Garmin Forerunner 35 review: An affordable, effective using watch – Pocket

January 26, 2017 - running watch

We’ve roughly reached a indicate where not owning a aptness tracker is as banned as aloud responding your phone in a train’s still carriage or violation out a selfie stick, well, anywhere. Without even a barebones bit of wrist tech, how else can we review step depends and calories burnt like we would discuss about final night’s TV observation or a latest box-set binge?

For those of us who wish to pierce over a elementary step-counting and get a improved hold on improving fitness, however, dedicated using watches have tumbled in cost and turn easier to use as new entry-level options appear. This is where a £170 Garmin Forerunner 35 fits in.

A GPS using watch with an built-in heart-rate monitor, it’s a aptness fanatic’s crony that’s also adopted some smartwatch smarts with wrist-based notifications and call alerts thrown in.

We strapped a Forerunner 35 on and put it to a exam to see if it’s an all-round win or a try-hard that falls brief of a mark.

Garmin Forerunner 35 review: Design

  • 35.5 x 40.7 x 13.3mm; 37.3g
  • Available with black, lime, blue or white straps

Running watches aren’t always a nicest looking pieces of kit. They’re mostly oversized and overly plastic. The Forerunner 35 falls into usually one of those categories: while it’s not quite large – it’s usually 40.7mm high and 13.3mm thick – it’s anything yet a high-end looking bit of kit.


Plastic is aristocrat here (whether we like it or not). No matter that of a 4 opposite tag options we go for – normal black and white options are assimilated by some-more brave light blue and orange immature colour schemes – a Forerunner’s physique is a same dull, black cosmetic offering.

Its looks are rather uninspired, therefore, with that cosmetic build and squat, boxy figure creation it demeanour like a distant cheaper device than a nearby £170 seeking cost would suggest. Despite this Garmin’s looks, however, it’s good built, feeling clever and stout when strapped to your wrist.

Although a cosmetic physique is good for chucking in your gym bag or for doing a bit of lane using – unlike inclination such as a Misfit Phase or Apple Watch – you’re not going to wish to wear it on a night out. It’s a watch that screams aptness fan, and will onslaught to mix in with anything yet your using pack or some-more infrequent clothing.


It’s gentle though, and waterproof too. Capable of being submerged in adult to 50-metres of H2O yet succumbing to a flowing demise, a rubberised tag and steel bend meant it can be tailored to fit your wrist and will sojourn secure and gentle while walking to work or using a half marathon. It’s gentle adequate to nap in, too, that is accessible given a watch’s integrated nap tracking skills.

Garmin Forerunner 35 review: Screen

  • 1.3-inch block screen
  • No colour row option
  • 128 x 128 pixel resolution

Sadly, a watch’s shade does zero to boost a pattern credentials. Unlike many of a high-end using watches out there, Garmin’s not squeezed a touchscreen in here. Actually, there’s not even a colour display. Instead, there’s a 1.3-inch monochrome row with a elementary 128 x 128 pixel resolution. It’s elementary and bland.


No, it’s not going to win any beauty contests, or unequivocally fit with many of your outfits, yet it’s a shade that’s notation adequate to get a pursuit done. It’s also easy to perspective when using – that is what’s important.

Instead of a touchscreen, a watch facilities 4 earthy buttons. Again, these aren’t quite pretty, yet they work well. The tip left control triggers a watch’s backlight while a bottom left symbol will take we behind by a menus. On a right side, a top symbol lets we make selections while a bottom control scrolls down by menus and options.

The Forerunner 35’s shade competence not be a many visually impressive, yet when out using a monochrome row creates it a uncomplicated fun to perspective and read. Whether your holding your 10k during a plain gait by a woods or upping a dash while pulsation a pavement, a Forerunner’s shade and program offer copiousness of glanceable data.


During a run, when your arms are bouncing around, these somewhat lifted buttons also make scrolling by information screens a breeze.

Garmin Forerunner 35 review: Features performance

  • Integrated GPS tracking
  • Built-in heart-rate sensor
  • Wrist-based call and summary alerts

Although means of capturing cycling and cardio work, a Forerunner 35 is a loyal using watch during heart. Keeping tabs on all your daily movements, it will count your stairs as we go on a training run, travel to a shops or simply boyant around your bureau perplexing to evasion indeed doing work.

If you’ve been dead for too long, it will prompt we to get adult and pierce around. Unlike many watches, elementary station or shuffling from lounge to fridge isn’t adequate to transparent a pierce bar. This is a watch that’ll get we fit, as such, you’ll have to make a important effort, walking for a notation to transparent a bar.


This is usually a tip of a activity-tracking iceberg, too. Gear adult to go for a run, and a Garmin Forerunner 35 will lane many some-more than your footfalls. It’s integrated heart-rate sensor will guard how your physique reacts to practice – and how fast it recovers – while a built-in GPS will map your route.

