Garmin - Forerunner 235 GPS Running Watch - Marsala

Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS Running Watch: Make the most of your workout with this watch, which uses a wrist-based Elevate heart rate monitor to calculate your VO2 max and help you predict race times for various distances. Track your activity levels and receive a nudge when you have been sitting for too long, and monitor your steps taken, calories burned, distance traveled and sleep quality and quantity for an overall picture of your physical fitness.

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$249.99

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Marsala

Overview

What's Included


  • Forerunner 235 GPS Running Watch
  • Charging/data cradle
  • Owner's manual

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
93% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (371 out of 402)

Features


Tracks a variety of health metrics

Including activity vs. inactivity, steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned and sleep quality and quantity. Wrist-based Elevate heart rate monitor lets you calculate run times for various distances.

1.23" LCD screen

Offers clear, easy-to-read text.

Delivers reliable location information

GPS GLONASS ensures location accuracy.

Water-resistant design

So you don't have to worry about getting caught in the rain during a run. Never miss a thing with smart notifications from your compatible Android or iOS device.

Download workouts and training programs

Garmin Connect helps you get the most out of the Forerunner 235. Upload data on your workouts automatically when synced to your compatible device.

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Customer rating

4.5
93%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

4.2

Pros

Cons

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent GPS watch with lots of other features

    Posted
    TPAL
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I've had this watch for about 3 months and I absolutely love it. I actually started off with the Vivoactive HR, but I have a small wrist and found it uncomfortable. The Forerunner 235 is much more comfortable and I wear it all the time except on the rare occasion I am going to a semi-formal or formal function when the watch is just too sporty. I'm a runner who doesn't run quite as much as I used to, but I love all the statistics regardless. Giving up some of the activity tracking functions the Vivo offered was no big deal (I don't golf or paddleboard) and I'm definitely happier having the additional running functions of the 235. I upgraded from an older model (forerunner 410) and I'm really enjoying all the extra features. I love the activity tracking, although I do find that sometimes the step count can be off by as much 25%. I have a good idea how many steps I cover when I walk and find this watch sometimes (not always) varies significantly. I also use an iPhone and find that to be more consistent and accurate. Having said that, I still give this watch 5 stars because the step count is not the primary reason I got it. Syncing with phone app can be slower than I would like, but again, not a deal breaker for me. Aside from those two minor (for me) glitches, everything else works great. The GPS loads lightening-fast - no more waiting and waiting as I had to previously do on occasion with my older Garmin. The display is great and very customizable. There are so many features, I haven't even figured them all out yet. The smart notifications are really cool, too. I was at a meeting for work where we all had to turn in our phones. No worries for me; I was wearing my Garmin and got my notifications. I didn't need to worry the possibility of a rare emergency, like my kids' school calling because one of them became sick (highly unlikely, but in that rare instance when the phone is taken away, that's when I just know I'm going to get such a call). Or if I'm out with friends, if I get a text, I can quickly glance at my wrist without being one of those people who's looking at their phone so much, it seems like they'd rather be somewhere else. I love the heart rate monitor, too, as I never could deal with the chest strap. I owned one with the old watch and never once used it. Big waste of $$ because I liked the idea but could never be bothered. I can finally now do heart-rate training without any fuss using the wrist-based heart rate. Another feature that's new to me that I like a lot is the recovery time which automatically pops up every time I finish a run. I don't always follow it, but it's nice to have it, since I tend to overdo it sometimes and push myself too much. VO2 max is another great feature. Battery life is good and charging is fast. Having used a Garmin GPS watch for the past 5+ years as well as owning a Garmin car GPS, I am big fan of Garmin. Their customer service is fantastic, too.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Love the Forerummer 235

    Posted
    Joanne
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I spent a lot of time reviewing multiple fitness trackers. I have been using Fitbit for the last two-and-a-half years, and up until recently, have enjoyed it. However, when I started having sync issues and GPS issues with my Blaze, I knew I needed a change. I have been doing more runs and races, and wanted something that would track and give me all the data I wanted for my runs. The Garmin Forerunner 235 gives me more information then I thought I would ever need, but I love it. I enjoy looking at the historical data on the watch itself, as well as the other running data it collects and displays in the app, such as steps, cadence, pace, heart rate, calories burned, etc. What I really love is that I don't need my phone with me, because it has built-in GPS. I was used to logging calories right in the Fitbit dashboard, which the Garmin dashboard doesn't have. However, all I had to do was install MyFitnessPal, and it integrates beautifully with the Garmin dashboard. It's surprisingly lightweight, almost feels like my son's toy watch, which is great because it's not big and clunky. The face may look big, but I am petite and feel the watch fits perfectly on my wrist without being or looking too big. It's waterproof, so I can jump right in the shower after my run and rinse it off while tracking my recovery heart rate. I also enjoy the sleep tracking, as well as continuous heart rate monitoring which gives me my resting heart rate. Besides tracking running, indoor running, elliptical, it does have an "Other" option. You can customize the other activity tracking option within the app. Initially it tried to track using GPS, so distance and pace would be included in the data collected. However I turned off GPS, and can still get the duration of my workout, as well as my heart rate and calories burned, which is really all the data I'm looking for with workouts such as weight training or interval training. I am more than happy with my Garmin Forerunner 235, and I am continuously excited whenever I use it. I definitely recommend it, and it's worth the price tag. I would say it's more beneficial for those who want something to track running, instead of other types of workouts. If you want something that is just going to count steps, calories, and other workouts, you're probably better off with a different activity tracker.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great Device, Wrong Cutomer

