Today Garmin announced their latest triathlon/multisport…and running-specific focused watch, the Forerunner 935. This watch follows almost a year following the FR735XT was announced last spring, and only three months following the Fenix 5 series was announced in January (which just started shipping the other day).

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So what’s the FR935 about? Well the bottom line is it’s a cheaper version of the Fenix 5, with a plastic shell instead of metal. Basically – it may be named the Fenix 5P – for Plastic. It’s got a barometric altimeter (and WiFi!) that the FR735XT lacks, and in addition adds in things such as the brand new Training Load/Recovery features within the Fenix 5, along with Bluetooth Smart sensor support. Not forgetting support for the also just announced Running Dynamics Pod (RD Pod). Finally, in addition, it adds in the just announced TrainingPeaks workout synchronization app, enabling you to sync workouts from TrainingPeaks to your watch (including other devices).

I’ve been using the FR935 for a good while now, and so have had the opportunity to put it to use across numerous sports and workouts. As the first couple of weeks were on beta software, the previous few weeks have already been on what’s considered release candidate/final production firmware. As always, once finished with this review, I’ll send the loaner/test unit back again to Garmin and venture out and get my very own through normal retail channels.

With that – let’s dive involved with it!

What’s new:

As noted in the intro, in lots of ways the FR935 is actually a Fenix 5 in a different skin. It’s got a near-identical interface, save a few minor tweaks the business is tinkering with to simplify an individual experience (but more on that later). In conditions of functionality though, it’s basically a Fenix 5. I’ve been through the menus hand and hand (see video below), and everything is identical to a Fenix 5. Everything.

Still, there are several notable features that are not used to today, which are also arriving at the Fenix 5/Chronos series, they are:

Running Dynamics Pod: Sensor pod compatibility added (simply the Garmin Running Dynamics metrics, however in a tiny wearable pod, also to be appropriate for FR735XT/Fenix 5/Chronos)
TrainingPeaks pre-installed on the FR935, available these days on numerous other devices via Connect IQ
Training Status/Load/effect metrics: They are new, supplied by FirstBeat, also seen on Fenix 5 series and includes split of aerobic and anaerobic training effect.

Still, imagine if you’ve been sleeping the previous few months and skipped the complete Fenix 5 series? How would the brand new features look when compared to FR735XT of this past year? Well, everything above, in addition to the below:

Barometric Altimeter: Added it, 735XT didn’t own it and only had GPS-based elevation
WiFi: Added it to 935, 735XT didn’t own it, and only half of Fenix 5 series has it
Display: Up to 240×240 pixels, identical to the Fenix 5
Display: Went from 16 colors on the FR735XT to 64 colors on the FR935
Display: Now supports Emoji, to left languages (Arabic and Hebrew)
Charging Cable: Identical to Fenix 5 series, may charge mid-activity, but wrist blocks it a bit
Connect IQ: Fully supports CIQ 2.2.3+, in addition to a full 2MB for programs or 32 installed CIQ apps/items, whichever comes first.
Battery: Increased battery life up to a day in GPS at 1-second sampling
Battery: Increased UltraTrac battery life to 50 hours
Gyroscope: Added Gyroscope to all or any models, used to improve track points in UltraTrac mode
INTERFACE: Slight tweaks to UI to complement Fenix 5/Chronos series
INTERFACE: Added new fast access controls menu, to gain access to apps/widgets, to complement Fenix 5 series.
Strava: Added Strava Live Segment support for Bike & Run
Sensors: Added support for Bluetooth Smart sensors (Cycling Power/Speed/Cadence, Running Footpod, HEARTRATE)
Sensors: Added Varia Vision Heads Up Display Support (all ANT+ remote displays technically)
Sensors: Added Varia Bike Lights (all ANT+ lights technically)
Sensors: Added Varia Bike Radar
Sensors: Added Shimano Di2 Shifting, ANT+ Gear Shifting Support (SRAM RED eTAP & Campagnolo EPS)
Sensors: Added ANT+ Muscle Oxygen Sensors (MOXY/BSX)
Optical HR Sensor: Revamped tech, now records 24×7 data every 1-2 seconds
Optical HR Sensor: Flattened out a lot more, nearly flush with back of unit
Training Data: Added FTP Estimation for cycling
Training Data: Now supports swimming PR’s (along with previously added Swim Structured Workout support), just like the FR735XT/Fenix5, but unlike some older tri watches
Live Group Tracking: Added just like the Fenix 5 models, à la the Edge 820 group tracking
Straps: Appropriate for the QuickFit straps, especially the Garmin Fenix 5 kinds (not the 5S/5X), such as for example leather/metal/etc…
Golf: Added TruSwing, Greenview, and Autoshot features
Other Sports Added: Mountain Biking, Treadmill and Indoor Track separated, Ski and Snowboard separated, Navigate app, and Track Me app
Navigation Functions: Full navigation identical compared to that of the Fenix 5 series. Which includes things such as proximity and navigation alerts (for distance to waypoint, and time/distance remaining to destination). Note, there are no maps just like the Fenix 5X units.

