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Hands-on with the new Garmin FR735XT Triathlon Watch

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Update – my full and final FR735XT in-depth review is now available! Click on over to that page for all the goodness!

Over the course of the cold winter, the Garmin FR235 optical HR sensor-enabled running watch hooked up with the elder Garmin FR920XT triathlon watch and made a baby. They named that baby the FR735XT.  And that’s basically the gist of it.

But fear not – there’s actually a number of new and interesting tidbits if you peel back the FR735XT onion a bit more.  For example, it now calculates your Strava Suffer score, and even supports structured swim workouts.  Not to mention that optical HR sensor and features like Varia Vision support. So it seems like this baby got smarter than both parents.  Let’s dig in a bit.

What’s New:

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To begin, the FR735XT takes the non-touchscreen shell of the existing optical-HR sensor capable FR235 (running GPS), and then revamps the firmware as a triathlon watch.  They’ve also increased the interior display portion slightly over the FR235, though again, keeping the same outer/exterior shell size (Update: The shell actually shrunk an itty-bity-bit, but the screen remained the same).  It makes it the smallest triathlon watch Garmin has ever produced, though, not the smallest GPS watch they’ve made (that goes to the original Vivoactive).  However, the Vivoactive doesn’t have multisport mode.

And that’s a really important distinction to note when talking about what makes a triathlon watch a triathlon watch.  It’s specifically the multisport mode.  That means that you can start a race (or training day), and have it seamlessly transition from swim to bike to run.  It’ll have the correct screens for each sport, while also keeping track of the total time for the full event.  And in most cases, it’ll display everything as a single cohesive event with separate components.  That’s compared to a non-multisport watch which may individually support swim/bike/run; but then you’d have to end/start a new activity for each sport during the day.

With that background, what’s new or different about the FR735XT?  Well, it depends a little bit on what you’re comparing it to.  Seeing how there’s no direct past predecessor for the FR735XT, I’ve gotta kinda pick and choose notable things compared to other triathlon watches (i.e. Fenix3 or FR920XT).  I’ve got a more detailed breakout in a later section.

– Adds in Varia Vision support (first Garmin wearable to support the heads-up display)
– Adds in Shimano Di2 electronic gear shifting
– Adds in support for structured swimming workouts (via Garmin Connect)
– Adds in Lactate Threshold metrics while running (on Fenix3, but not FR920XT)
– Adds in FTP determination while cycling (on Edge series, but not FR920XT)
– Adds ‘Intensity Minutes’ metrics (seen on other Garmin activity trackers)
– Adds Strava Suffer Score (new on FR735XT)
– Adds phone-based audio prompts (introduced on FR230/235/630)
– Adds stress score (introduced on FR630, now on Fenix3, but not FR920XT)
– FR735XT has a 14hr GPS battery life, less than that of FR920XT/Fenix3
– Lacks a barometric altimeter that’s on FR920XT & Fenix3 (but still has GPS altitude)
– Lacks a quick release kit like the FR920XT and the Fenix3

Now like most other new Garmin watch releases, we don’t tend to see major shifts of new functionality.  Instead, those are slowly added over time from unit to unit.  So you get a handful of new features for example on the FR630, which are then consolidated into the next triathlon watch version.  It’s kinda like a rolling upgrade.  Some features do make it into firmware updates for other models – like the Fenix3, which has seen boatloads of new features over the past 17 months since initial announcement.

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There are two brand-new wearable items though on this list: Strava Suffer Score, and Varia Vision support.

The Strava Suffer Score hasn’t been seen on any Garmin units before, and is the porting of the algorithms from Strava into the Garmin line-up, thus giving you an immediate score for your workout directly on your wrist.  This is the score that you’d otherwise see on your Strava workout page:

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Now, it’s shown on your wrist:

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The Strava Suffer Score support is coming to ALL Garmin wearables that support Connect IQ, as of today.  It’s simply an app you can install.  But more on that in a section down below.

Next, is the Varia Vision support.  That’s for Garmin’s heads-up display that was announced a few months back.  This will simply transmit your data straight to that, just like it would on an Edge 520 or Edge 1000 unit:

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Finally, it’s worth noting that the FR735XT is like the Fenix3 HR in that it doesn’t record HR while in the water using the optical HR sensor.  Instead, for that you’ll have to pickup either the HRM-TRI or HRM-SWIM (or the FR735XT bundle).  This is the same story as with the Vivoactive HR, in terms of optical HR sensor disablement.  It sounds like Garmin still isn’t seeing the level of HR accuracy that they want underwater to enable that feature.  Which is fair enough, since nobody else does that either (except Polar and the A360, but that wasn’t so hot on the accuracy front).

Structured Swim Workout Support:

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Now since earlier this year Garmin Connect has had the ability (on and off) to create structured swim workouts.  It wasn’t announced, but rather just something a handful of Slowtwitchers stumbled upon back in January.  This allows you to take the same concept of structured workouts that has existed for years for running and cycling, and do the same with swimming.  Oh, and it’s available for some other units, like the Fenix3 and Fenix3 HR.

Just to briefly run through how it works, you’ll start by creating chunks of the workout and specifying durations and stroke types.  Durations can be lengths or time.

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Now there are some quirks here.  For example you have to specify the pool length as part of the workout.  Mine happens to be the mind-bendingly awesome 33.33m length.  Well, that means when it comes to specifying how long an interval is, you actually don’t directly choose distance – but rather lengths.  Personally, I don’t care about lengths, I just want to say ‘500 meters’, but instead I’ve gotta do math and get 15 lengths.

This is further compounded by the fact that many swimmers might swim in pools that switch in direction.  For example it’s common for a 50m pool to operate as both 50m and 25m (or 25y) depending on the time of the day.  Personally, I just wish I could specify a distance, and then let whatever I specify as the pool-size figure it out at the time of workout. [Update: Garmin circled back on the issue I saw, which appears related to my specific pool size being 33.33m, versus an even number like 25/50/etc…  The bug should be resolved shortly, allowing me to enter in distance like everyone else already can.]

In any event, my minor quibble aside – you’ll then add any repeats and such and then save your workout.  You can give it any name you’d like.

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Finally, you’ll go ahead and specify what device to send it to.  Right now that’s the FR735XT and Fenix3/Fenix3HR.  It does not work on other devices like the Vivoactive, Vivoactive HR (it doesn’t support workouts), or the Garmin Swim.

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Finally, you’ll head to the pool.  In my case I tried it out on a Fenix3 unit, simply because it’s what I had available when this functionality was lit back up.  You’ll go into the Training menu, then ‘My Workouts’, and select your workout name followed by ‘Do Workout’:

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If you start the first section, it’ll give you the guidance you specified within the notes, which is kinda handy.  Though, it does cutoff some text around stroke type.

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For each section it’ll list what’s coming up, and then you can iterate through all of your steps.  It’s basically just like it is on bike/run workouts:

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During each set it’ll show you which set number your on, and the target distance:

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Afterwards the workout will upload like normal to Garmin Connect.  Again, this is now available on the Fenix3/Fenix3 HR and FR735XT.  It doesn’t appear to work with the FR920XT when I tried to send a workout to it (Update: The 920XT will work today, but you have to use your smartphone to send the workout to it, not the desktop computer.)

Strava Suffer Score App:

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Mixed in today’s announcement of the FR735XT was actually also an announcement by Strava (semi-jointly with Garmin) of the introduction of a Strava Suffer Score Connect IQ app.  Well, technically, a data field.  With the FR735XT, the Strava Suffer Score functionality comes baked in. For all other Garmin devices, you’ll just need to download it (it’s free).

This allows any Connect IQ compatible device (Edge 520, Edge 1000, Forerunner 230/235/630/735XT/920XT, Fenix3, Fenix3 HR, Tactix Bravo, Vivoactive, and Vivoactive HR) to display your real-time Strava Suffer Score on your device before you sync it to Strava.  Once on Strava itself (the platform), you’d then see the Suffer Score there. Though on Strava, that requires a premium membership.  Using the Connect IQ app does not.  Here you can see it on the FR630, above, on the Edge 520.

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The app works by evaluating heart rate zones to determine your suffering level.  Thus, you do need to ensure your Garmin device’s heart rate zones match that of Strava. Otherwise when you upload your workout the two scores won’t match.  In many ways, it’s kinda like with the TrainingPeaks metrics and ensuring that your FTP levels match on the Garmin Device, Garmin Connect, and Training Peaks.  Same-same concept here.

Since the app is technically a data field, it’s something you add to your existing data pages.  So just like you might have a data field for heart rate or distance, you’d just add one in for the Strava Suffer Score.  If you create a larger data field, you’ll get this nifty graph-like thing showing your zones:

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Also because it’s a data field, then it’s not something that’ll show up in any summary information once the activity ends.  It’s purely there as real-time feedback.  So you won’t see it in the run/bike summary screen or on Garmin Connect itself.

Finally, because Suffer Score depends on heart rate data – you must have either a HR sensor connected or an optical HR sensor.  Also, you must capture some metric of distance. Be it steps (if on a treadmill), or distance if using GPS.  On a bike, you’ve gotta have either GPS outdoors or some sort of speed/distance data if on a trainer.

All of these should be available immediately in the Connect IQ App store for your device by the time you read this text.  If it’s not yet showing up, then as they say…Shoulda, coulda, woulda…

Fenix3/HR, FR920XT, or FR735XT?

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So at this juncture Garmin now officially has 3.5 triathlon watch lineups (current generation). They’ve got the Fenix3, Fenix3HR, the FR920XT, and FR735XT.  I’m only giving half-credit for the Fenix3 HR optical variant.  And this doesn’t even include older stuff like the FR910XT or Fenix2.  Nor does it count anything that lacks a multisport mode (i.e. Vivoactive).

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So how are they all different?  Well, I’ve got my comparison chart tool that you can use, but there are some nuances that are harder to put on that without those charts continuing to bloat more than they already are.  So let’s talk about the key differences here instead.  For that, I’ll start by turning towards a bit of a video I’ve put together:

With the video all set, here’s the textual chartable version of just these four models.  Yes, there are many other tri models on the market, but for the purposes of this specific chart, I’m just keeping it to these four since that’s where 98.57% of all questions will come from.  Also, this isn’t trying to show everything under the sun, but just the key differences.

Garmin Triathlon Watch Comparison

FeatureFR920XTFR735XTFenix3Fenix3 HR
Price$449 $449 $499 $599
GPS Battery (Official Durations)24 hours14 hours20 hours16 hours
Barometric AltimeterYesNoYesYes
Optical HR SensorNoYesNoYes
Quick Release KitYesNoYesYes (but blocks optical sensor)
Largest Display ScreenYesNoNoNo
Swim workout supportYesYesYesYes
Works with HRM-SWIM/TRIYesYesYesYes
Varia Radar SupportNoYesNoNo
Varia Lights SupportNoYesNoNo
Varia Vision (HUD) SupportNoYesNoNo
Gear Shifting: Shimano Di2 SupportYesYesNoNo
Power Meter SupportYesYesYesYes
FTP Testing FunctionalityNoYesNoNo
Basic Course FollowingYesYesYesYes
Advanced Hiking/Navigation FunctionsNoNoYesYes
3D Distance, Climbing ScreensNoNoYesYes
Lactate Threshold TestNoWith HR StrapWith HR StrapWith HR Strap
Intensity Minutes metricsNoYesYesYes
Phone based audio promptsNoYesYesYEs
Supports Connect IQ for AppsYesYesYesYes
Strava Suffer Score (App)YesYesYesYes
Strava Live SegmentsNoYesNoNo
Bluetooth Smart/USB TransfersYesYesYesYes
WiFi TransfersYesNoYesYes
TouchscreenNoNoNono

Note that when you get into the Fenix3 series, there’s a lot of little nuances that are harder to capture and aren’t included above.  Aspects like tides app, or fishing mode, and the like.  Tons of little features.  If you’re looking for more advanced functionality beyond just swim/bike/run – that’s probably the watch to be on.

Shipping & Availability…umm…Today:

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For what I believe to be the first time ever, Garmin actually has these units available to ship…today.  Seriously, actually, today.  For realz.  Even Apple doesn’t do that for their iPhone & watches.

For example, Clever Training has a pile in stock to ship out this afternoon for orders placed prior to 1PM US Eastern Time.  With another large pile arriving tomorrow morning, for shipping tomorrow afternoon.  After that, I have no idea when more units will come in.  First come, first serve…and all that.

Same goes for Amazon, also available there today too.

Also, because I haven’t used the unit more than a handful of times spread across two different dates on beta hardware/software, I also don’t know whether it’ll suck or not as a production device.  Though, most retailers have 60 day+ return policies in case things are bad.  I’d say the risk is a bit lower here with the FR735XT from a hardware standpoint, since it appears to be nearly the same hardware as the FR235 (released last fall).  Nobody seems to have any widespread GPS issues there, and the included Garmin Elevate optical HR sensor is what it is (the same).  On the flip side, we haven’t seen Garmin cram the triathlon features into this specific watch firmware variant, nor have we seen all of the Varia Vision functionality, swim workouts, Strava Suffer scores, or others in this watch either.  So all are somewhat unknowns.

But as one might theorize – typically when a product ship date matches the announcement date, it’s because a company has held off announcing said product to resolve outstanding bugs during the beta period.  My guess is that’s what occurred here.  I mean, just a guess and all.

Wrap-up:

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It’ll be interesting to see how the unit appeals to different folks.  I suspect some will love it for its size, yet others will want something a bit bigger (the FR920XT or Fenix3).  Of course, I think this unit makes it clear that the FR920XT has likely seen the last of any new major software feature updates.  It’s been about 19 months since it was first announced – thus getting reasonably close to the typical 2-year marker that Garmin has often followed (though, that’s gotten much messier as of late).

I often run with the nearly identically sized FR630, merely because I like the lighter feel.  So in many ways, this watch would appeal to me in terms of being slightly more versatile than just a running watch.  Though, at the same time I tend to use a dedicated bike computer while cycling because I like having a unit out-front on the bars.  Still, the following two weekends I have triathlon races, so I’ll definitely be giving the FR735XT proper test runs during those events to see how well it handles during race conditions.

After which I’ll be better suited to give a full in-depth review.  So expect that sometime in early June.  With that – thanks for reading!

Found this useful? As noted above, you can help support the blog by picking up your sports tech goodness (or underwear, or gel packets) from Clever Training.  The FR735XT is in-stock and available there, for shipping today.  Well, at least until too many people buy it, in which case it’ll switch to backorder.  Wait – you’re Europe based?  No problem.  Clever Training now has a European store in beta, and you can pre-order it now there for shipping later this month (base). Thanks for the support!

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770 Comments

  1. Edwin Aerts

    Hello Ray

    Does the watch track altitude/descent/ascent/gradiënt when in cycling mode?
    Is it possible to publish in your review a list of the data fields available since I cannot find it elsewhere?
    Thanks.

    Krgds
    Edwin

  2. Peter St.

    The one question on the new gadget’s GPS is: does it have the same GPS chipset as 630/920/F3 or is it something different?

    • Same GPS chipset as the FR235, so inclusive of GLONASS.

      Be careful when looking at GPS chipsets, because it’s rarely the chipset itself that determines accuracy of a unit. But rather many other factors including antenna position/design, chipset firmware, and watch firmware.

  3. Hi Ray,

    Love the writeup and great to see another option for a Tri watch.

    Just one amend. As of todays 920xt update the Pool Workout mode now works. I have just created a workout and Synced via the iPhone app.

    Its a really cool feature and will make pool training alot easier

    • Strange. It didn’t work for me when I tried an hour ago. Odd. I’ll take your word for it – updated!

    • Luca

      I confirm the Pool Workout now works also on 920xt.
      That’s a great add-on!

    • If you have a look at my Twitter profile I have just posted a video of it working @TheAlexCox.

      Than you again for the great review and I would have not even thought about the swim mode if it was not for you awesome writeup

    • Richard Hambrick

      I can build the Swim workout on garmin connect, but it says my 920xt is not compatible. I am running 6.2 firmware and it says my 920 is up to date. ideas?

    • Luca

      Probably Garmin connect still needs an update.
      if you try with the iPhone app it works…

    • Dave

      Can someone link to the firmware for 920? The only one I see on Garmin is 6.20 updated in January (link to www8.garmin.com)

    • Richard Hambrick

      Im Droid not iphone

    • Richard Hambrick

      What is the new Garmn 920xti Firmware version?

    • The January 6.20 920XT firmware is still the latest. It looks like the pool workout only works when being transferred from the phone, not from Garmin Express.

    • Richard Hambrick

      Just spoke to Garmin. They are in process of rolling out to all users. some users can and some can’t as of now.

    • Richard Hambrick

      It now works on my phone. Android

    • Bryan G

      I just tested this with my Samsung S5 and, though the phone gave the option to transfer, I could not find the swim workout in “My Workouts” under any heading (I have Running, Biking, and Other). Where have you been able to find the workout itself?

    • Dave

      Trying to install the Strava app on my 920 and it says i need an update to the watch so there must be something coming.

    • Francis C

      6.26 but it’s beta: link to www8.garmin.com

      If you’re trying to download the Strava App, it still doesn’t work. They made a mistake somewhere. 0 download, 0 review. I’m also excited to try it out :)

    • I have the 920xt as well, and I tried the swim workout for my morning workout. Transferring the workout from the phone (iPhone) to the watch I had no problems. But while I was doing the workout, it was so great. My main issue was it wasn’t calculating the length correctly. I swam 300 yards and it was saying I swam 225. I never had a problem of my watching doing this in the pool before. I tried a few 50 one lap or two lengths and it was not registering any of them at all. I finally gave up and just exited out of the workout.

      Did anyone else try to do the swim work out on the 920xt and did anyone have success?

    • Dave

      Found on the Garmin Forums:

      The Forerunner 920XT will require a software update for the Strava Suffer Score app to load to the device. The device team is working on the update, but a release data has not been announced.
      (link to forums.garmin.com)

  4. Ian Broadhurst

    Got a FR235 and a Garmin Swim. this looks great for my needs….except the inevitable price tag :)

  5. Greg Hilton

    Looks very nice, does it support ski mode like the Fenix 3?

    • No barometric altimeter, thus, no ski/snowboard mode. Though, it does have XC ski mode.

    • Jordan

      But is that absolutely necessary for the function when GPS is on? Phone apps like Trace seem to do a pretty solid job with just GPS alone..

    • Greg Hilton

      Jordan, I think the barometric altimeter is needed for the ski mode which auto detects when you are on lifts and only thus logs your actual time on the snow, which is pretty neat in me view!

      I am after one device to do it all inc 24×7 HR, this is 95% there but I ski a lot so I’m hoping they add in the barometric altimeter to something in a similar sized profile!!

    • Yes, correct.

      You can always track your entire ski day and then just set the activity type on Garmin Connect. But it won’t automatically count runs for you.

  6. Josh

    Ray
    Just ordered Tri bundle via CT. This is exactly what I wished for some time ago, that round form factor that I LOVE in my 230. My 920 will be going back to REI. Note my VIP number to CT wasn’t working, any help you can provide would be great. It did show shipping was 5-7 days out vs today, so appreciate clarification. Thanks!

    • Thanks Josh! Yup, if you just hit up the VIP e-mail they’ll sort out the code and get you all set.

    • Oh, and that VIP e-mail address is simply: vipsupport@clevertraining.com

    • Josh

      Ray, can you please let me know what that VIP email may be? I’m hopeful they will simply issue a credit so I don’t lose my place in line. Also, Amazon says Tri bundle is 1-4 months out. Can you confirm if CT has the Tri bundle in stock for shipment or if it is just the base model?

    • Josh

      And thanks on that disregard that request below for email address, but do appreciate reply on the other question still.

    • Just base bundle in-stock. Tri bundle sounds like it’s a bit further out for all markets.

      E-mail is: vipsupport@clevertraining.com

    • Josh

      Ok well they show 5-7 days so hopefully that is a good date.

    • Anonymouse

      Ray — Are you sure the VIP code will work with this at all? Based on a recent discussion I had with Clever Training’s VIP customer service, Garmin is enforcing MSRP on certain items. (The Edge 520, for example.) Clever Training found a way to make it up to me as there wasn’t any prior indication this would be the case, but it’s an important distinction I think they should detail for you so you can share it when discussing purchasing options (that is, so you can add a line when necessary that says “no Clever Training discounts available on this product at this time”).

      Thanks, as always, for all you do.

    • It’s messy and a brand-new change. Still sifting through it all.

      But if you reach out to the VIP e-mail address directly, they’re able to get folks sorted out.

    • Josh

      It works fine on this. Maria at CT helped me out. My 1 yr subscription had expired. So I renewed it and hopefully will have a 735 Tri bundle here shortly.

    • Mr T

      I was told in no uncertain terms does VIP program include Garmin products. This was highly disappointing after it already enrolled in the VIP program I think they need to be straight with you and straight with the users

    • It did include Garmin products, until Wednesday evening. As noted, this was a new change dictated 100% by Garmin, and Clever Training will be doing everything to make it right. I think once the updated program rolls out, folks will be happy. Thanks for the support.

    • Mr. T

      Sorry, Ray I want to give CT the benefit of the doubt but I signed up for VIP on May 7, more than a week ago and they had a small note that VIP program didn’t include Garmin in my email confirming my purchase. (it said *Discount not valid on select Garmin items). So I checked and my VIP account did not work with most Garmin devices prior to Wednesday (I checked). Also when I emailed them there was no attempt to “make it right.”

      It makes me think they seem to have known a while ago.

      Its very disappointing and frustrating. I understand the change came from Garmin, but I think CT wasn’t great about communicating it.

  7. gogi

    Hey Ray,

    sounds interesting. Thank you for this post.

    But no Wlan and Plastikbuttons :-/.

    I’m still waiting of a kind of 635 ;). So like the Forerunner 630 with HR. Do you know if it makes sense to wait for such a Product?

    Thank you

    gogi

    • Marios

      This is just a guess but I don’t think there is a place for a 635 in the Forerunner line anymore. I think (and this is just a guess) that Garmin tested the two platforms (230/235 vs 630) in the market to see which one sells better. It is clear the people went for the 230/235 so they decided to base the 735XT after the 230/235 platform instead of the 630.

