Garmin Forerunner 35

Garmin Forerunner 35
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 4.5 stars
£140 to £169
  • 90%

  • Garmin Forerunner 35
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: 20th January 2017
  • Heart Rate Monitor functions
    Editor: 85%
  • Heart Rate Accuracy
    Editor: 95%
  • Activity Tracking features
    Editor: 90%
  • Running functions
    Editor: 90%
  • Cycling functions
    Editor: 70%
  • Fitness monitoring features
    Editor: 80%
  • Ease of Use
    Editor: 90%
  • Battery Life
    Editor: 90%

The Garmin Forerunner 35 is the PERFECT watch for anyone who runs for fun / fitness but isn’t too worried about the more technical aspects of running like VO2 Max and Predicted Finish times. If you are a competitive runner looking to measure technical metrics please consider the Forerunner 235 or even the FR630. As well as built-in GPS the FR35 features Garmin’s Elevate sensors acquiring heart rate directly from the wrist. It’s also a 24/7 activity tracker / sleep monitor with smartphone notification alerts and connectivity to Garmin Connect iOs & Android App. This review of the Garmin Forerunner 35 has been written by Tristan Haskins

Reviewed - the Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS Running Watch

Release Date (UK) > October 2016

Product it replaced > Basically a Forerunner 25 with off the wrist Heart Rate.

Suggested Retail Price (when new) > £169

Who’s it For?

In my opinion it’s a shame this Forerunner 35 model didn’t come out before the Forerunner 235. I’m certain there’s a lot of 235 owners who’d rather have this cleaner, smarter and slightly less technical runners watch. The 235 is undoubtedly a brilliant GPS running watch, however, for the majority of casual joggers and recreational runners it is a somewhat overly technical. The Forerunner 35 provides wrist based heart rate monitoring combining all the best features of the Forerunner 25 and Vivosmart HR+. A built-in GPS, off the wrist heart rate (Garmin Elevate) and a 24/7 activity tracker with sleep monitoring. For runners of all levels and abilities the Forerunner 35 offers all the expected features and functionality without going over the top. With the Forerunner 35 you’ll get autolaps, intervals, smartphone notifications, daily alarm, heart rate (5 x HR zones) and up to 13 hours of training time …

Quick Links – lowest prices

PLEASE use the links below to check for the lowest online prices of the Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS running watch.

Thank you for your valued support … Tristan

Forerunner 35 running watch available at AmazonForerunner 35 available at WiggleThe Garmin Forerunner 35 is available at John Lewis

If the range of Garmin Forerunner watches is confusing you, pop over to my guide to the Garmin Forerunner for more information on all the different models with the newest models first. The purpose of this guide is to ensure you get the latest and most appropriate Forerunner watch for your needs and budget.

Summary Features

  • Garmin Elevate – wrist based heart rate (no chest strap required)
  • 24/7 heart rate monitoring to show daily trends
  • Built-in GPS providing accurate feedback on how far, how fast and where you have exercised
  • Bluetooth Connectivity providing smartphone alerts and notifications, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect and music controls
  • Battery Life – expect over a week when used as a regular watch / activity tracker. In training mode (GPS & HRM turned on) the battery life is a commendable 13 hours. That’s 2 hours more than the FR235.
  • Live Tracking (allowing friends and family to keep a track of you on long runs/rides)
  • 24/7 activity tracking. The Forerunner 35 keeps track of  steps, calories and active time
  • Movebar with “time to move” reminders
  • Simple to use Interval Training tool. Warm up, Exercise phase, Recovery period, repeat x N then cool down. Each phase is set based on either time or distance
  • Heart Rate Broadcast. The FR35 can transmit your heart rate to another ANT+ device, eg the Garmin Edge on your handlebars.
  • The Forerunner 35 comes preloaded with sports profiles for outdoor running, indoor running, cycling and general cardio exercise.
  • User configurable training views. You can set the training metrics that you want to see for the different sport profiles.
  • Strava friendly. Connect the Garmin Connect web-service to your Strava for auto-upload of all your runs and rides to Strava.
  • Watch the videos

