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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

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great Fitness / GPS Watch for Running

    Posted
    TexRunner
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase

    I purchased the Garmin Forerunner 235 to track my running workouts. While no item is perfect, I have been very happy with this one. Previously, I was using an iPhone app and carrying my phone when running. That served its purpose for a while, but this has been a huge improvement. The watch is very comfortable and doesn't bother my wrist at all, not even on long runs. The watch band has a lot of holes, which makes it really easy to get a good fit. I also wear it for tracking my sleep as well as for my alarm, and I hardly notice that it's there. With each workout segment, you can set your desired intensity target based on pace, speed, cadence, or HR zone (including custom HR zones). And when you establish a target, the watch will give you alerts when you are outside of this range. Now that I know what the alerts sound like, I find myself not looking at the watch nearly as much during runs. When I was researching different options, I had a hard time determining if you could use third party ANT+ heart rate monitors with the 235. But I was happy to see that this can be done. I didn't have any trouble pairing this with the Scosche Rhythm+. You can disable the wrist HR monitor and only use the external device or you can download a data field from the Garmin IQ store that allows you to use both simultaneously. There are a few things about this item that I believe could be better. First, I have not been able to find any available data screen that will give you an interval countdown. The existing timer options start at 0:00 and count up, not the other way around. Not a deal breaker by any means, but this is one improvement I think that could easily be made. Second, I wish there were more variables that could be configured with certain specific workouts. For example, I use GPS+GLONASS when running at the track, as this seems to provide for more accurate location readings. However, it drains the batteries more quickly and doesn't seem to make a discernible difference on street and trail runs, so I haven't been using it for these. So it would be nice to be able to have certain workouts default to a particular GPS setting. But again, not a deal breaker. Another issue is the accuracy of the wrist HR monitor. I've seen this mentioned and even witnessed it myself on one of my earlier runs. It was a really cold day. I was doing an easy (zone 1) warmup, when it started indicating that my heart rate was close to 190. Once I broke a sweat, it settled into a more accurate heart rate reading. To remedy this problem, I've been using a drop of HR monitor gel before each run. This allows it to maintain better contact with the skin, which seems to result in more consistently accurate readings. In fact, I recorded both the Garmin FR 235 and the Scosche Rhythm+ HR readings this morning. As you can see in the picture, other than a minor peak difference early on, the two were very close. The other thing I wasn't particularly thrilled about was the brightness of the screen. Or I should say lack of brightness. But I soon realized the lighting is basically the opposite of my phone or something like the Apple Watch. When there's no light shining on the screen, it's pretty dim and can be difficult to see. But as long as there's good light, it's very easy to see. So outside during the daytime, there's no issue at all. At night or early in the morning, I've just started wearing a head lamp, which I probably should have been doing anyway. With this on, I can see the screen perfectly well. I'm sure it was done this way to preserve batteries. I should add that the wrist HR monitor isn't the best for tracking weight workouts. Neither is the Scosche Rhythm+. I'm not sure why, but the readings are just way off at times. I'll be out of breath, and it will show my HR to be in the 80's or so. For now, I've pretty well just determined not to worry about tracking my HR on these types of workouts. But for running, the 235 is excellent. I'm not sure about the scientific accuracy of the race predictors, recovery advisor, or VO2 max readings, but changes in these areas at least seem to correspond with improvements in conditioning. Anyway, that's about it for now. While not perfect, I've been very happy with the Garmin Forerunner 235. I look forward to using this for years to come and would definitely recommend it to others.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • 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: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent Watch for Runners

    Posted
    Run4Fun
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    If you are an avid runner and want a watch that can help you track your miles and pace, the Garmin Forerunner 235 might be just what you need. The Forerunner 235 serves its purpose perfectly. It accurately tracks the time, distance, and pace of your run or bike ride. This watch is also nice if you want to be accountable for increasing your daily activity. It records your steps, heart rate, and personal records. The watch also has a mode that will buzz when you’ve been inactive for over an hour or two. One thing to be aware of with the Forerunner 235 is that the GPS sometimes takes a while before it connects. An easy way to avoid this issue is to press the activity button with ample time before you begin your run or bike ride. The Forerunner 235 has a comfortable band that can adjust to any wrist size. The band has many holes throughout that not only help the watch to fit just right, but also make it breathable during a sweaty workout. This watch also holds a charge a long time and charges quickly. When the Bluetooth isn’t turned on, the Forerunner 235 can go about a week without being charged. Once plugged in, it is fully charged in under an hour. When the Bluetooth is on, the Forerunner can go about two days before it needs to be charged, since Bluetooth allows the watch to receive notifications from your phone. This watch is reliable, durable, and easy to use. Overall, the Garmin Forerunner 235 is a 5-star product recommended for any runner or anyone who wants to track their physical activity.