      Price wise too, it wouldn’t make sense to have a 635 between a 630 ($400 base) and a 735XT ($450 base). What would it be, a 635 for $425 to add the OHR? That’s again my guess.

    • Tim Grose

      Or there is the slight snag that touch screen isn’t going to be great in the water…

  8. Kennet

    Nice! But how accurate is the optical HRM while swimming?

    • As noted, optical HR is disabled during swimming (on all Garmin wearables).

    • ww

      that’s lame!

    • Jeff

      I’ve recently been using my Garmin 235 to track my outdoor pool swims in “other” mode, using manual splits. I can attest that the optical HR in water for these is not very good.

      For example, on a reasonably hard effort yesterday, my heart rate max was 95. While that’s a nice fantasy, I know it wasn’t true.

  9. David E.

    Interesting. So, not sure if you meant to suggest this, but is this the successor to the 920xt? Might they kill off the 900 line and develop around the Fenix and 700 lines? Three different types of tri watches does seem like it might be a bit excessive. . .

    • Hard to say, I’m honestly not sure what they’ll do there. It’s the quick release kit that makes things tricky, same goes for the larger display size.

    • Dom

      I was wondering the same thing. If you want a barometric altimeter and a quick release, the 735 doesn’t have that (partly because of the optical HR for the QR), but an F3 would. Maybe it’s the end of the road for the 9×0.

    • Mike Richie

      Why wouldn’t they make a specific quick release kit for this? They could have a cut-out for the Optical HRM. Those that want the Quick Release are going to be using a chest strap at that point anyways since the optical HR won’t work on the handlebar ;)

  10. Craig Beattie

    Oh I was finally about to pull the trigger and order a Fenix 3 (my first every GPS watch/Garmin) but having read this I may hold off and see what your full review says as the smaller size appeals to me. The only concern is the battery life (listed above as 14 hours) so would be interesting to see what you find.

    • Wim Schelfaut

      The battery life is for GPS, don’t know what the battery life is for the activity tracker part of the watch. My fenix 3 (non-hr version) lasts about a good week.

    • Blake

      I am selling my Fenix 3 if you are interested.

    • Andy C S

      After reading this piece I’m actually happier than ever I got the Fenix 3 one year ago. Garmin made this exactly different enough that the target audience doesn’t completely overlap.

    • Craig Beattie

      Yeah that’s what I mean the battery life with GPS enabled (ie doing an activity). The F3 is 20hrs but the new 735 is listed as 14. I plan on investing in a watch that will last me a number of years and I’m hoping to take part in Ultras in the next couple of years. Battery life could be an issue as I wouldn’t be the quickest lol

  11. Hi Ray,

    I could not find the data app for Strava Score – could you provide a link for it? Thanks

  12. JimL

    What about SKI mode?

    As a part of that slow twitch thread I am very happy to have the swim workouts back.

  13. Kyle

    Not sure why anyone would purchase this over the fenix 3 with that price tag. Battery life is a disappointment…but that can be said for the whole industry besides Suunto who still use black/white screen.

    • Polar V800 black & white and a dependable 20 – 50 hours battery life too.

    • I suspect the main reason someone would choose this over a Fenix3 is just style/size preferences.

    • André Lemos

      yeah, I’d trade it, for sure, if I could. I don’t need the long battery life.

    • Nadia Barbov

      I owned the Fenix 3 HR and now the 735XT. As a girl with small wrists, I loved the F3HR, but it was too heavy for me, especially on long runs. The 735XT albeit reduced in functionality, fits my wrist well and is very light. I would love a ‘blingy’ version of the 735XT, something that doesn’t have the plastic feel, but very happy with it otherwise.

  14. Michael Okely

    Does it have 24 hour HR/activity monitoring/sleep fucntion?

  15. Bryan

    Ray, your thoughts on the optical HR sensor still the same on the 735? ie, still a ways to go?

    • Hard to say until I get a final unit (should arrive tomorrow or Friday, pending usual customs fun). But, given it’s the same sensor – I don’t expect changes beyond what other units have received via firmware updates.

  16. Michal

    Hey Ray, Q about ultra-trac mode: they say it last till 24 hrs without the, OHRM enabled. Is there any indication how long it lasts in the UT mode with the OHRM enabled? Would love to see the Strava Score through the roof after an ultra :)

  17. Bob

    Hold on, strava’s HR range is poor at best. That’s a step backward !

  18. Early Adoptor

    Ray, was there an embargo?

    This blog revealed the news already some days ago… link to zonaoutdoor.es

  19. Matthew B.

    I understand why they eliminated the barometric altimeter (this is a 235 with different software), but it seems like a big omission, as they are now marketing it as their “high end” triathlon watch.

    Perhaps there will still be a 9xx series triathlon watch once they get the optical HR down for swimming?

    • wouter

      I have owned 3 910xt’s – all three of which had the barometric altimeter breaking down after less than a year. Very common issue and from what I’ve read also present in later models (920xt). In this context, not sure whether it’s such a big omission :)

      I’m sure the 935xt will arrive soon and the 7xx is just another addition to their line up (which is getting quite condensed (confusing?) if you ask me)

    • Marios

      Yup, Garmin is literally the opposite of Apple. They are trying to introduce every single software feature as a separate hardware SKU :-)

  20. Adam

    Hehe, somehow I’ve also managed to end up living in a netherworld where all of my local pools are 33.3m. It used to drive me crazy, but now I quite like them.

  21. The real Bob

    I asked for this watch without the HR!!! Come on Ray, I thought you had some pull with garmin. LOL. I love my 230, but it needs full bike support.

    I will continue to wait for my garmin 230 with full bike functionality.

  22. Looks cool but not for for LP IM if you have a bad day… So I am guessing 930 maybe coming soon. I see this as in an interesting position below the 920 but would be hard to recommend as when ever you say “I will never ever sign up for an Ironman” you have a moment of weakness and sign up and then you are SOL.

    • Tim Fortuna

      I agree Chris I was all excited until I saw the battery life. I’m about to do IM Lake Placid for the 3rd time and I would be very upset if the battery died on my during the run. And no bike mount! Maybe I could get used to looking at my wrist for power checks, but certainly not ideal or aero.

  23. TexasChip

    Hi Ray, in the first paragraph (“… They named that baby the FR725XT”), I am guessing the parents got drunk celebrating and misspelled the baby’s name :-). I think you meant FR735XT.

  24. Todd Viens

    Hi Ray,
    Thanks for your comments. I still have the 910. I have not used a watch w the optical sensor. I get it not working in the water with the pool HR band but what would be the purpose of the other HR band in the tri bundle? If you did not care about pool HR data, do you need a HR band? do the older HR bands work with it? Will the optical sensor send data to a Garmin bike head units or is that why you need a HR band? THanks

    • The HR strap is used for:

      – Swimming HR
      – Some HR metrics, like Stress Test and Lactate Threshold test

      For swimming, only the HRM-TRI/HRM-SWIM will download data. For anything else, any ANT+ strap is fine. Like other Garmin wearables with ELEVATE, it’ll re-broadcast your HR so other Garmin units can pick it up.

    • Todd Viens

      so you wear the run HR band because the optical is not that accurate? dumb question, but why would a need a HR band (not interested in swim HR), only bike/run. thanks.

    • certain capabilities require the higher level of detail currently only available via HR straps, specifically around heart rate variability (HRV), or HRM-RUN/TRI metrics. Those features would be:

      – Specific Running Dynamics Metrics: Stride Length, Ground Contact Time Balance and Vertical Ratio

      – Lactate Threshold, Performance Condition, and Stress Score (Note: VO2Max is fine with the optical sensor)

      Without a HR strap, those features will not work.

    • Tim Grose

      The band tends to be still a little more accurate than optical but for many optical is more than good enough.

    • Tim Grose

      Oh and good point about those metrics Ray mentions. You may not feel you need all of them for every run however.

    • Jiri

      Does anybody know how to successfully (proven way for 735XT, not for similar models) enable the HRV data to be in the FIT files particularly on the 735XT?

      I have tried the FIT conf file from some pages and after this it seems it caused the Run (maybe also all others) activity to freeze the 735XT (the only way to get out was to hold Left Upper – power button until reboot. Until factory reset it was impossible to use activities). I do not know whether there was some other reason for the freeze, but I will appreciate any proven method for HRV data record on the 735XT (not just guesses “will work as it works on eg.920xt”)

  25. John B

    What about the optical-HR sensor? Is it more accurate than the 235?

    • It’s the same sensor. Though, Garmin has made firmware improvements to all units since then. So we’ve seen a gradual increase in accuracy. Still not perfect, but better. I’ll dive into accuracy as part my in-depth review.

  26. Phil Simpson

    Thanks Ray
    Great Write-up.
    Just wanted to clarify re Varia vision. It says above that this is the first wearable to support it but your Vivoactive HR hands on says that it also support Varia Vision. Could you please clarify?
    Also, any word on a Fenix 3 or 920XT support for Varia Vision?
    Thanks

    • It (Visoactive HR) actually doesn’t though in real-life (at least not for me). It’s on my list to find out why the difference.

    • Vivoactive HR WILL be compatible with the Varia line up, but as of today it still lacks that functionality on its firmware.

      Varia Radar can be connected, but nothing is shown on the screen. Varia Vision is not even found by the watch.

      Although the manual specifies how to connect both, Garmin has stated that full compatibility will come down the road through firmware update.

    • At least on the 735XT, it’s there today.

  27. Daniel Cunnama

    I wonder if they have sorted out the OHR issues though? I have the FR235 and the latest firmware update has completely broken the RHR calculation.

  28. Cornelius

    I didn’t see this elsewhere… this supports Ant+ power meters, right?

  29. Dennis Fagundo

    Is it possible to create/edit a workout on the watch like the 320XT/910XT or can it only be done viw Garmin Connect like the Fenix3. This is such a huge pain in the ass for me with the Fenix. Walking out the door to workout and programming in the intervals/targets etc or modifying an existing workout to increase the interval length or number of intervals is so much easier and faster than having to get to a computer/log on to the site/ create and edit/ upload to device… It can’t even be done through the app and while logging on to the site via a mobile device is possible its really clumsy.

    Thanks

    • Tim Grose

      No change there although there is the Intervals function on the watch if you are just repeating the same interval.

  30. Daniel

    Battery life seems a bit small – i struggled with 920xt battery on full ironman – and 735xt is rated for significantly less time.

  31. And again Garmin specs are not trustable… The 735XT is announced on their page as having touchscreen.

    • It’s all about ‘Rule #1’.

    • Tim Grose

      It is possible to touch the screen :)

    • max

      Rule #1: You do not talk about fight club?

    • Joseph Kiddell

      Website seems to have been updated. The Touchscreen tick (and whole line for that matter) has now disappeared.

      i was just about to ask the question as i couldnt see any indication of it being touchscreen on Ray’s video.

      i have the 920XT and 2 weeks ago came to the conclusion it wasnt going to be updated and I liked the features of the 630 enough to bite the bullet and acknowledge the loss of swimming and the likelyhood of me taking up Tri’s. Love the features of the 630 (Lactate threshold and Creation of intervals especially), but now remember why i didnt enjoy the touchscreen. When I attach it to my bike the tounchscreen becomes almost entirely non-responsive.

      Assuming the 735 is not touchscreen I will return my 630 as not fit for purpose and migrate to the 735 instead.

  32. David E.

    FWIW, the structured pool workout functionality on Garmin Connect looks like it still needs some work. I just tried to program in a workout based on a 50m pool, and the dropdown menu to program a distance for a certain set only offered distances in yards. Damn metric system. :)

    • I had that originally – but I saved the workout, then tapped Edit again, and on the right hand side it had my pool size as 25Yards, Clicking Edit on that lets you set it back to 25m and then all the distances adjust too.

    • David E.

      Ah, got it. Still, a little buggy. . .

  33. Arie Kraak

    At your comparison table there’s a No at the quick release kit for the Fenix 3 HR.
    On the following site at compatible devices the Fenix 3 HR is mentioned.

    link to buy.garmin.com

    • Just an error on their site. As seen in the pictures, it would be blocked by the optical HR sensor bump.

    • Tim

      So that would be “semi-compatible” cause at least it fits, but wouldn’t give HR?

    • So to circle back on the Fenix3 HR quick release piece…

      In chatting with Garmin today about it, they’ve made a change to the Fenix3 quick release kit that can now accommodate the physical sensor bump of the F3HR. However, it will still block readings of the optical HR sensor.

      So you can use the watch with the kit now, but just not use the optical sensor at the same time. FYI.

      (Garmin notes they’re updating the wording on their site around the accessory/compatibility/etc…)

  34. Victor

    Looks very good! I much prefer this form factor to the 920/Fenix.
    Any thoughts on a non-optical-HR version?

  35. Lars

    Hi Ray!

    Any idea when will Garmin develop it’s activity tracking (to more like Polar v800)? I mean, it feels stupid that I run marathon (or other high intensity exercise) and after one hour my Garmin watch says “move”. Seriously? Now when almost every new Garmin watch has optical HR, it should be pretty easy to track casual day activity pretty precisely.

    • It’s more of a philosophy thing than a technical thing. Garmin simply wants you moving at least once per hour.

      And, fwiw, if you did run a marathon that morning – it’s probably best for your walking ability the next day, that you do keep moving once per hour the day of the marathon. ;)

  36. Jason K

    While its a triathlon watch in some respects it isn’t, i.e. the lack of quick release. Even Garmin is “hedging” with the this being the main description of the watch “GPS Running Watch with Multisport Features and Wrist-based Heart Rate”.

    Also curious as to battery life, 14hrs is with GPS and optical HR, would it be better with only GPS on and a HR strap vs the optical?

    At the same price as the 920XT with plus and minus features it seems like an odd place.

    Also, Garmin lists it as having a touchscreen under “spec”, is that the case?

    • No touchscreen, just a case of Garmin.com specs being wrong.

      It should be better without optical HR enabled, but I haven’t done that test to see what (nor are there numbers provided).

    • Scott Simon

      Ray, any rough feeling for how much more using a HR strap and disabling the optical HR would extend the battery life? I’d be interested in hearing results if you ever did a test on it. I’m doing an IM and 14hr battery life seems cutting it too close.

  37. Bryan

    Any idea whether the optical HR sensor can be turned off to extend the battery life if you end up wearing a regular HR strap?

    • rick_NP

      If it’s anything like the Fenix3 HR, then yes, you can. Settings – Sensors – Wrist Heart Rate – Auto or Off. In both cases, the Optical HR is OFF if a HR strap is enabled/detected.

    • Scott Simon

      Any rough ideas how much disabling the optical HR extended the battery life? Was it 10-30 minutes or 2+ hours.

  38. Rob Montgomery

    The question I always ask…is there a “walk” mode?

    In a video I saw “hike” as one of the available options. Didn’t see a walking mode though unless I missed it. No clue how Garmin can continue to leave that out. Hoping I’m wrong and it’s an option.

    • Graham

      At least on the F3 “Walk” is not installed by default but can be added to the list of apps with a few taps on the watch. I would guess something similar for this (but i could be wrong)

    • Rob Montgomery

      Yes, I briefly owned a Fenix 3 and saw that was available. However it wasn’t available on the 630 I believe if I am remembering correctly. Seems like it’s added on some, but not others. Seems weird to me. I wish they would standardize that a bit. It makes it confusing trying to pick out which watch to select. If the watch can add new sport profiles, it should be a standard list (unless of course the watch is incapable of a particular sport). If this watch can add hiking, it should be able to add walking.

    • Tim Grose

      Can only see Hike.

      There is a Connect IQ app that does walking. Seems to do the job so I understand.

      At worse though don’t you just need to change the activity type in Garmin Connect when done.

  39. Exciting for the Structured Swim Workouts – just a bit disappointing there is no way that you can specify a target pace and have the watch create an alert or metronome for it. I train using a CSS pace so looks like I will still need to use the Finis Tempo Trainer Pro as well as my Fenix 3 which is madness!

    • I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t hear it… it’s a long way away on your wrist.

    • Harvey

      Unless maybe he used the DCR-approved technique of tucking the watch into his swim cap?

    • No you can definitely feel and hear alarms on the Fenix 3 while swimming. I use them – the trouble is they can only be set at 1 whole second intervals, which isn’t very accurate, where as the Finis thing can be set much more accurately.

      It’s got to be a trivial thing for the Garmin programmers to do. Set a 100m pace in the swim program and then beep/vibrate every xx seconds. So for a 25m pool just divide by 4 and do an alert!

      Ray – any chance you could feed that back to Garmin – they have done all that work creating the swim workouts, and this seems like an easy thing to add to really add value for those who want to swim to a pace.

    • +1 on this. If I could ditch my tempo trainer that would make this even more attractive.

    • Husain

      Thank you for that. I wish Garmin would recreate the functionality of the tempo trainer pro on their Tri watch lineup.

  40. Damien O'Rourke

    Hi Ray,

    My first GPS watch was FR110… great at the time but always took ages to get a gps signal (5 minutes plus)

    I then upgraded to a Tomtom multisport (based on your review) and it gets the gps in under 10 seconds everytime… Living in Ireland this was a god sent! Standing around in the pissing rain for 5 minutes waiting for a signal was hellish…
    My only complaint with the tomtom is that it seems to add around 30% to my swimming laps (obviously bad front crawl).. but I only swim once a week so can live without this accuracy.

    I am so tempted with the fr735xt… any idea what the gps speed is? My friend has a fenix3 and we are always at least 200m into the run before he gets signal.

    Great news on the Clever training Europe! Looking forward to my 10% discount :) Thanks for all the hard work… Much appreciated.

    Damien

    • Tim Grose

      Ought to be like your Tom Tom so very quick. If your friend does not get a fix until gets going, are you perhaps starting indoors/under cover?

  41. Edwin

    Is the “Shimano Di2 electronic gear shifting” to record what gear is being used, or to control the gear, or both?

    Is there a way for it to measure step cadence without a HRM strap?

    Can it provide alerts via ‘vibration’? Does it have a regular time alarm?

    Thanks for all your reviews and answers.

  42. davy

    Does the watch support following courses, same as the 920xt?

  43. Jeff Kohn

    Perhaps this is splitting hairs, but Fenix 3 doesn’t not support the varia vision or radar. I’m hoping it’s coming soon – seems like an easy way for Garmin to make some $$ because I would get it pretty fast.

  44. Tyler

    Here’s my guess on why they have units available to ship today:

    Because they have another, more advanced tri watch in the pipeline, maybe a 935XT, or the like.
    Something with a barometric altimeter; perhaps an HR monitor that’s enabled during swims; longer battery life; some new advanced metrics that aren’t on anyone’s radar; larger display.

    Total speculation, but the numbering change to 735, quick release, and build on existing hardware (and key missing features) make me think they have another watch up their sleeve, and didn’t want to cannibalize sales by releasing at the same time.

    • Tim Grose

      Ray would be out of business if Garmin (or any competitor for that matter) do not have another watch on the way sometime. Mind you, so would they.

      No idea if you are right but what you describe sounds like a whole lot bigger watch and certainly the 735 breaks new ground on that front. Or you could more or less be describing the Fenix 3 HR.

  45. Hi Ray,

    Interesting looking product, I assume that the Running Dynamics will still require the HR strap?

    Thanks

    Scott

  46. Jeff

    Hi Ray – do you know what the differences are between the US and EU versions of Garmin’s 920xt? The 920xt is $100 cheaper if you buy the EU version on Amazon, is the only difference the power wall adapter?

    • Identical hardware. I think they have a different sticker (and maybe an adapter). But basically, it’s technically a different SKU merely to be able to enforce certain pricing/shipping policies on retailers. That’s all.

  47. Daniel Kinnicutt

    Looks like a great watch, but I am still waiting for Suunto Ambit 4. . . . Any idea when that guy will make it out of R & D? Waiting patiently. . . for the Suunto Ambit 4 and, of course, the necessary DC Rainmaker Review!

    • Rob Montgomery

      I’m guessing there will be an announcement anytime between the end of May and mid June. I believe I read somewhere they are sponsoring a major tri event and it would make sense for them to roll it out at that time.

      But with Suunto – who knows. I actually prefer Suunto watches but my patience is wearing thin with them. They’ve been beating a dead horse for a while with all these “new” customization options and rehashes of the same watch (Suunto Traverse Alpha).

    • Daniel K

      I definitely prefer the Suunto watch, and likewise my patience is running out. But, I am still hopeful that Suunto Ambit 4 will be announced soon, ie. end of May-June. The battery life is critical to me.

  48. Gabe

    Ray – Is the vivo smart hr GPS as the smallest gps watch Garmin has made?
    link to the5krunner.files.wordpress.com

    Manufacturing wise it looks like the 630 with new tri firmware. Seems like tooling, design, etc was super easy for this watch.

    • Rob Montgomery

      I doubt Ray will comment on that. The Vivosmart HR+ was leaked on a couple sites, but no official announcements made.

  49. Ethan

    Can you charge the 735xt while in an activity (like the Fenix3 or 910) or does charging the watch stop the activity like the 920?

    Thanks so much!

    -Ethan

  50. le

    I need more than 14 hours to finish the long course ironman.
    On top of that, when Garmin stats 14 hours, it is less than 14 during race.

    • wouter

      Consider it a motivation to train ;)

    • Noone ever promised that every model would be for everyone. ;-)

    • Look at all the 14+ hour people at full IM events wearing the 920xt. Typically there are LOTS of them and this watch does not work for them. Seems like a big miss to me. Selling a tri specific watch with battery life less than 17 hours (actual) excludes a large chunk of your target market IMHO.

  51. Andy

    while Garmin is announcing new watches almost on a monthly basis i wonder what is Suunto thinking with their 5 year soviet style planning :)

    • Asaf

      Watch industry mindset is to create timepieces (you never really own a Watch, you merely keep it for your son…). Suunto makes watches that were built to last. Question is, who would choose to use it with the current software a few years from now.

  52. Annetol Griskov

    I read some stuff about the swimming mode. You can now upload your training into the watch. But what about open water training?

  53. Albert

    I can’t believe Garmin actually launches a product and have it available on the first day. It’s almost what I really wanted from the FR630 (except it doesn’t have wifi or touch screen).

