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Garmin Forerunner 935 In-Depth Review

Garmin-FR935-TrainingScoreFirstbeat

Today Garmin announced their latest triathlon/multisport…and running-specific focused watch, the Forerunner 935.  This watch follows almost a year after the FR735XT was announced last spring, and only 3 months after the Fenix 5 series was announced in January (which just started shipping last week).

So what’s the FR935 all about?  Well in a nutshell it’s a cheaper version of the Fenix 5, with a plastic shell as opposed to metal. Basically – it could be named the Fenix 5P – for Plastic.  It’s got a barometric altimeter (and WiFi!) that the FR735XT lacks, and also adds in things like the new Training Load/Recovery features found in the Fenix 5, as well as Bluetooth Smart sensor support.  Not to mention support for the also just announced Running Dynamics Pod (RD Pod).  Finally, it also adds in the just announced TrainingPeaks workout synchronization app, allowing you to sync workouts from TrainingPeaks to your watch (including other devices).

I’ve been using the FR935 for a fair while now, and thus have had the chance to use it across numerous sports and workouts.  While the first few weeks were on beta software, the last few weeks have been on what is considered release candidate/final production firmware.  As always, once done with this review, I’ll send the loaner/test unit back to Garmin and go out and get my own through normal retail channels.

With that – let’s dive into it!

What’s new:

Garmin-FR935-OpticalSensor

As noted in the intro, in many ways the FR935 is basically a Fenix 5 in a different skin.  It’s got a near-identical user interface, save a few minor tweaks the company is experimenting with to simplify the user experience (but more on that later).  In terms of functionality though, it’s basically a Fenix 5.  I’ve gone through the menus side by side (see video below), and everything is identical to a Fenix 5.  Everything.

Still, there are some notable features that are new to today, which are also coming to the Fenix 5/Chronos series, these are:

Running Dynamics Pod: Sensor pod compatibility  added (basically the Garmin Running Dynamics metrics, but in a small wearable pod, also to be compatible with FR735XT/Fenix 5/Chronos)
TrainingPeaks pre-installed on the FR935, now available on numerous other devices via Connect IQ
Training Status/Load/effect metrics: These are new, provided by FirstBeat, also seen on Fenix 5 series and includes split of aerobic and anaerobic training effect.

Still, what if you’ve been sleeping the last few months and skipped the whole Fenix 5 series?  How would the new features look compared to the FR735XT of last year?  Well, everything above, plus the below:

Barometric Altimeter: Added it, 735XT didn’t have it and only had GPS-based elevation
WiFi: Added it to 935, 735XT didn’t have it, and only half of Fenix 5 series has it
Display: Up to 240×240 pixels, same as the Fenix 5
Display: Went from 16 colors on the FR735XT to 64 colors on the FR935
Display: Now supports Emoji, right to left languages (Arabic and Hebrew)
Charging Cable: Identical to Fenix 5 series, can charge mid-activity, but wrist blocks it a bit
Connect IQ: Fully supports CIQ 2.2.3+, as well as a full 2MB for apps or 32 installed CIQ apps/items, whichever comes first.
Battery: Increased battery life up to 24 hours in GPS at 1-second sampling
Battery: Increased UltraTrac battery life to 50 hours
Gyroscope: Added Gyroscope to all models, used to increase track points in UltraTrac mode
User Interface: Slight tweaks to UI to match Fenix 5/Chronos series
User Interface: Added new quick access controls menu, to access apps/widgets, to match Fenix 5 series.
Strava: Added Strava Live Segment support for Bike & Run
Sensors: Added support for Bluetooth Smart sensors (Cycling Power/Speed/Cadence, Running Footpod, Heart Rate)
Sensors: Added Varia Vision Heads Up Display Support (all ANT+ remote displays technically)
Sensors: Added Varia Bike Lights (all ANT+ lights technically)
Sensors: Added Varia Bike Radar
Sensors: Added Shimano Di2 Shifting, ANT+ Gear Shifting Support (SRAM RED eTAP & Campagnolo EPS)
Sensors: Added ANT+ Muscle Oxygen Sensors (MOXY/BSX)
Optical HR Sensor: Revamped tech, now records 24×7 data every 1-2 seconds
Optical HR Sensor: Flattened out even more, virtually flush with back of unit
Training Data: Added FTP Estimation for cycling
Training Data: Now supports swimming PR’s (along with previously added Swim Structured Workout support), like the FR735XT/Fenix5, but unlike some older tri watches
Live Group Tracking: Added like the Fenix 5 models, à la the Edge 820 group tracking
Straps: Compatible with the QuickFit straps, specifically the Garmin Fenix 5 ones (not the 5S/5X), such as leather/metal/etc…
Golf: Added TruSwing, Greenview, and Autoshot features
Other Sports Added: Mountain Biking, Treadmill and Indoor Track separated, Ski and Snowboard separated, Navigate app, and Track Me app
Navigation Functions: Full navigation identical to that of the Fenix 5 series.  That includes things like proximity and navigation alerts (for distance to waypoint, and time/distance remaining to destination).  Note, there are no maps like the Fenix 5X units.

Phew – got all that?

Good.

Still confused?  Sorry, it happens to the best of us.  The good news is I’ve got a video below explaining it all!  Go forth and enjoy!

Oh – and you may be wondering why they dropped the ‘XT’ off the end of the official watch name (i.e. not the FR935XT).  The reasoning is twofold.  First they didn’t want to put off the running side of the house, thinking it wasn’t for them (since it’s basically what people wanted in a fabled FR635).  They feel like it’s an equally good option for runners or triathletes.  Second is that they figured most triathletes would know from the initial ‘9’ in the series (i.e. 910/920/935), that it was still a triathlon watch.  And if you didn’t know about the ‘9’ part, you probably didn’t know about the XT part anyway. 😉

With that, let’s move onto some sizing!

Model and Size Comparisons:

Like the FR735XT, the FR935 comes in one size, but a few two-band variants.  There’s the base unit, which is black with a barely visible silver trimming/button, and then there’s the bundle unit which is also black but with a neon yellow trim/button and a secondary yellow strap.  Throughout the review you see the bundle variant, with the yellow strap since I was mostly too lazy to change it to the black strap.  So, the two options are:

Base unit ($499USD): Black watch face with silver accent and black band, charging cable
Bundled unit ($649 USD): Black watch face with yellow accent and black band, additional yellow band, charging cable, HRM-TRI HR strap, HRM-SWIM HR strap, quick release kit.

Note that I don’t have an unboxing to share at the moment, since the unit I was sent came in a simple plastic baggie with just the charging cable and an extra band.  Plus the charging cable.

Garmin-FR935-Black-Band-Extra-Bundle Garmin-FR935-Charging-Cable

Once I get a proper box, I’ll add the unboxing back into this review.  Given what Garmin included in the Fenix 5 boxes, don’t expect anything more than what you see above, plus a few pieces of legal paper telling you not to do anything stupid with it, as well as how to put the band on.  Pretty standard stuff.

What is notable here is the band though.  Within the box it doesn’t include Garmin’s new QuickFit bands seen on the Fenix5, but rather a standard screw-in band.

That’s a bit of a bummer, the good news is that the QuickFit bands are still compatible with the FR935.  Specifically with leather, metal, and other silicone band colors.  Basically, what we saw on the Fenix 5.  Note, that I tried the Fenix 5 bands (the middle-sized ones) and they fit just fine.  The 5X bands would be too big, and the 5S bands too small.

With that, let’s look at sizing between the FR735XT, the FR935, and the Fenix 5 series (plus a Fenix3 thrown in):

Garmin-FR935-Size-ComparisonsText

As you can see, sizing-wise the FR735XT and FR935 are pretty similar, however the FR935 is slightly larger – by a few millimeters in diameter, albeit identical in depth.

Garmin-FR935-Size-Comparisons-SideText

Finally, the FR935 comes in at 49g, whereas the Fenix 5 starts at 84g (depends on which bands you use).  The Fenix 5S starts at 67g.

