Main Content

Customer Ratings & Reviews

Garmin - Forerunner 235 GPS Running Watch - Marsala-Angle_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars with 596 reviews

93%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

Rating 4.1 out of 5 stars with 6 reviews

Pros

Cons

Customer ratings & reviews

Filter:
Page 1, showing1-20 of 145 Reviews
  • 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: 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

    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

    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

    Functions well and takes a beating

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

    The strap fits great and is comfortable. The presets are convenient for cycling and running. The fact that it turns off GPS for indoor settings without me having to do it manually each time is great. I only have to choose the type of workout and everything is set for indoor or outdoor. The recovery advisor and VO2Max are features that made this watch a worthy buy. The HR monitor seems pretty accurate and shows 4hrs of HR data on the watch. Battery life is better than I expect. With all the data being tracked and the syncing to the GarminConnect app on my phone (my old watch only synced 2 times a day), I expected a much shorter battery life. but, it last longer that my 225. Upgrading from the Forerunner 225, which has simple and easy navigation, the navigation on the 235 was a bit awkward. Not the smoothest navigation in my opinion, but I am comparing it to the 225. Overall, great watch. I dont use most of the advanced features yet (downloads, watch faces, and IQ apps) but my favorite features are the Race predictor, recovery advisor, HR accuracy, calendar on the watch, and VO2Max.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great watch for running

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

    This watch is pretty sweet. PROS: ease of use, great for running, ability to personalize, constant HR monitor, app is light years ahead of the competition, when connected to my phone it would show all my texts and alerts, EXTREMELY Comfortable. This is hands down the most comfortable watch in the history of the world CONS: no MP3 storage - must be connected to blu-tooth for music, bad for PT - during workouts the buttons would automatically press up against my wrist and switch the timer or turn off the timer entirely- this is no good when trying to maintain certain time requirements This is a great watch for a tech savy person and also a runner. As far as an "all around" fitness watch I believe it to be below the competition. It feels very delicate and that it could break at any minute. I loved this watch but needed something a little more durable. If you are a runner GET THIS WATCH! If you are a crossfitter or spartan racer or whatever the TomTom might be a better route.

    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

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good Value; Easy to Setup

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

    This is my fourth Garmin running GPS device over the course of 12 years. This appears to be the best yet. I haven't spent a whole lot of time with it as it is still cold out in the Midwest. However, the few times I have used it the satellites/GPS calibrates almost instantly. My last device from 7 years ago could take several minutes to find a signal. This one has a heart rate monitor which used your wrist instead of a chest strap. It works pretty well. A strap would be better. It's easy to sync to your Garmin online profile. I haven't tested any of the cell phone features as I have no plans to carry my cell phone with me while running. Best Buy did a price match so I got it at a very good price. It's primarily focused on running so if you want something for biking, swimming, etc. you might want to look at the higher end models. This is a great size and is nice and lightweight. I like it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great Watch

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

    I have been running consistently for awhile and was at the point where I needed a more advanced watch for training. People I run with have the Garmin 235 or 9"" and they swear by it. I was looking at the Polar M430. On the Polar there are 6 sensor for the heart rate & you can't change bands, but polar is known for accuracy. A chest strap is the most accurate way to get heart rate so I went with the Garmin and its 3 sensors figuring I would get the chest strap as I get more serious. I like that you can change the bands, I like the interface on the computer (their metrics are great). I do get a little frustrated because it is not as intuitive to use as I would hope and I do notice others struggling with the same thing. That is the reason it is 4 instead of 5 stars...and the three sensors.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    A little Glitchy, but Great Watch/Fitness Tracker

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

    I originally bought the apple watch as I am a fitness enthusiast who wanted something to help me get more insight into my overall health. But as I progressed through my fitness routine and used the watch, I found that I would go for runs and be unable to stop my workout because sweat would render the Apple Watch's screen unresponsive. Garmin focuses on fitness and health with this watch, it is a great tool for seeing how your health is progressing and getting the most from your workouts, but it doesn't have all the features that other smart watches offer. The important question you need to ask yourself is if you want a smart watch or a fitness tracker. If you answered fitness tracker to that question - then the garmin is for you.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great Running Watch, Poor Activity Tracker

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

    My four star rating is based on the Garmin 235 as a runners watch. The GPS works connects much more quickly than my Garmin 620, and the wrist based heart rate monitor is pretty accurate compared to the heart rate strap. However, Fitbt charge hr, which I also have, the sleep tracker is abysmal. The Garmin 235 thinks I'm asleep when I'm awake and awake, when I'm actually asleep. There steps seem relatively accurate, compared to the Fitbit charge hr, but there is no measurement of stairs or other activities like elliptical machine, aerobics, and other indoor activities. There is a general "indoor activity" setting, but Fitbits is activity specific. So, I use the Fitbit charge hr as my activity tracker and the Garmin 235 as my running watch and it's a good combination.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Solid performance

