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Garmin Forerunner 35 review

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You don’t need to spend more for a sports watch that has GPS, heart-rate monitoring, and ANT+ sensor support.

No swim tracking

Not able to use newer features like stress tracking

Garmin Forerunner 35 is an affordable GPS watch that can accompany you on runs or other outdoor adventures. The Garmin Forerunner 35 is two years old but its price has fallen significantly since its launch. This makes it a fantastic value for money.

The watch’s impressive feature set makes it an attractive competitor to the more expensive multisport watches, such as the PS180 Garmin Vivoactive 3 (PS143 Polar M430), and the PS143 Polar M430 (PS143 Polar M430). Garmin also offers the Forerunner 30, a more basic model – but the Forerunner 35’s extra features are well worth the additional PS30.
Garmin Forerunner35 Review: What You Need to Know

The Forerunner 35 sports watch offers almost everything you would expect from a sports watch. The watch can be used to track running, cycling, and walking via GPS. It also has a mode for indoor activities. Garmin’s fitness trackers can also track steps, calories burned and “intensity hours” as well as distance traveled throughout the day. It has an optical heart rate monitor that tracks your pulse while you exercise, and can be worn overnight to track your sleep time in different stages.

The Forerunner 35 also offers a few unique features, including the ability to set a virtual pacer as well as track your cadence (step count per hour) while you run. You can pair it with your phone to receive notifications on your wrist. The Forerunner 35 also syncs your fitness data to Garmin Connect where you can spend hours poring through it.

External ANT+ sensors are one of the key advantages of the Forerunner 35, over the Forerunner 30. It can be used with a chest-strap heart monitor or Garmin’s Foot Pod indoor workout tracker. The Forerunner 30 is dependent on its own sensors. It can only run, unlike the 35’s numerous activity modes.

One thing is missing from the Forerunner35: it’s not waterproof up to 50m.
Garmin Forerunner 35 Review: Price and Competition

The Garmin Forerunner35 is priced at around PS130. However, its main rival is Garmin’s PS100 Forerunner 30. This is a simpler version of the Forerunner35; it’s great to use for runners, but not so useful for other sports or cycling.

Garmin Vivosport offers similar features at a comparable price to the Forerunner35, but it is more of an exercise band than a watch. There’s also the Polar M430 at PS143. This is a great running watch with basic cycling and swimming modes.

If you are happy with connected GPS (where the watch receives its location data directly from your phone), then you might consider the Fitbit Versa or Fitbit Charge 3 – both fashionable options that have excellent fitness tracking capabilities.

Garmin Forerunner35 Review: Design and Features

You can find a variety of smartwatches and fitness trackers as well as sports watches in many different sizes. The Fitbit Flex looks sleek and rugged, but could easily be mistaken as a friendship bracelet. The Apple Watch 4 comes in at the other end of this scale. This watch also has a 44mm screen.

The Forerunner 35 is somewhat in its own category on this market. While it’s very simple, I find it to be quite elegant. The square shape is comfortable and fits well on the wrist. The screen is 23.5mm in size and is monochrome. However, it is sharp enough to show you incoming messages.

However, it doesn’t support touch. You can navigate the different features of the device using the four buttons to the sides. The device is turned on by the top-left button. It also controls the backlight. When pressed briefly, the lower left button opens the settings page and can be used as the back button. The lower right allows you to scroll through messages or options and controls music playback.

One thing to note about: Spotify users on iPhones can’t use Forerunner 35 for skipping tracks. It only works with Apple Music. However, it works great on a run and is responsive to your music. Spotify will not allow you to use your headphones without having to do anything.

The button at the top of the screen takes you to your workout mode. You can choose between cardio, indoor and outdoor running and cycling.

Perhaps the best thing about the Forerunner 35? Its battery. It may not be the best thing about me, but I like to know that my watch will not stop working before I get home. The Forerunner35 gave me seven days of easy running on one battery. I did two cardio workouts per day and ran several miles with GPS enabled. This included a decent ten-mile run lasting just over an hours, and the battery indicator didn’t slow down one notch.

It is especially impressive because the screen is always lit. It’s ideal for those who are fitness-focused as you don’t need to perform exaggerated movements when working out to check the screen. The Forerunner35 gives you all the information that you need at a glance.

