- Lee Crane, Digital Trends
Garmin’s Forerunner 935 GPS is everything an activity tracking fitness smartwatch should be.
- Michael Miller, Tom's Guide
If you’re a triathlete or an ultramarathoner looking for a lightweight, long-lasting GPS watch, look no further than the Garmin Forerunner 935.
|1 x 4 cm (0.4 x 1.6 in)
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For serious sports enthusiasts, something like the Fitbit Ionic or Apple Watch might not provide everything you need. If you’re training for something like a marathon or triathlon, look into the Garmin Forerunner 935.
This round-faced smartwatch looks almost like Garmin’s more rugged sports watch -- the Fenix 5. However, once you hold it, you’ll notice the difference in materials. The Forerunner 935 has a plastic body and silicone band.
The 1.2-inch 240-by-240 pixel screen provides just enough space to view all the digital readouts without overpowering your wrist. And, as it uses transflective technology, reviewers could read the data in bright sunlight.
Unfortunately, it’s not a touchscreen, so you must use the buttons on the outside of the display to navigate through your menus. Experts found the large, tactile buttons easy to find -- even when not looking. This makes the watch ideal if you want to track yourself while swimming, biking, or sprinting.
Thanks to its use of plastic and rubber, it weighs 49 grams. That's 36 grams lighter than the rugged Fenix 5. Even with the weight reduction, it squeezes in an optical heart rate monitor, a barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, and thermometer. If that’s not enough, it’s also water resistant up to 130 feet.
It also has GPS, but it surprised many at how long it took for it to get a lock. Most consider it to be the worst they’ve seen in the Garmin range. Getting a GPS lock took anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute on average in most reviews.
Besides this, everything else worked well. The heart rate monitor provided accurate information, and the accelerometer provided useful data on speed. Reviewers found the altimeter particularly useful. It provides you with 3D distance and speed, showing you changes in elevation during day-to-day tracking or when hiking/mountain biking.
While you can view your stats on your watch, most recommend that upload it to the Garmin site via a smartphone app or USB. This offers a better overview of your data and allows you to see improvements over time.
The Forerunner 935 can also pair with compatible smartphones to receive notifications, alerts, text messages, and more while you’re working out.
It’s important for a sports watch to have a great battery life. You don’t want to miss out on data partway through your workout because your watch died. The Forerunner 935 wowed experts with its two-week battery life. Continuous tracking will deplete the battery faster, but most had no issue lasting a full day on a single charge.
The Forerunner 935 is a testament to the fact that Garmin is no slouch in the sports watch department. Reviewers had no issues recommending it to people who want the best fitness tracking with some smartwatch elements. Pocket-Lint states, “For the multi-sport athlete, the Garmin Forerunner 935 is an absolute joy... this is a watch you might just want to wear every day.” Digital Trends states, “No other action-oriented GPS fitness watch even comes close to the depth of features, ease of use, and daily wear functionality of the Forerunner 935.”
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