Garmin Forerunner 35, an Easy-to-Use GPS Running Watch to track your runs
Life is good when you’re in your running shoes, but life is even better when you have a cool Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS Heart Rate Running Fitness Watch wrapped around your wrist. Turn up your favorite jam and hit the trails with this slim and lightweight running watch.
- Easy-to use GPS running watch tracks how far, how fast and where you run
- Estimates heart rate at the wrist, all day and night, using Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate technology
- Connected features: smart notifications, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, live tracking and music controls (when paired with a compatible smartphone)
- All-day activity tracking estimates steps, calories and intensity minutes and reminds you when to move
- Automatically uploads your data to Garmin Connect, our free online fitness community where you can join challenges, receive insights and share your progress as you meet your goals
It’s fascinating that a lot of the reviews for the 235 here are from folks who wanted a “fitness tracker”. I always thought of the Forerunner as a tool for runners, so it’s just odd to me that so many people want one of these as an everyday wristwatch. There’s nothing wrong with that, except that their reviews are kind of meaningless for the serious runner. So to set the context, here’s a review from the perspective of someone who runs a lot and is fairly competitive at the age group level.I’ve been using Garmin Forerunners for 6-7 years, working my way from the 205 to the 305 to the 310XT. I was excited to get the 235, not so much for the no-chest-strap HRM, but simply for the form factor. I was giddy to contemplate finally having a Forerunner that didn’t feel like a brick on my wrist. Was also excited at the prospect of having a device that didn’t take as long as a minute and a half to pick up satellites at the start of a run.I’m certainly pleased with the form factor— compared with my 310XT, the 235 is wonderfully light and unobtrusive. And it does indeed pick up satellites very quickly. Beyond that…. I am not pleased. My biggest gripe (about which I’m surprised to have seen so little complaining in various online forums) is the “current pace” function. It’s positively godawful in the 235— appallingly inaccurate and slow to adjust! I had no reason to expect it would be this bad, based on my experience with earlier Forerunners, all of which seemed to have this function down cold.Why has Garmin gone BACKWARD in this capability?As a dedicated runner who runs a lot of half-marathons with the occasional full marathon tossed in now and again, I require a pretty basic set of functions from my running GPS: Time, distance, current pace, average pace, and lap capabilities. That’s all I ask— but these functions need to work perfectly. To me, it feels as though Garmin has compromised the most critical functions of the Forerunner for the sake of cramming all kinds of ridiculous useless bells and whistles into the 235 (and other high-end models). They need to go back to basics and come up with a model targeting serious runners. Screw the bluetooth pairing, the step-counting, the calories-burned, the “your phone is ringing!” notifications, etc. etc. I need a running tool, not a PDA!Current pace is absolutely critical for any serious runner attempting to hit a particular time goal in a race. You need to be able to set and hold a fairly steady pace in order to nail your desired finish time, and adjust that pace as circumstances dictate. I’m finding the 235 unreliable for this purpose. It displays a pace that I know to be inaccurate, and takes far too long to adjust. It’s also pre-programmed only to display pace in 5-second increments, and seems to insist upon “hitting” each and every one of those increments in the course of adjusting the displayed pace. For instance, if I suddenly increase my pace from, say, 8:30 per mile to 8:00 per mile, it won’t adjust the pace display directly from “8:30” to “8:00″… it will stodgily work its way from 8:30 to 8:25 to 8:20 to 8:15 to 8:10 to 8:05 before FINALLY, after 25 seconds of running, hitting 8:00. USELESS!Aside from this, while mildly entertaining, the wrist-based HRM is also unreliable. I didn’t have false expectations about the accuracy of this relatively new technology, and figured that really didn’t matter, as long as it was ballpark-accurate. However, when the HRM just decides to stop working at all, as it did for a run this past weekend, how useful is that? It seemed completely arbitrary when the HRM subsequently decided to work again for the very next run. But if you cannot count on the thing, what’s the point?Another annoyance: It’s apparently not possible to have a view of current data when pausing an activity; you’re stuck with a display that asks if you want to “Resume” or “Save” the activity. If I’m stuck at a traffic light during a run, I’d like to be able to pause the device and then study the current data. Not an option here. Irritating!Overall, the 235 has just made me grumpy. I am now seriously considering replacing it with a new-old stock 910XT, now that those have gotten cheaper. Sure, I’ll be going backward in the clunkiness department, and I’ll also completely lose the convenience of the wrist-based HRM, but neither of those things matters to me half as much as an accurate current pace feature.Garmin, please come up with a model that dispenses with the silly tech-head bells and whistles and focuses on doing the basics perfectly for runners.
