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The Garmin Forerunner 35 is a sub-$200 GPS running watch, making it a significantly cheaper option than high-over Garmin running watches like the Forerunner 630 & the Forerunner 235.

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But don"t let that price make you think you"re getting shortchanged here. This is still a running companion that"s crammed with features, including an optical heart rate sensor, smart notification tư vấn, activity tracking & plenty of battery life lớn boot.

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You vì have lớn live without some of the more comprehensive running metrics you"d get with Garmin"s pricier watches, but it caters for beginner and experienced runners who are happy to lớn keep things simple.

We"ve sầu been putting the Forerunner 35 through its paces, on the treadmill, out for training runs và in race mode lớn see if it"s up to lớn the task. Here"s our extensive verdict.

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Garmin Forerunner 35: Design


If anything screams budget on the Forerunner 35, it"s the thiết kế. Garmin has shown with our Fitness Tracker of the Year, the Vivosmart HR Plus, and its Fenix 3 collection that it is capable of making a good-looking wearable. Unfortunately, that"s not something you can really say about the 35.

It"s the ugly duckling of the Forerunner family, and undeniably a sports watch with its small, square plastic case và thichồng blaông chồng bezel surrounding a not-so-super-sharp 128 x 128 resolution monochrome screen. There"s no touchscreen here, although it"s still a haven for fingerprint smudges. If you rethành viên what the first generation Garmin Vivoactive sầu looks like, that"s pretty much what you"ve sầu got here.

Garmin does try to lớn add a bit of colour, offering a choice of blaông chồng, blue, green or White watch straps. Our xanh strap was light and comfortable lớn wear & didn"t press too tightly against the skin as some sport bands can; it"s the kind of strap we"re accustomed to lớn seeing on Garmin watches.

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Aside from our obvious distaste for the 35"s look, it is at least very easy lớn operate. There are four physical buttons in total surrounding the watch face. The one in the top left corner is dedicated khổng lồ a backlight, which can be customised so that it"ll turn on for certain tracking modes. Holding it down will also turn the watch off lớn help conserve battery life. Below that is the baông xã button, which navigates you out of menus but also leads lớn a screen where you can view tracking history and milestones, adjust settings and mix up alarms.

The top right button is your route lớn the multiple tracking modes. Here you"ll find dedicated modes for cardio, walking, outdoor running, indoor running & cycling. Completing the cài đặt is the navigation button that takes you through additional thực đơn screens where you can check in on resting heart rate, notifications, step counts, calorie burn, active minutes, last workout data & the weather. This button also doubles as a means to control music playbaông chồng, a first for Garmin watches. That means you can skip tracks và play/pause music without reaching for your phone.

Around the baông xã is where you"ll find Garmin"s proprietary Elevate optical heart rate sensor, delivering continuous readings throughout the day and night as well as during training sessions. It"s also been slapped with a 5ATM certified waterproofing rating, which means you can take it for a dip in the pool up khổng lồ 50 metres. It just won"t trachồng swimming sessions lượt thích the Fenix 3 or the Vivoactive HR.

Garmin Forerunner 35: Running features


While the Forerunner 35 can traông xã cycling (you can pair with footpad & cadence sensors) and cardio sessions, it"s geared towards running & that"s what we focused our testing on.

There is of course built-in GPS, although it lacks the GLONASS support included on higher-kết thúc Forerunner watches. That might be partly why we didn"t enjoy the kind of super speedy signal pick-ups in both open và built-up running surroundings that we enjoyed on something like the Forerunner 630.

While you"re missing out on the advanced running metrics recently introduced lớn the Forerunner range (stride length, vertical ratio, vertical oscillation), there"s still plenty on board to lớn keep most runners satisfied. In running mode, there are two data screens you can switch between, along with checking in on the actual time. Split into three segments you can view distance, time and pace on the first screen while the second screen displays heart rate zone, current heart rate & calories burned.

Before jumping into tracking mode, there"s an option thực đơn where you can customise run modes to lớn introduce virtual pacer or interval training into your session. You can also set up alerts based around hitting certain distances or heart rate zones, adjust the way data fields are displayed và swap in pace or speed metrics. Once your run is completed và you"ve saved the session, there"s a nice breakdown of your run including details on heart rate zone, cadence, steps, & average pace per laps. On a lot of running watches you"d need to lớn go khổng lồ the companion app to see such a comprehensive sầu breakdown of a session.


GPS accuracy test: Garmin Forerunner 35 (left and centre) và TomTom Spark 3 (right)

As far as accuracy is concerned, we were happy with what the Forerunner 35 served up as far as GPS distance tracking goes, although as mentioned it did on occasion take more than a couple of minutes lớn lochồng onto lớn a signal. The screenshots above sầu show how it fared against the TomTom Spark 3 GPS running watch in a 10 mile race.

For indoor tracking, the Forerunner 35 relies on the built-in accelerometer to measure distance. It"s nowhere near as reliable as GPS và, much as we"ve found with other running watches that rely on this method, it can be hit and miss when it comes to lớn accuracy.

Garmin Forerunner 35: HR accuracy


Optical heart monitoring is something that Garmin has thrown inkhổng lồ the mix recently, with the Forerunner 235 và Vivosmart HR+ amuốn the first two devices to benefit from the company"s proprietary Elevate heart rate sensor công nghệ.

