Reviews

Garmin Forerunner 235 User Review | GadFit

December 6, 2015

The shipment for my Forerunner 235 ($329.95) was delayed as the seller said they were facing unforseen demand. When I finally got my hands on the unit (it arrived 10 days later than promised with some freebies thrown in for goodwill), I totally understand why it was sold out every where including the largest online retailer in the world Amazon.

Garmin has produced a spectacular product in the Forerunner 235. Strangely being one of the top 5 global players for wearable devices and having pushed out no less than 7 new products this year alone, one can only wonder what took them so long to deliver this device.

I had the Forerunner for a month and here’s what I have to say.Garmin- forerunner 235 -sunlight-readable-screen

IN SHORT

Pros

  • 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 display
  • Pick up phone calls only
  • Heavily customisable in terms of display fields
  • Garmin Connect IQ compatible for apps and watch face downloads
  • VO2 Max score, recovery advisor and race time predictor
  • Manual, automatic laps for 1km/1 mile or customised distance
  • Auto pause during tracked runs
  • Back to Start feature
  • Interval run features
  • Music control on connected smart devices
  • Water resistant to 5 ATM
  • Big screen that is not touch enabled
  • Sunlight readable screen with back light
  • Up to 9 days battery life with smart notifications and all day heart rate turned on
  • Displays weather and calender upcoming events on watch
  • Create workouts, plan training on Garmin Connect web platform

Cons

  • User interface on Forerunner 235 GPS watch could be improved
  • No virtual racer feature which is available on FR 25

Read on for the in depth review and pictures!

LOOK AND FEEL

Garmin- forerunner 235 -worn-on-handI’m always impressed with what Garmin has achieved in nearly all its fitness trackers, lightweight and full of features, and the Forerunner 235 is no exception. The Forerunner 235 is of plastic built and has 5 buttons. For those of you who are not aware the screen display is 44% larger than the Forerunner 225; a very competent heart rate GPS watch that will most likely be overshadowed by this debutante unless there’s a huge price cut in the former.

My partner said it looks good; sporty looking and great colour without trying to pass off as something fashionable. This is something I can easily wear during and outside training.Garmin- forerunner 235 -backlight-vs-normalThe screen is sunlight readable and performs outstandingly. As for visibility in the night I would have preferred something a tad brighter.

The strap is exchangeable and I would expect strap kits to go on sale in the near future. The strap is also slightly stretchable which is great for optical heart rate trackers where you want it tight yet allow room for the slight expansion due to muscle contraction.Garmin- forerunner 235 -different-viewsThe back of the Forerunner 235 houses the optical heart rate sensors and charging port. Like the Forerunner 225, there are a total of 5 buttons. The display is not touch enabled which is fine. I don’t know about you but after a hard workout, I usually perspire a lot and it’s frustrating trying to swipe with wet fingers.Garmin- forerunner 235 -optical-heart-rate-on-handGarmin has abandoned the light seal design found in the Forerunner 225. In its place, they’ve opted for a slightly protruded light sensor design similar to that of the Scosche Rhythm + that pushes the sensor deeper into the skin for accurate measurements.

The charging cable is proprietary and features a clamp design that ends off with a USB end.forerunner 235 feature-consideration-12 of the earliest comments I had were “Wah, so big!” and “It’s so big!” In Singapore, “Wah” is normally used to pre-empt an exclamation. It’s the equivalent of “Wow.” I personally thought it suit me just fine. In my review of the Forerunner 225, I lamented the inadequate display estate given the bezel size but the display allowance on the Forerunner 235 is optimal.Garmin-Forerunner-235-connect-IQ-facesI love the big display that really brings out the beauty in the custom faces you can find on Garmin Connect IQ. I’m sure you’ll have fun looking for the watch face that best reflects your personality.

The watch is rated 5ATM water resistant and battery life is expected to last up to 9 days with smart notifications and all day heart rate tracking switched on. The manual has a detailed breakdown of the duration of battery life depending on your usage.

FUNCTIONS AND DATA PRESENTATION

There are numerous functions so I’ll just highlight the more notable features rather than go through the entire laundry list of features.

Heart rate measurement

Garmin may have moved away from Mio Global’s optical heart rate sensors but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I compared the heart rate (HR) readings against that of my trusty Polar H7 Smart Bluetooth chest worn HR monitor over 2 settings; smart recording and per second recording.

A) HR in smart recording mode

FR-235-vs-H7According to Garmin, the Forerunner 235 records key points where there’s a change of pace, direction or heart rate. In this manner, the file size is smaller and allows the user to store more activities before the need to sync with the mobile device.

I’ve noticed the HR reading intervals to range from once per second to once every 6 seconds. Nonetheless, it does provide an estimate of the HR compared to a chest worn heart rate monitor.

B) HR in every second recording mode

per second HR reading FR235 vs Polar H7As the recording is done every second, I was able to export the data from Garmin Connect and plot it along side the data from that of the Polar H7 which also records every second and the result is shown above. With the exception of a few peaks and inconsistency towards the end of the tracked activity, I personally thought the Garmin Forerunner 235’s optical heart rate sensors performed outstandingly if you’re not looking at chest strap HRM accuracy.

Exercise recording profile

Garmin- forerunner 235 -4-recording-modesThe Forerunner 235 has 4 training profiles which cannot be changed. There’s run, run indoors, bike and others.  You can choose to hide any of those if you feel you’re not likely to use a particular profile. Each profile can be further fine tuned to your preference in terms of GPS activation and even customised alarms.Garmin-Forerunner-235-1-4-running-appThere’s a lot of data the Forerunner 235 can capture during a tracked session of run. You can see:

  • Running dynamics
  • Pace, Speed
  • Lap
  • Elevation
  • Heart rate.

The Forerunner 235 does not have a barometer so the elevation is based on GPS data.Garmin-Forerunner-235-1-4-garmin-connect-summaryIf words and numbers aren’t your cup of tea, there’s a graphical representation of the tracked activity which might tickle your fancy.

When running indoors without GPS, the Forerunner 235 is able to use the in built accelerometer to estimate the distance run. This feature will become more accurate overtime after a few GPS activated runs outdoors. From my experience, the Forerunner 235 was able to estimate my treadmill run to 95% accuracy after multiple outdoor GPS enabled runs.

Data fields

Under each training mode, you have the option of customising up to 2 screens with 4 data fields each, giving you a total of 8 displayable fields on top of clock and heart rate. The customisation for each training mode differs. For example, the activity profile for outdoor run may include GPS without smart notifications whereas an indoor run with disable GPS functions and include all forms of notifications.  You can see the 4 different types of fields in the picture below. Beautiful display isn’t it?Garmin- forerunner 235 -1-4-stats-fieldsThe customisable fields list is extremely long so I’ll just listing a few of the headings:

  • Timer fields: Lap time/ last lap time/ average lap time/ elapsed time.
  • Distance fields: Distance/ lap distance/ last lap distance
  • Pace fields: Average pace/ lap pace/ last lap pace
  • Speed fields: Average speed/ lap speed/ last lap speed/ maximum speed
  • Heart rate fields: Average HR/ HR zone/ HR% max/ %HRR/ Avg HR% max/ Avg %HRR/ Lap HR/ Lap% HRR/ Lap% HR max/ Time in Zone

There’s also cadence, temperature, elevation and others fields. It’s extensive and requires a bit of planning on your part.

