Garmin Forerunner 35 Review: How Does This Model Stand Out in the Forerunner Series?


garmin forerunner 35 review

There are some models of Garmin watch that can be called classics of the line. The Forerunner 35 is certainly a classic and the original standout of the Forerunner line. This small and compact watch features an abundance of convenient features. Additionally, Forerunner 35 is a slim-fit and lightweight, which allows you to focus on your running without the feeling of being weighed down.

With this in mind, how is this model different from other Forerunner models?

Garmin Forerunner 35 Review

Garmin Forerunner 35

The Garmin Forerunner 35 is a smartwatch that allows the runner to remain connected to their overall progress through a range of performance tracking features. The watch is small and fits snugly around the wrist. In addition to performance tracking, the watch also includes helpful GPS tracking.  

Overall Rating 99/100
Ease of Use 100/100
Ease of Assembly 100/100
Affordability 99/100
Comfort 100/100

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 35 Watch, Frost Blue - International Version - US warranty
  • BUILT-IN GPS - Built-in to acquire satellites quickly to track how far, how fast and where you run, even under tree cover. No Phone required!
  • 24/7 HEART RATE MONITORING - WHRM gives you heart rate all day and night -no additional strap required.
  • VIBRATION ALERTS - Helpful vibration alerts notify you of running prompts, activity tracking milestones, smart notifications and virtual pacing progress.
  • UPDATED DISPLAY - New high resolution display that is perfect for indoor/outdoor viewing.
  • SMART CONNECTIVITY - Auto uploads, smart notifications, LiveTrack, music controls and automatic SW updates.

Last update on 2020-10-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros of the Garmin Forerunner 35:

  • Interval training tracker. The Garmin Forerunner 35 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 35 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 35, 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 35 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 35, 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.
  • 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 35 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 35:

  • Subpar battery life when compared to other models. Unfortunately, the Forerunner 35 just doesn’t do well with battery life capabilities, especially compared to other models in the series. This can be expected though due to the increased amount of superior features that have been added to Forerunner 35.
  • 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 35, you have to use its features exclusively.
  • Only works well with running. One of the unfortunate missing features from the Garmin Forerunner 35 is the swimming mode technology that is a feature of many other brands of fitness smartwatches. This model is only truly compatible with software that tracks and displays results with running and jogging.

Garmin Forerunner 35 Review

Key Features

The Garmin Forerunner 35Opens in a new tab. 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 35 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 two standout features of the Forerunner 35 are the accelerometer and the gyroscope.

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 35 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.

The Garmin Forerunner 35 is brimming with many additional features. Also, 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.

Garmin Forerunner 35 Review

Should You Get The Garmin Forerunner 35?

This model makes running a truly convenient process. 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 35 are improved upon, with Glonass and Galileo. This 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. You can also 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. The 35 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 35 is certainly a watch worth gettingOpens in a new tab. if this is your first model. It also makes an attractive upgrade if you are looking to upgrade your Garmin watch.

Garmin Forerunner 35 Features

Why the Garmin Forerunner 35 Is Worth It

Some smartwatches 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. This 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.

Garmin Forerunner 35 Review - Wrist Heart

The Downsides

The negative attributes of Forerunner 35 are few and far between. But there may be some negatives that deserve a mention. For starters, the heart rate monitor must be switched to during your fitness routine. This would have been much more convenient to be on the automatic display with other performance intervals.

Another smaller downside is the absence of built-in music. The Forerunner 35 does allow app-connectivity for imported music. 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, a swimming mode would have been a great feature to add to this model.

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, yet 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 35 Different from the Forerunner 45?

When it comes to the Garmin Forerunner series, each line builds upon the features of the previous model. The Garmin Forerunner 45 was designed to expand upon what the Forerunner 35 offered.

For one, the Garmin Forerunner 35 looks much different than the design of the Forerunner 45. The 35 is more rectangular, whereas the Forerunner 45 is rounder. The Forerunner 45 is also slightly bigger than the Forerunner 35. 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 35.

But the Forerunner 45 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 45 takes a big step beyond the Forerunner 35, 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 35 will only remember the last 7 workouts, whereas the 45 will give you 200 hours of workout memory.

There are some slight differences between the two in terms of functionality, yet the main differences are found in the design elements and size variations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can the Garmin Forerunner 35 do?

The Garmin Forerunner 35 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.

Is my Garmin Forerunner 35 waterproof?

The Garmin Forerunner 35 is sweatproof with water-proof functionality of up to 50 meters. This means that you can swim with the Forerunner 35, although there is no swimming mode functionality that allows you to track your swimming performance.

Does Garmin Forerunner 35 have golf?

Garmin is a brand that specializes in one model of golf tracking, yet the Forerunner 35 does not have any of these features. You can track fitness performance while on the golf course with the Forerunner 35 but this is primarily a running watch.

Can you play music on Garmin Forerunner 35?

Unfortunately, the Garmin Forerunner 35 does not have music storage or compatible musical technology. You can use Forerunner 35 to control the music that is on your phone or another device but this model does not have comprehensive music compatibility.

Does Garmin Forerunner 35 have Bluetooth?

The Garmin Forerunner 35 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 phone or device outside of the company’s app.

Does the Garmin Forerunner 35 have a touchscreen?

No, the Garmin Forerunner 35 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.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a smartwatch that makes the process of checking your performance statistics easy to navigate, then this watch is certainly 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.

Keep in mind that this watch is only for running or jogging, and not a viable option to use across the entire spectrum of sports and fitness activities.

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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