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Garmin Forerunner 230 GPS Watch

Garmin Forerunner 230 GPS Watch is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 6.
  • 2016-10-28T09:23CST
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4.5 Star Rating

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Product Description Item No.   10310969

FEATURES of the Garmin Forerunner 230 GPS Watch

  • Tracks distance, pace, time, and VO2 Max
  • Connected features: automatic uploads to Garmin Connect™, live tracking, audio prompts, music controls, smart notifications and social media sharing
  • Activity tracking counts daily steps, distance, calories and sleep
  • Download data fields, watch faces, widgets and applications from Connect IQ™

- + Product Specifications
Weight: 1.4 oz
Calorie Burn Tracker: Yes
GPS: Yes
Lap Timer: Yes
Pedometer: Yes
Battery Type: Lithium Ion
Sleep Tracker: Yes
Features: Distance Tracker, GPS, Pedometer, Speed Tracker
Best Use: Running, Trail Running, Fitness
Watch Type: Digital
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great product. This watch is great and does exactly what I want! It counts steps, monitors sleep and the Garmin connect app is very nice. I haven't had a chance to use it running, but I have had other Garmin watches and they always do a great job tracking runs. I have very petite wrists so the watch looks a little big on me. However it fits well as there are many settings on the band.
Date published: 2016-05-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tracks my miles like a boss I'm pretty happy with this GPS mile tracker. For one thing, it comes in some pretty fun colors. It also has excellent satellite range so that it keeps track of my miles...unlike the app on my iPod which told me I was running 2 miles farther than I actually was. The only problem I have with the Garmin is that the battery runs down after one run.
Date published: 2016-02-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Garmin Forerunner 230 - Review & Comments I've been using the Garmin Forerunner for the past month and will say, for the most part, it has mostly met my expectations. I previously owned a Garmin Vivosmart activity tracker (not a full activity or runners watch) and liked it for the basic activity tracking abilities, very low cost and enjoyed both the minimalistic styling (one of the best waterproof and durable "band style" designs) and the bright LED style readability. I later purchased a Garmin Vivoactive prior to my purchase of the Forerunner 230. SCREEN TECHNOLOGY As with all smart watch devices from Garmin (and some other manufactures) the screens are absolutely not as they appear in advertisements and in packaging photos. These screens are low resolution and do not compare to those types of screens you get on your smart phone devices (although all visuals you see prior to purchasing one of these make it look as such). The 230 does not depart from this misrepresentation and I'd really wish that the current Garmin activity watches had true BRIGHT and crystal clear screens to make the watches really what they should be from a visual standpoint. VIVOACTIVE COMPARISON COMMENTS About 3-4 weeks prior to my purchase of the 230 Forerunner I purchased the Garmin Vivoactive which in fact is very favorable watch for my needs based on the ability to use it for additional activities such as swim tracking. I swim 3 days a week and its nice to have a device that I can wear all day and still have the ability to add my swim data as part of my activity tracking. What I did not like about that device from the beginning is the square design and poor swipe-screen menu speed. I also am NOT a fan of square watches and I wanted a device I could wear 24/7 for both activity tracking, data logging and the ability to download favorable watch faces for appeal when wearing for work and social activities along with some great running data tracking abilities. This brought me to the purchase of the Forerunner 230. I did like the Vivoactive otherwise and consider a top contender in the same class as the Forerunner 230 for basic activity tracking with decent running data and if the swipe-screen navigation was faster and more accurate it would make this watch a favorite over the 230 since its also a multiactivity use watch. The Vivoactive's menus are very well organized, easy to remember and get too but the swipe-screen ability is slow and at times intermittent which really ruins this feature of the watch in my opinion. USAGE DATA & MENU ACCESS Understanding that the 230 is more designed for runners than anything else (which I am as well:) I appreciate the elaborate data tracking abilities in this category that the 230 brings. I will admit that I am still new to the ALL the data logging abilities the 230 offers for running and with time will hopefully be able to utilize the more advanced data tracking features in this category - this is the high point of this watch for me at this point so I look forward getting more in depth on this in the near future. The menu speed on the 230 is also much more reactive than the Vivoactive and of course not intermittent for access because all screens are engaged positively by manual buttons on the sides of the watch offering almost no lag if any. Unfortunately this also makes getting to the various screens pretty cumbersome via this means and many of the basic features I use often - now - on the watch take me some time to get too...this is a major negative for me at this point but I am hoping with extended use this becomes less of a bother....but I feel this is a far reaching hope long term - but we will see as time goes on. ERGO DESIGN & FUNCTIONALITY First off the watch looks great. I very much like the round design vs. the Vivoactive's square design and I have been able to add a favorable 3rd party clock face that shows data points I like and looks appealing. The band is super comfortable and the entire design is fairly durable. The only thing for me that is a slight negative on the band is that the small metal adjustment prong that sets the band length on the wrist is hard to disengage once set so can make taking off the watch kinda tricky. I also do recommend a screen protector for those who use this watch as much as I do. This is the only major negative from a durability perspective. The screen is large and is not anti-scratch leaving it vulnerable if you wear it for activities such as deep woods hiking or during labor work activities. I wear this watch 24/7 and have also noticed that several times a day the bending of my wrist will inadvertently