    Posted
    BRad
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I traded in my Apple Watch Series 1 to purchase this item. I had exclusively used my AW as my fitness tracker for two years. I was pleasantly surprised with its fitness functionality and durability. After the first year I began running in OCRs and in no way felt comfortable wearing my AW for such demanding events. In turn I began searching for a more durable replacement. After hours of research as well as a recommendation from a fellow OCR racer (and coworker) I settled on the Forerunner 235. At first glance the 235 is nothing fancy. It reminds me of my first digital wrist watch I had in the 90s. Once you put the 235 on its apparently that this is a durable device. The 235 requires you download an app to sync to your smart device. I have an iPhone. The software was easy to find and downloaded quickly. Setting up a Garmin account was simple and so was synching and configuring the watch/device. I wore the watch to work every day as well as multiple workouts. The 235 is very comfortable to workout with weather it is while running or lifting weights (both activities were tried multiple times). My only complaint was I did not like was maneuvering amongst workouts and other settings within the watch. It was not difficult but it required a number of button clicks to get there. After a while I began to realize that I missed my AW and its smart features more than I appreciated having a rugged fitness tracker I really only needed 5 to 10 times a year. For that reason I returned the 235. Being a bit of a techy, had I not previously had a smart watch, I probably would not have second guessed this purchase at all. I highly recommend the 235, or any other Garmin product for that matter. I would encourage anyone considering this to really weight the options on how frequently you will being using the 235 to its highest ability and frankly most people don’t go anywhere without their phone anyone so a dedicated GPS is not necessary.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great running watch

    Posted
    Peter
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I was a former owner of an Apple Watch Sport. I liked the watched, but it had too many features that I did not use nor need (e.g. receiving notifications, all the apps...). I wanted to downsize to something that included GPS, would track my workouts with maps, count steps, and provide me with detailed feedback on my runs. I read reviews of several watches and found that this Garmin watch would meet my needs the best. PROS: - The battery life is amazing. I charge it once every 8 or 9 days. I do 3-4 runs a week and the battery has yet to run out in under a week. Today I charged it after 10 days and it was still at ~20% capacity. That's amazing! - It's waterproof. I don't have to take it off when I take a shower. - It counts steps accurately. - It finds GPS signal quickly. - The Garmin Connect app is great. It was easy to sync with and it updates my data between the watch and the app often. It shows tons of data (heart rate, weight, runs, calories, steps, sleep...) and you can customize what data you want to see. - It tracks your sleep and HR. - When running you can change the screen on your watch to show you data about your current run, data about your current lap (I love this!), your HR, your HR zone, or you can make a custom screen with several data points on it. - You can join challenges with other people. - You can sync with MyFitnessPal - It can receive notifications from your phone. It would let me know when I received a text or call. I disabled this feature cause I didn't need it. - It has a move alert: if you've been inactive for too long, it'll buzz/beep at you to get moving. There is so much I love about this watch. I rarely take it off and it's been so much more motivating to me to improve my running.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great for Intermediate/Advanced Runners

    Posted
    MrPresident
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Before purchasing the FR235, I had a FR15 as my starting out GPS watch. It worked well for what I wanted it to do (track distance). The downside for the FR15 was that the distance wasn't always accurate (I ran a marathon recently and it said I did 26.6 miles), GPS took forever to sync, and it didn't track HR. To supplement the HR I had bought a HR monitor online, but lost it within 3-4 months (I tend to lose things once in a while). After getting the FR235, it was a major, major improvement. The GPS synced within seconds, distance was near accurate (~ +/- .02mi, which is great, 1-2x have gotten a slip up where it cuts a big corner), and it had built in HR. Added perks were bluetooth syncing, watch interfaces (Back to the Future is the best one!), continuous HR, HR zones timing (how long you've been in which zone, and phone notifications (i.e. calls [can answer from watch], texts, emails, etc), I could even find my phone if I'm within range, and it has a great battery life (including several runs, it can last at least a week or two!). The only downsides to the watch are: HR takes some time to catch up at the beginning of a run, hard to find a good positioning on wrist for the HR to check properly (I have mine tight for runs to get better accuracy), and watch will randomly dis/connect from phone even when phone is 10-20 feet away (beeping can be annoying especially during work). I understand that HR won't always be accurate so it isn't a complete letdown; it's still a good estimation of heart rate. Haven't tried wearing it to sleep as it feels uncomfortable to wear and makes it harder to fall asleep for me. And don't know how I feel about it swimming (heard it is a possibility). Again this is a great watch if you're at least an intermediate runner and want to look at more statistics for running and need more accuracy from GPS tracking. If not interested in lots of statistics, then I would recommend a less expensive watch with less features (like Vivosmart HR).

