Learn more Download now Shop now Shop now flip flip flip Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

on 4 January 2018
Thought long and hard about buying this watch. I wanted in a run and ride tracker mainly, rather than a lifestyle/fitness watch, so was keen to get one that had built in GPS and heart rate monitoring and something that would operate independently from my phone (I hate carrying a phone when I am running). Was intially concerned by some of the one-star reviews complaining about the complete inaccuracy of the HRM and how long the watch took to locate GPS satellites. I can honestly say my concerns were unwarranted and I cannot really comment now on other people's issues, but the GPS has so far taken a matter of seconds to locate the satellites it needs (sometimes when I am still indoors!) and given that my warm-up typically takes a couple of minutes then that makes no difference at all, and I have found the wrist mounted HRM to be just as accurate as the Garmin chest strap that I already had to pair with my cycling computer. That said, if I want to use the chest strap then it can be (and has been) connected to that too I have just not found that I needed it. Coupled with the Garmin Connect App it gives a whole host of insightful stats and features and also syncs directly with my Strava profile.

As I mentioned earlier, wasn't really looking it at as a lifestyle coach, but even that has proved very insightful- particularly how it monitors sleep patterns and general background activity. Don't really wear any other watch these days.

Another plus is that the battery, even with 3-5 runs/rides a week typically lasts 5-7 days before a recharge is needed.

My only minor gripe (not enough for it to lose a star) is that the sync with your mobile phone notifications is almost useless as the screen is so small and text so big that you barely get the first couple of words of any text/msg received. You can scroll down but just as easy to look at your phone.
61 people found this helpful
|22 Comments|Report abuse
on 27 July 2017
Let me start by saying that I wasn't looking for a running watch when I bought this - I was after an activity tracker with sleep tracking. I wanted one with a heart rate function and ideally also GPS. I also wanted a garmin as I already use another garmin watch and so wanted to keep everything on the same software (garmin connect, etc) for simplicity. I ended up buying this watch as well as the vivosmart HR plus on prime day for £120 and £110 respectively. I assumed the vivosmart would win outright, but I was wrong. I found it uncomfortable and bulky from the off. This watch on the other hand turned out to be a bit of a gem. Why?...

Firstly, it's a very comfortable watch, easy to wear as an everyday watch and low profile enough to wear even with shirts and cuffs/cufflinks (try that with the vivosmart!). I wanted a watch I could wear all day and all night (see below on sleep tracking) and it delivers. It has a very easy to see in all-conditions screen, with the time clearly displayed as you'd want moment to moment. It's really light too - barely notice it. It also does the add-ons that are nice, including smart notifications from your phone (messages, diary reminders, incoming calls, whatsapp, etc, etc), weather app connection (needs phone) and a great battery that lasts several days, even when using GPS a bit for activities.

Secondly, even though it's a "running watch" it makes a great activity tracker. It's got a steps tracker that sets your daily target and all that good stuff, it tracks your heart rate regularly and it has the all-important get off your bum bar ("move" bar I think, technically) on the home screen. It syncs effortlessly with garmin connect so you can see your more detailed stats whenever you want on your phone too. Sleep tracking was important to me and it does that very well. Garmin connect is relatively basic in sleep stats (at least from what I can see so far), but analysis of deep sleep vs light seems to correlate to how I feel the next morning and the start and finished sleep points have been pretty accurate. I knew it would confirm I'm not getting enough sleep, but somehow having the stats build it helping me work on that (and work on what stops me getting more deep sleep - phone by the bed's on the list ofcourse!).

So that's all the ways I wanted to use it that it wasn't labelled as. How does it work as what it actually says it is then - a running watch? The answer is pretty damn well. I have a garmin forerunner 920xt which is a (significantly more expensive) higher end watch for running, cycling, swimming, triathlon, etc. You need a separate heart rate strap with it (generally still considered to have better accuracy than wrist based heart rate sensors) and it's been my training watch for a year and a half now. I love it. So I expected the forerunner 35 to pale against it, less useful and less accurate. It certainly can't do all the same stuff (no swim option, doesn't work with other bike sensors like cadence I believe) but on a like for like for what it can do the 35 performs really well. I've used it on a few runs and it's accurate on distance, pretty responsive on heart rate (I'd read it's slow, but don't find it bad at all, at least not for a pretty steady effort which is what I tend to do most of) and just easy to use. It picks up GPS quickly too. I used it side by side with the 920xt on a bike ride and the stats were the same (average HR exactly, distance was slightly different but I only paused one when we had a break which could explain). I'll invariably still use the 920 for most things, but for running I could well use the 35 going forwards. I also love that you can set this up to transmit HR via ant+. meaning if you have another exercise computer (like the 920 or more likely a cycle computer) you can use this for HR instead of the chest strap if you like.