Phew – got all that?

Good.

Still confused? Sorry, it happens to the very best of us. The good thing is I’ve got a video below explaining everything! Go forth and revel in!

Oh – and you could be wondering why they dropped the ‘XT’ off the finish of the state watch name (i.e. not the FR935XT). The reasoning is twofold. First they didn’t want to place off the running side of the home, thinking it wasn’t for them (since it’s basically what persons wanted in a fabled FR635). They feel just like it’s an equally great option for runners or triathletes. Second is that they figured most triathletes would know from the original ‘9’ in the series (i.e. 910/920/935), that it had been still a triathlon watch. And if you didn’t find out about the ‘9’ part, you almost certainly didn’t find out about the XT part anyway. 😉

With that, let’s move onto some sizing!

Model and Size Comparisons:
Just like the FR735XT, the FR935 will come in one size, but a few two-band variants. There’s the bottom unit, which is black with a barely obvious silver trimming/button, and there’s the bundle unit which can be black but with a neon yellow trim/button and a second yellow strap. Through the entire review you start to see the bundle variant, with the yellow strap since I was mostly too lazy to improve it to the black strap. So, both options are:

Base unit ($499USD): Black watch face with silver accent and black band, charging cable
Bundled unit ($649 USD): Black watch face with yellow accent and black band, additional yellow band, charging cable, HRM-TRI HR strap, HRM-SWIM HR strap, quick release kit.

Remember that I don’t have an unboxing to talk about at the moment, because the unit I was sent came in a straightforward plastic baggie with just the charging cable and a supplementary band. In addition to the charging cable.

Once I get yourself a proper box, I’ll add the unboxing back to this review. Given what Garmin contained in the Fenix 5 boxes, don’t expect any other thing more than everything you see above, and also a few bits of legal paper letting you know never to do anything stupid with it, along with how exactly to put the band on. Pretty standard stuff.

What is notable this is actually the band though. Within the box it doesn’t include Garmin’s new QuickFit bands seen on the Fenix5, but instead a typical screw-in band.

That’s a lttle bit of a bummer, the glad tidings are that the QuickFit bands remain appropriate for the FR935. Specifically with leather, metal, and other silicone band colors. Basically, what we saw on the Fenix 5. Note, that I tried the Fenix 5 bands (the middle-sized ones) plus they fit just fine. The 5X bands will be too large, and the 5S bands too small.

With that, let’s look at sizing between your FR735XT, the FR935, and the Fenix 5 series (and also a Fenix3 thrown in):

As you can plainly see, sizing-wise the FR735XT and FR935 are pretty similar, nevertheless the FR935 is slightly larger – by a few millimeters in diameter, albeit identical comprehensive.

Finally, the FR935 will come in at 49g, whereas the Fenix 5 starts at 84g (depends upon which bands you utilize). The Fenix 5S starts at 67g.

The Basics:

I’m likely to mix things up a bit in this review from past reviews. Partly because I get bored writing things in the same structure every time, and partly because I believe at this time there’s some things that are believed ‘base’ knowledge. And therefore I’ve often split into separate sections swim/bike/run, with there being so much overlap between all three sections. Because of this I’m likely to round-up the watch basics into this section, then sports in to the next, and then speak about newish FR935 pieces just like the new Training Status/Load/Recovery components, RD compatibility, and Training Peaks integration. Then I’ll separately dive into accuracy of GPS and optical HR sensor.