S. Bell –
I’m a Garmin gal. I got into the running community when the Forerunner 10 was all the rage, and I was convinced a Garmin was my only choice. At the time, all Fitbit could do was offer total number of steps a day. It was a rudimentary pedometer at best, just in a cute fancy casing, with little to offer in GPS and other features that runners look for. I went with a cheaper Garmin, the Forerunner 15. Lots of my running friends were getting the fancy 910XT, 620, 235, and other “big model number, big price” Garmin watches I couldn’t afford or justify for myself at the time. I had the small black model FR15, which had a green trim. I wasn’t thrilled with the look, but it was the only black band available in the small size. The others were pink and purple with a white face. I wear a lot of red, so I didn’t really want those colors, since I used it as an all day activity/step tracker as well as a running watch (hence, why I went with Garmin, and ditched the thought of getting a Fitbit). The only problem was going to church, where dress is a little more formal, and the look of a big bulky black running watch was a big eyesore. I wore it all the time, and I would often take my watch off in church and sneak it inside my purse because I’d forgotten to take it off before I left home.Eventually, the problems with the FR15’s syncing and consistency (software issues) plagued me enough that I decided to get rid of it and go with a different watch. I ended up getting a cheap knock-off Fitbit-like device which was a disaster from Day 1. I settled for it at the time; I still did not like the Fitbit enough for the price and certainly didn’t like the fact that nothing was waterproof at the time (now there are 2 waterproof models, but the running metrics are still limited at best). My “El-Cheapo” was great as a smart watch, but horrible as a pedometer or a running or workout watch. I ended up returning it, as Garmin just announced the FR35 would be released soon. When I saw the pictures, it looked like the answer to my dreams. Not as bulky and big as the FR235 (the 235 is still priced at $329… way out of my price range), and the FR35’s band choices were finally more attractive and stylish (especially for a full-featured running watch).So now, on to what I LOVE about this watch:+++++DESIGN. I love the square face. It looks similar to the Apple Watch or the Fitbit Blaze. It has a wrist-based heart rate monitor (which is why I’d been eyeing the FR235 before). But this is even better because the watch face is the same for all the colors. I imagine I can change the band eventually. I bought the white band and love it. I wear it all day, every day–cooking, cleaning, running, etc., and there is no dinginess at all. I once got pizza sauce on it (horror!), but cleaned it easily with a cloth and some hand sanitizer, with no red staining at all. I almost got the Frost Blue, but I decided white or black go with just about anything. The size is also a winning feature. It’s not as big as the round FR220, 225, 230, 235, Fenix, etc. My wrists are small so a big round watch just seemed too “blingy” to me. It also isn’t as thick on top as my FR15 was, even with the new heart rate monitor. The band is more flexible, and has more notches for a more ideal fit than my FR15 did. The heart rate sensors don’t dig into my wrist (they protrude less than most any other wrist-based HR monitor I’ve seen), and the band is stretchy enough that it gives just the right fit.The analog watch face option is one of my favorite features, which makes it look less like a running watch. One of the things I love most about this watch is that I can wear it anywhere, anytime (probably not to a black-tie formal event), but most of the time, it’s perfect for me.The display is easy to see, and the data fields you can put into the screen offer much more info than my FR15 did. Running is sunlight is no challenge for this device. The display is crisp and clear. It seems to adjust to lighting so you can easily see the screen. Someone compared it to the Kindle “paperwhite” screen, and that seems to be a close description. The backlight is also great for waking in the middle of the night and checking the time–it’s bright enough to see, but not so bright that it will blind you. The backlight has a somewhat bluish tint that is easier on your eyes.One of the only things I can say I don’t care for is the buttons on the side of the watch. Though they are rather inconspicuous, they are a little hard to push at times. From a looks standpoint, though, it gives the watch a more sleek look, so I can’t complain too much.(A special note: on some of the promotional pictures, all the “loops” that hold the extra strap in place are black. That is not the case. The loop is the same color as the strap you order. Perhaps the beta testing of the watch only offered a black loop, but the release has proved to have a matching loop with the band.)++++NOTIFICATIONS/phone integration. The notifications are ok. The Bluetooth range and connectivity is sometimes “wonky” but it’s still a very new device and I am sure the software updates will work out some bugs. No, the face is not a full color like some of the pricier models, but that is not a deal-breaker for me. Less color means longer battery life. Connectivity to the Garmin app is not always perfect, but it does sync at least 2-3 times a day for me. And the issue could be with the app itself or my phone, not the watch.++++BATTERY. The charging cable is much easier to attach with this model than with my FR15. The FR15’s dock fit entirely around the watch face on the back. This one just clips on the side. Not that it’s a big deal, but so far, I like it better. It’s easier to remove. I hope it is durable over time. When I do need to charge, it takes less than an hour to get back to full charge.And so far, the charge has lasted over 5 days. I have only used it for outdoor running a few times, as most of my runs are treadmill runs. Still, with all the Bluetooth features, the battery life seems pretty long. And the GPS connects MUCH faster than My FR15 did.FEATURES:+++++INDOOR RUNNING! Living in a hot and humid climate, I rely on treadmill runs through a large part of the year. The running options have an indoor feature that gives me all the data I need to record my runs. My FR15 required a foot pod for indoor running, and even then, the activity would not register as a run on some running sites where I exported my data.