I am very lucky to get the opportunity to try different models from the Garmin range for a period of time before sending them back. My latest test watch was the new Garmin Forerunner 935 This is their latest premium watch aimed at runners and triathletes.
(First picture of it out of the box)
First out of the box you notice it is very similar to the other Garmin’s out at the moment. It feels super light and i love the sleekness, but for me it’s about the wearing and functionality. I have average sized wrists and found that it was a perfect size too.
It appears this has taken over from the 735xt which was my favourite from the past but i wanted to try it out first.
I am impressed with the ability to customise most Garmin’s via the connect app and always use a similar watch face on all the models i test and was pleased that this was available on this watch too. As well as the time it has all the regular features Steps, stairs, built in wrist heart rate, active minutes, weather If connected to a smart phone) and some new ones too, my new favourite feature ‘Training Status. This neat little feature allows you to see if you are working too hard or too easy over your sessions in the week. I have found this to be quite addictive as well as the back features of predicted race times for 5km, 10km, half marathon and Full marathon. I’m not sure of the sums that they do to get these as i only ran 5 & 10kms when i had the watch but the predictions for half and full were aspirational but not far out! (Maybe i need to push harder!!)
The watch also kept record of a predicted VO2 max score i was pleased to see mine increase through training as i used the watch and i helped me get a great insight on my Lactic Threshold. It does this by looking at your pace and heart rate.
(This was taken on my return from a 3 week holiday!)
The watch is idea as a training watch but also i used it as a daily watch. It was robust enough to cope with clumsy me teaching PE everyday and the battery was great. I train most days and found that it would last about 10 days. As a teacher i am not allowed my phone out in school but the smart watch features allows me to see text, emails and who’s calling without taking my phone out of my pocket.
The real selling point of this watch over the 235 is the triathlon features. It will toggle through the stages of a triathlon with 1 click. I loved this feature on the 735xt as i had been doing several brick sessions over the summer ready for London Triathlon so it saved on fiddling and pausing as i do with my own watch.
As a wanna be triathlete i wanted this to track all my training. With the addition of the TRI HRM bundle (Worth a purchase for any triathlete) i was able to track my Swim, Bike and Run heart rate details with ease. Using the new heart straps on your swim and run give you more data than the team at NASA would want! I never new that my ground contact was 2% longer on my left foot! If you love your data they are well worth it. The 935 like the other watches will not record HR via the optical wrist sensor when you are swimming so the swim strap was a must to see levels of training. Garmin boast some of the most accurate data from their built in wrist sensors so if you forget or don’t have a HRM strap all is good, the data is still usable.
The watch will also link to any ANT+ devices so this was idea as i have a speed and cadence sensor on my bike. With a handy bike mount and the sensors i found the screen big enough and i got enough information to use this as my bike computer too. The ANT+ connectivity comes into it’s own when you get stuck inside on the turbo too. I do not own any Garmin sensors and found that it linked with my other brand easily.
There were several other training features you could use or set up too. I didn’t use these but i did use the interval setting when swimming. This allowed you to time each interval split as well as overall info and rest times all by 1 click each time, have to say i loved this.
The signal on the new watches is very quick to pick up, i notice this is quicker depending on the battery status too. it has also a good signal with open water swimming which i know can be an issue at times with GPS watches. With the options of activities i found that you could pretty much use this to track any activity. The accuracy on steps is the best yet and so is the indoor training feature with the distance being very similar to my local gym dreadmills!
It has a very good bluetooth link to my phone too. I would regularly still get notifications from my phone even if it was charging in a different room. The uploading to the connect app was quick and the new platform is really nice. There really is no need to use your laptop anymore. I regularly had run data onto my phone before i got my phone out my run pocked after pressing save on my phone.
As i mentioned, i have used this one as a day to day watch, i took it off every now and again at night but mainly it was on my wrist. In the 3 months i had it! (It was only meant to be a month! oops!) it kept looking fresh and new. The strap was made of a good material and Garmin have solved the strap issues with a new design which is easy to swap but also harder wearing than the ones of old (610).
On this point to they have once again changed the charging point. there is no clips or magnets now but unique mini USB style plug that goes into the back. I like this as you know it’s in and secure and there is no chance of it slipping and not charging.
OK, this is not a cheap watch! (roughly £435) but if you are serious about your training and racing and need a watch that covers all sports and you want to record brick sessions or Triathlon races this is a great watch. If you are spending this you are probably wanting as much data as you can get. I would seriously consider buying the HRM bundle too. I use my bundle with my own watch and any other test watches as these are universal.