Horizon Fitness T303 Treadmill Review 2020

Last Updated: August 20, 2020
Horizon T303 Treadmill Review 2020
The Horizon Fitness T303 is one of the best treadmills under $1000. This treadmill has a 12% incline, 12mph max speed, a respectable 20” wide by 60” long running platform, and a 3.0 horsepower motor. The T303 folds up so you can clear floor space when you’re not using it. The console features a backlit LCD screen and is Bluetooth enabled. There is a handy media shelf that will hold your phone or tablet in view as you workout. This machine includes 8 preloaded workouts and comes with a full lifetime warranty on the frame and motor. We are impressed with the Horizon T303 and find it to be an excellent buy at a great price.

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Who It’s For: Treadmill buyers looking for quality on an affordable machine that doesn’t require a monthly subscription

The Horizon T303 is an excellent choice for users who:

  • Want a sturdy treadmill for under $1000
  • Don’t need extra tech
  • Don’t want to pay for a monthly subscription for classes and content
  • Like to just jump on and go
  • Are looking for a simple LCD screen with basic workout metrics
  • Plan to walk, jog or run lightly
  • Want a treadmill with a lifetime warranty
Pros
  • This is an affordable treadmill that provides good training options you can use at home
  • Exceptional Lifetime warranty on motor and frame
  • Folding deck hinges to lock vertically against the console when you are finished
  • Console is backlit and easy to see
  • No subscription required
  • Includes 8 preloaded workouts
  • Just plug in and go, no internet or wifi needed
  • Treadmill only weighs 194lbs but will support up to 325lbs
Cons
  • W3.0HP motor is not as powerful as some and may not support extended running or heavy training
  • The console is quite busy with lots of buttons and icons
  • There are only 8 preloaded programs
  • 20” of width may not provide enough space for larger users
Horizon t303 Treadmill Review Best Price


FeaturesSpecifications
  • Foldable and Affordable
    • This treadmill is great for those who want quality without losing floor space or cash. The T303 is the top of Horizon’s entry level GO Series, but it comes equipped with plenty of features priced at under $1000.
  • 12% Incline and 12mph Max Speed
    • While this treadmill doesn’t incline as much as some, the 12% grade is still enough to crank up the calorie burn and stimulate posterior muscle development while walking. You can choose any speed increment from .5 – 12mph for targeted speed conditioning.
  • 3-Zone Variable Response cushioning
    • The T303 provides cushioning in the deck that reduces foot impact compared to outdoor surfaces. You can walk longer without discomfort or fatigue on this treadmill.
  • Two LED Screens display workout metrics
    • Metrics include: Speed, Calories, Distance, Heart Rate, Incline, Segment Time, and Total Time

Construction:

  • 20” W x 60” L belt
  • 3.0 HP Continuous DC motor
  • 1.4mm Silicone belt
  • .7” Deck thickness
  • 46mm – 42mm Tapered Rollers
  • 4 Wheels under frame to roll when folded
  • Open Footprint: 75” L x 34” W x 58” H
  • 325lbs max user weight
  • 194lbs treadmill weight

Functionality:

  • 12% Incline
  • 12 mph Max Speed
  • Feather Light Folding
  • 3-Zone Variable Response cushioning
  • Interval controls on console for HIIT training

Console:

  • Two LED windows
  • Interval Buttons
  • Speed/Incline Buttons
  • 8 Program Buttons
  • Bluetooth Enabled
  • Speakers in console
  • USB port in console
  • Storage Pockets
  • Media Shelf
  • Pro App included

Warranty:

  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Motor: Lifetime
  • Parts: 3 Years
  • Labor: 1 Years

In-depth Review of Horizon T303 Treadmill


Construction

Frame

Horizon’s T303 is the highest treadmill in their GO Series lineup. These treadmills are designed for smaller spaces and feature lower price points which makes them a very attractive option for many users. While you do lose some of the updated tech and enhanced cushioning found on more expensive machines, with the T303 you get a solid treadmill that sits firmly on the floor, doesn’t rock, is easy to step on and off, inclines a bit as needed, and has a quiet 3.0 HP motor. This is a great option for apartments, small rooms or those who want to fold their treadmill in a corner when not in use. The T303 gives you a lot of bang for your buck and we are impressed with the overall quality and design. A steel frame supports the deck which features 3-Zone cushioning. The 3.0 HP motor is housed at the front of the deck, shielded by the motor hood which protects it from foot impact. The incline arm under the deck lifts and lowers the walking grade so you get more than just flat road training. The motor is powered enough for daily use, but we recommend this machine for those who plan to walk and/or jog. Heavy training or long runs may tax the motor with repeated use.