+++++WORKOUT CHOICES: This allows cycling (indoor and outdoor options), outdoor running, indoor running, walking (outside or indoor), and cardio to be recorded with the watch. Your calories burned are calculated based on the parameters you enter about yourself (age, weight, gender), and tied to heart rate (reflecting the intensity of your workout). I can do just about any exercise and tie it to one of those activities. (There is no activity specified for swimming, but the cardio would cover that, as I’ve read in initial testers of the product.) The running modes offer free run, intervals, run/walk, and virtual pacer. So far, I use the free run only, because I mostly run on a treadmill. However, the other options look promising as I start training outdoors again for fall races. The cardio option also has interval features, which is excellent for Tabata/HIIT workouts. It buzzes at each interval switch, and beeps to give you a warning of 5 seconds before your interval is about to change.+++++CADENCE tracking. I don’t need my foot pod anymore! I hated having to change my old foot pod over to different shoes every day (I rotate my running shoes). The FR35 tracks my cadence without the need of a foot pod. AND no more worries about the foot pod getting in the way of tags during races that some events rely on.+++++ALL DAY STEP COUNT. This watch replaces the need for an activity tracker, as it does it all for you. It makes it much easier to keep all your info in one place. And the Garmin app is sleek and easy to navigate. When you reach your daily step goal (you can set your own daily goal or let Garmin adjust your goal on a daily basis), you get a vibration on your watch with little fireworks as a mini celebration.+++++MOVE IQ. I recently went for a walk on the beach, just to get my step count in for the day (on my rest day). I noticed on my timeline on Garmin Connect that MoveIQ had detected the walk and labeled it as such on my timeline. However, the walk does not show up as a “walking” activity under the “Activities” tab of Garmin Connect because I did not start the activity on my watch. I feel this is something Garmin can and may possibly adjust in the software, but it is neat still to see it on my daily timeline.I’m not a new runner, by any stretch of the word, and I’m certainly no expert. I guess you’d say I’m a seasoned or intermediate runner. I won’t qualify for Boston, but the walk/run and C25K programs don’t cut it for me, either. The comments I’ve read on some forums about the FR35 being a “beginners” GPS watch is pure bunk. This has all the features I need, and it is small enough to wear all day.If you are on the fence (as I was) about purchasing the FR35 or the Fitbit Charge 2 (priced about $50 cheaper right now), here are the things that swayed me to choose the FR35 (besides my Garmin bias):1. FR35 is waterproof. You can purchase a waterproof version of the Charge 2 through a 3rd party seller for $250 (original price + $100 fee for waterproof feature added). However, the Garmin already comes with that feature. So if you aren’t willing to leave your device at home for swimming and water activities, then Garmin is your obvious choice. Since I live near the beach, water activities are built in to my daily life, so the Garmin is a no-brainer choice. I also don’t have to worry about excessive sweat during a workout shorting out my device.2. FR35 shows cadence. This is a big one for runners. Especially those runners who have struggled with injury like me. IT Band Syndrome not only creeps in when your leg and glute muscles are weaker, but also when your running cadence is slower. I can also tell from my cadence over time if it starts to decrease when I need to take more rest and avoid overtraining.3. GPS built into the watch. The Fitbit requires use of your phone to make GPS work. FR35 has it built in (along with a great LiveTrack feature that is relatively new).4. Buttons. Garmin has 4 buttons, Fitbit has 1. Some would not say this is a plus, but I don’t like hitting the same button a dozen times to get to the page that I want. And there are so many running metrics you can view from your wrist without the need for the Garmin app.5. Smartphone notifications. From my understanding, Fitbit only gives calls, texts, and calendar notifications. Garmin offers much more (AND the ability to dismiss those notifications right from your watch… big plus).6. Size. The new FR35 is not as thick on the face as the Charge 2 appears (from the photos I’ve seen). Though I like the sleek look of the Charge 2 (and all the Fitbits), the Charge 2 does seem to be thicker to accommodate for Fitbit’s design of the heart monitor built in. AND I’d add that the FR35 is much less bulky than Garmin’s Vivosmart HR+, which was another choice I’d considered (same price, similar features, just a different look).7. Indoor running. Fitbit does not offer indoor running metrics like Garmin. The best the Fitbit can do is offer you calories burned according to your heart rate. The Garmin FR35 offers distance, cadence, and pace, in addition to heart rate.8. Reviews. After seeing the Charge 2 reviews (I read the critical ones of those who have had trouble with the product), I decided to steer clear of the Fitbit brand. Prior Fitbit models have been known to overcount steps (I have friends with desk jobs who drive to work and Fitbit step count shows 12k steps a day, which I KNOW is wrong). The Charge 2 seems to have reviews of undercounting steps, but also counting driving as steps. The FR35 has proven to be accurate in steps and heart rate for me, especially when compared to my prior Garmin and to other users (I have compared steps at running events including half marathons, 5Ks, and 10Ks). I know for me, a 5K is roughly 5,500 steps, a 10K around 11,000, and a half marathon ~23,000 steps.