The Basics:

Garmin-FR935-StepTrackingOverviewBasics

I’m going to mix things up a little bit in this review from past reviews.  Partly because I get bored writing things in the same structure each time, and partly because I think at this point there’s some things that are considered ‘base’ knowledge.  Meaning that I’ve often split up into separate sections swim/bike/run, with there being so much overlap between all three sections.  For this I’m going to round-up the watch basics into this section, then sports into the next, and then talk about newish FR935 pieces like the new Training Status/Load/Recovery components, RD compatibility, and Training Peaks integration.  Then I’ll separately dive into accuracy of GPS and optical HR sensor.

To start off with, you’ve got the watch face.  This uses a bit more of a traditional plain Jane watch face with just the basic elements on it by default.

Garmin-FR935-Watch-Face

However, you can easily customize the data elements on it, as well as the style.  And that’s before we even talk Connect IQ watch faces.

Garmin-FR935-WatchFace2 Garmin-FR935-WatchFaceData

Like the Fenix 5, you’ll now have a quick controls option, which can be accessed by holding the upper left button down for a few seconds.

This allows you to quickly lock the screen, put it into do-not-disturb mode, as well as save your GPS location and sync data.  You can lightly customize some of these options in the menu as well.  You rotate through the options on the controls screen like a rotary telephone.

While the watch face can be customized with your daily activity tracking – such as steps or stairs climbed (it has a barometric altimeter to help track that), you can also iterate through the different widgets by pressing the up/down buttons.  For example, here’s the daily activity tracking widget (followed by the detailed views within it):

Garmin-FR935-Activity-Stats-Main

Garmin-FR935-Activity-Stats-Totals2 Garmin-FR935-Activity-Stats-Totals1

Additionally, you’ve also got the ability to quickly glance at your last sport/workout stats, along with the calendar, notifications, weather, and other widgets.  You can customize these from both Garmin options, as well as 3rd party options.

Garmin-FR935-WeatherWidget

Within the pile of widgets is one for 24×7 heart rate.  This will show your continuous heart rate data, as measured by the optical HR sensor on the back of the unit.  Since this unit shares the exact same sensor as the Fenix 5, it now too measures at a rate of every 1-2 seconds.

Garmin-FR935-OpticalSensor

That optical HR data can be seen at any time from the 24×7 widget, allowing you to glance back at not just the last 4 hours, but also your resting heart rate over the preceding 7 days.  I’ve talked about this a fair bit in this post, but in a nutshell I find resting heart rate a great indicator of impending (or current) sickness or excessive fatigue.  It’s easy for me to plot that and know that I may want to adjust my training or recovery accordingly.

Garmin-FR935-Continual-HR Garmin-FR935-Continual-HR-7DayAverage

This data is also then available on Garmin Connect, either your mobile app (iOS/Android/Windows Phone), or on the web using your old Netscape-equipped computer.  Below is a screenshot from iOS.

2017-03-28 18.11.32

As part of the daily activity tracking, it’ll also automatically recognize and track certain sports, for example walking, running, or cycling.  You’ll see these shown as little grey bubbles on your daily heart rate graph, as well as within the list of activities each day.

2017-03-28 18.11.38 2017-03-29 11.12.34

When it recognizes a sport, it’s not enabling GPS or other sensors.  Rather, it’s just leveraging the accelerometer.  Thus, the data quality is pretty low.  I’d *never* use it to track a run, but it’s useful for tracking quick errand trips on a bike around town that you probably wouldn’t otherwise bother to track.  Or for that romantic evening walk on the beach.  All important things to properly capture.  The data shown is pretty minimal, as seen below.  Just start time, type, and duration.

On the left is a simple bike-sharing bike ride home from a party, and on the right is a short walk around town.

2017-03-29 11.12.38 2017-03-29 11.12.58

Next, with all this fancy phone integration you’ve got the ability to of course sync workouts via Bluetooth Smart (or WiFi), as well as receive notifications from your phone.  The FR935 supports standard notification centers on your phone, meaning that any app can take advantage of it.  It’s not just texts or calendar notifications like some watches.  Anything from your favorite sexting app to Instagram, or Ikea kitchen cabinet planner to GoPro’s action cam app.  If it does notifications and normally alerts on your phone, it can alert on your watch.

You can open up alerts to get more detail.  Or you can dismiss them, which will also clear them from the phone.  For dismissed alerts, you can view them within the notification panel on both the watch, as well as your phone (for example, on iOS just swipe down from the top).

Note one handy little feature is that the FR935 and Fenix 5 series now support many emoji, so you can see those directly on the watch.  This is helpful if certain individuals in your family (not pointing any fingers at the Newfoundland contingent or anything) use an astounding amount of emoji icons.  Impressive really.  I mean, just saying, in theory they do.

Finally – as hinted at above, the FR935 does have WiFi on all units, which means when you walk into your house after a workout is completed, it’ll quickly upload via WiFi.  In most cases it’ll do so before you even get your shoes off.  If you’re running barefoot then…umm…before you take your pants off?  I don’t know.  It’s quick.

You can configure numerous WiFi networks using the Garmin Express app:

image

The inclusion of WiFi in all FR935 units is interesting.  Mostly because at $499 it’s less expensive than the base Fenix 5 units at $599, which don’t actually include WiFi (for reasons that make no sense).  Only the Sapphire Fenix 5 units include WiFi.  In any case, it’s really only used for syncing fitness data.  It’s not like you’re going to browse the web with it.  Also, it only works for networks that don’t have proxy/filters on them.  So it won’t work at Starbucks for example.

What’s that? Something in the basics section not covered?  Well, chances are that I’ll cover it throughout the rest of the review. But…if you’re the type of person that wants to press every button on the watch – then the below video is for you!  It’s exactly that: I go through all the menus screen by screen!

With all the basics (and more) covered – let’s head onto using it for a workout.

Sport Usage:

Garmin-FR935-Run-Mode

Let’s talk about how it works in sport, or rather specifically workouts.  When it comes to sport modes there are numerous to choose from here.  They are:

Running: Run, Trail Run, Treadmill Run, Indoor Track
Hiking: Hike, Climb, Walk, Navigate
Cycling: Bike, Bike Indoor, Mountain bike
Swimming: Openwater Swim, Pool Swim
Triathlon: Triathlon Mode, Swimrun, +general multisport mode
Skiing: Ski, Snowboard, XC Ski
Other water: Stand Up Paddleboard, Row, Row Indoor
Other: Golf, Golf TruSwing, Strength, Cardio, Jumpmaster, Tactical, Other (make your own up)

In order to keep things simple, I’m going to start with explaining the basics of sport mode using the running mode.  But the key thing to understand is that by and large these sport modes share the same core functionality.  Meaning that things like alerts, structured workouts, data field customization are the same across the board.  Where you see differences is in nuances related to each sport, for example in cycling you can enable power meter metrics – but those aren’t seen in golf or swimming.  Or in swimming you’d get stroke metrics that aren’t seen in running.  But the way you interact with each mode is largely the same.

To begin a workout you’ll press the upper right button, which immediately goes into a newly designed sport menu.  This single menu is the only tangible difference between the FR935 and the Fenix 5.  In this menu the watch will actually immediately start acquiring GPS signal and your optical HR – even before you choose a sport.  The logic here being to simply jumpstart that process while your brain decides what to do next.

Garmin-FR935-SportSelection

You can scroll down in the list of sports to find any of the above mentioned sports, or, you can customize and add your own sports/names.

Garmin-FR935-Sport-Selection-Menu

You’ll notice that as you’re pondering your sport name, the unit will finish up finding GPS and change the color of the outer ring from red to orange, and then to green.  Green is good, everything else is bad.  So definitely wait for green.  Additionally, you’ll see the HR icon stop blinking and go solid, which means HR has been locked.  Wait for that too.  All of this usually only takes a couple seconds, so it’s pretty quick.

Garmin-FR935-Sport-Menu-Ready

Once that’s done, you can hit the upper right button and you’ll see your data pages that you’ve configured.  This hasn’t started recording yet, and you can still see satellite status around the edge of the watch.

