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. Refer user manual below.
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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||✔|
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Beach Camera Same Day Shipping||Heart Rate Monitors USA||Clever Training||Amazon.com|
|Are Batteries Included||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Are Batteries Required||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Display Type||180 x 180 pixels - LCD, Color Display||128 x 128 pixels, Digital Display||180 x 180 pixels, Color display||touchscreen 180x180 pixel, Color touch screen||215 x 180, Color display||Color transflective memory-in-pixel Chroma|
|Item Dimensions||1.8 x 0.5 x 1.8 in||0.5 x 1.4 x 1.6 in||1.8 x 0.5 x 1.8 in||1.8 x 0.5 x 1.8 in||1.75 x 0.47 x 1.75 in||2 x 0.6 x 2 in|
|Item Weight||1.6 ounces||1.6 ounces||1.44 ounces||1.44 ounces||1.6 ounces||3.2 ounces|
|Sport Type||running||Wireless||Wireless||running; swimming; cycling||Wireless|
|Style Name||Watch Only||Watch Only||Without Heart Rate Monitor||Without Heart Rate Monitor||Watch Only||Base Model|
Top customer reviews
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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.
I love having an activity tracker but I also love having a GPS running watch. I had the Surge but it was SO ugly, I got rid of it. So why did I need to move on from the Blaze? It is advertised as being able to connect to your phone for GPS. This was an epic fail for me and although Fitbit customer service was awesome and replaced it under warranty, the new unit still did not work on GPS. It had a lot of bluetooth problems including not connecting often so that I could access music controls. It also was not catching my heart rate correctly during high cardio and peak heart rate.
Here are my thoughts on the Garmin:
-The GPS is awesome! Not once have I had a single issue with the GPS. I ran with the Blaze and Garmin yesterday. The blaze (connected to GPS for a brief moment before it lost connection) gave me 2.35 miles while the Garmin gave me 2.2. I do like that the Blaze tells you how many steps you take on your run while the Garmin does not.
-The music controls work well and always connect. This was VERY important to me and if the Garmin did not have this option, I would not have bought it. I do wish it showed the track name like the Blaze did though.
-I like that you can customize your Garmin, but it can take some practice before you can figure out how to do that. It's also MUCH easier to download apps, widgets and watch faces connected to your computer than to your smart phone. I got TONS of error messages when trying to do it on my phone. Also like the Fitness Pal connection.
-Heart rate seems pretty spot on. I have read lots of reviews here that say this product has a bad hrm, but I have found that to be untrue. Since I have had many fitbits with this feature and experience with Polar heart rate straps (they cut my skin so I had to stop using them), I believe that the heart rate monitor is pretty reliable. It does not show the heart beat moving like the Blaze does, but that's minor and it does take a minute to update. It did catch my peak heart rate where the Blaze had trouble. It showed my peak at 175 which is maybe 3-4 beats too high but much closer than my Blaze which said 164.
-As for steps... this is where I am not sure of the reliability. I wore it with the Blaze yesterday and the Blaze gave me 12,499 while the Garmin gave me 10,823. On Friday, my work schedule is such that I don't usually get very many steps and the Garmin gave me 10,948 steps, so I became suspicious leading to me wearing both monitors together on Saturday. I am going to guess that the correct number is somewhere in between the two watches. Also, the Garmin does not let you know when you have reached your goal and that feature on the blaze was kind of cute. VO2 Max is cool but probably not very accurate. So is the recovery hours suggestion.
-Love the weather and sunrise/sunset view. This helps me not need to look the info up on my phone.
-This is a very attractive looking watch. I hate that Fitbit is stuck on the square watch face look and I will not go back to Fitbit until they try a round watch face that can pass for a regular watch like this one can! I have a very small wrist (around 5.5") and this strap is comically long on me. I wish they made small watch band sizes for women like me. But nothing is as comical looking as the hideous Surge was!
Here is where I agree with the reviewer about making sure that you are buying this watch for the right reasons! The bad parts. I am a gear head and very good with gadgets. So I can only imagine being someone who is not.
-On the first night I had my Garmin, I was 100% sure I was going to return it because the set up process was such a pain in the butt. The app absolutely sucks. If Garmin could hire a Fitbit software engineer to sort out their IOS app, I would be a happy camper. I got so many error messages and I still cannot figure out how to use the app very easily. That's where Fitbit has one up on Garmin. Information you want at your fingertips are easy to find, but on the Garmin, it often takes me a few minutes to find the info I want. I wish I could have all the data from the Garmin with the Fitbit app.
-The menus on the watch are very difficult to figure out. If you asked me right now how to get to my stopwatch feature, I could not tell you how and I would have to google it. I also had to google various other steps to access other things on the watch.
-I cannot tell when my Garmin is actually charging. I don't see any icon or any indicator that it is charging and I have to just come back in a few minutes to see if the percentage has changed.
-Battery life. Well, needless to say it doesn't last very long. I charged it fully on Wednesday and then used it only during the day (turning it off at night) and it is Sunday now. It has 31% battery left. So that's around 48 hours so far with probably another 8 before I need to charge it again. I read some users saying that the battery life gets better as time goes on so we will see.
-Sometimes I wonder if the HRM is working at all. My blaze was running/flashing at all times. Just now, I took my garmin off and it is not flashing at all. It takes about a minute or so before it turns back on. But when it is working, it's reliable.
So all in all, be sure you are buying this for the right reasons. Don't expect it to be a gimmicky/cute activity tracker like a Fitbit. If you are looking for a good GPS running watch with some maybe reliable activity tracking, this is the watch for you. I was very sad to leave Fitbit and I will probably go back if they ever come out with a Surge 2 that is not square (hate that look) so I can use their awesome app and do challenges with my friends and coworkers.