Garmin Forerunner 630 Bundle - Midnight Blue
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- 2nd Generation Running Dynamics -calculates 6 Advanced Running Dynamics: Stride Length, Ground Contact Time Balance, Vertical Ratio, Cadence, Vertical Oscillation and Ground Contact Time
- Physiological Measurements -supports Advanced Physiological Measurements: Stress Score, Performance Condition, Lactate Threshold, Recovery Time, Vo2 Max, Predicted Race Times
- Wireless - Wirelessly Transmits Accurate Heart Rate to Your Compatible Device
- Smart Notifications - See Incoming Email, Text Messages, Call Alerts, Calendar Reminders and More from Your Compatible Smartphone.
- Advanced running dynamics¹ include ground contact time balance, stride length and vertical ratio
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From the manufacturer
Whether you’re training for your first marathon or looking to crush a personal record, Forerunner 630 provides all the extensive data you need for training and racing. Check your form by pairing your 630 with the HRM-Run monitor to measure cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time. Additional running dynamics include ground contact time balance, stride length and vertical ratio.
GPS smartwatch with advanced running metrics.
- Touchscreen GPS running watch with a high resolution color display
- Advanced running dynamics include ground contact time balance, stride length and vertical ratio
- Features stress score, performance condition and lactate threshold
- Connected features: automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, live tracking, audio prompts, music controls, smart notifications and social media sharing
- Download data fields, watch faces, widgets and applications from Connect IQ
The Proof of Your Potential
Forerunner 630 uses extended physiological metrics to help you get the most out of your workouts and feel confident with what you can accomplish when you toe the line. Once Forerunner 630 learns your lactate threshold through a guided test, you can apply it to your heart rate training when setting up zones. Overall training load, sleep, nutrition and general life stress play a role in how you will perform in a tough workout.
Customize Your Watch and Your Training
No two runners are the same, and neither are their goals. Set yourself up to reach yours by downloading advanced workouts and training plans to your watch from Garmin Connect. You can even customize your data fields, and download watch faces, widgets and applications all for free at Connect IQ.
It's Simple. Period.
Concise, easy-to-understand charts, graphs, maps and more let you view your activities, track progress toward goals and wirelessly upload and share relevant data directly with the online Garmin Connect network. So, you can compete with friends or family members on weekly step or running challenges — and compare your results in real time, using the LiveTrack feature. You can also use the app’s wireless connectivity links to receive current weather conditions, forecasts and smart notifications right on your compatible Garmin device.
|VO2 max estimate||✔||✔||✔|
|Wrist-based heart rate||✔|
|Advanced running dynamics||✔||✔|
Forerunner 630 has all the numbers to measure a runner. The touchscreen GPS running watch features advanced running dynamics1, extended physiological3 measurements, and extensive smart features2. The 630 also measures your heart to provide a stress score3, performance condition3 and lactate threshold3. Pairing with an HRM-Run also enables advanced running dynamics: ground contact time balance, vertical ratio, and real-time stride length. Smart features2 include e-mail, text, call and calendar smart notifications, and Connect IQ applications, watch faces, widgets and data fields. Additional connected features2 include automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, audio prompts and live tracking.
Top customer reviews
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I purchased the 630 simply because it exists and I love having the newest devices. I am not having an issue with my 620 so I am not trying to solve a problem. I just figured the new running dynamics, larger screen and better color may make my daily runs with my 620 even better.
The bottom line with this watch is it has some great features, a couple of upgrades from the previous version and much I feel is actually the same as the previous model. My initial review of this watch was very critical based on the 2 cons listed below. Initially I was going to return this watch. I have since had the opportunity to use this on multiple runs and I have decided to keep the watch. So I am posting this updated review. I think the pros outweigh the cons and I have to say I really like this device.
Cons (sort of)
1. The backlight on this device is very poor compared to the 620. It is so dim compared to the 620, I really have to wonder how this got by Garmin’s QA. The 620 has an excellent very bright even backlight. The 630 has what looks like a single LED at the bottom of the screen that is not only dim it also illuminates very unevenly similar to watches of the early 90's. To me it’s a big step backwards. Having said that it is certainly usable when it is dark out and I have not really had issue seeing the device while running. The one feature I really like is the setting to activate the backlight when turning your wrist. This turns on the backlight when you raise the watch to view the display and this works extremely well. Unfortunately this works this way all the time. I think they should have added a light sensor so that this would be disabled during the day as it probably will effect battery life for users who wear this all day as an activity sensor. This is not an issue for me as I only use this for running and charge the watch daily after my run.
