Garmin Forerunner 235 Review

Garmin Forerunner 235 ReviewAs far as running watches go, the Garmin Forerunner 235 is a good model to look out for when thinking about which one to purchase. It has a lot of the features necessary in fitness trackers for dedicated athletes, as well as the all-day activity tracking and ability to be useful for just daily recording of movement. Despite the disappointing accuracy in the heart-rate monitor results, there are no large issues to make this watch a poor buying decision for runners wanting to improve their results.


  • Built-in GPS
  • Heart-rate tracker
  • Audio prompts
  • Waterproof
  • Smartwatch capabilities


  • Poor accuracy with the heart-rate monitor
  • Not enough modes for training
  • Garmin still hasn’t made a less confusing app
  • No multi-sport function
  • Disappointing battery life


Runners have taken to the relatively new trend of fitness trackers, and Garmin has risen to the call to provide for them with a series of several different watches, mainly created for the needs of a runner. Each of the installments in the popular Forerunner line includes fixes to the issues in previous models, implementation of newer hardware under the hood, and better and bigger tracking metrics. When it comes to the Garmin Forerunner 235, you’re tapping into nearly unlimited data about your body, runs, and training. Specific insight with several different kinds of charts and graphs and information-packed overviews and summaries give you a full view of how each run turns out, and the coaching side of the tracker is what is the true selling point here.

Garmin Forerunner 235 FeaturedMost watches similar to the Garmin Forerunner 235 contain great, useful information, but lack direction in what to do with all these numbers. That isn’t the case with this tracker, because it takes that data and puts it into understandable suggestions. It will even keep you updated on when you’re ready for a workout, and how intense you should train during the session. By keeping tabs on the way your body reacts, it will even automatically adjust your goals based on how well you’re meeting them daily. Most fitness trackers don’t include such detailed response to the information gathered, and though it may seem like a lot of things to learn at first, it can be ideal for new-comers to the fitness tracking trend since it coaches right along with tracking.

The only issues that has been noted about the Garmin Forerunner 235 in a negative light have been the occasionally inconsistency of the heart-rate monitor and the disappointing battery life compared with other models hot on the market currently. It makes sense why these things fall short of expectations, though. With so many features, especially the smartwatch ones, battery life is naturally reduced. Plus, wrist sensors aren’t the best still for any fitness tracker model, and can’t compare to a chest strap. For the most part, you just want consistency in the inconsistency, so you’re at least understanding and seeing the improvement overtime.


The features of the Garmin Forerunner 235

Accessing the Garmin Connect IQ Store will get you in touch with several different apps, widgets, customized clock face downloads, and even different routes and workouts available for download to your Garmin Forerunner 235. Having an app store specifically for Garmin watches is a great way to ensure maximum connectivity within the brand you support, and it helps keep things working properly between updates.

When it comes to activity modes, there are 4 to choose from, and one of them lets you track casual activity off of the road and away from running workouts. You can choose in addition to the free-tracking mode to record your cycling, treadmills runs, and open runs. Garmin has some of the best running smartwatches on the market right now, and that is where this one would fall. Its features for running are better than in other watches, and though it does lack the support for multisport workouts, the different modes available on the Garmin Forerunner 235 give a little more flexibility to your schedule.

Garmin Forerunner 235The features for running packed into the Garmin Forerunner 235 outshines nearly every other running watch created. For starters, the screen splits into 3 different information channels and has vibrations to let you know when you’ve hit a milestone, like passing a mile or reaching a goal. It also tracks more than the basic stats that most running trackers do during a workout. Condition numbers, VO2 max, and predicted race times are only a few of the additional information this watch gives you to help you on your run.

Connecting to the Garmin Connect app will get you more metrics such as stride length and vertical oscillation. It might be a bit overwhelming and confusing to those who aren’t serious about running, so it’s definitely generated towards more athletic people with a knowledge of what these metrics mean.

Not only does the Garmin Forerunner 235 function as a detailed tracker, it doubles as a splendid smartwatch, too. All sorts of updates and notifications appear on the screen, minimized when during a workout, and it gives you the option to view the calendar or other widgets downloaded that imitate the function of a mobile phone. The one disadvantage to these features is that though you can control the music from your wrist, it doesn’t have the storage space to upload any of your own tunes, so you’ll need your phone if you want to jam out.


Other options

For a higher cost, you can get the Garmin Forerunner 630, which packs even more data about your runs while giving up the heart-rate monitor. It’s an excellent choice with advanced technology for tracking runs and workouts, and worth the price increase when you compare the differences.
For a multisport watch designed to include swimming metrics, look into the Garmin Forerunner 920XT for a full featured watch dedicated to those who do much more than run.