To begin with, you’ve got the watch face. This uses somewhat mo

Garmin 010-01746-00 Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)

$499.99
$297.94  in stock
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as of October 26, 2021 9:08 am

Features

  • Premium GPS running/triathlon watch with wrist based heart rate; Strap material: Silicone; Smartphone compatibility: iPhone, Android, Windows; Designed for sale and support in North America only
  • Offers advanced running and multisport Features in a comfortable watch you can wear all day, and it only weighs 49 grams
  • Provides elevation changes with a built in barometer; altimeter and electronic compass help you keep your bearings
  • Evaluates your training status to indicate if you’re undertraining or overdoing it and offers additional performance monitoring Features
  • Provides advanced dynamics for running, cycling and swimming, including ground contact time balance, stride length and more. Bezel Material: Fiber reinforced polymer

Garmin Forerunner 935 GPS Watch Black/Black Band, One Size

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Features

  • Offers advanced running and multisport features in a comfortable watch you can wear all day, and it only weighs 49 grams
  • Provides elevation changes with a built-in barometer; altimeter and electronic compass help you keep your bearings
  • Evaluates your training status to indicate if youre undertraining or overdoing it and offers additional performance monitoring features
  • Provides advanced dynamics for running, cycling and swimming, including ground contact time balance, stride length and more
  • Battery life: up to 2 weeks in watch mode, up to 24 hours in GPS mode, up to 50 hours in UltraTrac mode (with wrist-based heart rate), or up to 60 hours in UltraTrac mode (without wrist-based heart rate)

Garmin Forerunner 735XT, Multisport GPS Running Watch With Heart Rate, Black/Gray

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as of October 26, 2021 9:08 am

Features

  • GPS running watch with multisport features
  • Estimates heart rate at the wrist so you can run freer on race day.Shock resistant. Battery life : Smartwatch Mode Up to 11 days. GPS mode Up to 14 hours. UltraTrac mode Up to 24 hours without wrist heart rate
  • Provides advanced dynamics for running, cycling and swimming7, including ground contact time balance, stride length, vertical ratio and more (when paired with a Running Dynamics Pod, HRM Run or HRM Tri Monitor, sold separately)
  • Offers VO2 max estimate, lactate threshold (when used with a chest strap heart rate monitor), race predictor and recovery advisor
  • Connected features4: smart notifications, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, live tracking and more

Garmin 010-02063-00 Forerunner 945, Premium GPS Running/Triathlon Smartwatch with Music, Black

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as of October 26, 2021 9:08 am

Features

  • Premium GPS running/triathlon smartwatch with music
  • Download songs to your watch, including playlists from Spotify, Amazon Music or Deezer (may require premium subscription with a third party music provider)
  • Performance monitoring features include Vo2 Max and training status with adjustments for heat, altitude Acclimation status, training load focus, recovery time, and aerobic and anaerobic training effects
  • Garmin Pay contactless payment solution (available for supported cards from participating banks) lets you make convenient payments with your watch so you can leave your cash and cards at home
  • Full color, onboard maps guide you on your run so you never get lost during your workout

Garmin Forerunner 935 (Tri-Bundle) Power Bundle | Includes HRM Tri & Swim Chest Straps, HD Screen Protector Film (x4), Extra Silicone Band, PlayBetter USB Car/Wall Adapters | GPS Training Watch

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Features

  • [GARMIN FORERUNNER 935 TRI-BUNDLE] - Garmin Forerunner 935 (Amp Yellow Band) GPS Multi-Sport Running Watch, HRM-Tri Chest Strap, HRM-Swim Chest Strap, Extra QuickFit (22mm) Silicone Band (Black) & USB Charging Cable
  • PLAYBETTER POWER BUNDLE] - HD Screen Protector Film (4-Pack), PlayBetter USB Car Charging Adapters & PlayBetter Wall Charging Adapter
  • ULTIMATE TRIATHLON BUNDLE] - Prepare for your next triathlon with the HRM-Tri and HRM-Swim chest heart rate monitors plus Forerunner 935's incredible training metrics
  • ADVANCED RUNNING METRICS & MULTI-SPORT ACTIVITY PROFILES] - Detailed metrics including running dynamics, wrist-based heart rate, training status, lactate threshold, VO2 max & many more; Custom activity profiles for running (indoor/outdoor/trail), cycling (indoor/outdoor), swimming (pool/open water), skiing, paddle sports, hiking & more
  • [PERFECT BUNDLE] - The extra QuickFit (22mm) silicone band allows the Forerunner 935 to match any look while the HD Screen Protector Film will keep it looking brand new and the PlayBetter USB Charging Adapters (not included in original packaging) will make sure you're never without a charge!