2. The new HRM4 Run strap has the transmitter integrated into the strap. As of now you will no longer be able to replace just the strap when necessary. Garmin states that this new strap will not require replacement as often as the older models. I am not sure this is accurate. This strap is also not machine washable so it will need to be hand washed. I have owned almost every forerunner since the beginning. Since I use them daily I usually wash the strap once a week in the washer and them hang them to dry. I find a strap lasts 6 months at best. While this new transmitter has additional running dynamics I think replacement is going to be an issue. Again having said that, this strap is by far the most comfortable HRM strap I have ever worn from any manufacturer. This strap is covered with a soft cloth fabric on the front portion of the strap that have the electrodes and the transmitter. The older straps tended to chafe and cut into my skin where the transmitter mounted. I use a band aid daily to prevent this chafing. This transmitter on the new strap is thinner than the replaceable one and I believe that combined with the fabric will mitigate the chafing. I have been using both straps for a while now and one interesting thing I find is I no longer get any chafing with the new strap. There is a loose fabric covering on the new strap that has mitigated this for me. I find it much more comfortable. There is also a slight gripper material around the electrodes which helps keep the strap in place. Another thing that is interesting is that the transmitter actually is removable from the strap after you open the battery compartment so it is possible Garmin will make replacement straps available without the transmitter. I asked support about this but they were unable to confirm. I think there are pros and cons to both but all in all I like the new strap better.
Now for the good…
Settings – While I would not say setting up Garmin devices is intuitive they are all pretty consistent. If you have experience with one device others are pretty similar. The menus and buttons on the 620, my Edge device and this 630 are pretty much the same. Navigating and setting up the device is reasonably simple.
Display – The display as much larger and much easier to read while running.
Touch Screen – The touch screen is different than the 620. The screen appears to be glass and is capacitive. It is reasonable responsive but it requires contact with the back of the case in order to function properly. Initially I thought this was going to be an issue for winter running because I wear my watch on the outside of gloves and I was worried the lack of skin contact would be an issue. What I found is this works perfectly well as long as the glove has a capacitive patch on the finger. I am not sure why this works without the back of the case touching the skin but it does work fine. The one caveat is when I use mittens without a capacitive patch the touch screen does not work. The reality to extremely cold winter running for me is since I can start and stop the watch fine with the physical buttons and I have the data I need on the primary data screen it really is not that important that I use the touch screen in subzero temperatures so for me this is fine. Someone more competitive who really wants the different metrics and the ability to switch data screens might find this unacceptable.
Activity Profiles – The profiles are very easy to setup and the data screens are very easy to customize. I personally only like two data fields displayed and this is easy to accomplish.
Running Dynamics – There are additional running dynamics that are well executed. I love the Vertical Ratio and the Ground Contact Time Balance. While this detail is really cool I am not sure it will be of value to most people.
GLONASS – When I enabled GLONASS I notice much faster satellite acquisition. All of the runs I have done with this device have been extremely accurate.
Charger clip – The new charger clips on the watch rather than the magnetic clip on the 620. To me this is neither a pro or a con. The old clip was sometimes a little finicky to get seated. The new clip has a small spring so I suppose there is the potential for the clip to break. It seems pretty sturdy and is very easy to attach. It is much smaller than the old clip and I like it better.
Garmin Connect Sync – This works flawlessly as soon as you save your run. From the connect app you can then add your gear and you have a complete log of the event. I used to upload my 620 run via WiFi (which was very quirky on the 620). I switched to Bluetooth and the Connect App about a year ago and never looked back. I never even need to use a computer anymore. The 630 works the exact same way. It also supports WiFi if you wanted that connection modality.
The two features I like the most are
1. Smart Notifications – This is very helpful for me. I carry my phone with me when I run. When I get a text at 5AM there is a good chance I need to deal with an issue. In the past I would need to fish out my phone and view the text. This can get complicated in the winter when I have three pairs of gloves on and it’s 10 degrees out. This watch will display the text message so I can easily see if I need to deal with something or if I can ignore it. It is a real time saver and will prevent me from unnecessarily removing layers to check an alert when it is very cold.
2. The band on this watch is about ½” longer than the 620. This may not seem like a big deal but to a winter runner this is huge. This extra length is just enough to make it easier to fasten the watch over gloves. While I was always able to get the 620 on it was always a thought, “I wish this strap was longer”.
So to wrap this up, if you already have a 620 and are considering upgrading the compelling reasons would be the larger capacitive screen, the updated HRM4 Strap, the larger band, and the new running dynamics. The sacrifice will be the poor backlight which may or may not be an issue. After running with this daily I have decided I like it and I am compelled to keep it just for the display if nothing else, it is much easier to see while moving that the 620. So in contrast to my original review (which I prematurely posted) I think this is a great device. I give it 4 stars, I would have given it 5 if the backlight was better.