engage the activity start button. This is pretty bothersome for sure (but this could just be me and how I wear the watch?). Every time this happens I have to menu back a click on the watch to go back to the main clock screen. Getting to the LOCK feature is still a several click process so I have yet to use that to help in solving this issue but will experiment with this in the near future. As stated the menus will take some getting used too and first impressions are that these take time to get too and even more so will take time to remember all the pathways to each function. I very much wish Garmin would of cleaned this up in a MUCH MORE simplistic way by adding a single MAIN MENU button on the watch that allowed the user to engage all setting from the same pathway (or roll list). Right now as far as I can see there are special menus for each base screen you engage (i.e clock, apps) as well as the "Controls" menu. This is still pretty confusing for me and frustrating and will take some time to get used - the watch obviously has a learning curve that needs to be taken into consideration and only continued use will help improve menu access speed once pathways are memorized. I have also recently noticed that sometimes when a text or call comes in and the phones is in close range it will not register the notification on the watch. For the most part it does but there has been a few times it missed the notification while the a call or text was active or coming in. SLEEP TRACKING I am still unclear how the 230 tracks sleep, or better said, how I should be using the watch to track my sleep. From review of the Garmin product manual I am still unsure if the sleep tracking is done automatically OR if you need to engage the "Do Not Disturb" setting to start tracking sleep (if this is the case its then useless for me in this respect because as soon as I am ready to dose off the last thing I want to do is go through a roll list of menus (more then 1 easy click or 2 at most) to have to engage the setting for sleep not to mention then having to go back and disengage the same way every time I get up? (the Vivoactive sleep mode was pretty easy to engage and disengage). The Garmin iPhone app IS showing sleep data but it does not look accurate so I'm still unclear how the sleep tracking is really working or if there is something additional I need to do. GARMIN MOBILE APP (iPhone) As almost all major online reviews are still saying, even after a few more updates, the Garmin app is way less to be desired overall that's for sure. I will not get into detail here on all the individual items that are lacking about the mobile app. All I can say is that the app is not as user friendly as I'd like to see and the one major drawback for me is the inability of the mobile app to do ALL the functions the desktop app offers. With a watch of this type it should be totally expected that a PC should not be required for full functionality especially a TETHERED connection - PERIOD! At best the mobile app should auto update from the Garmin connect website login...and this is a min expectancy. Stop making us use cables at the PC...that's what we have Wireless and Bluetooth technologies for - and no more software! I'd like the ability to add new workouts and set any running interval training AS WELL AS the ability to actually change the watch settings (instead of through the watch menus) from the mobile app (or as stated, at min., from the Garmin Connect Online website via internet to mobile app sync), and then mobile app to watch bluetooth sync....for me this a huge must and Garmin should take this to serious heart for the consumers who invest in their technology. The days of tethering and more cables at the workstation is totally bogus, old school, and pretty crude. The one comment I have on this point is serious - Garmin...get your act together on this! Hire a better team of GUI and backend developers for your mobile efforts cause this is key in creating a " seamless for use system" for mobile to watch data tracking technologies. One other point....I HAVE to tether to my MAC to charge the watch...I tried to charge the watch through a standard iPhone USB wall charger and the unit would not start a charge at all....WHY? Again...I am sick of connecting things at my workstation via cabling..this is highly unfavorable at least for me. FINAL THOUGHTS Overall the 230 is a great device in its class and price point as compared to other options. For runners data it definitely has the abilities to give you the info you need - just the process of getting to and organizing it is a learned process and takes some getting used too and could be improved on in that respect. Of course the whole Garmin Mobile to watch (and Website to mobile app) communications needs to be improved so we will see how that develops at Garmin as time goes on. I feel once the menus are ingrained to memory and the cumbersome of access time is expected the watch will be more utilized and accepted for better usability. The watch looks great and is a decent durable and comfortable design (plus its very lightweight). It tracks heart rate through an external heart-rate monitor (which is preferred for best accuracy) so from a tracking perspective the 230 is pretty much everything you'd need for daily activity tracking and running data all for a fair price.
Date published: 2016-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love love love it! This is my first garmin watch and i LOVE it so sooo much! I just started running and this watch is a great help..don't think about it and just buy it you'll never regret it!
Date published: 2015-12-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this watch! I switched to this watch from a Nike+ Sportswatch and couldn't be happier. The features are amazing ... I love that I can set pace reminders and that it syncs via Bluetooth!
Date published: 2015-12-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great features and it looks great! I purchased this watch about a month ago, and I am really happy with it so far! It's easy to use, and it looks great! I also love the activity tracking!
Date published: 2016-02-16
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Does the garmi. 230 work with a heart rate monitor chest band? If so, can you recommend which model

Asked by: Brian
Hiya, thanks for the question! Yes, the Garmin 230 is compatible with a chest strap heart monitor. You can find the strap here: Hope this helps!
Answered by: Rocko Gigsby
Date published: 2016-08-10
  • 2016-10-28T09:38CST
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