Next Model Up

If you are looking at the next model up then you are probably looking at shifting up from “recreational fun runner / running for health” to a “semi-competitive runner, looking forward to your next PB”. If so, then I’d recommend the Garmin Forerunner 235. Please take a peek at the Forerunner 35 versus 235 comparison table below. If you are taking it even more seriously and consider yourself to be a “full on competitive runner, less about fun, more about results” then I’d recommend the Garmin Forerunner 630 with advanced Running data feedback. Advanced running dynamics include ground contact time balance, stride length and vertical ratio …

Forerunner 235 VO2 Max, Recovery Advisor, Finish Time predictor & Garmin IQ App support (add widgets and apps)

Forerunner 630 Everything above found in the 235 plus Advanced Running Dynamics

Next Model Down

The next model down would be the Forerunner 25. The 25 does NOT have the colour screen. More importantly, for those of a moderately technical training inclination, it does not have Pace Alerts, Interval Training or Training Effect. Oddly though, the F25 DOES have Garmin’s Virtual Partner, allowing you to race against a previously completed route giving AHEAD or BEHIND feedback.

Forerunner 25 different style but very similar functionality. Heart rate acquired by traditional CHEST STRAP (ANT+)

Pros

  • Wrist based heart rate
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Clear display with large format digits
  • Built-in GPS for accurate speed, distance & pace
  • Modern, clean stying
  • 24/7 activity tracker counting steps, calories and distance
  • All day heart rate monitoring option (every 4 minutes sample rate)
  • Cons

  • VERY LITTLE to criticise ....
  • No floors climbed feedback
  • Confused? Which Garmin Forerunner is for YOU?

    Are you confused by the number Garmin Forerunners available? Don’t worry, so were we. Not surprising with over 15 models in this popular GPS running watch. To help us and you we published this summary review of ALL the Forerunners which lists the main differences between all the models from the original Forerunner 101 in 2003 to the very latest products.

    Alternatives from Competitors

    The closest alternatives to this Forerunner 35 are the TomTom Spark 3 and the Polar M200. Both include built-in GPS, wrist based heart rate and 24/7 activity tracking. If you like to listen to music when you train, the TomTom features an internal memory with the capacity to store over 500 songs and connect to wireless Bluetooth headphones. Plus, route explore, letting you follow the breadcrumb trail of a new route. The Polar M200 provides more Training Benefit feedback and gives Running Index score to help you progress.

    TomTom Spark 3 Also called the Runner 3 with built-in music store for 500 songs !

    Polar M200 Very similar to the FR35 with wrist based HR, internal GPS, designed specifically with runners in mind.

    Wearable Tech alternatives

    If you’re in to your wearable technology then Android users may want to consider the Polar M600, powered by Android Wear or for users of iPhone the Apple Watch 2 Nike+. Both these watches feature built-in GPS, are swim proof, have wrist based heart rate and can store music on their internal memory for playback via Bluetooth headphones.

    Polar M600 Android Wear connected smartwatch, supports Strava application

    Apple Watch Nike+ iPhone connected smartwatch comes with Nike+ Run Club pre-installed

    Compare the Features of the Forerunner 25 /35 and 235

    The table below shows the main differences between the Garmin Forerunner 25, 35 and 235. As you can see from this table the main difference, cosmetics aside, between the Forerunner 25 and 35 is the WRIST BASED heart rate found on the 35 compared to chest strap acquired HR of the Forerunner 25. the key differences between the Forerunner 35 and the 235, again, aesthetics aside, are 1) Colour Display [235], VO2 Max Estimate [235], Recovery Advisor [235], Race Finish Time Predictor [235], Real time Pace Alert [235] and support of the Garmin IQ app store [235]

    Garmin Forerunner 25, 35 and 235 comparison table

    >> TOP of Review

    GPS Speed, Distance, Altitude & Heart Rate

    Uploading the training session to Garmin Connect via either the USB cable (Windows PC or Mac) or Bluetooth connection to smartphone gives access to invaluable training data. Everything from essential speed, distance and average heart rate to elevation gain and calories burnt. The image below shows the route and training metrics from a 15 mile bike ride. The raw training data can be found here on my Garmin Connect page.

