Release date: October 2015
Sports: Running (primary) / Others (limited)
High-End / Mid-Tier / Budget
Metarating based on proprietary weighted average of all experts reviews listed in the table below. Scores: Bad (0-49) / Average (50-64) / Good (65-79) / Very Good (80-89) / Excellent (90-100). Methodology for Metarating calculation explained here.
Garmin Forerunner® 235 Top Reviews
Below is a summary of the key features discussed by sports tech experts in their reviews of the Garmin Forerunner 235.
The FR 235 is, at the time of writing this Metareview, Garmin’s most recent running watch within the “mid-tier” category. It is not a high-end running watch and neither is a budget watch. As a result when analyzing its price, functionalities and performance you should compare it with models within the same category and price range.
In addition, older models within the same category range, in this case the Garmin Forerunner 225, are likely to still be available for sale at a lower price. Even though older models come with less advanced hardware and software capabilities, they may be okay for your needs and design preferences. And the price differential may make up for the reduced functionality.
What Reviewers are saying…
A key point in most reviews is the fact that the Garmin 235 includes many functionalities which, before its release, were only found in high end GPS watches.
The FR 235 offers pace, distance, time and calories (of course) plus average heart rate, max heart rate, cadence and Training Effect (TE) and recovery time recommendations after workouts. For athletes looking for even more advanced metrics, check the Garmin 935.
Most metrics are accessible mid-run and you can tap the up or down button to control the metrics on screen, including a heart rate screen which shows your current heart rate zone.
Overall I think the FR230 & FR235 may be the best bang for your buck running-specific watches that Garmin has released to date
The look and feel of the watch was also positively analyzed in several reviews:
It’s really lightweight (just 42g) and good looking. The sports gadgets, until recently, have looked like mini bricks on your wrist. It looks smart enough to wear all day.
The wrist HR monitor, the larger screen size and the activity tracker functionality were welcome additions compared to previous similar models in the Garmin Garmin GPS watch range:
All-in-all the activity tracking is highly impressive and certainly one of the best we’ve seen from a dedicated running watch.
However several reviewers encountered issues with the optic HR monitor during specific types of activity:
The heart rate measurements aren’t perfect during hard and/or interval workouts. When testing, the (heart rate information) remained consistent (compared to data from a chest strap) during my first interval and through my first rest cycle. Starting with the second interval, however, the Forerunner 235 struggled to keep pace with the chest strap…but the benefits of the watch outweigh the cons by a mile.
We hope you will find useful having the top reviews on this GPS watch organized and accesible from a single post. Also we hope you like our proprietary calculation of the metarating for the watch based on a quality and relevance weighted average of all those reviews. If you want to support our work, simply buy the watch or any other goods you may need from Amazon through the links below.