Garmin Forerunner 735XT Review: How Does This Watch Standout?


Garmin Forerunner 735XT Review

Smartwatches designed for triathletes are a dime-a-dozen. There are many models of a smartwatch that simply combine a lot of features for a triathlon into one package. But the Forerunner 735XT by Garmin certainly fulfills its promise of adding necessary features. With new compatibility features available in the Garmin Connect IQ Store, there are limitless performance tracking features available with the Forerunner 735XT.

The Garmin Forerunner 735XT uses an array of new performance tracking features to aid triathletes in keeping track of their overall performance. Running, jogging, cycling, and swimming are all calibrated to sync to the watch through a range of detailed and varied performance metrics.

Overall Rating 4.5
4.5/5
Features 95%
Peformance 90%
Battery Life 90%
Ease of use 95%
Design 92%
Comfort 100%

This sports and fitness watch scores high marks in all the important key points for rating a fitness watch. This article will explore everything that needs to be known about this product, including its pros and cons as well as if the watch is worth buying for your fitness needs. Read on to find out more, as well as to see how the original Garmin Forerunner model holds up to other later models in the Forerunner series.

Garmin Forerunner 735XT, Multisport GPS Running Watch With Heart Rate, Black/Gray
  • GPS running watch with multisport features
  • Estimates heart rate at the wrist so you can run freer on race day.Shock resistant. Battery life : Smartwatch Mode Up to 11 days. GPS mode Up to 14 hours. UltraTrac mode Up to 24 hours without wrist heart rate
  • Provides advanced dynamics for running, cycling and swimming7, including ground contact time balance, stride length, vertical ratio and more (when paired with a Running Dynamics Pod, HRM Run or HRM Tri Monitor, sold separately)
  • Offers VO2 max estimate, lactate threshold (when used with a chest strap heart rate monitor), race predictor and recovery advisor
  • Connected features4: smart notifications, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, live tracking and more

Last update on 2020-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros of the Garmin Forerunner 735XT:

  • Interval training tracker. The Garmin Forerunner 735XT allows you to track your intervals with accurate and real-time notifications. This is incredibly helpful if you will be tracking the number of steps or runs you will be taking either daily or during a fitness session. Additionally, the timer allows you to see exactly how long you have spent on an activity, which can also be tailored to specific movements.
  • Advanced satellite connectivity. The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is designed to connect to all available satellites both quickly and efficiently. This is best-suited when outdoors with a clear view of the sky. You can even share your data with others thanks to the convenient addition of Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Expert heart monitor readings. Many watches that are fashioned for runners and joggers promise technology that can monitor your heart rate, yet this can be an inconvenience in most models. With the Garmin Forerunner 735XT, the smart technology keeps in sync with your heart rate through your wrist, which displays on the screen for easy monitoring.
  • Banded in silicone. Have you ever gone for a run only to return home with a sore and sensitive rash around your wrist? This is a common problem with runners due to the material that encloses the band of a wristwatch. The Garmin Forerunner 735XT uses silicone in the makeup of the band to completely resist sweat and moisture build-up around and underneath the wrist during your run.
  • Equipped with GPS. One of the many things to appreciate about a treadmill is the convenience of your distance stats on a monitor right in front of you. With the Garmin Forerunner 735XT, you can now have all of these great GPS features like pace, distance ran, and customizable intervals that light up with frequency during your run. Gone are the inconveniences of having to keep a mental note of your distance running.
  • Stellar battery life. One of the standout features of a Garmin watch is the great detail that is put into creating batteries that can last for long periods in-between charges. The Garmin Forerunner 735XT can hold a successful charge for up to 7 days between charges, which allows you to worry less when it comes to waiting for battery charges when you are ready to get out and run.
  • Personalized workouts. For some of Garmin’s most select watch models, adaptive training plans through a Garmin coach of your choice are available to help guide you through your run. The Forerunner 735XT is one of the watches that includes this convenient coaching, which works well to help you reach your goals on those days when running or any fitness regime seems like a chore.

Cons of the Garmin Forerunner 735XT:

  • Doesn’t work well with other apps. One of the convenient abilities that come with some smartwatches is the ability to customize the watch with other apps that track running or jogging in ways that you enjoy. With the Forerunner 735XT, you have to use its features exclusively. With that said, there is a wide range of additional features available via the Garmin Connect IQ Store.
  • Expensive. The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is a bit pricier than other Forerunner models. This can be reduced if you choose not to use many of the additional features that are available in the Garmin Connect IQ Store.