Very good for running, not quite so good for cycling, the Garmin Edge 520 is much much much better suited for cycling. This works for cycling, but isn’t convenient to look at and the HRM isn’t so accurate for cycling, though it[the HRM] works perfectly well for running. If you do both this is fine, but if you only cycle and RARELY run, then it would be better to get the cycling specially designed Garmin Edge 520
Carson J –
Bought this watch for a full marathon I just ran. Didn’t have time to use the watch at all before my marathon so the first time i actually used it was during the race. Worked well and helped me pace and time my race!!
Purchased this for the wife after her second Fitbit started falling apart (again). Wanted something more durable and waterproof. This ticked all the boxes. It’s light on the wrist, you can swap out the bands easily and has almost every feature under the sun. The Garmin connect software (app, website) took some getting used to, but once she was able to program her interval training, it was a breeze. This is mainly used for running and swimming. The tracking is fairly accurate and has worked for interval run training, day hikes and daily step counting. The ‘move’ feature is nice as it reminds you if you’ve been sedentary too long to get up and walk around. Anyone moderately active or semi-serious about their activity levels would love this watch.
L. Edwards –
Attractive and works great. I love the larger face size without the bulk of looking like a huge watch. Easy to set up, catches satellite quickly and looks good, too.
Gabe R –
At first I loved this watch! One year later and I’m disappointed.This watch gives you so much data and you can do so much with it. If you are an avide runner this watch would be great for you (continue reading my review to see both sides of the watch). All the apps and watch faces you can download really help to make it your own. When I bought the forerunner the Apple Watch was new and not really up to what I wanted it to be. The looks of this watch is not bad , but not suited for all occasions. So I decided to go ahead and get the forerunner.For the price the watch, I do not like the materials it is made of, all plastic. When I first got it I was willing to look past it, but now I see it was just the honeymoon phase. After a year of daily wearing I’ve got crunch marks from hitting the sides. I have had small glitches throughout my use but all were something a could live with or restart it to fix. First thing that went out was the find my phone feature. Not a big deal and I could easily live without. Then I could no longer use the run profile to track runs. When I would have the run activity selected and go to start a run the watch would freeze. The only way to recover the watch was to force shut down. I contacted Garmin and they had me remove all watch faces, data fields, and apps. As well as all activities logged. After doing all that it still had the problem. They said I would have to exchange it or get it repaired. I am two months out of my warranty so it would cost $110 to get it fixed. This is very frustrating for such an expensive watch.Overall, if you are just using it for a running watch pull the trigger and get it. If you are wanting this to be your daily watch, really understand what you are wanting out of it. I thought I would tell my story for to help see the long term use and its effects. Hope I help someone with their choice and that maybe mine experience is isolated.
Michael White –
LOVE this watch! I never thought I cared about sleep or steps until I purchased this watch and saw all of the data it collects. I also love the ability to connect to Bluetooth for smart notifications and the immediate sync to Garmin Connect. I do not have the heart rate monitor to connect to the watch but I may consider it in the future.
Aaron Barnhart –
UPDATES — I’ve given up on the Bluetooth and just use the USB connection and Garmin Express. I have GLONASS activated which drains the battery, so I need to plug it in anyway. I’m fine living without Bluetooth but if you’re expecting to see notifications and weather on your wrist, the 230 will disappoint. Also, I bought the 1st-gen Garmin Heart Rate Monitor and it works flawlessly. I don’t want constant HR monitoring and the hard strap is $30 less than the soft. Still a 4-star review. ABThere was never any question that my first running watch was going to be a Garmin. For months, however, I debated which one it should be. In the end, what was most important to me was the accuracy of the timing of my runs. With both GPS and GLONASS, the 230/235 series gave me that. In the decision became, heart rate monitor or no? Looking at my training, I realized that pace and perceived effort were the factors that matter the most to me. I run enough races so that, with the help of a pace calculator like McMillan or Matt Fitzgerald’s 80/20 Running, I could determine my training zones and my VO2 Max without the aid of a heart rate monitor. Plus, the idea of having my wrist continuously flashed by an optical reader seemed unnecessary and a possible irritant. After one month, I am ready to give this thing 4/5 stars. Others can sing its praises, let me spend a moment to talk about the star I withheld: Bluetooth sync with my iPhone required a complete reboot of both devices. I had to search online to find this solution after a frustrating week or two of non-connections.Subpar apps. It should not be that hard to get a full-featured stopwatch app that does not dim or revert to the main watch face after a short timeout. Watch faces were disappointing too. Zones should allow for pace as well as heart rate definition. And you should not be locked into Garmin’a five zones. The phone should not automatically go dumb when out of Bluetooth range. If the weather and notifications can’t be updated, they should not be replaced with an error message. Garmin connect and express need to be merged. Or else I should be able to use this without ever connecting to Garmin express. I purchased this watch refurbished and I am otherwise delighted to have it.
