Garmin Forerunner 935. All the details, information and opinion


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The complete analysis is already finished. So if you're interested in knowing all the details of the Garmin 935I recommend you to read the complete review by clicking here.

From the very day of the presentation of the Forerunner 735XT There has been speculation about the possible introduction of a Garmin 935XT. The 735XT is a great watch, but there were two fundamental aspects where it did not reach the level shown by the 920XTThe following are some of the most important factors: battery life and barometric altimeter.

The 735XT, being based on the Forerunner range, could not inherit the altimeter from its younger siblings, and the addition of the optical sensor reduced the total range which, given the small total size of the watch, is not something that stands out either - something that for the vast majority of users is not a reason to discard, but which can be a serious problem for those who want the watch to participate in Ironman tests.

I insist, this does not mean that the 735XT is a bad device. Quite the contrary. But the most demanding user was asking for a little more.

Has this been solved in Garmin's new top-of-the-line triathlon? Well, let's see.

Garmin 935, more Phoenix than Forerunner

If the 735XT is based on the Forerunner range, it is clear that the 935 is based on the new Fenix 5 range (of which you already have the complete proof, you can click on the link to read it) presented just three months ago. You don't have to be an expert to notice it either, it's something you can see at a glance. Everything in it reminds of the Fenix 5.

This situation is very normal and we have seen it before in the case of Garmin. They invest in the development of a platform and then adjust it according to the requirements of each segment; but always sharing the base, thus spreading the development cost over more units. It is pure economy of scale.

So the 935 gets the two things that were missing most in the 735XT: a barometric altimeter and greater range, so you can now track the meters climbed in the three mountain passes you've ridden with the bike; and you won't have any problems when facing an Ironman, whatever your level, because the 935's range reaches 24 hours with GPS use and up to 50 hours in UltraTrac mode.

You're wondering... so, 935 is the same as the Fenix 5? Yes, but no. Although they're all very similar, there are some key aspects that differentiate them.

To begin with, the materials used are different. While the Fenix 5 is a more "premium" product, making use of stainless steel and with sapphire crystal versions, the 935 is entirely made of "fiber-reinforced polymer". In other words, a plastic that feels good to the touch. Garmin's response to my question about the differences between the two (and I quote), "the 935 is focused on the serious runner or triathlete, while the Fenix 5 is more of a "lifestyle" product with a focus on premium materials such as metal or sapphire crystal in some versions."

But don't let the "plastic" thing scare you. In fact it is the same material of the case of the Fenix 5, the only difference is that the latter has bezel and back cover in steel and versions with sapphire crystal (the 935 does not have this option available). There is also another reading, the absence of "noble materials" allows to reduce the price and especially the weight, remaining at an impressive 49 grams.


The 935 is also thinner, making it more comfortable to put on and take off a wetsuit. In this image you can see, from left to right, the new 935, Fenix 5S, Fenix 5 and Fenix 5X. You can see at first glance how the Forerunner is even thinner than the Fenix 5S.

Garmin 935XT - Thickness Comparison

If you prefer the cold numbers, the thickness of the 935 is 13.9mm while the Fenix 5 is 15.5mm. The size of the dial is practically identical in both: 47mm of the Fenix by 46.7mm in the 935, although the anchorage of the pins are shorter, about 2mm on each side, so the print on the wrist is somewhat more compact.

However, this new Forerunner 935 is not just a triathlon-oriented watch - it's the new top of the Forerunner series, not just for triathletes but for advanced runners as well.

But let's see what else the new model brings.

What's New in the Garmin 935

The new Garmin 935 receives the same software innovations that came with the Fenix 5. New algorithms created by FirstBeat (i.e. not developed by Garmin) and have been in their professional range for some time now. They have years of study behind them, so they're not just artifices for adding new features. Or so I'd like to believe.

The training diary is a collection of information about your training, including your training goals, your performance, and the results of your training.