Handrails

Horizon T303 Treadmill Handlebars
Like most treadmills, the T303 has floating handlebars that extend from the front of the console and hover over the sides of the deck. These are ideal for getting on and off the treadmill and provide a solid handhold when needed. However, they are wide enough you can walk hands-free and allow your arms to swing without hitting them. The handlebars are lightly coated for protection. A quick wipe down with sanitizing wipes or a cloth will remove any fingerprints or germs. The handlebars are sweat resistant and will not absorb moisture.

There are also horizontal handlebars that span the width of the deck just below the console. These feature heart rate sensors that will transmit your HR to the console display. The horizontal bars are narrower so you can fully grip them as needed. When you adjust metrics on the console or select a program, this front handlebar provides a nice place to maintain balance while you continue to walk.

Deck

  • Cushioning
    • The Horizon T303 has Horizon’s proprietary 3-Zone cushioning which means the deck has different zones depending on where you step. The front zone provides a cushioned impact area while the rear zone is firmer and allows for a solid toe off. Good walking form makes a big difference in postural and spinal alignment and it is helpful to have a solid but pliant surface underfoot to support but also cushion your stepping motion.
    • The 3-Zone cushioning is certainly a step up from outdoor surfaces, but this isn’t the most cushioned treadmill. It provides good traction and foot support and we appreciate that any cushioning is better than none. But users looking for extra cushioning in the deck may find the T303 slightly underwhelming.
  • Length/Width
    • The deck is 60” long which is standard for folding treadmills. This is the minimum we recommend for anyone close to or over 6 feet tall. The width is 20” which is a bit less than the 22” we see on other folding treadmills, but if you have a standard walking gait and don’t need the extra lateral space, it may not be an issue. The 60” in length provides enough room for a light stroll, power walking, jogging, or the interspersed sprint interval. While we don’t recommend this for heavy training, you can certainly run on it and the deck will provide enough fore/aft room for a long stride.

Motor

  • As mentioned, the 3.0 HP motor is perfect for walking and regular jogging but may not be ideal for lots of training. This motor features the Johnson Drive System which runs at lower RPM’s so the motor doesn’t overheat. Most users will find the T303 to be plenty powerful for at home conditioning. The motor is quiet and manages speed and incline adjustments smoothly. There’s no hiccup in between settings and you don’t need to hold on for balance while the speed changes or the deck inclines. All motion is very fluid so you can keep going during all motorized adjustments.
  • The T303 has an impressively low profile motor hood. Since folding treadmills typically house the motor at the top of the deck in order to allow it to fold, it can be in the way if you stand too close to the console or the front of the deck. However, the motor hood on the T303 is surprisingly low and sits up away from the walking area under the console. We did not have any problems with our feet hitting the motor hood on the T303.

Console/Controls

Screen

Horizon T303 Treadmill Console
The Horizon T303 has two LCD screens which display workout feedback such as calories, distance, heart rate, incline, pace, speed and time. While the console certainly provides abundant information, it is a bit cluttered and hard to navigate. This is not our favorite console design. Once you figure out where everything is, navigating and using the console is easier, but there is a bit of a learning curve. We’d like to see a bit more updated tech and streamlined console with fewer buttons and icons.

Controls

The console layout includes buttons for program selections at the top right and left of the console. There are four on the right and four on the left of the screen. The center screen is blue backlit with large white digital numbers. Metric readouts for speed, incline, calories, time, distance etc. are all displayed on this screen — along with the current program.

Below the main screen are four more buttons on the right for Bluetooth, Speed Up/Down and Enter. On the left there are Up/Down buttons for incline, one for the fan, and one to adjust display options. In the center of the console two INTERVAL buttons make it easy to quickly jump from one setting to another when doing a HIIT program. This is a unique feature and even though we don’t love the console, the addition of the INTERVAL buttons is very handy. You can set your metrics for INTERVAL 1 and INTERVAL 2 with a SPLIT button in the center. To use the INTERVAL feature, hold down the Interval 1 or Interval 2 key to save your preferred speed and incline settings. When pressed, the Interval Timer automatically resets to zero, so you can track the interval sessions within your workout. The smaller screen displays Incline or Distance, Segment Time or Total time, and Speed.

Beneath the INTERVAL buttons the main Start/Stop buttons and Safety Key sit at the base of the console. There is a fan between these buttons that circulates air during your workout. This isn’t the strongest fan, but it provides a bit of a breeze.

One the right of the console there are 8 preset buttons for Speed (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12). On the left you find 8 buttons for various Inclines (0, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12). There are also the +/- buttons on the main console for other speed and interval settings.

