Garmin Forerunner 235 vs 230 Review

Garmin’s Newest Running watch:

Garmin Forerunner 235 vs 230 Review

This post is dedicated to all the runner’s out there, If you are looking for a GPS watch you should “and we repeat” you should look into the Garmin’s Forerunner 235. It is one of the Garmin’s fall running watches lineup, and it is very similar to its predecessor the Forerunner 230 except that the 235 has a built-in heart rate optical and the forerunner does not. However, both of them are good to consider if want a want a running watch with a GPS enabled.

Therefore, in this post, we will be explaining the specification of the forerunner 235 and you will find it relevant to the 230.

So, if you are interested in any one of these two keep reading the post.



Features of Garmin Forerunner 235


The forerunner 235 has a good looking design, that looks easy and very comfortable to wear. The 235 has a big 1.23-inch color LCD screen( almost 40% larger than the Forerunner 225) with a high resolution of 215 x 180 pixels. And you can read what’s in the screen easily during sunlight and during the night.

It has a rubber strap that is very soft on your skin and has a buckle at the end that attaches to the many holes in the strap. With that being said, the 235 can be adjusted to your preferred size, which would make it more secure to wear and run with. Not only that, the strap is actually exchangeable, which is a very cool thing.

The 235 is very lightweight, you can hardly even notice that you are wearing it, it weights around 42g. In the inside of the forerunner 235, you will found the optical heart rate sensors and charging port. The fr235 in not touch-enabled, hence, it has 5 button on the sides that enables you to go through the options.

Overall, the Garmin forerunner 235 looks sporty, and that actually makes it look good. You may not want to wear it to a proper dinner, but you’re definitely will love wearing it during exercises.


Now, here comes the big stuff. The Garmin forerunner 235 has a plenty of features on hands that will amaze you. Starting from the sports mode; the fr235 has four sports mode; Run, Indoor Run(GPS is off), Bike and other. These modes can’t be changed, however, you can hide them if you don’t feel like using them.

Tracking your run in the fr235 is very comprehensive as it provides you with a lot of data to be analyzed. In the running mode, you get data such as Running dynamics, pace and speed, distance, time and calories, average heart rate, max heart rate, cadence, Training Effect “ rates how effective your session was”, lap and finally Elevation. When you think about it, it is a great line up of features that every athlete would like to know. Keep in your mind that every single data collected is being presented in words and number, and if that is not enough there is a graphical representation with charts and graphs.

While running outdoor uses GPS, indoor running doesn’t. The Garmin forerunner 235 uses a built-in accelerometer to estimate the distance. It is a very good feature that presents a very accurate set of data.

A great thing we have found about the sports mode is that you can have customized options under each mode. Which means for example; for the indoor run you can have you smart notification off while you can enable it in the outdoor mode. You can choose from many other different modes that the Garmin fr235 have.

RELATED: Garmin Vivosmart HR


Activity tracking of Garmin Forerunner 235

You might think that the Garmin fr235 is only great for runners, but now you are wrong. Though its focus is on running, the fr235 also tracks down different activities. Garmin fr235 has a stand-alone category specific for training. In which under it you will find different options that will help you to complete your training and analyze it later one. Under training you will find things like; training calendar, intervals and finishing time. And as we mentioned before, it is pretty easy to set and choose using the buttons on the sides.

Garmin Forerunner 235 works as any other fitness tracker, it tracks down your steps, distance, calories, sleep and resting heart rate and continues heart rate throughout the day. When it comes to sleeping, Garmin Forerunner 235 automatically detects sleep mode and start tracking. And you can always log your sleep manually using the application if you want. The fr235 present a good amount of data regarding your sleep habits such as time sleep, time awake, your lightest and deepest sleep, and your average hours of sleep.



Garmin Forerunner 235 and Heart Rate

The Garmin Forerunner has a built-in optical heart rate sensor that keeps monitoring your heart rate. The forerunner 235 records the key point, in which means whenever there is a change in pace, direction or heart rate. Which Garmin’s claim that this way is better to have enough space to store more data on the watch without the need to sync it a lot.

However, we really have to say that having a heart rate monitor makes the collected data more accurate and reliable.

The Garmin fr235 have data of both your continues heart rate and your resting heart rate as we explained previously ” A lower heart rate is an indication sign of an efficient heart with a good function”.


Garmin Forerunner 235 Smart Notification and Move alert

Surprisingly, the forerunner 235 displays notifications on its big LCD screen. The fr235 shows calls, text calendar and the weather forecast too. Garmin decided to keep the smart notifications simple, which means you won’t miss a call or messages while using it, however, you can’t reply to these messages. But guess what, you can customize an audio beep or a vibration or both to keep you alerted when you receive a notification. And you can also customize the type of notification that you want to receive.

The Garmin forerunner 235 allows you to customize alert during your session. It means that the watch can alert you when to walk or run during a session. It can also tell you if you hit a certain goal such as a certain distance.
Not only this, the Garmin forerunner 235 has a great feature to keep you moving. It is called the “ Move” alert, in which the fr235 will sense that you have not moved for a while. The fr235 will start vibrating or making audio beeps and the word” Move” will be displayed on your screen.


Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS and GLONASS

The Garmin forerunner 235 has both GPS and GLONASS enabled in. you can choose to activate both of them together (which will consume the battery) or only GPS.

Now, you can choose between two options; smart recording or per second recording. And the later will provide you with more detailed data of your running.
You can also activate a “back to start” feature; which is a very cool feature that helps you to get your way back to your start point.

Garmin Forerunner 235: Battery life

The forerunner 235 has a great battery life that that reaches almost nine days. However, if you are using GPS +GLONASS and many other features together, this will cut down the battery life to 3-4 days.

Now, is the Garmin Forerunner 235 waterproof or not…?

..Drum Rolls.

Yes, it is ! the watch is 5ATM water resistant ( 50m) which means you can swim wearing it.

Garmin Connect

The Application: Garmin’s Connect

Garmin forerunner 230 and 235 both syncs to Garmin’s application Garmin Connect. The application is available for both iOS and Android. In the application, you can swipe for 7 pages of different data collected from your watch.

It shows in-depth information and analysis of your activities in words, numbers and in graphically appealing graphs and charts.
There is this great feature in the forerunner 235, you can load workouts synced from the application. Which means you can choose a workout to do, and set your warm-up time, distance and intensity.

Now, after all of that being said. Let’s recap the Garmin forerunner 235 features in these points.


  • The forerunner 235 tracks distance, pace and time
  • Four sports mode; indoor run, outdoor run, bike and other
  • Optical Heart Rate Monitor: continues heart rate and resting heart rate
  • Smart Notification; email, text, call, calendar and app notification
  • Activity Tracking: track your steps, calories, and distance
  • Sleep tracking and monitoring
  • MOVE Alert; to notify you of keep moving
  • Customizable training
  • Waterproof 5ATM
  • Battery life: almost 9 days, 2-4 days with heavy using


Pros and Cons of Garmin Forerunner 235


  • Great Activity Tracking
  • Cool and sporty look
  • Great for runners
  • Waterproof


  • The application could be confusing
  • No music Control