Hands on Review-Garmin Forerunner 235

by Cameron Winslow | November 4, 2016 12:14 pm

Garmin Forerunner 235

Garmin Forerunner 235[1]

Overall Rating



    • 24/7 Activity tracking
    • Stylish model, not clunky or bulky
    • Garmin Connect and LiveTrack Integration
    • Accelerometer will be a hit with the Running Crowd
    • Battery Life is Impressive with a week’s capability on a single charge


    • Masculine design so not as unisex as we would like to see
    • Screen isn’t as “high-resolution” as some other trackers
    • Optical HR has had some issues for high intensity workouts
    Check Current Price [2]

    The Garmin 235 differs from the previous model 230 by having an added optical sensor.  This increases the reliability of results of wrist based heart rate monitoring due to the difference in how the data is retrieved from the body.

    Need more functionality and power?  Check out our Comprehensive Review on the Garmin 735XT.[3]

    Garmin Forerunner 235 ReviewsRather than send electrical impulses through the body, the optical sensor measures blood flow rates.  This technology is best used when doing activities under 160 beats per minute (BPM), so keep that in mind when selecting a monitor based on the intensity of your activity level.  It is very difficult to get as accurate readings as wearing a cumbersome chest strap, but you pay a price for comfort, convenience, and style.

    This new optical sensor was developed by the Garmin tech team in-house
    which is another example of how the manufacturer is increasingly becoming self-reliant in creating proprietary wearable technology.

    The issues that some users experienced with the Garmin Vivosmart HR have been resolved in the Garmin 235, so this updated technology is certainly worth noting.

    The Garmin 235 incorporates a 1.23-inch color LCD screen with a resolution of 215 x 180 pixels along with a rubber wristband wears great for sweaty workout sessions. It’s not winning any awards for visual prowess, but it does the job of displaying the time (it’s always on so works as a proper watch).Garmin Forerunner 235 Reviews

    While the screen resolution isn’t the best on the market, it does provide great functionality as a “always on” watch.  This allows the watch to work well as a regular watch rather than models that require you to tap or push a button to display the time or results.  The Forerunner 235 includes all the normal statistical data that one would expect from a fitness tracker such as running distance, pace, heart rate zones, and time and displays quite nicely for these functions.

    The Garmin 235 model comes preprogrammed with four sport modes: running (GPS On), running indoor (GPS turned off), bike and other which is meant to cover all other physical activities.   This model is supported by Garmin Connect (both Android and IOS) which includes live tracking, auto uploads, social media sharing, audio prompts, and smart notifications to name a few.

    Want to know the latest on Next-Gen Garmin Running Watchs?[4]

    For the running crowd, there is specific technology for you with a built-in accelerometer that tracks distance and pace whether you are jogging on a treadmill or indoor track facility.

    Garmin Forerunner 235 Reviews[5]

    What do you do with all this data?  One great feature of this line of fitness trackers is the Garmin Connect platform has very easy to use/understand charts, graphs, maps etc. to keep track of your data and activities.

    You can compare in real-time (no delays) by using the Garmin Connect LiveTrack feature. You can also upload preprogrammed workouts and have your own “personal trainer” pushing you to the next level.

    Personalization is always a bonus so you don’t have the same fitness tracker as all your gym friends.  Another great benefit of purchasing within the Garmin Family of wearables is the Garmin Face-It app that allows you to customize the Face of the 235 with any photo from your library[6].  You can change it as often as your Facebook profile pic to keep it fresh or just leave the cute photo of your kids on your wrist and forget about it.

    Battery Life- The Garmin 235 can last over a week on a single charge so is suitable for long distance runners concerned about running out of juice (in the watch, of course).  Our experience was that you used around 1% of battery life for each mile of running, so that is a good rule of thumb for short and long distance runs.


    The Garmin Forerunner 235 offers incredible value for runners of all fitness levels, whether you go for a jog on the weekend or put in some serious mileage daily.  If you are looking for a comprehensive running watch and fitness tracker at a great price, then this is certainly one to look at when comparing models. 

    If you are looking for the latest Garmin news and information on wearable fitness trackers[7], visit us at I Wear the Tech[8].

    Update on Pricing for Garmin 235: After first coming on the market MSRP: $329.99 Oct 21, 2015, this watch has held its overall value in the overcrowded fitness tracker wearable market which is a testament to the enduring popularity of this model.

    There is a secondary market now out there with used models if you’re looking for a bargain and don’t mind preowned-otherwise you are looking at close to MSRP for the holiday season.

    1. [Image]: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0160BC1FO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=iwearthetec00-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0160BC1FO&linkId=52e20fea748ab245033e5b476ac3c107
    2. Check Current Price : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0160BC1FO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=iwearthetec00-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0160BC1FO&linkId=52e20fea748ab245033e5b476ac3c107
    3. Need more functionality and power?  Check out our Comprehensive Review on the Garmin 735XT.: http://iwearthetech.com/review-garmin-735xt-gps-running-and-multisport-watch-heavyweight-performance-inside-a-lightweight-body-with-heart-rate-monitor/
    4. Want to know the latest on Next-Gen Garmin Running Watchs?: http://iwearthetech.com/explore-features-next-gen-garmin-running-watches/
    5. [Image]: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0160BC1FO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=iwearthetec00-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0160BC1FO&linkId=52e20fea748ab245033e5b476ac3c107
    6. Garmin Face-It app that allows you to customize the Face of the 235 with any photo from your library: http://iwearthetech.com/garmin-news-reviews/
    7. If you are looking for the latest Garmin news and information on wearable fitness trackers: http://iwearthetech.com/category/fitness-trackers/garmin-fitness-trackers/
    8. I Wear the Tech: http://www.iwearthetech.com

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