Garmin is famous for there gps running watches and have a wide variety of features and options to choose from. Today we are going to look at the garmin 235 which is a gps smart watch with the standard running tracking features you expect, activity tracking, smart notifications and a built in write heart rate monitor so you don’t have to wear a heart rate strap.
So, now you can take advantage of this 3 in 1 watch where you can take it out running, use it for smart watch notifications for email or text and then use it as a fitness tracker to keep track of your daily activity. Let’s look at the features in detail.
Garmin Forerunner 235 Features & Design
- Dimensions 1.77″ x 1.77″ x .46″
- Weights 1.5 oz
- Watch Display 1.23 inches in diameter
- 215 x 180 pixels
- Built in Activity Tracker to count steps, distance, calories and sleep features.
- Gps running watch tracking features for heart rate, speed ,distance, time and VO2 max
- Measures heart rate at the wrist instead of a heart rate strap
- Used Garmin Connect to upload data from the watch
- Customize the watch face with your own personal photos
- Use it to run on a treadmill without a foot pod
- Can buy cycling accessories to us it on the bike
- Store 11 hours of data
- Color Display
- Receive Emails and Text on the watch
- GPS live tracking
- Audio Prompts
Forerunner 235 Pros
One of the major reasons you will want to consider buying this watch is because you want a watch does more than just tell time and has basic running features. This is a high tech smart watch that when not being used for running and receive emails, calendar, calls, social media and texts on the watch. It even has a widget capabilities to adjust what is displayed. Man you can even display the weather on it.
Next up is that you have the activity tracker feature. No need to buy a separate activity tracker like the fitbit. You have all the same activity tracker features built into the garmin 235 smartwatch. It will track your daily number of steps using that to track the total distance you walked for the day and also track the calories burned during the day.
As for the running features it used the GPS + Glonass technology to get you very accurate pace, distance and time data for your runs. You have the option to use a virtual pacer that will keep running at your desired pace for the workout. If you take the time to use the Garmin Connect app with the forerunner 235, you can upload specific training workouts to the watch that you can follow. This would be perfect for anyone who wants to do interval running for instance. You could setup a 5 minute warm-up and then go into 4 minute interval run and 1 minute rest type of workouts where it keeps track of everything for you and helps you along the desired sets to complete the workout.
With the built-in wrist sensor on back of the watch, the forerunner 235 trackers your heart rate without a strap. It’s is a really nice feature because wearing a strap can restrict your breathing some and it’s a pain to keep it at the right spot if you really get to sweating really bad. On top of that it is an extra accessory you have to pay for. You can buy a regular strap as well if you want to with this watch if that is what you are accustomed too.
One other thing I like is that when winter comes I run indoors on the treadmill. You can monitor your pace from the treadmill to get your pace but it always sucked that I would have to buy a foot pod to also track it on my garmin watch. The garmin 235 actually has a built-in accelerometer to track the pace and distance. That’s pretty dang sweet!
Garmin Forerunner 235 Cons
For the smart features to work it has to pair with your phone. So, you need to be aware that if you want these features to work , you will need to have your phone near by.
This might be a bit much if all you want is a running watch. You can surely get something more basic. You can also get other versions of the forerunner watches that offer more training workout features too.
FR235 Customer Reviews
As I read through the reviews many people mentioned about the accuracy of the heart rate monitor as compared to say a polar heart rate strap. One user showed graph comparisons of a polar watch and the FR235. You can see the polar was more detailed. One thing to note here is that it really depends on how often you record the beats. Recording at 1 second intervals to 6 second intervals will vary on how it records your heart rate.
Another user talked about that the heart rate would be just fine for normal runs. He didn’t think it would do well if you and to do interval type work where your heart rate would be going up and down a lot. So, I want to chime in here. This will not be a big deal to most of you unless you are super serious about heart rate training. If that is the case you really don’t want to consider a wrist based heart rate monitor anyways as it’s known to not be as accurate as a heart rate strap. If that is the case you really need to look at the 630 or 920xt garmin watch.
As for the watch display, some of the people liked how big it was so they could see it easy where as others didn’t. I guess it will depend on what you want out of it and your eye site.
The forerunner 235 was meant to be an upgrade from the forerunner 225 running watch. In many ways it surely is and has some awesome features. You need to be mindful about the heart rate tracking accuracy. If you really want accuracy and you really like all the extra features the garmin forerunner 235 has to offer then but the extra heart rate strap so you will really be happy with the purchase and have a more accurate measure.