Garmin Forerunner 235
After you use the Garmin Forerunner 235 for the first time, it will become as important to your workout as your running shoes. This fitness watch will track and analyze your distance, pace, calories, heart rate as well as other significant health factors like VO2 and restful sleep. All of this valuable data is collected within a compact, lightweight unit that not only looks cool but continues to evolve with regular software updates. The customizable screen provides convenient ways to display data that is tailor-made to fit your workout. Expand personalization by using Connect IQ to download custom watch faces, widgets, apps, and data fields all made available by Garmin at no additional charge. Overall, this user-friendly watch provides everything needed in a fitness companion and will hold up through the entire workout and then some. The Forerunner 235 from Garmin is a top-tier choice for serious runners looking to upgrade their performance. Let’s go over the features in our in-depth review below.
- Full-color display
- Intuitive fitness tracking
- A built-in optical heart rate sensor
- Accurate GPS + GLONASS mapping
- Some smartwatch capabilities
- Easily pair with external sensors and accessories
- Comprehensive Garmin companion app & app platform
- Customizable sport profile options
- Less than ideal battery Life
- No touch screen
- Many buyers are satisfied with the fitness tracking capabilities.
- The display stays on for easy viewing during activity.
- Most reviewers are impressed by the battery life.
- The smartwatch features are decent. They are a nice bonus to the fitness tracker features.
- It's user-friendly.
- There are positive reviews from marathon runners.
- The GPS connects quickly and there are no complaints on the accuracy.
- It is a comfortable device to wear.
- The design looks good.
- There is a wide range of features for active people, the device is not bogged down by too many.
- It can be used for running, biking, swimming as well as other activities.
- It can be linked to a heart rate chest strap if the internal one has issues.
- Many experienced Garmin users are pleased with this new model.
- Bluetooth pairing allows you to screen calls and texts.
- The display is customizable.
- Although buyers like this device as a fitness tracker, it doesn't compare in the smartwatch market.
- The accuracy of the heart rate monitor has been inconsistent for some reviewers.
- It's recommended to get a screen protector since the screen can easily be damaged by a bump or two.
- If you don't wear it all the time, reviewers suggest putting it on 20+ minutes before a workout otherwise the heart rate monitor may be inaccurate.
- There are some reports of defective devices from third party sellers.
- A few reviewers claim full functionality can be negatively affected by certain software upgrades.
- Although many like the design, it is a bit on the bulky side.
- The display is dimly lit.
- There is no option to pause and view current data during a workout.
- The manual is not entirely clear.
- If this is your first fitness tracker, there is a bit of a learning curve to set up.
- If there are multiple apps displayed, it can be hard to read all of the information.
Everything works seamlessly as the watch quickly triangulates your position via GPS and begins recording your progress. Using the arrow buttons, you can scroll through calories, distance, time, pace, during your run as well as lap distance, time and set it to auto record laps as you go. The continuous 24/7 monitor tracks your heart rate, heart rate zone and there are audio and vibrating options to alert you of target heart rate and pace. This optical sensor located on the back of the watch updates every 4 hours and can show your HR stats from the past 7 days. In addition to outdoor running, the watch will also record 3 other sport profiles: cycling, running indoors, and an activity profile simply named ‘Other’ will track your fitness stats while doing yoga or lifting weights. It’s able to do so thanks to the accuracy of the built-in heart rate monitor working in sync with GPS and advanced GLONASS mapping. The functions are customizable and relatively simple, but that is a feature many have come to appreciate about this GPS running watch – the Forerunner 235 gets the basics exactly right.
Usually only found on more high-end Garmin GPS watches the Forerunner 235 powers a VO2 max using the HR sensor that gauges how much oxygen your body can process during the workout. Use this consistently throughout each and every exercise to properly judge your fitness level and to see progress. Post run there is a Training Effort notification that utilizes your active and resting heart rate to assess the overall training impact of your run. On a scale from 0-5, this feature is designed to tell you whether the session had an improving effect on your fitness. A recovery advisor also helps by letting you know how long you should rest before the next strenuous activity.
With the ability to wirelessly sync the Forerunner 235 to any smartphone through Bluetooth, access call, text, calendar, and social media notifications right there on one screen. It’s an added bonus that you can read the entire messages rather than a preview and you can easily set the notifications to Do Not Disturb right there on the watch to cut out distractions for an uninterrupted workout. You can also control the music you are listening to during a workout through your phone on Spotify with one click.
Use Garmin's proprietary app platform Connect IQ to download custom watch faces, widgets, apps, and additional data fields all free of charge. Despite the Forerunners water resistance up to 50M, this isn’t a swimmer’s watch and it won't track your pool laps. Luckily a third-party app known as Pool Swim is available within the platform and offers a way of tracking swims via the compass.