Buying a sports watch is a real challenge. Fortunately, we tested the Garmin Forerunner 35, a watch designed for running enthusiasts and other athletes. We break it down into prime factors, revealing all its secrets. So, is the Garmin Forerunner 35 watch reliable? Is it worth investing in it? See for yourself my test and guide.
Garmin Forerunner 35 specification
|Dimensions||35 x 40 x 13.3 mm|
|Screen Type||Display resolution 128×128|
Equipment, design, and ergonomics
I’ve changed my place of residence, so it’s harder to get along with couriers. Fortunately, despite a slight delay – the watch arrived on the weekend afternoon, and I could start having fun with it. My interaction with the equipment was enjoyable, although there were also minor problems.
The cardboard box includes a Garmin Forerunner 35 watch, a USB cable for data and charging, and a user manual. So, that’s all when it comes to the contents of the package – which is standard.
This GPS Running Watch looks a bit like an Apple Watch; its minimalist and simple design is excellent. Of course, the craft is not that good, but I like it.
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It is a pity that the watch does not have a touchscreen display. Instead, there are four ergonomic function buttons. The 23.5 x 23 cm square display offers good visibility even in direct sunlight, thanks to its backlight.
Also, the rubber strap offers a comfortable fit. The clasp itself also works without any problems. Notably, the gadget does not attract dust, which positively affects its aesthetics.
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The Garmin Forerunner 35 weighs only 37 g, which affects the comfort of use. However, the watch itself is highly intuitive to use, so even a running newbie can quickly control its capabilities. As you can see in the attached photos, a lime watch fell into my hands.
Forerunner 35’s System, pairing, application/platform
The Garmin company, which we are used to, traditionally relies on the Connect application. In the case of smartphones, we are dealing with Garmin Connect Mobile (compatible with Android and iOS systems). As with Polar Flow, however, I recommend the PC version, which works much better. Anyway, I tested the Garmin Connect website quite recently. Syncing happens almost instantly using Garmin Express. There have been occasions where I have had minor sync issues, but after repeating the process, everything worked fine. Consequently, everyone will find a convenient solution for themselves, which has already earned Garmin the recognition of many users. Furthermore, this GPS Running Watch automatically transmits all data, which every demanding user will appreciate.
In the beginning, both during synchronization and during the first start-up of the equipment, we provide the basic data (e.g., gender, age, weight, height), thanks to which the program sets potential activity goals; it depends on how active the user is while using the device.
It’s worth mentioning that synchronization is effortless and intuitive.
When you want to transfer data, you should use Garmin Express again, which will connect you to the Garmin Connect platform. It gives us access to comprehensive information about activities and allows us to integrate with the online fitness community. We can compete with friends and other users in Garmin’s online community by participating in various exciting challenges. In addition, it is possible to share your results on social networks.
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It is worth noting that the very use of Garmin Connect is enjoyable due to the transparent interface (not better than Polar Flow, but it is fine), which makes browsing all the statistics collected throughout the day easier. It is also worth mentioning that Garmin allows its users to download new watch faces, widgets, and applications – all free at the Connect IQ store.
Garmin Forerunner 35 in action
Each user with a Garmin Forerunner 35 has access to many different activity metrics, including some advanced running metrics. I will start, as usual, with broadly understood daily tracking features. Distance tracking, step counts, climb, calories alerts, active time, daily goals, and even sleep monitoring. Access to these functions for all active people is priceless. Furthermore, you can easily view all statistics and analyze them based on the Garmin Connect website. I learned much about my body during the past few weeks of testing.
Regarding the measurements’ accuracy, the GPS module is doing a good job; the indications are correct, although it is a pity that there is no GLONASS.
For comparison purposes, I also used the Polar M400 watch and the Polar H7 chest strap. Unfortunately, the watch of the American manufacturer is slower than its Finnish competitor:
- The Polar M400 was ready for training in about 1 minute;
- I had to wait a couple of minutes for the Forerunner 35 to get there.
When it comes to heart rate monitoring, Polar also looks a bit better than Forerunner 35. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the Elevate wrist heart rate technology (an optical heart rate monitor that measures the pulse directly from the wrist) is only wrong by about 5 points, which is not a significant difference; it is acceptable. However, you will also notice that with higher intensity, the pulse starts to fail slightly.
Of course, other physical activities could not be missing. In addition to running, users can monitor activities such as indoor workouts, bicycle, cardio, and walking. So, you can diversify your training. I was most troubled by the lack of a swimmer mode, but it’s fair because this is a GPS watch designed mainly for runners.
In addition, there are advanced functions for active people, and they all work flawlessly. Forerunner 35 offers features such as Auto Pause and Auto Lap to do intervals workout (during interval training, we are informed every kilometer by gentle vibration alerts and information displayed on the screen about the current time and distance data). There was also the Virtual Pacer mode, which helps to give give it your best during the race with a virtual training partner. At the end of each training session, we get an easy-to-understand summary. Of course, more information is available via Garmin Connect.
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Furthermore, the manufacturer also made sure that users could use smart notifications. Incoming calls, SMS messages, e-mails, and even messages from social networks – after pairing this GPS Running Watch with a smartphone, all this information is available from the phone. But that’s not all. You can also use the “find my phone” function and Music control from your phone. All these functions worked flawlessly during my testing period.
The watch runs on a lithium-ion battery. On a single charge, the device can work for about 10 hours, which is 3 hours shorter than the result provided by the manufacturer—still a good one. In watch mode, the device can last up to 8 days, which is quite decent.
Garmin Forerunner 35 offers 5 ATM water resistance, which means it can take head on any weather conditions, sweat, or even a visit to the pool.
Garmin Forerunner 35 is a watch for running enthusiasts looking for good value for money. The device has everything necessary to ensure comfortable training. It is a pity that the GLONASS module is missing and the heart rate tracking at higher intensity is a bit disappointing. Nevertheless, I rate the interaction with the device very positively, and I can consciously recommend this equipment to runners on a budget with a clear conscience.
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