I really can't find many faults with this. I think the main one (and the drop of one star) is the look. As others have noted it's pretty damn fugly. There's no real need for that. It looks like it wants to be like the apple watch but couldn't really be bothered. I've bought another colour strap to jazz it up a bit, but am also happy to go function over form (the vivosmart it's much more designed, but fell over on the comfort as a result).

Apart from that I really do like it. Yes, it's not touchscreen but I prefer that - buttons mean it does what you want, when you want it to. It's also monochrome screen, which falls a bit with the above point but again it doesn't affect anything and better that than be more expensive to add colour. Would I like it as much at full RRP? Now there's a question. Probably not is the honest answer. At that stage the vivoactive HR becomes an option and packs in a lot more than this watch, but at the discounted price from prime day, and I'm sure again before long, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

So a star off for looks and (full) price. Otherwise pretty hard to fault.

Who should get this? A few others have given a pretty good answer to that, but to add my 2 pence worth I'd say it's great for anyone wants to get active, or is and is run focussed.
91 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 21 January 2018
What a great watch. I used to use Nike+ watch but it took soooo long to connect to it's GPS. This on the other hand takes a couple of seconds and considering I stay somewhere where the mobile phone signal is 1 bar I am very impressed. The GPS is so good that once you have uploaded your run you can see what side of the road you were running on, if you so wished.... The Garmin app that you use in conjunction with the watch is excellent. One of the best apps about. I don't normally wear a watch when I am sleeping but I have been keeping it on just to see what my sleep pattern is like. Wake up and sync the watch to my phone via Bluetooth, which is very simple to do, and i can see the sleep pattern straight away. Sync it once I have finished work so I can see how many steps I have took and so I can check the stats from my run. Overall I absolutely love this watch. Couldn't recommend it highly enough. Better than some of the more expensive Garmins I have had.
10 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 31 March 2018
Its brilliant! I went through three other brands of watches which all had to be sent back for various reasons (sync, charging, app). However the Garmin is brilliant in every aspect. I have used it in a ParkRun, 20 mile hike, and daily running/cycling activities. Not only am i impressed about the syncing to Strava but also with my phone, charging, battery life and accuracy.
5 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 19 January 2017
Great watch does everything it says. GPS appears good and download to app works well. Good delivery time.
10 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 29 December 2017
A good, basic training watch. The buttons are easy to use and don't get accidentally knocked in use. Smaller than the Forerunner I had previously and a much neater fit on my wrist. The download / charging cable is an improvement too and much less fiddly than a charging mount.
5 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 18 January 2018
The watch seems nice enough, but I'm not impressed with the app. Only a few days after buying the watch, it's not sync-ing properly with my phone. From the forums it seems like a lot of users are having a similar issue, due to an app update, but Garmin is ignoring all the posts.

When I'm paying this much for a watch that relies on an app, I expect the app to work flawlessly.
3 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 13 February 2018
Love this watch. The features are ideal for regular fitness.

Battery usually lasts about a week depending on use and doesn't take long to recharge.
The GPS can take time to lock in some rural areas but usually no more than 1 min in an urban surrounding.
The face is a reasonable size for displaying information without looking to big and chunky for women's wrists.

The heart rate monitor can be a little off if it's not tight enough.
The strap isn't as durable as it could be. If it catches during exercise it can rip quite easily. Replacements are available cheap enough.