Training

Garmin forerunner 235 -training-sub-menusGarmin has categorised training seperately from tracked sessions. Under training, you’ll find specific tools such as intervals, training calender and even your own created workouts that will help you structure your training.

Finishing time is a training feature that allows you to set a distance and go about running. You’ll be able to see your pace and estimated finishing time based on that pace.Garmin- forerunner 235 -interval-screensTake for example “Intervals.” You can easily set the interval distance, duration and rest period right from the watch without having to use the mobile app. To fully utilise other functions like “My Workout” or “Training Calender”, you’ll have to plan your training on Garmin Connect web and then sync it with the Forerunner 235.

My Stats

The FR235 has 3 physiological stats for the user:

  • Recovery Advisor
  • VO2 max estimate
  • Race predictor

Garmin- forerunner 235 -recovery-time-vs-VO2maxI was able to receive the physiological readings after a an outdoor workout with plenty of slopes.  The manual did state that it’ll take a few runs for the FR235 to provide a more accurate estimate of the physiological readings. The numbers doesn’t surprise me as I don’t claim to be fitter than I currently am; average at best.fitness-test-on-polarFor comparisons sake, I did a fitness test using a Polar H7 with the Polar Beat mobile app and got an Own Index score of 46 which is equivalent to the VO2 max estimation. It’s satisfying when devices and algorithm from 2 different companies provide scores in the similar range.

Recovery Advisor is powered by FirstBeat, the same company that also provides support to other big names on the market like Samsung, Suunto, Garmin and many more. You’ll be provided the number of hours to rest before the next hard workout.Garmin- forerunner 235 -race-predictionThere’s also the race predictor that will supposedly give you an estimate of your finishing times for 5K, 10K, half and full marathon. Not too proud of the prediction but it’s a reminder I’m long past my prime. Ouch.

GPS + GLONASS

You can choose to activate both GPS+GLONASS or just GPS. Sure it saps the battery lifespan quicker than usual but I doubt I’ll be hammering the trails for 12 hours straight. I’m usually done in an hour.

The GPS+GLONASS signal pick up is fast on a clear sky day and you can choose smart recording or per second recording.

The per second recording will provide a more detailed record of your running route, pace and heart rate; and subsequently a larger sized file and quicker battery sapping. Again this is not an issue if you’re one to download your work outs after every session.

You can also activate the “Back to start” feature during a tracked outdoor run where the Forerunner 235 will provide the directions for you to return to your start point.

24/7 Activity Tracking

garmin-connect-homeThe Garmin Forerunner 235 tracks steps, distance, calories, sleep and resting heart rate (RHR) throughout the day. The number of floors is listed as a measurable stat even though that can’t be tracked by the Forerunner 235 due to a lack of a barometer. This is a generic screen capture of the mobile app dash board.forerunner-235-all-day-heart-rate-reading

he all day HR reading function can be turned off to conserve battery. If like me, you’re the sort who fancy that breathing space between tracking device and skin throughout the day, the HR readings taken in this manner will  probably be less than accurate.This is a generic screen capture of the all day heart rate reading.

Garmin has always ranked highly for me in terms of the stats tracked. The inclusion of the intensity minutes that first saw wide adoption in the Garmin Vivosmart HR is welcomed. Intensity minutes, if taken in consideration with steps walked, helps the user make better sense of the daily activity level than just step count alone.sleep-summary-garmin-vivosmart-hrSleep is automatically tracked although you could manually edit the duration within the Garmin Connect mobile app.

There’s a multitude of information you can access on the mobile app and Garmin Connect’s web dashboard which I strongly urge you to explore.

Move Alert

Once the Forerunner 235 senses that you’ve been inactive for a while, an alert will go off in the form of a vibration or audio beep and the word “Move” will show up on the display. This is just a gentle reminder to get up and walk around after which the move alert counter will reset.

Smart Notifications

Garmin- forerunner 235 -notification-typesThe Forerunner 235 has gone the whole nine yards when it comes to smart notifications. Besides being able to expand and read all messages from SMS text and app notifications, I was also able to customise if an audio beep, vibration or a combination of both are to go off when an alert comes on.Garmin forerunner 235 -smart-notificationsThere are also options to customise the level of smart notification during and outside of activity tracking. If you are willing to spend a bit of time setting it to your preference, I’m sure you’ll find the device working the way you like.

For me personally, I dislike the incessant notifications coming in; it disrupts the flow of work. I’m also aware a call is something that requires urgent attention so I’ve set up my Forerunner 235 to allow calls to reach me only.

Battery

I was able to go about two and a half days with the following functions:

  • About 120 minutes of tracked activities in total with GPS + GLONASS mode
  • All day heart rate monitoring switched on
  • Smart notifications switched on
  • Vibration switched on

Garmin- forerunner 235 -at-flat-batteryThe vibrations that came with smart notifications must have taken quite a toil on battery since Garmin did state the Forerunner 235 can go up to 9 days in watch mode with activity tracking, all day heart rate and smart notifications.

Alerts

You can custom set alerts during the tracked activity session to inform you when to run/walk, when you hit a certain pace, clocked a particular distance and even staying in a particular heart rate zone.

It’s impressive but it also means the user must do some homework before hand to plan what he needs to be alerted to.  The reason why I’m saying is because if you’ve enabled smart notifications during training, you’ll be receiving messages, mobile app notifications, call alerts, auto lap alerts and more, so much so you’ll likely miss out the alert you set beforehand

ANYTHING ELSE?

Garmin- forerunner 235 -historyHistory: You can access the details for tracked activities and steps. The Forerunner 235 also allows the user to see the total run for the week and month right from the watch.Garmin- forerunner 235 -weatherWeather: The Forerunner 235 GPS fitness watch pulls weather data from the smart phone device and displays it on the screen so you can have a quick look to decide if it’s feasible for some outdoor workouts.Garmin- forerunner 235 -main-menu-scrollingCalender: Upcoming events in your calender will also be displayed on the Forerunner 235 once it is connected to your mobile device.

Find my phone:  One of least use functions in my opinion. I’m glad the wonky music player did not feature in the Forerunner 235 even though the manual did state it’s one of the functions.

Activity progress: With the Forerunner 235, I found less need to refer to the mobile device since I was able to get most of the information about my training right off the watch. If I wish to see my activity progress in terms of step count, I’d just scroll down down on the Forerunner 235 and I’d be able to see it easily.

Notification archive: If you’ve accidentally missed a notification, you can also see it on the Forerunner 235 without needing to take out your phone. There’s a screen that houses all the notifications that were displayed.Garmin- forerunner 235 -all-day-HRLast 4 hours HR: You can actually see the heart rate trend  for the last 4 hours easily by scrolling down on the Forerunner 235.

Laps: Can be manually set during a tracked activity session by pressing the “back” button or automatically set to the default 1km or 1mile.  You can even customise the lap distance.

