Garmin Forerunner 235 Review: Top-End GPS Watch With Heart Rate

Editor rating

4.5/5 on July 29, 2017

User's rating

1,300 reviews


  1. Elevate - Wrist-based heart rate technology
  2. GPS and GLONASS based position locator
  3. Advanced workouts and laps
  4. Connect IQ - Store of watch faces, apps and widgets


  1. Heart rate might not be accurate for some interval workouts
  2. Garmin Connect app is not intuitive


Have you been seeking for the best-value and full-featured gps watch that would add a new life to your fitness activities? Garmin Forerunner 235 is one of the best smartwatches with almost nothing to dislike.

A running companion can make a noticeable difference for fitness lovers. Garmin Forerunner 235 is the wearable that holds pretty much all the features to be called a good gps watch.

Finding a best-value fitness wearable can be very confusing. What do you mainly need? An activity tracker, a heart rate monitor or a sleep monitor with smartphone connectivity features at the most.

The smartwatch we are talking about, Garmin Forerunner 235, hardware-wise supports all of them in one device. You also need to know about their advanced workout trackings, as we have shared throughout this post.

Scroll, read the rest of the review and you could possibly get tempted to make it yours.

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Garmin Forerunner 235 has not made any significant change in its design from the predecessor. The shape of the watch is round and looks more like a traditional timepiece over a gps smartwatch.

It is 4.5cm in width and height with a depth a 1.17cm. The weight of the device is only 42g which makes it ultimately the thinner and lighter one than others. You can simply put it on and you will forget if you were wearing something.

1.23-inches size and 215 x 180 pixels of the touchscreen is not the best of all but it simply displays everything really well. Thanks to the transflective display technology, which makes it possible to read the screen under bright daylight.

Forerunner 235 is available in 3 different colors in total. They are Black/Gray, Frost Blue and Marsala. All of these colors look professional and suitable for mature people.

[Click on images below will take you to the official variant on Amazon]

Garmin Forerunner 235 Black/GrayGarmin Forerunner 235 Frost Blue

Garmin Forerunner 235 Marsala


1. Built-in GPS: Garmin Forerunner 235 utilizes GPS and GLONASS satellites for locating position. Some metrics like distance, speed are measured using these satellities so the given results are pretty much accurate.

2. Wrist-based Heart Rate Monitor: Garmin has used Elevate Technology to measure heart rate for 24/7 without any extra strap. LED based sensor has been used under the watch that calculates the heart rate and displays it on its colorful gauge.

3. Activity & Sleep Tracking: This watch covers the typical activity tracking metrics like counting steps, burned calories, distance and it, additionally, has sleep monitoring to track total sleep and movement. There is one important feature, Move Bar, which will fill up for inactivity. You need to walk a couple of minutes to reset it.

4. Audio Prompts: Distraction is something that most of the athletes would not appreciate. To reduce the distraction in activities, Forerunner 235 has audio prompts that will speak up to inform you about the stats.

5. Advanced Workouts: Many useful and advanced workouts are included in this watch. Some of these are Auto Pause, Auto Lap, Manual Lap, LiveTrack and more. Since this product is labeled as a running watch, there is some hardcore running features like Run Profiles, Real Time Steps, Psychological Measurements, Race Predictor and more.

6. VO2 Max: Rarely found in fitness trackers, VO2 Max Metrics in this watch lets you estimate how much oxygen your body can use. The optical heart rate sensor is used in this metrics and a normal person will have a score in 40s. The higher the score, the better you are.

7. Smart Notifications: Smartphone connectivity is one of the successful attempts to keep users updated on the go with the notifications that come to one’s phone. This running watch will also keep you notified for emails, text messages, calls, reminder, social media and more right over the wrist.

8. Connect IQ: Connect IQ is the official store of Garmin that features many different downloadable watch faces, apps, widgets and data fields to enhance your smartwatch experience. Not all watches from Garmin but Forerunner 235 supports Connects IQ.

Battery & Synchronization

Undoubtedly Garmin Forerunner 235 has got a decent lithium-ion battery. It can go up to 11 hours on GPS Mode meaning that you can monitor GPS connected activities for 11 consecutive hours on one full charge.

In another case, if you use this watch in Smart Mode like activity tracking, watch, heart rate or smartwatch notifier, the battery can last as long as 9 days. Even though everything is dependable on the way it is used.

This watch wirelessly syncs with the smartphone you keep and it can locally store up to 200 hours of activity data before they are synced. It is compatible with Android, iOS and Windows Phone having a minimum of Bluetooth 4.0.

Why Forerunner 235 is Better than Forerunner 230 and Forerunner 35

If you look deep down into the watch, you will encounter with two other watches coming under the same name. So the question will tickle in your mind why you should take this and why should not one of them.

The following blocks of information are what you need to compare them at one place.

Built-in GPS

Activity Tracker

Sleep Monitor

Connected Features

Wrist-based Heart Rate

Color Display

Advanced Workouts

Connect IQ

Forerunner 35

Forerunner 230

Forerunner 235

Note that Worth: Can the Garmin Forerunner 235 be the Perfect One?

First things first, Garmin is one of the big names in activity tracker’s category that can be lined with Fitbit and Misfit. They had been creating excellent products from 1989 and the watch we are talking, Garmin Forerunner 235, got selected for “Amazon’s Choice”.

Coming to this specific watch, it is a well-balanced gps watch for all the health and fitness enthusiasts that back to back features GPS and GLONASS Satellites for locations, Elevate Wrist Heart Rate Technology, Activity + Sleep Tracking, VO2 Max and more amazings as we’ve shared.

The built quality is good with 5 ATM waterproof rating, the design of the watch is classic and packs a long list of features. So comparing among look, features and performance, all we can say is that it is good value for money.

Besides ups, everything has their down sides. But what we have found for the Garmin Forerunner 235 is totally neglectable, like the Garmin Connect app is somewhat confusing and misreading of heart rate in some interval exercises.

Don’t believe our review, check what others are saying about it on Amazon.