Tablet Holder

At the top of the console there is a wide ledge that will hold your phone or tablet without blocking the screen. This is a nice addition since many media shelves partially or fully block the screen. You can set your device here to view a 3rd party fitness app, watch a program or even read or listen to a podcast while you workout. The depth and position of the media shelf make it very useful.

Storage

There are two pockets on either side of the console that will hold a small water bottle, phone, keys, etc. There is also a large storage tray that spans the width of the deck just below the console. This tray adds useful extra storage because even when running on a treadmill at home, it is nice to have personal items (TV remote, book, etc) close by for convenience.

Bluetooth

The T303 has advanced Bluetooth technology that will stream media through the integrated speakers, track your heart rate and sync with various apps. There is also a rapid-charge USB port behind the tablet holder so you can charge your device while using it. You can also sync your device to the treadmill to play any program or instructions right on the speakers.

Functionality

Performance

The T303 performs well under testing and feels comfortable underfoot. As mentioned, the responsive motor is noticeable here. There really is no lag or pause between speed and incline settings. Which means, you need to be ready! When you adjust the dial to increase speed it responds almost immediately, so be ready to pick up that pace.

Incline / Decline range

The Horizon T303 inclines to 12%. Many folding treadmills offer a 15% max incline, so this doesn’t go as steep as others in this price range. However, a 12% grade still gives you plenty of training options for hill work, rolling hills, incline training, etc. Working an incline has several benefits including increased calorie burn and more muscle engagement. Since it is harder than walking or jogging on a flat road, working up a hill burns more calories. It also adds different challenges when you combine various speeds with various inclines. The incline feature makes it so you can work hard but stay low-impact for a challenging workout that burns more calories and recruits more of the powerhouse lower-body muscles.

8 Preloaded Routines

There are 8 preloaded programs on the T303 each have a separate button on the console. These provide excellent training options for users who want programs that don’t require a subscription.
Programs include:

  • My First 5K
  • Calorie
  • Distance
  • Fat Burn
  • Heart Rate
  • Hill Climb
  • Manual
  • Interval

Subscription Options

Horizon offers the Pro app for free which is a no-subscription app that lets you control your workout from your tablet touchscreen. The Pro app automatically syncs workout stats to your favorite fitness apps like Fitbit and Under Armour, so you can keep track of all your data in one place. All apps require their own subscription and are not included with purchase of the T303. Horizon advertises the T303 will sync with the following apps:

  • Fitbit (Fitness app with personalized metrics)
  • Under Armour (Workout app)
  • Horizon Pro app (Free; syncs workout data)
  • Possibly others not specifically listed
  • Peloton App (Running videos)
  • AFG App (Sprint 8)
  • Many others not specifically listed

Storage / Folding

The T303 folds up vertically so the deck locks against the console. When folded, the footprint is: 47” L x 34” W x 65” H. The folding feature saves space when you are not using the treadmill. When unfolding your T303, make sure there are not toys or items under the deck. Also, we recommend placing your treadmill close to a wall outlet so you can unplug it even when it’s not being used and then plug it in again without having to move it. Folding treadmills are consistently the best selling treadmills on the market due to this space saving feature.

Horizon t303 Treadmill Review Best Price

Bottom Line:

The Horizon T303 is a sturdy treadmill that is great for interval training. You can walk, jog or run sprints (we don’t recommend extended distances or long training) on the T303 in the comfort and safety of your own home. Horizon has invested tech into supporting interval training on their machines and this makes the T303 a great fitness and conditioning tool. Interval training has repeatedly been shown to be one of the most effective methods for weight loss, body toning and conditioning. The interval buttons on the console allow you to customize your speed and incline to set an interval session that is challenging for you. Work, rest, and repeat as needed to get your heart rate to spike, recover and then spike again. On those active recovery days, take a gentle stroll up a 10% incline to power up the posterior chain but stay low impact. The T303 provides abundant training options with 8 preloaded programs, interval buttons on the console, an incline of up to 12%, and a 12mph max speed. You can also access the Pro app on your tablet or phone to sync your workout data to your personal device. The T303 has heart rate sensors and should pair with most Bluetooth chest straps (a chest strap is not included with the machine). One concern with the T303 is a slightly dated and clunky console that has lots of buttons and icons and can feel cluttered. It provides good training options, but it may take a few minutes to navigate the console for the first few uses. Also, deck cushioning is not overly soft on the T303, but it is certainly better than running outdoors. In general, we are impressed with the T303 due its functionality and low price tag. For under $1000 you can walk, jog or run on a quality treadmill. If you like intervals, it has even more to offer.

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