Garmin Forerunner 35 SmartWatch Review

Garmin Forerunner 35 SmartWatch Review

In case you’re searching out a low-cost GPS watch to accompany you on runs and other outdoor adventures, the Garmin Forerunner 35 SmartWatch could be the ideal choice. It’s years old but has come down appreciably in fee on the grounds that its release, and now represents the superb price for money.

Certainly, its characteristic set makes it a robust competitor to greater high priced multisport watches along with the £one hundred eighty Garmin Vivo active three and the £143 polar m430. Garmin also gives the less expensive, greater primary Garmin Forerunner 35 SmartWatch –  however, the more functions of the Garmin Forerunner 35 SmartWatch are well really worth the greater £30.

You should know about

The forerunner 35 gives greater or less the entirety you’d need from a sports activities watch. It could music going for walks, cycling and on foot through GPS and there’s additionally a method for indoor pastime. Like all Garmin’s health wearables, it’ll additionally count number your steps, calories burned, “depth minutes” and distance traveled during the day. An optical coronary heart-fee reveal keeps tabs on your pulse both throughout the workout and at rest; wear it overnight and it’ll log a while spent in distinct sleep stages.

There’s also some expert going for walks capabilities that no longer all GPS-enabled trackers provide: you can set a virtual pacer and music your cadence (step count per minute) as you run. Pair it with your smartphone and the forerunner 35 offers notifications on your wrist, and syncs all of your fitness statistics to the Garmin join the app, in which you could spend hours poring over it.

One key advantage of the forerunner 35 over the forerunner 30 is that it helps external ant+ sensors. This indicates you may use it with a chest-strap coronary heart charge display, or with Garmin’s foot pod to as it should be music indoor exercises. The forerunner 30 has to depend upon its personal inner sensors, and it’s additionally confined to jogging, an assessment with the 35’s a couple of interest modes.

There’s simply one superb component the forerunner 35 is missing: even though it’s water-resistant to 50m, there’s no swimming mode.

Price and Competition
The Garmin forerunner 35 costs around £130 and its essential competition comes from Garmin’s very own £100 forerunner 30. As I’ve described, that is a greater primary model of the forerunner 35; it’s splendid for runners, however, it isn’t definitely useful for cycling or different sports activities.
The Garmin Vivo sport is every other choice with similar features, and a comparable price to the forerunner 35 – however the design is extra of a health band than watch. Then there’s the polar m430, at £143, an outstanding jogging watch with basic modes for swimming and cycling.

If you’re satisfied with the use of related GPS (wherein the watch gets its vicinity records from your phone), you would possibly additionally take into account the Fitbit Versa (£159) and Fitbit rate three – both fashionable alternatives with superb fitness tracking competencies.

Design and functions

Smartwatches, fitness trackers and sports activities watch come in a wide variety of sizes and styles. The Fitbit flex is sleek and tough, however, it is able to without difficulty be fallacious for a friendship bracelet. At the alternative give up of the dimensions, there’s the elegant apple watch four, which additionally consists of a generous 44mm display screen – in case you’re inclined to pay.

In this marketplace, the forerunner 35 is rather inside its very own category. It’s a completely basic searching device, however, I find this pretty agreeably understated – less is extra, as they are saying. The rectangular shape also sits well on the wrist, so it’s comfortable to put on. The front is taken up with the aid of a compact 23.5mm display; this is the handiest monochrome, however, it’s sharp enough to without a doubt display your incoming messages.

It additionally doesn’t assist contact, but that’s not a problem. Four buttons at the perimeters manage the numerous capabilities of the tool, and those make it very easy to reliably skim via alternatives whilst going for walks, strolling, or sitting at your desk writing. The top-left button turns the device on and rancid, and controls the backlight while pressed briefly, at the same time as the lower-left button takes you to settings and may be used as a lower back button. The decrease proper lets you scroll through alternatives or messages and controls music playback from your telephone.
A bit word in this: if you’re the usage of Spotify on an iPhone, you couldn’t use the forerunner 35 to skip tracks – it currently best works with apple song. If you’re on that platform, even though, it’s well responsive and works nicely on a run. In case you’re invested in Spotify, you’ll fall returned on the hands-unfastened abilities of your headphones.

Finally, the top right button takes you to the all-crucial exercising mode, where you can select among indoor and outdoor jogging, biking, strolling and cardio.

Probably my favorite issue of the forerunner 35 is its battery. That is an unhappy reflection on me, but I really like to put on an eye fixed with self-assurance that it’s not going to bail on me earlier than I get domestic. The forerunner 35 gave me a clean seven days on one rate, in which I averaged cardio exercises an afternoon, and went on several runs with GPS enabled. That consists of one respectable ten-mile run, lasting just over an hour, during which the battery indicator didn’t tick down by using a single notch.

It’s in particular incredible given that the display is always on. This is good for the fitness-targeted because it manner you don’t need to the motel to exaggerated moves even as working out to test the screen. With the forerunner 35, the statistics you want is handiest ever a look away.

There’s now not lots inside the way of smartwatch features, but notifications and messages came thru right away as soon as I obtained them on my phone. The handiest seize is that graphical characters all arise as query marks – so you realize when you’ve received a message containing emoji, however, you may inform which ones?.

