Two years after the release of Garmin Forerunner 620, the Forerunner 630 was finally released last October 2015. Both watches still feature a high-resolution colour touchscreen so you may be wondering what all the upgrades are. Let’s begin with the physical appearance.
Forerunner 630 is slightly thinner, heavier, and has a bigger display
Forerunner 620: 1.8″ x 1.8″ x 0.5″ (45 x 45 x 12.5 mm)
Forerunner 630: 1.77″ x 1.77″ x 0.46″ (45 x 45 x 11.7 mm)
Display Size, WxH:
Forerunner 620: 1.0″ (25.4 mm) diameter
Forerunner 630: 1.23″ (31.1 mm) diameter
Display Resolution, WxH
Forerunner 620: 180 x 180 pixels
Forerunner 630: 215 x 180 pixels
Forerunner 620: 1.5 oz (43.6 g)
Forerunner 630: 1.6 oz (44 g)
Forerunner 630 has all the bells and whistles than 620 and more!
Like the previous model, the Forerunner 630 has the same advanced features such as recovery advisor, race predictor, VO2 max estimate, and built-in accelerometer. It still features Live Tracking and the ability to auto sync data via Wi-Fi through the Garmin Connect Mobile app where you analyze, categorize and share data using your smart phone. Both FR 620 and FR 630 are water proof up to 50 metres.
New features available on the Forerunner 630 are as follows:
- Activity Tracking features such as step counter, auto goal, move bar, and sleep monitoring
- Smart notifications (displays email, text and other alerts when paired with your compatible phone)
- Social media sharing
- Audio Prompts
- Music control
- Find my phone
- VIRB® control
- Virtual Racer™ (compete against other activities)
- Customize your data fields, and download watch faces, widgets and applications all for free at Connect IQ
Advanced running dynamics and physiological measurements when paired with HRM4-Run monitor such as the following metrics:
- Stride Length: Measures the length of a runner’s stride in real time.
- Ground Contact Time Balance: Measures a runner’s ground contact symmetry, which some runners have found to correlate with injuries or strength imbalances.
- Vertical Ratio: The cost-benefit ratio of vertical oscillation to stride length, serving as one indicator of a runner’s efficiency.
- Lactate Threshold: Estimates the level of effort at which fatigue rapidly increases in terms of a runner’s heart rate and pace.
- Stress Score: Measures heart rate variability to make an assessment of a user’s overall level of stress.
- Performance Condition: Provides a real-time fitness-level measurement relative to a runner’s average baseline, which indicates performance readiness for the day’s workout or race.
Forerunner 630 offers longer battery life in training mode
The battery life in training mode has now increased to up to 16 hours in Forerunner 630 compared to 10 hours in the Forerunner 620. Battery life in watch mode is around 4 weeks in FR 630 compared to around 6 weeks in the previous version, additional connectivity features and daily activity tracking being exchanged for the battery life.
Should you upgrade?
It depends what watch you’re upgrading from. If you have a multisport GPS watch such as the Garmin Forerunner 920XT, TomTom Multisport GPS, or Suunto Ambit3 Sport, or an outdoor watch like the Garmin fenix, or epix, or Suunto Ambit2, or Ambit3 Peak, then you would be missing the features for swimming, cycling, hiking, and other outdoor functionalities.
If you’re using a Forerunner 220/620, or similar GPS running watches from Suunto and TomTom, and would like to have activity tracking and smart notifications from your phone, then upgrading to the Garmin Forerunner 630 is a good move. The Forerunner 630 is the latest flagship running GPS watch from Garmin. It’s Garmin’s most advanced running-specific watch.
However, if you only need the core functions of a GPS running watch and don’t require phone notifications and advanced running dynamics, then earlier models like the Garmin Forerunner 220/620, Suunto Ambit2R, or TomTom Runner GPS would work well. Although these running watches don’t have the latest features available on the new models, they still are great choices for runners.