Key Features

The Garmin Forerunner 735XT features a few new updates to its previous model. For one, the watch itself is completely changed in its design scheme from a more square-shaped design to a circular shape, which is more in line with traditional wristwatches.

What is also great about this model is the two available sizes that you can choose from, 42mm or 39mm. Not all runners wish to have a large and bulky wristwatch, even though the display screen is the same size.

Additionally, the Forerunner 735XT is based on silicone throughout the band, which prevents all of those sweaty rashes that can come with a leather band. The watch has pushable buttons, which eliminates the need to go through an app to change settings, you can now interchange settings and customizations through a simple push of a button.

With just five convenient button settings, you are able to navigate the menu and customize the watch with a few simple pushes to your desired settings. There are no complex patterns to figure out with this model, you will likely have the routine down pat after one running session.

Last but not least, the three standout features of the Forerunner 735XT are the accelerometer, the gyroscope, and the range of additional features available in the Garmin Connect IQ Store.

A Closer Look

The accelerometer effectively measures the force of your movements, and this is true for hard-hitting pavement grinding during fast runs, and if you are simply strolling yourself back home after a vigorous running session.

The gyroscope technology allows you to measure movements and velocity among a wide array of customizable inputs. The Forerunner 735XT can measure the movement in your arms, legs, thighs, or even your feet if you wish to know the workout potential of one body part in particular.

With the Forerunner 735XT, there are many great new features, yet the best feature is the unlocking of even more features available. The Garmin Connect IQ Store has many additional metrics available for this model. You can add features that alert you if you fall below the original pace you set in the watch notifications. Additionally, you can see many more details on the watch itself that are instantly synced from the Connect IQ download.

The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is brimming with many additional features, and the improvements upon the design scheme of the watch are also great. Although you will not be able to change the band, the comfort of the silicone base will make it seem like the watch is not even weighing down on your wrist.

Should You Buy the Garmin 735XT?

This model makes running a truly convenient process, and you can have all of the conveniences that you get indoors with a treadmill outside in the great wide open. The GPS sensors in the Forerunner 735XT are improved upon, with Glonass and Galileo now improving upon the bare GPS features on some of the previous models.

During your run, you can simply look down at your watch to see your pace, distance, and elapsed time. Simply press the lower buttons if you wish to see what your current heart rate is and to change different intervals to make note of any special laps or milestones you want to keep track of during your running session.

If you are seeking a more lightweight watch, then this model is certainly going to earn high points with you. It feels light as a feather on the wrist, and you do not have to worry about the watch degrading due to sweat or moisture or vigorous movements.

Signals and milestones are called out and alerted. This means that you do not have to constantly lift the watch to your face and press buttons to see the progress you are making. This convenience is one of the hallmarks of the Garmin Forerunner series, and the 735XT model aims to make the process of checking stats easy and comprehensive. Therefore, you can focus on your fitness performance without many distractions.

With all of these convenient features in play, the Garmin Forerunner 735XT is certainly a watch worth getting if this is your first model. It also makes an attractive upgrade if you are looking to upgrade your Garmin watch.

Why the Garmin Forerunner 735XT Is Worth It

Some GPS watches make the process of adjusting settings way too difficult, especially when you are running at a high pace and need to focus on what is ahead of you. With this watch, you can simply press one of five convenient buttons to see everything that you need to see during your fitness session.

Additionally, there are also some measures you can take to save on the battery life of the watch, such as leaving the backlight on automatic, which means all of the data you wish to see will highlight at timed intervals to save on battery drainage. With that in mind, the battery itself is supercharged and efficient, therefore, you will usually get a full seven days of use in-between charging the watch.

The technology is improved upon, which goes beyond simple velocity to even pinpoint performance targets in various areas of the body as opposed to just an overall assessment. The watch is comfortable and lightweight, therefore, you can rest assured that this model is definitely worth the purchase.

The Downsides

The negative attributes of Forerunner 735XT are few and far between, yet there may be some negatives that deserve a mention. For starters, the heart rate monitor must be switched to during your fitness routine, which would have been much more convenient to be on the automatic display with other performance intervals. However, this can be easily fixed by using the Garmin Connect IQ Store.

