Garmin Forerunner 935 Hands-Review

Is this flagship Forerunner your cue to join the Garmy army?

It wouldn’t exactly make a killer title for a Jeremy Kyle show, but the big question in wearables right now is ‘are smartwatches now good enough to challenge dedicated sport watches’?

The answer, as Garmin has supplied in the form of the Forerunner 935, is a big fat no. Aside from the ludicrous £900 Fenix Chronos, this is as high-end as Garmin’s sport watches get, and it’s got a features list longer than an Ironman course.

Aimed at triathletes, Ironmen and anyone with a running addiction, the Forerunner 935 is effectively souped-up Forerunner 735XT with a new design and some nifty new training analysis tools. I took one for a spin around London’s Green Park to see if it’s worth more than the cost of a PS4 Pro.

Garmin Forerunner 935 design: A better everyday companion

 

If you were worried that Garmin’s new Fenix 5 series – which the Forerunner 935 is identical to in all but design – signalled a move towards a fashion-led look, you’ll be pleased to see that the 935 comes in reassuringly sporty plastic.

Sure, that doesn’t exactly make it a match for your tailored suit, but for many Garmin watch fans (me included) the sporty look is a kind of badge of honour. If anything, it’s a constant reminder to not fall off the training wagon. And if you spend more time downing protein shakes than cocktails, it’ll probably be a good match for you too.

The Forerunner 935 has lots of minor improvements over the 735XT (above left). The screen is slightly larger (particularly handy for the bike leg of a triathlon), the bezel a little less cluttered with symbols and, crucially, the optical heart rate sensor doesn’t protrude as much from the back.

The extra comfort this provides is quite a big deal, because Garmin wants the Forerunner 935 to be your everyday watch. I found the 735XT’s sensor to be a tad uncomfortable for nightly sleep-tracking, but the 935 feels like it could genuinely be a 24/7 watch. Particularly as it also pairs with your phone and serves up basic notifications.

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