Garmin Forerunner 235 - Black/Gray
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- GPS Running Watch with Wrist-based Heart Rate
- Customize Your Watch and Your Training, Larger Screen - a 44% Larger Screen than the 225 but the Same Physical Size
- Audio Prompts - Receive Audio Prompts from Your Connected Smartphone That Include Laps and Lap Times
- Smart Notifications - See Incoming Email, Text Messages, Call Alerts, Calendar Reminders and More from Your Compatible Smartphone
- Battery Life 11 Hours Training, 9 Days Watch, Activity Tracking, Notifications + Heart Rate
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From the manufacturer
Black and Gray
Elevate Wrist Heart Rate Technology
Forerunner 235 with Elevate heart rate technology measures heart rate at the wrist 24/7, giving you the option to run without a strap. Its colorful gauge identifies your heart rate zone and beats per minute in real time. Stay in the zone and race to your personal best with Elevate wrist heart rate technology.
GPS Running Watch with Wrist-based Heart Rate
Stay on pace for your next personal record with Forerunner 235, the GPS running watch with Elevate wrist heart rate technology and smart features. Includes activity tracking and connected features like automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, smart notifications and audio prompts, as well as customizable widgets, applications and watch faces from the Connect IQ store.
- Tracks distance, pace, time, heart rate and more
- Connected features: automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, live tracking, audio prompts, smart notifications and social media sharing
- Activity tracking counts daily steps, distance, calories and sleep
- Download data fields, watch faces, widgets and applications from Connect IQ
Connect IQ is also home to custom watch faces, widgets, apps and data fields you can download for free.
Displays email, call, text, social media and other alerts.
VO2 Max Estimate
Estimates the maximum volume of oxygen you can use during activity.
You can also use the app’s wireless connectivity links to receive current weather conditions and forecasts.
Counts steps, calories and distance throughout the day, and the move bar with vibration alert motivates you to move when you’ve been sitting too long.
|VO2 max estimate||✓||✓||✓|
|Wrist-based heart rate||✓|
- Size (LWH): 0.5 inches, 1.8 inches, 1.8 inches
- Weight: 1.6 ounces
- Battery Type: Lithium Ion
Top Customer Reviews
The FR235 is extremely lightweight. You’d find it hard to believe that the guys at Garmin managed to squeeze in vibration motor, accelerometer, GPS + GLONASS, audio and a decent rechargeable battery, all sealed to 5ATM water resistance.
The charging cable is proprietary and features a clamp design that ends off with a USB end. I love the big display that really brings out the beauty in the custom faces you can find on Garmin Connect IQ.
The strap is exchangeable and I was surprised to learn that there’s actually a black/volt Nike exclusive version on top of the marsala, black gray, frost green. The slightly stretchy strap is full of ventilation and fitting holes
What I particularly like is that the FR235 looks good enough to be worn during and outside training. With a brightly coloured strap, it could even look like a trendy time piece that doesn’t scream “FITNESS TRACKER!”
I compared the HR data to that from a Polar H7 Bluetooth Smart HRM and the comparison is shown in the attached pictures. The 2 HR graphs are not identical as you can see the numerous peaks in the HR graph of the FR235. That being said, I thought the FR235 gave a pretty good estimate in smart recording mode; meaning the HR/GPS data is not recorded every second, it can range from once per second to once every 6 seconds thereabouts. The eventual file size is smaller and usually the recorded data is sufficient for the average user.
When the recording mode was switched to every second, the FR 235 performed superbly. While the data is not quite that of the Polar H7, it’s getting really close.
I understand there are users out there who are not getting the same response from the FR235 that I am. Optical heart rate sensors are tricky and dependant on many factors. I have to stress that I’m speaking from personal usage as an individual.
There are 4 activity profiles.
2. RUN INDOORS
You can’t remove any of them though you can hide them if it’s not used much. The cool thing about the FR235 is that all 4 modes can be individually customised.
For example for outdoor runs, I would like the GPS function to be available but all smart notifications to be turned off. But for indoors runs on a treadmill, I would like the GPS function to be turned off and all forms of smart notifications enabled. So the FR235 allows you to set your preferences for all 4 activity profiles.
Besides the activity profiles, there’s also training tools you can tap on such as:
1. Training calendar
3. My workouts
4. Finishing time
Features like training calendar and my workouts require that you log into Garmin Connect web and do some planning. The FR 235 allows the user to set interval distance, duration and time right from the watch device. As for finishing time, you just need to set a distance and go about your run while the FR235 will display roughly how fast you can complete the distance based on the current pace.
The screen during activity tracking can be set to a total of 5 screens of which 2 can be further split into 4 data fields each. So in total you’re getting 4+4+1 (Heart rate) +1 (HR Zone gauge)+1 (Clock)= 11 stats to view during tracked activities. And these can be set differently for every activity profile.
