Release date: March 2017
Sports: Triathlon (primary) / Golf, Cardio, Others
Category: 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® 935 Top Reviews
|DC Rainmaker II||Positive||Video||Comprehensive|
|Gadgets & Wearables||85||Article||Standard|
Below is a summary of the key features discussed by sports tech experts in their reviews of the Garmin Forerunner 935.
The FR 935 is, at the time of writing this Metareview, Garmin’s most recent high-end, multi-sport, GPS watch. As a result when analyzing its price, design, functionalities and performance you should compare it with models within the same category and price range like the Garmin Fenix 5 series or the Suunto Spartan.
In addition, older models within the same category range, in this case the Garmin Forerunner 920XT, 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.
Also, you may want to check the Garmin 735XT which also has triathlon capabilities and is only one year older. It comes with a lower price tag at the expense of some reduced functionalities relative to the new FR935.
What Reviewers are saying…
The design of the Garmin FR 935 clearly relates to the most recent models of the Forerunner family like the FR 735XT and the 235XT. It is the first top of the range Forerunner watch which has a round form, unlike its rectangular predecessor the FR 920XT.
Many reviewers have remarked its limited weight and size relative to the Fenix 5. As both watches present a very similar (high) level of functionality, the difference in size and weight is for many a strong advantage for the FR 935.
At 49 grams, the 935 is 8 grams heavier than the 735XT, but 36 grams lighter than the rugged fenix 5. The 935 is 47 mm round and 13.9 mm thick — two millimeters wider and thicker than the 735XT, yet it’s 1.6 millimeters thinner than the Fenix 5. From the outside it’s difficult to believe that the Forerunner 935 features a built-in optical heart rate monitor, barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, and thermometer. Or that it connects to smartphones via Bluetooth, external sensors via ANT+, and networks via Wi-Fi, because it doesn’t look big and bulky enough to hold all that tech.
The Garmin Forerunner 935 is much more than a triathlon watch. Although most users will use for running, cycling and swimming, it supports a long list of sports: Running, Trail Running, Treadmill Runnning, Indoor Track, Hiking, Climbing, Walking, Cycling, Bike Indoor, Mountain bike, Open Water Swimming, Pool Swimming,Triathlon Mode, Swimrun, Ski, Snowboard, XC Ski, Stand Up Paddleboard, Row, Row Indoor, Golf, Golf TruSwing, Strength, Cardio, Jumpmaster, Tactical and Other. Availability of all these extra sports may be meaningless for most potential buyers but for some who for instance use golf dedicated watches, the 935 is a great all in one option.
Functionality for each sport mode is essentially the same: you select a sport and then you can customize almost unlimited pages with up to four data fields in each of page. The difference is that the available metrics for each sport will be different. The list of available metrics is incredibly extensive and can be found in the manual. Also, you can download a lot more additional data fields from Garmin Connect IQ (including Strava Suffer Score) or add some predefined data pages provided by Garmin (Virtual Partner, Map, Compass, Elevation Graph, Music Controls, Running Dynamics and Heart Rate Zones).
Essentially, you can customize the living crap out of data fields and screens. No device on the market gives as much customization as this.
After training, and in addition to the standard summary analysis of the key metrics during the workout, the Forerunner 935 will provide you with some advanced information called Performance Measurements. These include: Training Status (aerobic and anaerobic), VO2 Max, Recovery Time, Training Load and Predicted Race Times.
The FR 935 can also perform some complex tests to estimate several conditioning measurements: HRV (heart rate variability) stress test, performance condition test, functional threshold power (FTP) test and lactate threshold analysis.
All of these features could be overwhelming even for data-loving athletes, but crucially Garmin presents it all in a way that makes it easy to absorb the information and understand what might be affecting positive or negative performances. It’s these kind of insights that runners will want, or maybe didn’t know they wanted, that can really help better optimise your training routine.
Additional capabilities include complete fitness tracker functionality, plus some smartwatch-like features.
The Forerunner 935 has all the daily fitness metrics covered as well. It tracks steps, calories burned, floors climbed, intensity minutes, distance travelled, sleep time and quality, and heart rate 24-7. When paired with a compatible smartphone via the Garmin Connect App, the watch is a full-featured smartwatch that can display smart notifications for calls, text messages, and calendar alerts, and it can display current weather as well. It can also control music on a connected phone, answer a call, help locate a lost phone, or even remotely control a Garmin Virb action camera.
Heart Rate Monitor
The optic, wrist-based, HR monitor is based on Garmin’s proprietary Elevate sensor, now in its 2.0 version.
What is clear here is that improvements [with regards to the wrist-based HRM] have been made. When the running terrain is pretty consistent the data is pretty in line with a chest strap. High intensity training though does still seem to be sticking point, and we’d still opt for a strap for the on the money data. But this is definitely a step in the right direction for Garmin.
Battery life is widely regarded as excellent. With GPS on and tracking an activity, it lasts up to 24 hours and 50 hours if the battery saver mode UltraTac is activated. According to Garmin, battery life can last as much as 14 days with smart notifications and daily activity tracking switched on, as long as there is no GPS activity.
Real life tests by reviewers show that the battery will last 9-10 days with regular training sessions (4-6 times a week).
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. Metaratings are 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.
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