand out.


  • Its excellent tracking when running far outperforms that of competitors and is pin-point accurate. In terms of pure performance alone, the Garmin is easily the best. It links with satellites very fast meaning that you can start your runs without any waiting.
  • The long battery life of this watch means that you won’t have to plan when you’re going to go for a run and charge your watch to prepare accordingly. With the Garmin, just pick it up and wear it before going for a run as it will most likely still have charge


  • It’s slightly more expensive than the competition while offering lesser features. For example, it lacks an optical heart rate monitor.

While the Garmin Forerunner 230 demands a premium over competitors, depending on your perspective, it may deserve it. Even though it lacks extra features, its core functionality is solid. It does what it’s designed to do well: having best in class tracking and excellent battery life.

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