Garmin Forerunner 735XT

8.1 score
(TheGearHunt) score (8.1)/10

Our TheGearHunt score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
Editor rating: 9.4 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Garmin Forerunner 735XT Review Facts

Technology has evolved so much so that we can nearly track all aspects of our life. From spending to travel to health functions, technology now allows us to go back and look at anything we need to in order to analyze our lives minute by the minute. In regards to health, there are all sorts of devices and apps available in order to help us with our sleep, fitness goals, emergencies, and hydration. Through apps, we have the ability to have workouts on the spot for any workout type. We also have trackers that will allow us to estimate the calories burned and distance traveled based on our bodies and location. We also have the use of devices like watches and belt clips that will monitor more detailed aspects of our activities such as heart rate, sleep patterns, and even stress levels. These watches can be both simple (such as ones that exclusively monitor steps and distance traveled) or advanced (like ones that monitor heart rate, offers encouraging reminders and sends mobile notifications directly from the device itself). When considering a fitness tracker it's important to consider what exactly you are requiring as this will ultimately determine the cost of the device.

This is a comprehensive single product review on one tracker in particular. Gear Hunt is a website that provides all sorts of information on various types of technology, fitness gear, and hunting attire. The website offers blogs, buying guides which review numerous products in one single review, and single product reviews which narrow in on one product in particular. This article zeros in on the Garmin Forerunner 735XT. This product is a fitness tracker offered by the very popular locational services company Garmin. We did some research into this product and how well it stands up next to other fitness trackers on the market today. We also looked at the price value comparison offered by this product to see if it's worth the cost. Finally, we looked at consumer reviews in order to see what a wide variety of consumers thought of this fitness tracker. This is our in-depth review of the Garmin Forerunner 735XT. We hope that this article serves you in your next fitness tracker purchase.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • This tracker is quite lightweight in design 
  • This tracker is also waterproof making it ideal for swimmers 
  • The customization of this watch is regularly praised by reviewers 
  • The Garmin Connect app is well-regarded
  • A little on the pricey side 
  • Some found the Garmin-specific weather app to be off without resolution 
  • Others also found that the altimeter to be a little off as well 


Activities are functions the app can help assist with or enhance. This watch is very much meant for activity. It offers numerous features including a heart rate monitor in order to offer proper and more specific calorie burn information as well as can monitor other aspects like sleep and stress levels. The watch also offers a waterproof feature which allows users to use this while swimming. It offers the ability to tell the watch the size of the pool in order to accurately monitor laps and distance traveled. This watch also offers notifications and can, therefore, be used as a daily device to track texts, calls and social media notifications rather than having to pull out your phone. In general, this watch is more of a life companion than it is a fitness tracker. One issue that some found is the aesthetic of this watch which is pretty sporty and some might find issues dressing up. This is discussed later, however, does impact the 'life companion' benefit of this watch.


Basic features are the bare minimum features that are required in order to be considered a fitness tracker. This includes items like locational services, an app, and general monitoring. This watch does offer all the basic features required in order to offer a well rounded and diverse set of tracking areas. This fitness tracker offers different watch faces in order to monitor time but with one's own personal style incorporated on the watch face. It also monitors distance whether running, biking or swimming. It also offers access to Garmin's Garmin Connect app which users are able to connect all their devices to and stores information over several weeks for comparison use.


Advanced features are the features that go above and beyond the basic features of watches. These features are items like sleep monitoring, fitness add-ons and notification features. As mentioned above, this device can be used for swimming meaning that the device is waterproof. This is something new that is becoming popular with this type of devices because it allows swimming to be monitored as well as water sports like water polo. The Garmin Forerunner 735XT also offers V0S max estimates which, again, is something that is new and unique to tracking devices. It offers smart notifications (either from your phone and health reminders like standing up when sitting for long periods). This device also offers lactate threshold and race predictor for maximizing workouts and race times.


Connectivity is how well the device connects to another device (usually a phone but also sometimes tablets and laptops if preferred), this is usually reliant on the Bluetooth offered by trackers which should be a newer version of the technology. Connectivity also relates to how well the device STAYS connected to the device. Often times cheaper devices will seemingly connect and disconnect for reasons such as distance away from the connected device. Sometimes, though, they disconnect for no reason.


The Garmin Connect app is very well regarded and highly rated when considered to other products on the market. It allows the wearer to track their process over long periods and also allows the user to check in from time to time to see how they are doing. The app continually tracks activity so that the user is constantly on top of their game when it comes to their wellbeing.


