Garmin Forerunner 935

Athletes love data, and with the depth and wealth of information and statistics offered by the Garmin Forerunner 935, its no wonder so many are singing its praises. It functions a little like a jack-of-all-trades in that it tracks across many disciplines including running, cycling, and swimming.  And most feel it does not compromise quality for all the areas of expertise it encompasses. Ultrarunners will be pleased that they no longer need to wear 2 watches to track progress during their longest endeavors as the Forerunner 935 has the ability to keep up with them for up to 24 hours! And triathletes will enjoy being able to track all their swims, bikes, and runs as well, as easily transition between modes is as easy as a simple press of the button. By and large, and despite some balking at the higher price tag, the Forerunner 935 seems to have won over many with its reliable and consistent tracking and its ability to play the role of training buddy to a tee.

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Moosejaw Link
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Pros & Cons
  • Extra long battery life making it a perfect complement to ultra runners and those engaging in endurance events.
  • The Forerunner 935 allows for multi-activity monitoring making it ideal for athletes, whether they run, cycle, swim, golf, and more.
  • Many add-ons available to increase functionality, like cycling-specific performance monitoring, a chest strap heart rate monitor, and a downoadable Road ID face for safety.
  • Water resistance rating of 5atm which translates to being safe up to aproximately 50 meters deep making it suitable for swimmers and triathletes.
  • Color sunight-visible display with data field customization to suit each athlete's preferences.
  • Built-in sensors allow for temperature, compass, and elevation readings.
  • Smartphone compatible with quick uploading to Garmin's Connect for easy viewing of performance and the ability to track progress.
  • Quick, and reliable connectivity in virtually all scenarios
  • Cons
    • The Garmin Forerunner 935 is an investment coming in at a higher ticket price.
    • Some swimmers were not impressed with the Connectivity for open water swims or the accuracy or reliability of data the 935 provided without the optional add-on SWIM band. 
    • The face of the Garmin Forerunner 935 has been reported to scratch easily, making it difficult to read the face but this is, by far, not the average user's experience.
    • Key Features
      The Garmin Forerunner 935 is a multipurpose activity tracking tool that fits the bill for many athletes. It not only lets you record and analyze how you fared on your favorite adventures like traditional running, cycling, or swimming, but also you can monitor your performance while you golf, ski, engage in paddle sports, or strength train. Though it doesn't stop there, as it also acts as a step and calorie counter and sleep tracker. With the addition of external devices like a heart rate monitor chest strap or a wearable pod that transmits biomechanical data, the Forerunner 935 can provide even more feedback on your favorite activities and how best to improve for a truly fine tuned experience.
      Basic Features
      The Forerunner 935 helps those on the move stay connected, from their highest highs to their lowest lows. Unlike its predecessors, the 935 comes equipped with a barometric altimeter for more precise altitude and elevation data, and combined with other sensors, this watch can measure the vert of your mountain climbs. And with a water resistance rating of 5atm, or about 50 meters, it also can record your swimming endeavors. Being chock full of features, most athletes love the versatility of this watch. It also offers a wrist heart rate monitor that is built into the back of the watch and a color screen that is above average in readability even in straight sunlight. The majority of reviewers tend to be runners that love the abundance and accuracy of data available (like pace, distance, time, VO2 max, and other biomechanical metrics like cadence and stride length) and triathletes that find the ease of use in switching sports to be an asset.
      Advanced Features
      The Garmin Forerunner 935 is compatible with iPhone, Android, and Windows. It offers notifications from apps on their smart phone platforms. The 935 also links to the proprietary Garmin Connect for uploads and viewing plus provides access to music and playlists. Additionally, it offers the ability to leave breadcrumbs or allow livetrack for those wishing to keep tabs on your performance for pleasure and/or safety.
      The majority of wearers cite the Forerunner 935 as accurate even without the added devices like the heart rate chest straps or the Swim band for more in depth data when the wrist monitor isn't accessible while in the water. There are a handful of swimmers not impressed with its lack of reliable measurements in water especially given the high pricetag. But, the majority of feedback was positive citing the differentiation between types of swimming strokes as spot on and finding the Forerunner 935 to perform among the best sports watches available. And taking advantage of multiple location services like GPS and GLOnass and multiple sensors like the barometric altimeter for more accurate altitude measurement, most wearers were pleased with overall reliability of maps, directions, and statistics.
      Utilizing Bluetooth® Smart, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®, most are very pleased with the seamless connectivity of the Garmin Forerunner 935, indicating quick, consistently reliable uploads. The time it takes to acquire satellites seems to be anywhere from a few seconds to under a minute according to some reviews. It interestingly has WiFi whereas its more loaded Garmin cousins do not. There has been mention of losing signal in swim mode but this is not unique to the 935 as it is often more difficult to sync up in open water.
      Garmin users can automatically begin logging in and tracking progress through the Garmin Connect community. There are many other compatible interfaces available and Strava is one athletes, runners, cyclists, swimmers alike, use as well. Here, many stay motivated with some competition and challenges provided. And keep yourself moving even when not in sports mode with Garmin's 24-7 tracking tool that measures and records things for later analysis like step count and sleep.