Garmin-FR935-SportReadyToRUn

Since we’re here, let’s talk data fields and data screens.  This basically applies to all sports.  Essentially, you can customize the living crap out of data fields and screens.  No device on the market gives as much customization as this.  You’ve got customizable data pages (screens), that can have up to 4 fields each.  That can be one field, two fields, three fields, or four fields.  And then within both three and four fields you can arrange them two different ways each (technically three ways for three fields – one without field titles).  Here’s a gallery of how that looks:

You can create numerous custom data pages (each having customizable data fields), I haven’t reached the limit because you can create so many and I’m lazy.  But you can also select from standard data pages that can be lightly customized as well.  These include: Virtual Partner, Map, Compass, Elevation (Graph), Music Controls, Running Dynamics (x2 pages), plus a heart rate zone page.  Lots of pages.

The only minor downside is you can’t customize/save these from your phone or Garmin Connect, but rather they must be done on the device.  On the bright side, that means you can customize them on the fly during a workout or standing at the start line.  Or…at Chipotle.  Whatever floats your boat.

Garmin-FR935-AddNewDataPage

Once you’ve started your workout (by pressing the upper right button), the unit will start recording your data.  This also includes displaying your data, such as distance and pace/speed.  There’s literally gazillions of data fields, and they’re listed in the manual.  I used to write them out, but it was silly because it’s so massive (and is always changing).  Plus, you can use Garmin Connect IQ to download zillions more data fields.

I tend to keep mine somewhat basic.  Essentially I’ve got a page focused on workout totals (i.e. total distance, total time, etc…), and then another focused on laps (i.e. lap distance, lap pace, lap time, heart rate).  Btw, you can select either automatic laps based on a preset distance or manual laps based on pressing the button.

Note that you can also customize the lap banner, which allows you to specify which data fields are shown when you press the lap button, or when auto-lap is triggered.

Garmin-FR935-LapBanner

This functionality is handy, though I’d give Suunto the nod for a better overall lap implementation with their lap summary page (a function that was ironically copied from Garmin’s Edge devices).  That Suunto lap summary page allows you to quickly glance at all your last laps with various data like average pace or HR next to it.  Maybe we’ll see something like it in Connect IQ or similar someday.

In any event – let’s run.  While running you’ll get data on your data fields however you set them up.  You can change data pages by simply pressing the up/down buttons.  Alternatively, you can use auto-scroll to have it iterate through them (I personally never like that, since I want to know what I’m going to see when I glance down).  But choice is good.

Note that the FR935 mirrors that on all Garmin running wearables over the last 2-3 years and will show your current/instant pace rounded to the nearest :05 seconds.  For example 7:35/mile or 6:45/mile (not 6:46/mile).  A few other companies have followed in these footsteps, as ultimately all GPS data is smoothed one way or another.  Either it’s smoothed more behind the scenes to give you a false 6:57/mile number, or it’s smoothed more visibly into a bucketed 6:55/mile number.  But fear not, lap average pace and average pace are exact number (i.e. 6:57/mile).  So you can always use those for pacing.

Once done with the run you’ll get workout summary and PR (personal record) information – such as longest run, or fastest 5K run, etc… You’ll also get recovery time metrics (more on that in the next section), and workout benefit details.

GOPR5548 GOPR5553

At this point the watch will then sync that workout via Bluetooth Smart to your phone, or if you’re within range of the WiFi networks you setup – it’ll use that instead (it’s a bit quicker).  And that’s again an important differentiator between the FR935 and the Fenix 5: All FR935 units have WiFi, whereas only some of the Fenix 5 models have WiFi.

2017-03-29 11.32.10 2017-03-29 11.32.18

Once it’s done syncing to Garmin Connect, you can go ahead and look at the data via the Garmin Connect Mobile app (iOS/Android/Windows), or just via web browser on Garmin Connect.  Here’s one of my runs, utilizing the FR935 and the RD Pod (and the optical HR sensor):

GarminFR935Run

Next, we’ll touch on cycling.  As noted this is largely the same as running from a generality standpoint, but there are notables such as power meter support in cycling (both ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart power meters).

2017-03-26 14.04.22

While riding you’ll display any data from sensors as well as GPS (i.e. speed and distance), and you can also utilize the unit on your wrist to re-broadcast your heart rate to secondary devices via ANT+.  So if you’ve got an Edge device (or an app like TrainerRoad or Zwift) – then you can have those apps pair to your wrist heart rate and record them there too.

One other difference of note between the Fenix 5 and the FR935 is that the FR935 has a quick release kit available for it.  This means that if you’re doing a triathlon and want to quickly remove the watch from your wrist to mount onto your bike, you can easily do so.  This quick release kit is still a bit early in production, so there’s only renders (and some bad cell phone photos) available at present.  It sounds like that’ll start shipping in late April.  Still, that’s a definite bonus point for the FR935 over the Fenix 5.

Forerunner 935 Quick Release Kit

Alternatively, for those doing just cycling you can certainly mount the FR935 onto one of the $11 watch mounting blocks to put on your handlebars.  That works just fine (though, the optical HR sensor wouldn’t be usable then).

Once all is said and done your ride, you’ll get the ride data on Garmin Connect just like other sports.  Also, this will happily transit over to Strava, TrainingPeaks, Xert, and many other apps automatically using Garmin’s Auto Sync system.  That process usually takes forever…ya know…like 1-2 seconds in total.

GarminFR935-Bike

Since we’re talking cycling, let’s talk triathlon mode.  Triathlon mode enables you to quickly iterate from sport to sport with little more than a key press.  This is useful for going from the swim segment of a race to the bike segment, and then onto the run.  Further, it can capture transition times as well.

Within the triathlon mode you’ve got the aforementioned transition time option, but you can also use the little known option to automatically lock the buttons after you change sports each time.  This helps to prevent accidental key presses – in particular pressing the ‘lap’ button, which would move you onto the next sport (a really bad thing if it happens at the wrong time).

In addition to triathlon mode you can make your own multisport mode options – such as combining stand-up paddle boarding with skiing.  Or two or more other totally compatible sports.  Further, you can do a bit of a free-style multisport mode by pressing the left-center button at any time to simply switch to another sport.  This is helpful if you’re going to repeat something like bike/run over and over again until a predetermined time (common brick workout strategy).

Speaking of swimming, the unit supports both openwater and pool swimming modes.  In pool swimming mode it’ll use the accelerometer on the watch itself to determine each time you hit the wall at the end of a length.  It then uses the preset pool length that you specify in the watch to do simple math on your total distance (as well as pace).

You can use either flip turns or open (non-flip) turns, it doesn’t much matter.  However, keep in mind that like all swim watches, it’s essentially looking at changes in direction and shifts in acceleration.  So here’s a few tricks you can use as well to get better accuracy:

A) Obviously, ensure your pool length is right
B) The key to swimming watches is remembering it’s looking for a ‘cue’ as to when you’ve reached the end of the length.  So, push off forcefully each time
C) It doesn’t matter if you do flip turns or open (non-flip) turns, I mix and match depending on the craziness at the end of my lane
D) Again, just push off sharply, no matter what you do
E) Avoid stopping/starting mid-lane, since it’ll confuse things
F) If you have to pass someone mid-lane, it’s best to ramp into that pass as evenly as possible. Versus just instantly sprinting mid-lane, since it may think you’ve just done a new length.  I realize that’s easier said than done – but just giving some general advice
G) Don’t do the YMCA song at the end of the lane, even if at the YMCA.  Also, if you go the bathroom, pause the watch.

Speaking of pausing, note that the FR935 does include an inverted display color when you pause it – so you can know whether your mid-set or not.  Also, you can use drill mode for things that don’t involve your wrists (i.e. kickboard drills).  That allows you to simply enter in the total distance for that drill set at the end of the set.

Next, let’s talk openwater swim.  Within openwater swim mode it’s going to leverage the GPS within the device to determine distance.

