Gifts, Running4It

Our Guide to the New Garmin Forerunner 230 & 235

Buying a new GPS watch can be confusing and a little intimidating sometimes, as it might seem there is a baffling array of choices in model, functions and colours! There are two brand new Garmins on the market, so to help you make the right choice for you, we asked our resident Garmin Geek Finlay McAndrew to take them through their paces and give you what you really need to know about the brand new Garmin Forerunner 230 and 235.

Forerunner 230New-garmins-970-80

The new Garmin Forerunner 230 replaces the Forerunner 220 . It has some amazing new features on top of some great aesthetic improvements. The FR230 measures all the original metrics that the FR220 does but the added features really set the two watches apart and the updates are absolute must haves.

Look & Feel

We know that the look, and more importantly, how it feels on your arm can make a difference to your run, so we noticed:

  • The watch is the same size as the 220 but the screen is 44{0a00b7f19cfae603d857fe25d0a6cf6f5825db1f256901fb36653366660d6b73} larger so it is easier to see your data at a glance, on the move.
  • The watch has Garmin IQ compatibility so you can choose from hundreds of different watch faces. The watch can blend in as everyday watch with this feature too as you can have a classic analogue watch face. You can even check the weather before your run.

New Features

We have broken down the new features that the watch has, to give you what you need to know!

The FR230 now estimates VO2 max, recovery time and will predict race times (when paired with an HR monitor). This can really help to motivate you through your training as you can really see how your fitness is improving. It allows you to lock down your pacing for training runs and races. The watch however does not give you running dynamics such as ground contact time and vertical oscillation.
The watch’s smart notifications now allows you to see incoming calls, texts and emails and other notifications when paired with your phone so you don’t have to worry about taking your phone out of your pocket on a run.

It has increased battery life to 16 hours in training mode and 5 weeks in standby.
Audio prompts for lap times can control your music on your connected smart phone from your watch, meaning when you need a boost your music can help!
New graphical interface shows an easy to read colour graph so you can see what zone you are, so how hard you are working, at a glance.
Improved activity tracking will count steps and distance through the day.
The FR230 will now pair with speed/cadence sensor for bike workouts, meaning it will work for your tri-athlete too!

However, the FR230 still has an independent heart rate monitor which straps around your middle, to accurately measure your heart rate beats per minute. If this is not for you, but want to know more about your heart rate, then you might take a look at the Forerunner 235.

Forerunner 235images (4)

Now onto the Forerunner 235. The new Forerunner the many of the same features as the FR230 but if you don’t like wearing a heart rate monitor then this is the watch for you. It is an exciting new development on from the Garmin 225 which launched earlier this year, which has the built-in wrist-based heart rate monitor.

  • The wrist based heart rate monitor is new technology as is now owned and developed by Garmin (called Garmin Elevate).
  • The FR225 used a silicon ring to stop light from getting underneath the watch which can affect the reading but this could cause some sweat to accumulate under the watch.
  • The FR235 stops this from happening by removing the ring and raising the LED lights so that they press slightly into the wrist. This is much more comfortable and means it will fit every wrist shape.
  • VO2 max is predicted from heart rate but there is still no need to wear an HR monitor on a strap as with the FR230.
  • Garmin Elevate will measure your heart rate for a short period of time every 10 minutes of the day which will then show an average of you heart rate over the course of the day. This adds to the activity tracking capability of the device and is really useful to see how your heart rate fluctuates.

All in all, these are two very exciting new developments in the Garmin GPS family. They are available in a range of colours, and if you need any more information, drop in to any of our stores and one of our Garmin Geeks will be able to give you the full low-down on which one is right for you and your running.

Check out our range of Garmin Forerunners online

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