Auto pause: Kicks in when the Forerunner 235 senses that the runner has stopped during an activity tracking session. You can further set this function to kick in when you go slower than a set speed.

Do Not Disturb: Once past a certain time, I try not to have work notifications and that’s when this feature come in really handy. It automatically kills all notifications during sleep time and can also be manually activated to cease all forms of notifications until deactivated again.

ANT+ sensors and accessories: The Forerunner 235 is compatible with foot pod and VIRB camera if you have either. Interestingly the garmin Forerunner 235 is also compatible with a ANT+ chest heart rate monitor.

Music control. This is really a hit and miss feature. Press “Up”on the Forerunner 235 to access the music controls.

FORERUNNER 235 IN A NUTSHELL

Easily one of the best GPS fitness watch on the market now. So much so I have no qualms recommending this fitness tracker to my friends who are looking for a new training companion device to start the year.forerunner 235 feature 2There are a few issues I had experienced one of which can’t be fixed. The lack of a barometer meant elevation is extracted directly from GPS data and this can go horribly wrong at times. Also the user interface on the Forerunner 235 could be further simplified. While the functions and level of customisation is impressive, getting round to all those features take getting used to.

Gamin’s Elevate tech has been tested twice this year with the Garmin Vivosmart HR and now the Forerunner 235. Compared against a chest worn Polar H7  HR monitor, I found the outcome acceptable and in the case of the Forerunner 235, oustanding.

Users will welcome the all day heart rate readings, the GPS+GLONASS feature, heavy level of customisation for smart notifications, activity profiles and even physical appearance with Garmin Connect IQ watch faces and app widgets.forerunner 235 -familyThe Garmin Forerunner 235 is available in Marsala, Lava Red, Solar Flare, Black Gray, Nike Black and Volt, Frost Blue and Pink. The recommended retail price is $329.99.

You can purchase the Garmin Forerunner 235 off Amazon where there’s usually a small discount, great return policy, and free delivery depending on where you reside. In return your purchase helps to offset the costs associated with the running of this site. Thanks for reading!

128 Comments

  • Reply Patrick December 9, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Nice review. I’ve been using the 235 for about 2 weeks, coming from a 620. One issue I’ve been seeing is some kind of heart rate “drop outs” for lack of a better term. When they happen, they seem to occur at the same location in one of my daily runs. It occurs for about 1/2 mile, then it snaps back. Have you experienced anything similar? I’ve linked to the log of my last run showing the issue.
    https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/978787959

    • Reply Michael S December 10, 2015 at 3:33 am

      Hi Patrick,

      Glad you like the review. Would you be referring your drop off between 3 min and 6:30?

      Mike

  • Reply Patrick December 10, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Yes, that’s exactly it. I get that about 1/3 to 1/2 of the time, and always during the first mile. I can’t figure out what’s causing it.

    • Reply Michael S December 11, 2015 at 5:34 am

      Hi Patrick,
      I was trying to see if it’s a crossover issue but it doesn’t look like it, at least for the specific part we’re looking at. I’m also curious to find out the cause.

      May I know if you’re using smart or per second recording? Is this problem specific to this route?

      Mike

      • Reply Patrick December 11, 2015 at 6:00 am

        I’ve used both smart and per second recording and have had the issue. And I’ve also had it occur on a different route, and then not on this route. That’s why it’s been so difficult to figure out what it is.

        I’ve decided to return the watch to the retailer and will try another one. If the issue persists, I guess I can resort to wearing a strap if I want to during marathon training and just live with the inaccuracy for routine runs. I like the watch, apart from this issue, more than my 620 so I’m hoping the replacement fares better.

        • Reply Michael S December 11, 2015 at 10:57 am

          Hi Patrick,

          Thanks for taking the trouble to update here again. It’s unfortunate but it sounds like you’ve gotten a FR235 with issues. I sure hope a replacement unit will help you there. If you could take the trouble to come by and post your updates with the replacement FR235, I’m sure other readers and I will be grateful.

          Mike

          • Patrick December 15, 2015 at 4:38 am

            Michael, received the new 225 today and took it out for the (more or less) identical run. Had what seemed like the same issue starting at about the 3:30 mark, but then I hit pause, stopped, restarted running, and the HR jumped back up. To be fair, I’m not 100% certain that pausing and restarting did anything – the HR reading may have just progressed normally on it own without my intervention.

            I’m starting to wonder if there’s not some specific set of circumstances that triggers this occurrence for me. When it happens on this run, it’s always at about the same spot. I’m a few minutes in, I may have stopped once or twice for traffic lights, and I’m on a gradual decline with a brief period where I’m running under a shopping mall overpass. (Note: I essentially run under a shopping mall to get to a lake. Strange, but true…)

            The run doesn’t really step up until about 3/4 of a mile in, where I reach the lake and get in about 5 miles without traffic lights. Maybe there’s something happening in this initial warm-up that causes the built-in HRM to struggle, while the chest strap HRM is just fine. I think my solution for now is to keep HR in one of the 4 data fields on my main screen, and if I see it drop down, just pause quickly and then restart running. That seemed to do the trick today.

          • Michael S December 17, 2015 at 5:01 am

            Well Patrick, what you’ve experienced sounds really strange and kudos to you for finding a “fix” to the situation. I would recommend bringing this to the attention of Garmin Support and they are usually prompt to reply. The HR drop only at that juncture in your run is almost X-files like!

          • Patrick December 15, 2015 at 4:43 am

            Also, as an aside, curious how your use of the 235 affects your use of the Apple Watch. I tried to make the Apple Watch work for running when I initially got it – and after WatchOS 2 was released – but I find it frustrating to run with. The past week or so I’ve been wearing my Apple Watch for the non-running hours, but I’d really love to have all of my activity consolidated under one system. So far, I haven’t found anything to do that.

          • Michael S December 17, 2015 at 4:57 am

            Hi Patrick,

            The FR 235 is a focused fitness device with minimal smart watch functions so it wouldn’t be fair to compare the 2 categories of wearables. Like you, I found the Apple Watch promising yet lacking; I wished it had GPS capabilities, storage for music and longer battery life. It might suffice for those who work out mainly in the gym or a single location. I rarely wear my Apple Watch now. The new Moto 360 Sport looks promising so you can check that out.

        • Reply Ben January 11, 2016 at 3:09 am

          Hi Patrick,

          I don’t know if this is of any help to you. I use a Mio Link wrist HRM (connected with a FR220 or Edge 500) and find that the first effort of a number of workouts the HR reading freezes. Since the HRM is sperate to the Garmin, I simply turn it off and then back on and it jumps to the correct HR and the continues fine. I wonder if this is a wrist based HR issue??

  • Reply Aaron December 14, 2015 at 12:28 am

    Great review Mike, thanks for the hard work. I’m 90% sure I’ll be getting a FR 235 soon. My only concern is that I never know what’s around the corner in the world of GPS watches. (Almost pulled the trigger on the FR 225 and I would have been blindsided by this release just 4-5 months later.) Are you aware of any upcoming GPS units in 2016 to keep an ear out for?

    ie. The Moto 360 Sport is intriguing spec-wise. Though I think most runners would agree that it won’t stand up against the Garmin’s when it comes to the nitty-gritty of running… Vo2 max, race estimator, HR accuracy.