Garmin Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black) (Renewed)

$279.95  in stock
3 new from $279.95
Free shipping
Buy Now
Amazon.com
as of October 26, 2021 9:08 am

Features

  • Premium GPS running/triathlon watch with wrist-based heart rate
  • Offers advanced running and multisport Features in a comfortable watch you can wear all day, and it only weighs 49 grams
  • Provides elevation changes with a built-in barometer; altimeter and electronic compass help you keep your bearings
  • Evaluates your training status to indicate if you’re undertraining or overdoing it and offers additional performance monitoring Features

Garmin Forerunner 935 Sleek Sport Watch Running GPS Unit -Black (Renewed)

$274.95  in stock
3 new from $274.95
Free shipping
Buy Now
Amazon.com
as of October 26, 2021 9:08 am

Features

  • Offers advanced running and multisport features in a comfortable watch you can wear all day, and it only weighs 49 grams
  • Provides elevation changes with a built-in barometer; altimeter and electronic compass help you keep your bearings
  • Evaluates your training status to indicate if you’re undertraining or overdoing it and offers additional performance monitoring features
  • Provides advanced dynamics² for running, cycling and swimming, including ground contact time balance, stride length and more
  • Premium GPS running/triathlon watch with wrist-based heart rate;Strap material : silicone ; Smartphone compatibility : iPhone, Android, Windows

Garmin 010-01746-00 Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit, Triathlon Watch with Wrist-Based Heart Rate, Black, BROAGE Data Cable

$299.00  in stock
1 new from $299.00
Buy Now
Amazon.com
as of October 26, 2021 9:08 am

Features

  • Premium GPS running/triathlon watch with wrist based heart rate;Strap material : silicone ; Smartphone compatibility : iPhone, Android, Windows; designed for sale and support in North America only
  • Offers advanced running and multisport Features in a comfortable watch you can wear all day, and it only weighs 49 grams
  • Provides elevation changes with a built in barometer; altimeter and electronic compass help you keep your bearings
  • Evaluates your training status to indicate if you’re undertraining or overdoing it and offers additional performance monitoring Features
  • Provides advanced dynamics for running, cycling and swimming, including ground contact time balance, stride length and more. Bezel Material Fiber reinforced polymer

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music, Gps Running Watch With Contactless Payments, Wrist-Based Heart Rate And Music, Slate

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11 new from $310.00
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as of October 26, 2021 9:08 am

Features

  • Easily download up to 500 songs to your watch, and connect with Bluetooth headphones (sold separately) for phone free listening
  • Syncs music from select streaming services for offline listening. Fits wrists with a circumference of 127-204 millimeter. Display size - 1.2 inch (30.4 millimmeter) diameter
  • Garmin Pay contactless payment solution lets you make convenient payments with your watch, so you can leave your cash and cards at home
  • Uses wrist based heart rate to offer performance monitoring Features, including evaluating your current training status. Battery life: Up to 7 days in Smartwatch mode; 5 hours in GPS mode with music. Strap material: Silicone
  • Display resolution: 240 x 240 pixels

Garmin Forerunner 235, GPS Running Watch, Black/Gray

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as of October 26, 2021 9:08 am

Features

  • GPS running watch with wrist based heart rate and display type is sunlight visible, transflective memory in pixel (MIP)
  • Customize your watch and your training, larger screen a 44 percentage larger screen than the 225 but the same physical size
  • Audio Prompts: Receive Audio Prompts from your connected smartphone that include laps and lap times. Smartwatch mode: Up to 9 days. Gps mode: Up to 11 hours
  • Smart notifications: See incoming email, text messages, call alerts, calendar reminders and more from your compatible smartphone. Display size: 1.23 inch diameter
  • Battery life 11 hours training, 9 days watch, activity tracking, notifications + heart rate. Refer user manual below