    Garmin Connect gives invaluable training feedback for every session

    >> TOP of Review

    Product Colours and Variations

    This brilliant, easy to use GPS running watch is available in 4 colours.

    • Black – Garmin Part Number: 010-01689-10
    • White – Garmin Part Number: 010-01689-13
    • Frost Blue (teal?) – Garmin Part Number: 010-01689-12
    • Limelight (green?) – Garmin Part Number: 010-01689-11

    Garmin Forerunner BLACK 35 Part Number 010-01689-10Garmin Forerunner 35 with wrist based heart rate and USB charging port on rear of watch

    >> TOP of Review

    Garmin Forerunner 35 - Limelight Green Part Number 010-01689-11Garmin Forerunner 35 White Part Number 010-01689-13

    >> TOP of Review

    Video Presentations

    These are Garmin’s own video presentations for the Forerunner 35. They’re a bit over produced but until I have time to make my own video review they are good enough. This first one is the best overview of the main features and functions that show why this is such a great GPS running watch.

    Short Advertorial Video – 35 seconds

    Get ready to take your running to the next level with Forerunner 35, the easy-to-use GPS running watch with wrist-heart rate technology

    Smartphone Connection

    When connected to your smartphone you’ll have access to smart notifications, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect and more. Watch this video to find out how.

    It’s free to show your support …

    PLEASE use the links below to check for the lowest online prices of the Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS running watch. Thank you for showing your support

    Forerunner 35 running watch available at AmazonForerunner 35 available at WiggleThe Garmin Forerunner 35 is available at John Lewis

    Home screen – Time of Day

    The standard/default display is this DIGITAL version shown below. If you prefer you can switch it to an ANALOGUE display with regular hands and hours markers. There is also the option to INVERT the display so the background becomes GREY and the digits BLACK, as shown in exercise mode images below. However, this BLACK background is the clearest and easiest to see when indoors or outside. Navigating the Forerunner 35 is easy with proper buttons for > backlight (top left) – exercise mode (top right) – go back (bottom left) and scroll (bottom right) will take you to daily activity screen.

     garmin-forerunner-35-time-of-day-view

    >> TOP of Review

    Activity Tracker View

    Scrolling down from the Time of Day view you can access your daily activity tracker. The display shows your progress towards your daily goal from the activity bar (here only just starting to show as it’s only achieve 3% of the daily steps target) and also as STEPS/TARGET i.e. 246 Steps Walked from the 7500 daily steps target. The built-in accelerometer will also estimate the distance walked, in this image 0.1 Miles.

    Daily Targets – Automatic or Manual

    The daily step target is cleverly AUTO-SET by Garmin. The more you do, the more it will try to get you to do the following days and weeks. If you do not achieve several consecutive targets the watch will LOWER your daily target to get you back on target. It’s a good system and works well at keeping you motivated without setting excessively high targets. The same auto-target setting is recruited by the majority of Garmin’s activity trackers. NOTE. If you prefer, you can MANUALLY set your daily step goal overriding Garmin’s suggestions.

    forerunner-35-daily-activity-tracking-mode

    The image below shows how simple it is to set up your activity goals in Garmin Connect. I have manually set a daily step goal of 7,500 with a weekly activity goal of 300 minutes. I would personally recommend taking advantage of the AUTOSET step goal as discussed in the paragraph above.

    >> TOP of Review

    Music Control

    When connected to a compatible smartphone (iOs / Android) you can remotely control the music on your phone. Us the watches music control screen to change tracks and adjust the volume. I love this feature when working out on my turbo trainer or running outside with my phone in my jacket pocket.

    forerunner-35-music-control-mode

    >> TOP of Review

    Sports Profiles

    The Forerunner 35 is pre-loaded with sports profiles for Bike, Run, Indoor Run (using accelerometer instead of GPS), and general Cardio. These different sports profiles have different training views. Garmin have pre-configured these training views with default display metrics, however, you can change them yourself and customise them to your own preference.