    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: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great watch for a runner. beginner or expert

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

    I was looking for a serious update to my Garmin 35 and it was a toss up between the Garmin 235 and the Garmin Vivoactive 3. I settled on the 235 because of the extensive running metrics and GPS with GLONASS. You do not want to be at the start of a marathon on a cloudy day and cannot connect to GPS. Distance, sleep and activity tracking, comfortable design, advanced running metrics, Garmin IQ app support, iOS/Android, waterproof and the ability to pair with a dress suit, made the 235 more appealing than the Vivoactive 3. The $60 difference in prices between the two did not make enough of a difference. After all you were paying for the ability to be connected to GPS/GLONASS as soon as you start running, no matter the weather. Pros: very bright screen, quick connect GPS, accurate steps, sleep, heart rate, and distance along with great battery life and good looks. The 235 is always race ready. Cons: learning curve

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great watch for a runner

    Posted
    Shay0228
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This was my first gps watch ever. I honestly didn't know if I'd wear it often or only during activity. Let's just say the only time I don't wear it is when I'm sleeping. Love this watch! It tracks all my runs, records, data, provides me with incoming texts and calls and allows you to control your phones music by fw, re, and volume options. You aren't able to reply to texts via the watch but if you have a wireless headset, it's easy to answer incoming calls that are displayed on the watch. It tracks bicycling and treadmill along with outdoor runs. It's not a watch for this that want to track much more than running.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Just what I wanted

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

    I spent several months reading research on activity trackers and gps running watches. I asked friends that had smart watches what they liked about their watch. The Choice came down to the Apple Watch, Garmin vivoactive, and the Garmin forerunner 235. The forerunner seemed to have the best accuracy and connected to gps quickest. It’s lightweight, easy to use, easy to setup, and feels/fits great on wrist for daily use. I did purchase the 2 year warranty just to be safe and so I could wear it through any activities without worrying. I also purchased a screen protector to keep the watch face free from scratches. I leave it connected to Bluetooth at all times to sync and get all phone alerts. Very very happy with this watch and love how the app is set up. Easy to customize the style and functions.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great multifunctional Garmin watch

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

    I did a lot of research prior to buying this watch and decided that for what I am doing (running, swimming, marathons, etc) this watch was a step up to what I had before (Fitbit). It’s super easy to configure, syncs with my Iphone perfectly, tracks my pace in laps and miles, waterproof to swim with, comfortable to wear and tracks my activity/routes with GPS. I’m still learning with this watch because there is so many features to it. I also love the band color!! I had to wait a little longer to receive it but it is a minty color and exactly what the picture looks like. Also, ladies if you’re worried about the face of the watch being too big on your wrist don’t be! It’s athletic looking and fits perfectly around my wrist. Doesn’t get in the way or anything! Great buy!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Running watch

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

    I've been wanting a Garmin for years and was gifted one for my birthday. It is exactly what I hoped it would be. I like the apps available to change the face layout, other activities available, training features (i.e. intervals, race predictor, etc.), and the battery life is really good. I've gone as much as 8 days on a full charge once, still being rather active that week. I don't have issues with the screen being dark, if you need to see it brighter, there is a light button, then the face dims again. I love that I don't have to carry my phone unless I want to. Maybe my next Garmin will have the music feature, but until then, I'm happy with the 235. Great buy. Runners will not be disappointed.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great watch!

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

    I bought the watch for my wife. She is a moderately active person, who recently started running competitively. She has used the watch a couple of times during races and the results (e.g.: pace and mileage) are pretty accurate (close to the results from the time race monitored by NYRR). She uses it daily, even in the shower. She has found the watch to be helpful primarily as she would like to break her personal record more accurately. As part of training for the NYC marathon, my wife relies on the watch for an accurate workout'/training view and modifies her trainings accordingly (e.g.: HIIT). There's a bit of a learning curve, but in time, she was able to learn short cuts and quick data mining that are relevant to her training needs.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great athletic watch!

