Garmin Forerunner 630 Review – Every Runners Dream Watch

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Last Updated on March 19, 2020

garmin forerunner 630 review


Heart Rate Functions

Fitness / Sport Features

Ease of Use

Battery Life

Where To Get It

A Deep Dive Into The Garmin Forerunner 630

The Forerunner 630 is Garmin’s top of the range GPS running watch. It features advanced running related metrics that, with the correct understanding, could make you a better, faster, stronger runner.

Garmin have 4 other dedicated running watches in order of technical functionality: 

This Forerunner 630 has been reviewed by Tristan Haskins aka CardioCritic (formerly

garmin forerunner 630 review

  • Who Is It For?


  • Video Review


The Forerunner 630 is for VERY serious / elite level runners. For a vast majority of recreational (eg. trail running) and even competition level runners the Forerunner 235 is more than adequate.

The Forerunner 630 is for the runner who possibly has a coach that wants to see, at a minute level, metrics that can be improved.

I still run with a Personal Best in mind and want to be the best I possibly can in my age group, but I wouldn’t benefit from the advanced features of the 630 … I’d not know what to do with them!Confused by the Forerunner watch range? You’re not the only one with over a dozen models released in the last 10 years.

To help you make the correct choice I’ve produced this short summary of all Garmin watches to help you get the latest and most appropriate model for your needs and budget.

Related Article: Garmin Forerunner 35 Running Watch –

This touchscreen GPS running watch features advanced running dynamics, extended physiological measurements and extensive smart features.

The Forerunner 630 measures your heart rate to provide a stress score, performance condition and lactate threshold.

Pair it with an HRM-Run monitor for advanced running dynamics, including ground contact time balance, vertical ratio and real-time stride length. Use smart features – on-screen email, text, call and calendar notifications – as well as Connect IQ store applications, watch faces, widgets and data fields, and more

In this video the team at Garmin discuss the Advanced Running Dynamics feautures.

Main Features and Functions

Summary Features

  • Touch screen GPS running watch with a high resolution colour 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, smart notifications and social media sharing
  • Download data fields, watch faces, widgets and applications from Connect IQ™

To learn how to use all these features and more, check out the user’s manual here!

Advanced Features

Forerunner 630 running watch has all the numbers to measure a runner.

Go further with your running data and tap into extended physiological and advanced running dynamics.

  • Better Running Form – The ground contact time balance and stride length metrics let you check in on your running symmetry and stride to monitor overall running form.
  • Race Time Predictions – Based on your VO2 max estimate (requires HR monitor strap), the 630 can predict your race times for several distances, providing you with a time target for your next race.

Garmin Forerunner 630 Product Specifications

Specs courtesy of


Lens Materialchemically strengthened glass
Strap materialsilicone
Physical size45 x 45 x 11.7 mm
Display size1.23″ (31.1 mm) diameter
Display resolution215 x 180 pixels
Display typesunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
Weight44 g
Battery lifeSmartwatch Mode: Up to 4 weeksGPS mode: Up to 16 hours
Water rating5 ATM
Color displayYes
Memory/History200 hours of activity data

Clock Features

GPS Time SyncYes
Automatic daylight saving timeYes
Alarm clockYes



Daily Smart Features

Connect IQ™ (downloadable watch faces, data fields, widgets and apps)Yes
Smart notificationsYes
Controls smartphone musicYes
Find My PhoneYes
VIRB® Camera RemoteYes
Smartphone compatibilityiPhone®, Android™
Compatible with Garmin Connect™ MobileYes

Safety and Tracking Features


Activity Tracking Features

Step counterYes
Move bar (displays on device after a period of inactivity; walk for a couple of minutes to reset it)Yes
Auto goal (learns your activity level and assigns a daily step goal)Yes
Sleep monitoring (monitors total sleep and periods of movement or restful sleep)Yes
Calories burnedYes
Distance traveledYes

Training, Planning and Analysis Features

GPS speed and distanceYes
Customizable data pagesYes
Customizable activity profilesYes
Auto Pause®Yes
Interval trainingYes
Advanced workoutsYes
Downloadable training plansYes
Auto Lap®Yes
Manual lapYes
Configurable lap alertsYes
V02 maxYes
Training Effect (aerobic)Yes
Customizable alertsYes
Audio promptsYes
Finish timeYes
Virtual PartnerYes
Race an ActivityYes
Course guidanceYes
Strava features (Beacon, live segments)Yes
Touch and/or button lockYes
Auto scrollYes
Activity history on watchYes

