The Garmin Forerunner 230 and Garmin Forerunner 235 are both high-quality Garmin watches that are difficult to expressly differentiate in terms of functionality and apps. However, in this Garmin Forerunner 230 vs 235 review, we shall try as much as possible to highlight the differences between the two, no matter how insignificant such differences may be.
The little distinction between the watches could just be the deciding factor for you if you really want to add a Garmin watch of this caliber to your wardrobe. Whichever you choose at last, you should always remember that there’s only a thin line of separation between them.
The table below shows you the similarities and the dissimilarities between the two Garmin watches. We have tried to review each watch independently so as to make it easy for you to understand.
- Garmin Forerunner 230 vs 235 | Comparison
- Review on Garmin Forerunner 230
- Forerunner 230 | Who should buy the watch?
- Features of Garmin Forerunner 230
- Garmin Forerunner 230: App
- Garmin Live Track Real-time Tracking
- Garmin Forerunner 230: Run tracking
- Forerunner 230 Watch Design
- Review on Garmin Forerunner 235
- Garmin Forerunner 235 Design
- Garmin Forerunner 235: Running metrics
- Garmin Forerunner 235: Activity tracking
- Garmin Forerunner 235: Notifications
- Garmin Forerunner 235: App
- Garmin Forerunner 235 Battery life
- VO2 Max and Recovery Advisor
- Conclusion about Garmin Forerunner 230 vs 235 watch
Garmin Forerunner 230 vs 235 | Comparison
Review on Garmin Forerunner 230
While many consider the Garmin Forerunner 230 and 235 to be essentially the same, they do have certain features that distinguish them. Aside from the wrist-based heart rate, another difference is the battery life. If you have used the Garmin product, you do know they never lag behind in terms of quality.
With the Forerunner 230, you can stay updated because the watch runs on GLONASS and GPS. Aside from its inbuilt activity tracker, it can keep a recording of steps even when you are not running. With a VO2 max estimate to keep track of your oxygen level, you cannot go wrong with having this watch.
Forerunner 230 | Who should buy the watch?
Garmin Forerunner 230 – Black/White
While anyone can invest in this watch, runners training for a race, full marathon, half marathon or 10 kilometers can buy it. Though it has cycling features, it functions only when paired with sensors, which is available separately. The Forerunner 230 is waterproof but cannot be used for swim tracking (SWOLF).
Features of Garmin Forerunner 230
1. Running Features
The Forerunner 230 is an exceptional watch for runners training to achieve their best in different races such as a marathon, half marathon, and 10K. Interestingly, you can customize your training and workout plans without spending any money when you use the Garmin Connect desktop app. Additionally, you can upload the information to the FR230 for real-time coaching on distance, time, and pace.
2. Heart rate with a chest strap
The Forerunner 230 can be paired with a chest strap heart rate monitor for VO2 Max estimates. This gives an estimate of the maximum volume of oxygen consumable per minute. It is the perfect way of monitoring your improvement and fitness level.
Furthermore, the recovery advisor creates a real-time assessment of your recovery during the first several minutes of your run. The training effect, on the other hand, measures the training load in an easy manner using a 5 point scale for you to understand.
3. All-Round Activity Tracking
The Forerunner 230 enables you to track your distance, steps, sleep, and calories burned 24/7. It also has move bar alerts that remind you when you need to take a move. Additionally, you can personalize your daily step goals while you thrive to exceed such target or goal.
4. Stay motivated with personal records
With the Forerunner 230, you can stay motivated with your personal records. These personal records enable you to stay motivated without alerts which display your personal achievements. This achievement could be from a mile to a marathon. Your best shot at staying on top of things during your running is by using the smart notification feature. Get instant notifications by pairing the watch with a compatible device. You can receive calls, emails, text, calendar alerts and much more without moving an inch. All these notifications are accessible from your wrist.
Garmin Forerunner 230: App
Similar to other Garmin products, the Forerunner 230 uses the Garmin Connect IQ and is available for Android and iOS. Besides this, it has a web element with more features and you can access it through the connect.garmin.com link. The web element tool enables you to build custom workouts, review data, and discover routes. On the other hand, the mobile app is less compelling. The app is aimed at reviewing your daily activity stats and workout data. For beginners, it may be hard to use and at times confusing.
Garmin Live Track Real-time Tracking
The Garmin Forerunner 230 gives you the opportunity of allowing your friends and family track your activities in real-time. It is the best way of cheering your loved ones on their race day or have a rest of mind while they are training. However, you must have a connected mobile phone, which must be within range. You can keep it in a running belt or strap it to your arm.
