Forerunner 30 is a simple-to-use cheap GPS running watch

Garmin has introduced a slightly scaled down version of its Forerunner 35 for those who are looking for a simpler and cheaper running watch.

Called the Forerunner 30, the timepiece comes with Garmin’s Elevate wrist-based heart rate technology, built-in GPS and accelerometer. Although it doubles-up as a 24/7 activity tracker (delivering steps, calories, distance, intensity minutes and sleep), this is primarily a timepiece for runners.

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Whether out for a jog or training for the marathon, the watch delivers key information on how far, how fast and where you are running. Best of all, you can leave your smartphone behind thanks to the built-in GPS.

“The simplicity of the Forerunner 30 means athletes can easily take their running to the next level – all they have to do is put the watch on and go,” said Andrew Silver, Garmin EMEA Product Manager.

“With a variety of built-in features, the Forerunner 30 is the perfect tool for runners who want to stay fit, stay connected and share their progress.”

The more advanced running features include VO2 max (an indication of your aerobic performance so you can monitor your fitness level), heart rate zones and cadence. There are also training tools like Auto Pause, Auto Lap and pace/speed select. You can track other activity too, and the device automatically knows if you are running, walking or cycling.

Unfortunately there is no way to manually select the activity mode, and this is one of the features that was dropped from the Forerunner 35. A few other fancy options that are missing include interval mode, Virtual Pacer and run/walk mode, and there is no support for sensors or ability to re-broadcast heart rate via ANT+.

Although far from being a fully featured smartwatch, you will get notifications for incoming calls, voicemails and text messages. Battery life is up to eight hours in activity mode and five days in smartwatch mode.

If you want a no frills affordable entry into the world of running watches, this seems like a solid option. But those living in the US are out of luck. The device will be available exclusively in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and will retail for £129.99 (the Forerunner 35 launch price was £170).

You can pick it up only on Garmin’s website for now, in a choice between turquoise, amethyst, and grey colour options.

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