    Ray – do you know if this watch has the golf functionality like the VAHR or other activity feature as available add-on (snowboard/ski, rowing, etc.)?

    • Tim Grose

      No golf unfortunately.

      It has the other things you mention as activity profiles you can set up.

  54. Matthew B.

    Also, this makes a heck of a lot more sense on why they didn’t launch a 635 previously.

  55. Dale

    The pool swim workout set up nice and easy but unfortunately my Epix isn’t supported. :( Major bummer.

  56. Alan Sherman

    Does it support running while being charged ala Fenix3? I looked at the comparison but that doesn’t seem to be a field supported in your comparison chart as for example the 920xt doesn’t support this.

  57. Julian Cass

    Looks great!

    I am still sticking with my 920XT for Ironman events this year for now, unless you are sub 11 hour (I’m not) then the battery on this watch isn’t going to give enough confidence that it will finish the race.

    What is the clarity of the display like compared to the 3HR or 920XT?

    Thanks

    • I find daylight text pretty clear on all three. I feel backlight on the FR920XT & Fenix3 is a smidgen brighter than the FR235, but nothing that seems to matter to me.

  58. Stephen

    I reckon they’ll try and move into having a lower end / higher end split for tri watches – in the same way they have the 235 / 635 split for running watches.

    The 920 will gradually disappear, and then there’ll be a 935 next year to replace both the 920 & F3 (which will be 2 years old in the non-HR form at that point).

    Finally, they’ll turn the Fenix line back into the hiking / navigation / orienteering type watch it used to be and fold the Epix features (like proper mapping) back into it.

  59. Blake Sills

    Does the watch have a golf mode like the fenix 3/vivoactive? Right now I have a 235 for running (workouts) and a vivoactive for swimming and golf, would like to be able to combine the two.

  60. Andy

    Ray, can you reveal the mystery now? was it this Garmin 735XT watch that you saw on someone’s wrist during your flight to Venice the other day? link to twitter.com

  61. rick_NP

    Geeze, Ray, clear out your Strava notifications once in a while! ;-)

  62. Antoine Glikman

    Very interesting review. Thanks Ray. To me this one is dedicated to short (up to half IM) Triathlon or people not running distances above marathon. For IM and long distance running, 920XT or Fenix3 look more convenient.

  63. vtanzi

    Ray

    Why won’t they build or open run power? (In run mode not bike)

    • No idea.

      But, once Connect IQ opens it up, it won’t really matter. That update/functionality was delayed (again) till summer. At which point Stryd can close that gap.

  64. Thomas Wylie

    Regarding the strava suffer score data field. Is the only way to edit the zones to go in through the apps section in the device settings thing on the connect IQ phone app? Or will it pull them in from Garmin/Strava?

    Looking at what it it set to as default it seems a bit extreme (at least for me), zone 4 at 184bpm.

  65. Oscar

    Should one interpret the fact it uses the same tech as FR235 that there’s no upgrade coming anytime soon for the optics etc? I have a boxed FR235 that I haven’t used since I wanted to exchange it for a newer model, thought there would be a replacement model (FR245?) coming any day now seeing as last one is from last fall. The fact that this gets released with the “same” hardware makes me question if there’s any advancements in the near pipe line. I would hate myself if I opened the box to find out a new model is coming in a week… :(

    • Tim Grose

      Seems highly unlikely that Garmin would release an new “expensive” watch with a certain set of hardware and an update to a lower price model but with “new” hardware the next.

  66. Hector

    Hi Ray,

    Looks like the specs on garmin.com show the FR735XT as smaller than the FR235. Can you confirm this?

  67. Graeme Cowling

    Hi Ray.

    Bought the 235 and love it – my only reservation with the watch is for something which in the UK costs around £250. It does feel slightly cheap to touch. I would argue that my vivoactive feels better put together and sturdier.

    Seems strange that Garmin have used the same exterior for a top tier watch and charged the best part of £100 more (noting the software additions are excluded from the point I’m making).

    In your opinion have you noticed if Garmin’s products have decreased slightly in overall quality feel in the last 12 months? I just remember my previous units feeling more premium and durable.

    Thanks
    Graeme.

  68. Software version 3.10 is available:
    link to www8.garmin.com

    Changes made from version 2.20 to 3.10:
    Improved pool swim distance algorithm.
    Added support for standup paddleboarding and rowing activity profiles.
    Added support for power audio prompts.
    Various Varia Vision fixes and improvements.

    so added some new functions.

    guido

  69. Steve

    Is this not eligible for a 10% discount on clever training?

  70. Kevin

    Ray – any idea on the brightness of the backlight on the 735? The 235 is a great watch, but the backlight is very weak.

  71. Steve

    I have grown to love the 920xt’s WiFi. Easy to update a workout on Garmin Connect, send to device, and Connect to WiFi in lieu of searching for a cable to connect to computer. Also let’s me connect to my gym’s WiFi network for when my phone isn’t around. No firmware updates via Bluetooth connections either.

    The 920’s battery life is just enough. Wish it was longer, but I wouldn’t want less.

    Just wish the 920xt got Varia support so I didn’t need a 520 on my bike as well. I hate leaving my 520 unattended on my bike in race transition areas. With no QRK for the 735, I would still need a 520 for biking data, regardless that the 735 supports Varia. 920 with QRK + Varia support and I’d be all set.

    I’ll be unfortunately waiting for the 930/935xt.

  72. MAGNUS

    These guys are starting to excrete watches now!

    Having had a Fenix3, and now F3HR, I would buy this if it did not have the OHR. I like my F3HR as an everyday watch but would love the smaller form factor and lighter weight of a FR for workouts/races.

    Ray – How likely are they to release a non-OHR variant?

    • Tim Grose

      Suggest use an external HR strap and treat the OHR as a nice to have for a quick of your HR during the day (or night). Also useful if you forget your strap…

    • Tim Grose

      Sorry “…quick check of…”

    • MAGNUS

      Though it is nice to have as a backup.. I still find myself using my strap a majority of the time. I mostly like the oHR for 24/7 HR recording…

      But like BikeNerd suggest, if it didn’t include the oHR the watch would/should be $70-$75 less. Which would make it more enticing for those with a 920/F3.

  73. Jairo

    Does it support any powermeter (Like PowerTap) or only vector?

  74. BikeNerd

    In case any Garmin folks are looking at the comments out here – Hey Garmin! Give us a Non Optical HR Version of this – 730XT (probably) for $350-$375 and a bunch of people will buy it.

  75. Matt

    One of my favorite features is the “Back to Start Mode.” Does the fr735 have it? Can you zoom in on your map like the 910xt? The 920 was lacking the zoom feature and upcoming turn alarm like the FR910, FR310, and FR305 had.

    • Tim Grose

      Yes it has those. Mind you so does the 920 now.

    • Matt

      Thanks Tim.
      Do you know how to Zoom in on the map using the 920xt back to start (BTS) mode as well as set upcoming turn alarm on? It sucks that the map doesn’t automatically pop up in BTS mode.

      The only time I use this feature is when I’m in a hurry to get back to start!

    • Tim Grose

      Back to Start is just an as the crow flies arrow these days.

  76. ATHANASIOS GKIOLES

    It seems to me that there is significant probability that the hardware is exactly the same as the Fr235 and all the difference is in the software. It would make sense from a manufacturing pov. So I can’t help but wonder, what would happen if you could flash the 235 with 735 firmware. Maybe garmin should take the next step to open source and provide the watch as a flash as you prefer solution.

    • The Real Bob

      My friend and I talk about this all the time. Garmin needs to change their model. Focus the hardware on user preferences like size, battery life, weight, etc, then allow users to purchase the software features they want.

      Example, I don’t want the HR but I want the software. So they could offer the 230 and the 235 but allow users to purchase the software they want. Some might only want the running features, some might want biking, some might want it all.

    • Tim Grose

      Unless do you know of some unsupported trick, installing software for other Garmin products on a particular Garmin product is blocked. In any case it probably won’t work anyway. Who knows but the 735 probably has more memory given it can do a lot more.

    • Steve

      @The Real Bob: I just wish they would open source the firmware and let the user community do the software development that Garmin is HORRENDOUS at, or REFUSES to do. Sorta like the old Rockbox firmware for original iPods. Garmin’s Request a Feature website and legal BS is frustrating and useless.

    • ATHANASIOS GKIOLES

      I am sure there are some safeguards to prevent loading different firmware, however I have read, in the garmin forum, of some people who had success flashing different region firmware on their watch (fenix 2 Chinese model flashed with European, if I remember correctly).
      Nevertheless, my experience with garmin myriad of products, is that I hesitated and delayed the purchase of my fr235, because I was constantly weighing the differences of the models while also expecting new ones to pop out. It would make sense for them to produce 4 models :
      1. Sub 150$
      2. 150-300$
      3, 300+
      4. Luxury
      Then charge an extra 50$ to allow for user to use different firmware for the category (unlock bootloader).

    • Steve Reid

      Agreed,

      there are some obvious failings with the implementation of software as Garmin move to a new platform. I good example is the interval/workout mode on the Edge 520 which is far inferior to that on the Edge 500. Not to mention the usability issues of the back light on the 520, again worked without issue on the 500.

      Garmin need to rationalise their hardware portfolio so that they can spend more time polishing their software and producing higher quality user experiences. Rather than wasting time redeveloping the same features for marginally different HW.

      Just look at how Samsung has lost market share in the mobile sector due to poor software and a fragmented user base.

    • What’s wrong with the backlight on the Edge 520?

  77. ekutter

    Seems like there would be virtually no reason to go with a 630 now, unless you really like the touch screen.

  78. kwolana

    simply. WOW!

  79. Frank Peek

    Thanks for the Review. Strange that Garmin hasn’t wifi support on this 735 watch. I like that functionality a lot on my 920xt. So I’m not convinced of the new watch. When do you expect the real successor of the 920xt? Will it be the Fenix4 or 935xt?

  80. Todd

    Ray, wondering if you can comment on any physical differences besides screen size between the 735 and the 235 it’s based on? Would sure be awesome if Garmin would just allow a pay-to-upgrade firmware path to turn a 235 into a 735! (I know you’ve commented on this in the past — I know that’s not gonna happen but just curious if you think it’s technically possible in this case.)

    • Marios

      Ha, this is a very good point. The fact that the 735 doesn’t have WiFi might mean that it is literally the 235 platform with a different FW.

      I would totally pay to turn the 235 into a 735 but at the same time I might just sell my 235/630 and buy a 735…

  81. Rob Montgomery

    Was going to place a preorder but the VIP code didn’t work. Got some weird reply from CT saying there were changes to program but they’d honor the code this order – although if I place the order how am I supposed to have them know they’d honor it?

    I thought I paid $5 originally for VIP, but now it seems to be $20. Is there no “grandfathered” rate on VIP memberships? I’m a bit confused and their email didn’t make a ton of sense. Hoping to hear back from them soon.

  82. Paul S.

    “The Strava Suffer Score support is coming to ALL Garmin wearables that support Connect IQ”. No, not all. Not the Epix. It wouldn’t let me download it.

  83. Steve F

    Why do none of these fitness algorithms include and reference to temperature when it is available on the watch.. There is a big difference between running in 25 degrees and running in 35 degrees. We currently have a heatwave in Bangkok and my KM times and V02 have collapsed. However, I’m pretty sure when the temp drops I’ll be fitter.

  84. Gabe

    Am i the only one that isn’t caught up by the hype here?

    There isn’t anything special or new with this watch that couldn’t get added onto a fenix 3 with firmware.

    It even has worse battery life and smaller screen.

    The screen size i thought would upset people. I’ve used the 630 and it has small text like the fenix 3.

    The 920xt with it’s quad screen actually was a plus over the fenix 3 in terms of readability IMO.

    Anyways it seems like Garmin didn’t do too much aside from using a 630’s body and throw in tri functions with the inaccurate HRM.

    Where are the 3G/LTE band we want?

    Where is voice activated commands so we can just talk to the watch to change pages?

    Where is the longer lasting battery?

    Where are the mature Garmin Connect apps at? start the paid model…

    This is definitely iterative and not innovative as this watch is clearly just a mishmash of products of last year with some ‘new’ (edge had this support already) features.

    • ted b.

      Completely agree…this is the new Fenix 2, re-using old hardware and mashing in features from existing products with a few new features to prod people into purchasing a “new” product. I’ll wait for the 935xt and/ or fenix 4….

    • The Fenix/Fenix2 were slightly different though. They were repeated by a longer timeframe and were designed to appear to be a new product generation.

      In the case of the FR235/735XT, it’s actually more akin to what Garmin has long done for the better part of a decade: Re-use existing hardware for a new model (often times done for golf/marine/aviation/etc..).

    • ekutter

      I’d have to strongly disagree. I’d be all over this if I didn’t already have a 630. This adds some of the main features I wanted in the 630. Courses. Optical HR. Power meter support. Without increasing the size!

      The Fenix has all of these, and more, but there is no way I’m going to wear something that big/heavy as an every day watch. Especially running, I prefer the smaller/lighter device. To each his own in that respect, though. But I know there are a lot of people in my camp that love the size of the 630/735 and that that becomes an overriding consideration.

    • The real Bob

      I have to agree with you. I tried on the fenix, and for an everyday watch it just doesn’t work. The weight as compared to my 230 is a giant negative.

      There are a lot of people like me who aren’t doing an ironman but do all of the sports. We need a light weight watch that can be used for all sports.

      The 230 was so close. The 735 with HR would fit the bill. I know, I am a broken record.

    • The real Bob

      sorry, 735 without HR.

    • TR

      > Where are the 3G/LTE band we want?
      > Where is voice activated commands so we can just talk to the watch to change pages?
      > Where is the longer lasting battery?

      Unless you want to wear a brick, this ain’t happening anytime soon.

    • Gabe

      It’s a matter of time & improved battery tech…

      Ray dIdn’t the “ironman” timex watch come with LTE for emergency contact support?

      Seems like a good sell on Garmin. Fenix 4 LTE that can send a distress signal or auto upload your rides without the usage of your phone.

  85. Bailey

    There seems to be a typo in the comparison tool. In the article you list the FR735XT as $449 (which matches CT), but the comparison tool shows it as $499.

    Also, the comparison tool shows the FR920XT can control phone music, which I don’t believe is true. At least I haven’t been able to figure how to do it, and the manual doesn’t mention that functionality.

  86. Paul

    Hi Ray,

    Quick questions:

    1. Open water swimming with Gps?

    2. Metrics running?

    Thank you!

  87. Ken

    ” FR735XT has a 14hr GPS battery life, less than that of FR920XT/Fenix3″ – Dumb, dumb, dumb!
    Why market something as a tri watch with only 14 hours of battery life when they go up to 18 hours?

    As someone who does 24-hour ultras, I can use a 910/920xt & ONE charge from the Power Monkey to get me thru the whole event but wouldn’t even consider this due to the short battery life. I hope there’s a 935xt coming soon as my 910xt battery life isn’t what it used to be (though I do run it hard & it’s not new so not surprised) & I’m looking for it’s replacement.

    • Tim Grose

      If your 910 isn’t what it was in battery life, I would imagine the 735 would be better. One full charge of a 735 ought to get you past 24 hours as well. There is also UltraTrac mode in a 735.

    • Mr T

      Umm beause there are sprint tris or shorter events. It’s like the pillow saying the marathon is the only running race.

  88. Helena

    I know you said the comparison charts are quite bulky already, but I would really love it if you could add a “continues to track data while charging” option. The 920XT cannot do that (contrary to the 310XT and 910XT which can do that) and it’s the reason I don’t wan’t it. I don’t care about multisport but I do ultra’s and traditionally the triathlon watches were the best choice for that, since they are the higher end watches with the best battery.

  89. Jonesy

    I’ve a 910XT right now. The only reason (other than if my unit breaks down) I see to purchase a new Forerunner is if it is proven to have better position accuracy (better altitude accuracy would be nice, too).

    So, is it? :)

  90. Josh

    Was this the unannounced product you were alluding to the other day while seated next to someone on a plane?

  91. Hi Ray.

    I have one question about the swim workouts. If i set a 10x100m + 10second rest (4 laps) workout. How does the watch know that i finished the 100m to end that portion of the workout? Do i need to press the lap button like i do when i use the pool swim mode (Fenix 3 owner) or the watch detects that there is no new stroke and stops the interval?

    Thanks.

  92. Dr. Matt

    Interesting–I just looked up sizing to compare to my 235. It’s a fraction bigger (by 0.02″) but two grams lighter (40g vs 42g).

  93. Jen

    Does this have all the same functionality as the vivoactive hr? Minus the specific modes like paddleboard, golf, row?

    The VAHR is just too big for me and a round face may be better

  94. Marilyn

    I have a 920XT
    I generally only have two fields showing for largest display
    Eyesight is not what it used to be.
    Is the new 735 smaller display?

  95. Howie Nordström

    Can the FR735XT send HR data to other devices, i.e. the Edge 520 while cycling, or apps, i.e. TrainerRoad?

  96. Mike C

    How does the watch do with indoor workouts such as treadmill and trainer? Also, can you send the HR measurements to a phone so it’ll display realtime on my trainer road workouts?
    Looking forward to the indepth review.

    • Rodger_T

      The 235 (which this is based on) has indoor running & bike modes. I’ve never used the indoor bike mode so can’t comment on that. I get decent results on the treadmill using just the watches accelerometer but a well calibrated foot pod makes a huge difference.

      And the oHRM will broadcast on ANT+

  97. Steven Butler

    Great review. 14 hr battery life? There went my wife’s birthday present. All 3 Ironman finishes were over 14 hours.

  98. Jeff Tanner

    Strava integration is nice, but I use TrainingPeaks and would like to have TP integration since this is a Triathlon watch. I would like…
    – all my pace, power, hr zone data synched btwn Connect & TP
    – TSS score (instead of Strava Suffer) after each workout
    – Workouts in TP integrate / transfer to my Garmin. Would be nice to create more structured workouts in TP.

    Maybe this has already been posted… apologies if that is the case.

    • Joe E

      Not sure what you mean about synching data to TP, but you can do that already.

      Workout transfer between TP and Garmin would be great, but as the workouts designed in TP are not usually structured like Garmin needs them I do not have high hopes for this, but distance and type alone would be helpful.

  99. Emiliano

    Now I sit here for some willing developer to port the 735 firmware to the 235….

  100. Hello, I’m strictly a mountain biker with some indoor training (spin, treadmill, things of that nature.) Which Garmin would be the best for me in your opinion? I already have an Edge 520 but would be willing to switch to a single device if it does it (most of it) all.

    • Paul S.

      What doesn’t the 520 do? You can use it indoors for other activities. It won’t count “steps”, but steps are useless for a cyclist, anyway. The one thing you really don’t want is something wrist mounted on a bicycle, either road or mountain. I never use my Epix for cycling, always my 800 for road and mountain.

      If I were you, I’d simply use my 520 for everything, unless I did enough of something else to warrant a watch separately that wouldn’t replace my Edge. (My Epix is for hiking and cross country skiing, never cycling.)

    • Mark

      To amplify the “What doesn’t the 520 do?” idea: While the 520 may not be the ideal device for these other purposes, it’s still perfectly fine for the occasional run, hike or walk. I have even used my 520 to track our course during sailing races.

  101. Julien

    So many Garmin announcements and no new Edge yet :)
    So sad – but that watch does look good
    Dont understand why there is no altimeter – kind of a killer for the bike I think… even if it has the power meter compatibility.

    I am with Ray – I like a good watch and a good device for the bike. So this one would not do it for me
    I use the Vivoactive HR as a running watch and an Edge 800 on the bike for now. And I can use the Vivoactive on rental bikes when I travel with the Altimeter.

    Anyways… just venting – I want a new Edge since the Elemnt was not going to cut it for me.

  102. Micchei

    WITHOUT barometric altimeter???
    Ehi Ray, please write it in the title so we know we don’t need to read anything else!

    • If I wrote everything in the title, then it would be paragraphs long.

    • Believe it or not, for A LOT of people the pressurebased altimeter makes no difference whatsoever.

    • ekutter

      I actually keep going back and fourth on barometric pressure and if I want it. The biggest thing it buys is accurate ascent calculations. But for actual current elevation, my GPS based altitude is almost always more accurate. BP altitude drifts and can easily be off by more than 100′ on both my Edge 810 and Epix, and then stays there. The current GPS elevation on my 630 is generally within 30′, but can quickly swing between 30′ too high to 30′ too low, messing up the ascent calculation.

    • Paul S.

      As you probably know, that’s a big bug with the Epix which will likely never be fixed. (Mine drifts 100 ft high after initial calibration and then stays there.) I was unaware that the 810 had the same problem. My Edge 800 stays within about 50 ft at most of the correct elevation. I have GPS elevation as a data field on my Epix, and it’s almost never within 30 ft of the actual altitude; typically, it’s about 100 ft high or low, sometimes more, and it will drift back and forth around the correct elevation over time.

      It’s a shame, because they had this working right on the Fenix 1. Once calibrated, it stayed near the correct elevation almost always, and it was almost never necessary to calibrate it with auto calibration on. Sometimes I think Garmin throws away working code and replaces it with new, untested stuff written by trainees.

  103. Romain Apert

    Any views on likeliness for Varia Vision to get integrated into Fenix 3 suite & 920XT ?

  104. BikeNerd

    the way I look at it: FR630:FR230 = FR635:FR235 = FR930:FR730 = FR935:FR735. No I am sure Garmin will release some if not all missing parts to the puzzle (or some variation of them), i.e., FR635, FR730, FR930 & FR935, in the near future.

  105. max

    Nice review, I was just looking into getting a new watch (upgrading from a 910XT) with a wrist-based HRM, but the battery life on the 735XT is lower than I’d like. It also looks like because there’s no barometric altimeter, the altitude over bridges drops to zero, making the climbing elevation inaccurate; at least this is what I’ve seen on the 235. Any comments on it?