Garmin 935XT - Training Status

In the image you will see that there are two arrows, separating and differentiating your physical level from your training load. In that specific case your exercises are making you increase your physical capacity while maintaining a constant training load, and therefore being productive.

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Next we have the training load, which is part of the function described above. It measures the volume of training done in the last 7 days, adding up the records of COPD The watch will indicate whether the current charge is low, high or correct, allowing you to maintain or improve your fitness.

Training Load

The optical range is based on your particular data and past workouts, so the information it displays will depend exclusively on your present and past workouts.

Finally, the Training Effect function that was shown at the end of the workout and gave a figure to catalogue how it was (which was also originally from FirstBeat), is now split into two separate pieces of information: aerobic benefit and anaerobic benefit. This way every time you finish a workout you will know how it will affect your fitness, with the series sessions specifically to provide anaerobic benefit and the long pulls for aerobic. But now you can see it on the screen, and also when synchronizing the workout, with more useful information about it.

Training Effect

The optical pulse sensor built into the 935 is the new version premiered with the Fenix 5. In the short time I have had with this one, the accuracy in exercise is very similar to what we already knew from previous models with the Garmin Elevate, but where there are significant changes is in the recording of heart rate throughout the day. Previously, the data was taken in a variable way and depending on movement, from seconds to even hours could pass between each FC shot.

The new sensor is much more energy efficient, allowing for constant recording every 1 or 2 seconds. If you turn the clock over, the sensor is always active, no matter what activity we are doing. Now the data and graphs it provides look better as there are many more points recorded. And above all, the data is more reliable.

Just compare this graph with the 735XT a few months ago.

Garmin 735XT FC Graphics

And compare it with the graph obtained this Sunday with the Fenix 5.

Garmin 935XT FC Graphics

The 935 also comes with a new pre-installed TrainingPeaks app. It will allow you to download free TrainingPeaks workouts (or those prepared by your trainer) directly to your watch, receiving the indications on the screen. And of course, after synchronisation with Garmin Connect, they will also arrive in TrainingPeaks. It is a Connect IQ app, so it is not exclusive to the new model.

Other functions that were novelties in the case of the Fenix 5 are not so much in the 935 as they were already present in the 735XT. For example the Strava segments, which were premiered in the little brother being the first watch to offer this function.

Garmin FR935 Strava

To be able to synchronize segments to the clock you need to be a premium user on Strava, although the clock includes a 60-day trial so that you at least have a general idea of how it works first.

Of course other functions like FTP calculation, VO2Max in cycling, GroupTrack o compatibility with more ANT+ sensors (such as lights, Varia Radar or Varia Vision) are also present in the 935, as it could not be otherwise. And also the advanced racing metrics, for which there is a new accessory.

Running Dynamics Pod

Running Dynamics Pod

Together with the FR935, Garmin has introduced a new accessory. This pod offers the same functionality as the HRM-Tri or HRM-Run pulse sensors: race dynamics data. The same data that is recorded with these advanced sensors is available with the new accessory.

Now that the optical sensor is a feature in all watches (in Garmin it is already "standard" in all ranges), the use of the pulse sensor on the chest is becoming more and more marginal and reserved only for certain workouts.

This is where Garmin wants to fill the gap with this new sensor, offering the same advanced racing dynamics data but without wearing the sensor on your chest. The location for this new sensor will be on your waist. Although I still think that the data it provides is not particularly informative beyond mere consultation, as there is no further information from Garmin on how you can improve your running.

The new Running Dynamics Pod is compatible, in addition to the 935, with the full range of Phoenix 5 and with the 735XT.

Quick Release Kit

And another novelty that is presented with the 935 is the availability of a quick anchorage kit. It is the first watch with an optical sensor to have this accessory officially, since the 735XT never had this possibility nor was it present in the Fenix 3 HR.

Garmin 935 Quick Release

This accessory allows you to quickly move the watch from your wrist to the bike mount, so you can follow all the race data on the same watch screen. If you are a racer it is not something you will value at all, but I am sure more than one triathlete has been thrilled to read it.

In short...