This tracker offers a fairly lightweight feel to the watch which reviewers found handy seeing as many of them are wearing this watch for extended periods of time. The band itself is also not uncomfortable in any way, providing a 'pinch-free' experience which a small amount of others have issues with. The watch is also comfortable to wear for long periods without getting any wrist strain or general discomfort which is positive. Overall, it is comfortable and lightweight watch, which is positive.


This tracker definitely offers more of a sporty design than a fashionable. Though this is the case, the design isn't too bad. We are moving into a technological period where wearing smartwatches is becoming a staple and thus the concept of wearing a sports watch with, say, a dress shirt isn't completely unheard of or odd. This watch offers a quasi-minimalist design but with the face edges offering some points that definitely gives it more of a utility design. Those who bought this product referred to the design of the watch to be 'ok' which should tell the reader something. Overall, not unattractive, a little sporty, and probably not overly fashionable. It's fine for everyday use but would be hard to 'pair' with anything in order to help with its aesthetic.


There weren't too many comments about this device's durability. This is probably a good thing though seeing as this is the first area that reviewers will complain about when buying pretty much anything that is wearable. This device is waterproof which means it can withstand being submerged in water for an extended period of time. The face plate seems to also be fairly scratch resistant as well which helps the watch look newer longer which is really great.


As mentioned above, the faceplate of this device seems to withstand scratching pretty well which keeps the screen readable and reliable. The face itself isn't too big, allowing those wearing the watch to hide it under dress shirts relatively easily. Some individuals with smaller wrists, however, did find this watch to be a little bulky, especially when attempting to style it with dress clothes. The faceplate is made of a chemically strengthened glass material hence its durability and resistance to wear and tear. The display is also sunlight-visible making it easy to see even when out in the sun and is transflective memory-in-pixel enabled to offer a nicer viewing experience.


The band of this device is made of a silicone material which is quite soft and smooth. Those who wore this watch did find it quite comfortable to wear for extended periods of time which is positive. The straps are also replaceable if the wearer wants to style it themselves.


This device quite easily connects to most smartphone devices with ease. Not many people found that the device stopped tracking very frequently. One reviewer noted that there does seem to be some syncing issues between numerous devices but that this is more of an app issue that could be resolved with bug fixes, over the actual watch being an issue. Outside of this, the device seems to stay well connected and those who wore this device didn't find many instances where information was incorrect or off.


The website notes that depending on what the watch is being used for, the battery life differs. For the most part, users found that the battery lasted for around 14 hours when being worn with active use (like monitoring workouts, using apps, monitoring sleep and checking notifications regularly). If the watch is exclusively being used for minor applications (such as watch function and notification tracking exclusively) then the battery can last up to 11 days. This is fairly impressive when compared to similar products like the Apple watch which many reviewers found that the battery lasts for a much shorter timeframe.


The price is probably the biggest issue with this device being that the price is on the higher end. Though still not as high as some smartwatches, this device sits between the expensive to mid-range price point. It does seem to be worth it considering all the features this watch has. It offers both the basic and advanced features that anyone could really require in a watch. In addition to this, the watch seems to also be quite durable and therefore offers a longer shelf life. Overall, definitely worth the price assigned to it.


In the box of this device, there is the watch itself, a charging cord and clip, as well as the manual for the watch. There is a secondary package which does cost a bit more but it offers the watch itself, the heart rate strap, a charging clip, and the manual. Finally, there is a third box, again for a little extra, that offers the regular heart rate strap as well as the swimming one, the charging clip, and manual. There are also additional, individual accessories available on the Garmin website like strap replacements, etc.


- Heart rate monitor for more specific calorie and sleep tracking
- Advanced analytics such as ground contact time balance and stride length
- Connect features in order to monitor notifications such as texts and goal reminders
- Customizable faceplates and wrist bands to suit individual styles
- Waterproof body up to 5 ATM for monitoring swimming workouts
- Access to Garmin Connect for more detailed analytics directly on your phone
- Camera remote controls
- Decent battery life (days of use on a single charge)


Overall this is a pretty decent little device. There were numerous long and informational reviews left about this watch, all pretty positive. The primary issues with this watch are the accelerator accuracy, some sync relay between devices and the weather app being off. For the most part, though, all these issues seem easily fixable with bug fixes released by Garmin over time. The watch well designed, durable, waterproof and reliable. It is definitely worth considering for your next fitness tracking purchase.