    • Reply Michael S December 14, 2015 at 2:04 am

      Glad you find the review useful Aaron,
      The Moto 360 Sport’s biggest issue is the battery life of about a day. Granted it has on board GPS, heart rate sensors and runs Android Wear, it again depends on what you’re looking for. If Forerunner 235’s training features are of little or no use to you and you’d rather have more connectivity with a smart device, then you’re probably more leaned towards the Moto 360. The projected release date is 7th jan so you really don’t have to wait long before someone posts their user reviews.I would suggest you wait it out if you have your sights on the Moto 360.

      As for newer models coming up, you can definitely expect that though it’s the end of the year and most companies tend to sell current stock during the holiday seasons at a discount.You should be able to see more product releases once we hit 2016.

  • Reply Maria December 15, 2015 at 5:52 am

    Thank you for the detailed review. It was nice to read that my treadmill running accuracy may improve with more outside runs. I changed my running stride thinking this may have been athe problem. Also the HRM is spiky for me.

    • Reply Michael S December 17, 2015 at 4:50 am

      You’re welcome Maria,

      Are you on smart recording or every second recording? I found my HR recording “smoother” when I’m on every second recording. Otherwise, you can also fall back on ANT+ HRMs.

      Mike

  • Reply Ben Ralph December 29, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Hi Mike, nice review! I’m currently using the Tom Tom Runner 2 cardio and am looking to get rid of it after a month of use as I’ve found the pace accuracy to be shocking whilst running. How would you rate the pace accuracy of the FR 235?
    For me, the pace feature is THE most important feature as it can make/break a run. The TT watch has been as much as 30 secs out per mile.
    Cheers

    • Reply Michael S January 5, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Hey Ben,

      Apologies for the late reply. I’m not sure about you but I usually depend on the pace per km/mile rather than at a particular point of time. I personally found it adequate. This was compared on a 400m running track where I did a 2.4km run and found the pace right. That being said, expect the distance and pace to vary slightly for every run.

  • Reply Werner Jurgens January 6, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Hi
    Appreciate your detailed review. Do you perhaps have data on battery life for an ultra event. Would the 235 give me 10 hours of running with gps and heart rate function.
    Thanks

    • Reply Michael S January 7, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      Hi there,

      It’s listed in the manual that the device lasts up to 11 hours with heart rate monitoring and GPS. I’m assuming it’s with smart recording and not “every second recording” mode. Hope that helps!

      Mike

  • Reply Damien January 9, 2016 at 12:20 am

    Hi.

    Did you get your 235 from Amazon? Will its warranty be recognized by Garmin Singapore?

    • Reply Michael S January 10, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Hi Damien,

      I’m unsure about that. I think it’s best to drop Garmin SG a note on their FB page. They are usually quick to reply.

  • Reply Elbert January 9, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Hi,
    Thanks for the detailed review. Can you tell me wether the VO2max measurement can be done with the build in HR sensor, or is a external HRM needed? I had two runs with the FR235 of about 35 mins, but it still doesn’t give me a VO2max value.
    Furthermore, great running watch with extended features!

    • Reply Michael S January 10, 2016 at 8:52 am

      The VO2 max estimation is done with optical heart rate sensor and it must be switched on. Track your run outdoors for at least 10 minutes. The score is located under “Menu” –> “My Stats” on the FR235.

      • Reply Elbert February 20, 2016 at 12:29 pm

        Sorry for my late reply. I had the settings right, but only had a VO2 max value after 5 tracked outdoor runs. But after that, the vo2 score isn’t updated anymore, just as my race predictions, although I have done more than 20 following outdoor runs with hr measurements . Are my results so consistent, or could it be that I have a fr235 with issues? Do you recognize this, or are these scores supposed to be more dynamic?

        • Reply Michael S February 21, 2016 at 5:31 am

          Hi Elbert,

          I know my own fitness levels and am aware that without pushing myself too hard, it’s unlikely my VO2 Max will see improvements. I jog regularly as a form of fitness maintenance. The scores have been consistent in my case.

          I can’t say for your case but if you would like a comparison, you could ask a friend (of different fitness level, preferably lower) to wear the FR235 and go for a hard run or two and see if he or she gets a different score. Or borrow a Polar H7 and do a resting fitness test which is available in app (purchase required, small sum really).

          Mike

  • Reply Sara January 13, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Hi,

    Thanks so much for the detailed review! I received the 235 for Christmas, and am absolutely in love (coming from a Nike that I received 4 years ago for Christmas – worlds apart, I know)! Just one thing I wanted to comment on – I have already used the Find My Phone feature several times, because I tend to put my phone in obscure places, and then can’t seem to remember where I put it. I also tend to keep my phone in vibrate or silent mode, so calling it isn’t usually effective, but the Find My Phone feature definitely is because it demands that the phone make noise and light up. Of course I use it for so much more than just this feature – I just wanted to point out that necessarily making noise and lighting up are major bonuses for this feature, at least in my mind.

  • Reply JM January 13, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Hi Michael

    Two questions:

    1. How do you access the All Day Heart Rate data in the iOS app? I cannot for the life of me find anything heart rate related, even if my FR235 is clearly monitoring it 24/7.

    2. What is the name of the custom watch face you are using? Specifically the one in the middle photo.

    • Reply Michael S January 14, 2016 at 8:44 am

      Hey there,

      The mobile app, while comprehensive, is not the most intuitively designed software and requires a fair bit of navigating.
      Tap on “…More” at the bottom right of the mobile app
      Tap on “Health Stats”
      The last item is All Day Heart Rate.

      The custom watch face is SR6.

      hope that helps.

  • Reply Adam January 17, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Hi. Did you test battery without phone function? That interest me much more like smartwatch.

    • Reply Michael S January 20, 2016 at 9:32 am

      Hi Adam,

      With the constant beeping and vibration for smart notification, the battery life depends heavily on the frequency of such notifications. If you turn it all off, you can go pretty long on a single charge. Personally, I turn off the smart notifications except for incoming calls. Also, I only activate the heart rate monitoring during exercise and sleep.

  • Reply JM January 17, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Thanks – actually the All Day Heart Rate menu item didn’t show for me at the time. Now it does though, perhaps the app needed a certain amount of data before it would show.

  • Reply Sahalu January 24, 2016 at 5:11 am

    Thank you for a great review. When one is in the market for reliable wearables, reviews like this are a great help in informing one’s decisions. And thanks for not stealing other people’s reviews, as is common on some of the so-called “reviews” sites.

    • Reply Michael S January 24, 2016 at 11:52 am

      Glad you enjoyed the review and thank you for your kinds words.

  • Reply Rich January 24, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Hi Michael,

    Great review. I also received a 235 for Christmas and have been getting to grips with it since – I’m training for my first marathon, London in April.
    To have the audio alerts, e.g. lap time come through do you have to have smart notifications on or is it independent of those? I really just want the running audio alerts and not text or email notifications.

    • Reply Michael S January 29, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      Hi Rich,

      It’ss independent of smart notifications. You can set the FR235 to have audio and vibration alerts during trainings for laps or custom alerts without having smart notifications go off.

