Garmin Forerunner 935

8.7 score
(TheGearHunt) score (8.7)/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: 8.6 / 10
User's rating: based on 1 user ratings
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Garmin Forerunner 935 Review Facts

Athletes are data oriented. The wealth and depth of statistics and information offered by Garmin’ Forerunner 935 are reasons many sing its praises. It is a jack-of-all-trades, tracking across various disciplines such as swimming, cycling, and running. The device encompasses all areas of expertise with no compromise in quality. Ultrarunners are pleased that two watches no longer have t be worn to track progress during long endeavors. The Forerunner 935 keeps up with runners for up to 24 hours.

Triathletes enjoy the ability to track all runs, bikes, and swims with a smooth transition between modes. They simply press a button. Some balk at the price tag, but consistent and reliable tracking has won over many athletes. The device serves as a training buddy. The 935 is also a smartwatch and has every feature of a typical modern-day Garmin watch. It relays smartphone notifications. The watch can be used to control the music on the phone. It has access to connect AQ and shows the weather, calendar, and a few other things. The 935 is not going to die mid-bike ride. The only feature found on the 935 not found on the Fenix 5 is WiFi. Though not a big issue, it does make the 935 stand out. It is not a feature on the more expensive Fenix 5.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Built-in sensors for elevation, compass, and temperature readings.
  • Color sunlight-visible display
  • Data field customization
  • Extra long battery life
  • Many add-ons are available to increase functionality
  • Multi-activity monitoring, ideal for triathletes
  • Reliable and quick connectivity
  • Smartphone compatibility with Garmin Connect
  • Water resistant to 50 meters
  • Face scratches easily
  • High-end ticket price
  • Some connectivity issues with water swims


For many athletes, the Garmin Forerunner 935 fits the bill. It is a tracking tool for multiple purposes. The device allows the user to record and analyzed favorite adventures such as swimming, cycling, or running.

They can also monitor golf performance, strength train, or engage in paddle sports. The watch is also a sleep tracker and calorie and step counter. Even more, feedback is possible when additional external devices such as a wearable biochemical data transmitter or chest strap heart rate monitor are added. The input helps fine-tune experiences to make improvements.

The Forerunner 935 is ahead of the competition with its lightweight design, long battery life, and useful metrics for almost all indoor and outdoor activities. Garmin has been targeting serious athletes since 2000.

The watch has a slightly different target audience than the Fenix 5. The Fenix 5 was mostly a lifestyle watch for the super active. Whereas, the 935 is the quintessential end all, be all of the triathlon watches.

It is a multi-sport watch and is equipped with features found on previous generations of watches. Included are all of the stats for the run, cycle, and swim. The Forerunner 935 is a Garmin flagship watch for swimmers and runners. It is among the top choices for multisport athletes.

Basic Features

Those on the move can stay connected with the Forerunner 935 from high and low places. Unlike previous versions, the 935 has a barometric altimeter for precise elevation and altitude data. Combined with other sensors the watch measures vertical, mountain climbs.

Due to the water resistance to approximately 50 meters, it can also record swimming endeavors. Most athletes appreciate the many features and versatility of the watch. Built into the watch is a heart rate monitor that is worn on the wrist and an above average color screen that is readable in sunlight.

Most users are runners who love the accuracy and abundance of available data such as VO2 max, time, distance, pace, and other biochemical metrics like stride length and cadence. Triathletes find switching sports is easy and consider it an asset.

Advanced Features

Windows, Android, and iPhone apps on smartphone platforms offer notifications. Uploads and viewing are possible with the proprietary Garmin Connect which also provides access to playlists and music. The device has the ability to produce ‘bread crumbs’ that allow live tracking by those with eyes on the user for safety or pleasure.

Advanced running metrics like ground contact time and stride length are available if the device is paired with the HRM Tri or the HRM-Run heart rate monitor. Very recently, it can be paired with the Garmin Dynamic Running Pod.

It is a little pod that gives most of the same running stats. All the new training features are included as well as those seen in the past. Training load, training status, and training effect that help determine the workout are available.

Some features showed up first on the Fenix 5. The device has GPS and GLONASS that are not new features. It also has Ultra Track Mode, and like the Fenix 5, it has a gyroscope to help fill in lapses and data from Ultra Track Mode.

It is water resistant to 50 meters. The watch has a golf application. The device is also an activity tracker with everything one would expect from a tracker plus a built-in heart rate monitor. As is always the case, the heart rate monitor is best for running, walking, and hiking.

It is a status quo heart rate sensor. Those who do a lot of weight lifting and CrossFit should not rely on the heart rate monitor. It should be paired with an external heart rate sensor. It works with ANT+ and Bluetooth external heart rate sensors as well as others such as speed and cadence sensors and power meters.


Most wearers think the Forerunner 935 is accurate without adding devices such as the Swim band or heart rate chest straps for data depth when the wrist monitor is inaccessible while in the water. A few swimmers expressed the lack of reliable measurement unimpressive for a device with a high price tag.

Most feedback is positive. Spot on swimming stroke differentiation and better performance than some of the best sports watches available are reasons behind the positive feedback. Most users take advantage of the multiple locations services such as GLONASS and GPS and sensors such as the barometric altimeter that provides accurate altitude measurement. They are pleased with the overall reliability of statistics, directions, and maps.


