Garmin’s new Forerunner watches track every running stat you can imagine

Garmin may be better known for its GPS systems, but it’s been branching out lately. Garmin just released a slew of new GPS running watches, including the Forerunner 230, the 235 with Garmin’s built-in heart rate monitor, and the 635 with extended metrics for the most detailed running stats yet.

Here’s the breakdown of all the new Garmin trackers:

Forerunner 230 and 235

The Forerunner 230 and 235 are very similar in style, but there are a few key differences. Both track the obvious metrics of distance, time, and pace. Neither of the watches have touchscreens, but rely on buttons for navigation instead.

You can wave goodbye to those annoying chest straps, thanks to the optical heart rate sensors in the wrist-worn Forerunner 235. Garmin says its optical heart rate sensor offers superior accuracy as compared to your average smartwatch, and it can track VO2 max. In contrast, the 230 doesn’t have a heart rate sensor built in, but if you already have an ANT+ monitor, you can connect your watch to it, and get VO2 max and heart rate data that way.

The 230 can run (pardon the pun) for 16 training hours or five weeks as a smartwatch, which makes it a decent bet for an activity tracker. It’ll track your steps and remind you to get up if you’ve been sedentary for too long.

The 235’s 11-hour battery life may not be the best as a 24/7 fitness tracker, but it’s ideal for those who want a running watch that they don’t have to wear all the time. The Forerunner 235 features GPS/GLONASS, which drains battery somewhat. Plus, it tracks heart rate zone, VO2 max, and beats per minute in real-time. If you use it only as a watch with notifications and heart rate, it’ll last nine days on a charge.

The 235 costs $320 and the 230 will run you $250.

Forerunner 630

The Forerunner 630 will last through 16 hours of training and four weeks as a watch before you have to charge it up again. Although it’s surprising that it doesn’t offer Garmin’s Elevate — the company’s new wrist-based heart rate monitor — the 630 does give wearers detailed fitness and running-specific info that’s hard to find on other devices: Stride length, ground contact time, vertical oscillation, and ratio. All of these metrics are helpful to hardcore runners, and the lactate threshold and cadence measurements are handy for a broader range of workouts. It’s also the only one of the three new watches with a touchscreen.

The Forerunner 630 — sans heart rate monitor — costs $400.

Updated app and website

All of the new Garmin watches work with Connect IQ, the third-party app platform for Garmin devices that lets you customize the screens. This makes it easy to add apps and widgets, as well as change watch faces and adjust the way data appears on screen.

Garmin’s release of the 230, 235, and 630 coincides with a slew of updates for the Connect app for iOS and Android. Those with the right devices can push the important info from their phones to their Garmin watch or computer — that is, unless you have a Windows Phone. That means no awkwardly digging your shiny new Note 5 or iPhone 6S out of your pocket (with possibly sweaty hands) to check notifications or change music tracks.

The update to Connect mobile lets you upload your data wirelessly to Connect online, Garmin’s hub and sharing site that keeps all your stats in one place. Now the update lets you see all the activities saved on Garmin Connect. Compare your workouts to others on the network, compete in challenges, and use Live Track to follow users in real-time. As one user pointed out, that’s perfect for group runs or rides.

Each watch has something good for fitness fans. According to the specs, the 230 is a solid all around GPS watch that should work well as an activity tracker, the 235 finally brings us wrist-based heart rate direct from Garmin, and the 630 has a specificity of data that would appeal to any runner, especially those already comfortable with the established brand.

Product Review

Samsung's $99 fitness tracker takes on Fitbit. Can it keep pace?

Samsung’s going toe-to-toe against Fitbit’s Inspire HR with its own $99 fitness tracker -- the Galaxy Fit. It also has a heart rate monitor, can automatically detect six workouts, and has a battery that can last for days.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for June 2019

Smartwatches make life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. If you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, here are the best smartwatch deals for June 2019.
Deals

Before buying an Apple Watch, check out this cheap smartwatch under $100

Not looking to spend hundreds of dollars on a smartwatch? You might want to consider this little-known but well-reviewed cheap smartwatch from Amazfit called the Bip. It's on sale on Amazon, and you can have it in one day if you're a Prime…
Deals

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for June 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Home Theater

The best Apple AirPod accessories can extend your high-end earbuds' life span

It might seem a bit strange to buy an accessory for an accessory, but sometimes you need a little something extra, like a case, cover, or transmitter, to get the most out of your Apple AirPods.
Deals

The GoPro Hero7 action camera gets price cut on Amazon ahead of Father’s Day

Got an adventurous Dad? If so, a GoPro action camera will make a great Father’s Day gifts. Ahead of Father’s Day, capture the GoPro Hero7 Black on Amazon for just $329, down from its normal $400. Don't just settle for socks again this…
Wearables

Exclusive: This is Mobvoi’s next Wear OS smartwatch, and it likely adds 4G LTE

Mobvoi may not be a household name in the U.S., but it sells affordable smartwatches running Google's Wear OS platform. The company's next watch has leaked -- by Mobvoi itself -- and Digital Trends managed to snap a screenshot.
Deals

The Apple Watch Series 4 is still at its lowest price for Father’s Day

Sales are continuing on select Apple Watch at both Amazon and Walmart through Father's Day, including a deal on the 38mm Series 3 GPS that is one of the lowest prices we've seen yet, and the new and slightly larger 40mm Series 4.
Emerging Tech

This lifesaving wearable could diagnose strokes more accurately

A new breakthrough wearable device uses two light measurement techniques to track the body's blood circulation — and accurately predict deadly strokes in the process. Here's how it works.
Wearables

Samsung's $99 Galaxy Fit fitness tracker is now available in the U.S.

Looking for a new fitness buddy? Samsung just launched the Galaxy Watch Active and the Galaxy Fit, two new wearables with a raft of fitness-focused features that'll keep you moving and get you down to the gym.
Home Theater

Diagnose and fix some common Apple AirPods problems with our handy guide

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Deals

Fitbit Versa and Samsung Gear fitness smartwatches get big Amazon price cuts

Some of the best options can get pretty pricey, but with smartwatch discounts on the Fitbit Versa and Samsung Gear Sport, they are really quite affordable right now. You can save up to $125 on a new fitness watch.
Outdoors

The best smart helmets are full of cool tech, and totally worth the messy hair

Helmets might be a haircut's worst nightmare, but they're constantly evolving, and have undergone a 21st-century makeover. No matter your sport, here are the best smart helmets currently on the market.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!