Garmin Forerunner 230 vs 235: Which is the Best for Biking?

The Garmin Forerunner 230 vs 235; which one is the best? These highly popular running and biking watches come with all the features that make for a perfect device; decent batteries, simple controls, and a variety of features to choose from.

However, there’s also a lot that separates these two models as much as that which combines them. Read on to find out the difference between Garmin 230 and 235.

Compare Garmin Forerunner 230 and 235

The reason you want to compare Garmin Forerunner 230 and 235 is because despite the seeming similarity on the surface, there are a few key differences that can really skew your decision in either direction when you know all the facts.

And with that, here’s our analysis:

1. Garmin Forerunner 230

First up in our Garmin Forerunner 230 vs 235 battle, we’re going to see what the former has to offer. The Garmin Forerunner 230 has been touted as one of the best athletes watches around because it’s made from lightweight yet durable plastic which is resistant to most external hazards.

The strap is constructed from waterproof rubber which is resistant to sweat. This means that you can wear it confidently whether you’re cycling, running, or doing any sort of exercise knowing that your sweat won’t switch it off or damage it.

Its screen resolution measures 215×180. Although its LCD display isn’t super bright, it’s perfect for daylight use. The Forerunner 230 also sports a durable battery that can last for up to a month in normal watch mode. Switch on the GPS and this could be reduced to 16 hours which is still pretty decent.

Other than that, this watch can track distance, speed and pace. Afterward, it’ll tell you exactly what your VO2 max score and recovery time is.

It’ll tell you how many calories you’ve burnt while wearing it, how far you ran, or how many steps you walked. All of this can be managed as part of your daily goals using the complementary app. The move bar is another fantastic feature that’s designed to let you know when you’re getting too stagnant so that you can motivate yourself to get a move on!

You’ll be glad to know that this versatile watch is compatible with both Android and iOS devices using Garmin Connect. This means that you can use your watch to control things like your music playlist, manage texts, and email notifications all from the same place.

  • You can connect it to your phone to manage a variety of functions and features
  • It enables you to track pace, distance, and speed on the go
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Great display
  • It has a long-lasting battery
  • It doesn’t come with an optical HR monitor

2. Garmin Forerunner 235

The Forerunner 235 is a great quality product that represents all that you would expect from the prestigious Garmin brand. But, we’re here to compare Garmin Forerunner 230 and 235 so let’s get right to it. For starters, this watch has a long-lasting battery that can go for up to 9 days without a charge or 11 hours once you’ve switched on GPS mode.

It’s made from lightweight plastic which only weighs 42g. It comes with replaceable straps and a 215×180-pixel screen that’s pretty easy to read at night and other low light conditions.

GLONASS and GPS are utilized on this watch for satellite location tracking and we have to say, it’s always super accurate in this regard. You’ll be able to use it to measure things like pace, speed, and distance just like the 230.

But, what sets the 235 apart is the fact that it comes with a heart monitor that lets you know what your resting and active heart rate is. It also has the ability to track your sleep and activity level throughout the day.

You can also use it to keep track of things like calories and steps taken in a day so you know how active you are and whether you’re nourishing your body.

Other great features worth mentioning are the Move bar which will let you know when you need to get moving, the sleep monitor which lets you know if you’re getting enough sleep, and the notifications features which keep you up to date with your social media, email, text and call notifications.

While running, you’ll notice the audio telling you what your time and pace is without having to look at the watch. It comes with a lot of handy features for runners such as Psychological Measures, Race Predictor, Run Profiles, Auto Pause, and Auto Lap to name but a few.

  • Comes with a lot of great, cutting-edge features
  • Compatible with Windows Phone, Android, and iOS
  • Comes with a wrist-based heart monitor
  • Features VO2 Max score
  • Not the most accurate heart rate

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you understand the difference between Garmin 230 and 235, let’s explore some commonly asked questions.

What is the main difference between Garmin 230 and 235?

The main difference between Garmin Forerunner 230 vs 235 is the need for a wrist-based heart rate monitor. As we mentioned, you can measure your heart rate using the 235 alone, whereas the 230 requires you to use a chest strap to monitor your heart rate.

How to charge a Garmin watch?

The best and easiest way to recharge your wristwatch is to connect it to a full laptop or computer with a USB cable. Alternatively, you can charge your watch batteries straight from the wall charger if you have access to one.

Which of the Garmin Forerunner 230 vs 235 watches has more training features?

Both watches feature a lot of handy features including Auto Lap and Auto Pause which make your life easier. Both watches allow you to create your own customized workout programs.

Can Garmin Forerunner watches measure heart rate?

Yes. As mentioned, both the Forerunner 230 and 235 can measure your heart rate. But, it’s important to note that the 230 requires you to use a chest strap in order to enjoy this feature. On the other hand, the 235 will measure your heart rate without one.

Do Forerunner watches track all sports activities?

Forerunner watches are typically designed for runners and bikers. Hence, you’ll notice all the tracking features they have. However, each watch has a standard cycling training feature. As for other types of training like skiing, hiking, and swimming, you’ll have to make do with the standard data offered which includes time, distance, speed, location, and heart rate.


The Garmin Forerunner 230 vs 235 is a common one. This is considering the fact that these watches look almost identical in appearance. But, they have very different features once you start looking closely.

Basically, the Forerunner 235 is perfect for anyone whose goal is to track the heart rate the whole day. This is without wearing a chest heart rate monitor. While the Forerunner 230 is ideal for anyone who doesn’t mind the chest strap and just wants all the features contained in the watch.

After all, the 230 has a lot of great features that you can find in the 235, a long-lasting battery, and it’s less expensive.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with my pet bunny when not out cycling through the best routes, reviewing the latest gear, and sharing tips on everything biking.

Recent Posts