Garmin Forerunner 230: Run tracking
In terms of stats and features, the Forerunner 230 has much more to offer to intermediate runners. It keeps track of your pace, speed, and distance through GPS, which offers incredible accuracy. Beside this, it has different modes for custom workouts and interval sessions. The Garmin’s GPS performance is top-notch and the Forerunner 230 isn’t exempted from this unique feature.
Forerunner 230 Watch Design
The Forerunner 230 comes in three color variants – Black/Force Yellow, Black/White, and Black/Purple, which should appeal to both sexes. The screen may be large (45 x 45 x 11.7mm); however, it doesn’t seem heavy with the silicone band having more holes to accommodate smaller wrists. The watch is incredibly lightweight at 41g giving you comfort whenever it is on your wrist.
With a color display of 215 by 180 pixels that isn’t comparable with smartwatches like the Apple watch in terms of sharpness. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the Forerunner 230 shouldn’t be categorized as a Smartwatch rather it is a running watch with smart features. If you are considering the pixels, you are compensated for its battery life.
Moreover, the watch is compatible with the Connect IQ, which is the Garmin’s version of an app store. Today, third-party developers are working hand in hand with Garmin to develop new watch faces, widgets, and apps. This is excellent especially if you love customizing the display of your watch. You also have the leverage of downloading new data fields while changing how they appear on the watch. With a single glance, you get hold of your data in the course of your training.
Ease of Use
The Forerunner 230 watch is not difficult to use considering the scrollable navigation it has. You have four buttons at the edge of the display for up and down, power/backlight, back, and the running icon for stop/start.
The watch also has basic music control that enables you to listen to music right from your smartphone while running. These features are necessary and require a compatible smartphone to function effectively. Unlike the TomTom music watch, you can’t store music directly on the Forerunner 230 watch. Moreover, you can customize audio alerts to play when you are running. This is possible through the Garmin Connect Mobile app.
The audio alerts include heart rate data, speed or pace, lap time, and lap number. When using the audio alert, the primary audio of the smartphone is muted by the Garmin Connect mobile app. Also, the volume levels can be set to what you want through the Garmin Connect Mobile app.
GPS + GLONASS
The Garmin Forerunner 230 is both a GPS and GLONASS enabled watch that gives its user the option of deciding if turning on the GPS only would suffice. Allowing both location tracking features will definitely drain the life of the battery. The watch is perfectly suited for you if you indulge in a sound recording or smart recording. With the GPS + GLONASS, you can get accurate data.
The Garmin Forerunner 230 watch has an impressive battery life of 12 weeks when in watch mode but the battery life drops to 11 weeks when used with activity tracking. However, it lasts up to 5 weeks when you combine the activity tracking with smartphone notifications. If you decide to use it in GPS mode, be prepared to see the battery life further reduced to 16 hours, while to finally gets to its lowest level of 12 hours if you use the GPS + GLONASS mode.
Review on Garmin Forerunner 235
The Garmin Forerunner 235 is an upgrade to its preceding watch (Garmin Forerunner 225) with a wrist-based heart rate monitoring inbuilt. While many think the watch has a minimal update, big changes were made. Though the watch is packed into a smaller and lighter package, it also has additional features such as the inclusion of third-party apps and watches faces. The Forerunner 235 is expensive and among the best GPS watches you will find in the market. You have a partner if you are serious about running and keeping up with records.
Garmin Forerunner 235 – Black/Gray, 010-03717-54
Garmin Forerunner 235 Design
If you look at the watch clearly, you may experience that it is quite different from other Garmin’s range of running watches; however, it still looks great with a sporty design. The watch has the look of a traditional timepiece if you change the watch face. When compared to its predecessor, the watch is lighter and thinner with 0.46 inches thick and 1.77 inches in diameter.
Unlike the Forerunner 225, the size of the display has increased to 1.23 inches with a higher resolution of 215 by 180 pixels. While the Forerunner 235 may not win any award in terms of its visual prowess, it still performs its job of displaying time with stats including heart rate zones, pace, time, and running distance.
The strap of the watch is made of rubber with numerous holes to fit people with a smaller wrist. At times, the strap can be a little annoying. The loop that tucks in the excess strap can slide back towards the buckle and this leaves you with a flabby bit of rubber.
Similar to the Garmin Forerunner 230, the watch doesn’t have inbuilt memory. This means that you cannot add your own music. Furthermore, the watch is waterproof to about 165 feet and doesn’t track swimming activities.
Garmin Forerunner 235: Running metrics
The Garmin Forerunner 235 has four different sports modes, which are running indoor (GPS turned off), running, bike, and a catch-all free tracking setting. Accessing the modes is much easier by pressing the main button towards the top right. To get the GPS lock, you need to stand around for some time. The Forerunner outperform the Garmin 230 in terms of consistently lightning quickly to acquire its GPS connection.