Rita Alba –
I looooveee this watch, bought it just for my trainings in the first place but now I were it all the time. It is very light and measurments very acurate. Trust refurbished Garming items 100% since my previous watch (Forerunner 110) was refurbished too, used it for almost 4 years and still work fine.
I went from a garmin 110 to this reburfished forerunner 230 and I love it!I am using it mostly for mileage and time. It has an auto-pause feature and also you can program it to tell you when you are going too slow. Notifications from texts can be read on the screen as well as answering phone calls if your phone is next to you. I also set up the garmin app on my phone to have my information synced into my garmin account and that has been helpful in reviewing data. The data can also be viewed on the screen. The buttons are user friendly and easy to understand!The charger is great and clips on well. It’ll tell you how much percentage is left.I bought a screen protector for just because I didn’t want to risk anything but it is not needed.There are other features I have not explored yet.
Awesome product ! Has every feature to understand your activities, workouts. Well synced with my fitness pal is the cherry on the top. Gives a clear picture how to keep yourself fit and improve in workouts. This one is the Best ! Pricy but worth it … One should utilise to keep oneself fit. On those lines … nothing better than this !
This watch has been a great addition to tracking my workouts for the last 2 months. GPS connects within 15-30 seconds and is fairly accurate. I even use this to track my lap times while swimming and works and looks just like new even after 2 months of hard use.It’s not the most feature rich watch but it does a great job at performing all the basic functions when keeping track of runs and lap swimming in the pool.
Ricky G –
Are you a runner looking to take training to the next level, but can’t afford a really pricey device? Wondering why in the world you’d even need one? I was in your shoes! As an activity tracker, the Forerunner 35 is very nice. I give it 3 stars because many of the features that a runner would use don’t work, and I feel it’s deceptive to sell a device with these features when they’re not really usable for training. Essentially, this is a good activity tracker posing (ineffectively) as a training tool.Many reviewers mention that the Forerunner 35 isn’t for “serious runners”, and I took that to mean that they believe “serious runners” need all the complexity of a very expensive watch. I need to know pacing, HR, distance, time. Fancy analytics, realistically, aren’t going to do a lot for my running. So really, this watch has everything a serious runner needs. The reason I believe reviewers say the device isn’t for serious runners is that none of those features actually works in a way that is useful to someone trying to train seriously. The watch has pacing, heart rate and distance information, interval programming, virtual pacing (it notifies you when you deviate from a set pace), etc. However, in reality, most of these features don’t work well enough to matter during a training session. You can get a nice ballpark pace during your slow runs, but it’s pretty useless for speed work and can become really frustrating. Here’s the rundown:Pros:HR monitor works very wellFor general pacing info on easy runs, the price is good and the device is adequateAfter initially updating with the GarminExpress app, satellite acquisition is quickCons (for runners):1. Pacing – this is the feature that really drives me nuts. It can take up to 3 minutes to catch up to your pacing change – for example, during interval work it takes a long time for the device to figure out how fast you’re going after a “down” piece, resulting in huge spikes in pacing as you overcompensate because the device hasn’t caught up to you and you think you’re running too slow. I’ve raced with it, and as long as I didn’t make any really drastic pace changes it was ok. But it’s pretty useless for interval work.2. Virtual Pacer doesn’t work – you have to be way, way off pace for a long, long time before it notifies you that your pacing is off, which is useless for intervals/tempo work. They seem to have given it almost a full minute/mile buffer on pace notifications. Also, you can’t change the desired pace during a run, so your warm-up and cool-down and any intentional pace changes will set off constant notifications3. AutoPause doesn’t work – you’ll need to pause manually. It takes 3-4 seconds for the watch to start and stop, meaning you have large spikes in your data4. Intervals – you can only set one interval time and then run it over and over, which runners don’t really do. So no ladders, cut-downs, etc. I still have to carry my phone on interval/speed work days so I have a useful interval timer. On the upside, you can program it to leave you alone during warm up and cool down, and start the intervals at any point during your runAll-in-all, although it’s very useful to have a pacing device for my runs, I greatly regret not spending a little more to get a better device for training, but I already blew my budget, so after a little live-and-learn and some REALLY frustrating training sessions, I decided to write this review. No, I still don’t believe you need fancy analytics from a really expensive watch to be a better runner. But I strongly recommend you find out just how well a device’s features actually work before buying.
