Garmin Forerunner 30 is a cheap GPS running watch that packs an impressive feature

The new Garmin Forerunner 30, comes with a simple tagline: a “simple-to-use running watch with wrist-based heart rate”.

What Garmin means by ‘simple-to-use’ is that the 30 is a cheaper, pared back running watch that sits in the same family as the Forerunner 35, but lacking some of the more complex features that it offers.

It looks like a very similar watch to its bigger sibling, and still contains the core elements that you would hope to see in a running watch: GPS, heart rate monitoring, steps, and calories. 

Being added to the mix this time around is VO2 max, measuring your maximal oxygen consumption and giving you feedback on how much fitter you're getting.

The Forerunner 30 is - according to DC Rainmaker, who's had hands-on time with the device - missing some of the more complex features of the 35 like on-watch configuration, interval mode, and Virtual Pacer. 

You can still configure the data on a connected smartphone but if you do choose to go for a run without your phone, you won’t be able to select an activity mode other than running.

Smarter tracking, longer life

To take the place of mode selection, the Forerunner 30 has Move IQ - a hugely impressive feature that we hope more brands adopt. 

What this does is automatically detect and categorise activities including running, cycling, walking, and more. 

If the watch classifies your exercise wrong, you are able to change what it was defined as later.

It also looks like the Garmin Forerunner 30 has impressive battery life, lasting up to eight hours in ‘activity mode’ and up to five days in ‘smartwatch mode’. We will, of course, put this to the test when we get one in for review.

It looks like the Garmin Forerunner 30 is a running tracker for someone who just wants a simple, easy to use and relatively cheap GPS watch.

The Forerunner 30 is available exclusively in Europe from £129.99, in turquoise, amethyst, and slate grey.

Andrew London

Andrew London is a writer at Velocity Partners. Prior to Velocity Partners, he was a staff writer at Future plc.