Unlike the Garmin Forerunner 230 with little run tracking, Forerunner 235 enables you to get calories, time, distance, max heart rate, average heart rate, cadence, and Training Effect. The Training Effect evaluates the effectiveness of your session.
Furthermore, you can access a lot of these metrics mid-run. The metrics shown on the screen is controlled by tapping the up and down buttons. Another interesting feature of the Forerunner 235 is its capacity to load workouts synced directly from the Garmin Connect web app. Through this, you can set your desired workout time, warm-up time, warm down period, a distance of intensity and send it to your watch. Loading previous session is easy; all you need is by heading to the main menu of the watch and select workouts to load your training plan.
Garmin Forerunner 235: Activity tracking
Forerunner 235 is designed for your daily activity tracking. While this may not be a new ground for running watches, for most forerunner watches it is. You may be tempted to wear the Forerunner 235 as a normal watch considering the fact that it is not bulky with great decent. It is possible to wear it to bed, but that may be a step too far. Because of its technology, the watch is perfect for your fitness tracking.
Unlike the TomTom Spark or other Forerunners, the Forerunner 235 utilizes an HR sensor 24/7 while giving you the edge to keep a record of all heart rate performed during the day. By simply tapping the down button, you can read your heart rate data, which lasts for 4 hours. It is easy to keep your stats close to yourself.
When you tap the button down again, you will get a rundown of your steps, distance traveled during the day, progress against your step goal, and calories burned. This is not all that the activity tracking feature of the watch can do as you can see additional metrics in the Garmin Connect app. You can go to the snapshots screen and swipe through to see your active calories, activities, sleep, and weekly intensity minutes. The Forerunner 235 is your all-in-all activity tracking watch, which is highly impressive and one of the dedicated running watches to invest your money in.
Garmin Forerunner 235: Notifications
One important feature most runners check in a fitness watch is its notification. The Forerunner has the capacity of displaying calendar updates and notifications from a connected smartphone. This means that you can get your texts, see your calls, and receive other messages directly from your wrist. Though the watch doesn’t offer any customization option yet it provides an effective system which ensures that it becomes less likely for you to miss any calls while saving the time to reach your smartphone.
By pressing the down button and cycle pass the fitness tracking screens you will see a rundown of your daily calendar appointments with weather forecast. If you continue cycling through, you will also see a list of notifications. The watch also comes with a social media sharing feature that enables you to share your daily steps, calories burned, distance, and monitor sleep to the world.
Garmin Forerunner 235: App
Forerunner 235 is compatible with the Garmin Connect Mobile app, which is available for Android and iOS. If you have the Express software, you can use it with a Mac/PC. The Mobile app is a wonderful tool that enables you to post daily workout and activity data. Along the bottom of the black interface of the watch are five icons, which are News Feed, Calendar, Leaderboard, Snapshot, and More.
The Snapshot button offers information about your day, displaying every step, active calories, sleep at the top, floors climbed, and your intensity minutes. The Leaderboard icon enables you to compete with friends with the most steps, whereas the calendar offers you a glimpse of your fitness activities in a calendar view. On the other hand, the News feed icon displays your activities in a list format.
Finally, the ‘More’ icon displays other menu giving you a deeper information for various activities, connected devices, and workouts. You can connect to the Garmin’s Connect IQ store to download golf courses, widgets, and apps to the Forerunner 235.
Garmin Forerunner 235 Battery life
With a single charge, the Garmin Forerunner 235 can last over a week. The battery life is really impressive. It stays up to 8 weeks when used with activity tracking but lasts about 4 weeks when used with activity tracking and smartphone notifications. The battery can be used in Training Mode for 11 hours even with the GPS and heart-rate monitor working. However, when used as a watch, the battery can last up to 9 days with notifications, activity tracking and the wrist-based heart rate monitor in place.
VO2 Max and Recovery Advisor
Do you know exactly how fit you are? The Garmin Forerunner 235 has different metrics for most runners; the most helpful one is the VO2 max score. The score reflects the body’s capability of processing oxygen. To calculate it, you are required to divide the amount of oxygen you absorb every minute by your body weight. The watch utilizes the optical heart-rate monitor to determine the oxygen flow in the body. The higher the number, the better it is.
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Below is a video comparison of the Forerunner 230 and 235:
Conclusion about Garmin Forerunner 230 vs 235 watch
You have seem the Garmin Forerunner 230 vs. 235 review and may have noticed that the major differences between them are the battery life (which is higher in Garmin Forerunner 230), are the wrist-based heart rate monitor (only present in Garmin Forerunner 235). While the Gamin 235 has a wrist-based heart rate monitor, the Garmin 230 watch requires the use of a chest strap to perform this function. Another thing that is unique is the design. Apart from these, virtually all other functionality and app are the same.
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