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The challenge here though is that every time the watch goes below the surface of the water (basically, every other second), it loses that signal.  So the goal with openwater swim mode is to try and string together these generally poorly conceived points into a rational swim track.  Meaning, it’s rarely perfect – I usually aim for accuracy +/- 10% as a rough yardstick of success.  Sometimes you’ll get better (like spot-on better), and sometimes it’ll be crap.

There are things you can do to improve your success rate though:

A) Always get signal above water before starting
B) Always press the start button above water, and then wait for 2-5 seconds before your first strokes
C) If making a sharp turn somewhere (such as a buoy), I find it helpful if you slightly slow down your stroke rate at the turn buoy – giving the unit just an extra split second of your wrist above water to try and find GPS
D) Always wait until out of the water to stop the GPS track, ideally waiting 5-8 seconds for it to ensure it has a clean lock on GPS

If you do those four things, I find substantial improvements in GPS tracking during swims (across all device vendors).  None really impact your workout.

Note that in neither openwater swim mode or pool swim mode does the FR935 capture heart rate via the optical HR sensor.  For both you’ll need either the HRM-TRI or HRM-SWIM.  This is due to the challenges associated with optical HR sensors in the water.

With all that background, I put together this openwater swim video with the FR935 – showing you how it works from start to finish.

As shown in the video – once done you’ll get a GPS track showing your particular route.  In this case, the GPS track was pretty good actually.

FR935-OpenwaterSwim

Last but not least, let’s talk structured workouts and intervals.  These come in two varieties.  First are structured workouts that you can download from Garmin Connect.  These can be ones that you’ve created, or that you’ve downloaded from their free training plans.  Doesn’t much matter, they show up in the device in pretty much the same way, under Training > Workouts:

Garmin-935XT-MyWorkouts Garmin-FR935-WorkoutSelection

It’s here that you can then view the steps (i.e. targets) of the workout, as well as start the workout.

Garmin-FR935-StructuredWorkoutSteps

Once started, the workout function will warn you of upcoming segments, as well as display to you the specific target for each segment.  It’ll also count-down the time left in each piece.  For example, it’ll show you that you’ve got 93 seconds left and that your target HR zone is 165-172bpm.  It’ll even show a nifty little target HR indicator.

Now to demonstrate this, I used the new TrainingPeaks app (you’ll see a separate post shortly on that).  That app essentially transfers the structured workout from TrainingPeaks and then lets the native workout functionality on the FR935 take care of processing.

Just to be clear though, you don’t need TrainingPeaks for anything of this.  The above simply shows how it works if you did use TrainingPeaks to download the workout, but the downloading can also be done natively purely using Garmin Connect Mobile (or your desktop computer).

Next, if you want a more simplistic experience you can use instead the native interval workout function on the watch itself.  This function allows you to configure a warm-up, a work portion (plus repeat count), a rest portion, and then a cool-down.

Garmin-FR935-IntervalWorkout

For example you can specify a work portion of 1 mile, with a rest of 90 seconds, and then do 5 repeats.  You can customize any given portion of that.

Garmin-FR935-Interval-Rest

Once started, it’ll run you through the workout in more or less the same manner as a full downloaded structured workout.  The only difference though is that you’re not going to get a specific target (i.e. pace, heart rate, etc…).  Note that these functions work the same regardless of which sport you’re in (running/cycling, or also swimming for structured workouts).

Finally, we’ll wrap up with a brief talk through of navigation and courses.  I dive into this a bit more in my Fenix 5 In-Depth Review a mere 6 days ago, and that watch functions identically to this in that respect.

In any event, the FR935 includes the ability to navigate on both downloaded courses, as well as past activities.  This can be used either for simple directional assistance – or to even race against courses/activities that are configured with specific timing.  Further, you can also just use the FR935 for basic navigation back to a saved point, or to backtrack your way to wherever you started from.

You can launch navigation from within any given sport (i.e. hiking), or you can launch it on its own.  The net result is basically the same, except that you’ll get data fields customized for that sport if you launch it within that sport.  Plus, you’ll get a few extra data pages from the navigation side of the house.

To begin, you’ll select a course.  For example, here are ones I’ve downloaded from Garmin Connect to my watch via Garmin Connect Mobile.

Garmin-FR935-Run-Course

Once selected you can then view a breadcrumb trail map, or the elevation plots of it:

Garmin-FR935-Navigation-Maps

From there you can start navigation, which allows you to follow that breadcrumb style navigation based on the route of the course.  The watch will also show your times against any pacing within the course/activity file (such as racing against a past activity).  You’ll see the direction of travel using the internal compass, which is displayed as a small red arrow on the edge near the bezel.

Note that unlike the Fenix 5X, the FR935 doesn’t contain any actual map like you’d find on a car/phone GPS.  Meaning, you won’t see streets, lakes, or rivers or anything else. You’ll simply see where you’re going and where you’ve been (identical to the Fenix 5/5S).

The core difference here in this realm between something like the FR935 and the slightly older FR735XT is that the FR935/Fenix5 contain barometric altimeters, which are lacking in the FR735XT.  That’s a big deal for folks hiking (or doing anything) in the mountains.  As I showed in my FR735XT review last year, the altitude readings left much to be desired, whereas with the FR935/Fenix5, it’s far better.  You can see that in the GPS accuracy section in particular (below), on the March 9th mountainous ride.

Finally, note that in order to create courses that at this time you need to use a desktop web browser of some sort, as the Garmin Connect Mobile app doesn’t allow creation there.  You can however sync/specify saved routes from Garmin Connect using the mobile app, and send them to your watch wirelessly.

Training Load & Stress:

Garmin-FR935-TrainingLoadMetrics

When Garmin introduced the Fenix 5, that introduced new training status and load features that have now carried into the FR935.  These metrics are built by FirstBeat and licensed by Garmin.  That’s the same company that has powered much of the training and recovery features on past Garmin watches, as well as other companies in the wearables industry.  These specific new features were previously offered in FirstBeat’s pro athlete training suite, and have now been squeezed into the FR935.

One really important thing to point out is that these metrics take time to adapt to you.  Realistically FirstBeat says it takes about two weeks in total to get to the point of having truly valid data.  That also assumes that you’re able to get two workouts that trigger a VO2Max estimate (either running or cycling, but two of the same sport type).  It’s those two key items that allow it to really hone in.  It’ll reach its ‘full potential’ once it has about a month’s worth of data on you.

To start, when you finish a workout you’ll be given a split of anaerobic an aerobic training effect, in terms of a number between 0.0 and 5.0.  While Training Effect used to be a single number, now it’s split:

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This data is presented for any workout where a heart rate sensor of some sort was used (be it optical or HR strap).  This training effect number is also saved to Garmin Connect, where it can be viewed at the bottom of any workout:

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The exact number corresponds to a much longer explanation of what those data points mean, which can be found in these two sheets that FirstBeat has sent over.

Training Effect terms/phrases (Excel)
Training Status terms/phrases (Excel)

Next, after some activities (if a change has occurred), you’ll receive a VO2Max estimate.  In the case of cycling this requires a power meter.  The VO2Max estimate won’t necessarily show on every workout, and may take a few weeks as well to really fine tune itself (in particular it’s best to have a hard workout).

Garmin-FR935-VO2Max

Moving right along, the unit will give you recovery hours – similar to before on a number of Garmin devices.  These recovery hours can be checked at any time, and will slowly count down to zero hours as time passes.  If you do another workout, it’ll increase correspondingly.

Garmin-FR935-RecoveryHours

Then we’ve got training load.  This numerical number is specific/unique to you, and is based on trending over time.  This is where that multitude of weeks of training data comes in play, as it allows FirstBeat to figure out what’s ‘normal’ for you.  They noted that they reach their full analytic potential after a month of data.

Garmin-FR935-TrainingLoad

Keeping it in the green means your load is appropriate for your capabilities.  Whereas overtraining puts you into the red, and undertraining the blue.

Finally, we’ve got the general training status page (accessible anytime as a widget by just pressing the down button a few times).  This is a way to look at the specific load you’re applying, and whether the load is contributing to fitness.