      Hope that helps
      Mike

  • Reply Vitor January 26, 2016 at 12:16 am

    Thank you for the review! I have the 225 (and very happy with it) and a friend of mine just bought the 235! When we were comparing them on a night run we noticed that the brightness in my 225 was way better than the 235! It seems to me that the 235 doesn’t have the same backlight technology of the 225, instead it uses a small led at the bottom of the screen. Can you confirm this? Or is it possible my friend bought a faulty model? Thanks!

    • Reply Michael S February 6, 2016 at 12:25 am

      Hi Vitor,

      I’ve tried contacting Garmin Support and also noticed the seemingly single source of LED at the base of the screen. Unfortunately Garmin Support is only able to assist with issues relating to topics in the support manual and not hard ware per se. So I wish I could help but I’m out here.

      Mike

  • Reply Dan February 8, 2016 at 2:06 am

    In the second where you posted 3 different watch faces and mentioned we’d have fun selecting those :). Quick question, which one is that middle one above “I love the big display that brings out…”

    Love your review as it made me get the 235.

    • Reply Michael S February 8, 2016 at 2:50 am

      Thanks Dan, glad you liked the review.

      That watch face is actually SR 6 by Stanislav Bures, one of the more accomplished watch face creators.

      Hope that helps.
      Mike

  • Reply Cindy N February 16, 2016 at 4:24 am

    Great review Mike, thanks, I’ve learned a few new tricks! I’ve had my 235 for a few weeks and I’m currently doing specific HR training so have set an alert at a custom 150bpm (under activity settings), but I’ve found when doing an Interval session (under Training) that alerm is not functioning – should it be, or does that alerm setting ONLY work in the Run activity?

    • Reply Michael S February 16, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Hi Cindy,

      The alarm will work based on HR,cadence, time duration and so on depending on what you’ve set and is not tied to running/indoor running or cycling only. But you do have to set the alert within the activity profile for that particular activity. So if you’re running, you have to set the alert range for HR within the activity profile for running. Is this a downloaded workout you’re talking about?

      Michael S

  • Reply Eddie February 16, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    I’m in the market for a wrist based HRM, and this really sounds like a good investment as I also run, slow, but still moving. I’ve been using my phone GPS, so this may make life easier. I’m also currently VERY interested in the sleep tracking function. I know most don’t really care for this, but short of paying $3000 for a sleep study I figure I need to at least do my own study first. None of the reviews I’ve seen speak much to the sleep tracking. While this watch is a running watch 1st and activity tracker 2nd, I don’t want to get multiple devices. Are you able to speak more to the sleep tracking feature?

    • Reply Michael S February 19, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      Hi Eddie,

      I wouldn’t put too much faith into the sleep data. While the deep and light sleep are quantified based on movement, as far as I’m aware, that hardly counts as an appropriate comparison versus a polysomnography. If there’s a device on the market that’s done some study, it’s the Basis Peak. You can check it out here.

      http://www.mybasis.com/sleep-validation/

      Hope that helps
      Mike S

  • Reply Cindy N February 17, 2016 at 5:31 am

    Hi, no it was the interval session within the Training setting. I’ll give it another go. Thanks.

    • Reply Michael S February 20, 2016 at 6:50 am

      If it’s the interval session function within the training setting then you won’t be getting the vibrations or alerts. The notifications only work for activity profiles.

  • Reply tom March 4, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Hi,
    Many thanks for the review. I noted your comments on Feb 29 to Eddie about the sleep tracking function. As a quick follow-up, as a 24/7 fitness tracker, does the FR 235 sleep data automatically “sync/upload” to an iPhone’s Apple Health platform (via Garmin Connect)? Thanks in advance,

    • Reply Michael S March 10, 2016 at 7:32 am

      Hi Tom,

      It does but only if you enable the connection. I have to further stress that only active energy, steps and walking + running distance can be written to Apple Health. Unfortunately “Sleep” is not a function that can be synced to Apple Health presently.

      Mike

  • Reply Celso March 15, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Hi Michael,
    Many thanks for the detailed review.
    I live in the mountains, and for me altitude measuring is key. I saw elevation as one of the features, but I didn’t see it in any of the displayed examples. Can you monitor altitude gain/loss and momentary altitude?
    Many thanks
    Celso

    • Reply Michael S March 17, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      Hey Celso,

      The FR235 doesn’t measure altitude, you’ll need the Garmin Fenix for that. If it does display any elevation gain, it’s purely based on GPS data for elevation information for the given location.

      Hope that helps!
      Mike

  • Reply Joyce March 23, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Great review but where do you find other colors!! I only find 3 offered in the 235!

    • Reply Michael S March 24, 2016 at 8:33 am

      Hi Joyce,

      The colours are country specific. Here’s where you can get the other colours:

      Black, Lava Red, Solar : eway88.com (this is Garmin Singapore’s online shop)
      Mint, Marsala: International colours, readily available on Amazon or Ebay
      Pink: Unique to Taiwan. Again, you have to explore online options. I’ve seen it on eBay readily.
      Volt Black: a Nike exclusive. Only available at Nike.com online shop

      Hope that helps!
      Mike S

      • Reply Diane Lockard July 14, 2016 at 5:25 am

        Mike, if I buy the pink Garmin 235 from Taiwan, am I able to change it to English, etc?

  • Reply Joyce March 25, 2016 at 12:33 am

    Ok thank you for the info. I did find on eBay the color I want but my luck it will be in a different language.

  • Reply Michelle March 25, 2016 at 3:37 am

    Hi Michael,

    I’m having multiple problems with my 235. Despite a tight and above-wrist placement of the watch, it appears to be picking up on my cadence, as opposed to my HR. I wonder if that beautiful track you had between your 235 and your Polar might have been due to the 235 picking up on the bluetooth from the Polar strap? Additionally, the watch cycles through turning on and off every time I turn it on, until I do a soft reset. And, it cannot display the correct time without a GPS lock. What do you think? Likely a bad unit? Thanks!

    • Reply Michael S March 27, 2016 at 9:16 am

      Hi Michelle,

      While the 2 HR tracks are close, they are not identical. That being said, I know the FR235 will pick up the HR readings automatically had I been wearing an ANT+ enabled HR monitor.

      For the correct time, a single GPS lock will suffice. So yes I actually think you might have gotten a bad unit. The unit shouldn’t turn off on its own unless it runs out of juice. I would strongly suggest you bring this up with Garmin Support, nobody should have to pay good money for a bad unit.

      Try sending an email to Product.Support@garmin.com and detail the issues you’re facing, they’re usually prompt to reply.

      Hope that helps
      Mike

  • Reply Peder March 31, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Thanks for fine review. Just want to point you to an observation by another reviewer – dcrainmaker did a thorough study and concluded that the HRM was affected by the accelerometer: “The FR235 locks onto that instead of HR. In order to ‘reset’ it I basically stopped walking before starting my next repeat, which you see does the trick.”. It seems that hill intervals can fool the unit into thinking you’re still running at a pace. Check it out here http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2015/11/garmin-fr230-fr235-review.html

    • Reply Michael S April 1, 2016 at 9:34 am

      Hi there Peder,

      Yeah I’m aware of the cadence lock issue that happens. Ray is doing a damn good job putting fitness trackers to the test. I’m listing your comments here, including the link which other readers may refer to. Thank you!