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    If you're mostly a runner, this one's for you

    Posted
    SCPacer
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I was a Nike+ TomTom GPS user for years, then a TomTom Spark+Cardio user for a brief minute, then I decided to switch things over to Garmin since now you can share your data with a Strava account. This is a very light GPS watch, and despite its over-sized appearance, it really didn't end up looking that big on my wrist, and I have what I consider to be thin or barely medium sized wrists. I like to run looking at only my cadence per mile and heart rate - it's much easier for me to gauge my workout intensity, but the watch display for your metrics can be customized between one or two screens, with varying numbers of metrics per screen, such as pace, distance, heart rate, time duration, etc. - but I'll tell you, Garmins are notorious for their dim displays while indoors or under low light conditions. For me, I got used to it, and the wrist motion activated backlight is a very nice feature with its constant-on time display. Sure, the integrated Bluetooth smartphone notifications are nice, but it's not really what I need from this sports watch. There's just one thing that really bothers me about this Garmin - the battery life. Although it's an easy clip on charger, I certainly expected to have the battery life last beyond a couple days with just one or two 45 minute GPS runs. Even after the firmware update, it just seems... short lived. I turned off the phone notifications and reduced the backlight on-time, but still to no avail. Still though, not a bad runner's watch and the large display is very, very easy to read in the daylight. You "can" track other cardio activities, and I found the heart rate tracking to closely mimick my TICKR X chest strap by Wahoo. So if running is close to 85-95% of your workouts for the week, the Garmin 235 is definitely a solid choice among the various GPS trackers out there.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Running watch and more!

    Posted
    runningiowagirl
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I love this watch! The best part is not having to wear a chest strap to track my heart rate. I run 3+ times a week and cross train 3 times a week and use my watch to track all of my workouts. You can set it up for interval training and it also has settings for running indoors, biking outdoors and indoors. I use the other setting for cross training. It's very comfortable. I thought it would seem big at first but I have no problem wearing it. It's very light. The gps syncs up really fast and as long as it is tracking your heart rate before you start your workout it is pretty accurate. If you start your workout without your heart rate recognized, it normally won't pick it up. The only issue I've had is that occasionally when I interval train it doesn't track my heart rate accurately. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. I don't know if I'm moving too much but I'll be totally out of breath and it says my heart rate is 80 or 90 bpm. It will eventually find it, but for a while I know it isn't right.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Overall good watch

    Posted
    JoeR
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I had a FitBit for a couple years and didn't like out it felt wearing it and the smaller screen. I am a new runner and wanted something that tracked running a little better and was easier to read. I felt this would be a good choice for the price. However, I think it's a little overpriced. I feel that a $249 would be a better price range for this watch. With that said, I do not regret paying the $299 for it. Very happy with it. Easy to setup and use, no problems at all with it and you can download apps and different watch faces for it using the Garmin connect app. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that it is not as bright as I would like. Don't let the online pictures fool you, it is not as bright and vivid colors as it looks in the pictures. I wish it had an option to adjust the brightness. I personally just like a bright screen. However, you can still see it just fine and easy to see in daylight. The back light works fine for night time. Overall I am happy I upgraded to this watch.

    I would recommend this to a friend

What experts are saying

Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars with 5 reviews

Click to visit alaTest website
The analysis of all aggregated expert reviews shows that the reviewers are positive about design, performance, size and usability. Editors have mixed opinions about maps. Using an algorithm based on product age, reviewers ratings history, popularity, product category expertise and other factors, this product gets an alaTest Expert Rating of 93/100 = Excellent quality.
  • TechRadar (UK)Rating, 4 out of 5Kieran Alger on February 20, 2018
    Garmin Forerunner 235 review
    Age is just a numberFull Review
  • which.co.ukNovember 30, 2016
    Garmin Forerunner 235 review
    The Forerunner 235 is a GPS running watch that's suitable for tracking exercise indoors and outdoors. There are a lot of different features and functions packed into this slim sports watch, but how well does it perform when truly put to the test?Full Review
  • Tom's GuideRating, 4.5 out of 5Mike Prospero on May 17, 2016
    Garmin Forerunner 235: The Best Running Watch Yet
    Moderate to active runners will love what the Forerunner 235 has to offer. It's thin, light and easy to use; accurately tracks your location and heart rate while you're running; and lets you customize its display. The only feature it lacks that IFull Review
  • cnet.co.ukRating, 4.1 out of 5Dan Graziano on April 15, 2016
    Garmin Forerunner 235 review: The best watch for casual and serious runners
    The Forerunner 235 tracks pace and distance, provides easy-to-read smartphone alerts and has a ton of running features that are typically found on more expensive watches.Full Review
  • TechSmart (South Africa)Mike Joubert on March 22, 2016
    Garmin Forerunner 235
    The Garmin Forerunner 235 sees improvements across the board, most significantly in the look of the watch, smartwatch notifications and enhancements in heart rate measurement.Full Review



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