Garmin-FR935-TrainingStatus

In general, I’ve found this particular page has been pretty accurate when it comes to judging what my training load/etc is in relation to what I’m actually feeling.  As long-time readers know, I tend to be pretty critical of these sorts of technologies, but this one does seem to be getting it right the vast majority of the time.

The FirstBeat folks initially shared with me a massively long presentation and supporting documents that outlined how this tech works. They were able to pull together a bit more finessed/polished version of that over the weekend, which they said I could share/post here. You can find the full PDF here, and I’ve put all the slides into a single gallery for quick clickage below. Note that this applies to the FR935, Fenix 5, and Fenix Chronos units.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like the older FR735XT or Fenix 3 variants will be getting this update.

Heart Rate Sensor Accuracy:

Garmin-FR935-HeartRate24x7-Last4hrs

The FR935 includes Garmin’s Elevate optical HR sensor built into the bottom of it, which is used both in workouts as well as in 24×7 continual HR monitoring mode.  Just like the Fenix 5, the FR935’s optical sensor got a slight overhaul/upgrade, most notably when in 24×7 mode.  Previous to this, Garmin’s Elevate sensor would sample rather infrequently (outside of workouts), at rates from every few seconds to every few hours.  It was all over the map.

Garmin-FR935-OpticalSensor

But with the new lower-power FR935/Fenix 5 optical sensor, it now samples every 1-2 seconds. Basically, it’s always on.  In addition to the change in sampling frequency, they’ve also reduced the sensor bump.  Of course – my goal is to find out if there were any undesired repercussions from this, specifically in sport mode.  When it came to 24×7 mode, the new data looks much better, and the accuracy seems spot on for casual activities like watching TV, walking, or just living life.

2017-03-28 18.11.32

Thus with each subsequent new unit released I re-visit sensor accuracy.  While it’s the same physical hardware, one can see the impact that firmware updates make.  Additionally, each watch has a slightly different form factor (exterior design), which can impact accuracy in terms of external light getting into the sensor area (which degrades accuracy of optical HR sensors).

Before we move on to the test results, note that optical HR sensor accuracy is rather varied from individual to individual.  Aspects such as skin color, hair density, and position can impact accuracy.  Position and how the band is worn are *the most important* pieces.  A unit with an optical HR sensor should be snug.  It doesn’t need to leave marks, but you shouldn’t be able to slide a finger under the band (at least during workouts).  You can wear it a tiny bit looser the rest of the day.

Ok, so in my testing I simply use the watch throughout my normal workouts.  Those workouts include a wide variety of intensities and conditions, making them great for accuracy testing.  I’ve got long/steady runs, hard interval workouts on both bike and running, as well as tempo runs and rides.  Not to mention skiing and hiking.  Night and day, sun and snow.  I’ve got it all!

For each test I’m wearing additional devices, usually 3-4, which capture data from other sensors.  Typically I’d wear a chest strap (usually the HRM-TRI), as well as another optical HR sensor made by Scosche and in some cases also a Suunto Spartan Wrist HR that I’m also testing.  I generally consider the Scosche sensors to be the most accurate optical HR sensors for fitness/workouts today.  Note that the numbers you see in the upper right corner are *not* the averages, but rather just the exact point my mouse is sitting over.

Let’s dive into the first data set.  Note all this data is analyzed using the DCR Analyzer, details here.

First up is some intervals from this Saturday.  You can see that I’ve got a pretty even warm-up phase, building intensity.  Then I go into 3xintervals, followed by four much shorter sprints.

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As we start off there’s a bit of disagreement between the optical side of the house (all three sensors), and the chest strap.  It’s hard to say who is correct, though I’d likely place it on the optical side of the house this time (FR935/Scosche).  The Suunto unit is a bit off there, bouncing around.  But at the 5 minute marker they all merge.

At they largely stay pretty darn close together for the three interval sets.  You see a little bit of lag on the 2nd interval from the FR935 in the first 30 seconds or so, but it’s not horrible.

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As we transition to the four short sprints at the end, things actually match really well.  Except the last one.  What’s going on there?  In that one I was filming the TrainingPeaks video showing the sprint – and it definitely seemed to impact things.  That’s logical – given that I’d have been trying to hold my wrist up for the camera, and thus dorking with the cadence readings.

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So overall, pretty good there.  And I know why certain ones were offset compared to others – which is important.

Here’s another interval workout with the 935, and then a Fenix5 paired to an HRM-RUN HR strap.  Also, the Suunto Wrist HR.  In this you can see that outside of the first few minutes (again), the FR935 and HR strap track quite closely.

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Which is again, the experience I saw over and over again (and also shown in the data).  When it came to running – there wasn’t much of an issue here, outside of occasional warm-up type oddities in the first few minutes.  Which of course is also common in HR straps.

Next, let’s look at some cycling.  I’ve got some indoor trainer rides, but those are all honestly kinda boring as the sensor works just fine and dandy there.  Just like the Fenix 5 – indoor trainer rides no problem.

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Instead, let’s look at this outdoor ride from Sunday as one example of HR data.  This ride actually turned out quite good for HR data from all three units, at least for the first portion of the ride.  The different sensors by and large agreed quite nicely, minus some minor quirks.  I removed the Suunto Spartan Wrist HR data from this plot, because it was too distracting.  You can find that down below in the table if you want.

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We do however see around the 2hr marker that things go sideways a little bit.  This seemed to be a lower intensities, mostly when I was coasting downhill along some occasionally rougher terrain through a park of sorts.

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We this same decoupling towards the end of the ride as well – also at lower intensities.

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Thus the pattern seems to be a bit where as long as I was riding along with some effort, it was doing pretty well.  But if I got into rougher roads with less intensity – then it fell apart a bit.

Which, is all roughly in line with what I saw for the Fenix5 as well.  It works well enough for me during running – even through intervals.  However, cycling is a mixed bag.  Indoors it’s fine, and outdoors as long as there is some evenness within intensity (or roads), then it works out pretty well.  But if I drop intensity and then combine that with rougher roads – it tends to struggle.

Lastly, here’s a table of all my activities on final or near-final software from the last 3-4 weeks:

FR935 Data Sets

DateWorkout TypeData TypeUnits UsedComparison Link
Mar 26thCyclingGPS/HRFR935, Edge 820 + HRM-RUN, Spartan Wrist HR, FR735XT with ScoscheAnalyze
Mar 25ndRunningGPSHRFR935, Fenix 3 + HRM-RUN, Spartan Wrist HR, FR735XT with ScoscheAnalyze
Mar 24thCycling (Indoor)HR FocusedFR935 Optical, Suunto Wrist HR, Scosche Rhytm+, TICKRX HR StrapAnalyze
Mar 22ndRunningGPS/HRFR935, Fenix 5 + HRM-RUN, Spartan Wrist HR, FR735XT no HRMAnalyze
Mar 20thRunningGPS/HRFenix 5, Spartan Wrist HR, Fenix 3 with HRM-RUNAnalyze
Mar 19thCycling (Easy)GPS/HRFR935, Fenix 5, Spartan Wrist HR, Edge 1000 with TICKR-XAnalyze
Mar 12-18thSkiingGPS/HRFR935Single device only
Mar 8thCyclingGPS/HRFR935, Fenix 5, Wahoo BOLT with TICKR HRAnalyze
Mar 7thOpenwater SwimGPSFR935, Fenix 5, Fenix 3 on Swim Buoy (Reference)Analyze
Mar 4thRunningGPS/HRFR935, Fenix 5, Suunto Spartan Ultra, Fenix 3 with HRM-TRIAnalyze

(Note: All of the charts in these accuracy sections were created using the DCR Analyzer tool.  It allows you to compare power meters/trainers, heart rate, cadence, speed/pace, GPS tracks and plenty more. You can use it as well, more details here.)

GPS Accuracy:

Garmin-FR935-GPS-GLONASS

There’s likely no topic that stirs as much discussion and passion as GPS accuracy.  A watch could fall apart and give you dire electrical shocks while doing so, but if it shows you on the wrong side of the road?  Oh hell no, bring on the fury of the internet!

