Garmin Forerunner 35 Review: Best Running Watch on a Budget

Garmin Forerunner 35 Review: Best Running Watch on a Budget

If you're a casual runner in need of a reliable and compact watch, look no further than the Garmin Forerunner 35. This GPS running watch comes equipped with features like fitness trackers, heart rate tracker, a variety of sensors, and a reliable battery. What's more, you can get it at a bargain price.

In this review, we'll tell you why the Forerunner 35 is a perfect running watch on a budget for various users. Whether you're a fitness professional or you like to have long walks, this watch could be the ideal choice for you.

Garmin Forerunner 35 Review


While many people want their watches to be uniquely designed, they're looking for simplicity in fitness trackers and smartwatches. 

The Forerunner 35 model is a square-shaped watch with a small black and white screen and four buttons. Its design is slightly less attractive than the competition, but it can be overlooked when considering its useful features and price tag.


Due to its small resolution and sharp contrast, the screen provides good visibility even in changing light conditions. The screen itself is a 0.93-inch monochrome LCD without touch screen options. Rest assured, the numbers and letters are big enough to see in every situation.


The Forerunner 35 comes with four side buttons that are more than enough to guide you through the menu while running, walking, or cycling. For some users, they're a bit too small and hard to press while running. 

On the other hand, with small buttons, the watch has clean, minimalistic lines that complement its functionality. The whole watch is also packed so that it's fully waterproof, so you don't have to worry about running on the beach or biking in heavy rain.


You'll notice several different sensors that collect the data while you're active on the watch case. The green sensors check your heart rate, and they're precise enough even without a chest strap. The watch also comes with a built-in GPS and accelerometer to monitor all your movements.

Battery Life

Due to its black and white screen, the Garmin Forerunner 35 outperforms most of its competition in battery life. In watch mode, the battery lasts for two weeks without any problems.

On the other hand, while tracking and smart notifications, it can last more than 12 hours with a single charge. Its always-on screen is ideal for fitness-focused runners who want to know their stats while running without moving their hands more than necessary. 

Moreover, it's also useful for long-distance runners to keep track of their pace, speed, and heart rate.

Workout Modes

Garmin digital sports watches come with several different workout modes to choose from:

  • Outdoor Running
  • Indoor Running
  • Cycling
  • Walking
  • Cardio

Regardless of the mode, you can set intervals and rest times for every training session, creating a well-balanced training routine that will help you get back into shape in no time. 

When you're outside, your watch can tell you if you're going faster than usual or you're a bit behind. These options come in handy if you're getting ready for a marathon or just trying to beat your own personal best records.

The Garmin watch can track your whole training for indoor exercise fans without GPS navigation, leaving your battery intact. That's why almost every Garmin Forerunner 35 review names it as one of the best home exercise accessories.

Garmin Forerunner 35 Review: Best Running Watch on a Budget

All-Day Activity Tracking

Due to its small size, the Forerunner 35 comes with a small GPS antenna that's sometimes less accurate than expected. However, this is more than enough for recreational running as it doesn't create a significant difference in the final mileage. Make sure you have the GPS and the app on before you start and enjoy your activity.

While you're running, you can set a pacer to track how fast you run and how many steps you take per minute. Moreover, the 35 also learns from your running data and interprets your scores to improve them in the future.


All Garmin watches work well with both iOS and Android platforms. Once you get your watch and set it up, make sure you download the Garmin Connect app to sync all the data from it. The app has a simple design where you can access:

  • Average speed
  • Maximum speed
  • Heart rate
  • Maximum heart rate
  • Elevation
  • Calories
  • Goal progress
  • Distance traveled
  • Sleep stats

That way, you can analyze all the data to know how fast you're advancing towards your weekly, monthly, or yearly goals. 

For all the Strava fans, you can even upload your track data from your Garmin watch directly to your Strava account and share it with other runners in your community. However, this device doesn't allow the installation of apps from the Garmin IQ app store.

The Forerunner 35 will also show you all notifications from the phone it's connected to. However, it's unable to respond to any of them. Many runners like this watch since they would lose focus if they were interacting with people while running. But this way, they're only notified.


The Garmin Forerunner 35 Australia is a simple watch that launched with a $200 price tag. With the introduction of newer models, its price dropped significantly. Today, this is the perfect watch on a budget.

The Final Verdict 

The Garmin Forerunner 35 line was one of the pioneers in making compact smartwatches with GPS navigation, and Forerunner 35 offers the best balance when it comes to the price and its features. It collects an incredible amount of data to ensure the development of any athlete's abilities and continuous training routines.

With features like built-in GPS, heart rate sensor, great always-on display, and long battery life, this watch will track you throughout every sports activity during the week. It also allows you to create interval training and follow your progress every day. 

With minor downsides like a colorless screen or its inability to track swimming sessions, you're still getting fantastic support in sports activities for a fair price.

Overall, it's a compact watch packed with various sensors and a battery that can sustain heavy tracking activities for hours and light exercises for a whole week.

If the Garmin Forerunner 35 is the smartwatch for you, you can find it on Amazon here.