I did training without a GPS watch for my first Ironman in 2016, so I knew I wanted to look for one as I prepare for my next Ironman in 2017. I just couldn't justify the price of the 735XT with chest straps. Even though the 920XT prices has dropped, the watch just seemed bigger and older to me.
In December 2016 I bought the Forerunner 235 and it has been greateasy to use. I like using the live tracking so my family can be involved with my training, set up is very simple. At the end of each run I've been able to use Garmin Connect to study my performance and route. I like the statistical readings of the workout, and can start to compare each workout.
The watch is extremely light weight on my arm, and the wrist band is very comfortable. The optical heart rate sensor has worked great as well. I have noticed the optical HR readings are similar to other chest strap senors I've worn in the past while running and biking, so I haven't bought a chest strap for this watch.
While on the trainer I've warn the watch on the opposite side of my wrist so I can read it while in the aero bars, and the optical heart rate senor picks up my heart rate just fine. This week I linked my watch to the Garmin CadenceSpeed sensors for workouts on my fluid trainer, but haven't yet used it there much.
The watch display isn't as brilliant as online photos make it look, but that's not a problem. I find the battery life to be adequate - I wear it for 3 or 4 days before I charge it over night.
I've downloaded a few apps from Garmin Connect IQ stopwatchtimer (awesome), Swimming (haven't used yet), SR1 watchface (good).
I use to miss text messages when my phone was in my pocket while coaching, but now with the notifications, I always know when I'm being contacted.
I'm sure you'll enjoy the Garmin 235.
I have owned a number of GPS running watches. What I want is an easy to use watch that gives me good info without a ton of frustration. This Garmin gives you a lot of info without being over-engineered. It is pretty intuitive, I can get pace, distance and total time without searching for buttons to push. I like the automatic wireless sync feature and other key data afterwards, like the recovery time. I also like that I don't have to wear a chest strap to get my heart rate. It's much more comfortable. The watch is lightweight and easy to read. I am very pleased with it and highly recommend it.
Enjoy the product, GPS connects quick, intuitive to use, plenty of data to troll over. Had this for a few months now and primarily use for running. The main flaw is the heart rate sensor - when I am running it seems to work just fine. However at rest its not always reliable, got to make sure it pretty secure and placed optimally on the wrist. Still would recommend - built for purpose.
Primary reason for purchasing the Forerunner 235 was to track my running workouts leading up to cyclocross season. My Inititial impression of the 235 was that it seemed more like a toy than a piece of fitness equipement. The 235 is very light weight and build of plastic and rubber. Turns out despiite it's delicate appearance and feel it has proven to be durable. The wrist band is very comfortalbe to wear. The second thing I noticed was that the function buttons on the side of the watch are exposed. This does make the buttons easy to access while exercising. It also makes them easy to inadvertantly select during your workout possiblly leading to lost workout data.
The biggest disappointment with this watch is the optical HR sensor. While exercising the HR sensor has never worked correctly, not once. I found that while exercising the 235 would show very elevated HR's, 50-60 beats above my max HR. This happened everytime I used the 235. I eventually had to pair the 235 with my Garmin HR chest strap, which worked just fine. I don't know if the optical HR sensor works better on more expensive models but I think it is ridiculous that the HR sensor performs so poorly. While wearing the 235 during the day(not exercising) the HR sensor seemed to be accurate.
With the 235 your can track your daily steps, monitor your sleep patterns. The 235 will also track your runs on the treadmill. The GPS function works very well. All the data from the 235 can be synced with Garmin Connect, Stava, Training Peaks etc. The battery last about 4-5 days between charges.
The 235 is inexpensive for a reason.
I am new to the smart watch things, and I can honestly say that this watch has opened my eyes to how handy they can be. I am not great with technology, so the basic design caters to my weakness, especially the fact that it doesn't have a touch screen accessory. The product itself is lightweight, and although the face of it is large, I font find it to be too large for my liking. It's just right.
The technology itself is very accurate in my opinion. The heart rate monitor is my favorite aspect personally, and it was the only reason I bought the watch after having concerns with my heart. I am a runner with a very low heart rate, and I was shocked to see it being reflected by my watch and almost didn't believe it, but after putting it on someone with a relatively high heart rate, It was proof that the heart rate monitor is accurate. As for the GPS tracker and foot step tracker, both of these accessories prove to be just as reliable comparing the tracked distance with my mapped distances on the computer.
In conclusion, I have highly recommended this watch to any athlete looking for a durable, reliable, and fashionable watch.
I use the watch for mainly running, mostly on the trails.
I have a Gramin 520 plus for cycling which can communicate with my Forerunner 235 - Very COOL!
The multi-screen display helps me keep in the right zone all the time. Love the Garmin Connect Application on my smartphone - automatically upload stats for every activity including, sleepwalk, run and many more if you choose the activity.
I purchased primarily for running but also use for biking. The different stats help me to make adjustments in my training and find them interesting. Also track my sleep and trying to make improvements there too.
It does everything I need and more. Wrist HR monitor is good and reliable. Sillicone band is very soft and comfortable so I wear this watch all day. Delivery was very quick and costumer service is excellent as I called in for a price adjustment when watch went on sale few days after my purchase.
I run 1500 miles a year and I put off buying a watch for way too long. Heard awesome reviews on the 235 and started to look around. Bike direct was by far the best price and I knew they had great service. Garmin support is awesome too, called to ask about some features and they walked me right through it.
An excellent GPS watch! I also have the Garmin Forerunner 620 touch but this watch (235) is easier to use.
It connects to the satellites super quick, the battery life is much longer in-between charges. It downloads software when connected to a computer very fast, and Garmin Connect tells you all about your running and health...more than you will ever need. For my purposes of running and cycling it is perfection!
I love this watch! I just wish Garmin would get their act together and fix the software problems. My watch has never displayed texts like it is supposed to since the first day I got it, but it does show calls that I am getting, so I know the Bluetooth works. I'm also not a big fan of their app, the Fitbit one is better. Also, the sleep data isn't too accurate. Says I'm still sleeping even when I'm awake, but my old Fitbit used to do that too. The watch itself is comfortable to wear and looks great. I'm really happy with it.