Garmin Forerunner 235 Review (2023 – DISCONTINUED)

PS! Garmin Forerunner 235 has been DISCONTINUED


Garmin Forerunner 235 is a fitness watch from Garmin, designed to track your activities. It effectively monitors your calories, heart rate, and distance, among other metrics, regardless of the miles you run. While the Forerunner 235 has its strengths, for those seeking specifically tailored and cost-effective solutions for triathlons, our article on the best cheap triathlon watches provides a curated selection of options.

You might argue that there are other fitness watches from Garmin and other brands. However, this watch offers runners convenient ways to display and analyze data on a customizable interface, meeting their specific needs and preferences.



What Can Garmin Forerunner 235 Do? Which Activities Are Supported?

From the name of this watch, you might think that this watch is just meant for runners. But, in reality, it is a multi-sport watch that can support different activities. As it can track your heart rate, time, pace, distance and more, you can use it for other workout sessions as well. Let us find how it will support your Triathlon workout sessions:

Garmin Forerunner 235 Running Watch Review


With a water rate of 5 ATM and with the facility to keep track your heart rate, you can use this watch for swimming. Even though this product does not come with swimming support features other than the water rating of 5 ATM, you can use it for swimming as it supports basic rest timer. Water-resistant 5 ATM means that it can manage water pressure of up to 5 atmospheres. So, you can use it without any fear when you take a bath as well. When swimming, you can use this watch up to 164 feet and it can monitor your swimming time alone.



As far as cycling is concerned, this watch comes with cycling profiles that are dedicated to your cycling workout sessions. You’ll get distance and time alerts and you can set your cycling goals. Once you reach the goal, an alarm will trigger. You will also get cadence and speed support with the sensor associated with this watch (some of them bought separately). The sensors available in this watch by default are GPS, Accelerometer, GLONASS and Garmin Elevate Wrist heart rate monitor to keep a watch in your cycling progress both indoors and outdoors.



This watch from Garmin has been designed particularly to help runners. With many running profiles and with GPS-based pace, time and distance monitoring, you can get updated data during your running sessions both indoors and outdoors. Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS Watch has the race predictor and foot pod capability features for your run workouts.



With activity tracking features like step counter, move bar, auto goal, step monitoring, calories burned, distance traveled, intensity minutes and TrueUp, this Forerunner model from Garmin can be of great help. Also, the analysis, planning and training features will help with your workout sessions effectively.


How Accurate is Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS Watch?

As far as accuracy is concerned, the Garmin Forerunner 235 is set up to keep track of steps, duration, distance and much more. These things are effectively handled by this watch from Garmin. Without any doubt, the heart rate monitor is the key selling point of this watch. The other features are fine with Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS.

There is a debate over the heart rate monitoring feature of this watch, however. Most users are of the opinion that the monitoring is not consistent. Particularly, this happens during high-intensity workouts. It has been noticed by some users that the sensor on the wrist struggles to a certain extent when there is a bit of fluctuation in the heart rate. Nevertheless, some users are satisfied with the heart rate monitoring even though reviewers are bit unsatisfied with this function in Garmin Forerunner 235. If you need accurate heart rate monitoring, it is better to get a chest strap that is compatible with this watch from Garmin.


What Are the Features of Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS Watch?

Before we gather some details about the advanced features of this watch, let us get into some basic features that should be part of any smartwatch:

  • Timer: It is natural that you will look for start and stop timer functionalities in any fitness watch. In addition to this basic feature, the Auto Lap and Manual Lap features are also offered by this watch to help with your workout sessions. Further, it can measure how long you have worked out and you can start and stop sessions in between.
  • Distance Tracking: Of course, not just you, most users wish to calculate the distance they have covered be it swimming, running or walking sessions. Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS will help you with distance tracking.
  • Steps and heart rate monitoring: Not just distance, the Garmin Forerunner 235 has been designed in such a way that it can calculate your steps. The unit comes with an accelerometer built-in that will capture these details when you are either on track or on the treadmill. So, you need not have to look for a separate accessory to take a note of these details. Even, it can measure calories and sleep details.

When these basic features might satisfy you, it is essential that we should cover the advanced features that can make this watch your best companion:

  • Oxygen Processing: In addition to the basic heart rate monitoring, this watch will also measure your VO2 Max. This is a measure of the amount of oxygen that your body can process.
  • Smart Notifications: Once you connect your watch to this smartwatch, you will get smart notifications on calls, messages, calendar, music controls and weather details.
  • Changing the display: By using the Garmin Connect app, you can change the display of the watch using Faceit. Even, you can customize the way the data is displayed on the watch’s face.
  • Training plans: In addition, the watch will give access to recovery adviser, additional workouts and training plans to help you get even fitter.
  • On and off the road running: Once you start your workout session, the watch will double as an activity tracker counting your calories and steps all through the day. If you have been sitting for more than an hour, the watch will send a reminder as well. To locate your position precisely and quickly, the watch is designed to be compatible with GLONASS and GPS satellites. This will happen regardless of whether you run near tall buildings or even in deep woods.