  106. giorgitd

    Very interesting. I have no interest in the OHR, but some of the calculated metrics are appealing. Since I am a relatively new owner of a 920XT (Dec 2015), I’ll be quite disappointed if these software-only updates (excluding the Strava suffer score) don’t get to the 920XT. There’s a real business model balance here. If Garmin is essentially saying – yeah, we *could* update the 920XT (18 mos since release), but we choose not to do that to encourage you to buy the 735XT – some will do that, of course. Others will buy Suunto or Polar next time. Not that those manufacturers will/will not update their products for a greater period, post-initial release. It’s the principle of the seller-consumer relationship. These high-end multisport devices are NOT intended (by me, anyway) to be replaced every year or two. And I get the likely comparisons with computers, cars, other devices that are expensive and have an annual-ish refresh cycle. The issue here is that, AFAIK, the 920XT *could* be upgraded with some of the calculated features of the 735XT. Should Garmin choose not to provide this update controls (in part) my customer ‘relationship’ with them.

    • Tim Grose

      Should also be borne in mind that older devices may well have insufficient resources to add new features. Always best to buy a device for it does when you buy not what you hope it might get.

  107. Dr. Matt

    For someone that uses the FR235 for run/bike and Garmin Swim in the pool, I would love this (it’s so annoying to switch watches and I hate not having BT for the swim). I wish this was simply a software upgrade I could pay for my 235 given its essentially the same hardware. I guess I need to figure out how to return/sell my 235 (it was a gift) and see what the market is for the garmin swim. I also just pulled the trigger on an edge 520, but now thinking I should get this and see how much I miss having a head unit.

    • Benoit

      This ! I’m pretty sure if someone could jailbreak the Garmin Software (which shouldn’t be too hard I guess) we could flash the software of this watch onto our Fr235 without an issue…
      This kind of artificially capped software is quite outraging really…

  108. Bill Wood

    Hi Ray, does the 735XT provide “Training Effect” with the optical HR sensor? Or with a chest strap?

    • Rodger_T

      Since it’s based on the 235 it should give a TE with either.

    • Bill Wood

      Thanks. I thought I read that TE doesn’t work with optical sensors because they don’t track intervals between beats properly, or something like that?

    • Tim Grose

      Can confirm that you get a TE value with just optical HR on a 735.

  109. Craig

    I’ve always wondered if the Garmin multisport watches had a duathlon mode? anyone know if it supports run-bike-run?

    • RobHug

      You have to manually set it up, but yes it can support run-bike-run.

      On my 920 I’ve got swim-run and run-bike-run set up.

    • John Bergquist

      Like RobHug, I use my 910XT for duathlon (I don’t swim well). Easy to setup and use, one less thing to monkey with on race day. :)

    • Josh

      With my old 310xt (which I just liked) you programmed how your multi sport activity ran. So for example Wildflower Triathlon has had to modify its race course due to the California drought. So right now it is swim, run, bike, run. You just program that into the watch and it automatically rolls into the next leg with a press of the lap button.

      I’m picking up a used 910xt soon to replace my 310.

  110. Luca Massetti

    Hi Ray,
    Thanks for the review. I just bought the garmin 735xt from clever training but the do not apply your discount code.
    Not a big problem but I would prefer to get it or buy it somewhere else as I bought it on clever because of your great blog!

  111. arnold68

    I def want to replace my new running watch for a new one with a optical hr sensor but also with touchscreen. My two bikes currently each have a small cateye unit. I am opting to replace the units by one edge 520. So a tri-watch could be an alternative but the 735xt has no touchscreen .So i’ll stick with my plan to buy a edge 520 and wait for a specific running watch with optical hr sensor and touchscreen

  112. Mike

    Ray, I think you’ve made a little mistake:

    Adds in FTP determination while cycling (on Fenix3, but not FR920XT)

    I don’t think that the Fenix 3 can do FTP determination (certainly not listed in this epic change log link to www8.garmin.com) nor in your table further down the article.

    Thank you though, thoroughly enjoyed reading about this device.

    • Thanks, fixed! Thought I had fixed it already, but appears I fixed it in the chart but not that text.

    • Mike

      I suppose the follow up question is: do you expect FTP testing to come to the Fenix 3?

      And thanks again man, your site and reviews rock.

  113. Brian

    I do not understand why you would buy this watch over the Fenix3 HR other than size? It seems the Fenix3 is exactly the same but adds a barometer and the ability to support additional activities.

    Size is a big deal, don’t get me wrong–but am I missing something major here?

  114. Patrick

    Emailed Clever Training about the VIP discount and they claim that their revised terms of the program do not allow for a discount on the 735. Extremely unhappy – and suspicious – about this and will definitely cancel my pre-existing VIP membership and take my business elsewhere.

    “Thank you for contacting Clever Training. We recognize that you are reaching out to us due to the VIP program not applying a discount on the Garmin 735XT. We apologize for any inconvenience as this is a recent change to our VIP Program in order to comply with pricing restrictions from Garmin.”

    • Harvey

      Seems a bit extreme to punish the retailer for enforcing a policy set by the manufacturer.

      Don’t know if you’ve ever managed or worked in the retail field, but there are some manufacturers who have the market clout to get away with telling retailers they are not allowed to discount some or all of their products, either for a set period of time or forever. Doing so runs the risk of losing those product lines.

      If you’ve had other issues with Clever Training, then by all means punish them with your spending decisions. But if this is the only ‘offense’ and you buy the same product elsewhere, you’re not actually punishing anyone who had agency in that price-restriction decision.

    • Matthew B.

      Except, people paid money to signup for the “VIP program” for express purpose of getting that discount, specifically on items Garmin deemed that the standard promo code wouldn’t work on. That’s literally the point of the program (yes, there is also “prioritized shipping” and a special customer service line, but those are mostly just to give the program more glitz, not why people are buying the program).

      I understand there is likely confusion on Ray’s end (and possibly even Clever Training), but some sort of official response would be the right thing to do. The people who buy from Clever Training and bought VIP are the people that financially support this site.

    • Hey guys-

      First off, thanks for the past (and present) support via Clever Training. And apologies for the delay here. There has indeed been a new change in Garmin policies that have impacted the FR735XT, as well as other new Garmin products – in terms of the 10% DCR Discount at Clever Training.

      Here’s the ‘official’ statement from Clever Training:

      “Clever Training has been forced to make some changes to their VIP program in order to comply with new manufacturer pricing policies (specifically Garmin). At this time, select items are no longer allowed to receive an instant discount via coupon code or the VIP membership. Clever Training is actively working on an updated program that will provide new benefits to DCR readers and comply with these new manufacturer restrictions. We hope to be able to have in place updates by the end of the month. Along with the other benefits of the VIP Program, keep in mind that thousands of items are still eligible for the VIP discount. Clever Training is actively working roll this new program out and is committed to taking care of DCR readers. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to their VIP department vipsupport@clevertraining.com and they will do whatever they can to assist.”

      Looking at the drafts shown to me tonight, I suspect that folks will be pretty happy with the solution CT is putting in place. It’s just going to take a couple weeks for all the technical testing to finish.

      Again, bummed that it had to get this complex. But I think it’s just a temporary bump in the road.

      Thanks again for the support!

    • Oh, and just to clarify – this change doesn’t impact any non-Garmin products. All of those are just fine and dandy using the existing DCR 10% Coupon code – DCR10BTF.

    • Matthew B.

      Ray,

      Thanks for the response. I understand it’s outside of Clever Training’s control, but according to the messaging on other sites (heartratemonitorusa.com noted April 20th), it appears that this was something they were notified of for almost a month and failed to mention it or send an update to their current VIP members, leading to a sort of cluster with the 735XT launch.

      I’m assuming they’ll be implementing some sort of “automatic rebate system” based on your language (using “instant discount”), which seems like a pretty good way to get around the MAP and similar to what REI does (although you have to wait for the annual rebate on it).

      Overall, I understand Garmin’s position — MAP enforcement protects smaller retailers who can’t afford to offer a 10% off MSRP discount or manage some sort of “VIP program” — but it still just sucks all around.

      Regardless, thanks for everything you do and hopefully the solution works out very well.

    • Thanks Matt-

      They believed the tweaks they made ahead of the changes satisfied the new requirements. And that appeared to be the case with the Vivomove launch last week. So for 11 days it seemed fine.

      Garmin decided otherwise late Wednesday evening this week. Unfortunately, retailers are not permitted to ask for clarifications to Garmin of the MAP policy, as that itself is actually considered a violation of the MAP policy and a retailer can be punished.

      Hopefully though, the upcoming changes should take care of things and get stuff back to normal. Appreciate the support!

    • Don

      Great review, Ray, as always! I’d like to purchase the tri-bundle (to replacing my aging 910XT) from Clever Training to support you. Any update on the status of the CT / DCR program change roll-out? Thanks!

  115. JimH23

    Open water GPS tracking like the 920xt and Fenix? Thanks!

  116. arnold68

    the garmin website tells me that this watch has a touchscreen. That’s the opposite of your information

    link to buy.garmin.com

  117. Sean Callow

    It’s a pity it doesn’t have quick release as most triathletes like to have the data in front of them on the bike which basically means that they’ll need an additional computer with them

  118. Torbjørn Høstmark Borge

    I tried to find information regarding the screen, but no success. Is it the same plastic screen, or have Garmin advanced to using a glass screen?

  119. Rob Montgomery

    Welp, it was a good run. Seems like the days of 10% of Garmin watches at Clever Training are over. Unless I’m mistaken.

  120. Kelli Trudel

    Hey DC – Praise GOD!!!! You had this review. Has it been 2 years already? So, I am a triathlete, is this it for another 24 months, or is something else coming out in October. I am trigger, Paypal sensitive, so please consider my checkbook :)

    Thanks again!

    Best,
    Kelli

    p.s. – Not sure if you are still in France, but will be heading to Challenge Venice if you are going to be around!

    • Kelli Trudel

      One last question – with the 735 now pair with the Tanita BC1000?

      Thank you!

      Love,
      Kelli :)

    • No connection to ANT+ weight scales unfortunately.

      (And unfortunately not headed to Venice again soon – though, was just there two weeks ago!)

  121. amadeus303

    DC – does the Varia Vision support allow for all activity metrics to be communicated to the HUD? In other words, could I use the feature while running (e.g. to monitor my HR, distance, etc.)? I’m not really interested in the 735XT as I am in the potential of the application of Varia Vision.

    • Martin Perry

      That’s exactly what I was wondering too, however the release notes for the latest Varia Vision update released yesterday do confirm it:

      link to www8.garmin.com

      ◦Support connection with Forerunner 735XT.
      ◦Support HR gauge page and Running Dynamics page.
      ◦Add new data fields for Forerunner 735XT. TE, Vert. Osc., GCT, Vert. ratio, GTC balance, step length, run cadence, 24-HR temp. high/low and performance condition.

      So you can see the running dynamics and HR now…this makes it a pretty cool running gadget now :)

    • Martin Perry

      Oh but now they need to add support to the Fenix 3 HR so I can use it :)

    • Martin Perry

      Ray, how about strapping the Varia Vision on a going for a run with the FR735XT for the review, would be great to hear your experience with this, sounded like from your review of the Varia Vision the mount was pretty solid

    • Yup, as part of my review I will definitely cover that.

      I may do try and put together a video on it sometime this weekend. We’ll see.

  122. John Bergquist

    Ray, any thoughts on if/when Garmin will drop the price on the 920XT? I ask, because the clearly the 735XT is meant to replace it…which is further evidenced by the fact that the 920XT doesn’t show up on the Forerunner splash page anymore: link to explore.garmin.com

    Thanks!

  123. Jonathan

    Ray – it’s kind of been alluded to in various posts, but what’s the watch’s suitability as a daily casual wear watch from a battery life standpoint? (I hate taking multiple watches while traveling.) I have a Fenix3 which gives me about a week’s use between charges with daily wear and typical workouts (2-3 hours daily) and works well for a workout daily watch except for its massive size.

    • Gabe

      it’s pretty ugly to wear as a daily..

    • Tim Grose

      Been wearing a 630 all day and now this just fine. Hardly know it is on. Handy for Smart Notifications and telling the time of day!

      I tend to charge my watch daily (so am always ready to go). I suspect it won’t last as long as your Fenix 3 without charging.

  124. Tom

    Amazing how many people think this is a stupid watch no one will buy because it is not perfect for them!

    1: Not everyone does full ironman and ultras, so 14 hours may be sufficient for those that stick to half-iron or less
    2: Size & weight matter: I imagine this appeals to most women and some men that have even tried on a Fenix or 910/920 and couldn’t get over how huge it was.
    3: Price matters: This is 25% ($150) cheaper than the Fenix 3 HR, the only other Garmin tri watch with built in HR.
    4: Altimeter isn’t a necessity for everyone: It’s certainly nice to have, but my training doesn’t rely on perfectly accurate elevation, so slightly less accurate satellite based elevation would be good enough for me and some others.

    I’m very happy with my Fenix 3 (non-HR), but I’m excited that in a couple years my next watch will likely be more functional and significantly smaller/lighter.

    • John Bergquist

      I concur; I’m a male with small wrists, and the 910XT, and 310XT before that, are/were huge on my wrist. Tried on a friends 230 today and I love the form factor. Can’t wait to get this one!

  125. Jeff Tignor

    I wonder if the 735xt will have the same connectivity issues people are having with the 920xt and the Stages power meter. It’s so frustrating.

    • amadeus303

      I’ve never had any connectivity issues with my 920XT or Fenix 3 and Stages PM. Are you on the latest firmware for both watch and PM?

    • Jeff Tignor

      Yep, I am fully up to date on both with the newest version of the Stages pod. I have no issues when using the quick release kit, but the second I put the watch on my wrist – nearly constant drop outs.

  126. mark boyce

    does the Varia Vision support work whilst running? have you run with it?

  127. Giles E Endicott

    Can hr be broadcast from it, ie to my edge when I’m on the Bike leg?

  128. Eric

    I am assuming the 14 hour GPS is with the optical HR on. Will be GPS life improve with the optical off? I for one probably am leaning towards the watch but will never use the optical.

  129. Greg

    Does it have the same 90’s Casio backlight of the 235? It was such a turnoff on how poorly it lit the screen in the dark that we returned it.

  130. Lelah

    You must be swimming in a pool that has a water polo team.

  131. Mike S.

    Meanwhile Polar has announced … GoPro integration.

    yay…

  132. DALE WILLIAMS

    For lap swimming purposes only, Garmin Swim or Garmin FR735XT?

    • Harvey

      735XT. You may only swim now, but you may change your mind later.

    • Dale Williams

      Harvey – Thanks.

      Osteoarthritis has eliminated running and cycling. Won’t be getting into those things.

    • The thing is, I love my little Garmin Swim. Mostly because you can just leave it in a swim bag for basically a year w/o changing the battery. Of course it doesn’t connect to a smartphone, but if you leave the ANT+ stick in your computer, then once you bring your gym/swim bag back home it’ll sync if it’s in the same room as it.

    • Tim Grose

      Also depends if you are interested in activity tracking, smart notifications and just the convenience of connecting to a phone for uploads compared to the old ANT stick. Plus I killed my Garmin Swim when failed to seal it properly after inserting a new battery correctly and jumped into the pool regardless. That user error is not possible with a 735!

  133. Jon Palmer

    Do you imagine there will be a non optical HR version, guess it would be the 730xt, for those of us that are more than happy to wear the heart rate strap?

    • Tim Grose

      I will still wear a HRM strap with this when doing actual activities – will likely be more accurate and anyway all the dynamics and performance features won’t work otherwise. OHR is handy though for quick check of your HR whenever you want plus RHR overnight plus of course handy if you forget your strap one day.

  134. Igli

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks so much for the review! I noticed on Amazon that the watch doesn’t ship to Canada yet, any reason why?

    Thanks,
    Igli

  135. Barry D.

    Surprising release especially with being available now. Still milking my 910XT for all its worth. Probably would still upgrade to the 920XT at the moment if I were to do so. Really like having a quick release option in a race since I have gotten used to that now and am unwilling to fork out money for a bike computer and a new watch.

  136. Russell Herbert

    Does this unit support the STRYD power meter in run mode? Any plans you know of for this function? Thanks!

    • No, not yet.

      Garmin says the Connect IQ update to allow Stryd and others to record extended sensor data is slated for summer (it’s been delayed previously).

  137. Paul

    Hi Ray,

    Any thoughts on how/if Garmin will be designing a quick release kit for the Fenix 3 HR?

    Also, do you think the Vivo Radar and lights, etc will be compatible with the Fenix 3 HR with future updates? It seems to be too new to have “things missing” already I believe…

    Thanks for your great reviews!!

  138. Ian Hall

    Would the battery life improve past 14 hours if you were to disable the optical heart rate, perhaps doing something like using a heart rate chest strap?

    • Likely, just not something I’ve had a chance to test yet.

    • Lee R.

      Seems like that would be marginal gains only. With 11 days in OHR/Activity tracker mode only, the power consumption of the OHR is pretty low. Garmin says you can get 24 hours in UltraTrac mode and no OHR, so that creates your boundary condition. Maybe an hour or two extra with the OHR off?

  139. Daniel Sim

    Ray, how thick is this model compared to the rest? Is it the same as Fenix 3HR? You used to have a picture comparison for most of the watches you’ve reviewed, hope you can bring that back.

    • I typically include more detailed size/comparison rolling pin pics in my in-depth reviews. But I’ll try and get some added over the next few days.

  140. Steve Reid

    Seems to me that this is a running watch for people that do the occasional triathlon. Without barometric Altimeter it really doesn’t make a compelling cycling / do anything watch. the Fenix 3 costs more and does everything but is a bit cumbersome for triathlon.

    I still think there is a strong market for the 900 series. Those of us who primarily focus on long course triathlon and need all the battery power we can get for some of the tougher races.

  141. Ben J

    DC – Does the 735XT support multiple bike profiles?

    • John

      Ben, bike profiles have gone the way of the dodo bird. Garmin has switched over to sensor pools. And, yes, that makes it more difficult to track mileage on a per-bike basis but it is easier to just grab your Garmin and whatever bike and go.

  142. Swimnbike

    FWIW, if you do not have a paid Strava account the Suffer score does not show .. (anymore?)

  143. Rachel

    Does the DCR10MHD coupon code no longer work at Clever Training? I tried it for several different watches..

  144. Daryl

    Two questions I didn’t see yet in your comments.
    First, is the “climbing screen” that feature you demoed where the watch automatically detects climbing and switches to different metrics? (And in your demo of it, inverted the screen colors, too.) That seems like a cool feature, and fairly lame to leave out.

    Second, any idea of whether or not this watch can charge while recording? The battery life is short for ultras, but that’s ok if I have a solution that works.

    Thanks!

    • The climbing screen requires a barometric altimeter, which this lacks.

      It should charge with recording (like the FR230/235/630), I’ll validate that once my production unit arrive tomorrow (assuming it doesn’t get caught in customs).

    • Mike Richie

      How about the charging clip on the back while wearing it as a watch. The vivoactive magnetic charge clip works fine while wearing it as a watch, but I’ve heard the clip on the vivoactive HR, not so much (besides,obviously, rendering the optical hr useless/unreliable)

    • Tim Grose

      Just tried this – the clip does not cover the sensor but the OHR does seem to cut out when you connect to a power source. Also with the clip on light does rather get in between the sensor and your wrist which will make for lousy readings anyway. Maybe it just does not work like this.

  145. Martin

    Thx for another great review. I recently bought the FR235, but have found the optical sensor to be completely useless, because the watch will pair with random chest straps worn by others n my running group. I feel like Garmin took a leap 20 years back with this automatic pairing feature, as it is now worse than when sensor signals were not coded (but then at least the watch would only pivk up signals from same-type watch sensors; i.e. a Polar watch would not pick up a Suunto sensor).
    This means that the optical heart rat sensor is completely useles when running in grous or racing(!).

    Did Garmin change this very odd behavior in the firmware for the FR736??

    Best
    Martin

    • From my experience it’ll pair with the first chest HR strap it sees, then stop pairing with others after that.

      One trick to get around that is to simply accept that first strap, but then in the settings go ahead and set the strap to ‘disabled’. It then acts as a blocker. Wonky, I know.

    • Martin

      If that works – will check when I get home from work – then I am one happy camper!

      I have searched everywhere (almost) on the internet, and talked to Garmin Support several times, but did not find this solution before now!

      I guess I will have to hurry and cancel my order for the 735xt now :-)

      THANK YOU!!!

    • Yeah, it’s super-annoying to me as well, as when I’m testing an optical HR sensor Garmin watch I have to triple-check that it hasn’t paired itself to one of my chest or other ANT+ straps. I eventually figured out the trick is simply to let it pair, then disable it. Enjoy!

  146. Anders F.

    Thanks for the hands-on and for keeping us updated! I have since 2009 owned the lion’s share of Garmin fitness Watches aimed for running/multisport. I have been using a 920XT since it was launched but also several others in parallel depending on activity and I now own a Fenix 3 HR, FR225 (which I will sell) and a Vivosmart HR.
    I see a clearly positive development of the Elevate sensor since it was launched and I now think it, at least, is on par with the sensor in the FR225 (used for running). Can you please give us your view of the development of the Elevate sensor so far as well as future limitations since it is now being implemented in all new devices?

    • I think at this point we see them still continuing to work on the current Elevate generation. I assume down the road they’ll eventually have something they call Gen2 (if for no other reason than marketing). I don’t know if that’d be a this year, next year, or 2018 thing.

      However, other optical HR companies have talked to more advanced metrics that could be gathered down the road (ala Basis), but nobody has really done that in concert with a sensor that works well in sport.

  147. Gary Thwaites

    Hi Ray,

    Does you know if you can charge on the go? 14 hours isn’t a problem for me if I can charge and run at the same time. Also, can you upload and follow a course like you can in the Fenix 3? I have seen screen shots of 920 uses following a course so I’m hoping you can do it on the 735.

    Thanks,

    Gary

    • It should charge with recording (like the FR230/235/630), I’ll validate that once my production unit arrive tomorrow (assuming it doesn’t get caught in customs).

    • Tim Grose

      Yes that works fine.

    • davy

      I use my 920xt to follow courses, works fine except… you can only create the courses on garmin connect by drawing on a map or by using an existing activity (from yourself or someone else) and converting this to a course. You cannot drop a gpx on the watch or upload it. ok, you can but this takes some work (convert gpx with a third party site like gpsies, upload this gpx as a fake garmin activity, convert this to a course and delete the fake activity)

  148. Hussam

    Ok, if this watch is EXACTLY identical to the FR235, would any hacker explain how I can flash my FR235 with the FR735XT firmware? I just bought the FR235! Would love to have the multi-sport feature.