WiFi, ANT+, and Bluetooth Smart provide seamless Garmin Forerunner 935 connectivity for consistently reliable, quick uploads. Acquiring satellites requires less than a minute, often a few seconds. Other Garmin products with more features do not have WiFi. Occasional loss of signal in swim mode is not unique to the Forerunner 935. Syncing up in open water is more difficult than on land.


Garmin users can log in and track progress automatically via the Garmin Connect community. Stava is one of the many compatible interfaces available for swimmers, cyclists, runners, and athletes. Many users stay motivated by the challenges and competitions provided. The Garmin 24-7 tracking tool records and measures things such as sleep and step count for later analysis.


Some reviewers indicated the watch is a bit oversized. It weighs 49 grams and will not weigh down the wearer. There are two 22mm silicone bands included. They are designed to be comfortable regardless of the activity or sport.


The Garmin Forerunner 935 can fit most occasions. It can be an all-day activity tracker. There are those who wear the device as an everyday watch, saying it is more stylish than the standard sports watch.

Colorful interchangeable bands provide wearers with options. Users can fine-tune a customizable look. It is suitable for casual wear. There is some concern that the chemically strengthened glass face will scratch and reduce visibility and detract from the appeal. Most feedback on style is positive.


Serious athletes want a serious watch. The 935 offers significant battery life and data. Its features stand above other comparable watches. Even the beatings dished out by ultramarathons, and ironmans can’t prevent the tool from going the distance.

The heartiness and life span of the Forerunner 935 pleases most users. A handful of reviewers gave less than stellar feedback. If the glass face were a sapphire crystal upgrade, reviewers would rave.


A 1.2-inch glass face reinforced with a polymer bezel is chemically strengthened and sunlight-visible. It is in 64-color and has a resolution of 240 x 240 for differential viewing of graphed training data and statistics.

The screen is big enough to view easily, yet small enough to be considered stylish. Buttons along the bezel side control customizable data field of the watch. Not having a touch screen can be frustrating when maneuvering with sweaty or wet fingers. For safety, the add-on Rand ID face is an option.


The 22mm silicone band is standard for the Garmin Forerunner 935. There are many colored silicone band options to choose and install with the easy-change, Quick-Fit system. The watch fits most users. It is available in only one size.

Ease of Use

The watch has buttons on the side that are intuitive and straightforward means of navigating the menus. Switching metrics and data fields is a smooth transition. Transitioning between multi-disciplinary racing and training modes is relatively seamless.


The Forerunner 935 is chargeable with car or wall charging adapter plugged into the USB port on the watch. A full day of GPS mode is possible with one charge. When in battery saver mode, the charge lasts twice as long. Up to two weeks of battery life is possible when the device is used as a smartwatch only.


Opinions are divided about the justification of the high-end price tag. The only smartphone feature it has is notifications. There are many activity bells and whistles. Many do not consider the cost too steep for all the helpful elements it provides in one place.

Garmin has other triathlon watches. Why did they make the 935? The 935 is a $500 watch, which is not surprising because Garmin seems determined to raise prices. The 935 has almost every single feature of the Fenix 5.


Though the 935 is a knockout standalone piece, accessories offered, make the experience even more satisfying. The external heart rate monitor garners in-depth information. The monitor and waist-worn dynamic pod provide a comprehensive training approach no matter the discipline.

The external devices provide biomechanic information such as ground contact intervals, stride, and cadence. The feedback helps pinpoint beneficial improvement areas and areas of strength.

Continual monitoring helps athletes attain the best performance by analyzing extended range data available. Interchangeable fashion silicone bands and screen protector glass are offered.

Key Features

* 1.2-inch diameter screen, 64-color display, 240 x 240 pixels, readable in sunlight
* 24-hour battery life
* Data and location sensors work together for accurate data collection of cohesive measurement
* Impressive all-day tracking activities
* Seamless upload to Garmin Connect
* Water resistant to 50 meters

Bottom Line

The price tag is an indicator that the Garmin Forerunner 935 is made for serious sports enthusiasts or those who love analyzing numbers. If all that is needed is simple tracking using standard metrics, the watch may be overkill at a high price.

It has only smartphone notification features and is a tracking tool for daily activities. Some feel the 64mb computing power capacity is an enjoyable everyday watch that meets the needs of an Ironman or someone who is not.

The Garmin Forerunner 935 is a beefed-up version on the 735XT, or more aptly, it is the Fenix 5 Lite. It is like the Fenix 5 in every way. The watch looks eerily similar. It is a bit thinner, lighter, and less durable because it is mostly plastic and it doesn’t come standard with quick bands.

If one is familiar with Garmin watches, the same features are found on the 935. Most of what can be done with the 935 can be done with the 735XT. Why have the 935? It boils down to battery life.

Garmin quoted battery life on the 735XT at up to 14 hours in GPS mode, like that of the Fenix 5. With the 935, it is unlikely to get 24 hours, but it is better than the 735XT. Triathletes are very battery conscious, especially if the device is paired with power meters or other sensors. Reviewers like the watch. They think it is an awesome product. It has an excellent display, it is comfortable, and offers a lot. Triathletes will be all over it.