As you know, Garmin Forerunner is a GPS running watch with wrist-based heart rate and associated features. To track your time, distance and pace, the watch uses GPS and GLONASS connections. When the built-in sensor measures heart rate at the wrist, it will send the data to the connected Garmin Connect App in real-time.

A wireless connection can be established by the watch to the Garmin Connect. When connected to the app, you will get facilities like social media sharing, audio reminders and smart notifications as well along with tracking. Of course, Bluetooth connection is available. However, reviewers feel that they will have to turn on the Bluetooth connection after every update as it is not established on its own. Overall, the connection looks like above-average.


Apps & Widgets of Garmin Forerunner 235

The watch comes with some pre-loaded widgets that will provide you quick updates. The list of widgets along with their functions is given below:

  • Calendar: This widget will display the upcoming meetings you will have to attend and this data is taken from your smartphone calendar.
  • Controls: It will help you establish Bluetooth connection and its features include manual syncing, find my phone and do not disturb.
  • Heart Rate: This widget will display your present heart rate in terms of beats per minute and it will also provide a graph of your heart rate.
  • Music Controls: You can control the music player in your smartphone with the help of this widget in your smartwatch.
  • Notifications: This widget will help you get alerts of incoming texts, calls, social media updates and this will work based on the settings in your smartphone notification.
  • Steps: Yes, you are right. It will track your daily step count along with step goal and it will provide these details for the past seven days.
  • Weather: It will display not just the weather forecast, but also the present weather.
  • VIRB Controls: This widget will provide you with camera controls. But, this widget will work only when you have a VIRB device connected with your smartwatch.

The Garmin Forerunner 235 can be connected to the Connect IQ App. It will analyze and organize the data for you. Once the data transfer automatically happens from the watch to the app, you can get to the app and can choose what data to see and what not to see and can set preferences. You can also choose widgets and watch faces as per your preference from this app. Also, the watch can work with MyFitnessPal. Some might feel the different options available in the Garmin Connect app to be impressive, while for some it might be confusing. However, there is the convenience to choose what is impressive for you alone.


Construction of the Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS Watch

As far as the size of the watch is concerned, it has a diameter of 1.7 inches. The thickness is 0.46 inches and the watch weighs just 1.5 ounces. The watch will fit wrists that ranging from 5.75 to 9 inches.

The band is made up of silicon material. This material is included to keep it dry and cool for the wearer. Also, this material has contributed to the lesser weight of the watch. You will find the bands available in three different styles and color options and they are frosted blue, black and Marsala. They are interchangeable.

The screen in Garmin Forerunner 235 is an LCD screen and its size is 1.23 inches. Garmin has brought about an improvement in the resolution as compared to the predecessor. Garmin has given two buttons in the right size of the watch to control its functions. The face has an intuitive touchscreen interface, which makes handling easier on the go. The display is transflective memory-in-pixel and sunlight-visible. With color display, the watch can store 200 hours of activity data.


How Long Does the Battery in Garmin Forerunner 235 Last?

Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS Watch comes with rechargeable lithium metal battery. Garmin promises the battery to last for maximum 9 days in smartwatch mode and maximum 11 hours in GPS mode.

Some reviewers have found that the battery lasts even longer than promised. For charging the battery, the watch comes with a charging cable, which uses an USB port and a camped design.


How Long Does the Forerunner 235 Last Overall?

Garmin Forerunner 235 has been designed as a durable fitness watch. With its silicon band, it can withstand natural elements and the display can handle wear and tear. So, when you charge and recharge correctly, it will last longer with you.


What’s Included With the Purchase of the Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS Watch?

In the box, you will get the following:

  • Forerunner 235 GPS Sport Watch
  • Data/charging cable
  • Manuals

In addition to these items in the box, you can get additional accessories from Garmin’s website. The good thing is that they have items under different categories like:

  • Replacement parts
  • Sensors
  • Cycling Accessories
  • Heart Rate Monitors
  • Charges and cables
  • Clips, covers and cases
  • Bands
  • Apps



The Garmin Forerunner 235 can turn out to be your perfect companion if you are a runner looking for dependable tracking of your running sessions. It can rightly track your heart race, duration, distance and even other advanced metrics. The light weight design will bring you the best comfort when you are engaged in workout sessions. The sleep and styling design is yet another feature that makes it easy to wear both indoors and outdoors. You can customize the face of the watch as per your preferences. The affordable price tag along with the best features, make this watch the best choice.


Extra Reading

(links open in a new tab)

The TOP 10 Best Cheap Triathlon Watches | post | TriathlonsWay
Is a Cheap Triathlon Watch Worth It? | post | TriathlonsWay
Do You Need a Triathlon Watch? | post | TriathlonsWay
How Does a Triathlon Work? | post | TriathlonsWay
Why Get Into a Triathlon? | post | TriathlonsWay
Benefits of a Tri Watch | post | TriathlonsWay
What Is a Triathlon? | post | TriathlonsWay
Triathlon Safety | post | TriathlonsWay


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