      Michael S

  • Reply Minh Truong April 4, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Hi I just got my FR235 and when I press the (running) button on the top right from the main clock menu, it takes me to a screen where it shows the IQ Apps and if push up i get Activity and down I get Menu. The question I have is in this screen I see Battery icon, Bluetooth icon, Heart Rate icon, and I also see a Network strength icon. What is the network strength? I see an X over it meaning that it’s not on?

    • Reply Michael S April 5, 2016 at 11:07 pm

      Hi Minh Troung,

      That’s the GPS signal strength indicator. An X over it means the GPS is disabled.

      Hope that helps.
      Mike

  • Reply K Taylor April 6, 2016 at 3:17 am

    I just bought the 230 and like it so far. However the pace seems to only change in increments of 5 seconds. So example the pace would say 8:20 or 8:15 or 8:05. It never shows a 8:16 or 8:17. The pace comes out measured by 5 seconds. Is there a setting to change the pace do it would be more consistent and show an 8:16 pace? It seems like it jumps around a lot. I have it set in runner mode.

    • Reply Michael S April 6, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      Hi there,

      The pace at any moment as seen from the FR 230 is in increments of 5 secs and there’s no way around it. However your lap timing (per mile or km) will show the exact pace.

      Mike S

  • Reply K Taylor April 8, 2016 at 2:12 am

    Thanks Mike I think I might switch to using that and see how that goes tomorrow!! Thanks for your quick response.

  • Reply Leandy April 19, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Thanks for a great detailed review! I’m not sure if you got asked this already but as far as steps accuracy, how accurate is this watch in tracking steps. Some bands that I own track steps when asleep or even washing dishes. Can touch a little bit more that. I really appropriate it!!

    • Reply Michael S April 19, 2016 at 10:59 pm

      Hey Leandy,

      In terms of step count, it’s comparable to hip worn activity trackers if you’re not doing excessive arm based activities. It’s pretty decent.

      As for steps during sleep, it’s inevitable. But the step count during sleep is not excessive. That being said, I wouldn’t rely on the watch to determine sleep quality. Maybe just the duration. Sleep is much more complex than just movement. I’m sure you’d agree with me.

      Hope that helps!
      Mike

  • Reply Steve April 24, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Is there a way to turn the ‘move’ alert off? Anyone know at all. Thanks

    • Reply Michael S April 26, 2016 at 4:27 am

      Hey Steve,

      Go to “Settings”
      Then “Activity Tracking”
      Scroll to “Move Alert” and turn it off.

      Mike

  • Reply Frank April 27, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    You mention about the inclusion of Intensity Minutes about half way through this review.
    From what I can tell, Intensity Minutes is not available on the Garmin Forerunner 235 at this time.
    Some are reporting the feature as working, having owned a Vivosmart device earlier.
    That is, if you had a Vivosmart device, Intensity minutes and steps climbed will still appear in your dashboard on the mobile app. Switching device to the Forerunner 235 and it seems that Intensity Minutes still functions, however steps climbed will not function due to the lack of a barometer.
    Garmin Connect lists no compatible device for Intensity Minutes when you have a FR 235.
    I do not see why Garmin cannot turn on the Intensity Minutes, it is only a software thing – the heart rate monitor is there so the data is being collected…. (As of late April 2016).

    • Reply Michael S April 28, 2016 at 10:40 am

      Hi Frank,

      What Garmin Connect does is count the tracked activities as intensity minutes and that’s why it appears on the mobile app. If you’re active but the FR235 is not in tracking mode, then it won’t count towards intensity minutes. However I have to state that I switch off the all day HR monitoring so I can’t say for sure if that’s a factor that might affect tracking of intensity minutes while not in recording mode.

      I just sent my FR235 for repair as the battery was giving me issues. However, I have a FR230 on loan and let me put the intensity minutes to the test since the main difference is just the addition of an optical HR sensor.

      To add on, I removed my Garmin Vivosmart HR a while back so it wasn’t in the picture. But you rightfully pointed out that stairs climbed is not recorded due to the lack of a barometer.

      Get back to you soon.
      Mike

  • Reply Susan May 2, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for writing this review. Can you use the heart rate monitor to track heart rate/calories when I’m in a workout class?

    Thanks!

    • Reply Michael S May 3, 2016 at 10:52 pm

      Hey Susan,

      Sure you can. You can track the activity under “Others.”

      Mike

  • Reply Ivy May 6, 2016 at 12:31 am

    Hi Michael,
    Could you explain why I am seeing my average pace and average speed with the same value i.e. as speed instead of pace? Do you know how I can rectify this?

    Thank you
    Ivy

    • Reply Michael S May 8, 2016 at 3:05 am

      Hi Ivy,

      It shouldn’t be the same or identical. The only way this is even possible is if the auto lap is set at a distance that resulted in a pace that may appear to be in the same range of the avg speed. May I know if you’re referring to the stats on Garmin Connect or during a run?

      Michael

  • Reply clara May 9, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    HIIII!!!
    i just got a forerunner 235 and i can’t find where to change the date. the time yes but not the date.
    can someone please help me with that?!

    • Reply Michael S May 11, 2016 at 11:13 am

      Hi clara,

      Good choice! Have you paired the FR235 to your mobile device yet? Once paired, it automatically derives the date from the mobile device.

      Michael S

  • Reply Daniel May 12, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Hi Michael,
    I do not know if this was asked before but, it is possible to see the elevation gain of your ride while you are usign the 235?

    • Reply Michael S May 14, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      Hi Daniel,

      You can see the elevation during a bike ride but that requires setting one of the data fields to “Elevation.”That being said, the FR235 does not have a barometer so the elevation you’re getting is actually from map data.

      Michael

  • Reply john o'connell May 19, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for a comprehensive review. I’d be grateful if you’d answer a quick question. I found the min/mile (pace) screen that automatically popped up at every mile very useful for training. However, for some reason (i think I may have accidentally turned this feature off, and cannot now re-activate it) it does not now appear as an alert at the end of each mile. I think it was a ‘factory setting’ as I don’t remember activating it. Do you know how/where I might re-activate this feature?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Reply Michael S May 21, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      Hi John,

      I believe what you’re looking for is the auto-lap feature. Just go:

      RUN–> Activity settings–>Laps

      Hope that’s what you wanted.

      Mike

  • Reply Katie May 21, 2016 at 12:52 am

    Hi,
    I’m not sure if someone else has asked a question about this, but how accurate is the 24/7 HRM tracking? Mine will tell me my low HR gets really low for a short period of time at random points in the day. Although, every time I check my HR it is normal (around 60 bpm). Is this a common problem?