    Posted
    Jeremichi96
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I choose this watch over another fitbit or polar. I had both a polar m400 and a fitbit surge and they both broke in about 12 months. So far the only issues I've had with the garmin is understanding the software. It has a ton of options and usually I don't read the instructions and just figure the product out. It took me a few days to actually get the watch faces I downloaded to work but now that I have them I really love this watch. It's comfortable and durable. Seems pretty accurate on runs and locks on to GPS quickly. It's my first garmin product and I'll be using them from now on for my fitness needs. The audio prompts while running are great for keeping pace and a good way to keep an eye on your heart rate.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    So far so good

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

    I’ve been enjoying the 235 since Christmas. Syncing to the phone gives you lots more options. I couldn’t decide between the 235 and Vivo. My don’t got the vivo and I’m kinda jealous because it’s screen is touch sensitive and mine is not. On the 235 when I run on the treadmill the cadence seems to be off. The treadmill has me at 5 miles and the 235 has me at 6 miles. Not sure how it could be so off but am going to see if it needs to be calibrated or something. Overall happy so far. Have yet to take it on the open road but looking forward to it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Nice smart watch

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

    I like this Garmin watch. It pairs nicely with my Garmin Ant+ heart rate chest strap. I bought it in Manhattan, New York City while on vacation in December. I got it on sale for $130. The watch has quite a few features that I still need to discover. It has great battery life too. I just wish the screen was brighter like the Samsung Gear S3. Overall a great watch. I would definitely recommend buying this watch.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great running watch

    Posted
    Ramirezr3
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    The 235 is a really good watch for running. I bought it when my Vivoactive HR quit working after less than a years use. In the month have had he Forerunner, I have enjoyed using it for running and everyday fitness tracking. That being said it lacks some of the features people wanting a fitness tracker might look for. Also there is no barometric altimeter, so for hiking and trail runs that info is not readily available.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Better than an Apple Watch for runners

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

    For running purposes, this is better than an Apple Watch. It can occasionally take longer than it should to connect to GPS, but when it does the GPS. Tracking is super accurate. I’ve found the heart rate monitor to be very accurate as well. The battery life is not as great as advertised, but it can easily go about 5 days on a full charge, including several runs, if the GPS is toggled off when not using it. When it does need to be charged, it thankfully charges quickly.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great as long as you are not on a treadmill

    Posted
    Jb400mar
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    This is a borderline great product. The one glaring issue is that it doesn't calculate treadmill running accurately. Not even in the ball park. Garmin advises that the watch is probably correct and the treadmill is wrong - uh, no. Nice try though. EVERY treadmill run I have been on since I got this, has been off by .1 to .3 per mile. I don't run on treadmills that much so I still like the watch very much but they should just tell the customer - "yeah, listen, if you are going to use this on the treadmill, your results will be off". I would strongly recommend this as long as you are not running on a treadmill.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great for running

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

    This watch is a great partner for your running. The Garmin Forerunner 235 is a solid running watch that blends top sports metrics with excellent 24/7 daily activity tracking and a lovely design. It's disappointing that the accuracy of the built-in HR monitor isn't good enough for proper high intensity workouts but it's still capable of colouring workout data for less hardcore runners and you can still pair with an ANT+ chest strap to get really serious. Pair this data with the resting heart rate info and you have a powerful tool for tracking every aspect of your health data.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great running/daily wear watch

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

    Love the Forerunner 235. It's got all the features you need in a running watch (HRM, GPS, VO2 max) as well as some great "smart watch" features such as notification mirroring. The battery last for ~4 days with daily workouts and Bluetooth enabled. I highly recommed this watch but will say newer models 7xx and 9xx series offer a few more features for not too much more money. My only gripe with the 235 is the plastic construction. It definitely does not feel cheap and I have yet to have any breakage issues but I can't help be wary with something that gets knocked around as much as a watch.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good not Great

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

    I've had my Garmin for almost a year now and its been reliable. GPS is very accurate and the watch itself is very sturdy. I'm pretty clumsy and I've smacked my watch into many hard surfaces and its only got one scratch so far! I do wish it had some other features I've seen on other Garmins such as stair flight counter, for example. Notifications work alright and sync pretty well to my phone. Sometimes it disconnects and reconnects quickly for no apparent reason but its never been a huge problem. Overall I really like the watch but I would love a few other features/apps.

    I would recommend this to a friend