Overall I would recommend this to women who do regular fitness and are looking to keep track of progress
3 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 17 July 2018
Got my son one for speed skating and cycling, bang on ... liked it so much I got myself one in prime sale.
Does everything you need including sleep tracking steps etc and screen excellent both outdoors and in.
Comfortable weight, size and original strap very supple ... big / easy to read data elements and texts for those of us with less than perfect vision.
I cycle lots and use an edge 520 for that, so this is mainly going to be used as an additional tool for all the other stuff I do, and at the deal prices Amazon is doing, I would suggest it is fantastic value and the bang for buck is hard to beat.
I previously tried a Garmin 735XT and found it very lacklustre and somewhat "wanting" especially the screen which was lacking contrast and data elements/texts just too small to be legible ... the 235 uses a similar screen size etc so not really any improvement.
Garmin do a rather annoying thing though - they hide data they could easily show to users of "lower end" kit in the Garmin connect app ... eg time in heart rate zones should be visible to users of Garmin 35's, similarly they could calculate training effects, stress, recovery time, etc ... however they choose not to show this and instead market it as a feature only available on higher end models like 735 or 935 where it is visible on the watch as well as in the Connect app. Understandable I guess to a degree but a little cheap/frustrating as the data is actually recorded on the watch and stored in the fit/gpx files (only diff really is that it would be shown after the event and not in real time on the watch as it is with higher end models)
No major issue if you have other apps or software (eg strava) to do this kind of data analysis for you, but a little narrow minded of Garmin to think their users so stupid not to see this as a bit of a marketing "con".
Other notable thing that is missing ... a simple stopwatch/countdown timer. You can do manual laptmes with all GPS HRM analysis on a button press during in activity, but boiling an egg accurately after a workout is not possible.
Pairs with ant+ devices including speed and hrm from other manufacturers like wahoo and sigma, Sigma works fine however I had a drop out on first use with wahoo so need to do more testing to see whether that was a blip or something worse ... doesn't log power meter data and will not connect to my quarq qzero power meter to log just cadence (I use the edge 520 for that, so no stress).
My daughter will borrow this to track her running, fit or gpx files can be exported and imported from Garmin to other apps like strava with very little hassle ... just requires a little manual work to remove her runs from my own activities in Garmin Connect or I need to manually upload and import them to her Strava account or set her something up in Connect.
Oh yeah ... 50m waterproof too ... whilst it doesn't do swimming, and the optical wrist based HRM is probably useless in water, you could use the watch with a "cardio activity" selected and use a waterproof HRM strap to do "open water swimming" or maybe even indoor pool swimming (depending on the building the gps might pick up through the roof), then you can simply change the activity once in the Connect app to whatever swimming profile you use. Essentially similar for all activities ... ie if you log a "cardio activity" on this watch it can be anything (we've tried it for go karting, take-off and landing on a plane at 520kmh, skating, etc ...) then later you can re-classify it in the Connect app.
Edit: optical hrm gets a bit inaccurate once to up your heart rate to more than 130bpm ... noticed this on mine and my son's data. I was clocking 150bpm on heart rate strap and edge 520, 35 was only showing 131bpm. This kind of thing is standard with optical hrm, so not a criticism of 35 and i imagine would be same for most wrist based optical hrm watches.
Another reference in case it helps ... gps speed tracking on 35 very close to the figures shown by a calibrated garmin speed sensor linked to my edge 520.
So in summary, the main difference between this and more expensive Garmin watches (apart from the looks) is how much real time data you want or can see whilst doing an activity ... you want more bling and data elements then buy a higher end watch, you want a more general but very capable sleep, fitness, cycling and running watch to log your steps, tell you to move and record whatever other activities you do in life and maybe as a second device ... then you should give this a whirl.
|0Comment|Report abuse
VINE VOICEon 18 July 2018
OK, I like this watch, but there's a few things to note:

1) It won't sync with Google Fit, so your data is stuck with Garmin, meaning if you another brand in future, all your past data will be gone. It also means that you will struggle to share data between devices from different manufacturers.
2) It is very odd about units. You can select Imperial (lb, miles, farenheit), Metric (kg, km, 'C) or British Imperial (stone, miles, 'C). This in itself is weird; every other app I've used allows me to select which units to use for each parameter. Even stranger is that although the present weather on the phone is always in the selected unit, the weather forecast page is always in Fahrenheit, regardless of setting.

However, that's all the bad stuff.

The good stuff is:

1) it is easy to set up and navigate - just don't connect to it with Bluetooth until the Garmin Connect app tells you to.
2) it has a great 'auto stop'/'auto start' feature.
3) satellite acquisition was very fast.
4) you can control your music from your wrist
5) notifications show up on the phone, and you have a lot of granular control over which notifications show up. You can also mute them whilst your running.
6) the heart rate function seems to work pretty well, and has the last 4h available graphically.
7) The Garmin Connect app is good with a lot of options, and a lot of data.
8) The strap is comfortable, and the watch is light.
|0Comment|Report abuse