Garmin is best known for its excellent GPS fitness trackers. Now, the company is getting set for the holiday season with a new top-line runners’ watch and another unit adds a built-in heart-rate monitor for the first time.
The Forerunner 630 is billed as having the company’s “most advanced running watch technology.” Among the new measurements the 630 can track are stride length, the balance of a runner’s ground contact, vertical ratio, lactate threshold, and performance condition. In addition, the watch acts as a more conventional activity tracker and notification device. Its color touchscreen is 44 percent larger than the predecessor device and is designed to be seen in full light.
The Forerunner 235 features Garmin’s optical Elevate heart rate monitor on the back of the watch; the Forerunner 230 pairs with a chest strap. The color displays are about half-again as large as the predecessor products, and are easily readable in bright sunlight. The watches can estimate Vo2Max levels and predict race times, and include a recovery timer.
All watches trade data with the Garmin Connect app, which in turn can be linked to theMyFitnessPal ecosystem. Garmin promises 16 hours of battery life in training mode and more than 4 weeks in activity mode for the Forerunner 630. For the 230, it’s 16 hours of battery life in training mode and up to 5 weeks with activity tracking and notifications turned on. The Forerunner 235 gets 11 hours in training mode and up to nine days with tracking and notifications.
The Forerunner 630 costs $399 ($449 bundled with the HRM-Run chest strap) when it ships later this quarter. The Forerunner 235 will be available in three colors, shipping this quarter, for $330. The Forerunner 230 will be available in three colors, shipping this quarter; it will cost $250, with an edition with a chest strap for $300.