Garmin Forerunner 35 review.
Retailing at only $199.99, this exercise calorie counter device is significantly cheaper than high-end Garmin models such as Forerunner 235 and Forerunner 630. This, however, doesn’t mean you’re being shortchanged; this running companion is abundant with features which measure multiple parameters.
With built-in GPS, this exercise calorie counter device is equipped with sensors to detect your heart rate, calorie count and various other activities in addition to relying on smart notifications in real-time. The battery life is plentiful to ensure that you don’t run out of juice ever so often.
What is missing in the exercise calorie counter device?
The more comprehensive and granulated running metrics are not available in the Garmin Forerunner 35 model. This makes it particularly ideal for beginners who keep things simple. How does it function overall? Here is our conclusion on the look and operability of the Forerunner 35.
Garmin Forerunner 35 running features
Though it is possible to use this exercise calorie counter device to track your cardio sessions and cycling by pairing it with cadence sensor and footpad, we’re mostly interested in testing its running features.
The built-in GPS lacks GLONASS support, a fact which makes it slow in picking up signals in built-up areas and in cloudy weather, unlike the premium Garmin models. Though the latest running metrics such as vertical oscillation, vertical ratio and stride length are missing, the many features included are more than sufficient for most runners.
Two sets of data screen are available for you to switch between. This means you get to view double the number of metrics viewable. You get to choose which metrics you need most and on which screen they should appear. Each screen has three segments, showing three sets of metrics. There’s an options menu from where you can customise your running modes and include interval training or virtual pacer in your session.
This exercise calorie counter device does more than most running watches. Whereas most of them display the run breakdown in the companion app, the Garmin Forerunner 35 displays the steps were taken, your average pace per lap, cadence and heart rate zone amongst others on its screen as soon as you save your session. Apart from allowing you to easily swap metrics, this watch alerts you when you’ve reached your set distance or heart rate zone. There are several data display formats which you get to exclusively choose.
When being used indoors, the Forerunner 35 uses its built-in accelerometer for the measurement of distance; its accuracy is nowhere near that of a GPS, making it a calculated guess. It will take longer than a couple of minutes for this running watch to lock onto a signal, with no GLONASS support.
Garmin Forerunner 35 design
With the premium models, Garmin is big on design and leaves nothing to chance; this made Vivosmart HR Plus and Fenix 3 collection to be named as the Fitness trackers of the year on several platforms. This is not the case with Forerunner 35.
The square plastic case is small and monochromatic. The thick black bezel makes the screen, whose resolution is 128×128, appear even smaller. The screen is not touch-sensitive and shows a pretty big deal of fingerprint smudges; people are simply too accustomed to touchscreens.
When it comes to straps, Garmin has done a fine job by availing blue, black, white and green watch-strap colours. The wrap is easy on the wrist and doesn’t clump tightly.
Though it’s not the best-looking exercise calorie counter device out there, it is incredibly easy to0 operate through the four physical buttons, two on each side. The top left button controls the backlight, only lighting up during certain activity tracking schedules. To enable the conservation of energy, holding the watch downturns the backlight off too.
The bottom left button is dedicated to accessing the menu as well as setting alarms, viewing milestones and history as well as adjusting settings. Its top right button switches between the various tracking modes you are undertaking including cycling, indoor or outdoor running, walking and cardio. The last button is all about navigation between the various screens and metrics you might want to view. It also controls the music in your smartphone remotely.
On its back, it features the optical heart rate sensor which takes readings at all times. The 35 has to waterproof up to 50 meters. Though you can use it for a swim, it won’t be as impressive as Vivoactive HR and Fenix 3.
Garmin Forerunner 35 Battery Life
Garmin says that the Forerunner 35’s battery can last for 13 hours in tracking mode and with the GPS on and for a record 9 days with the GPS off. This is pretty impressive and after testing it, it’s all true. The monochromatic non-touch screen saves a lot of power and the always off backlight helps too.
When you reduce the number of features and turn off the notifications, a single charge should last a couple of weeks!
Activity tracking and notifications
Unlike other companies, Garmin has consistently used activity tracking as a source of motivation and not merely a tool. When you’ve been inactive for a long time, this exercise calorie counter device will pop up a message on screen alerting you to get moving. Other data you get access to include smart sleep tracking as well as the nearness to complete targets; the activity tracking results are more than satisfying.
The notification support in Forerunner 35 is controlled through the Garmin Connect App; from here, you can turn off notifications during an activity and instead opt for vibration alerts. This will work well with third parties too. The options allow you to expand, read and dispose of messages once you’re done. Though you won’t be able to reply to texts, you can either pick or decline a call through the running watch. You may choose between a single digital or analogue face.
The overall accuracy of the heart rate monitoring results in two benefits; your regular heart rate is incorporated into daily activities to assess your daily health and forms part of your run tracking too. The intensity is then factored into the terrain territory to draw an accurate graph. If you need an in-depth analysis of the metric data, the Garmin app provides you with all the information you need, to granulated details. The app works across all platforms and makes this exercise calorie counter device among the most comprehensive running and fitness trackers.