Garmin Forerunner 230 Review

Garmin Forerunner 230 Review
February 7, 2020

Our Thoughts

Inner Navigation

The Garmin Forerunner 230 is slightly similar to Forerunner 235 apart from the heart rate monitor function. The Garmin Forerunner 230 is an improvement of its predecessor the Forerunner 220 but lacks a wrist heart rate. It provides most of the features a modern runner needs like distance, pace, bit of interval options, ability to pair with a chest strap and much more. It also allows you to get notifications from your phone displayed, and daily activity tracking as well.


In this Garmin Forerunner 230 review, we realise that it is a tiny bit smaller than the Garmin Forerunner 220 in terms of diameter and thickness. In addition, the size of the bezel is shrunk to almost a ¼ of an inch larger. It has an upgraded screen resolution with extra pixels as it is now larger to show 4 data screens compared to 3 the previous similar Forerunner models.

It has a low resolution screen of 215 x 180 pixels and is not monochrome when we compare it to earlier models of Garmin Forerunners. It also features a basic colour selection to highlight information like HR zones when it is connected to a chest strap. Its LCD screen appears dull that renders the user difficulty in reading during dark times however it has a backlight button positioned at the top left.

The Garmin Forerunner 230 is designed with a durable plastic which is super light and waterproof to 50m. It has a rubber sports strap which is sweat resistant and is ideal for sports. In addition, it offers up to 16 hours of GPS tracking battery life and a month as normal watch. It also features main activity button used to select and start runs, a back button and up/down selector buttons for ease navigation through the menus.


The smartphone has pretty much features amazing functions especially when we look at the Garmin Forerunner 230 GPS review. It is designed to track distance, speed and space using the GPS function. It has precise accuracy and has modes for interval sessions as well as custom workouts made with Garmin Connect.

The Garmin Forerunner 230 also features the VO2 Max function that is designed to estimate your aerobic threshold which is an added feature that puts it ahead of other watches in terms of raw data.  Since this device lacks the in-built HR monitoring, the user will be required to wear the chest-strap heart rate monitor.

Activity Tracking

In addition to run tracking, when we review Garmin Forerunner 230 it is evident that it is able to track your daily activity putting it in the same category with the likes of Fitbits and Jawbones. When you press the button at the bottom you get to track the distance covered, your steps and calories burned. It also shows you the progress of your daily activities. It also features the move bar which is an amazing feature that gets full when you are idle. It requires you to move so that it can be empty. This works out well for those who are determined to cut down some calories.


16 hours is the battery life in training mode of Garmin Forerunner 230 reviewed. It also features a rechargeable battery and has battery level indicator. Its battery life however cannot be compared to other models like the 920XT and Fenix 3 which have 20 plus hours.


The Garmin Forerunner 230 reviews feature auto lap, auto pause, time and distance audible and vibration alerts. It also has activity tracking (steps, goals and reminders). Smart notifications include emails, texts and much more when paired and near smartphone.


The Garmin Forerunner 230 is a good smartwatch designed to suit runners. It has an amazing smaller size and bigger screen and seemingly better battery like although it is not at par with 920XT and Fenix 3 that have a battery life of 20 + hours. The TomTom Spark and Polar M40 offer almost the same features at a lower price, the Forerunner however boasts of a better battery life, top notifications and all your daily activity tracking. As a buyer looking for a better performing watch, it is advisable to go for cheaper ones that offer the same features or slightly higher rated that have top fun apps.