Juan Jose Valdes –
The Garmin works perfect, it was for the wife and so far no complains. Got on time, however the box presentation and package was no good. Garmin was only protected by a small bubble bag in a bigger box, so it was like a marble on a shoe box. Everything else very good, looks like new and work perfect, let wait a month or so when miles have been added.
If you’re a casual runner considering this watch just buy it.Sure it’s got a Soviet era technology vibe to it and it’s no-frills but do you really need more?PROS-Always on screen. Sure it’s not color but no wrist acrobatics are required to turn on the screen. Clear contrast and large numbers make viewing a pleasure when running.- Buttons. Ain’t nobody got time for a touchscreen during a run. Do yourself a favor here and get something with physical buttons.- Long battery life. Monochrome screen = Good battery life.- Price. Garmin is expensive and a lot of times overpriced. This is one of the cheapest ways to get into the Garmin ecosystem.- Ability to pair with external sensors. A lot of the competition won’t allow for pairing with external sensors. A chest strap and foot pod compliment this nicely.CONS-Features. The feature list is a little weak (no GLONASS etc.) but as an entry level device that’s to be expected.- GPS. Not the fastest when getting a lock but you can spend that time humming Eye of the Tiger.- Music controls. Yes it has them but it’s basic.To summarize: This is a great entry-level device that ticks all the boxes if you’re a casual runner looking to get into a Garmin device.
Mark K –
I recommend purchasing directly through Amazon. I thought I was, but this was just fulfilled by Amazon and the GPS whatever company charges several fees for returns. This is not made for a woman’s wrist and is very uncomfortable. I regret purchasing this item.
Mike Jones –
This watch is good for the price and battery runs forever, well i mean i only connect like 10minutes or less and since opened (3 weeks ago) havent fully charged but it has never shutdown so very sturdy battery, and waterproof u can shower or swim at least in regular pool.Would love it if i could recognize my activities instead of manually input them on app but still great 4 the money and lets u read sms and whatsapp and can find your lost phone
I absolutely LOVE this watch! Where to begin? I’m a triathlete and am using the watch regularly. It’s interesting to monitor the sleep pattern; it gives accurate information and so far I have not had any issues with GPS signal. It tracks absolutely everything! Workouts, V02 max, heart rate zone, calories, activities, steps etc. I haven’t even yet connected it to my bike sensor and haven’t swum with it. It’s easy to use and set up. I highly recommend it and the price for value is excellent. This watch has become my best workout buddy! Oh – and it’s VERY light! I also haven’t had any issues with the battery. I just plug it in when I’m resting at home – every day or couple of days or so.
I really like this watch! When I first got it, I wasn’t too sure about the band, it seemed a little too rubbery and cumbersome to put on. Once I tried it though, I don’t mind it at all! Most of the time I don’t even feel the watch on my wrist. It’s easy to use, very intuitive. When I needed to learn how to set my running intervals, I looked it up online and found the directions, super easy to find. I wish the watch could sync with my MayMyRun account, but I usually have my phone on me when I run, so I track it that way, as well. All in all, a great purchase!
I have a small wrist and think it is just the right size. It looks on trend without being bulky. My old one would light up and in the movies it was distracting. This does not but is still very easy to read. There is a button you can hit that will light up the face. If you want to change the color of the band, you have to change it with a screw driver so buy a band with a screwdriver included. It has a progress meter across the bottom that will tell you how far you are along before it will buzz to remind you to move. I would buy this again.
tom nagel –
I’m a fossil when it comes to technology but I like to be active and see the results of my workouts. I’m a triathlete so I run, bike and swim. This Garmin model provides me with just the right amount of information and is very easy to navigate. I’m linked on my phone to the Garmin app which tracks my daily activity, sleep etc,,
I wore it for 3 weeks with short battery life compared to previous vivoactive I owned, and the first time I went swimming with it, I t shut off and I could see moisture under the screen. I called gps nation twice and they will not answer or return my calls.