    When you have uploaded your training session to Garmin Connect you can change the sport to something more representative if you want to. This is handy if, like me, you might want to split Mountain Biking from Road Riding. 

    forerunner-35-cycling-bike-sports-mode  forerunner-35-cardio-sports-mode

    forerunner-35-training-modes-sports-profiles-running

    >> TOP of Review

    Training Views – Exercise Displays

    At present it seems that we have the option of TWO pages of training views per sport profile. Each page 3 data metrics. You can, if you wish, customise these displays to suit your own requirements and preferences. the Garmin FAQ for the Forerunner 35 stats that these training pages can be either 1, 2 or 3 lines per page, however, from all the information I have gathered each page is fixed to 3 lines per page. This is a shame as I like to set TWO lines as this means I do not struggle to see essential data eg, HR and PACE or PACE and DISTANCE … As soon as I get my hands on the Forerunner 35 I will confirm this.

    distance-time-pace-training-views-forerunner-35 distance-time-pace-training-view-forerunner-35

    forerunner-35-hrm-zone-calories-heart-rate-bpm forerunner-35-hr-zone-calories-heart-rate-bpm

    Setting Training Pages in Garmin Connect

    The images below illustrate the process of setting activity profiles in the Forerunner 35 via the Garmin Connect website. The 5 x profiles are – Indoor Run, Outdoor Run, Bike, Walk and Cardio. For each of these activity types the user can individually set pacing features eg.  virtual partner (for paced runs), run / walk intervals and  free (no pacing alerts). As well as these pacing functions the user has the option of alerts based on time, distance, calories and heart zone. This is also where you’d set AUTOLAP distance and AUTOPAUSE.  

    This is also where the training views are configured. The available metrics for each of the three segments available across 4 x training pages can be seen in the pull down. Simply select the data to be displayed in segment 1,2 and 3 for each Page 1 to 4.  Each activity profile allows for training page customisation so you get to see what’s relevant for you.

    Setting up the Forerunner 35 Training Views in Garmin Connect

    >> TOP of Review

    Bluetooth Connectivity

    With your Forerunner 35 connected to your smartphone you have access to Garmin Connect for data upload and activity tracking diary. If enabled, you can also receive summary smartphone notifications and alerts. Another useful feature of the Garmin Connect App is it’s automatic updating of your watch’s operating firmware.

    Bluetooth smartphone notifications and alerts from iOs and Android phones

    >> TOP of Review

    Wired Data Upload

    There are still many people who don’t want to have to connect their running watch to their smartphone. The Forerunner 35 comes complete with it’s own USB cable for wired data upload via PC or Mac to Garmin’s Connect web-service. The USB cable also acts as a charging clip.

    forerunner-35-on-usb-charging

    >> TOP of Review

    In Conclusion

    The Garmin Forerunner 235 has already been acknowledged as one of the finest GPS running watches of all time. What Garmin have done with the Forerunner 35 is create the ultimate GPS watch for the running masses. It has everything it should have, nothing has been missed out with regard to functionality and features. I have gladly awarded the Forerunner 35 a rating of 4.5/5 stars due to it’s design simplicity and functional excellence. The addition of the wrist based heart rate and a clear bright display give it the edge of competitive products like the Fitbit Surge. Everything considered, the Forerunner 35 is practically the perfect watch for anyone who runs, whether for fun, fitness or competition.

    NOTE > the Forerunner 235 is the better watch for club level runners and those who would appreciate technical feedback like VO2 max …

     

    A Brief History…

    It all started in 1996. As a sports science student I wanted to promote the use of Heart Rate Monitors in exercise. The business went online in 1999. In 14 years we sold HRM's to over 300,000 customers.

    After a short retail back we're now back with the new online store selling ONLY Polar. We still offer impartial advice & test other heart rate monitor brands. Our aim however, is to introduce you to Polar's products as an alternative to Garmin, Fitbit, Suunto or TomTom.

    Get in Touch

    • Email

      info@heartratemonitor.co.uk

    • Phone (orders / support)

      (+44) 01485 505 000

    • Post

      7 Lincoln Square
      Hunstanton
      Norfolk
      PE36 6DW