Garmin Forerunner 235

We’ve read the reviews across the web for the Garmin Forerunner 235 and summarize the results below:

Universal Ranking

PeakScore: 82 (out of 100)
User Rating: 4.2 stars 
Expert Rating: 4 stars

Number of Ratings Reviewed: 2632

Pros & Cons

Reasons to buy:

User Reviews

  • The screen is always on and displays current data for easy use.
  • Easy to sync your apps with the watch.
  • The battery life is pretty decent during active use.
  • Doesn’t get in the way of movements.
  • Connects with GPS signal quickly.
  • Sport band is comfortable against wrist.
  • Monitors heart rate consistently.
  • Tracks sleep to ensure comprehensive health.
  • Efficiently links with Strava for compatibility.
  • All-day activity monitor is useful for those who need to track their movements.

Expert Reviews

  • Comfortable silicone strap.
  • Two customizable screens for ease of use.
  • The buttons are easy to use and responsive upon touch.
  • One of the lightest options.
  • Can pair with ANT+ chest straps quickly and easily.
  • The heart rate device has reportedly performed consistently over use.
  • Features 4 sports modes with run, indoor, cycle, and other, allowing for versatility.
  • Within 5% accuracy on total distance during a run.
  • Able to add on third-party apps for compatibility.
  • Features a recovery adviser, which shows you how long you should rest until your next intense activity bout, allowing for performance recovery.
  • Bigger display than previous models for easy viewing.
  • Able to display notifications from your smart phone.
  • Uses both GLONASS (Russian satellite information) as well as GPS, for comprehensive data.
  • ‘Back to Start’ option allows for runner safety to get back to starting point when lost.
  • The Finish Time estimator allows you to see how much time you have remaining until you hit your customized goal.
  • Able to sync to Garmin Connect easily.
  • Programmable movement notification reminds the user to get up and get active.
  • Specific runner-features to improve fitness for runners.

Reasons NOT to buy:

User Reviews

  • The pace feature can be tricky to adjust.
  • Some complaints about the plastic looking and feeling cheap.
  • Some issues with the screen freezing when the user is changing modes.
  • Can’t track as many activities as some other watch models.
  • The heart rate monitor juts out and can poke into your wrist.
  • The add-ons can be tedious to properly install.
  • Reports of switching between screens without the user pressing any buttons.
  • Expensive.

Expert Reviews

  • No touchscreen, but has 5 side buttons instead.
  • Some may not like the overall plastic feel, even though this keeps the watch lightweight.
  • No support for any Bluetooth sensors and no compatibility.
  • Not as accurate as the Forerunner 935.
  • Heart-rate tracking can be inaccurate.
  • Might be too-big for an everyday constant-use watch.
  • The battery life is not as good as other models.


The Garmin Forerunner 235 is a highly-technical and runner-focused GPS watch that is the best option for intense runners who enjoy running outdoors. The specific technical aspects which make this watch suitable for runners also make this not as versatile for other sports and activities.


Note: User and expert rankings were reviewed across the web, including here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.