    • Reply Michael S May 21, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      Hi Katie,

      Good point you brought up. The 24/7 HR monitoring takes place roughly once every 10 minutes. That’s the number I have for both the Vivosmart HR and Vivoactive HR straight from Garmin and I presume it’s the same for the FR235. When that happens, you merely get an estimate of your resting HR, which is unlikely to compare against that derived from wearing a chest strap HRM for the same duration. It also depends on how tightly you’re wearing the FR235 24/7. I usually wear mine loosely during the day and only tighten up during tracked runs for more accurate readings. Again if you’re wearing it loosely throughout the day, it’s unlikely to be as accurate as the device can possibly perform.

      If it helps, I switch off the 24/7 HR monitoring and only leave it on during 2 occasions; during exercise and sleep.

      Mike

  • Reply Danis June 18, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    hi you can download manual for all languaes for Forerunner® 235 http://guideusermanual.com/product-name-forerunner-235-manual&po=503501&lang=English

    • Reply Michael S June 20, 2016 at 2:06 am

      Thanks for the link Danis.

      Michael S

  • Reply Simon Hodgen July 3, 2016 at 5:49 am

    Hi Michael
    An Aussie newbie to the world of running watches here! Great review which was influential towards my purchase of a GF 235 several days ago. I cannot find anywhere what the red circular lines that (sometimes) appear on the main/time face of the watch are. They seemed to be there only for the first day then I have not seem them … do you have any idea what these are?

    • Reply Michael S July 3, 2016 at 7:31 am

      Hi Simon,

      Thanks for the kind words! The red circular lines on the face of the watch is actually a “Move” bar. If you’ve been inactive for say an hour or so, it slowly fills up and the FR 235 then vibrates to alert you to get up and moving. If you haven’t seen it then, it probably means you’re pretty active. Good job!

      Hope that helps!
      Mike

  • Reply KAUSHIK JITENDRA TANNA July 6, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Hi Michael

    I was almost about to buy Tom Tom Spark MUSIC+CARDIO watch but after reading your detailed review of Garmin 235 – I am now contemplating which one to buy – Any Preference from your end
    Also can you please let me know if its possible to upload run/bike data from the Garmin 235 to Strava app

    Regards
    Kaushik
    India

    • Reply Michael S July 6, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      Hi Kaushik,

      Yes you can connect and upload your tracked run/bike workouts to Strava. While you’re looking at the FR235, have you checked out the FR735XT?

      I’ve switched from FR235 to a FR735XT. Slightly smaller bezel, longer battery life and the option to create multisport workouts.

      Michael S

  • Reply KAUSHIK JITENDRA TANNA July 7, 2016 at 10:43 am

    Thanks Michael for your suggestion …. will also check out FR735XT

    Regards
    Kaushik

  • Reply L July 13, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Hello Michael,
    Thanks so much for the time you put into detailing your experience with the 235. I just upgraded from my FR450 and have done my first run with my 235. I’m curious if you have any information on how calories are counted and what the accuracy is? I was surprised by how low the calorie count was after 6 miles. My weight and height are accurate in the user profile, but the calorie count was about 150 or so less than I would have expected.

    • Reply Michael S July 14, 2016 at 10:35 am

      Hey there L,

      Congratulations on the upgrade. 🙂

      The calorie calculation is provided by FirstBeat. This is a company that does the background analysis for many major players in the wearable tech scene. As for how accurate it is, I’m not the authority in this matter and definitely not qualified to say anything about it.

      From a user’s perspective, I found the calories close to that provided by a chest strap HR monitor such as the Polar H7; in terms of hundreds. For comparison, I recorded 485 calories on the FR235 and 445 calories as tracked by the Polar H7 chest strap heart rate monitor.

      Were you using a HR monitor strap with your FR405 previously?

      Michael.

      • Reply L July 26, 2016 at 5:22 pm

        Thanks for the reply. I haven’t been big on wearing chest straps in the past which is why I love having a device that monitors HR at the wrist. That said, I will put my chest strap on and see how that compares with a couple of runs. I’ve also had the occasional issue with the HR sensor not working, the green lights go off and the data screen goes blank. It only resolves after turning the watch off and back on again. If it persists I may reach out to support as I wonder if the HR sensor on my unit is faulty.

        • Reply Michael S July 31, 2016 at 2:38 am

          Hey Leslie,

          Did you manage to fix this issue with Garmin Support?

          Michael S

  • Reply Dolev August 25, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Hi,
    I’m wondering if i’m using the auto lap function(1k), and I have an intervals training- when I’m using the manual lap, does it cancel the auto lap function? is there any way to that the watch would keep calculate my heart rate and avg. pace every kilometer in an intervals training? I hope I was clear.
    Thank you

    • Reply Michael S August 28, 2016 at 2:06 am

      Hi Dolev,

      When you activate manual lap when auto lap is enabled, it resets the auto lap. Here’s an example:

      Lap 1: 1km (auto lap) cumulative distance 1km
      Lap 2: 0.34km (manual lap activated) cumulative distance 1.34km
      Lap 3: 1km (auto lap) cumulative distance 2.34km

      This is what will appear in the Garmin Connect mobile app.
      Mike

  • Reply Janek August 31, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Hi,
    Can I do so, in case the auto lap 1k is disabled then the manual lap (pressing button back) will register the 1k manually into cumulative flow?

    For example doing Indoor cycling without distance sensors, I could register my set-up 5k manually for my manual “laps”?

    • Reply Michael S September 1, 2016 at 1:33 am

      Hi Janek,

      It will be recorded and listed in the cumulative flow, for lack of a better word. I’m going to list it here as an example:

      Lap 1: 1km (auto lap) cumulative distance 1km
      Lap 2: 0.34km (manual lap activated) cumulative distance 1.34km
      Lap 3: 0.66km (manual lap activated) cumulative distance 2km
      Lap 3: 1km (auto lap) cumulative distance 3km

      As for indoor cycling without speed or cadence sensors, your “laps” will merely be useful in viewing you lap timing or as markers for your HR graph since the FR235 will record all stats as 0 save for HR; if you enable it that it.

      Hope that helps!
      Mike

  • Reply Janek September 5, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Hi,
    Thank you answer! It actually didn’t help me, to get tha watch to start register also km-s for indoor rowing and – cycling, where I see km-s from tools display and then want manually to save them into my avtivity km-s flow. Currently I even can’ t set km-s after training manually into Connect as the data fields are locked and not editable for marking km-s as total. Can only insert km for manually created activity, bit then I miss my HR statistics.
    Hard to count mu training load in km-s when doing cycling or rowing indoor and without distance sensors.

    Regatds,
    Janek

    • Reply Michael S September 5, 2016 at 1:00 pm

      Hi Janek,

      The functions on the mobile app are limited thus you’re unable to add distance. You can edit the stats in the Garmin Connect web platform but it’s a bit more work for you.

      Select the activity and choose the pen logo which is at the top right hand corner. This feature allows you to add distance to indoor rowing or indoor cycling where you don’t have the sensors.

      Let me know if this works.
      Mike

  • Reply Michael B September 10, 2016 at 6:08 am

    Hi Michael
    Thank you for writing such a helpful review.
    How can I track my walks? It is on the Connect app but I cannot see how to set up walks on my watch. I have been using the run activity to monitor walks so far. Many thanks . Michael B

    • Reply Michael S September 12, 2016 at 10:24 am

      Hi Michael,

      There’s no walk option to use on the FR235. What you can do is track it under another title such as “Others” and then manually change it to walk in the Garmin Connect mobile app.