GPS accuracy can be looked at in a number of different ways, but I prefer to look at it using a number of devices in real-world scenarios across a vast number of activities.  I use 2-6 other devices at once, trying to get a clear picture of how a given set of devices handles conditions on a certain day.  Conditions include everything from tree/building cover to weather.

Over the years I’ve continued to tweak my GPS testing methodology.  For example, I try to not place two units next to each other on my wrists, as that can impact signal. If I do so, I’ll put a thin fabric spacer of about 1”/3cm between them.  But often I’ll simply carry other units by the straps, or attach them to my shoulder straps of a CamelBak.  Plus, wearing multiple watches on the same wrist is well known to impact optical HR accuracy too.

Next, as noted I use just my daily training routes.  Using a single route over and over again isn’t really indicative of real-world conditions, it’s just indicative of one trail.

When it comes to the data I’m focusing on for accuracy details in this review, I’m going to mostly limit it to the last few weeks, since earlier data was beta data.  Though in those earlier beta builds, I had no issues with GPS accuracy.

First, let’s just start off with a run in/around the city.  Note as with the optical HR data, all this data is analyzed using the DCR Analyzer.

This run passes under tunnels, over bridges, and right alongside 6-10 story buildings.  Here’s the high level overview.

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But let’s dig into some challenging sections – such as turning onto the bridge – did it handle that correctly?

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It seems to – all units nicely cross the bridge without ending up in the water.  They also correctly navigate exactly where I was on the path.  Next, looking at the turnaround near Bastille, three of the four units correctly plot that turn, including the FR935.

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However, as we get back down the other end of the canal, some units do go for a brush with the buildings.  I ran right alongside the building and the Fenix 5 and FR735XT end up in the building slightly, whereas the FR935 doesn’t and correctly tracks.

It also correctly tracks through the tunnel that’s seen in the lower left of this image.

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In short, on this run there’s no issues with GPS accuracy of the FR935.  And that’s indicative of what I saw on other running activities as well.

So what about something trickier – like an openwater swim?  Well, here ya go:

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As you can see, all three units tracked actually quite closely.  There’s maybe a brief moment of track oddity around the mid-point, which is roughly when I stopped to take some photos/video, which might explain that.  Also towards the end the FR935 adds a little bit of distance as well:

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Now, when it comes to cycling I largely see good results.  There’s honestly not a lot to analyze.  You can dig through the results below – but things are pretty darn clean, which is usually the case for most GPS units.  The higher speed means that there’s less room for GPS to ‘wander’.

Lastly, here’s a table of all my activities on final or near-final software from the last 3-4 weeks.  Note that in general I’m excluding activities where I didn’t have multiple devices, or excluding activities where GPS isn’t involved (i.e. indoor treadmill runs or similar).

FR935 Data Sets

DateWorkout TypeData TypeUnits UsedComparison Link
Mar 26thCyclingGPS/HRFR935, Edge 820 + HRM-RUN, Spartan Wrist HR, FR735XT with ScoscheAnalyze
Mar 25ndRunningGPSHRFR935, Fenix 3 + HRM-RUN, Spartan Wrist HR, FR735XT with ScoscheAnalyze
Mar 24thCycling (Indoor)HR FocusedFR935 Optical, Suunto Wrist HR, Scosche Rhytm+, TICKRX HR StrapAnalyze
Mar 22ndRunningGPS/HRFR935, Fenix 5 + HRM-RUN, Spartan Wrist HR, FR735XT no HRMAnalyze
Mar 20thRunningGPS/HRFenix 5, Spartan Wrist HR, Fenix 3 with HRM-RUNAnalyze
Mar 19thCycling (Easy)GPS/HRFR935, Fenix 5, Spartan Wrist HR, Edge 1000 with TICKR-XAnalyze
Mar 12-18thSkiingGPS/HRFR935Single device only
Mar 8thCyclingGPS/HRFR935, Fenix 5, Wahoo BOLT with TICKR HRAnalyze
Mar 7thOpenwater SwimGPSFR935, Fenix 5, Fenix 3 on Swim Buoy (Reference)Analyze
Mar 4thRunningGPS/HRFR935, Fenix 5, Suunto Spartan Ultra, Fenix 3 with HRM-TRIAnalyze

All of the above link to the DCR Analyzer data, which you can then dig into the individual activities in more detail if you’d like.  Further, you can download the original data at the bottom of each page.

Connect IQ & 3rd Parties:

Garmin-ConnectIQ-TrainingPeaksApp

Like almost every wearable Garmin has made in the last few years, the Forerunner 935 includes support for Garmin Connect IQ, which is Garmin’s app platform that 3rd party apps can take advantage of.  Said platform has thousands of apps covering all sorts of things from Uber to watch faces to specialized apps for very specific race scenarios.  Basically, it allows companies or hobbyists to not only integrate with 3rd party services, but also to bridge the gap where the base device may be missing a feature.

The FR935 includes the same support for Connect IQ version 2.2.3+, which is the latest version of Connect IQ.  That will enable it to support newer apps over the next while.  This includes 2MB for apps, or up to 32 individual apps – whatever you reach first.  Additionally, it also has 64 color support, also the same as the Fenix 5 and Chronos series.

In the case of 3rd party support, you’ll see both apps that can be downloaded – as well as some that are actually pre-installed.  For example, TrainingPeaks is now preinstalled as an app – which offers the ability for you to iterate through structured workouts directly from their platform.

In addition, you’ll see other pre-loaded apps like Strava Segments, which allows you to race Strava Segments in real-time.  That works identically to how the FR735XT works, which I covered in this video.

Those Strava Segments are downloaded automatically to your FR935 based on Garmin’s connection to Strava behind the scenes.  The watch will then give you updates for how you’re competing against the leaderboard in real-time as you race the segment (running or cycling):

DSC_9079

Afterwards, it’ll update accordingly on the Strava site (once you upload your activity upon ending it).  Again, nothing super new here when it comes to these features.

In many ways, what’s most notable is beneath the covers and came in the form of updates last fall during the ANT+ Symposium.  These updates have given app developers far more connectivity to the watch.  For example, the Training Peaks integration isn’t some sort of special secret back door between the two companies.  Rather, it’s just TrainingPeaks leveraging the new capability to hand-off files (workouts) to the watch via your smartphone connection.  It’s the exact same functionality that Xert uses on the Garmin Edge lineup.  The only difference? Garmin simply placed the TrainingPeaks app on your FR935 by default.  Just one file placed there, that’s it.  For everyone else – you can simply go to the Garmin Connect IQ app store and download it for free.

Still – all of these apps are cool. Be it ones that Garmin is highlighting as part of partnerships, or smaller apps from hobbyist developers that you’ve never heard of.  In fact, sometimes the smaller ones are the coolest ones.

Sensor Support (ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart):

Garmin-FR935-Sensor-Support

The Fenix 5 series was the first Garmin unit to not only support a slew of ANT+ sensors, but also now supports Bluetooth Smart sensors.  The Garmin FR935 then followed along in those same footsteps.  Previously Garmin would only utilize the Bluetooth side of the house for connecting to your phone via Bluetooth Smart.  Now however, you can connect to both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart sensors, assuming both follow published standards.

At present, the FR935 supports the following sensor types:

ANT+ External Heart Rate Sensor
ANT+ Cycling Power Meter
ANT+ Cycling Speed-only, Cadence-only, and Speed/Cadence Combo Sensors
ANT+ Running Footpod
ANT+ Gear Shifting Profile (SRAM RED eTAP/Campagnolo EPS)
ANT+ External Temperature Sensors (Tempe)
ANT+ Lighting Systems (Garmin Varia/Bontrager lights)
ANT+ Radar Systems (Garmin Varia Radar)
ANT+ Remote Display (Varia Vision heads up display)
ANT+ Muscle Oxygenation Sensor (i.e. Moxy/BSX)
ANT Shimano Di2 Gear Shifting Profile
ANT Garmin VIRB Action Camera Control
ANT Garmin RD (Running Dynamics) pod
Bluetooth Smart External Heart Rate Sensor
Bluetooth Smart Cycling Speed-only, Cadence-only, and Speed/Cadence Combo Sensors
Bluetooth Smart Cycling Power Meters
Bluetooth Smart Running Footpods

Phew! Lots of sensor types!