The smartwatch has very few features. However, I was able to receive notifications and messages promptly from my phone. However, graphical characters are displayed as question marks. You can see when you have received an emoji-containing message but not know which ones.

The watch can also be used for calling rejections or answering calls. However, since the watch does not have a mic or speaker, this feature will only work when you’re hands-free.
Garmin Forerunner35 Review: Activity and Fitness Tracking

While the Garmin Forerunner 35’s design and feel are pleasing, its activity tracking really shines. You can choose from cardio, walking, running, and even running indoors. The battery is minimally affected by the activity tracking. This makes the Forerunner35 particularly appealing to indoor athletes of any type, including cross trainers and weight lifters.

No matter which mode you choose, Garmin Forerunner 35 provides a wide range of training options. A virtual pacer can be set for running that will notify you of any changes in your running speed. It will show you the status of your pace. This is useful if it’s important to set a personal record or develop a consistent running style.

I was thrilled to see that there were interval training options for all of these exercises. You can set up a series intervals before you start your workout. Plus, rest time can be added so you can have a well-coordinated and coordinated HIIT workout in your living room.

The Forerunner 35 is equally impressive for outdoor use. My daily run through London is to get to work. I find it difficult for some trackers (such as the Samsung Gear Sport) to find good GPS signals as I weave between tall buildings. In just seconds, the Forerunner35 locked onto me and then tracked me quite accurately throughout London. I can’t fault the Forerunner 35 for only dropping off when I went underground through Charing Cross Station.

The Forerunner 35 provides a handy cadence reader and can even learn from your running style to provide more accurate results when you’re not in GPS coverage. This is something Garmin may be doing right.

One moment that disappointed me with the Forerunner35 was when the virtual pacer seemed a bit slow to notice I had increased my pace. This was very disappointing for a long distance run. Maybe I was getting tired and was thinking that I was speeding up too much. The watch tracked my 10 mile route accurately, and recorded the correct distance as well as total time.

For Parkrun lovers, the Forerunner35 measured my Woodhouse Moor Parkrun route at 4.95km. It’s just 50m off the mark, or 1%. This isn’t bad at all. It’s even more impressive because I was running under a treeline and surrounded by runners. After finishing the watch, I seamlessly uploaded the data directly to Strava. This can be done from the Garmin Connect App.

Another feature that is great is the heart rate tracker, which can be used to keep track of your activity and allow you to compare it. The watch can display your average and current heart rate data. You can also view it in detail using the app for the smartphone. You can also connect the Forerunner 35 to an external monitor for your heart rate via ANT+.

A great feature for anyone who wants to improve their fitness is the VO2-max readout. The sleep analysis feature also breaks down deep and light sleeping. I’ve compared the nights when I slept poorly to the nights where it was good, and the watch definitely shows the difference.

You can view all of this information in the Garmin Connect app for iOS or Android. Data is automatically transferred to the watch at regular intervals. Or, you can trigger an instant upload for analysis.

The app presents data in a very clear and detailed manner. The heart-rate and speed overlap graphs are great examples of this. Below is a picture of how the Forerunner 35 registered as I began my sprints routine at the latest track class. The heart-rate and speed spikes were both accurate for the 20 200m sprints I did. This is especially impressive considering that I used the cardio feature for that workout instead of the GPS.

There are a few things where the Forerunner35 falls short. First, the Forerunner 35 lacks a swimming-tracking feature. The Connect app can be used to record your cardio data, and then retroactively categorise it to a swimming session. However, you can look down at lengths and see how far it has been, as well as check your stroke rate.

The Forerunner 35 is also missing some of the features we’ve seen on other trackers such as Vivosmart 4’s body battery and stress level analysis. They might not be essential, but they’re important for your overall well-being.
Garmin Forerunner 35 review: Verdict

I mentioned that the Forerunner 35 was a sports watch that is simpler and more cost-effective. It covers all the essential needs of a runner, or training athlete. It also captures impressive amounts of health data. You can easily review and analyse your workouts through the app.

Additionally, ANT+ sensor support gives you the option of aiming for maximum accuracy. You also have the ability to check notifications and messages. You won’t be disappointed by the battery life of this device, even if you are running half-marathons.

All these reasons make the Garmin Forerunner 35 a tempting proposition. It was launched at PS170 in 2016. The price is almost half of what it was in 2016 at PS170.