I am new to the smart watch things, and I can honestly say that this watch has opened my eyes to how handy they can be. I am not great with technology, so the basic design caters to my weakness, especially the fact that it doesn't have a touch screen accessory. The product itself is lightweight, and although the face of it is large, I font find it to be too large for my liking. It's just right.
The technology itself is very accurate in my opinion. The heart rate monitor is my favorite aspect personally, and it was the only reason I bought the watch after having concerns with my heart. I am a runner with a very low heart rate, and I was shocked to see it being reflected by my watch and almost didn't believe it, but after putting it on someone with a relatively high heart rate, It was proof that the heart rate monitor is accurate. As for the GPS tracker and foot step tracker, both of these accessories prove to be just as reliable comparing the tracked distance with my mapped distances on the computer.
In conclusion, I have highly recommended this watch to any athlete looking for a durable, reliable, and fashionable watch.
I was looking to replace my Fitbit Charge HR with something I could read without putting on my reading glasses, especially while riding. After evaluating Fitbit Iconic and Garmin Forerunner 235, and others, I selected the Garmin. Got a good price on it from BTD and used my bonus to whittle the price even more. The higher end Garmin's were far more than I needed or wanted. It syncs perfectly with my Android phone. One puzzling feature, it occasionally pauses while running on a track indoors, but starts right up after a couple second pause. I was cautioned by a running store clerk that Garmin is updating it with a 240 this month, so the price should drop even more, but I was happy with the sale price at BTD.
I purchased primarily for running but also use for biking. The different stats help me to make adjustments in my training and find them interesting. Also track my sleep and trying to make improvements there too.
Needed to replace my Vivofit after a bike crash. I love this as my go-to watch. I wish it had a few more features to capture other sports as well, but for daily tracking, HR, and runninghiking.
I had tried a few smart fitness watches in the past, but they were always missing something for me - not waterproof, had touchscreen functions that didn't work while running with gloves, restrictive battery life, poor smart notification execution, no built-in GPS, and my biggest issue requiring a button push or special wristarm movement to show the clock! I wanted something that was a watch first (clock face always on), had good sportfitness tracking capabilities (including waterproofing and built-in GPS), could go at least a few days without charging, and was decent with phone synchingnotifications. This watch hit on everything for me, and is really comfortable to boot. And to top it off, not only does it have a built-in heart rate monitor, it's able to broadcast it via ANT to your phonecycle computer - no chest strap needed!
While I want to start doing triathlons, the XT and Fenix series watches were a bit cost-prohibitive, Well, I did have an opportunity to get a 920XT for about $20 more than what I paid for the FR235, and even though the 920 has more features and better battery life, I hate how bulky it is and the overall design (I much prefer round watch faces, the size of the 235 is similar to many normal watches and with it's more subtle design it doesn't look completely out of pIace with a suit). I was also lucky enough to get this on Cyber Monday while BTD was having a special Garmin sale along with extra savings they were offering for the day, along with some VIP points I had, plus $5 off for picking it up at the wharehouse! In all, I paid the same for this as my wife had for a Fitbit Blaze she had gotten me a few months before (returned that after a couple weeks), and that device isn't even close to the level of the 235.
Another big plus is the Garmin ConnectIQ store. This is where you can get additional appswidgetswatch faces for the watch. While it's still relatively young and so is still somewhat limited, it's open to 3rd party developers (so, everybody), and so new appswatch faces are released frequently. Since I wanted something I could track my swimming with, I only decided to get this watch instead of spending more on an XT series when I learned of a pool swimming app a guy made for the 235. I swim a couple times a week and the app works great! They even have triathlon apps that track the time for each discipline including the transitions!
TL,DR review - this is a great watch for tracking your fitness activities without looking like an ugly fitness tracker. Due to Garmin's own app store (ConnectIQ), its functionality can be expanded for biking, swimming, hiking, skiing... Decent battery life (I go about 4-6 days between charges, depending on how much I'm using the GPS). A
It does everything I need and more. Wrist HR monitor is good and reliable. Sillicone band is very soft and comfortable so I wear this watch all day. Delivery was very quick and costumer service is excellent as I called in for a price adjustment when watch went on sale few days after my purchase.
