AT A GLANCE: QUICK RATINGS
Heart Rate Functions
Fitness / Sport Features
Ease of Use
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:
- Forerunner 25
- Forerunner 35 (wrist based heart rate monitoring)
- Forerunner 230
- Forerunner 235 (wrist based heart rate monitoring)
This Forerunner 630 has been reviewed by Tristan Haskins aka CardioCritic (formerly HeartRateMonitor.co.uk)
Who Is It For?
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 - https://www.cardiocritic.com/fitness-watches/garmin/forerunner-35-review/
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
- 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!
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 Garmin.com
chemically strengthened glass
45 x 45 x 11.7 mm
|Display size||1.23" (31.1 mm) diameter|
|Display resolution||215 x 180 pixels|
|Display type||sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)|
|Battery life||Smartwatch Mode: Up to 4 weeks|
GPS mode: Up to 16 hours
|Water rating||5 ATM|
|Memory/History||200 hours of activity data|
|GPS Time Sync||Yes|
|Automatic daylight saving time||Yes|
Daily Smart Features
|Connect IQ™ (downloadable watch faces, data fields, widgets and apps)||Yes|
|Controls smartphone music||Yes|
|Find My Phone||Yes|
|VIRB® Camera Remote||Yes|
|Smartphone compatibility||iPhone®, Android™|
|Compatible with Garmin Connect™ Mobile||Yes|
Safety and Tracking Features
Activity Tracking Features
|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|
Training, Planning and Analysis Features
|GPS speed and distance||Yes|
|Customizable data pages||Yes|
|Customizable activity profiles||Yes|
|Downloadable training plans||Yes|
|Configurable lap alerts||Yes|
|Training Effect (aerobic)||Yes|
|Race an Activity||Yes|
|Strava features (Beacon, live segments)||Yes|
|Touch and/or button lock||Yes|
|Activity history on watch||Yes|
Heart Rate Features
|HR zones||yes (with compatible accessory)|
|HR alerts||yes (with compatible accessory)|
|HR calories||yes (with compatible accessory)|
|% HR max||yes (with compatible accessory)|
|% HRR||yes (with compatible accessory)|
|Recovery time||yes (with compatible accessory)|
|Auto max HR||yes (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)|
|Available run profiles|
|GPS-based distance, time and pace||Yes|
|Running dynamics||yes (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)|
|Foot pod capable||Yes|
Outdoor Recreation Features
|Back to start||Yes|
|Distance to destination||yes (for back to start)|
|Available cycling profiles|
|Race an activity||Yes|
|Time/distance alerts (triggers alarm when you reach goal)||Yes|
|Advanced Vector support||Yes|
|Compatible with Varia Vision™ (head-mounted display)||Yes|
|Compatible with Varia™ radar (rear-facing radar)||Yes|
|Compatible with Varia™ lights||Yes|
|Speed and cadence sensor support (with sensor)|
|Smartphone compatibility||iPhone®, 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:
- Rain or snow
- Diving into water
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!
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:
- Open up your Garmin Connect App (see above!)
- Search for app, widget, or watchface that you want to add to your tracker
- Select, download and enjoy!
How do I pair my Forerunner 630?
It’s pretty easy!
- Download Garmin Connect (see above if unfamiliar) and open up the app
- On your 630 fitness band, go to Settings > Bluetooth > Pair Mobile Device
- Select the device (your smartphone) you’re trying to pair it with
- 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 about what happens to your body and brain during the different Sleep Stages and REM.
Next Model UP
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
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.
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.
Last Updated on August 19, 2019