Garmin, the successful American smartwatch manufacturer, seems to be determined to continue its streak of successes by once again expanding their demographic, this time towards triathlon runners. The Garmin Forerunner 935 is the company’s newest smartwatch, and it was designed in order to satisfy most of the needs of athletes, by having a plethora of useful features that will aid them in their training sessions.
The watch only weighs 49 grams, which means that it won’t slow any athlete down during their activities, but will still attract the curious looks of other people if the user chooses one of the brightly colored, interchangeable silicone straps. The bezel is made of fiber-reinforced polymer, while the display, which is transflective memory-in-pixel and sunlight visible, is sadly not protected by any special material, like sapphire, as you’d find in other smartwatches designed for the outdoors and intense activities, the lens being made of glass. The watch itself has a definite sporty look to it, and it may not blend all that well with certain outfits, but then again, this watch is designed for physical activities, not showing off.
Despite not being extremely good-looking, the watch excels at everything it promises to do, and that’s being perhaps one of the most impressive sports smartwatches on the market. This is because the watch is packed with so many features that it’s hard to think of something missing from a device that is supposed to be tracking your activity.
For the regular features expected from a modern smartwatch, the Garmin Forerunner 935 is an okay choice, as it has a calendar, weather app, Find My Phone and Find My Watch functionality, connectivity via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to iOS, Android and even Windows Phone via the Garmin Connect app, and is highly customizable due to its downloadable watch faces, widgets and apps. Additionally, users can create their own watch faces via the Face It application.
However, if you do pick this device up, it’ll most likely be for its sports and leisure activities applications. In order to truly shine in these aspects, the watch contains every practical sensor you can think of: GPS, GLONASS, heart rate sensors, compass, barometric altimeter, gyroscope, accelerometer and even a thermometer. The battery life is fairly good for a watch that’s supposed to be mostly used while training or engaging in physical activity, as with GPS on, it should last up to 24 hours, while on power saving mode, it should last up to 60 hours.
The activity tracking features, in general, are aplenty, as the watch is able to accurately track your steps, your sleep patterns, calories burned, distance traveled, intensity minutes and even floors climbed, and has TrueUp and Move IQ functionality, which are Garmin-specific features.
In order to be the ultimate training device, the Garmin Forerunner 935 also has training-specific features. That being said, users will be able to get data for their lap times, finish times, speed and distance based on GPS, audio prompts, advanced workouts and a lot more customization options in order to allow athletes to create their perfect training sessions.
One thing that the team behind the Forerunner 935 has nailed is the fact that whether you’re a swimmer, runner or even a golfer, there are specific features for every sport that allow users to track and store their stats, and in many cases improve their abilities, because the watch provides a weekly “opinion” regarding their data, telling them whether they are training in the right zone, if they made any progress recently, and whether they’re going too easy or too hard on themselves during activity.
For professional runners who would like to know every single detail about their runs, the Garmin Forerunner 935 does a fairly good job by itself. However, in order to get additional details, a separate purchase of Garmin’s new “Running Dynamics Pod”, a small device users clip to their waistbands, is necessary. Therefore, with a Running Dynamics Pod, the user will be able to check out their vertical oscillation and ratio, their stride length, the time their feet touched the ground during the run, and a thorough analysis of their pace and heart rate.
Preinstalled on the Forerunner 935, the TrainingPeaks app will also be a nice addition to the many features available. The app allows users to download and view various workouts, as well as upload their data from the workout online for evaluation.
While it may not be the most versatile watch when it comes to daily activities, the Garmin Forerunner 935 is the ultimate smartwatch for just about any sport or physical activity you can think of, providing accurate data that allows athletes to improve their skills. The Garmin Forerunner 935 is available starting at $499, while the Running Dynamics Pod will be available in the second quarter of 2017.