Garmin Forerunner 230 vs Vivoactive – Which One Should I Get?


As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

When it comes to fitness trackers, the manufacturer Garmin has an extensive lineup of products.

While all of them are incredibly feature-packed, the two that most seem to fall in this category are the Forerunner 230 and the Vivoactive. Both of them are relatively popular in the market.

Are you finding yourself in the same situation? Want a proper source that had a detailed look into the topic garmin forerunner 230 vs vivoactive?Well, as you have found us, you will not have to worry about that anymore.

We are going to provide you a detailed review of both of the devices, and alongside that, we will also put them head to head to let you know about the things that make them stand out.

Garmin Forerunner 230 vs Vivoactive

Garmin Forerunner 230

Garmin Forerunner 230

The fitness device that made the manufacturer Garmin earn fame in the smartwatch market is the Forerunner 230.

It is packed with a plethora of features, and the price tag that it had on launch made this one a go-to option for many of the fitness conscious people.

To start with, it comes with a bright LCD panel. The overall resolution of the screen is 215 x 180 pixels.

And as it features the memory-in-pixel technology, it will be able to get bright enough under direct sunlight. The texts on the screen will be highly visible.

Apart from that, it comes packed with a plethora of sensors. It has a heart rate sensor, a VO2 max sensor, a pedometer, a speedometer, multiple temperature sensors, and many more. All of them combined can track all of your body perimeters accurately.

After each reading session, it will provide an organized data about the things that it tracked.

You will be able to view your stress level, heart rate, oxygen level, calories, and many more. It will enable you to stay healthy and active.

The device is highly customizable too. After connecting it with the Connect IQ, you can customize the watch faces, change the widgets, add more widgets, install more applications, and many more. It is also waterproof to 5 atm.

Other than that, the user interface of the watch is quite simple. It has four buttons on the side for navigation purposes, and getting used to them will not take that much amount of time. There is hardly any feature of this device that is bloatware.

Lastly, it comes with a highly capable GPS. It is paired with the accelerometer and GLONASS.

All of them combined will allow the device to provide accurate location data and navigation. The battery that it packs will last for about 35 days in standby mode.


  • Features a bright LCD panel
  • Has a plethora of fitness tracking sensors
  • Comes with an accurate GPS and GLONASS sensor
  • Highly customizable
  • Has a waterproof body


  • Does not have a touchscreen interface
  • The last firmware update that it got was ages ago

Garmin Vivoactive

Garmin Vivoactive

Even though most of the fitness devices that Garmin offered packed a lot of features, the one thing that was missing for all of them is touchscreen capability.And that is where the Vivoactive stepped into the market.

As we mentioned above, the device comes packed with a touchscreen display.

This was the watch that Garmin took touchscreen functionalities seriously. They have entirely ditched buttons on the side and, instead, implemented capacitive touch buttons on the front.

Besides, the display panel did not see that much of an upgrade. It is still the same LCD screen that Garmin used in most of the fitness trackers, but it is a bit smaller in this case.

The resolution of the screen is 205 x 148 pixels. On the bright side, it has the memory-in-pixel technology that will make viewing it in direct sunlight easier.

It does not lack behind in the case of overall functionality. The device has a plethora of built-in sports apps.

Anything from running, golfing, swimming, biking, and walking. And as it is waterproof, carrying out fitness activities in the rain and underwater will not be an issue anymore.

This smartwatch is the first one from Garmin that actually works like a smartwatch.

It has the capability of being connected to the smartphone, and it can show push notifications of incoming texts, calls, and emails. Also, it can show the notifications of connected social media.

The customizability option for this fitness tracker is pretty broad. After connecting it to the ConnectIQ store, you can modify the watch faces, install or remove apps, change the widgets, and many more.

Apart from that, the GPS functionalities that it has to offer is pretty accurate too. And the battery that it packs can make the device run for up to 21 days in the standby mode.


  • Features a bright, touchscreen LCD panel
  • Extremely customizable
  • Can show push notifications
  • Has plenty of built-in sports app
  • Comes with a relatively accurate GPS functionality


  • The built-in Bluetooth chip is not efficient
  • Has a relatively small battery capacity

Garmin Forerunner 230 or Garmin Vivoactive Smartwatch?

Garmin Forerunner 230 vs Vivoactive

Even though both the fitness trackers are from the same manufacturer and both of them have the one and only goal, which is to offer fitness features, they do have some differences. The things that set them apart are:

The Screen

One of the most noticeable differences that lie in between them is the display.

Even though both of them have the same display technology and have a comparable screen resolution, one of them has a touchscreen digitizer while the other does not. The one that has touchscreen functionality is the Vivoactive.

Other than that, both of them feature memory-in-pixel technology. This technology makes the display extremely visible under direct sunlight.

That means you will be able to see the texts that both the watches displays easily.


The other noticeable difference that lies in between both the fitness tracker is the battery.

For the forerunner 230, It has a 35 days standby period. That means you will be able to get a longer run time out of it. You also will not have to worry about charging it that often too.

On the other hand, the Vivoactive has a standby period of 21 days. That amount of standby time is quite a lot, but in comparison, the period is a bit less than the Forerunner 230.


Both the fitness trackers have about the same type of functionalities. They have the barebone apps that are for tracking your body perimeters and all.

But the thing that makes the Vivoactive standout is the push notification capability. It will be able to show you the incoming text, mail, and call notifications.

Apart from that, it can also display notifications that are coming from connected social media.


When it comes to comfort, the Vivoactive takes the lead. It does not only have a lighter body, but it is also available in silicone or the TPU version.

For that reason, wearing the Vivoactive will be a bit more of a comfortable wearing experience in comparison.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to control the audio track using the Forerunner 230?

As the watch does not feature any built-in speaker, it will not be able to play audio tracks directly on the watch.

However, it does have a widget that will let you control the audios in a connected device.

Is it safe to wear the Forerunner 230 in the rain?

Absolutely, you can wear the 230 in the rain without having to worry about a thing. It has a waterproof body that has a rating of 5 ATM.

Can you swim by wearing the Vivoactive?

The Vivoactive comes with a dedicated swimming activity profile.

And having that profile is possible because of the waterproof body that it features. In a nutshell, yes, you can swim by wearing the Vivoactive.

How can I extend the battery life of the Vivoactive?

You can try to extend the battery life of the Vivoactive by not keeping it connected to the phone all the time. The battery life can also be stretched by turning off the GPS feature.

Is Garmin Forerunner 230 worth buying?

For all the features that it has to offer, we would say that it is very much worthy.

However, do keep in mind that it stopped receiving firmware updates. That means you will have to be content with the features that it offers.


After going through the entire article, we hope that you were able to get out of the dilemma that you once were.

With that being said, we would like to conclude our take on the topic garmin forerunner 230 vs vivoactive here by wishing you good luck.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here