In short, these are all the features of the new Garmin 935:

  • 46,7mm diameter
  • 49 grams of weight
  • Glass, but not sapphire. Probably polycarbonate.
  • Higher resolution and quality screen: 240×240 pixels and 64 colors
  • Support for the latest version of Connect IQ (although the 735XT already offered this)
  • Up to 24 hours of GPS use, or 50 hours with UltraTrac mode
  • Submersible to 50 meters (Phoenix 5 to 100 meters)
  • Altimeter, barometer and magnetic compass
  • Gyroscope to enhance the UltraTrac function
  • WiFi (on the Fenix 5, only available on versions with sapphire glass)
  • Training Load
  • Training Status
  • Training Effect 2.0
  • Route navigation (same as Fenix 5)
  • Strava segment support for cycling and running
  • New TrainingPeaks application (which will also be compatible with other models)
  • New Garmin Elevate sensor with constant heart rate monitoring
  • Compatible with the new Running Dynamics Pod for advanced running metrics recording without chest pulse sensor
  • Compatible with many external sensors, both ANT+ and Bluetooth, as well as Various Radar, Varia Vision o Varia Lights
  • Availability of Quick Release
  • Compatible with Quick Fit straps
  • VO2Max calculation for cycling (already present in the 735XT)
  • Group Tracking
  • More sports profiles, including Golf (not available on the 735XT)
  • Controlling the phone's music player (cannot store music)

Ufff... A lot of things. And that I have left out the most basic things because I consider it "standard equipment".

Garmin Forerunner 935, availability and price

The 935, in spite of being practically a Fenix 5, is cheaper than this one. The watch with the black strap can be obtained for 549 ?, 50 ? less than the Garmin that is more focused on mountain use. Why the lower price? Because of the materials used, dispensing with the stainless steel that in addition to reducing weight, also reduces the price tag. In spite of that the 935 does have WiFi, something that in the case of the Fenix 5 is exclusively reserved for the models with sapphire crystal.

A sensor pack is also available. This tri pack will consist of the 935 in black (with yellow details), the yellow strap you see in the pictures, HRM-Tri sensor, HRM-Swim sensor, the Quick Release Kit and an additional black strap. The price of the complete pack will be 699 ?.

Garmin Forerunner 935. All the details, information and opinion 2

Although it seems like a pretty high price, it's not a bad deal for everything included. Only the sensors already cost 160So that 150 euro difference gives you a QuickFit strap (the new quick strap change system) and the new Quick Release Kit.

As for the Running Dynamics Pod, it will be priced at £69.

And when will you be able to start planning the season with the 935? From now on, because it is available from today (or so I have been told by Garmin), at least in the USA.

Help the site

Would you like to help run a marathon? You can do so by purchasing your Garmin Forerunner 935 through the links I provide. You will be able to get the best price for your new watch and, at the same time, help with a small fee so that I can continue to run the tests I perform.

Check the price on Wiggle


My opinion

Without knowing your opinion yet, I believe that this time Garmin has succeeded with its new triathlon proposal. It covers the shortcomings of the 735XT, which will now remain as a mid-range triathlon watch, and offers all the features that any amateur triathlete may need. And not only triathletes, but also advanced runners, who are also looking at Garmin with this new model.

My experience with the new Fenix 5 (with which it shares software) is still very short, but the initial impression is positive. Not only does it provide more information, but the information it offers is useful and can be understood and therefore used to improve performance.

I think this 935 meets all the expectations placed on a top-of-the-range triathlon watch, which I can't think of anything else to put beyond the price, but which we all knew wasn't going to be cheap.

What I'm not sure about is whether it leaves room in the range for a replacement for the 630 with an optical pulse sensor or whether it will definitely be the end of the range for high-end, race-specific watches.

In fact, I don't know if you've noticed so far... but he's lost the XT designation. Clearly Garmin isn't selling it exclusively to triathletes and wants to go further.

My impression is that there's no more room, but when it comes to Garmin, I wouldn't put my hand in the fire.