Thanks to this integrated GPS, we found a watch to be pinpoint accurate with a stretch tracking. Running a famous 10k loop, a watch was mark on.

Although accurate, it’s not a fastest to secure a signal, however. As a watch lacks GLONASS skills, a GPS will take a improved partial of a notation to primary itself. Set a watch to using mode and you’ll be means to get by your pre-run stretches before it’s connected and prepared to go. Once a vigilance has been cumulative we had no issues with a tie during a runs.


The Forerunner 35’s considerable facilities aren’t usually singular to a run tracking, either. Although not as appealing as a Apple Watch, a Garmin facilities some identical intelligent skills, bringing call and summary notifications directly to your wrist.

Although many activity trackers are means of this, distinct some, a Forerunner 35 doesn’t usually tell we you’ve got a content or WhatsApp, it lets we review a messages directly on your wrist, too. Yes, content is large and blocky, yet with a few clicks of a down symbol we can fast see how obligatory a summary is or not.

It’s not unblemished though. As good as being means to keep tabs on your movements and aptness levels, this some-more entry-level Forerunner can also guard your nap for extensive 24/7 tracking. The difficulty is that a sleep-tracking can be simply tricked. Take a watch off and place it on a side to have a showering or even if we go to bed and it’ll category this miss of transformation as sleep, skewing a information adequate to make it useless.

Garmin Forerunner 35 review: Software app

  • Garmin Connect app works with iOS and Android
  • Data automatically syncs to app

The Forerunner 35 isn’t usually about a hardware – a pivotal part is a ancillary program and app, that not usually turns all your using information into something meaningful, yet that presents it in such a approach that’ll assistance we improve.


Fortunately, Garmin’s app is improved looking than a watch, yet usually as considerable on a facilities front. Unlike inclination such as a Huawei Fit or Misfit Phase, Garmin Connect takes your information and turns it into some-more than usually a list of dates and numbers that uncover we small some-more than how distant you’ve lonesome or a volume of calories you’ve burned.

Yes, all a common step, stretch and calorie depends are all here, yet things run deeper too. You can lane your swell on a array of graphs and graphics, with continual heart-rate tracking mapped out alongside your intonation and pace. All of this works together to paint a deep, dull pattern of your aptness and how a changing run to run.

Helping we keep pulling to improving fitness, a app can automatically adjust your targets formed on your past activity and performances too. If it notices you’ve been cruising by your daily targets, it will solemnly start to boost them, assisting we corner adult your activity. If it notices you’re struggling, they’ll be gradually reduced to stop we apropos demotivated.


Using your GPS information to map out your run, a app combines this with your activity metrics to supplement some-more abyss to your training. You can use a formula to review new outings to see accurately where on your run you’re creation adult or losing time on your past personal best, with mile and km markers noted out with separate times.

Garmin Forerunner 35 review: Battery life

  • Up to 9 days battery life
  • Circa 13 hours GPS-tracking per charge
  • Crocodile clip-style bespoke charger

Unlike inclination such as a Apple Watch Nike+ and Moto 360 Sport – watches that need charging each day or dual – a Garmin Forerunner 35 facilities a severely considerable battery life. We’re articulate a week between charges, and that’s if we strike it tough with a GPS-enhanced run tracking.

Take things a small easier – usually a integrate of 5ks a week – and a Forerunner will journey past a week pen yet recharging. Garmin claims we can get 9 days out of it before wanting a outing to a mains, and in a tests this rang true.


It’s a good pursuit that a battery life is impressive, since charging a watch is a bit of a faff. Like many smartwatches, a Forerunner 35 comes with a possess exclusive charging dock. Unlike a masses, however, this isn’t some simple, superb captivating cradle that closely and snugly hugs a watch. Instead, Garmin’s bid uses a uncanny crocodile clip-style charging wharf that clasps to a side of a watch, creation it a bit ungainly to column adult while charging.


If you’re looking for an entrance into a universe of using watches afterwards a Garmin Forerunner 35 is a watch that attunes itself brilliantly to a riggers and mandate of a dedicated using watch. Its aptness tracking is unblemished and it’s easy to review and control while running.

It’s tough to shun that pattern though. If we wish to lane your activity 24/7, you’re going to wish a improved looking bit of kit.

If, however, you’re after a tool that will accompany we to a gym or on your marathon training sessions before being forsaken in a gym bag, it’s a good option. It’s not ridiculously costly either.

It’s £170 seeking cost puts it in a same joint as a Misfit Phase and Withings Activité Steel HR, dual inclination that nonetheless easier on a eye don’t pack-in a same grade of fitness-tracking skills.

Garmin Forerunner 35: The alternatives to consider

Fitbit Charge 2


A miss of GPS is a usually downside of this differently shining and versatile aptness tracker.

Withings Activité Steel


Lacking GPS, a run and activity tracking here isn’t as on-point, yet with an superb pattern that’ll take we from bureau to dusk out, it’s a plain choice (the HR version, while some-more expensive, is also forthcoming).

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