Gear of a year: The Garmin Forerunner 230/235 – Canadian …

December 21, 2016 - running watch

Garmin Forerunner 230/235

It’s been a full year given Garmin expelled a latest chronicle of it’s renouned and wholly running-focused Forerunner 230/235 GPS watch. After severe contrast and copiousness of kilometres run, we simply can’t advise this watch rarely enough.

article continues after advertisement

RELATED: 2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

Note: The Garmin Forerunner 230 and 235 are radically a same watch, with a solitary disproportion being a built-in wrist-based heart rate guard underline enclosed in the 235. As such, this examination speaks to both models.

If we wish a discerning summary of this review, here’s a summary: The Forerunner 230/235 is utterly expected a best all-around running-specific GPS watch accessible on a marketplace today.

At $350 for a 230 and $450 for a 235, this is still a high cost to compensate for a using watch. However, given a functionality and versatility, we’ll simply contend it’s value it. That’s generally loyal when we review it to other identical models.

The look

Let’s start with a appearance. The indication is accessible in a series of sparkling colourways that change somewhat between a 230 and a 235. So far, a options operation from neat and pointed to confidant and vibrant. The watch face itself is no incomparable than prior models yet a shade arrangement is significantly larger. That means that some-more info can be displayed and it’s many some-more clear. The wrist tag is identical to a prior indication in that it’s intensely light, flexible, durable and many importantly, comfortable. Altogether a 230/235 weighs in during 41-42g definition it’s impossibly lightweight as well.

The functionality

As distant as duty goes, this watch is simple, candid yet nonetheless still does it all.

Primarily designed as a using watch, a 230/235 marks distance, pace, and time with a elementary (double) click of a button. There are 5 information pages which can be customized to uncover specific info (like heart rate, heart rate section and a time page) and any has mixed information fields. The options of this watch concede runners to lane roughly anything about any given run including laps, path time and distance, elapsed time, calories burned, etc. There are even cold new facilities such as a finish time estimator. That environment will predict how many time a curtain has remaining until before attack a idea stretch like 5K, 10K, half marathon, etc.

Are we a fool for statistics? The watch also provides some flattering cool post-run metrics including an determination of your VO2max as good as a TE (training effect) magnitude and suggested liberation time after any run or workout. Combined, these metrics not usually give we a improved clarity of your fitness but also assistance we devise your training accordingly. It’s like carrying a personal trainer, in a sense.


As distant as correctness goes, a 230/235 supports both simple GPS as good as extended GLONASS that will revoke battery life, however it also creates for a somewhat some-more accurate run– generally if you’re using in a densely grown area. In these cases, locating satellites takes tiny seconds that means reduction station around before your run.

Heading inside for winter? Indoor using is one of a watch’s default activities. We found it to be comparatively accurate interjection to a unit’s built-in accelerometer. This won’t be utterly as accurate as a GPS, yet nonetheless it provides a really good determination of your stretch and pace. Note: We recently ran for 90 mins on a treadmill and found a inequality of a watch and a treadmill’s odometer to be during slightest 5 per cent and as many as 10 per cent reduction than what we indeed run.

RELATED: Why a Polar M200 competence be a GPS watch that’s right for you

RELATED: In-depth review: using 500 kilometres with Apple Watch Series 2

In further to a using features, a watch also supports cycling and ‘Other’ activities like cross-training, strength-training or a yoga class.


All in a details

The 230/235 is designed to be used with a Garmin Connect that can collect, analyze, specify and share your data. It can also be automatically synchronized after a run.

A singular and accessible tiny underline is that it’s also compatible with Connect IQ. That can be used to download customized watch faces, third-party apps and widgets. (We downoaded a series of artistic faces including a personal favourite: a Star Wars Tie Fighter.)

If that’s still not enough, a 230/235 can send smart notifications– email, texts, eventuality reminders– from your phone, has quivering alerts and can control music. This competence be profusion for some, yet for others, these additional facilities make this watch even some-more versatile.



Heart rate

Unique to a 235 is a ability to magnitude a runner’s heart rate during a wrist and in genuine time, 24/7. This impressively accurate further means runners can do divided with a sweaty chest strap.

The hardware itself and successive program updates from Garmin have done this previously uncertain record a devoted and convincing source of data. It does yield some wonky and frankly, wrong information from time to time, yet over a prolonged term, a numbers and trends really ring true. From tracking your resting heart rate by to your hardest workouts, a information provides profitable insights into your ubiquitous health and aptness turn to assist runners in living and training better.


With a click of a button, we can perspective your stream heart rate, resting heart rate, daily highs and lows as good as a graph that shows a final 4 hours. You can also get a useful weekly normal and graph. Combined, this information can uncover we how tough you’re training and when we competence be during risk of overtraining. A reduce resting heart rate over time can also advise that your aptness is improving. We truly feel that this underline is well value a combined price.

Garmin Forerunner 230/235 with charger

Not so fast! The watch has a few tiny issues

One (seemingly minor) obstacle is that a charging wire fits the 230/235 (and also a 630) yet not prior Forerunner models. The wire itself is also intensely brief that meant that we had to take a watch off to assign it.

The battery life is a incomparable issue. It’s settled that a watch can final for 11 hours of continual training or nine days if used usually as an activity tracker with notifications and heart rate showing enabled. Turning off any of these features–as good as a series of other additional ones like Bluetooth–can and will severely boost a battery life . Overall though, we felt that a suggested battery life was exaggerated. Using it to guard one run per day with all a facilities on, we didn’t go any longer 4 or 5 days but carrying to recharge.

More watch ...

› tags: running watch /