And with that... thanks for reading!

Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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  1. I have the 735XT and I'm delighted, I don't miss anything. The battery is about 14h, and as the only ironman I did less than 10h, I think it could be worth it. The barometer as always I go with garmin 1000 and at the end I pass everything to strava and garmin connect, it already makes me real height correction on the map.
    A comparison between the two would be nice, as the size and weight, having tried the 735xt and coming from a Phoenix3 is something I value very much.

  2. Hi! Thanks to you I got to know about this new model. I have the 920XT and even though reading it I got the impression that it was the best one of the moment, I was totally disappointed with the swimming item, something that totally devalues it. The 935 or 735 have improved a little bit in this respect. Are there already swimming training plans to load the device ?
    I would appreciate some feedback, which would be very useful in alerting many. Thank you very much already!

      1. On the Garmin website, it doesn't say that I have to take it. It does have virtual partner and virtual racer, functions that I think are basic and much more interesting.

        The virtual pacer, from my experience with the FR 35, I see it as useless. It is to be constantly receiving alerts, without really knowing if one is going fast or slow. The virtual partner is really important for races (trowels) in which you have a time goal, I think Garmin should include it as standard in all their devices. For me it is a basic function, and for which I will acquire, when the price goes down, the FR 935 or the Fénix 5s, apart from many other functions and sports that I cannot have now with the simple FR35.

        Congratulations on the page, it's spectacular.

        1. Yes, you're absolutely right. When I answered, I was thinking of Virtual Partner... I don't know what I read at the time.

  3. Hello.

    When the 735xt came out I was very surprised that the battery lasted less than the 920xt, the wifi was removed and the barometric altimeter was lost. Now the impression I have is that garmin has made room for itself by removing these features so that they can be introduced here as an improvement.

    Although the altimeter is very important for a watch I would look at it with suspicion after the tremendous garmin fiasco in the Fenix 3 hr. Especially after the infinite number of users (like this ) complaining, with good reason, that the Fenix 3 hr altimeter keeps telling them nonsense. So, between garmin usually pricing it higher than normal the first month (I imagine because enough people buy almost anything that is "new") and the doubts as to whether the altimeter will work well I think it's prudent to allow some time and testing to see what happens.

    On the other hand, I was surprised by the pod (and not only because it seems almost as easy to lose as a usb cover). More than anything else because it implies an absolute faith that the clock's pulse reader will be infallible. Not like the one on the 735xt which, I think I read you, failed in series and in some other circumstances. Here I still have doubts whether the clock's pulse reader will be able to completely replace the chest strap.

    A salute.

    1. The confidence in the optical pulse sensor is such that it is already a basic feature in all models in its range.

      1. My wrist pulse of the 735Xt is very bad. Maybe I go to 150ppm and dial 110 or vice versa... On important days I wear the band that doesn't fail.

        1. Personally, I have no problems with the sensor. Try changing the location or the way you wear your watch, to see if the reading improves.

  4. Hello, and thanks for your reviews and information. It's hard to explain the dollar-euro conversion that Garmin is doing on the Fenix 5 and yet they are now charging 50 euros more in the European market (499$ vs 550e) on this 935. I don't know if Garmin will explain it in any way.
    A salute.

    1. It should not be forgotten that the price in dollars does not include taxes, while in Europe the prices have VAT included. Seen in cold weather it looks very different, but we are comparing pears with apples.

      1. I understand the argument, which makes the pocketbook small with all these devices 'made in USA' (between quotes), but then, what happened in the Fenix 5, where this conversion dollar=euro (without getting into exchange rates)? That price difference that seems to be defended as a virtue of 935 (along with weight, thickness, support for XT ...) in many Anglo-Saxon forums-blogs, here is almost non-existent, being the two products of the same brand.

        1. Yes, I was surprised too, but in the end it depends a lot on the market and what you are "facing". A clear example was with the Virb Ultra30 camera.
          When the Hero5 was introduced, the price of the Garmin camera was lowered.