    • I haven’t seen any indication that anyone has ever successfully changed firmware versions between different models on a Garmin unit (there’s one reported case of changing the region, but that’s quite different than cross-model).

  149. nachovica

    Hi Rai
    Do you see any chance to get some of the new metrics in existing FR 630 watches through a firmware update?
    Hardware of this watch should be capable of handling them
    Best regards
    Nacho

  150. Daniel

    Thanks for teh review Ray!

    Just one question: owning a Fenix3 I got very upset when I was trying a FR235 because of the long reaction time going through the menue and the menue itself on the FR235. Has this improved on the FR735XT?

    And another one: any ideas when Garmin will support the use of multiple devices on one account?

    Thanks
    Daniel

  151. Victor

    I’m surprised that WiFi is missing in recent models. Do you expect this will continue?

    • I’ve unfortunately given up trying to figure out which models get WiFi and which ones don’t. I’d agree that given this is $50 more than the FR630, I would have expected WiFi.

      On the flipside, if they were just re-using FR235 hardware, it lacked WiFi, hence a reason why they didn’t include it. The challenge with re-using hardware is to not get caught up in saying “just one more minor change”, because the more you do that the less optimized your production line becomes. Of course, whether those production line losses could be offset by more purchases is the real question.

    • Mil

      I can live without wifi if it supports BTLE Smart synchronizaion via a mobile phone – I assume it does?

  152. Pieter

    Great watch, so hope they will lose the flat tire screen in future forerunners and make it round. I know it’s just aesthetics, and therefor also personal.

  153. Hello Ray, Hello all,

    it is me again :-) Still wondering about “independent lap timer” in Triathlon Mode. Can this device or ANY OTHER (Triathlon) Watch, show and record lap times? As far as I understood, as soon as I press “Lap” the watch jumps into the next disciplin (e.g. from bike to transition). In my case, I will have 4 laps in the bikepart of my triathlon. At the beginning of the next lap I need to find out how long my previous lap took. My old Polar 720 does it (but misses power/wattage and a triathlon mode)…. Any suggestions/Ideas?

    Thanx

    • It can use auto-lap within the triathlon mode, but you can’t do secondary manual laps within triathlon mode. So in your case, if the lap is a set distance, then you could simply program that distance in as the auto-lap length, which would kinda work. It might not be perfect though, as it would depend on how close the accuracy of the unit got to your exact course (or even how accurate the course was measured).

    • Steve

      Garmin shoul utilize a long press of the lap button to switch multisport activities. This will allow use if manual laps, allow use of planed workouts during multisport workouts, and also minimize the chances of premature activity changes that screw up a workout, e.g.wetsuit doffing.

      Stupid Garmin Request a Feature failed me again! Ray- maybe you can push it forward?

      Open source the firmware so we’ll have no complaints!

    • Exactly what I need. Like my Polar -> A long press to switch activity/jump to next programmed workout part…and a short press for a lap (marker).
      Currently this is the main reason I am not buying any of those “new” triathlon devices (Forerunner 910 or 920, Ambit3 etc….). Can Suuntos Ambit3 do that?

    • Su-Chong Lim

      Never thought of that, but yes that would fix a lot of my gripes with my flawed but mostly reliable old 910 XT. Don’t really appreciate the extra bells and whistles of the newer models — mostly unnecessary fluff that give the illusion of precision but not the precision itself or the usefulness in honing your skills or race monitoring.

      Does Garmin really listen or give a rat’s ass to “User’s Desired Features or wanted Improvements”?

    • We’ve seen some of the long-hold stuff come to fruition on the Fenix3 actually. I agree it’d be great (in more ways than one actually, also just for workouts too).

      It’s something I plan to discuss a bit in my FR735XT review (my desire for such a feature).

      As for Garmin listening, they seem to. But with a million+ users presenting ideas, something has to give.

    • Eli

      Does seem like Garmin could try and use other inputs to control the UI. Could even have direction to the tapping mean something so tapping the left, right, bottom, top, and above be interpreted differently.

      From the top could be used to turn on the backlight. Well, double tapping to keep accidental turn ons from happening. The sides could be used to switch pages. The reason for this is tapping the watch while running would be easier then aiming for a button for a button press, yes there is a high risk of an accidental tapping so this functionality should only be for minor things that don’t matter much (i.e. not stop and start and the like)

  154. Michael

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for all the great reviews. I was hoping you could clear something up for me. In your review of the Fenix 3 HR you say the lactate threshold test works with the optical HR sensor, but here you seem to say it doesn’t, has there been a change? My apologies if this is answered elsewhere.

    • Tim Grose

      If you try to start the guided test on a 735 without a HR strap paired it says “Chest HRM Required” and so does not let you. Not sure about the Fenix 3 HR but strange if different as the algorithms used are going to be the same on both devices.

  155. Satish

    Does this watch have ‘drill mode’ as part of the swim functionality? Didn’t see it specifically mentioned above.

  156. Alex

    Something went wrong with c&p..
    Why do you say you’re only giving “half credit” to the F3HR optical variant ??

  157. Ben

    I think this is the new best watch for runners. It’s essentially the 635 that I wanted to see. Lightweight, with optical HR and the option to chuck on a HR strap for running dynamics.

    • Su-Chong Lim

      Except that the Optical HR feature may not be as reliable as one would want, for running, according to Ray. How to accurately describe the reliability of a feature to the general audience is tricky. I don’t have any Garmin OHR products, but I have Mio FUSE and Mio LINK; I understand they were the early OHR developers, and if this is so, they ought to be setting the standard. Anyway, when I run, at low speeds they track HR ok, but when I pick up the cadence, some mismatch with the optical artefact of my arm swing, and my rising HR creates a nonsense value for HR. If I notice this in time, I can run with an artificially stable platform on my left (Mio installed) arm, i.e. holding on to my T-shirt front and not swinging my arm until the HR value locks on to the correct range, and then if I’m lucky some sort of internal error correcting software (maybe remembering mean HR range for this session, I don’t know) kicks in and I’m ok for the rest of the run. But it’s largely hit and miss, and annoyingly unreliable, and I only use the Mios for running if I have to. It seems a difficult technical problem to overcome. I don’t know if the Garmin implementation of OHR is any better. Using the Mio units while biking (no swinging arms) has been much more reliable and successful.

    • Ben

      I haven’t used the Mio products but have found the Garmin optical HR to be quite good. When I first got my FR235 I did a number of comparisons against my FR620 with HR strap. For the majority of runs I found optical HR was matching the HR strap spot on. It did struggle a little with fast intervals which Ray’s review also showed, but it has gotten better with firmware updates.

  158. Kyle Shaw

    Thank you for the initial review. I ordered from Clever Training and Fedex says it is on the truck for delivery today. Very excited to try it out!

  159. Loz

    Does this have the metronome feature of the 920xt?

    Also I notice it doesn’t have wifi, does this mean it is back to the computer for software updates, or can they now be made with the blue tooth via the smartphone.

    I also notice that in your chart, you say the lactate threshold test is not available on the 920xt, and is only available on the 735xt with a hr strap, does the built in hrm not work for this function?

    • Tim Grose

      Yes on the metronome.

      Software updates can be downloaded over Bluetooth but it does take some hours and it’s “silent” in that you can’t really see it is downloading one. If you hear of a new update and want it straight away best to connect to a computer.

      I believe you need a strap for the LT function.

  160. Amy

    Your comparison table shows that the 735xt supports BASIC COURSE FOLLOWING. Does this mean that I can create a Course on Garmin Connect and send it to the watch, then the watch will “guide” me along that course during a run?

    • Tim Grose

      Yes basically with a breadcrumb map. Also there seems a neat new feature where it inserts major turns as course points and gives you the distance to the next one and an arrow with what direction to take.

    • 6co

      Hey Tim, very interesting what you are mentionning here.
      I have run following a pre-loaded course (unknown route in an unknown city while travelling to south africa) for the past 4-5 days, and I have not seen this direction arrow pop up.
      How do you get this? Something special to do while creating the route?
      I hope to get this to work that would be great! btw, does it vibrate when you need to turn?

    • Maputo

      Tim Grose, interested in an answer to this as well
      thanks a lot!

    • Tim Grose

      I created a course on Garmin Connect (either via the course creator or from an activity) and sent it to my 735 using the iOS app. You need to be on the course map page to see the distance to next turn. I think it does beep when you get near the turn but not so useful when running when am looking at the map page to spot the next turn.

  161. Frank

    Is it possible to do a multisport activity with pool Swimming?

  162. Sean

    Just got mine, first Garmin watch. Incredibly disappointed with the backlight (especially compared to the marketing photos). Is this typical, or do I have some kind of defect? I don’t see anywhere to adjust backlight brightness. So dim and the colors are so washed out.

    • Matthew B.

      It’s likely not defective. They’re designed to look awesome outside, not great inside. If you’re comparing it to an Apple Watch, Moto 360, Fitbit Blaze, etc.. you’re going to be terribly disappointed. That said, it’s exceptionally functional in the sunlight.

    • Sean

      Ok, just went for a run and it is much better outside. Sucks inside though, I was hoping to be able to dump the Apple Watch for everyday use.

    • It honestly is going to be hard to say whether it’s defective or not. There are certainly numerous examples of folks getting a lemon FR230/235/630 on the backlight side. Saw one just last week. It’s not frequent, but I suppose the numbers and averages eventually work out that I hear about it.

      So in this case, pics might help. But I’m also aware that getting a pic to accurately reflect what your seeing on a backlight is tricky.

  163. Corri

    I like to see the data out in front of me so I’ll probably keep my Garmin 500 on the bike. If I were to race with both, would the optical sensor in the 735 transmit HR data to my 500?

    • Sean

      I’m curious about this, too. I plan to leave my edge on the bike and use that during the bike (I’m not worried about whatever smidgen of aero/weight penalty there is for a watch AND a computer), but it would be nice to ditch the heart rate strap during races. I’ll probably go computer/strap for biking only.

    • Tim Grose

      The 735 can “broadcast” HR like a virtual strap and so the 500 could pick it up. The “snag” is that the 735 can’t then also record your activity.

  164. Graham

    Ray,

    I’ve never posted a comment on your site, but read it all the time and want to thank you for all you do. It really is a big time investment and you make the triathlon community better for what you do.

    Regarding the 735XT, you said you were going to use it in some upcoming triathlons. I don’t see how you can use it easily since it doesn’t have a quick release. Wearing it on your wrist to me is hard to look at on the bike, non-aero and most importantly, a bit dangerous if you are tired and you are taking one arm off your aero bars. Of course you can, but you increase the times in a race you do that 10-30 times and that is 10-30 more times you get out of your cadence and when you could wobble.

    I am attaching a picture of my bike setup in which I have expoyied on a mount to my Profile Design water bottle after moving the drinking straw to the back hole (the two holes are identically sized) and getting rid of the straw holder thingy. It’s not as good as having a cycling specific unit with a larger screen on training rides, but it works, especially during triathlons and makes me eliminate consideration of any watch that doesn’t have quick release. I’m just surprised that Garmin/triathletes don’t consider quick release a must have.

    I would love the 920XT to get FTP, but not holding my breath…

    • amadeus303

      I don’t think the quick release kit is a “must-have” — I don’t want to be fiddling with taking something off/on my wrist or risking getting it knocked off in a mass swim start. I also don’t want to add more girth to a watch like the Fenix 3 on top of my wrist as it’s already big enough. I personally prefer using a separate bike computer BTA for viewing my HR/cadence/power numbers while my watch records the entire race from my wrist. A few years back, I picked up a relatively inexpensive Edge 500 that I use for racing or riding outdoors. My 920XT and/or Fenix 3 record the activity; my Edge 500 displays the metrics I need to make sure I’m hitting my targets. I used to use the Xlab Torpedo with the mount out front… now I use the Xlab Kompact with the mount on top.

    • As Amadeaus noted, not all consider it a must have.

      In fact, in my configuration I’ve long used a dedicated bike computer on the bike (even during my Ironman events). Many longer distance folks do. So in that case, the tri watch is along for the ride. It’s recording data during the ride, but it’s main focus is swim/run, and then keeping track of the whole event.

      In the case of my two events, that’s even more true: Both are ITU-style draft legal triathlons. So basically, I’ll rarely look at my bike computer during the bike. It’s purely about tactics and not crashing in fast moving bike packs avoiding unmarked potholes in central Paris. Last year the only time I was using my bike computer was glancing at speeds to decide whether to bridge to the next group.

    • Su-Chong Lim

      @amadeus303: exactly my opinion, and exactly my own race configuration, except my wrist unit is a 910XT, which records the whole race, but I don’t look at it during the bike leg (or the swim leg, either, I guess) — but the Edge 500 I have mounted way up front (on a Barfly 1/8 twist mount clamped onto a self designed custom fabricated transverse polypropylene tube attached trapeze style forward of the tips of my aero-bars) in my field of vision has all the 8 data fields I need as necessary, or the 2 large main ones I stare at all the time that I can switch to, plus I have the option to record bike split times, which can’t be done on 910XT in auto tri mode.

      Not sure the 735XT has any significant advantages over the 910XT I can use. I’m doing a full IM in August, so I also don’t like the enforced 14h deadline, although maybe that could be extended if I shut off the OHR — but why buy the watch?

    • Graham

      @amadeus303 and others.

      Very interesting to hear about the setup y’all use. Thanks for sharing. If one is using a separate computer for the bike leg, I can see less of a need for quick release.

  165. Martin

    Anyone connect with varia vision yet? I ordered a vivoactive hr because I was told by Garmin it would ship with firmware to support the vision. Got one and it doesn’t and then within a few days they announce a watch that IS shipping with it. The product lifecycle planning folks need to up their game a bit. I am going with the 735 since it retains some advanced fitness function that I like (vo2, recovery and lactate threshold) I hope to have the unit tomorrow to test with vision and radar.

  166. eki

    Thanks for the hands-off review. Can´t wait for my 735XT. On the comparison chart just one comment. 920xt has a big watch face but display is actually small.

  167. Davide

    Hi Ray, do the 735xt have a built in temperature sensor like Fenix 3 ?

  168. Helen

    Thanks for a great review again
    I am also interested if you can charge on the go like you can with the 310xt . I can’t with my 920xt which is not ideal for an ultra runner!

    • It should be able to, I’ll validate it tomorrow on a production unit (French customs willing).

    • chris gachowski

      Ray,

      I still have an old 910 and I sync that with an ant+ dongle and then “read” the data in golden Chetah.

      Do you know/can you add it to your testing process if the new Garmin devices still can sync over a ant+ dongle? or Bluetooth and keep the Fit file locally? The Garmin manuals all say just use Garmin Connect…

      Thanks
      C

    • It doesn’t sync over ANT+.

      However, when you sync via Bluetooth to your phone the .FIT file is kept there until space is needed. So you can plug it in via USB if you want. Further, you can also download the original .FIT from Garmin Connect. And finally, I believe Tapiriik should still work in syncing that .FIT file from Garmin Connect to Dropbox, so Golden Cheetah can pick it up.

      Also, can’t Golden Cheetah now connect to to Strava for pulls? (Might be imagining that). If so, you can setup auto-sync from Garmin to Strava, and then pull from there.

    • chris gachowski

      Thank you!! Thank you !!!!
      C

  169. Josh

    Ray,

    A bit of clarification please on the HRM TRI and HRM SWIM usage with the 735 please. As I am now learning to swim, and to bike, (I’ve got the running part down real well or as my children would say “super good dad,”), my first triathlon is a sprint coming up in a few months. It will be a pool swim, then a road bike and road run. Can I safely use the HRM TRI strap for all 3 legs as opposed to having to change straps? I imagine this will be less of an issue once I learn to swim in open water. And of course for practice, I understand I should be using the HRM SWIM. Either way, once CT ships this 735 to me I doubt it’ll ever be coming off my wrist. Thanks in advance.

  170. Yanick

    Hi Ray,

    this probably will be in the full review but how long the 745 will work using the hrm-tri in triathlon mode? The 14 hours batterie with the build in hrm is probably to short for many looking to do an Ironman.

    how useful is an barometric altimeter in an multi sport watch? Are they accurate ?

    Thanks Ray

    • I’ll do some non-optical battery GPS tests in the near term. Likely in the next few days, because I’m still using the Vivoactive for that in-depth review for 24×7 HR monitoring, so this one doesn’t need to be on my wrist except for workouts for another few days.

      As for barometric altimeters, it’ll depend a bit. If you’re out in the mountains/etc, then having one can be helpful (though, I’ve also found they can be off more than GPS if not properly calibrated). But for the average person who isn’t glued at the exact elevation data during the activity, then virtually all training logs will correct elevation afterwards in your log for analysis.

  171. gary henderson

    Can someone confirm 100% if this has wifi upload, like Fenix 3.?

  172. fm

    Well, I’ve been reading too many reviews, doing too much research, and now am thoroughly confused. Mostly a runner. I like the forerunner 230, but I often run spontaneously from one urban spot to another and would find it handy to have the wrist HR (I would also use the strap when possible). Am also kind of interested in the 24×7 HR monitoring. So, get the 235, right? BUT, I’m also curious about the additional running statistics that the 630 offers, to improve my form. However, not really interested in touch screen and I just don’t like the 630 much. Along comes the 735XT. It has the features I’ve just described, and is not as big as the Fenix 3 HR so seems great. However, it’s expensive and I don’t expect to do any triathlons in the near future, if ever. For the amount of casual and local biking I do, the 230 suffices (unless I get inspired to take biking more seriously). And swimming is pretty rare too. So I’d be spending an extra $100 or so (above the 230/235) just to get the additional running data, essentially (as far as I can tell). And DC Rainmaker has questioned the accuracy of those additional data. Anybody out there care to offer input? Thanks in advance.

    • Tim Grose

      The “accuracy” is fine is what you do with them is the question really. Then again you could say the same about HR and even pace.

    • josh

      You’ve clearly thought it out well, and if you decide on a 230 I’ve got a gently used one available (currently on ebay) as Im replacing mine with the 735xt, but that is only because I’ve recently decided to take the plunge into the world of traithlon.

    • I think if you’re not going to tri, the 235 makes the most sense for you. If you’re like me, I would spend the time owning the more expensive watch kind of resenting how much it cost for things you’re not using on it.

    • fm

      Thanks for the input Tim, Josh, Randall.
      You’re probably right Randall, although if I never — or rarely — use the Tri features, I don’t think I’d lose a whole lot of sleep over it; definitely might regret the expense, but wouldn’t dwell on it. :)

      But triathlon is not what’s making me consider the 735 anyway; it’s the additional running statistics that it can provide over the 230/35. I’m only now getting more serious about running so I have no idea whether that information would prove useful over the long term. I have run half marathons several times in years past, but never with much intention of going fast (just finishing!). Now I’m beginning to take performance seriously.

      Which basically means I’m wondering if readers/user think the additional running statistics that thee 630 and now 735 can offer (with the different HR strap) are useful? I’m not really going to be competing with elite runners — just fitness and always wanting to do better, as well as a bit curious about all the running science. I know, in the end it boils down to personal preference. Still, if a few people indicated that things like Lactate threshold, Stress score, and whatever-it’s.called when it measures how much you’re bouncing up and down as you run are worth having, then I’d spring for it. (I wouldn’t want the 630 as I’m not keen on the touch screen.)

    • Tim Grose

      Yes they are worth having. I find myself comparing my stats with other people to see how match and whether I can/should change anything. Lactate threshold HR (and pace) is a key metric to know as it is optimum intensity level to do some harder (but not too hard) runs at. As such sounds like the 735 would work well for you.

    • Su-Chong Lim

      I agree Lactate Threshold is a key metric and is ideal to know for effective setting of training intensity in the right settings. But the catch is, how is it derived? I would not trust the “black box number” coming out of nowhere without knowing where it came from (what calculation, from what data, etc). To much room for error. Ideal of course is a treadmill or stationary bike test with power HR and gas analysis. But a reasonable facsimile can be derived by analysis of your own DIY observed HR data over the course of timed runs and races. Too complicated? Well simple answers can hide significant errors, and the work of deriving the data yourself forces you to do the research and understand what the data actually means and what it is to be used for. The underlying concepts are actually not difficult for anyone to grasp, and I would recommend “Jack Daniels Running Formula” and the recommendations of Phil Maffetone. Likewise, I think the calculation of VO2max by a running watch is a subtle concept: the indirect method of calculating the estimate may be useful as a surrogate value for directing your training intensity, as long as you don’t take it literally, and it won’t get you into too much trouble.

    • fm

      Thanks Su-Chong. I guess I was also interested in the bit about running form the 630 and 735 can provide, specifically, if you’re bouncing up and down too much. But what I gather is that that too is a bit gimmicky, and one can save some money by working these issues out on one’s own. Easy to get roped into the “stats race” …

    • Su-Chong Lim

      @fm: I was referring more to the electronic heart rate derived values for VO2 max, Lactate threshold, and calories used etc, which I find no use for at all. I have not used the HR straps with accelerometers giving foot contact time etc, so perhaps I should keep an open mind on them. However, I derive a lot of value from cadence rate as a surrogate for efficient running mechanics, combined with careful self observation and reflection of other real-time data. I’m not sure in my own mind how up and down acceleration information or foot-strike duration would add to one’s knowledge, but I don’t have first hand experience of this yet. My own form has plateaued, or maybe started to decline as I age, and maybe my mind is too overloaded already to gain any useful insight into how to run more efficiently lol.

    • fm

      Thanks again Tim and Su-Chong for taking the time to reply. Very helpful.
      -Fred

  173. tudor

    Hi Ray,

    thanks for the review!
    A quick one regarding the 14h limit – it’s stated with OHR and gps on. What if you add a HRM swim for the ows, a power meter for the IM bike leg and a footpod for the run leg? I suppose those 14h will decrease, but to which extent? What would you say, will it make about 12h? ;-)

    Thanks,
    Tudor

    • Assuming you wore the HRM strap the entire race, it’d actually increase battery (since optical HR is a major draw). But, since it’s the HRM-SWIM (versus the HRM-TRI), that’s probably not super comfortable.