I have tried several smart watches like Fossil and MI before buying my Garmin Forerunner 235. Garmin 235 has different class in this category and it is on top in terms of everything. I am loving this watch and so far i did not noticed any challenges. Initially I faced some issues in connecting it with my iPhone X but after that everything is no smooth with this lovely smart watch.Weight: Almost nothing (*****)Battery Backup: 7 days with connected mode to your phone with notification alerts. (*****)Running Tracking Performance: It has inbuilt GPS so no need to carry your phone. (*****)User Friendly: It doesn’t has touch screen display even after it allows you to use it very easily. (*****)
Like:Nice looking case, soft band, really light weight to wear round the clock.Menu options are great, auto detection or manual selection of activity (walking, running, etc.) works fine.GPS is pretty accurate.The app is really cool, pretty neat, good looking and works perfectBattery lasts almost for a week.Dislike:Heartbeat measuring is very slow, takes quite a lot of time to settle to actual value.Sleep tracking needs improvement. Many times when I just wake up for washroom visit during night and sleep again, it stops sleep track and continues detecting it as awake state, reminding frequently to move..Sometimes when I change to a normal chrono watch for office in the morning, the sleep is detected from the time I remove the Garmin band till I wear it again in the eve. I need to manually edit the sleep timings for proper stats.Even much cheaper bands nowadays detect if the band is not worn, this one doesn’t. Other bands don’t try to measure heartbeats if it’s not worn, but this one continues flashing the LEDs for full measurement duration as if it’s on the hand.Overall, at this price, I don’t mind the above dislikes much, only reducing one star.. It’s a good purchase from the house of Garmin.!
Don’t buy this product. Shell out the extra cash for a brand new one from a reputable seller. Almost exactly one year after I purchased this watch, it completely stopped working. I used it for running, so nothing out of the ordinary. It won’t charge and is just completely dead. I emailed the seller to ask what my options may be at that point and have not received a response. I’m disappointment by their behavior and will never buy from a dodgy third-party Amazon seller again.
Band is comfortable, easy to follow set up instructions, love the color. So far so great, can’t wait to go for a run tonight with it
Love this watch. Much lighter, smaller, and more accurate than my older model. I was not an initial fan of the heart monitor because the bump on the back of the watch makes it a bit uncomfortable to wear at first, but I have gotten used to it and I like having the heart rate information.
Kim Daniels –
Excellent product. I have been using the Garmin 35 as a daily watch and can easily transition when I go running or biking. Very easy to start runs or bike rides. No lag or delay connecting to satellite. Love the “auto pause” function when I stop to tie my shoes or wait for traffic.
Fabian T –
Easy set up, battery life as advertised. Garmin connect lets you change your activity type within the app even though watch only has basic options. Easy to read screen when outdoors and backlight works well. Only downside I find is that it’s not very comfortable to wear on a daily basis. Seems to be due to the size of the watchface itself. If looks happen to matter you may also be disappointed as it reminds me of the old clunky tamagotchi watches from the 90’s – would definitely not describe as sleek.I’m pleased with my purchase but everyone may not feel the same
I bought both the Forerunner 235 and the Vivoactive 3 Music. I ended up returning the Forerunner 235, though I think both watches have their merits. As background, I’m a distance runner (half marathon to 50k) but have also dabbled in triathlons and actually cross-train most of the week.Why to Pick the Forerunner 235:- The Forerunner 235 latches onto GPS signal immediately, while I’ve had to wait several minutes with the Vivoactive 3, especially if I’ve changed geographical location (like one country/state to another). After that initial GPS signal search, the Vivoactive 3 still takes 30ish seconds to find signal.Why to Pick the Vivoactive 3:- Watch feels more “modern,” probably due to the touchscreen and sleeker design (Forerunner 235 feels very plastic-y and bulky). The Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music was released in 2018, while the Forerunner 235 is from 2015, so the Vivoactive 3 is newer technology for about the same price.- The heart rate monitor of the Forerunner 235 actually juts out a little, and it sticks into your wrist, which is uncomfortable if you’re wearing the watch for an extended period of time. The Vivoactive 3 HR sensor doesn’t jut out, so it’s much easier to wear.- The Vivoactive 3 can track more activities; I was particularly interested in the swimming stats (pace per 100m, average number of strokes, etc). Note that in swimming mode, HR is disabled. Also, the swimming function is currently pretty inaccurate. Despite changing pool distance settings, I’ve gotten total distance numbers more than twice as long as I’ve actually swum! In a 25m pool, numbers were spot on, however. Hopefully this function improves with updates though.The Bottom Line:If you’re a hardcore runner who wants fast GPS signal and doesn’t care to wear the watch for extended periods of time as a fitness tracker, I recommend the Forerunner 235. If you do other sports too and want a comfortable watch to wear all day, go with the Vivoactive 3.
Clear screen, great battery life, clear, easy to use features. Jury is still not out on whether the bpm and calorie counter is accurate or not. It seems like no matter what device or brand is used, everyone complains about the same thing, so I think this watch is no different. It does what I need (time, heart rate, laps, km., etc)The band works well as it has many notches to get a good fit. The watch face is square and comfortable. I like that the information stays on the screen during workouts for easy access and it has custom settings to show whatever info I prefer it to show.
