Garmin Forerunner 235 Review: The Perfect Watch for Serious Runners

Garmin Forerunner 235 Review: The Perfect Watch for Serious Runners

Everyone who takes sports seriously knows about Garmin watches. Over the years, they made a name by launching high-quality products.

The Forerunner line started in 2003, and since then, they’ve transformed their watches into powerful sports tools – and the Forerunner 235 is just one of them.

In this review, we’ll show that it’s more than a simple race tracker packed with future-proof tech and outline its main features and functionality.

Garmin Forerunner 235 Review

Garmin Design

Sport watches usually focus on durability and functionality rather than style. However, Garmin proved that its watches could have a streamlined sports design and all the modern features an athlete needs. It weighs just 42 grams due to its plastic watch box and straps.

It has a color screen, a strong silicone strap in three color combinations: Forerunner 235 black and blue, a classic black and red, and black and gray.

It has perforated straps to reduce sweating, allowing you to wear the watch for hours. This is a great feature, as you’ll need to analyze the data once the race or training has finished. On the sides, you have several highly responsive buttons that work well even when you’re running.

Battery Life

When the Forerunner 235 is fully charged and keeping track of all your activities, it’s battery life can last for almost 11 hours. But it won’t need a recharge for up to nine days if you have it in simple watch mode. It copes well with marathon runs or a whole week of sports activities.

As every Garmin watch comes with a unique charging cable, if you forget yours, you won’t be able to find a replacement. To prevent this from happening, you’ll have to carry your cable with you at all times.

Heart Rate

The Forerunner 235 was one of the first watches to use an optical heart rate sensor. It can also connect with ANT chest straps to collect even more precise data while you’re active. Furthermore, its continuous heart rate monitoring is one of the best on the market as it can spot potential colds or exhaustion from long training sessions. With direct access to your highest and lowest heart rate and RHR values, you’ll have all the necessary support for your health.

Sleep Tracker

Believe it or not, rest plays a significant role in your sports activities. The Forerunner 235 offers you an insight on the time you fell asleep, the quality of sleep, and its duration.

The sleep tracker is probably not one of its most vital points, as it can’t accurately know whether you’re asleep or not. However, it can give you an excellent timeframe to know how much sleep you need to feel rested.

VO2 Max Estimate

Garmin’s powerful optical sensor offers an insight into the maximum oxygen you’ll use as a part of the VO2 Max analysis. It also provides you with valuable information about your readiness to train and the progress you’re making. However, have in mind that this data is not error-free, but you can always use it as a reference point to assess your advancement and endurance.

Activity Tracking

Sports watches initially served to runners and cyclists to track their speed, track length, and pace. That’s why Garmin Forerunner 235 au has four modes:

  • Running
  • Running Indoor
  • Cycling
  • Other

There’s a way to customize your display for every mode and view only the information you need.

Garmin Forerunner 235 Review: The Perfect Watch for Serious Runners


When you’re running outdoors, GPS tracks your path and gives you info about your pace, calories burnt, heart rate, and distance. Every Garmin Forerunner 235 memory can store more than 200 hours of various activities accessible through the Garmin Connect app. In case you don’t remember what your running path was or how many laps you’ve completed, the watch will keep track of it for you.

Training Calendar

Sometimes it’s easier to have all your training activities planned than to decide to go for a last-minute run. Watches like the Forerunner 235 can sync with your calendar and show everything from when you should train, how to start and finish, and what’s your average warm up time.

It works well with Android and iOS, but for the most part, users feel that the iPhone has a more stable connection.

Step Counter

Step Trackers are now a part of every device that we use for sports, and every smartphone has a built-in accelerometer to show us how many steps we’ve made each day. Garmin watches were made to follow your activity and create sets of patterns to encourage you even more. 

Some Garmin users increase their activities when competing with others, and that’s where Garmin boards with members competing for the best score work as a strong incentive.

Smart Notifications

Among many features that the Forerunner 235 offers are smart notifications for your phone’s apps like email, messages, social media notifications, calls, and many more. If you’re running with your phone, you can listen to music, audiobooks, or podcasts, use your smartwatch to play it, pause it, or change the tune.

Besides all the features we mentioned, the Garmin Forerunner 235 comes with an alarm clock, stopwatch, weather app, calorie counter, inactivity bar, heart rate sensor and a useful phone-locator option.

They’re almost considered standard equipment – except for the inactivity bar, which many think is quite useful. Once you see how much time you’ve spent sitting or lying down, you’ll feel the need to motivate yourself in any way possible.

The Bottom Line

Garmin is a brand know for great sports equipment, and its watches for their durability and quality. Each model is an excellent accessory for amateur or semi-professional runners that require constants insights into their results while following the progress they’ve made.

Overall, the Garmin Forerunner 235 is a solid smartwatch that had its rightful place on the market as it’s good a mix of functionality and design. It can stand the test of time with features that provide sportspeople with unparalleled reliability in their training and competing.

Regardless of the competition or this model’s age, it’s still a tremendous tool to track your pace, heart rate, and keep you up to date with everything that’s happening on your phone. In this respect, the Forerunner 235 sports watch is highly recommended for anyone that needs a reliable watch that will undoubtedly attract a lot of attention.

If you're convinced that this is the smartwatch for you, you can pick one up on Amazon.