      That said, typically speaking ANT+ sensors have virtually negligible draw on battery life for Garmin head units (maybe 1% at most). Biggest draws are: GPS, Display backlight, and optical HR sensor.

    • tudor

      Hey Ray,

      thanks for the answer ;-). I actually meant the HRM Tri, not the Swim one :-) – but anyway good to know…and really hope that will be the case ;-). I just hope I’ll be able to test this during one of the next weeks ;-)

      Tudor

  174. Stu

    My 920xt just got upgraded to SW version 7.10
    Can’t find any info on what it includes.
    Any idea?

  175. ww

    – software is buggy particularly swim workouts
    – optical HR does not work for swimming
    – optical HR is not accurate enough for some. You still need a dedicated HR strap (doh!!!)
    – butt ugly watch
    – I wonder if the satellite detection speed has got any better than past Garmin devices..??

    • Tim Grose

      Guess you won’t be buying one then!
      My black one looks quite nice to me (after a 305/310/910/920 in “tri” watches perhaps I am easily pleased!)
      Not had any crashes of yet.
      Yeah HR strap required for some features but that’s never been a problem for me.
      Optical HR is great for a check of HR in the day/night and/or if you forget your strap.
      Satellite detection speed has been great on Garmin devices for some years now. This no different.

    • ww

      Why would anyone pay close to 500 bucks for something that’s ‘great for a check of HR… if you forget your strap.’ I pretty much expect it to tell me my HR with confidence.

      My 910XT quite often struggles with satellite acquisition so call me a skeptic on that one.

      As for the looks, yea i guess it’s subjective…

    • A lot has changed in the GPS world since 5 years ago when the FR910XT came out…

    • Su-Chong Lim

      Dull boring me, I run the same route every Sunday round the reservoir with my buddies. The same old GPS red line on the Garmin Connect record doesn’t add anything for me. Except in confirming the distance that I used to obtain by footpod on my late lamented FR60 until it died. I sure miss my FR60: simple, accurate.

      But I gotta admit, visiting my son in London, the FR910XT’s GPS mapping record is really cool — from his place in Clerkenwell, down by Barbican, St Paul’s Cathedral, crossing Thames at Millenium bridge, run up far side to cross back at Westminster Bridge, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, then back on the (North Side) Embankment to Greyfriars Bridge, up Farringdon back to Clerkenwell. And of course the multisport capability, despite its limitations is nice to record Tri races.

  176. Just traded in a newly-purchased Fenix 3hr for the FR 735xt and really glad I did (roadrunner sports doesn’t let you return electronics btw… best to check with who you buy from first!). This is much smaller and lighter than the Fenix. It doesn’t have as many options as the Fenix though – small things like backlight settings are missing, it doesn’t connect over wifi, using your phone’s bluetooth to upload instead, and some of the other menu items that the Fenix has aren’t there. The buttons don’t feel as sturdy either and as DCR said, the screen isn’t as high-resolution, meaning not as sharp and clear as the Fenix. But overall, it’s much nicer to live with, especially for smaller wrists. I will always question if I should have waited for the Vivoactive HR to come back in stock, but I don’t regret returning the much bigger, more expensive Fenix.

    • Gabe

      To all the folks commentating on the (over) weight of the fenix 3…

      Bro do you even lift?!

    • I didn’t say anything about the weight, just the bulk of it. The 735xt is smaller and more comfortable. Doesn’t relate to lifting really.

    • Patrick

      Agreed, Randall. I’ve tried the fenix 3, but since running is my primary activity it hasn’t worked for me as a daily running watch. The 235/735 size and weight suit me better.

      That being said, if Garmin ever comes out with a smaller, lighter fenix 3-style watch (even with less battery life), Id take a look. For now, though, the 735 is exactly what I’ve been waiting for since the 230/235/630 announcement.

  177. Rob

    Ray – Does it have a last lap view?

    Thx

    • Just finished a pool swim with it and didn’t see a last lap time, just swim pace per hundred yards, stroke rate, SWOLF, strokes/Ln, distance and time. “Just”… If there is one it’s in the details uploaded to Connect or deep in the settings.

    • Your last lap time will show up automatically on the rest/timer page. So it would show as ‘Int Time’ at the top (using the default settings), along with ‘Interval distance’.

      You can change this with the screen settings for ‘Rest Screen’.

      (Also just finished a swim with it)

  178. Sam

    just received the watch, have not had a chance to use it but like the small size and light weight

  179. Just found a glitch with the hr sensor. After a swim the hr sensor won’t come back on until you change the activity from swim to something else. It will probably be fixed soon but I thought I broke mine.

  180. matteo

    hi,rainmaker
    on my bike I have the 500 edge without hr strap,
    if i buy the new f 735 can I see my Heart Rate also on the 500 while riding?
    thanks

    • Yes, you can use the re-broadcast option.

    • John

      This may be a dumb question – but how do you get the 735 to broadcast the HR, i cannot find it as an option anywhere?

    • Nadia

      Hi, I have the same problem with finding the Broadcast HR option on the 735. It does not appear to exist. I currently have the Fenix 3 HR and the Forerunner 735XT in my possession. F3HR certainly has the broadcast option (however it does drain the battery on my Garmin 520). I cannot find it anywhere on the 735. I have also searched the user guide with no luck. Any help greatly appreciated as this is my primary reason for purchasing a new Garmin, as I prefer not to wear a chest strap.

    • From the main time screen, press the down arrow until you see the HR/HR graph screen. Then hold the up arrow.

      Within that you’ll see the option to ‘Broadcast HR’. That’s it.

    • Nadia

      Thank you! It works perfectly.

  181. Rob Van Houten

    Ray-What is the weight of the 735XT

  182. Martin

    just got the 735 this morning from amazon. so far so good. really like the size and look relative to the 620 I have been using for the past several years. not having a touch screen will take a bit of adjustment, but I think I actually like the buttons better–more reliable. I had ordered a vivoactive HR before I saw this announced and the 735 feels like a higher quality product (costs almost 2x so it should be of course). the VAHR feels like a beta test vs the 735. setup was glitchy (couldn’t get the software update to work via computer and garmin connect for example). Everything worked with the 735. I paired my chest strap, varia vision and radar and everything setup easily and works. I haven’t done a ride yet, but I can see the data fields and radar on my vision device. Will try it out tomorrow and report back

    • Chros

      Go for a run with the Varia Vision too and let us know how that is. I’m very interested in that.

  183. Libbie

    Does it allow you to add custom actives like the FR630 such as “Cow Tipping”?

  184. Chris Elam

    Any idea if Garmin is planning on selling additional watch bands in different colors?

    • It’s the same watch band as the FR230/235/630 (and a few others I’m forgetting), so you can mix/match with those if you’d like. Lots of random options there.

    • Josh

      Garmin’s website also lists several 735 specific watch bands now. The style of the band differs slightly from that of the 230/235/630.

  185. Ben

    Looking forward to your full reviews of the 735XT and the Vivoactive HR.

    Any heads up on the HR accuracy of the 2? Are they as accurate as the Fenix 3 HR?

    I guess I need to be patient and wait for the full reviews.

    • Expect my Vivoactive HR review mid-late next week. HR accuracy is on par and/or better than when I did my F3HR in-depth review. Still not perfect, but better.

      I’m guessing I’ll do a FR735XT the first week of June (giving me two full triathlon races to use it in).

    • Ben

      Thanks for your quick reply Ray,

      Wow, I’m surprised the HR is as good as the Fenix 3 HR… Seriously impressive. Looking forward to the full reviews.

    • Josh

      Curiously what distance races, and best of luck in both!

  186. Mark Miller

    I’ve had numerous issues with the OHR with the FR235. Basically the same freeze issue that a number of people have reported since the release. It seemed to work very well prior to the 4.2/2.6 update but it’s been broken since. Basically it drops out or freezes at random. Garmin swapped out my first FR235 with a replacement that did the exact same thing. After my replacement 235 frozen I finally spoke to a Garmin CSR Supervisor who arranged an exchange for a 735 instead. We’ll see if it’s any better than the 235.

  187. Lars Wittkowski

    No barometer means that 735xt measures no altitude ? (How can they offer a sports watch without this feature).

    Do you expect a real 920xt successor or do I have to go for fenix 3.

    I do trail running and MTB. Still with my Ambit but want a more modern watch. Any advise ?

  188. Bill Wood

    How many customized data screens can each activity have? How many fields per screen?

    • Tim Grose

      4 main data screens with up to 4 fields per screen,
      There are also other pages you can turn on or off: HR Zone Gauge, Map, Virtual Partner, 2 Running Dynamics screens (well on a run activity profile) with 3 fields per screen where you can choose which dynamics fields to display in the 3 fields, Clock

    • Bill Wood

      Thanks Tim, you have been very helpful! Just got mine and getting to know it. :-)

  189. Eli

    ConnectIQ watch apps and datafields can use twice as much memory on the 735 then the 235 so I’m guessing the hardware (cpu/memory) isn’t the same between the two

    • Tim Grose

      Almost certainly. The physical dimensions are slightly different too although looking at both am struggling to see any discernible difference.

    • Marios

      How do you know that? Is it part of the CIQ SDK info?

    • Tim Grose

      You can configure 3 CIQ data fields per activity profile on a 735 but only 2 on a 235 so implies has more memory.

    • Eli

      If you look at what Ray wrote he seems to imply that this watch is a 235 with different firmware.

      Marios, the Connect IQ SK has a file called devices.xml in the Bin folder. Its interesting to see the memory size differences between devices. Don’t know how to tell the difference in CPU performance though. Someone should write a benchmark app for Ray to run on all the devices.

  190. ian

    I assume if you set it to run mode and go swimming it will try and record your HR. Have you tested this? Do you know how good or bad it is?

  191. Paul Linck

    Man, I just got mine and as a tri watch its amazing. I love my 235 and its basically the same thing with all the tri functionality. Thanks for the write up. But, I am really bummed about no Golf mode and not “Find my iPhone”. The golf thing truly bums me since I was hoping to use this as my vivoactiveHR replacement – i.e. wear it all the time and then I have it just in case I need it for more robust things like biking with Power. In any case, I cant since it does not have golf.

    Any idea if they plan to add golf in a firmware update like they did with the Fenix3? That would be killer for me.

    • Tim Grose

      Would have quite liked golf as well. I wonder if it might appear as Connect IQ app at some point. Seems if you want every feature under the sun you need a Fenix 3 HR but with the bulk penalty. Good news on Find My Phone however as the 735 has that. Goto the Controls widget, hit enter and it is one of the options.

    • ekutter

      I have to third the golf item. I’d almost certainly upgrade my 630. It’d have everything I care about from the Fenix. I won’t get a Fenix as it’s just too big and heavy for an every day watch.

    • Harvey

      I took it the exact opposite way – I figured that since there’s no golf support on the 735, I should just give up the clubs.

  192. Meto

    Ray, when do you expect to have an in-depth review online? I am very interested but want to make sure it will work with the PowerTap P1 pedals and allow setting the crank length. If that works, I’m in.

  193. jmong

    great review thanks.. too bad there is no quick release.

  194. Chris

    Still waiting for Garmin to produce a triathlon watch with accurate pool/ow HR monitor,the fr735,just doesn’t warrant an upgrade yet,I think I stick with my FR920xt…for now!

    • Tim Grose

      Isn’t that the HRM-Swim strap which you can use with this. Seems to be accurate to me.

  195. Ayal Hacohen

    Is Garmin expected to release a touch + wifi version (e.g. based on the 630 rather than the 235)?

  196. runnershigh

    did polar release new stuff this year? Garmin 735xt vs. polar Vxxx…

  197. Guy

    Hi Ray,

    Looking forward to full review as trying to decide between the FR 735XT and the vivoactive HR. Probably leaning to the FR 735XT due to form factor and extra training aids but as a Golfer as well I was wondering if it support Golf?

    Thanks
    Guy

  198. Lee Shackleton

    Hi, one thing that stands out for me in your chart is that the Garmin 735xt doesn’t have wifi? Is this right? For me that is a major drop in connectivity as I love the way my saved runs/bikes upload from my doorstep through Garmin Connect and onto Strava before I’ve even gone through the door? I know Bluetooth is still there but for me there is nothing as smooth as the wifi. But, I want this 735xt, for the girlie attractiveness of the blue strap and the optical HR.

    • Lee Shackleton

      Actually you can ignore me. I just saw someone confirming above that wifi is not in the 735. Wow what a shame. Ta.

    • Tim Grose

      It’s interesting in that the 3 most lengthy “problem” threads in Garmin fitness devices tend to be GPS Accuracy, Optical HR and WiFi. So maybe blessing in disguise. For me WiFi is less than important than Bluetooth as I do a lot of runs away from my front door so the phone app “wins” to upload nearly everything I do.

  199. Extremeliver

    Ray, do you think the 735 is THE upgrade of the 920, or would you expect to see a 935 announced soon. Battery lif is the biggest issue for me in the 735.

    • Tim Grose

      Ray got 15 hours with HR strap. Pretty good to me.

    • Dean Gough

      I wouldn’t think it would be the replacement for the 920 for a few things. Missing barometric sensor, no wifi, and lesser battery life.

      But, funny enough, I know of someone who spoke to a Garmin rep at the garmin booth at an expo in Australia and he said it is the replacement for the 920xt. Also told them it had a 40hr battery life, much better than the 920xt! But, for Garmin Australia, this is no real surprise! I’ve had great service from the support dept, but don’t talk to them for advice on features or models – they don’t have a clue about what they sell.

  200. Robin

    How do you set up the zones for Suffer Score? In the settings for my FR 230, I only see 4 fields. do these correspond to the maximum heart rate of each zone or do they correspond to the minimum heart rate?

    Thanks! Love the work and the pod cast!!

  201. Brad

    If the FR735 has a HR sensor built into the watch, why does it also come with a run HRM? I understand the swim and tri HRM but not the run, am I missing something?

    • Lauri

      Brad:

      Advanced running dynamics are available only hrm-run

    • Cornel

      The built in optical hr sensor is not accurate or responsive enough to be of any use other than at rest or light activity. To leverage advanced hr metrics you need the accuracy of a chest transmitter — at least for the foreseeable future. I own the 735XT and turned the optical sensor off. Could be useful when you sleep at night to get an idea of how low your hr gets.

  202. Lauri

    Lack of barometer is a bummer!
    In my opinion this falls below 630 as there is no way to get correct elevation data. Too bad cause it looks gorgeous and other functionalities seem to be awesome.

    • Tim Grose

      No barometer on a 630 either. TBH never quite see the necessity to have a barometer unless perhaps your main reason for getting out there is vertical ascending and/or you spend a lot time going over bridges. Garmin Connect and Strava both replace the GPS altitude with one from an elevation model which at least means you don’t get any “drift” like say you do from a 920 where it isn’t replaced.

    • Dom

      Good for hillwalking, Tim, especially if you’re taking routes along gorges and the like, where the GPS position can wander because the sky view is poor, and a small lateral displacement can lead to a very large change in the mapped elevation.

    • Tim Grose

      Sounds like a Fenix 3 best for that purpose then.

    • Gunnar

      Yea, barometric drift has always been frustrating, but inevitable with a barometric device.

      Non barometric devices are much smoother when viewing post workout.

  203. James

    How big is the 735 comparatively to the others? I have big wrists and the forerunners don’t really fit me that well, is the 735 a similar strap size to them?

  204. Richard

    Just curious, does the 735XT have all the running metrics of the 630?

    Do duathlons using an FR630 and Edge 520 combo, but considering getting into triathlon. I’m kind of a data geek and the idea of recording swimming intrigues me.

    • Tim Grose

      Yes it does

    • Moshe Cattan

      Hey bro I feel you
      I use the 910xt, some consider it from the stone age but it works well.
      DC has an article of how to use it by triathlons and quick release
      I 920/910 are my advice for triathlons the 910 is $200 cheaper for I would say the same thing as the 920 though the 920 has a newer feel UI

  205. Eli

    Any mention of built in support for Ant+ muscle oxygen or power while running?

  206. sam

    got the 735xt, love the form factor, very light, was excited to use it with varia vision for run as would be nice to not have to look down at watch, went for run and quickly realized issue — weight of the vision made the glasses bounce around and almost fall off. I am going to try with heavier glasses and see if that makes a difference. Otherwise my guess is that Garmin has a line of glasses coming out soon.

    • Yeah, my glasses stayed on during my run with them yesterday (9-10mi), but I agree, it’s a bit weird. It’s great for cycling with Varia Vision, but for running…kinda mixed. If not so much the bounce, that just looking at them as they bounced would almost make you see sick. Good for super-quick glances, but not something to look at for more than a second.

  207. Moshe Cattan

    I’ll stick to my handy 910xt
    By far the biggest bang for ur buck

    • Moshe Cattan

      Forgot to add the quick release is a big thing for me for triathlons. Stick it in my swim cap so i get my gps data and turn it in as I run to the transition. Also the barometric altimeter

  208. jacqueline gaffey

    I bought a Forerunner 735XT from Garmin on Friday to use for the Ultra Trail Australia 100km trail run.

    Pros: It was very compact, user friendly and comfortable with a colour screen.

    Cons: It was useless!! The distances were out by nearly 30km, (and those of you who do endurance sports will understand how annoying looking at the wrong distance for hours on end can be), and the battery ran flat at 17 hours even though it was on the ultra track setting that was meant to last for 40hours.

    I called Garmin, and after 20 mins of waiting on the phone, they told me I needed to download the updates (on their new watch), and try it again.

    This watch clearly has some serious gremlins to iron out. Don’t touch it with a barge pole!

    AND it’s not cheap!

    • The challenge with UltraTrack mode (has been for a long time, be it Garmin or Suunto’s) is that it samples very infrequently. So on a trail with lots of switchbacks, you’re going to lose a lot of distance.

    • Tim Grose

      Also UltraTrac uses the internal accelerometer to fill in your pace/distance when GPS is off – just like it would do on say the treadmill. Now this is modelled from your arm swing as observed when you use the watch normally for outdoors runs. It sounds then that this calibration had not taken place so that won’t have helped either.

    • ekutter

      Yes, it’d be interesting to hear how well it would do if you had been using it longer where it had a chance to learn your stride. Tim or Ray, in ultra-trac mode does it use the accelerometer exclusively for speed/distance. GPS calculated speed and distance seems like they would be pretty useless in a typical trail run as Jacqueline found out.

      Also, almost any product you get these days will have a firmware upgrade by the time you get the watch. The firmware and the device was probably a month or more out of date for when they started the manufacturing. With a new device like this, they often have fixed issues from manufacturing to delivery.

    • Tim Grose

      Not tried yet on a 735 and TBH I have zero personal real use cases for the feature. However on a 920 I did try and recall GPS comes on for about 20 secs each minute so it sort of blends the two types of speed/distance determination. So for largely straight line uses ought to work fairly well. Personally though to say eek out to 20 hours or so would just carry a portable charger and charge it for a few hours when battery getting flat.

    • Dean Gough

      Yeah, ultra track sux if you actually want accuracy. I have read in the Fenix 3 forums, someone who wants to use their F3 in ultra track for an event where they expect to take 30 hours. They are also going to use a footpod, and have the footpod set for speed and distance, and then just have the ultra track for a rough mapping of where they’ve been. I wonder how well this would work for them?

    • Su-Chong Lim

      I have no experience in Ultras. But I had lots of use out of my FR60 and FootPod, and I can say the footpod gives excellent reliability and consistency for speed and distance over a resonablel speed range when calibrated. But once changing footing is factored in ( I particularly noticed it on snow and ice), and I imagine terrain/gradient and changing run patterns with fatigue, then huge errors can creep in. The only reliable foot-pod measure that resists all these changes is cadence.

  209. Helen

    Thanks for the great review again! I am considering buying the 735XT since my 3.5yr old 910t is starting to show some problems lately. I was wondering: what exactly are the ‘running dynamics’ that are added when using the HRM-run? I own a ‘older’ HRM-strap (Garmin soft strap premium) with my FR 910xt. Will this one be compatible with the 735xt and does it support the additional running dynamics?
    Thanks in advance!

    • No, you’d need either the HRM-RUN or HRM-TRI to get the advanced Running Dynamics.

      Check out my FR630 in-depth review for information on specifically what those are. Cheers!

      (I’ll dive into them again in perhaps the FR735XT review)

  210. Jim

    How does the clarity of the screen compare to the Apple Watch? My eyes are starting to go so was wondering is it a glass screen

    • The Apple Watch has a clearer screen in terms of display resolution. However, that doesn’t really mean much. Instead what matters is font sizing and contrast (which usually increase visibility). For that, it seems fine.

      Of course, keep in mind the Apple Watch has a 24-36hr battery life (without GPS). The Garmin unit will go 1-2 weeks without GPS.

  211. Rob

    Do any of the Tri watches allow Bluetooth sensors or just Ant+? Started buying Bluetooth to connect with phone and trying not to rebuy those. Thanks

    • No Garmin fitness devices allow connectivity to Bluetooth Smart sensors. Sorry!

      However, many sensors now are dual ANT+/BLE, making it easy to use for both (just not Garmin sensors, but that’s fine).

  212. Hugo

    Someone knows if the 735XT supports “Move IQ” like the Vivoactive HR?

    Thank You!

    • Tim Grose

      Not really sure what is but it does beep to tell you to move after an hour of being stationary just like the 920/230/235/630 all do.

    • Hugo

      Thank you, but Garmin “Move IQ” recognize automatic in the Activity Tracking Mode if you are walking, on bike etc. thats a nice every day feature.

  213. Marcel E Lopez

    I am between this or the Polar V800. The reason I am looking at the polar is because i have the H7 BT HR sensor already and because my bike computer is the M450. Which one is the best option (price is not a consideration).

    • Brian

      I have always thought you get on the Garmin wagon or the Polar wagon. Both are different, but hard to mix the two camps. If you are mostly Polar, I guess stick with them? I am mostly Garmin so I stick with them, the tech generally feels a tad better than Polar…

    • James

      I have read extensively about V800 myself, considering a V800 instead of a Garmin 920XT. My conclusion is that V800 has better GPS accuracy, better software and a more sturdy watch case. Garmin is better in fuctionality, mostly speaking Running Dynamics, which seems to be inaccurate at best. From what I can see Polar Flow website is better than Garmin Connect which have several flaws, most importantly, there are many faults in terms of reports (for instance wrong numbers on total mile pr.week).

