Garmin Forerunner 35 Watch Review

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Garmin Forerunner 35 WatchThe Garmin Forerunner 35 Watch is a sleek and streamlined watch with a high-resolution display and fitness and activity monitoring, tracking, and notification features. As stylish as it is functional, it includes, like all Garmin Forerunner models, a bevy of useful features like sleep monitoring, auto goal setting, personal records-keeping, and a move bar to help keep you active. Yet, unlike the basic Forerunner 25, this model introduces an improved screen for better visibility, including during nighttime. It’s also more comfortable and lightweight. And it’s packed with smart connectivity features that require no additional smartphone or extraneous monitoring accessories.

Our Rating
  • Activity tracking
  • Smart notifications
  • Battery life
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Design
  • Value

Best for:

Intermediate runners

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Features of the Garmin Forerunner 35 Watch

    Built-in GPS with vibration alerts for milestones

  • All-day Activity Tracking: Even when you’re not running or working out, the Forerunner 35 still offers many useful fitness tracking features. It keeps count of the calories you consume, the steps you walk, and the number of minutes your activity reaches a set intensity level.

  • Built In GPS: Unlike with many other fitness watches, you don’t need to carry a phone to use GPS with your Garmin Forerunner 35 because it has GPS built-in. It connects to nearby satellites to tell you your location as well as factors like running distance and pace. It works as well under trees as it does beneath a clear sky.

    Pulls notifications from your paired smartphone

  • Garmin Connect: Connect with other Garmin watch users, share your progress, glean new wellness insights, and participate in fitness challenges, all as part of Garmin’s free online community of users. Using the Forerunner 35’s smart connectivity features, you’ll get automatic uploads of all the activity data from your watch to Garmin Connect online. Other connectivity features include social media, text, alerts, and even music listening capabilities when paired with a compatible smartphone. The watch even provides convenient music controls and live tracking. You can access all the Garmin Connect community features and your personal activity data and insights online via your desktop computer or compatible mobile device.

    High resolution display for day and night viewing

  • High-resolution Display: The newly updated hi-res display on Garmin’s Forerunner 35 provides crystal clarity in any lighting, indoor or out.

  • LiveTrack: When you connect the Forerunner 35 to a compatible smartphone, this feature will let your friends and family track your progress and performance as you run.

    Monitors heart rate through the wrist

  • Garmin Elevate Wrist Heart Rate Technology: Monitor your heart every moment of the day and night while you wear the Forerunner 35. Unlike with many other smart watches, no additional chest strap is necessary to use it.

  • Vibration Alerts: Set alerts to remind you when it’s time to take a stretch break from work. Set them to notify you when you achieve certain fitness milestones. There’s barely an end to the number of ways to use this watch to alert, notify, and remind you of all you need to keep you on the path to meeting your health and fitness goals. The Forerunner 35 provides progress reports on your activity and reminders from your schedule with a simple, unobtrusive vibration against the wrist.

Click to check the price on the Garmin Forerunner 35 Watch.


  • Accurate Readings: When compared against other, more advanced fitness tracking and monitoring tools, the Forerunner 35 held up famously, with accurate readings for distance, pace, and calories burned.

  • Battery Power: The lithium ion battery included with the Forerunner 35 lasts up to about 9 days when in activity tracking mode and up to about 13 hours when in training mode where the GPS is on. Charging happens fast, so you only lose a few hours per month of activity tracking.

    Two side buttons and a wrist strap that adjusts to any size wrist

  • Comfort and looks: This watch may have a bit more girth than a few comparable smartwatches, but thanks to a thin face and soft, pliant rubber wristband with lots of holes for adjusting the fit just right, it’s as light and comfortable as can be and doesn’t shout “fitness watch” when you’re not working out and just going about your daily routine.

    Looking specifically for a health tracker for women? Consider the oh so stylish Bellabeat Leaf.


  • Quick Sync: The built-in GPS in this smartwatch connects nearby satellites fast, even with obstructions like tree cover in the way. Usually you can find a signal within 10 seconds of searching. Additionally, the watch connects via Bluetooth to your connected computer or compatible mobile device quickly and easily.

  • Interval Trainer: With Run/Walk mode you can use the Forerunner 35 to help you pace yourself during runs. Set the watch to alert you when its time to take short walking breaks and when to resume your running pace. Auto pause and auto lap features further aid with this facility.

  • Preset Training Plans: The team at Garmin has prepared several different training programs, each lasting 12 weeks, to help motivate and guide your efforts toward achieving your fitness goals.

  • Virtual Pacer for indoor running: The watch’s ability to track your pace and compare it against a personalized optimum is so helpful in meeting your goals that once you use it you’ll wonder how ever got by without it. The built-in accelerometer measures your pace accurately, and a step counter helps keep accurate tracking of your distance covered. This means that you can track and monitor your goals even if just running on a treadmill.



  • Pared-down Features: Unlike some of the more advanced Forerunner Models, the 35 does not offer Connect IQ, advanced running dynamics, Strava Suffer Score, or Lactate threshold readings. Certain features are pared-down as well, like the Virtual Pacer, which only recognizes intervals of plus or minus 5 seconds: fine for some, but inexact for others. Your average everyday runners won’t miss these features (if they even know what they are) but professional runners and athletes might find this watch’s feature-set slightly too limiting. There’s also no local weather on the face, and only 2 faces — basic digital and analog — to choose from.

  • Small Wristband: While the band is finely adjustable within its range, that range may feel a bit tight too people with large wrists.

  • No Color Display: The display on the Forerunner, while high-resolution, is all black and white.

  • Slower GPS connect when amongst tall buildings: If you’re running on cit streets with tall buildings, the watch may take a few seconds longer to find a satellite.

  • Heart rate monitor occasionally innacurate: Like most wrist-based monitors, this watch also occasionally misfires while measuring your heart rate.


Who This is Best For

The Garmin Forerunner 35 is ideal for the regular or intermediate runner as well as someone who simply wants to make sure they’re reaping adequate fitness benefits from their regular everyday activity. In both of these cases the Forerunner 35 offers all the essential features you would want without any you don’t need. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some of the other Garmin Forerunner models, it does provide a built-in heart rate monitor and GPS that don’t require extra accessories like a chest strap or nearby smartphone. It provides convenient controls and connectivity. And it provides advanced monitoring and alert capabilities for optimizing runs and everyday activity.

If you’re more into cycling for fitness, you have to take a few other factors into consideration to accurately monitor your progress. Take a look at our best activity tracking watches that include GPS and cadence sensor compatibility for biking.


Getting started with the Garmin Forerunner 35


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