Garmin Forerunner (FR) 35

I was recently lent a Garmin FR35 to test and give feedback. For a full, techy review read DC Rainmaker


Model Name: Garmin FR 35 Sn73

Current cheapest price: £149.99 from Decathlon

Rating (out of 5 stars): 4

Key features:

1.  Looks quite like an apple watch in shape
2.  Online Connectivity -Alerts flow through from your phone to the watch
3.  Heart rate monitor


Great looks - good enough to wear all the time and small enough for a girl!
Fulfils the fitness tracker, smart watch and proper running watch brief to a good level. Not really really powerful as a training tool if you want complicated intervals and loads of mid-run feedback but has a lot of good features and is very reliable and easy to use

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A lot more pleasing to the eye than Normal GPS watches. With a slight runners wrist it’s hard to find a watch to fit a lady but this was fine. Comfortable and not too plastic. It looks good enough to wear all day and doesn’t scream ‘running watch’. I'm slightly surprise 

Heartrate monitor is much more reliable than other wrist-based ones I’ve tried - even the most vigorous interval session. The GPS was also reliable.

Battery life was excellent - I only had to charge it once a week and it charged very quickly. I was surprised at the lack of instruction manual but it proved to be very easy to use.

Lap programming was good and I particularly liked the variable WU and CD option. However, you can only have the same rep each time so if you're alternating times it's no use.

Social media and online pairing was a great added bonus and again meant I wanted to wear the watch all day. However, this was one area where a manual would have helped. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t and I couldn’t work out how to read messages after they had initially flashed up.

A few areas for improvement

  • You can’t change setting once you’ve started a workout. Sometimes I’d begin running and then realise I wanted AutoLap on but I couldn’t change the setting without stopping the workout and starting again.
  • It seems that there's only 1k or 1mile autolap options available
  • Whilst the watch found the satellites fairly quickly I did miss the Assisted GPS option of my previous watch where you could use your phone to get it locked on before you left the building.
  • It would have been nice to be able to set different time / distance laps and recoveries rather than having to have the same thing for each lap. 
  • It seemed a waste to only have one field on the second screen

Would I recommend it?

Yes, it's a good watch, easy to use and nice to look at. There's room for improvement but it's above base level and give you everything you need for solid and varied training. I'm asking if I can buy the one I was sent.
However, if you're looking for a more powerful watch it's worth trying out the Garmin VivoActive HR. Mr Bland got one for Christmas and really likes it.

I'm interested to know what the recently announced New Balance IQ will have to offer.