  214. Santiago

    Hello Ray, thanks a lot for your reviews.
    When buying the FR735xt, you can chose only the watch, with the Run-Bundle or with both, Run-Bundle and the Tri-Bundle, but not only with the Tri-Bundle. I guess that it means that the Run-Bundle has Run-features that the Tri has not? if this is true, which are these features? Perhaps the Lactate Threshold metrics? If there is no run-features difference between both bundles, it would not be more logical to sell the 735 with the Tri and the Swim bundles? On the other hand, if the Run-bundle and the Tri-Bundle do have different run-features, It doesn’t make much sense to me to have 3 different bundles plus the optical HR in order to use the full HR functionalities of the FR735xt. Thanks a lot to clarify my confusion.

    • Tim Grose

      Believe the tri bundle gives you the HRM-Tri and HRM-Swim straps so you can get HR in the water. The HRM-Run and HRM-Tri both give the running features and are the same size but the Tri one also works in the water. So if you don’t swim much or don’t care about HR in the water then you can save a bit of money.

  215. Willyan

    Honestly, I hope that they just forgot to say that it has a barometer… No idea why they left out.

    Mr Rain Maker, we want to know: how accurate is the OHRM? And how accurate is the GPS? Since fenix we don’t trust on GPS accuracy from Garmin

    • No barometric altimeter, for realz.

      The optical HR isn’t bad thus far. GPS seems fine to date. In my post this morning ‘5 Random Things’ I include a link to a run with 6 watches on it. I also include a link to the analysis suite I use that allows you to dig into the GPS & HR details.

  216. extremeliver

    Ray, do you foresee something like a 935xt coming out to replace the 920xt, or is the 735xt the replacement for the 920xt?

    Scott

  217. Ben

    Does anyone know which sports this supports? Obviously running, cycling, swimming, but is there also a “General Cardio” type mode that can be used for tracking things such as Squash\Tennis?

    I’ve checked the Garmin website, and even downloaded the manuals but cannot find this info anywhere.

  218. tmr1980

    When im using my Garmin 810 bike computer, will i be able to use the OHRM from the watch rather than the chest strap i currently use? And what is max amount of data fields the watch can display?

    • Yes, it will.

      It can display up to four fields per data page.

    • Brian

      How do you tell 735 to rebroadcast HR?

    • Tim Grose

      Goto the HR widget from the clock screen. Press and hold the up arrow and it Is one of the options. The only snag is that then that is all the 735 can do so you can’t then record your activity on that as well. As such it becomes a very expensive HR strap which may not work quite as well as a proper one.

  219. Tmr1980

    Is it anticipated that this watch will replace the 900 series watches I.e the 920 or is it envisaged that the 920 will be superseded by another watch as well as the 735? Don’t want to buy 735 only to find out that a more capable tri watch is just around the corner.

    • Garmin hasn’t said either way. I suspect they themselves are probably trying to decide if it makes sense to introduce yet another triathlon watch (or, yet another device).

    • Tim Grose

      Also “more capable” right now will surely mean bigger and other than barometer, bit longer battery not sure what else a triathlete would actually have a need for except perhaps quick release but that’s not a watch feature per se and useless anyway if you want HR on the bike but don’t want to wear a strap.

    • M

      Yes, a Barometer and Wifi (instead of the OHRM).
      So actually a Fenix 3 (or Fenix 4) with the size and look of the 735xt :)

  220. Kyle Shaw

    Hi Ray,

    I’ve been using the 735xt for a couple of days now and really like it! I upgraded from a 910xt so this is a pretty big improvement.

    My only complaint is with the garmin connect app on android. I get a constant “bluetooth troubleshooting” notification on my phone and watch anytime the two lose connectivity. It’s like watching a high school romance – they just simply can’t bear to be apart.

    Searching around on the internet, it seems like this is a pretty common complaint with the vivosmart and other bluetooth enabled devices. Any ideas on how to get rid of this notification? I do not plan on using the 735xt as an activity tracker and would rather tell the phone and watch when to sync. I tried disabling bluetooth on the watch, but my phone still searches for it (longingly). Turning off bluetooth on my phone works, but that’s not a good option because I need it during the day. Thanks!

  221. Brian

    Got my 735… not seeing a way to rebroadcast my HR to my cycle computer. Is this true? So sad ;(

  222. Stu

    I used the 735 for Ironman Texas on May 14, and the battery died at only 9 hours. I typically finish Ironman races in the 12.5 hour range, so I figured I’d be good with Garmin’s 14 hour claims. It was fully charged before the race, and I turned it on about 1 minute before entering the water. I called Garmin Tech Support and they said that to get to 14 hours during Multi-Sport while using the optical heart rate sensor you should turn off the following: GLONASS GPS, Activity Tracker and Bluetooth. They also said you may even need to turn off the backlight. Before the race I turned off bluetooth but didn’t think to also turn off GLONASS GPS, Activity Tracker or the backlight. Wish I would have known. Besides the battery dying, I really like the watch and it’s comfortable and lightweight. Debating if I should return it, or trust it will last 14 hours for my next Ironman with the revised settings.

    • Brian

      I got a 735 because I don’t Ironman. If you do fulls I would get a 920. Or maybe don’t use it for the swim because it does very little good on the swim . Will last the run fine.

    • Stu

      I got the 735 mainly because of the optical heart rate monitor. I currently have a 910, and I’ve tried everything to prevent the chest strap heart rate monitor from chaffing my skin. I’ve used body glide, vaseline, tri-slide, band aids, duct tape, athletic tape, 4 different heart rate straps, etc and all combinations of the foregoing. For me, the chest strap is a huge pain, but I endure if I must. If I could get the optical heart rate monitor to work, it would be great. Not essential, but a big plus for me. And yes, the 920 is awesome! My wife has one and I like it. I was just hoping to avoid a chest strap if I could.

    • Tim Grose

      GLONASS eats about 20% more battery so you should definitely go with the GPS only option. Best to ensure backlight is fully off even for key presses and stuff. OHR is probably the next biggest draw on the battery. Ray got 15 hours with GPS and a HR strap suggesting OHR might take at least an hour off the total. Bluetooth and Activity Tracker not convinced has much impact but if don’t need them may as well turn them off too for max battery. I have also seen you can get more battery with Smart recording not every second. You might just get there with OHR if you turn everything else off.

    • Stu

      Thanks Tim. That all makes sense, and I’ll give it a go for my next race.

    • extremeliver

      Stu, try the optical HRM that fits on the arm. I love mine. I wear it above the elbow, I think most people wear it below the elbow. Ray reviewed it here…

      link to dcrainmaker.com

    • Harvey

      Sure would be a shame to complete an IM and not get credit for all the steps. :/

  223. Scott

    i use the “drill log” function on my garmin swim watch to record my kick sets during workouts. The 735 does not mention anything about this in their manual. Do you know if it has that function?

  224. Always 920 xt on the top for me.
    1-have barometer sensor
    2-lightweight and not so “onion” like fenix3

    • Brian

      Can you explain how the barometer is useful?

      I had one on my 910. 50% of the time it was broke. When it worked… not sure what it did for me? It could give me my gradient I was on, but I would often be going downhill and it said +2% or vice versa, so not sure how that helped me. After the fact and I sync with a computer, elevation maps can do a pretty good job of seeing your total climb and such.

    • it looks you’re unlucky.
      I had 910 and sensor barometer worked always fine.
      Now on 920 it’s the same, D+, D-, Grade, Vertical Ascent speed versus 30s, all these parameter work fine for me when i run on mountain and they’re always precise.

    • Brian

      Okay so you know midrun you are going up a 3% hill. How is that useful?

      I care how it impacts my HR. So I watch my HR. What do you gain watching hills?

    • Brian

      nothing it’s useful until you think it is
      it depends on what you care about, sometimes l like to see grade, total ascent, total descent, i know that with barometer sensor, these data are precise.
      With only gps, on the mountain, forget them!
      But overall, when i train for skyrace or vertical, what i look it’s vertical ascent and not pace.
      Only with barometer sensor you can have this parameter accurate.
      So when i had to decide, no doubts for me, 920xt!!!!
      Now i can say it match the best for my needs.
      More over i like to see change HR rapidly during repeats, with elevate technology, this is not possibile.
      The change it’s very slow.

  225. Chinky

    May I know if 735 has beeping sounds for interval workouts. I do Galloway method in running and it’s very important for me that the watch beeps so I don’t have to think or frequently compute. Thank you!

  226. Esther

    I’ve been using my Forerunner 620 with the MIO Link for the past year, and it’s the best approximation to having the 635 that isn’t going to be (as far as I understand). I don’t do triathlons, so the 735xt seems to be too much watch for me. But I want the OHR plus the running dynamics, so is it really my only option?

    • The thing is, Running Dynamics requires a HR strap. And if you have a HR strap connected, then it doesn’t utilize the optical HR sensor.

      Beyond the FR735XT, there’s also the Fenix3. But that’s even more of a watch than the FR735XT.

    • Esther

      Then I’m probably better off just getting the HRM-Run for my 620 and not upgrading my watch at all. But then why have the OHR in the first place? Oh, probably because not everyone only runs like me, gotcha. Thanks for the response. Still debating if I want to be an early adopter here or not anyway.

    • Harvey

      One doesn’t necessarily need Run Dynamics from every single run in order to use it as a training tool, and having the oHRM means one less jawn to pack when you travel.

  227. Rob

    Why does the 920xt not have Lactate Threshold functionality? Isn’t it just a case of software update?

    • Like virtually any device today, it would indeed be “just” a software update. But I suspect they may be trying to drive sales to newer devices (the FR920XT is coming up on two years old).

    • Rob

      I don’t mind paying for the additional functionality, indeed if they put it in under the condition you needed to buy an updated HRM, that would be a (more) efficient way of gaining revenues from existing sales. Or start charging for it under an app in the Garmin IQ. Either of those is sort of acceptable to cover their costs.

      But buying a new $450+ watch and consigning a perfectly functioning watch to the dustbin every 2 years just to get some additional software capability seems intrinsically wrong.

      Anyway – I have the HRM-TRI – but under multisport mode I don’t get any run dynamics – is that normal? It seems to work fine in just a run mode, but no data in multi? Is that a glitch?

  228. Annie

    I don’t really care about HR while swimming…can I pair this watch with the (fairly expensive) Wahoo Tickr X that I already own to get running dynamics and the Suffer Score?

    Thanks!

  229. martin hurtado

    Thanks for the review Ray…quick Q. How about the lap button? Does the new 735 has it? If so how it works?

    • Yes, just lower right button. Super easy.

    • Derek Paton

      Ray,

      Does lap work whilst a run in a stopped state? That’s one of the things I hate about the F3.

      I really also wish that the 735 had Strava Live Segments on it – I guess that might be something that will arrive soon given its now on smartphones?

      Derek

  230. Don

    Ray- just curious when you expect the full review to be up. I am between this and the Fenix 3hr. My old 910 is finally done and I like the idea of a smaller more everyday wearable watch. But planning on doing my third IM next year (have been in the 11-12 hour range) and want to make sure battery can last that long.
    Thanks

  231. Rob

    How does the 735xt monitor sleep? Is it done by switching it to the do not disturb setting? Or something else? Much thanks to Ray, and Clever Training, I got my Run bundle.today.

  232. SKIPPERdk

    Hi DCR thanks for the first test of the 735 xt. I have had the 910 and many of the earlier tri models. Then I got the FR235 becauce of the optical HR. But I am not at all happy with the options. And the bip sound and vibrate system is so poorly that I often hear or feel the it and there by oversee the km data. The light (backlight) or contrast on the watch is also way below the black/wihte models.
    Is there any difference ind the contrast or backlight between the 735xt and the 235? and same Q about the buzz sound level?

    • My personal suggestion
      920xt, i had 305, 310, 910,
      now after 3 months, i’m very happy of this model

    • SKIPPERdk

      Forgot to write cant hear in the sentence.
      so poorly that I often CANT hear or feel the it and there by oversee the km data….

    • Skipperdk

      I might end up with the 920 as well, thanks.
      Fx the LAP butten position on the FR235 or 735XT is not so friendly in use when running as on the 910 and 920 models.

  233. gemma tredwell

    Hi, does the 735 have the same navigation function as the 920? Also can you switch between GPS modes to save battery, thinking I would turn it off on a long bike ride as I have a bike computer?

    • Tim Grose

      Basically yes on navigation. Battery is rated to last 14 hours and in a test Ray got to 15 so would need to be a very long ride to need to worry.

  234. john benge

    very nice, great review as always…I’ll wait though…for the watch I can talk to…

  235. Andrea

    Are the dimensions of the band available?

  236. cs

    Is there any possibility you could post a picture of both the fenix3 hr and the new 735xt on the girl’s wrist?

    I’m deciding between the two as a repacement for my epix.

    I have a tiny wrist (5″) and have been through a number of bulky sports watches, starting with the polar rs800cx–which I thought was absolutely gigantasaurus until I picked the epix.

    Also, do either have the option to replace the band/strap with regular commercial bands?

    Thanks for all your hard work. I enjoy your website.

  237. Jay

    Hey I did a pool swim workout with the 735 and after that I noticed the HRM didn’t reactivate I had to pick run for it to fire up
    Any ideas ?

  238. Another question :-)
    During the years my bodyshape changed, this leads to a problem with my heart rate strap:
    During races or hard intervalls in aeroposition, my heartrate strap seems not to pick up my heart rate properly (this is with ant+ and polar). When running everything is fine! So question is:

    Can I use heartrate strap for swimming and running? And (auto?) switch to optical during biking?

    Thanx for advices
    Gero

    • Harvey

      Depending on which model of HRM you wear, there may me an adjustment mechanism that will enable you to tighten it.

  239. Schmithy

    Thanks again for the awesome reviews!

    Is there any chance they release a FR730XT or maybe a slightly larger (but nicer looking and round) replacement for the FR920XT, without an optical HR sensor? I love my FR620 and had been seriously considering the FR630 when the FR735XT was released.

    I’m probably a little like you Ray in that on the bike I use an Edge 510 and prefer the smaller FR620 for running. I have no intention of using the ‘step counter’ functions on any new device; my VF2 works great and there’s no worrying about charging it regularly as the batteries last a year plus (and I can wear it in virtually any setting and not look like a complete geek).

    Yes, I’m looking at doing my first triathlon later this year and it would be cool to be able to record the entire event (plus the training leading up to it, specifically swimming which none of my devices currently do).

  240. Mike Jones

    Is the HR sensor and software the exact same as the 235? I have a 220 but want to add the wrist based HR. Would I be better off to get the 225, 235 or this one? I know that this is more for triathlons. I just want to know which watch has the best HR accuracy.

    • Harvey

      According to the DC Rainmaker review, 6he oHRM in the 735 is the same as the one in the 235.

  241. Rita

    Has anyone had their watch freeze on the power off screen? I can’t seem to get it to do anything. I’ve tried to plug it in, hold down different combinations of buttons, but it’s still frozen. Any help is appreciated! Thanks in advance.

  242. Wheels

    Great first review. A few questions since the intro 2 weeks ago:
    1)Has Clever Training figured out the discount solution yet? Timing? How will it work?
    2)Does the HRM Swim really hold up better in chlorine than the HRM Tri?
    3)What bike mounting solution would you recommend? I would like to avoid a separate bike computer as the functionality is almost 100%. I envision wrapping the whole watch with straps around a mount. Would work for biking albeit a time delay during a triathlon.
    4)Can data be streamed to garmin connect or another iphone app real time for a larger display?
    5) Can you confirm that the 735 picks up cycling dynamic data? The appendix shows cycling dynamics data fields. In particular I would like to monitor realtime l/r power and phase/angle (like the edge 1000) due to an injury.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Thanks!

      1) You should see the updated VIP solution roll out over the next few days. It’ll be somewhat like a points redemption program. You’ll earn points that are immediately spendable on any products.
      2) Yes, it does.
      3) The $10 bike computer mount (rubber block) tends to be the best option.
      4) Not to other apps, but it can be streamed to a Garmin website for others to follow you.
      5) I’m 99% sure it does, but I haven’t tried it to validate (only validated left/right power).

    • Don

      The following is from link to clevertraining.com. It appears that a 735XT purchase would provide VIP rewards per #2:

      What do I get?
      – 10% off instant discount on almost any product site wide (*excludes sale items and some manufacturer exclusions)

      – For anything that’s not already on sale or eligible for a 10% instant discount, earn 1 CT Loyalty Point for every $10 spent

      – 5 FREE BONUS CT Loyalty Points after your first order (regardless of what you order)

    • Yes, it rolled out about 4 day ago now – and indeed qualifies under the updated VIP program. Cheers!

  243. Joseph Kiddell

    Any news on UK stocks? I was on Clever training Europe within a few hours of your first review, but it has been listed as Available Late May ever since.

    I guess the US stores got them first and maybe if any stock is left over it will trickle out? Ive already sold my 920XT. I’m feeling Naked right now.

    • Derek Paton

      Wiggle have an exclusive on them at the moment. In stock…

    • I just sent a note over to see if it’s still on schedule for late May delivery.

    • gemma tredwell

      I ordered mine on wiggle

    • Joseph Kiddell

      Just had this back from CT Europe.

      “Good Afternoon,

      We are emailing in regards to your order.

      Unfortunately with pre-order items we do not have a confirmed shipping date. All estimated fulfilment dates are based on the most up to date information we have from the manufacturer regarding availability. This item is expected late May.

      We apologise we could not be of further assistance.”

      No real news, but TBH with only 4 Working days left in May I’ve Given up hope. Was hoping to use it over the Bank Holiday weekend and start to build up my VO2 Max score again (wish it carried out from the previous watch).

  244. Erik1971

    Is there no Garmin (running) watch with Strava live segments like the one for cycling (edge 520)? That would be really nice!

  245. Ken Polleck

    No WiFi? Sigh. It is nice to come home with my 920XT and find it uploaded by the time I sit down in front of Garmin Connect (or SportTracks). Of course, it should also easily upload to my iPhone’s Connect App, but that seemed highly unreliable (until just recently–it seemed to get better for some reason).

    So, assuming I’m not rushing (or running) out to buy a 735XT, is there any wrist HR strap that would replace my chest HR strap and work with my older Garmin watches? Ideally, I’d like a 24×7 strap that would also count resting HR, activity/steps, and have a minimal display. I have a MIO that broadcasts bluetooth, but don’t know of a MIO–>Bluetooth–>SOME SORT OF BRIDGE–>Ant+–>Garmin 920XT solution.

    • Christopher Saunders

      Been using the 735XT for a few days now. Love it. Like most people, I thought it was a bit crazy the watch not having WIFI. If you have a smart phone, you can upload to Garmin Connect/Strava via the Garmin mobile App using Bluetooth. When I have completed a run/bike ride the watch will upload automatically to Garmin Connect/Strava. Happy days. :-)

  246. Steve

    I’ll be sticking with my Garmin viviactive, has most the same functionality at half the price.

  247. Nadia Barbov

    Hi Ray, I conducted a test this morning on the Optical heart rate of the 735 in combination with the older style strap connected to my 510 on a bike workout. I recorded my workout on both the 735 (OHR) and the 510 (HR Strap) for comparison. The results are quite varied as you can see the lack of peaks and troughs in the 735 results (we were doing intervals). I’m interested to see your results when you upload your comprehensive review.

    • It’s common knowledge that optical sensor it’s not suited for rapid HR variation.
      these graphics are really an example
      It’s also for this motivation that i opted for 920xt and HR strap

    • Optical HR can work just fine within intervals. That said, where Garmin’s optical HR tends to struggle the most is cycling. What you show above is semi-common with that in all their past products.

    • DC
      what it’s shown it’s related to 735, so not past product, but latest
      the graphic it’s smooth, where HR change a lot in a few time, and HR strape record perfectly this variation
      so for me it’s evident that rapid HR variation cannot be followed by optical sensor
      what do you think about?

    • The FR735XT uses the Garmin Elevate optical HR sensor. Same as the Fenix3 HR, Vivoactive HR, Vivosmart HR/+, and FR235. In general that sensor with all of its most recent firmware updates is mostly good, even in running intervals actually. I showed in my review last week within the VAHR that I can do hard interval sprints as little as 30-seconds in length and it tracks them.

      But I also showed it struggled with cycling outdoors (indoors was mostly fine). That’s been the same story for Garmin’s sensor since the begining.

      But you can’t lump all optical HR sensors together. It’s like saying no cars can go faster than 150MPH. That’s not true. It’s just the car you happen to have can’t go that fast. But other perfectly capable cars can.

      In this case, other companies can actually track that bike well, even during intervals. Mio and Scosche come to mind (as I also demonstrated in that review).

      Cheers.

    • The reasoning it’s perfect!
      Then can you give an explanation of the HR graph shown above by Nadia?
      Too short intervals?

    • Nadia noted it was a cycling working, thus, kinda par for the course. Though, if it was indoors it’d be a bit more surprising (unless the watch was slightly loose).

    • Andrea

      Is there a reason for the poor optical HR performance while outdoor cycling? Road vibrations?

    • Typically road vibrations combined with for wrist-based units you usually have your wrist strained (tense), holding onto the handlebars in that area, making it more difficult.

    • Andrea

      Thanks Ray. It will be interesting to see if there is a difference when riding our tandem in stoker position (more relaxed grip and less direct road vibration) vs. riding either of my half bikes.

    • fm

      In my week’s worth of experience with it, the optical HR on 735 seems to work quite well for running, including intervals (as well as I need it to most days, anyway). It’s one less thing to worry about. I have the RUN strap and use that when convenient.

    • Bill Wood

      I got better cycling results by making sure the strap was snug, and mounting the watch on the underside of my wrist.

  248. Ray Venalbes

    Is the maximum number of data fields on the FR735XT three? Or is it possible to display four at a time?

  249. samuel tiago pinheiro e silva

    Hello .. Good evening! In their assessments you think that more accurate heart monitor those who have integrated sensor reading on the wrist ? In addition to data such as speed and distance traveled ? The garmin forerunner 235, 225 or the new 735xt or tomtom Runner2 cardio ? Your blog is very good and I love their reviews ! Thank you in advance for your attention!

