Top positive review
Good value for money. running and activity monitoring watch. Fast GPS acquisition, accurate wrist-based heart rate monitoring.
24 March 2018
Garmin Forerunner 235
I have been using this running watch every day now since I purchased it 4 weeks ago.
Previously I was using a Forerunner 110 which I had owned for the past 5 years.
What I like so far about the Forerunner 235:
• The charging clip is much easier to use than on the forerunner 110
• The wrist-based heart rate monitor works really well
• The Bluetooth link for uploading activities to Garmin Connect rather than struggling with a charging clip
• Being provided with extra information about my running performance than from the 110
• The nice design feature that allows for a hard glass screen protector to be used within the profile of the watch
• The ability to adjust the strap for the perfect fit with very fine adjustments
• The fact that the strap can be replaced by the user with minimal cost or effort
I had been considering upgrading from my Forerunner 110 for some time as I was getting frustrated with the poor software that meant it didn’t charge when connected to the charging clip. I also had problems with the strap that had cracked and needed replacing which required it to be sent back to Garmin for refurbishing. (It is bad design that the Forerunner 110 strap is integrated into the case and can’t be replaced by the user.) The Forerunner 110 also takes a long time to acquire a GPS position.
I had looked at a number of Garmin running watches, but I wasn’t looking for a load of extra features. I just wanted a watch that would record my runs for analysis on the computer. I was interested in having a wrist-based heart-rate monitor. I was really unsure about wrist-based heart rate monitors as a number of the reviewers of these had mentioned that they are not accurate. However, knowing that the Forerunner 235 can also use a chest strap monitor meant that if I wasn’t happy with the results I could always just revert back to using a chest strap. I also liked the idea of this watch having GLONASS support meaning that GPS positions can be fixed more quickly than I was used to with the Forerunner 110.
Appearance and design
When I opened the box and looked at the watch for the first time, I was surprised that the watch glass face is slightly lower than the surrounding edge of the watch. It was only after a couple of days that I realised that it was possible to buy hardened glass screen protectors for this watch. I bought one and attached it to the watch which then makes the glass face fit flush with the edge of the watch case. I am surprised that Garmin hadn’t mentioned this in the literature for the watch, or even better, supplied a glass screen protector with the watch. After all, they are very cheap to buy online and worth having as they finish off the watch very well and also protect the watch glass from accidently being scratched. Overall the Forerunner 235 is functional and looks like a running watch.
Heart Rate Monitor
When running on a treadmill I have compared the wrist-based heart rate monitor readings I get on the watch with those that are displayed on the treadmill’s display which is fed from a chest strap. The results are identical, so I am not sure why some reviewers have suggested that wrist-based monitors aren’t accurate.
So far, I have been very happy with this watch. The GPS is ready within seconds of selecting an activity. I have found the wrist-based heart-rate monitor to be very accurate when compared to the readings provided by a chest strap.
The activity data provided by the Forerunner 235 is much more comprehensive than I was used to getting when using the Forerunner 110. This has given me some useful insights about my running performance. I have also started to wear this watch all day as it is tracking my steps, heart rate and other daily activities. I have found this additional information to be quite informative and not something that I was expecting.
All in all, this watch seems to work well, is a good price and hopefully will last as long as my previous Garmin running watch.