          And we must also take into account that while in the USA prices are protected (that is, there are no price reductions unless the manufacturer allows it and it is regulated by law), in Europe it is different and any store can set the price it wants, as long as it does not sell below cost.

          This is why we all know that, in the end, from the price marked by Garmin to the "real" purchase price ends up varying a lot.

  5. Hello to all
    Eduardo, my fellow worker ???? first I want to thank you once again for your work, and in connection with this watch, I have the following question:
    If in this model or another one with a pulse meter in the wrist, we work with a chest strap, the heart rate that comes out in the watch corresponds to the pulse meter in the wrist that wears the watch or the one that picks up the chest strap, which in this case would be the HRM Run.
    Greetings and thank you.

    1. At any time you can connect an external pulse sensor and have the data through it, no problem.

  6. I was hesitating between the Phoenix 5 and the Spartan Ultra, but from what I read this one has a few things that catch my eye, so I'm almost sure I'll go for this one.

  7. Hi, everybody,

    Recently I bought a fenix 5, it had a forerruner 235. The truth is that I am very happy with the fenix 5, but you can see the weight and the food with respect to the 235.
    The truth is that I don't know what to do... I would like to ask you if they are completely identical, because what I wouldn't want is to lose the characteristics that Phoenix 5 has, and of course to know your opinion.
    Thank you, a greeting.

    1. Yes, identical, but without the use of "premium" materials. You lose nothing, and unless your Fenix 5 is with sapphire crystal, you gain WiFi.

  8. Hello, Eduardo. There's a lot of criticism of the Fenix 5 for size and weight. Particularly, do you find it so uncomfortable to wear on a daily basis? Thank you. Best regards.

    1. You can see all the details in his test, which is already published.

      Personally, I don't find it uncomfortable, but it's also true that I'm more than used to watches of that weight. For those who aren't... It's normal to notice quite a difference.

      1. Read it. Excellent analysis, as always. Let's see if Don Garmin improves the speed of his shipments for your tests, by the way (although, it's even more beneficial for your independence). The only 'discouraging' thing about the model (size aside) is the inaccuracy of the hr in intense intervals. Particularly, with an fc max of 165, I'm not overly concerned. Thanks and regards.

  9. Two months ago I bought the 735XT
    And about 10 days ago I bought the 935.

    Comfort and weight, for me is fundamental, and both are very comfortable and light.
    The flat back of the 935, when you first put it on, already gives you a comfortable feeling. Although it doesn't fit too tightly on your wrist, it doesn't move or jump when you run.

    There's one issue I want to highlight:
    The 735xt does NOT support routes downloaded from STRAVA, the 935 and the Fenix do.
    If you use STRAVA mainly to create routes, this is something you should value.

  10. Hello
    I would like you to recommend me, I have the 735xt without band.. You advise me to sell it to change to the 935? or the sapphire 5s?
    I practice several sports and would like a light and comfortable watch for everyday life (I have a thin wrist).

    A salute.

    1. It all depends on what you want to gain with the gearbox. In lightness you will not win, because by materials the 735XT is the lightest. You will win by appearance because both the 935 and especially the Fenix 5s have higher quality materials. And then it is to see if what you gain in performance is worth it.

      1. So I've seen the full extent of the 735xt. Do you think it won't be long before the next one comes out? And if it does, will you be able to take calls? I think that's the only thing I'd miss already.

  11. Hi. How's the quality of the GPS track when there's bad satellite reception? I mean, walking through woods and on cloudy days. Is it up to ambit 3 or spartan? Or does it stay halfway up like its big brother Phoenix 5?

  12. Hello Eduardo, first of all thank you very much for the complete analysis... then I have this Clock and I buy it, but it turns out that the version I bought is Asian, it brings English and then Indonesian and other languages of that region, it does not bring Spanish, you know if there will be some way to pass it, flashing the clock, placing the language files directly, hopefully you know something about that. greetings from Chile

    1. No, the watch you bought is the Asian version and the firmwares are not compatible.

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