Another smaller downside is the absence of built-in music. The Forerunner 735XT does allow app-connectivity for imported music, but there is nothing worse than having to haul around a sensitive device when you are pounding the pavement during an intense run.

Also, this model is really only going to hold up well for running and jogging, cycling, and swimming modes. A golf feature would have been even better, yet those features are fairly predominant on the golf line only.

Some users may not like the silicone-based band of the watch, which is also not interchangeable if you wish to port the watch to a different kind of band. It is great that the band is working against causing wrist irritation that can occur with long runs. But this is a feature that not all users are going to appreciate, you are stuck with this band and have no other options.

How Is the Garmin Forerunner 735XT Different from the Forerunner 745?

When it comes to the Garmin Forerunner series, each line builds upon the features of the previous model. The Garmin Forerunner 735XT was designed to expand upon what the Forerunner 745 offered.

For one, the Garmin Forerunner 735XT looks much different than the design of the Forerunner 745. The 735XT is more compact, whereas the Forerunner 745 is larger. At their core, both these watches rely on the same sensors, GPS, heart rate, and accelerometer to drive their functions.

Both will offer sports tracking with a bias towards running and collecting data to give you your stats. If you’re after only basic stats, then you could well be happy with the Forerunner 745.

But the Forerunner 735XT is a much newer technology and offers far wider support for functions beyond the very basics. It supports a wider set of satellites, for example, it supports Garmin Coach and downloadable workouts and goes further to give you functions like Body Battery, using that sleep data to better effect.

It will also let you customize the watch face with Garmin Connect IQ. All round, the feature set on the Forerunner 735XT takes a big step beyond the Forerunner 745, so this watch is a lot more than just a new design. It also has a much larger workout memory, although you’re likely to sync and save in the Garmin Connect app on your smartphone. The 745 will only remember the last 7 workouts, whereas the 735XT will give you 200 hours of workout memory.

There are some slight differences between the two in terms of functionality. But the main differences are found in the design elements and size variations, in addition to the availability of the Garmin Connect IQ Store.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What can the Garmin Forerunner 735XT do?

The Garmin Forerunner 735XT can accurately keep track of performance data during a run or a jog with the convenience of easy to operate menus to track your performance through a range of categories.

Q: Is my Garmin Forerunner 735XT waterproof?

The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is sweatproof with waterproof functionality of up to 50 meters. This means that you can swim with the Forerunner 735XT, although there is no swimming mode functionality that allows you to track your swimming performance.

Q: Does Garmin Forerunner 735XT have golf?

Garmin is a brand that specializes in one model of golf tracking, yet the Forerunner 735XT does not have any of these features. You can track fitness performance while on the golf course with the Forerunner 735XT but this is primarily a watch that prioritizes triathlon features.

Q: Can you play music on Garmin Forerunner 735XT?

Unfortunately, the Garmin Forerunner 735XT does not have music storage or compatible musical technology. You can use Forerunner 735XT to control the music that is on your phone or another device but this model does not have comprehensive music compatibility.

Q: Does Garmin Forerunner 735XT have Bluetooth?

The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is compatible with Bluetooth connectivity. You will have to pair your watch with the Garmin Connect Mobile App since the watch is unable to pair directly through a phone or device outside of the company’s app.

Q: Does the Garmin Forerunner 735XT have a touchscreen?

No, the Garmin Forerunner 735XT does not have a touchscreen. This watch is the original in the Forerunner line, which means it utilizes the manual buttons that came to identify the Forerunner line.

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Overall Rating
4.5/5

If you are looking for a smartwatch that makes the process of checking your performance statistics easy to navigate, then the Garmin Forerunner 735XT is certainly a model worth considering. There are very few downsides to this watch, and the accelerometer and gyroscope technology are quite impressive. Additionally, the new recovery time advisor and race predictor make great new additions in terms of performance tracking.

Some users may find that this model is a bit much in all of the available features. However, when it comes to triathletes, this is certainly the Garmin smartwatch for you.

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Andy Brooks

As a running enthusiast, I found it frustrating that there were limited review sites available willing to give me an honest opinion on the latest technology to aid my hobby. I am certainly not trendy (my kids will testify to that), however I am an early adopter and just love getting my hands on the most up-to-date gadgets.

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