My old review still stands, my initial comments have all held up to several months of all day, every day use of this watch.
However, I now want to lead by saying that this watch has absolutely improved my running form, beyond merely tracking my runs, the extended metrics available on the 630 when using the HRM strap have proven invaluable to me in progressing my workout. For months, I was in a cycle of getting in several weeks of good training followed by a week off due to minor injuries, particularly calf strain. Using the metrics this watch provides, I was able to determine that the source of my woes was excessive vertical oscillation, and by training to increase my cadence and reduce VO, I'm now running injury free and feeling great. So nevermind how great the rest of this watch is - that alone was worth the price.
The other major comment on the watch is this - I have no complaints. That's incredible for something I wear every single day, with this many features and doodads and whatnot, because I tend to be a grumpy bear and find something that irritates me with everything. I would complain if they hung me with a new rope, but I can't complain about this watch. Everything about it works the way I feel like a sensible person would want it to work, nothing is needlessly complicated or difficult for lack of field testing or poor design. It has obviously been well engineered to meet the needs of demanding athletes without any secondary concerns getting in the way of that all important goal. Well done, Garmin.
I bought the Garmin 630 based in DC Rainmaker's reviews. If you want really detailed information, read his review and support his site, there's no way any amazon review will match the depth and experience he provides.
That said, I'm delighted with the watch. I see no reason to rehash the features, that's covered elsewhere, but some opinions I have on the product:
+ The backlight has been criticized in some reviews but it's precisely how I'd want it. I don't want a bright light that blinds me during pre-dawn or night runs, or if I wake up in the night and check it. A mellow, diffuse light suits me fine. I can see a tiny source of light at the bottom of the face, but the light distribution is nice and even with no bright or dim spots, so this doesn't bother me. What's more, detailed reviews have indicated that the backlight on these watches drains battery faster than even enabling GPS does, so lowering the intensity could only be beneficial to that.
+ So much customization! This is just amazing, I can't praise enough how nice it is to make custom activities, custom data screens, custom everything. Not only do different runners have different goals, this allows you to set things up so you get the crucial data where your eyes naturally fall by setting up the layout just as you like. I can't praise this feature enough, this alone is worth taking this watch over any that do not allow custom data fields.
+ HRM strap feels comfortable, much better than the clunky plastic ones I used to wear.
+ Comfortable and durable. The wrist strap is very adjustable, the weight is more than reasonable, the whole thing feels tough like you'd expect from a sports product. I wear it all day every day, in the shower, in the pool, everywhere. Appears to be totally unaffected by common household chemicals that would contact your skin in a non-harmful fashion, like soap, sunscreen, pool chlorine, etc. Probably wouldn't tempt fate with cleaning products or long term immersion but Garmin rates this as safe for watersports other than high speed or SCUBA sports.
There are some drawbacks, but nothing I would punish it for:
- There's a steep learning curve straight out of the box if you've never used a Garmin watch before, and maybe even if you have. The manual .pdf is written with the expectation that you will read it all (crucial steps are often not repeated in each subsection, for example finding "Activity Settings" requires pushing the activity button, then the menu button, but most subsections referring to it will merely instruct you to press the menu button, which is context sensitive; hence a document search will not immediately yield all necessary steps to do what you want to do), and google searches are doomed to failure by the number of identically shared features between Garmin watches with completely different button and menu layouts. This doesn't impede long term functionality - unless you give up in frustration - but it can make day 1 a headache.
- Custom watch faces from Connect IQ tend to slow the watch down. This would almost frustrate me if I didn't end up deciding that it's not even necessary - the default screens do the job more than adequately. This surprises me since I typically prefer to customize and modify every electronic device I own, yet I can frankly find little cause to do so because it's already designed to my general satisfaction.
What really won me over was the touch screen. The 235 is not a touch screen and frankly felt quite outdated because of it. I am very pleased with the responsiveness of this watches screen, I've used it with both my bare hands and two pairs (thick and thin) of e-tip gloves and have had no problems.
I am beyond happy with the battery life. I charged it fully when it came in the mail, have played with it constantly, gone on five separate 45+ minute runs using the GPS, Glonoglass, and heart-rate monitor, and I'm still at 15% battery life! When the "newness" wears off and I stop playing with it every 10 minutes, I'm estimating I will only need to charge it once every 6-7 days, but it's currently on almost 5 days with no charge.
The live tracking is a cool feature, paired with the text messaging notifications, makes long weekend training runs more fun when your girlfriend can follow along from home on her laptop/phone and send supportive messages.
I enjoy the running metrics, however even without those I would still prefer this watch over the 235. It's certainly more expensive but worth it.