Garmin Forerunner 235

8.0
8.0 score
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Garmin Forerunner 235Review Facts
Watch Video Review

Garmin Forerunner 235 is a fitness watch and activity tracker that offers versatility and options no matter how many miles you run. This comfortable and light watch offers the ability to tracks all the important data, including distance, heart rate, and calories, as well as so many more items like VO2 max, cadence, and sleep just to name a few. Runners will find many convenient ways to display and analyze the data on the customizable face. Runners will be impressed not only with the comfort, but also the style and customizations the watch offers. And with the affordable price tag, runners at all levels will be able to take their game up a notch. The Garmin Forerunner 235 is a serious option for runners looking for high quality tracking.

Pros
  • GPS accuracy
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Activity tracker for all activities, including sleep, steps and mileage
  • Smart notifications from devices
  • Resistant to water
  • Customizable face layouts
  • Access to Connect IQ
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable price
Cons
  • Accuracy of heart rate monitoring
  • Some connection issues
  • No way to play music
  • A lot of data to organize
Activities
Activities

Activities

The Garmin Forerunner 235 is a fitness watch and activity tracker that goes beyond what most other brands are providing. The watch monitors distance, time, pace, and heart rate while the wearer is running indoor or outdoor, walking, biking or sleeping. While the watch can be worn while swimming as it is water resistant up to 164 feet, it will only be able to monitor time. The watch even works for high interval training, however there is some questions related to the heart rate monitoring for changes in heart rate. Overall, though, the Garmin Forerunner 235 works well for many activities, in particular running.
Basic Features
Basic Features

Basic Features

The Garmin Forerunner 235 is set up to monitor steps, distance, time and heart rate while participating in many different types of activities. There is an accelerometer that is built into the watch that is able to capture this data while the runner is on a treadmill or track so that a separate accessory is not needed. The watch also monitors activities beyond fitness including steps taken daily, movement, sleep and calories.
Advanced Features
Advanced Features

Advanced Features

The Garmin Forerunner 235 is loaded with advanced features that make this such a great fitness watch. Besides the already mentioned heart rate monitor, the watch also measures the runner’s VO2 max, a measurement of the amount of oxygen a body can process. In addition, the watch has smart notifications that work for the runner’s smart devices, showing text and phone calls on the display, a calendar, weather and music controls. Using the Garmin Connect app, runners are able to change the display of the watch’s face using FaceIt, while also customizing how data is displayed, widgets and activity preferences. Garmin also gives access to training plans, additional workouts and a recovery adviser.
Accuracy
Accuracy

Accuracy

The Garmin Forerunner 235 is set up to track distance, duration, steps, and much more, which it handles accurately. The heart rate monitor is a key selling point for this watch, and unfortunately is where the device falters a bit. There is debate over the accuracy of the heart rate monitor as it seems to struggle to stay consistent, especially during higher intensity workouts. The sensor on the wrist seems to struggle when the heart rate is fluctuating a bit. While reviewers who were looking for more from the heart rate monitor were not thrilled with the level of accuracy, there were still some that thought that it worked correctly. If the wearer needs specific details on heart rate, it would be suggested to get a chest strap that the Garmin Forerunner 235 is compatible with. Besides the heart rate, wearers had no other issues with the accuracy on the device.
Connectivity
Connectivity

Connectivity

The Garmin Forerunner 235 connects wirelessly to Garmin Connect. Data is automatically uploaded when the wearer is within 30 feet of a device with Garmin Connect on it, as long as wireless is available. Live tracking, smart notifications, audio reminders, and social media sharing are all features that are available when connected. This allows data to be easily transferred and put into the wearer’s customized interfaces, including graphs, charts maps, and goal progress. Reviewers enjoy the wireless connectivity, however some reviewers found that after time the Bluetooth connection needed to be turned on and off to be reestablished after updates. Overall, connectivity seems to be above average for the Garmin Forerunner 235.
Apps
Apps

Apps

The Garmin Forerunner 235 is able to connect with Connect IQ, a Garmin app, that organizes and analyzes data and so much more. After data is transferred wirelessly from the device to the app, wearers are able to go into the app and customize what is important to see and how it should be displayed depending on preferences. See items like activity snapshots, calendars, leaderboard, and more. Within the app is a Garmin app store that allows wearers to find different watch faces and widgets that meet everyone’s different preferences. Reviewers were impressed with all the different options and ways that the data can be displayed, especially runners. One reviewer did note that there was just too much data and he felt that the wearer could be lost with all the different options. The watch is able to work with MyFitnessPal. Overall though the app functionality seems to provide a much needed way to streamline the data.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The Garmin Forerunner 235 is a lightweight device that runners can feel comfortable wearing no matter when. One reviewer noted that you barely feel it once it’s on. It's surprising that Garmin Forerunner 235 has been able to fit an accelerometer, GPS, audio, rechargeable battery and vibration motor within the device, all while keeping the weight so low. The band is made of a light silicon that also helps keep the comfort high on this device. One reviewer didn’t like the feel of the silicon, but most reviewers noted that is helps runners stay cool. Overall, comfort is above average on the Garmin Forerunner 235.
Style
Style