      Hope that helps!
      Mike

  • Reply Janek September 12, 2016 at 5:07 am

    Hello, The manual change via Connect website is really possible for total km.
    Thank You!

    Regards,
    Janek

  • Reply Patty Simmons September 14, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    The Garmin Forerunner 235 is my fav running device. Apart from all the basic running features like auto pause and interval workouts it can also estimate my VO2 Max. There’s also a recovery advisor to help me determine when I m ready for the next hard workout! It supports both GPS and GLONASS for tracking space and distance. It acts as an all day fitness tracker to track steps, calories burned and sleep. I can even control music on my smartphone and get most of the notifications. On the flip side I noticed that the heart rate monitor is not very accurate. Its ok when I go for an easy run but fluctuates by around 15 – 20 bpm when I go for a fast speed workout. The good thing is that I can connect a chest strap for higher accuracy. I think its worth the investment.

  • Reply Dmytro November 7, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Hello, everybody. Somebody tried to use in conjunction with endomondo FR 235? Interested in the possibility of online transferring data of HR to endomondo or synchronize training with endomondo.

    • Reply Michael S November 7, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      Hello Dmytro,

      I just googled and came up with this.Not sure if this is what you are looking for.

      https://support.endomondo.com/hc/en-us/articles/203483026-Upload-from-a-Garmin-device

      Let me know if it works.
      Mike

      • Reply Dmytro November 7, 2016 at 4:00 pm

        Yes, I read it. But I wanted to know if it tried one in practice.
        Also, the ability of Garmin FR 235 to work as a heart rate monitor and transmit data to Endomondo online, such as Mio Fuse.

        • Reply Michael S November 8, 2016 at 9:30 am

          Mio Fuse functions as a Bluetooth HRM that can broadcast to Endomondo in real time once it’s connected. The FR235 doesn’t work the same way so you can only do transfer of tracked workout sessions post workout but not in real time.

  • Reply Audrey December 21, 2016 at 12:49 am

    Hi. This was a very helpful review. How did you get your watch to the Smart Notifications section where you choose which notifications come in (text, call, etc) and the noise? We are having trouble finding that page on the watch that you have pictured above. If possible, could you give detailed instructions how to reach that, please? Thank you so much!

    • Reply Michael S December 21, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      Hi Audrey,

      Glad you found the review useful 🙂

      Ok, this is what you do:
      From menu, go to settings, then Bluetooth, then smart notifications.

      This is where you choose how the notifications should come in. You can also change the notification type; vibration only, vibration and sound.

      Let me know if this works for you
      Mike

  • Reply Rich December 31, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Great review. Wonderful watch.

    I’m trying to find (post run) the recovery recommendation on the watch or Garmin connect. How do I find it? It pops up after the run but I can’t figure out how to find it afterwards.

    Thanks!

    • Reply Michael S January 1, 2017 at 4:33 am

      Hi Rich,

      Glad you found the review useful. That recover HR you get after every run isn’t available in Garmin Connect. It simply appears on device and that’s that.

      I too have wondered why the recovery HR isn’t synced and recorded in app. Would have been great isn’t it.

      Mike

  • Reply Guilhem January 2, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Hi there,

    I was wondering if the Forerunner 235 is compatible with the Polar H7 ?

    Thanks in advance

    • Reply Guilhem January 3, 2017 at 7:26 am

      Because I have both and was unable to connect them 🙁

      • Reply Michael S January 3, 2017 at 11:21 am

        Hi Guilhem,

        The FR235 is only compatible with ANT+ HRMs like Garmin’s line of chest strap HRM or ANT+ enabled HRMs like Scosche Rhythm+.

        The Bluetooth capability is only for connection to mobile devices.

        That’s why you didn’t manage to connect to the H7.

        Hope that clarifies.
        Mike

  • Reply Guilhem January 4, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Thank you for your reply Michael, it is clear now !
    So I have a useless H7 ! 😉

  • Reply Guilhem January 4, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    So if I take a Wahoo Tickr-X (Ant+ & BT) it will communicate in the same time with my FR235 and also my Endomondo app ?

    • Reply Michael S January 4, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      Hi Guilhem,

      I wouldn’t say your H7 is useless. I still use my trusty H7 till today.

      As for Wahoo Tickr-X, I don’t have that and can only speak from the experience of Scosche Rhythm + (also ANT+ & BT) and I was able to sync it to my Garmin device (FR735XT) and Endomondo mobile app at the same time and have the HR displayed on both devices.

      I hope this information is useful for you.
      Mike

      • Reply Guilhem January 5, 2017 at 3:44 pm

        Great thank you Mike ! It helps a lot !

  • Reply Gilad January 12, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Hi, I wondered whether there is a possibility to reject or accept a phone call with the HR235 during running. I can hear the call on my earphones but don’t have the earphone button to accept the call. does the HR235 have this function via bluetooth? I don’t mean to actually use the watch for speaking, just to accept the call for answering.
    Thanks

    • Reply Michael S January 13, 2017 at 3:51 pm

      Hello Gilad,

      You can actually.
      Go to MENU–> SETTINGS–>BLUETOOTH–>SMART NOTIFICATIONS.

      You can then select to have either calls or smart notifications, or both to come on during your workout.

      The phone calls will pop up and you can answer or reject it using the Up and Down buttons.

      But calls have to be made over the connected mobile device and not from the FR235.

      Hope that helps.
      Mike

  • Reply Guilhem January 13, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Hi again !
    When I am in my sofa watching a movie, my FR235 thinks I am sleeping…
    Is there a way to activate the sleep mode only when I go to bed so I can have an accurate report of my real sleep time ?
    Cheers!
    Guilhem

    • Reply Michael S January 13, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      Hello again Guilhem!

      Unfortunately the FR235 doesn’t have a manual sleep activation function. What you can do is edit the sleep duration on the Garmin Connect Mobile app.Then you will have an accurate picture of your sleep.

      The Forerunner 235 tracks sleep based on the estimated sleeping hours you key in during the setting up of the device.

      Hope that helps!
      Mike

  • Reply Suzie Winget February 1, 2017 at 6:45 am

    Wow so nice of you for sharing this article with us about the garmin forerunner. I am really like to read these type of article. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Reply Brigitte April 12, 2017 at 4:27 am

    Thanks for the review. I am a beginner and what I am looking for with this watch is to be able to create a workout and then run according to it. Can I create a workout using Garmin connect and then synch it with the FR235. I have tried doing it with the Forerunner 35 and it does not allow me – Brigitte

  • Reply Galia April 24, 2017 at 2:56 am

    Hi Michael,
    When I’m setting the laps manually,
    I’m getting a screen with the lap time at the end of each lap
    (after I press the BACK button).
    Can I customise this screen to display lap time and average lap pace?
    Thank You!
    Galia

    • Reply Michael S April 25, 2017 at 7:25 am

      Hi Galia,

      You can display:

      “Last lap time”
      “average pace”

      This can be found under the customisation of the display fields under “Distance” and “Pace” headings.

      Hope this helps!
      Mike

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