  250. John

    Hi Ray,

    Not sure if this has been asked, but would you consider this a Fenix 3HR Jr? It has multisport options and is a much lighter watch. I tried the Fenix HR, but found it much too heavy to wear on a daily basis.

  251. Andrea

    This is perhaps a general optical HR question, but I am currently looking at the 735XT so I figured I would post here… How does the 735XT perform when estimating calories? I’ll be using it as an activity tracker in addition to cycling and hiking so I would like a feel for how big the margin of error is. I see big differences in calorie estimation based on my Edge 500 with HR strap in Garmin Connect vs. Ride with GPS. I’ve got some pounds to shed so I’ll be getting back into tracking food with My Fitness Pal.

  252. Mike

    DC Rainmaker,

    Have you heard of Garmin making any roads toward adding music storage and bluetooth headphone support to the future product line? I have the TomTom Spark and I love the added features of the Garmin products over the Spark, but I cannot go back to not having music (I refuse to strap a phone to me ever again!!). TomTom does not update their products enough for me. I think the Spark is their best product and I am somewhat happy with it, I just miss the extra features that Garmin has, plus I have always been a Garmin fan.

    Mike

  253. Luca Massetti

    Nice garmin but what about the optical heart rate? Is there some settings to do or it works that bad as sowed in my photo? Please help…..60/70bpm higher than 920xt.

    • Hard to say exactly, but as a general rule I don’t tend to wear another watch on the same wrist (especially next to) an optical HR sensor. Multiple companies will note that it can impact the optical sensor’s readings.

      So typically in testing I’ll use the other wrist for that…

    • Luca Massetti

      Thanks for your reply Ray,
      The photo is missleading I wasn’t wearing the 920xt just put it on the wrist to take the shot.
      During the training it was on the kettler racer s.
      An suggestions as settings or wetting the wrist, shaving it ect to get a better result?

    • No, if you were just on an indoor bike it tends to be pretty easy to capture HR accurately as long as you’re not doing too much weird stuff with your wrist (for example, typing can throw it off in some rare cases).

      Otherwise, the most important thing is ensuring it’s nice and snug. Also, ensuring that before you start the activity, that the HR icon on the watch has stopped blinking and is staying lit. That indicates it has a lock.

    • Luca Massetti

      Today I made another try with a 10km outdoor run and after a couple of km where the optical HR seemed to work good, it jumped high and was crazy and without any doubt wrong for the time left.
      Really disappointing. I don’t know if to send it back to garmin or to just consider that this technology is not mature yet.

  254. John Gardner

    Really good write up. Just bought one idea of being able to decide to use chest heart rate monitor is great. Minor limitation. Being a multisport person, whilst you can add own customised activity profiles you can only add few. I do pool triathlons, open water triathlons, duathlons, aquathons. Wanted to add brick sessions using turbo and another using road bike – ran out of number of custom activities allowed!

  255. Bill

    I just picked up a 735 (two hours ago) and I like it so far but my time is off by 3 minutes. I saw a mention of that on a garmin forum but there were no followup posts.

    Is that something others are aware of? Is there an easy way to fix it, other than just disabling the auto-time-set?

    Thanks,
    -Bill

  256. Pete Parfitt

    I think this is absolutely my freak watch, and I have a birthday coming up, my challenge at the moment is that in the UK at least, it is £110 more than a non-HR Fenix 3.

    • In the UK through Clever Training it’s 359GBP, or with the DCR Clever Training UK/Europe discount code of DCR10BTF, then it’s 321GBP. All of which are 60GBP+ cheaper than the non-HR Fenix3.

      Cheers.

      link to clevertraining.co.uk

    • Peter Parfitt

      The kicker is really that Amazon.co.uk has the fenix3 non-HR on at £275 (even if it is the silver one with the red band). I think the 735xt is the watch for me, however I may let the price settle a little.

      But as ever thanks for the great reviews, and I will use clever training if it makes sense for me, great to see they now have a UK presence.

      Pete

  257. john P

    This is looking like a great watch – I have one question which may or may not be a deal breaker.

    I am competing in my first swim run event soon. I’d love to be able to transition between the run and swim sections… but I know a friend with the Sunnto Ambit 3 can’t do it… even if he sets up a bespoke multi transition it only allows 6 transitions max rather than the ~26 needed for this weekends Otillo Uto race for example..

    Will the garmin FR735 let me run and swim and run and swim around the Isle of Scilly just transitioning between running and open water swimming? 27 transitions in or out of the water… see here link to otilloswimrun.com

    if the Suunto Ambit 3 doesn’t seem to manage this then I’m concerned no watch does.

    Keen to hear feedback before i get ready to hit BUY!!

    Thanks

    • On the FR735XT you can hold the lower left button down (down arrow) and change sport anytime to any sport in your list. While I haven’t tried doing it 27 times (I just did it 8 or 10 times without issue).

    • Dom

      The Fenix 3 has a specific swimrun app, as well as supporting repeating transitions for multisport (which was described as targeted at swimrun when it was introduced). Not my thing, so no idea how well it works, but there are some threads about it in the Garmin forum where you could ask.

    • John Poyton

      Thanks for that Ray. So can I confirm (- although it appears to only be the Fenix 3HR that has a swim run specific app – ) that when i start running in the isle of scilly swim run otillo event next week i should be able to just swap to open water swim and the gps and timer will carry on and then swap back to running etc with out any need for transitions? ? I tried to setting up a custom multipart profile but it only allows a max of 5 profiles/ changes which i presume garmin usually assume will be swim/T1/bike/T2/Run…

      I went ahead and bought the 735XT which I’m certainly very pleased with in terms of size and ease of use… but am slightly nervous i should have spent that bit more if i really want to take up swim run after my initial foray next week???

      Thanks again for your amazing reviews and feeding into the comments… immensely helpful cheers

      John

  258. Sandi Delcore

    is there a distance and/or pace alert on the Garmin 735xt, similar to the 920xt?

  259. Sandi Delcore

    is there a SWIM distance and/or pace alert on the Garmin 735xt, similar to the 920xt?

  260. Wayne

    Will the FR735XT’s GPS track open-water swims effectively?

  261. Cornelius Puiulet

    Not sure why my Forerunner 735xt is not pairing with Stage Power Meters. Works well with PowerTap, but both of my Stages power cranks will not pair. Anyone have any ideas?

    • Herbert

      Maybe a firmware bug. I had the same problem, but I got it by chance. Maybe the unit is disturbed by other ANT+ Sensors (e.g. GSC-10 speed-cadence Sensor). Try the following: Don’t move your Bike for several minutes (all ANT+ Sensors deactivated). Activate the Stages PM by spinning it backwards a couple of turns (all other Sensors still deactivated). Try to connect the Stages PM to your 735xt.

  262. Bill Wood

    On the Vivoactive HR, a nice feature is that you can get to the widgets screens during an activity (like running) by pressing the “back” button. Is there a way to do this on the 735xt?

  263. Anna

    Sorry for posting under two reviews the same question, just do not know which one you’ll read first.
    Thank you for great review! As I’m considering buying FR735XT I’m a bit confused about difference between RUN and TRI monitors. I understand that TRI attaches heart rate data in the end of the workout, so does it mean I won’t get any readings during the run in real time? And what follows all alarms based on heart rate won’t work? Or cashing works only for swim workouts? I’m not and triathlete in any way but TRI seems to be more versatile monitor. Another thing is maybe lame, but… I understand cycle portion is in fact ‘operated’ by watch so both RUN and TRI versions are cappable of recording that (data will be the same)? I am a little confused by markings in the monitors.

  264. I tried out using the stress score (I’m not very stressed apparently) and was wondering what happens to that data. There doesn’t seem to be a way to retrieve it but it must be being stored, as I assume it builds a history over time to profile your score.

    Any ideas about what happens to it or where/if past tests can be viewed?

  265. Christos

    I find the vibrating alarms very useful in swimming / open water sessions. is this option available ?

    thank you for your great reports

  266. Gabriel Lee

    There is an awesome option for some of you who wish to get the discount

    log on to clevertraining.co.uk

    the discount code works DCR10MHD.

    Shipping to the USA is free. This works out to be $395 US.

    • Anna

      Unfortunately no TRI option, and how late is ‘late May’ when we have 30th of May today :)

    • Quick Q – how do u get the clever training uk site to ship to the USA? The US version will not apply the discount, but the UK site will. However, I don’t see a shipping option to US from the UK site. Any help is appreciated, thanks!

    • Unfortunately that was a brief code error. CT UK isn’t allowed to ship Garmin products to the US, per Garmin restrictions. While some Europe-only retailers can get away with it, CT can’t since they also have stores in the US. So Garmin US can (and would) basically stop supplying stock to CT USA if they did that. Such manufacturer practices are of course illegal in the rest of the world, but companies can get away with it in the US. :(

      As for the US side though, you can still use the VIP program on the FR735XT. That gets you 10% back via points, which you can use immediately for any other product on the site. Plus free quick shipping and all that jazz.

      Thanks for the support!

      Oh – Anna – re ‘late May’ availability (for CT UK), units did start coming in and shipping last week. The only one currently backordered is the black bundle, and they do plan to list the tri bundle soon (they’re waiting on Garmin on that one).

  267. David

    Wrap up

    “So in many ways, this watch would appeal to me in terms of being slightly more versatile than just a running watch. Though, at the same time I tend to use a dedicated bike computer while cycling because I like having a unit out-front on the bars”.

    I like a dedicated bike computer as well. Is it possible to use a device such as the 735xt or 920xt during a triathlon but also pair a device such as the 510 or 520 cycling computer to the triathlon watch to display your power, HR, etc from the watch. while cycling during the triathlon?

    • Yup, that’s exactly what I do. For example, yesterday during the Paris Triathlon I just paired the FR735XT to my HR and power meter, as well as the Edge 520 to both. Easy!

    • Steve Ferguson

      Assume you just discard the activity on the Edge so that you don’t double record? I have the edge 1000 and 735XT and will be using the 735 to record my triathlon next week, but like to have the edge display everything on my handlebars whilst on the bike.

    • I usually save both, and then delete one later online. That way if one had a bad recording for some rare/odd reason (as was the case last weekend), I’m still good.

  268. samuel tiago pinheiro

    Ray on his experiences which pulse heart monitor you think best, mio or elevate ( garmin ) ? Thanks..

  269. Michael

    Does anyone know if you can use a footpod and gps at the same time so that you get your pace from the footpod and your course from the gps?

  270. Ben

    Can you use the 735 as a HR source to display on an edge?

    • Erlin Velberg

      So I pulled the trigger and got a 735xt. Can you please explain to me how to use it in a Tri in conjunction with my Edge 510. So far I have always done my Tri’s with the 510 and a 210/220 running watch (nothing used during the swim). I thought it was about time to step it up and get a Tri watch but I would prefer to use my 510 on the bike ride. Any input is much apreciated.

    • goughy

      You can choose to use it the same as you had before, but say record the swimming activity too as I separate activity.

      Or you can set it up as a triathlon multisport event, and record the swim, t1, bike, t2, run. But you can still use your 510 for on the bike and it’ll record separately. That way while riding you don’t have to be looking at your wrist, if you find that annoying.

      Buy maybe say just upload the activity from your watch, rather than both watch and 510. Otherwise you’ll get a reproduction of the bike ride in your gc account.

    • Bill Wood

      Just use the 735xt as your tri watch, and start the 510 during the bike portion. You can delete the 510 activity later.

  271. Bill Wood

    There’s differences in the user interface between the 735xt and the Vivoactive HR that affect usability. Neither is perfect. It seems like Garmin has at least 2 OS versions, maybe one is for touch screen devices and one for button devices?

    The 735xt has a “Standby” mode which engages 5 minutes after you “stop” an activity without “saving” or “discarding” it. This allows you to save GPS battery and view the normal widget screens without having to end your activity, for example if you are grabbing lunch while cycling. However during standby the 735xt won’t sync with the phone. The Vivoactive HR doesn’t have Standby and puts up a persistent screen requesting you to save or discard the activity, meanwhile eating GPS battery.

    On the Vivoactive HR, you can get to the widgets screens during an activity (like running) by pressing the left “back” button (unless the activity is “Stopped”). However, if you want manual laps enabled on the VAHR I don’t think you can get back to the widgets screens because the left “back” button is then used to mark laps. There doesn’t seem to be a way to get back to widgets during an activity on the 735xt, except by “stopping” the activity and letting it enter standby after 5 minutes.

    A frustration with the 735xt is that you can’t get to the “Settings” menu while an activity is active. This caused an issue for me today when I wanted to pair my speed/cadence sensor after the activity had started. Long-pressing the “up” button showed the “Settings” menu for an instant then switched to the “Music Controls” menu, dashing my hopes. On the Vivoactive HR, you can long-press the right button to get to the menus during an activity.

    In general the Vivoactive HR’s user interface seems more intuitive and cleaner than the 735xt’s. I wish the VAHR had “standby” mode and also “training effect”, these are big misses for me. The 735xt is a nicer watch in my opinion, however I wish the 735xt allowed you to view widgets and get to the settings menu during an activity, and had a barometer.

    • Tim Grose

      Think this is the same post as on the Garmin forums. You can access Settings if you stop the timer temporarily.

  272. Leslie

    Hi Ray! Just wanted to let you know that I used your link to order the run bundle for the 735 from Clever Training. I hope you get the credit for the sale. Please let me know if I need to contact them to let them know I purchased from your redirect here.

    Thanks for all the continued product info!
    Leslie (CeriseFleur on twitter)

    • Thanks for the support Leslie!

    • Leslie

      No prob 🙂 I’m working on my second Bachelor’s degree – this time for computer science. I found the developer info for Garmin. I think I may do a widget or watch face. Have any ideas or suggestions??

    • There seems to be a bit of demand for an app that can either:

      A) Connect via ANT+ FE-C to control a trainer
      B) Connect via the earlier ANT+ Gym Equipmentprotocol to treadmills and rowing machines (like the Concept2 rower)

      :)

    • Leslie

      I will keep these in mind, however, if their API does not allow it then there’s no amount of programming anyone could do to make these things happen. If it allows it, then it can be built. If not, then we’re SOL.

      Thanks,
      Leslie

  273. Dessie Duffy

    Hi Ray,

    I recently purchased the 920xt and certainly would not consider myself a technological expert so I was hoping you could fill me in on a few of the things I read about in this review.
    1. What is Ultra trac
    2. What is Glonass
    3. Ehat Varia Vision

    I probably spelt them wrong as well so go easy on me.

    • Ultra Trac – Ability to decrease GPS sampling interval substantially to increase battery substantially. I’d never use it at speeds faster than a walk, and never unless you really really really had to (required longer battery life for a single activity).

      GLONASS – Increases available satellites the watch can talk to, which can in turn maintain GPS accuracy in some places that might otherwise lose it. Comes with a roughly 10-20% hit on battery drain.

      Varia Vision: This – link to dcrainmaker.com

      Cheers.

  274. Thomas Edisto

    So I just confirmed with Garmin tech support, what I consider a major flaw with the new 735XT Running device. It does not allow you to reset lap data while in stop timer/pause mode. So, if you do a lot of interval training, e.g. 200/800/400 or 200/400/200 or 1200/2000/1200 etc, you have to hit the LAP button while the timer is on.

    That means either while running an interval, hitting LAP and then STOP very quickly or pressing STOP.

    Recover.

    OR hit START and LAP very quickly for the next lap. I believe this might have been an oopsie oversight and will be begging Garmin on their Ideas website to re-instate this feature which is critical and available on my previous 620, 610, and 110.

    This is a big enough issue for me to return the device and consider something else.

    • Steve

      I can’t help but think you’re not capturing your workouts correctly. When I do intervals with a recover in between, I just got the lap button. When I review my workout afterwards my first lap is warmup; second is a 1600; third recover; 800; recover; 400; and last lap is my cool down. I can view my splits easily and keep track of total activity duration and distance. I only hit the start/stop button at the literal beginning and end of the workout- that is unless I don’t stop to go to the bathroom or talk to someone or answer an important phone call, which is when I’ll use the stop/start to effectively pause my workout. I’ve never felt the urge to press lap while stopped; there might be a use case for that scenario, but it’s not standard operation.

  275. Mark Kapitan

    Ray,

    Did you notice any GPS tracking issues with this model, specifically “artifacts” in your running logs? I picked one up and have seen it be considerably less accurate in GPS tracking than the 620 it replaced and also see a number of artifacts as shown in the picture….

    • Odd, haven’t seen any outstanding GPS issues. My in-depth review will be up Tues/Weds for it. The rain/flooding sorta slowed things down for me getting a few final shots and tests I wanted done.

      The core area I’ve seen issues with is the GPS altimeter. Fwiw, I’ve been using GLONASS enabled, and 1-secording.

    • Mark Kapitan

      I just made thoes settings changes as well and will see how it goes. Seems a few people on the Garmin forums are seeing similar issues.

    • Gunnar

      I’ve had my 735 two weeks now and I’m happy with my GPS tracks. I’ve compared the tracks to a multitude of Garmin and Suunto devices I’ve had in the past and it ranks up there with the best tracks I’ve seen.

  276. Wheels

    Did I receive a defective unit? I am having a hard time charging and/or syncing the watch. I cannot charge the watch with a std apple adapter in a power strip, and I have only been able to charge via the USB cable 2x (and synch) in about 50 tries. I always receive an error message “a USB device has malfunctioned and exceeded the power limits of its hub port. you should disconnect the device.” On the two times it somehow connected, I received an error message that there was an issue with my device and I should scan the hard drive.
    I also cannot connect with my 310xt ant stick and did not receive an ant stick with the 735xt.
    Has anyone had a similar issue? or suggestions?
    Thanks in advance.

    • That definitely doesn’t sound normal. I’ve charged with a gazillion USB plugs (including stock Apple one) all over the place and never received that error message.

      The 310XT ANT+ stick doesn’t connect to the FR735XT, so that’s not really a concern. You have to sync via Blueooth Smart or USB. Not via ANT+.

      I’d ring up Garmin and see if support can help. You could also try a full reset of the device and see if that helps.

    • Wheels

      Thanks. Garmin support has not heard of that issue. They are shipping new watch tomorrow and I’m returning this so they can trouble shoot.

  277. Kim

    I’m looking to upgrade from my FR220. I am interested in a wrist HR. I only run/walk. No cycling or swimming at all. Should I go with the 235 or the latest model, 735?

  278. Marcus

    Will the HRV data be saved to the .fit file? I have been using those from my FR 610 and FR620 in the FBA software and it would be nice to have the possibility to continue…

    Cheers,
    Marcus

  279. dries

    so… tonight or tomorrow we’ll have Ray’s in depth review?
    Can’t wait!
    i came from the 235 to 735xt and like the 735xt a lot. not too big sensor pressing my wrist, multisport options, etc etc.
    the screen is a little bit smaller, they could have made it a bit bigger than the 235, now it shows it little bit tiny on my wrist. (but okay, am getting used to it already).

    cycling (to my work, easy pace) without hrm-belt gives way too high heartrates, that’s something i hope can be solved. other than that: like it!

    • dries

      and another bummer: without using the hrm-run strap variations in pace but especially heartrate is hardly noticed by the 735xt

    • It won’t be tonight, or tomorrow morning. Somehow I spent virtually the entire day stuck in traffic trying to run errands to meetings and such. Kinda sucked.

      Hopefully Thursday morning. Sorry!

  280. cvbcbcv

    Does it have any map / course upload function? I found in instruction that you can upload one. Can anyone confirm it? And another question: does it have any screen protector like gorilla glass or sapphire glass?

  281. John

    Hi Ray,

    I wanted to get your feedback. I’m looking for a multiple sports activity watch with HR. I tried the VAHR. I found that the narrow blocky design was actually digging into my wrist causing me pain. So, I took it back. I’m thinking a circular design would work better and distribute the weight better. How have you found the comfort level in wearing this watch? Easy to wear all day long, sleep with, etc…?

    • fm

      I’ve been wearing it for a couple weeks or so and it’s super comfy (and lightweight). There are times when I don’t want to have a rubber band around my wrist, but it’s never the wrist-based HR monitor that is the issue. I like the band better than the 230; seems more pliable.

    • John

      Great. Thanks for the input.

  282. Rob Radcliff

    2 Questions:

    For Running – Does it have a last lap display?

    For Swimming – I swim in an endless pool sometimes. Would it measure distance based on stroke numbers? What data would that deliver.

    Thanks Man.

  283. Sara

    Does the FR735XT sold in the States support Chinese language? It would be a disadvantage to me if it cannot show Chinese messages from my phone by way of notifications.

  284. Artem

    Anyone already has 735xt – please tell me can you activate sleep mode manually like in Fenix3: Settings > Activity Tracking > Go to sleep > Yes???
    Otherwise it’s another wild guess device with inaccurate sleep metrics, just like 235 is…

    • Bill Wood

      You can’t initiate sleep mode, however if the 735 gets it wrong (not that often in my experience) you can edit the start time.

    • Lesley

      I got my 735XT yesterday. Slept in it last night. In my GC profile I have my settings for sleep from 10pm to 5:30. (7.5 hours)
      I went to bed around 9:30 last night. Played with my phone, checked my facebook and eventually fell asleep. I woke up around 2:30 to use the bathroom and sent a few text msg to my friend working night shift, went back to sleep. There is no sleep mode on the watch, that I can see so far. My sleep report for last night shows me falling asleep at 10:08 and waking at 7:04. The sleep data is taken from the HRM. Based on RHR, I dont believe it needs a sleep mode. RHR should become more accurate over time. We will see.

    • Lesley

      I should mention it also shoes the time I was awake during the night. Basically based on HR it recognizes when I went to sleep and when I got up and started my day.

  285. Paul

    what information is the 735 able to display up to the varia vision? it looks like most biking data can be seen. can Running data be transmitted as well from the 735 to the varia vision system?

  286. Hi All!

    I’ve just published my FR735XT In-Depth Review, which can be viewed here: link to dcrainmaker.com

    As is usually the case, I’ll be closing this preview post to new comments – but feel free to continue the discussion over on the in-depth review. That just helps keep things a bit more organized.

    Cheers!