From pull up bars to fitness trackers, I must say that I love reviewing fitness gear. Writing this Garmin Forerunner 230 review however, was even more satisfying. The watch looks incredibly elegant and sexy and I love the clean and minimal design that runs through both the product as well as interface.
The Garmin Forerunner 220 is the first fitness tracker for which I have spent more than $100. Seeing the 230 updated version, it brings back some old memories, but I admire the bold and substantial change.
It features a 44% larger screen than the 220, although incorporating it within the same frame and physical size. It is the screen, on top of most features, that makes the Forerunner 230 a real gem.
Comfortable to wear as always, it benefits the long battery life that can extend up to 16 hours in training mode, and up to 5 weeks in watch mode. I haven’t tested this claim, though seeing how slowly the battery drains after 3 sessions (it is still roughly above 80%) I would go for the specifications and take their word.
More elegance and style than you hoped for
The Garmin Forerunner 230 looks stunningly elegant. The display interface blends nicely with the overall style concept, and it can also provide a sharp contrast that makes the Forerunner even more appealing to wear.
You have dark black to complement both design and depth, and e-ink white to provide a stunning contrast and immersive look. The interface is also packed with a palate of different colors, each sharp enough to excite you every time you look down to your wrist.
The colors and icons are nicely matched and symmetrically positioned, than looking at it brings real satisfaction. In terms of design, it provides an element of gamification, and addiction to use, unlike any other fitness tracker.
The Forerunner 230 is all about features
Though wearing it brings joy and pleasure, it is the features that make the Forerunner 230 excel. And so you have accurate HR data – which is not only heart rate but also heart rate zone, and the rarely seen VO2 max estimate which only a number of competitors include. These alone will help you train and up the ante like never before.
Additionally, you have distance, pace, speed, time and caloric measurements, complemented by an accurate stealth mode pedometer with goal setting and amazing interface.
You also have the weather forecast, timer, and a garden variety of notifications.
The sedentary alarm is also included, as well as emails that you can read on screen, along with messages, calls and calendar reminders.
Pairing with your smartphone, it can send audio prompts regarding your training, as well as download several training apps for different types of activities and various levels of intensity.
With automatic uploads to Garmin Connect and support features from Connect IQ, you can also download customizable watch faces and different applications that continue to arrive.
What does refurbished mean?
I won’t talk about the refurbished process in length, since you are probably familiar with it already. It takes mostly returned items (in pristine working and aesthetic condition) and inspects them thoroughly before sending them back into sales.
The approval stamp after this inspection is the equivalent of that when releasing a new product. I own two refurbished laptops, and they are still working well 3 and 4 years after purchase, respectively.
The one I reviewed was spotless. Do note that you can always return the product and demand a new one if it doesn’t meet your requirements (which I highly doubt).
If you like to own one of the best fitness tracking models on the market, do consider the Garmin Forerunner 230. It is accurate, stylish and packed with features, while still available for a relatively affordable price. The refurbished option comes in pristine condition, saves you some bucks, so there is no need to hesitate. Highly recommended!