Heart Rate Features

HR zonesyes (with compatible accessory)
HR alertsyes (with compatible accessory)
HR caloriesyes (with compatible accessory)
% HR maxyes (with compatible accessory)
% HRRyes (with compatible accessory)
Recovery timeyes (with compatible accessory)
Auto max HRyes (with compatible accessory)
HRV stress test (measures your heart rate variability while standing still, for 3 minutes, to provide you with an estimated stress level; the scale of this is 1 to 100; low scores indicate lower stress levels)yes (with compatible accessory)

Running Features

Available run profilesyes
GPS-based distance, time and paceYes
Running dynamicsyes (with compatible accessory)
Vertical oscillation and ratio (the degree of ‘bounce’ in your running motion and the cost-benefit ratio with stride length)yes (with compatible accessory)
Ground contact time and balance (shows how much time, in the running motion, your foot is on the ground rather than in flight and lets you check your running symmetry)yes (with compatible accessory)
Stride length (real time)Yes
Cadence (provides real-time number of steps per minute)Yes
Performance condition (after running 6–20 minutes, compares your real-time condition to your average fitness level)yes (with compatible accessory)
Lactate threshold (through analysis of your pace and heart rate, estimates the point where your muscles start to rapidly fatigue)yes (with compatible accessory)
Run workoutsYes
Race predictorYes
Foot pod capableYes

Outdoor Recreation Features

Back to startYes
Distance to destinationyes (for back to start)

Cycling Features

Available cycling profilesyes
Race an activityYes
Time/distance alerts (triggers alarm when you reach goal)Yes
Advanced Vector supportYes
Compatible with Varia Vision™ (head-mounted display)Yes
Compatible with Varia™ radar (rear-facing radar)Yes
Compatible with Varia™ lightsYes
Speed and cadence sensor support (with sensor)yes


Smartphone compatibilityiPhone®, Android™


When was the Garmin Forerunner 630 first released?

The release date of the Forerunner 630 was on October 21, 2015.

Is the Garmin Forerunner 630 waterproof?

Yes, it is! Up to 50 meters deep.

According to the manual, it’s suitable for:

  • Splashes
  • Rain or snow
  • Showering
  • Swimming
  • Diving into water
  • Snorkeling

But not fit for extreme activities, like scuba diving and high-speed watersports.

What is Garmin Connect?

Garmin Connect is the official mobile application that is linked to your fitness tracker that stores all your data. You can then track, analyze and share all your health activities!

You can download the mobile app on any android device from Google Play and from the App Store for iphones.

garmin connect forerunner 630 activity tracker mobile app android iphone

What is Garmin Connect IQ?

Connect IQ is a platform where people can produce their own web or mobile app extensions to enhance their Garmin experience. Think of it like Google Chrome Extensions or Website Plug-ins.

Produced by the public for the public, you can download just about any application you like! Note that some may require payment and some are free.

This is how you can access it on your smartphone:

  1. Open up your Garmin Connect App (see above!)
  2. Search for app, widget, or watchface that you want to add to your tracker
  3. Select, download and enjoy! 

How do I pair my Forerunner 630?

It’s pretty easy!

  1. Download Garmin Connect (see above if unfamiliar) and open up the app
  2. On your 630 fitness band, go to Settings > Bluetooth > Pair Mobile Device
  3. Select the device (your smartphone) you’re trying to pair it with
  4. Follow the instructions on the tracker’s screen.

Does Garmin track sleep?

Yes, the tracker is smart enough to know when you are not walking or just generally not moving around all that much anymore.

During this period of inactivity, it will monitor your sleep. You’ll get sleep data like:

  • total hours of sleep
  • sleep levels
  • sleep movement

It’s pretty neat stuff!

You’ll begin to understand your sleeping patterns, and can try to experiment on yourself to get better rest at night.

For starters, check out this post to learn about what your body and brain does when you sleep!

Top Alternatives

Next Model UP

garmin fenix3 sapphire hr review

If you are looking at the next model up then maybe you have a requirement for more advanced navigation, digital compass and waypoint navigation, like the Fenix3

Next Model DOWN

review forerunner 230

The next model down would be the Forerunner 230 or the Forerunner 235 with OFF the WRIST heart rate technology.

The 230 and 235 are identical apart from the Garmin Elevate built in HR sensor.


The Forerunner 630 is without doubt the best GPS running watch for top flight runners. It’s OTT for the casual jogger, get a Forerunner 35, and even most club runners, get a Forerunner 235.

However, for the coached athlete looking for the very best in technical feedback the Forerunner 630 has no equals.

It doesn’t have wrist based heart rate, but for athletes at this level I’d suggest the use of a chest strap is essential to provide 100% heart rate accuracy.

I have absolutely no hesitation in awarding the Forerunner 630 a rating of 5/5 stars – it’s simply exceptional.

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Reviewed Item
Garmin Forerunner 630
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