Enjoy the product, GPS connects quick, intuitive to use, plenty of data to troll over. Had this for a few months now and primarily use for running. The main flaw is the heart rate sensor - when I am running it seems to work just fine. However at rest its not always reliable, got to make sure it pretty secure and placed optimally on the wrist. Still would recommend - built for purpose.
Primary reason for purchasing the Forerunner 235 was to track my running workouts leading up to cyclocross season. My Inititial impression of the 235 was that it seemed more like a toy than a piece of fitness equipement. The 235 is very light weight and build of plastic and rubber. Turns out despiite it's delicate appearance and feel it has proven to be durable. The wrist band is very comfortalbe to wear. The second thing I noticed was that the function buttons on the side of the watch are exposed. This does make the buttons easy to access while exercising. It also makes them easy to inadvertantly select during your workout possiblly leading to lost workout data.
The biggest disappointment with this watch is the optical HR sensor. While exercising the HR sensor has never worked correctly, not once. I found that while exercising the 235 would show very elevated HR's, 50-60 beats above my max HR. This happened everytime I used the 235. I eventually had to pair the 235 with my Garmin HR chest strap, which worked just fine. I don't know if the optical HR sensor works better on more expensive models but I think it is ridiculous that the HR sensor performs so poorly. While wearing the 235 during the day(not exercising) the HR sensor seemed to be accurate.
With the 235 your can track your daily steps, monitor your sleep patterns. The 235 will also track your runs on the treadmill. The GPS function works very well. All the data from the 235 can be synced with Garmin Connect, Stava, Training Peaks etc. The battery last about 4-5 days between charges.
The 235 is inexpensive for a reason.
I use the watch for mainly running, mostly on the trails.
I have a Gramin 520 plus for cycling which can communicate with my Forerunner 235 - Very COOL!
The multi-screen display helps me keep in the right zone all the time. Love the Garmin Connect Application on my smartphone - automatically upload stats for every activity including, sleepwalk, run and many more if you choose the activity.
I run 1500 miles a year and I put off buying a watch for way too long. Heard awesome reviews on the 235 and started to look around. Bike direct was by far the best price and I knew they had great service. Garmin support is awesome too, called to ask about some features and they walked me right through it.
An excellent GPS watch! I also have the Garmin Forerunner 620 touch but this watch (235) is easier to use.
It connects to the satellites super quick, the battery life is much longer in-between charges. It downloads software when connected to a computer very fast, and Garmin Connect tells you all about your running and health...more than you will ever need. For my purposes of running and cycling it is perfection!
I'm a runner and use this to track my work-outs. A great product except for the instruction booklet that came with the watch, which is basically useless. On-line guides from Garmin are equally difficult to interpret, making the watch much more of a challenge to use effectively than it should be. Price and service support offered by BikeTiresDirect.com was excellent. Very happy with the product except for Garmin's lack of clear, simple usage instructions. YouTube support videos don't help much either.
I love this watch! I just wish Garmin would get their act together and fix the software problems. My watch has never displayed texts like it is supposed to since the first day I got it, but it does show calls that I am getting, so I know the Bluetooth works. I'm also not a big fan of their app, the Fitbit one is better. Also, the sleep data isn't too accurate. Says I'm still sleeping even when I'm awake, but my old Fitbit used to do that too. The watch itself is comfortable to wear and looks great. I'm really happy with it.
I returned this watch after using for about 30 days. The HR wrist readings were not providing any data. I think is a problem with the specific watch that I got not the whole GF 235 batch. I compared against a garmin 35 that a bought for my wife and the he wrist reading works just fine. I probably will buy another 235 or a 35.
Got to get used to its usage although simple. I wear it all the time even with the other watch.
Like the constant heart monitor without the annoyance of the chest strap. The bracelet has to be relatively right to get good reading.
I really like the watch its not as fancy as some of the newer models, but its great for me. I really like the large number display while Im running. And the garmin connect app is pretty nice. GPS seems pretty accurate although in the city (New York) itll have some trouble at times (Im assuming with tall buildings the signal can get lost thats probably an overall issue though, not specific to this watch Id guess). My only real complaint is the heart rate monitor does some weird flatlining on me. Its not every run, but maybe 30% of the time. I wear it the same way each time, so Im not really sure whats going on. Anyway, Id look into that if heart rate is something youre really interested in. If not for the weird heart rate Id give it 5 stars.