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

    I finally decided to upgrade my Garmin and after reading reviews, I decided to purchase this watch. I loved my older model, and even though this one is a little more expensive, I trust the Garmin name and know it will last for a long time. This watch is awesome! I love how it has Bluetooth and I can sync all of my runs to Garmin Connect and to my favorite running app called Strava. This watch does everything- heart rate, cadence, etc. You will not be disappointed! I run half and full marathons and I have never had an issue with this watch. I also like that if I am close to my phone and the Bluetooth is on, I can see message and other alerts on the watch. If you are a runner, this is definitely the watch for you!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Garmin Forerunner 235

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

    The Garmin Forerunner 235 is an excellent GPS watch to own. Many activities can be performed with this watch from Running, Hiking, Cycling, Indoor Treadmill and Walking. Garmin also provides many other features like programs for cycling, running and get fir programs that run from 4 -12 weeks long. If you are really interested in a GPS watch research this one at an extensive level to make sure it's not going to have too much features that you think you'll never use as you would be wasting your money. It's definitely not for the beginning runner/walker. I highly recommend that you buy a tempered glass screen protector for it as you may end up scratching the face.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Love my new running watch!

    Posted
    stacyb83
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    So far, I have not been disappointed with this purchase. (Other than running less than I planned, but that's another problem...) I've been debating about updating my Garmin Forerunner from the old 405 for a year, and I'm so happy I did. The heart rate and bluetooth to Garmin connect work perfectly. I also love the varied screens. I ruled out so many cheaper options because I want a lot of info on my running screen. I do not use it as a smart watch (no need, so I don't want the bother), but everything else has lived up to my expectations. Another note, it is so much more comfortable than the old 405!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Best wearable on the market

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

    I've had the surge and charge HR and they do not hold a candle to my 235. The 235 is more accurate for running, biking and even steps. The messages are easy to read and everything syncs up quickly. The big selling point for me is its water proof. I want to be able to shower, swim and do the tough mudder and keep my watch on, I can do that with the 235. The app still needs work but Garmin is working on that. This watch is definitely a keeper!!!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Love it!

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

    I bought this watch after my Garmin Forerunner 10 stopped holding a charge. I chose this watch over the forerunner 35 because I am running my first marathon in 8 months and I liked the look of the round face on the 235 over the 35, especially if I decided to use it as an activity tracker in addition to a running watch. I absolutely love this watch! I wear it 24/7. So far I've only used the activity tracker for runs, though I will look at the heart rate while in cross fit classes. I know I haven't unleashed all the potential of the watch yet, but I am looking forward to using it more when I get into my marathon training.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Love!

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

    Having had a Fitbit for 5 years, I was very worried about switching to a Garmin. While the app isn't nearly as exciting, the watch is amazing. If you are a runner, or even a walker, this watch is for you! I love being able to use the GPS to track my runs! Also, I have tiny wrists but love the fit of this watch. The band is super soft!!! Depending on how frequently I use the GPS feature, I can get over a week out of the battery before needing to charge it. Charging is also way easier than it was with Fitbit. Oh and did I mention I can swim and shower with it! I love it!!!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    The best running watch for your money

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

    If you're looking for a general fitness band, you're better off with a Fitbit or Apple Watch. But if you're serious about running or biking, this is the watch to get. The battery life is phenomenal, the GPS is more accurate than that of my iPhone 7, and you can use the watch even with sweaty hands (because it is not a touchscreen). You can even link your Garmin account with Strava if you prefer to have your data there. My one recommendation is to get a screen protector, as I think the screen is plastic. I found a good tempered glass one on Amazon for around $15.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great watch

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

    Upgraded from the forerunner 15. Love everything about the watch. Only negative would be sleep tracking. You can set the watch for your usual bedtime but if you're still up and you lie still on the couch, it will think you're sleeping. If you wake up the night and get up, go back to bed but don't fall asleep for a while, it will think you're asleep. It also doesn't track any daytime naps. I didn't get the watch to track my sleep so it's not a big deal but for the price of the watch and it's heart tracking feature, you'd think it would do a better job.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    High quality but big face

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

    Great heart rate monitor and gps watch. I wore for a week and the functionality was fantastic, easy to read, etc. I wound up returning it, though, because the face was so big and though it was appropriately feminine for athletic purposes, it did not work to wear throughout the day with regular casual clothing. I replaced it with an Apple Watch that was smaller and had more athletic functions than run, bike, and other. I loved it and if this was just for running I would have kept!

    I would recommend this to a friend