      While a handful of reviews indicate the watch is slightly oversized, the Forerunner 935 boasts a lightweight 49 grams so it won't weight you down, and the included bands are 22mm silicone straps designed to keep you comfortable regardless of the sport or activity.
      Because the Garmin Forerunner 935 can be used as an all-day activity tracker, some choose to wear it as an everyday watch, even stating it is more stylish than a standard sports watch that can fit most occasions. With colorful interchangeable bands as an extra option, wearers are provided the ability to finetune their own customizable look. And while there are those that find it comfortable enough for casual wear, some have expressed concern over the chemically strengthened glass face scratching reducing visibility and detracting from the overall appeal. But, by and large, feedback has been mostly positive on this front that the watch is both durable and stylish.
      The 935 is a serious watch for serious athletes. It offers significant data and battery life and its features seem to stand above those of other comparable watches. And topping it off, it seems to be a tool that can go the distance and take the beating that ironmans and ultramarathons can inflict. Most are pleased with the life span and heartiness of the Forerunner 935. With the exception of a handful of less than stellar feedback, if the face were upgraded to a sapphire crystal as opposed to the glass, it would top out with rave reviews, it seems.
      The face of the Forerunner 935 is comprised of a 1.2" d sunlight-visible chemically strengthened glass with a reinforced polymer bezel around it. The resolution is 240 x 240 and is in 64 color for easier differentiation in viewing statistics and graphed training data. The screen is small enough to be stylish and yet just large enough to make for easy viewing of metrics. In addition, the watch sports customizable data fields controlled via buttons along the side of the thin bezel, and not a touch screen that can sometimes be frustrating to maneuver with wet or sweaty fingers. And, for safety, the Road ID face is offered as an add-on.
      The Garmin Forerunner 935 comes standard with the 22mm silicone band. However, the easy-change Quik-Fit system makes choosing and installing one of the many colored silicone band options a cinch.

      Sizes Available
      The Garmin Forerunner only comes in one size, which tends to fit most users.
      Ease of Use
      Reviews indicate that the Garmin Forerunner 935 is easy to use and navigating the menus via buttons on the sides of the watch is simple and intuitive. In addition to switching data fields and metrics in one sport, many found that the ability to smoothly transition between activity modes for multidisciplinary training and racing was relatively easy and seamless.
      Power Source
      The Garmin Forerunner 935 can be charged via wall and car charging adapters that plug directly into a USB port on the watch. It claims a full day of GPS mode with one charge and doubles that and more while in its battery saver mode. When used as a standalone smart watch, users have said they have gotten up to 2 weeks of battery life.
      Even for all that it does, the Garmin Forerunner 935 seems to be higher priced. It does not carry traditional smart watch features other than notifications but it does have many bells and whistles as far as activities are concerned. So much so that some do not consider the cost to be too high for all these helpful elements in one place.
      The Garmin Forerunner 935 is a knockout as a standalone piece but still, accessories are offered to make your experience as satisfying as possible. While the included wrist heart monitor provides valuable data, the addition of an external heart rate monitor chest strap garners even more indepth information. Between this, and the dynamic pod worn at the waist, the 935 truly offers a comprehensive approach to training, regardless of discipline. These external devices provide information about biomechanics like cadence, stride, and ground contact intervals. This feedback can be used to determine areas of strength or to pinpoint where improvement would be beneficial. Through continual monitoring this can help athletes attain their best performances through analysis with longer range data available. Screen protector glass and interchangeable fashion silicone bands are also offered.
      Key Features
      The Garmin Forerunner 935 is a standout multi-sports beast of a watch with impressive all day activity tracking.

      The 935 is well-received by ultramarathoners and ironman athletes alike for its long - up to 24 hour - battery life that can see them through from start to finish.

      With a solid water resistance rating, this watch allows for tracking swims in pools and in open water.

      The location and data sensors work together to provide a cohesive measurement for more accurate data collection.

      The extrapolated data is viewable on the watch through a good-sized 1.2" diameter screen with 64 color display and 240x240 pixels that makes it readable even when drenched in sunlight.

      Of all the information gathered during tracking, athletes can access what interests them via a seamless upload to Garmin Connect on their compatible smartphones. These metrics can help determine is one is over- or undertraining and help correct form issues with the use of an external wearable data pod.

      In addition to its sports tracking features, the Forerunner 935 also offers all-day tracking to help promote a healthier lifestyle by encouraging staying on the move and sleeping as necessary.
      Bottom Line
      The Garmin Forerunner 935 is a serious sports watch and it has the price tag to match. If you are an endurance athlete or one that just loves analyzing the numbers, this may be the watch for you ... but be prepared to dole out the cash. If you are looking for simple tracking with standard metrics, this watch can certainly do that but it may be overkill for the pocketbook. This is not a smart watch per se as it offers sports tracking with only notifications from smart phones and a daily activity tracking tool but some feel it definitely has computing power with 64mb capacity while also being an enjoyable everyday watch that meets their needs, Ironman or not.
      Where to Buy
      Moosejaw Link
      $499.99See Deal
      Holabird Sports Link
      See Deal Link
      See Deal
      Road Runner Sports Link
      See Deal
      By Kristin R.
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 24. 2021

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