Nomadic Traveller –
I have used my Garmin Forerunner 35 constantly for 1-1/2 months, so now feel prepared to write a review. I was hoping to have a smart watch that wasn’t TOO complicated, that would record steps and activities, be waterproof , and not have to be charged every three days , and so far this watch has been excellent. The start- up app was easy to download and paired seamlessly with my phone,which is a five year old iPhone. My phone and the watch became un-paired once a couple of weeks ago, and I was able to reconnect the two following the “help” steps in the app, so not a huge deal. The distance tracker seems to be extremely accurate, my only complaint is that I wish I could get the alerts in Km , but they come for every mile, even though I have it set to count in km. This may be my fault, and I just cant figure out how to reset. The break down of my walks and runs has great detail in the app– definitely as much as I will ever need. I am looking forward to using the watch for Spartan races and half marathons this year, and not having to try to carry my phone, or using nothing. I like that this watch has buttons, and is not a touch screen; anyone who has used a touch screen while wet or sweaty will appreciate this. The pause button on an activity is very easy to get at, even with gloves on, but you don’t have to worry about hitting it by accident. It takes a bit to figure out how the menus work on the watch(at least for me ,since Ive never had one before) but once you get the hang of it ,it’s super easy. I have to charge the watch about once every six days or so, I think. It charges fairly slowly, but its ok to miss a few steps once a week. Overall, I highly recommend this watch
The watch arrive on time, well packaged and in mint condition. Is smaller than i thought but for my wife small size is perfect. Has a lot of functions.
I love this device. I turn off the HR monitor except when exercising to preserve battery life — it ran for 16 days and the battery still had 2 bars. I like the GPS feature, gave me a map of my run right in the app. The reason I say buy new is this — I bought the “renewed” device (not sure how / why that would be different from refurb, but hey …) and the unit at first would say it’s fully charged, but a couple hours later show low battery; put the charger back on, it indicated a full charge; left it on for 2 hours, removed charger, same thing. Turns out, if I wiggled the charger it would start charging. I charged it for another 3 hours, it said it was full, but it dropped a bar after less than a day. My brand new device ran for almost a week before it dropped the first bar and I didn’t have to fiddle with the charger, so that’s my story — your mileage may vary.
Manny V –
I’m genuinely delighted with this watch. I’d been using fitbit before and can say I much prefer this. The watch is surprisingly light, the Bluetooth sync is very reliable and fast. It’s customizable and has some pretty cool tools. Absolutely recommend it
Lauren S. –
I just wear the watch to work, and I couldn’t imagine a more perfect watch for a nurse. The battery lasts for over a month with the GPS turned off. “If you’re not going to use the super accurate GPS, why get a Garmin,” you ask?1. The step counter is very reliable. I have used the watch with the GPS both off and on when I go on a loop run, and the step counter manages to calculate the exact same distance as the GPS. Granted I can’t track the route in the Garmin Connect app without the GPS on, but I don’t really care when I’m running a loop.2. The display is “always on.” No flipping your wrist up hard – no harder – to get the display to turn on. This is huge for me since I need to look at the display when my hands are in weird positions providing patient care.3. The digital clock shows military (or healthcare, whichever you prefer) time. My Samsung Galaxy watch doesn’t. Tsk tsk Samsung.4. Alarm is easy to access and I can set multiple alarms. Makeshift “timer” is just three clicks of the little running man button. (This will start timing your ‘indoor run,’ which you can end as soon as you’ve competed your task to be timed.) There is no actual timer that I have found on this Garmin.5. As I mentioned above, the battery life lasts forever. Seriously 6-8 weeks is normal. Once I even got it to last for 3 months. It’s just crazy. The Samsung, tsk, lasts less than a day.I’m not reviewing all of the great features I don’t regularly use, because I feel I can’t do them justice. But, if you like, this watch also shows email, text, and weather notifications using bluetooth, has a very awesome GPS that quickly maps a run on your phone, and a nifty app that allows you to track your sleep. I’ve used all the features in the past but find it too distracting at work to get a notification everytime some spam hits my inbox. And although this watch is reasonably comfortable, sleeping with a watch on just isn’t my jam.So there you have it, my long overdue review of this very useful watch tool.
Great watch. Great price.
Les N. –
Watch worked great for a week, then froze up. Had to reboot to get it working again. Then, froze again!Might explain why the watch is in the ‘Renewed’ category.The product looked like new, was packaged well and came with charging cord and manual.Too bad it didn’t work well.
Bridgette Flag –
She’s not a dedicated runner like me so this watch is all she needs and works fine.