Now, the most important wording I noted above was ‘follow published standards’.  On the ANT+ side, this means either following specific adopted ANT+ profiles (i.e. the heart rate sensor or gear shifting profile), or in a few limited cases, following company-specific standards.  For example, Shimano Di2 doesn’t technically follow the ANT+ gear shifting standard, rather, they’ve done their own thing.  But they were the first to do that thing, so everyone supports it anyway.

Where things get messy is private/extended variants of standards, especially on the Bluetooth Smart side.  For example – running dynamics.  There is no standard on either ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart for running dynamics type data (i.e. vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc…).  Instead, Garmin uses private-ANT (just like Shimano does for Di2).  And other companies like Wahoo with the TICKR series use private methods over Bluetooth Smart.  Though, these aren’t compatible.  Meaning that you’ll get base heart rate data – but you won’t get any running dynamics stuff when using a non-Garmin strap.  Maybe some day, but today is not that day.

The same is true of offline data, meaning the ability for a heart rate strap to cache/save data when not connected to a watch.  Garmin uses this with the HRM-TRI/HRM-SWIM heart rate straps to save data while you swim, because it can’t send that data to the watch through the water.  When connected again, Garmin uses the standard ANT+ ANTfs offloading capability to allow a watch to download that data.  This is a published standard (and has been for more than half a decade).

However, others don’t follow this standard, and there is no equivalent published standard for offloading fitness data on Bluetooth Smart.  Thus other companies do it differently.  For example, both Polar’s new H10 and Wahoo’s TICKR-X can save data offline, as can Stryd, Suunto and 4iiii heart rate straps.  But none do so the same way on Bluetooth Smart, let alone utilize the ANT+ ANTfs standard for offloading.

Said more simply: You’ll need a Garmin HRM-TRI/HRM-SWIM strap to download data.  And you’ll need either a Garmin HRM-TRI/HRM-RUN/RD Pod to get running dynamics.

Garmin-FR935-RD-Pod

Note that I’ve included a full review of the RD Pod here in this postc.

Of course, folks could pressure both sides of the equation to support other standards.  For example, folks could pressure Garmin to open up Running Dynamics to be an ANT+ standard for a variety of efficiency metrics (nobody has tried harder to pressure them to do so than I).  And inversely, folks could pressure companies like Wahoo and 4iiii to support ANTfs offloading of data from the strap for offline access.

Finally – some might wonder if you can use Polar’s H7/H10 and other like straps that transmit heart rate signals underwater live, to do so to the FR935 (underwater).  The answer is no.  That’s because while underwater the Polar device doesn’t use Bluetooth Smart to connect to these straps, but rather an analog frequency (the same one used for gym treadmills and such), which Garmin doesn’t support.

Here’s a simplified FAQ section, since I’ve seen about 1,291 questions about this:

Will the FR935 support running dynamics from my Wahoo TICKR strap?

No, see above for details.  It will read the heart rate data just fine.

Will the Garmin FR935 connect to my PowerTap P1 pedals via Bluetooth Smart?

Yes, they can. You’ll connect both sides (Left/Right) and the Garmin will properly track left/right balance.  However, because there is no standard for Torque Efficiency and Pedal Smoothness on Bluetooth Smart, you won’t get those unless you connect via ANT+.  The general guidance of *every* power meter company I talk to in the industry is given the option to connect your power meter over ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart, always choose ANT+.

Will my power meter work flawlessly over Bluetooth Smart?

I’m just gonna be straight about this now: This will continue to be a mess.  Garmin has done a pretty good job in getting compatibility working for the dozen+ ways that power meter companies have adopted the Bluetooth Smart standards in power meters.  In the few BLE power meters I’ve tested, they’ve worked.  But I haven’t tested every firmware version of every unit out there – and I can guarantee some don’t work.  It sucks.  A lot.  Garmin isn’t the only one shaking their head.  Everyone is.  Different companies handle it differently.  Suunto has tried as well to just ‘make it work’ as quickly as possible, while Polar seems to drag its heels on making things work.  Everyone I talk to in the industry here about this topic truly sighs and puts their head in their hands in frustration.

Who to blame is a mixed bag, but either way, the consumer is left holding said bag.  The good news is that every power meter out there except the Polar power meters support dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, so just use ANT+ and don’t worry about it.

Will the FR935 connect to my Polar strap underwater?

No, said Polar strap uses analog signals to broadcast underwater.  Garmin doesn’t have that hardware in the Forerunner series to connect to that.

Does this mean the end of ANT+?

Not likely.  I do think it applies pressure to ANT+ though to maintain relevance, but I think they can do that through things like standardizing running metrics and stuff – thus encouraging companies to utilize the platform. But until the day comes where I can look back on the preceding 6-12 months and say that every Bluetooth Smart power meter (or cycling sensor) has worked flawlessly with every head unit (from a connection standpoint), then ANT+ will likely continue to do quite well.

Can I connect multiple Bluetooth Smart sensors?

Yes and no.  You can connect multiple sensors to an FR935 – no issues there.  However, you cannot connect multiple devices to a single Bluetooth Smart sensor.  So if you’re connected to your Bluetooth Smart heart rate strap with the Zwift app (on your phone), then the FR935 will be unable to connect to it as well.  That’s because Bluetooth Smart at this time cannot accept multiple master device connections.

Bluetooth 5.0 does resolve this (upcoming), but so did Bluetooth 4.1 – and nobody has adopted either from a sensor standpoint in the sports industry yet.  ANT+ does not have these limitations, a key reason it’s used in gym/coaching scenarios today.

Bugs & Quirks:

I often include a section in my review about specific bugs and quirks seen in the product.  From a software development standpoint, there’s often a fine line between a bug that needs fixing – and what the software industry calls ‘by design’.  Meaning it’s not technically a bug, but rather something that’s designed that way (however sucky that might be).  In my case, I’m going to call those ‘quirks’.

In general, I’m drawing the line that I’m only going to cover bugs seen in the final production version of things.  After all – that’s somewhat the point of beta – to rid itself of bugs.  I have however been tracking bugs I saw during beta, and specifically validating those have been fixed in the production version.

Also, note that I’m specifically looking at issues *I’ve encountered* during swim/bike/run/ski/hike/daily use/etc…  This isn’t designed to be the end-all-be-all of bugs that may exist in the product.

What’s interesting here though is that with the mostly shared code based on the Fenix side, bugs I’ve been finding have been taken care of there first.  Plus any bugs I’ve found on the FR935 they’ve resolved within a few days.  So my ‘bug list’ if you will is incredibly small, nitpicking items at best. For example one of the last sport type widgets doesn’t quite seem to be pulling the correct workout type by default (but can easily be changed), but even that’s only something I happened to notice because I was taking a bunch of photos for this review this weekend.

If there’s anything that falls into this category, it’d be that optical HR sensor accuracy while cycling certainly leaves something to be desired.  A complaint I echoed in my Fenix 5 in-depth review.

As with all companies, it’s not so much having bugs in a product that’s concerning (as every company/product has bugs) – but rather, it’s how quickly a company responds to unexpected bugs.  Both in terms of initial triage via support channels, as well as then, of course, issuing a fix in short shorter via updated firmware.  Generally speaking Garmin is pretty good about earlier issues in new products, usually fixing most oddities pretty quickly in the first few weeks/months.  Given that the codebase is shared with the Fenix 5 series, that helps in having a broader number of people and getting updates out quicker.

Product Comparison Tool:

I’ve added the Garmin FR935 into the product comparison tool, allowing you to compare it against numerous other products I’ve reviewed and/or hands-on time with.  For the purposes of the below chart, I’ve placed it against the Fenix 5 and Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR.  But you can easily mix and match to compare it against any products in the database, here at the product comparison tool.