You could also use the watch to reply or reject a name, despite the fact that since it has neither a speaker nor a mic, this option might be most effective handy while using fingers-free.

Activity and health tracking

The look and sense of the Garmin Forerunner 35 SmartWatch are likable sufficient, but in which it clearly comes into its own is pastime tracking. It offers 5 exercise modes, specifically cardio, indoor running, out of doors running, walking and cycling – the first of which work without GPS, to tune your health information with minimum impact on the battery. This makes the forerunner 35 specifically attractive to indoor athletes of every kind, from move trainers to weight lifters.

Whichever model you pick, the Garmin Forerunner 35 SmartWatch gives a remarkable form of education alternatives. You can easily set a digital pacer for strolling, for you to replace you with modifications in your running speed. A neat little alert comes up telling you if you’re ahead, on track or at the back of your pace – very reachable in case you’re aiming for a person-pleasant, or if you want to broaden a more steady running style.

I used to be also over the moon to peer interval education alternatives on all the sporting activities. You can without problems installation a series of intervals earlier than beginning your exercising, plus relaxation time – so you can create a nicely-coordinated HIIT workout proper out of your dwelling room.

The forerunner 35 makes an equally proper effect in terms of outside use. I frequently run via London to get to paintings, and as I weave among the tall buildings, some trackers – including the Samsung tools game – the battle to find an exact GPS signal. The forerunner 35 locked on in a rely of seconds on, then observed me quite correctly throughout London. It handiest dropped off at one point after I went underground through charing pass station, and I can hardly ever criticize it for that.

The forerunner 35 additionally gives you an on hand cadence readout and even learns from your strolling style to provide more accurate outcomes whilst you’re on the treadmill or in any other case out of GPS insurance. I haven’t been in a position to check this scientifically, however, I have observed it filling the gaps with distance and pace statistics, so Garmin appears to be onto something.

My single second of unhappiness with the forerunner 35 came when, at one point, the virtual pacer seemed slightly gradual to observe that I had extended my pace – which was a touch disheartening on a long-distance run. However, possibly I used to be simply getting worn-out and thought I was dashing up greater than I really became. The watch nevertheless tracked my 10-mile course very appropriately ordinary, recording the perfect distance and total time.

For park run lovers among you, the forerunner 35 tracked my woodhouse moor park run distance as 4.95km. That’s only 50m off, or 1%  which isn’t half of terrible. What’s more, I used to be running beneath a treeline for the duration of, and become surrounded by using runners, so the end result is even extra astounding. After I’d completed the watch seamlessly uploaded the records to my straw too, which you may connect from the Garmin join the app.

The continually-on coronary heart fee tracker is some other super feature, which makes it easy to file and compare your efforts. You could assessment common and stay coronary heart price records on the watch, or test it in greater detail inside the cellphone app. If you want to take matters in addition, the forerunner 35 can also connect with an outside heart price display via ant+.

The vo2-max readout is likewise an outstanding reachable characteristic for those wishing to expand their fitness, and on the quit of the day, the sleep analysis characteristic breaks down deep and mild sleep. I’ve as compared nights wherein I’d slept poorly in opposition to nights wherein I’d slept nicely, and the watch clearly appears to tell the distinction.

All of these statistics can be reviewed inside the Garmin connect app, for both android and ios. Statistics is mechanically transferred from the watch at regular intervals, or you could trigger an upload manually for instant analysis.

The app gives wonderfully special and clean presentations of the facts: the heart-price and velocity overlap graph, for example, is each cool and beneficial. In the photograph below you could see how the forerunner 35 has registered once I commenced doing my sprints habitual at my contemporary track class. Indeed, each the coronary heart-price and pace spikes are spot-on for the twenty 200m sprints we did, which is in particular extraordinary when I used the cardio feature instead of GPS for that workout.

There are only a few points wherein the forerunner 35 falls short. First of all, although it’s water-resistant, it lacks a proper swim-tracking function. You can report cardio statistics after which retrospectively categorize it as a swimming consultation inside the connect app, but it’d be excellent that it allows you to appearance down between lengths and notice how ways you’ve swum, or test your stroke charge.

The forerunner 35 additionally lacks a few capabilities we’ve seen in other newer trackers, just like the Vivo smart four’s frame battery and stress-level analysis. You might not want those functions, however in case you’re extreme approximately your standard well-being then they’re satisfactory to have.


I stated in advance that the forerunner 35 is a sports activities watch in which less is more, and that’s a very good summary of what you get: less cost, and less faff, with more features. It addresses all the key wishes of a runner or schooling athlete, captures an impressive amount of health information and makes it very easy to study and examine your workout routines within the app.

What’s extra, a guide for ant+ sensors offers you the choice to go for optimum accuracy – and the potential to test messages and notifications is a top-notch bonus. The titanic battery lifestyles, meanwhile, the method it received not permit you to down inside the center of a half of-marathon.

For these kinds of reasons, the Garmin Forerunner 35 SmartWatch was a pretty tempting proposition whilst it launched lower back in 2016 at £one hundred seventy. Now, at nearly £50 less, it’s almost impossible to resist.


  • Reasonably-priced
  • Extraordinary GPS tracking
  • Long battery existence
  • Helps ant+ sensors


  • No swim monitoring
  •  Lacks more modern features which include pressure tracking


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