Style

The Garmin Forerunner 235 ranks high for style because of its appeal wherever you wear it. The fitness watch comes in all black, frosted blue or red, and its sleek design makes the watch wearable on and off the course. The watch has a diameter of 1.7 inches and has a thickness of .46 inches. Reviewers noted how light the watch is, as well as thin. The display also appeals to runners as it is 1.23 inches and has a better resolution than its predecessor. Reviewers overall thought that the Garmin Forerunner 235 is a stylish, trendy option that can be worn during and after training.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The Garmin Forerunner 235 is a durable fitness watch option. The watch has a silicon band that withstands the elements, and the display is able to handle wear and tear. Reviewers didn’t have any concerns regarding durability. However one reviewer noted that in the cold, the accuracy on the heart rate monitor struggled a little bit. Overall, though durability is average for the Garmin Forerunner 235.
Face
Face

Face

The Garmin Forerunner 235 has a screen that is 1.23 inches and has an LCD screen. The resolution is slightly higher resolution than its predecessor. The screen is not touch screen, but along the right side of the watch, there are two buttons that control the functionality on the watch. With an intuitive interface on the watch, reviewers felt that the face of the watch worked for their needs. The one noted difference is that the screen does not display as a circle, it is now cut off. Overall, the Garmin Forerunner 235 face is well designed.
Band
Band

Band

The Garmin Forerunner 235 has a band that is made of silicon. The material on the band helps wearers stay cool and dry. It also helps keep the weight lower so that runners can barely feel it while wearing it. The material is a bit stretchy and flexible, and is able to fit wrists that range from 5.75 to 9 inches. The bands are interchangeable, but come in marsala, black, or frosted blue.
Sizes
Sizes

Sizes

The Garmin Forerunner 235 has a diameter of 1.7 inches, and has a thickness of .46 inches. Garmin has found a way to keep the weight on the watch at 1.5 ounces. The band is stretchy and flexible and able to accommodate wrists that range from 5.75 – 9 inches.
Ease of Use
Ease of Use

Ease of Use

The Garmin Forerunner 235 has great functionality for a fitness watch with the opportunity to collect a ton of data. While the watch is not touch screen, it is still simple to use with buttons along the right side of the watch and a highly intuitive interface. The watch is also able to connect wirelessly through blue tooth functionality with little need to sync anything manually. Garmin allows wearers to choose between four activity profiles that can be customized for each runner to get different data and notifications while performing each different activity. For example, when the runner is indoors, he or she may turn off the GPS, but while running outside, the wearer may turn off all smart notifications. Wearers also have access to workouts, calendars, and recovery assistant. Runners are able to easily select what they want to hear or see every time. However, some reviewers noted that there were just too many functions and choices, and this impacts the watch’s ease of use. Overall, though everything is relatively intuitive when it comes to setup and use.
Power Source
Power Source

Power Source

The Garmin Forerunner 235 has a battery life of up to 11 hours, but some reviewers have worn it even longer depended on how it is being used. The watch comes with a charging cable and cradle that allow the watch to charge. The cable uses a camped design and a USB port. While some watches have longer life, Garmin still manages to pack a ton of features for a long time.
Price
Price

Price

The Garmin Forerunner 235 has a price tag of $329.99. Initially, this price seems a bit high, but once you compare it to some of the other higher end watches, the price is very affordable. Garmin has managed to jam a ton of features into this fitness watch, making it a great buy at a reasonable price.
Accessories
Accessories

Accessories

The Garmin Forerunner 235 has many extra accessories that are available for an additional cost that aid the use of the watch. Some of the accessories for the Garmin Forerunner 235 include a HR strap (for those who need extremely accurate tracking), a foot pod, and an action camera. Wearers can also purchase additional mounts, cables, cases and covers.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- Heart rate monitor
- water resistant up to 164 feet
- Customizable watch face
- Intuitive interface that is customizable
- Charging cradle
- 11 hours of life
- Highly accurate GPS
- Bluetooth connectivity
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Garmin Forerunner 235 is a serious option for runners looking for high quality tracking. The watch is able to accurately track data on mileage, duration, pace, heartrate and many other advanced items. The watch is comfortable with a light weight. The watch is able to be worn in and out of training, and offers a stylish, sleek design. The face of the watch can be customized, as well as the data that is displayed. While the watch is missing the option for music through the watch, it still has many features that wearers are looking for, including smart notifications, sleep tracking, VO2 max, weather and more. Heart rate accuracy was the only main concern reviewers had with the watch, and this could be fixed by wearing a HR strap that is compatible with the watch. Reviewers were also impressed with the shear amount of data that is available and the different ways it could all be displayed and analyzed. The Garmin Forerunner 235 offers an affordable price tag for a high end option that runners can appreciate. Most reviewers had nothing but positive things to say about this comfortable, stylish, training device.