Its uses are twofold on the Forerunner 35. The first is lớn relay information about your average resting heart rate và real time bpm readings. From the watch, a graph will display readings from the last four hours. This feeds inlớn your activity tracking data khổng lồ give you a more comprehensive view of your daily health.

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It also forms part of the run tracking, where you can view heart rate average và the heart rate zones you"ve sầu spent the most time in during a session. We didn"t have the most positive sầu experience using the giải pháp công nghệ on the Forerunner 235 và the Vivosmart HR Plus & it"s a similar story with the 35 when you delve inkhổng lồ high intensity training territory.


HR accuracy: Garmin Forerunner 35 (left) và TomTom Spark 3 (centre & right)

In our 10 mile race (above), where our pace was steady & consistent, there was a 1-2 bpm difference between average heart rate readings and maximum heart rate readings recorded in comparison lớn the TomTom Spark 3, a wrist-based optical heart rate sensor we"ve sầu come lớn rely on for accuracy.


HR accuracy: Garmin Forerunner 35 (left) và Polar H7 (centre và right)

When we put things lớn the demo on a treadmill with the Polar H7 chest strap and introduced some interval running, the Forerunner 35 initially records quite erratic readings before it settles down and becomes more consistent. While HR average seems consistent, there"s a great disparity with maximum HR. It"s something we"ve sầu found with other optical heart rate monitors where so many factors can impact on delivering reliable readings.

Garmin Forerunner 35: Activity tracking


If you"ve sầu read any of our most recent Garmin Reviews then you"ll know we"re big fans of the company"s approach to lớn activity tracking. It"s not just about what you can traông xã, but how the tracking data is used to lớn keep you motivated to lớn stay active sầu.

You still get the Vivosmart và Vivofit-inspired features lượt thích the Move sầu Bar, which builds up on the main watch screen và will flash up a message to lớn get moving when you"ve been inactive for long periods. The bottom-right physical button lets you scroll to lớn an additional screen where you can view step count and the adjusted target step count. You also get the same automatic sleep tracking, which serves up the kind of data that"s not too dissimilar to that found on a Fitbit.

Putting it through its paces alongside the Fitbit Flex 2 & the TomTom Spark 3, we were more than satisfied with the data. It"s the motivating features that really win it for us though.

Garmin Forerunner 35: Notifications


Garmin has done a similarly good job of building smartwatch features into lớn its running watches so far, and the trover continues with the Forerunner 35 & its notification support.

From the Garmin Connect phầm mềm, you can customise how these work, letting you turn them on or off during an activity and setting whether you receive sầu a vibration alert or the notification simply pops up on the watch screen. It works with third-buổi tiệc nhỏ apps, streaming them to your watch where you can exp& lớn read và clear khổng lồ delete them once you"re done reading them. You can"t respond to lớn notifications, but when a phone Call comes through you can choose to accept or reject from the watch.

Additional smartwatch-esque features include the ability to view weather and music control playback but what you vày miss out on is Connect IQ support. That means that unlike the Fenix 3 or Vivoactive HR, you can"t add additional data fields, apps or watch faces from the dedicated tiện ích store baked inkhổng lồ the Garmin Connect ứng dụng. Garmin does let you switch between a single analogue & digital face but that"s your lot.

Crucially, the smartwatch experience is solid and reliable. Notifications stream in và it"s easy lớn khuyễn mãi giảm giá with them from the watch. If you want a running watch with smartwatch features, it delivers well on that front.

Garmin Forerunner 35: App


When you"ve logged your run or workout và you need lớn dig further inkhổng lồ that data, Garmin Connect is where you head. Not a lot has changed in terms of our experience with Connect. The iOS, Android and Windows friendly điện thoại thông minh app is consistent across platforms, but it remains one of the most overwhelming apps lớn get to grips with.


We can"t fault Garmin for what it is on offer here. There"s great third-party app tư vấn for the likes of Strava và Apple Health, the ability to lớn drill inkhổng lồ different activities with plenty of additional metrics and graphs for a runner to get their teeth inkhổng lồ that you can"t view from the watch itself.

Sometimes less is more though, & that"s something Garmin should take on board. While it"s great lớn be able to delve into lớn what seems like endless settings, we"re still finding ourselves searching around for things that should be so much easier to find.

Garmin Forerunner 35: Battery life

We"ve always been pretty pleased by the kind of battery life Garmin"s running watches deliver and it"s a similar story with the Forerunner 35.

Garmin claims you should get nine days of battery life in non-GPS mode và 13 hours of tracked running. The Forerunner 235 offers 11 hours of tracked training và nine days when using all of the features to the max, to put that into perspective sầu. In our testing, we were more than happy with the 35"s staying power.

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No doubt the decision to lớn opt for a very basic monochrome display plays its part, but even without entirely turning off the watch it can comfortably make it through those nine days.

GPS battery performance is on the money as well. It"s going to be enough for a week"s worth of solid running. If you reduce features lượt thích notifications & continuous heart rate monitoring, you can expect non-GPS mode lớn push closer lớn a couple of weeks.