The FR235 allows you to expand and read smart notifications or set the mode of alert, be it audio, vibration or both.
After a run of more than 10 minutes, the FR235 will give you a VO2 max estimation. The recovering advisor will also list the number of hours you need to rest before the next hard workout. The data is analysed by First Beat, a Finnish company that also provides similar service to Samsung, Garmin, Suunto, Sony and many more.
There’s also a predicted finishing time for 5k, 10k, half and full marathon based on your performance in tracked 10 minutes.
--All day activity tracker—
The FR235 tracks steps, distance, calories burned, sleep, all day HR and intensity minutes but it doesn’t track number of stairs climbed due to the lack of a barometer. It is also compatible with 3rd
If you’ve been sedentary for too long, the FR235 will alert you through an audio beep or buzz that it’s time to get up and”Move.”
There are a lot of avenues for customisation and if you’re willing to invest the time, you can really tweak the FR235 to your personal preference.
I was able to set alerts during a tracked activity session to buzz when I go beyond a certain HR. Also I set the autopause function to kick in when I slow below 10km/hr; could be waiting for the traffic lights and so on.
The FR235 also connects to ANT+ foot pod , heart rate monitor and Garmin’s VIRB action cameras.
If you’re looking for chest strap accurate HR readings, then opt for the FR230 and buy a chest strap. Otherwisethe FR235 is a serious contender on anyone’s list of GPS fitness watch to consider.
• 24/7 fitness tracker. Tracks steps, distance, calories, sleep.
• Measure all day heart rate and heart rate during tracked activity sessions
• GPS+Glonass enabled with smart or per second tracking
• Vibration and audio enabled for smart notifications, alarms, move alerts
• Expand and read full messages on FR 235 display
• Pick up phone calls only
• Heavily customisable
• Garmin Connect IQ compatible for apps and watch face downloads
• VO2 Max score, Race time predictor, Recovery advisor
• Automatic laps for 1km/1 mile or customised
• Auto pause during tracked runs
• Interval run features
• Water resistant to 5 ATM
• Big screen that is not touch enabled
• Sunlight readable screen with back light
• Connect IQ compatible
• Reads lap number and time from Garmin Connect mobile app from connected smart phone
• Shows weather and calender events from smart phone
• Water resistant to 5 ATM
• Navigation on the FR235 takes getting used to
• No virtual pacer feature
--Updated 28th Jan 2016--
Well I had the watch for a while now. It's still great and it's rare I keep a fitness tracking device for such an extended period of time. One thing that bothers me is the Bluetooth connection especially after firmware updates. I found myself having to switch off and on the FR235 again when the BT connection runs into difficulty.
Before I get started - yes I always made sure the watch was not moving around a lot on my wrist. My wrist has practically no hair. My skin tone is not too darkYes I tried different tightness levels and regions on my wrist when I noticed the Garmin reading was WAY off from the chest strap reading. I also tried changing it from "smart recording" to "record every 1s" for the data recording on the watch.
Here's what I've found so far:
GOOD for: sustained running (no big variations in heart rate)
BAD for: interval running or training that involves rapid change in effort levels
Aside from the graph comparisons, I'll also include some of the calorie burn estimation errors associated with the HR reading problems.
Based on some of the equations I found for calculating calories burned based on all of your personal body information and HR, here are the calorie statistics from the various activities I've tested so far:
Tempo Run (sustained running about 30 minutes) -
Actual calorie burn: 531
Garmin 235: 548 (over by ~3%) - pretty good
Fitbit Charge HR: 508 (under by ~4%) - pretty good
Strides + Interval Run (warm up + high for 3 minutes, low for 3 minutes and repeat)
Actual calorie burn: 340
Garmin 235: 304 (under by ~11%) - mediocre
Fitbit Charge HR: 314 (under by ~8%) - mediocre
Strength Training/Gym (high intensity lifts + 2 minute rests in between)
This one I added up the 3 sessions you see. Yes this is a running watch, but I'm hoping to find a wrist-based solution that will eventually replace the need for chest straps.
Actual calorie burn: 2038
Garmin 235: 1203 (under by ~41%) - terrible
Fitbit Charge HR: 1378 (under by ~32%) - pretty bad too
Average HR and Max HR can be pretty close, but that only tells you one side of the story. Accurate total calories burned is very much reliant on being close to accurate most of the time. So based on the above data and the included charts, I would only recommend this if you're going to use it for sustained activities greater than 5 minutes where your effort level is not expected to deviate a bunch. Unfortunately, wrist-based technology isn't quite there yet if you're hoping to completely replace your chest strap.
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