Function/FeatureGarmin Forerunner 935Garmin Fenix 5 (5/5S/5X)Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated November 29th, 2019 @ 5:07 amNew Window
Price$499$599$499
Product Announcement DateMar 29th, 2017Jan 4th, 2017Jan 4th, 2017
Actual Availability/Shipping DateMar 29th, 2017March 2017Mar 31st, 2017
GPS Recording FunctionalityYesYesYes
Data TransferUSB/Bluetooth Smart/WiFiUSB/Bluetooth Smart/WiFi (Sapphire only)USB & Bluetooth Smart
WaterproofingYes - 50mYes - 100mYes - 100m
Battery Life (GPS)Up to 24hrs in GPS-on, up to 50hrs in UltraTrac GPSUp to 24hrs in GPS-on, up to 75hrs in UltraTrac GPSUp to 50 hours
Recording Interval1S or Smart1S or SmartVariable
Satellite Pre-Loading via ComputerYesYesYes
Quick Satellite ReceptionGreatGreatGreat
AlertsVibrate/Sound/VisualVibrate/Sound/VisualSound/Visual/Vibrate
Backlight GreatnessGreatGreatGreat
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceYesYEsNo
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)YesYesSteps only (not distance/sleep)
MusicGarmin Forerunner 935Garmin Fenix 5 (5/5S/5X)Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR
Can control phone musicYEsYesNo
Has music storage and playbackNoNoNo
Streaming ServicesNoNo
PaymentsGarmin Forerunner 935Garmin Fenix 5 (5/5S/5X)Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR
Contactless-NFC PaymentsNoNo
ConnectivityGarmin Forerunner 935Garmin Fenix 5 (5/5S/5X)Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR
Bluetooth Legacy (pre-4.0) to PhoneNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart (4.0+) to Phone UploadingYEsYesYes
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)YesYesYes
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)YesYesNo
Group trackingYesYesNo
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)NoNoNo
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNo
CyclingGarmin Forerunner 935Garmin Fenix 5 (5/5S/5X)Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR
Designed for cyclingYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableYEsYesYes
Power Meter Configuration/Calibration OptionsYesYesYes
Power Meter TSS/NP/IFYEsYesNo
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableYEsYesYes
Strava segments live on deviceYesYesNo
Crash detectionNoNoNo
RunningGarmin Forerunner 935Garmin Fenix 5 (5/5S/5X)Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR
Designed for runningYesYesYes
Footpod Capable (For treadmills)YEsYesYes
Running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc...)WITH RD POD, HRM-TRI OR HRM-RUN (NOT VIA OPTICAL HR)WITH RD POD, HRM-TRI OR HRM-RUN (NOT VIA OPTICAL HR)No
Running PowerWITH RD POD, HRM-TRI OR HRM-RUN (or 3rd party Stryd/RunScribe)With extra sensor
VO2Max EstimationYesYEsYes
Race PredictorYesYesNo
Recovery AdvisorYEsYesYes
Run/Walk ModeYesYesNo
SwimmingGarmin Forerunner 935Garmin Fenix 5 (5/5S/5X)Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR
Designed for swimmingYEsYesYes
Openwater swimming modeYesYEsYes
Lap/Indoor Distance TrackingYesYesYes
Record HR underwaterWITH HRM-TRI/HRM-SWIM (Not with optical HR)WITH HRM-TRI/HRM-SWIM (Not with optical HR)Yes
Openwater Metrics (Stroke/etc.)YesYesYes
Indoor Metrics (Stroke/etc.)YesYEsYes
Indoor Drill ModeYesYesNo
Indoor auto-pause featureNo (it'll show rest time afterwards though)No (it'll show rest time afterwards though)No
Change pool sizeYEsYEsYes
Indoor Min/Max Pool Lengths14M/15Y TO 150Y/M14M/15Y TO 150Y/M15m/y to 1,200m/y
Ability to customize data fieldsYesYesYes
Can change yards to metersYEsYesYes
Captures per length data - indoorsYesYesYes
Indoor AlertsYesYesNo
TriathlonGarmin Forerunner 935Garmin Fenix 5 (5/5S/5X)Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR
Designed for triathlonYesYesYes
Multisport modeYesYesYes
WorkoutsGarmin Forerunner 935Garmin Fenix 5 (5/5S/5X)Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR
Create/Follow custom workoutsYesYesNo
On-unit interval FeatureYEsYEsYes
Training Calendar FunctionalityYesYesYes
FunctionsGarmin Forerunner 935Garmin Fenix 5 (5/5S/5X)Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR
Auto Start/StopYEsYesYes
Virtual Partner FeatureYEsYEsNo
Virtual Racer FeatureYesYesNo
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)YEsYesNo
Day to day watch abilityYesYesYes
Hunting/Fishing/Ocean DataYesYesNo
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoNoNo
Jumpmaster mode (Parachuting)YesYesno
GeocachingVia GPS coordinatesVia GPS coordinatesNo
Weather Display (live data)YesYesno
NavigateGarmin Forerunner 935Garmin Fenix 5 (5/5S/5X)Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)YesYEsYes
Markers/Waypoint DirectionYEsYesYes
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)NoYes (5X Only)No
Back to startYesYesYes
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationNoYes (5X Only)No
Download courses/routes from phone to unitYesYesYes
SensorsGarmin Forerunner 935Garmin Fenix 5 (5/5S/5X)Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR
Altimeter TypeBarometricBarometricGPS
Compass TypeMagneticMagneticMagnetic
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyYesYesYes
Pulse Oximetry (aka Pulse Ox)NoNo
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableYesYesNo
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableYesYesNo
ANT+ Footpod CapableYesYesNo
ANT+ Power Meter CapableYesYesno
ANT+ Weight Scale CapableNoNoNo
ANT+ Fitness Equipment (Gym)NoNoNo
ANT+ Lighting ControlYesYesNo
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationYesYesNo
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)NoNoNo
ANT+ Remote ControlNo (can control VIRB though)No (can control VIRB though)No
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoNoNo
ANT+ Muscle Oxygen (i.e. Moxy/BSX)YesYesNo
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)YEsYesNo
Shimano Di2 ShiftingYEsYesNo
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableYesYesYes
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableYEsYesYes
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableYEsYesYes (+ Stryd Running Power Meter)
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableYEsYEsYes
Temp Recording (internal sensor)YEsYesYes
Temp Recording (external sensor)YesYesNo
Compatible with Firstbeat HR toolsYEsYes-
SoftwareGarmin Forerunner 935Garmin Fenix 5 (5/5S/5X)Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR
PC ApplicationGarmin ExpressGarmin ExpressPC/Mac
Web ApplicationGarmin ConnectGarmin ConnectSuunto Movescount
Phone AppiOS/Android/Windows PhoneiOS/Android/Windows PhoneiOS/Android
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNo
PurchaseGarmin Forerunner 935Garmin Fenix 5 (5/5S/5X)Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR
Amazon LinkLinkLinkLink
Clever Training - Save with the VIP programLinkLinkLink
Clever Training Europe (Save 10% with DCR10BTF)LinkLinkLink
DCRainmakerGarmin Forerunner 935Garmin Fenix 5 (5/5S/5X)Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR
Review LinkLinkLinkLink

Again – remember you can make your own comparisons using the comparison tool here.

Summary:

Garmin-FR935-Constant-HR

The FR935 is a very solid and capable product – and one that builds nicely on last year’s FR735XT, while offering a slightly lower priced option compared to the more fashion-focused Fenix 5 series.  The tech and features inside it work just as well as the Fenix 5.  And while the benefits are minimal over recent products, they are more substantial when comparing it against older watches like the FR920 or much older FR910XT, 310XT, and so on.

But I suspect there will (probably rightly), be some disappointed people with one area: The size/form factor.  Specifically that for triathletes, many have actually enjoyed the larger/rectangular display seen on the FR920XT and the umpteen generations before it.  On the flip-side, runners will likely be happy since they’ve now got an upgrade option for those that want all the fancy features in a slimmer running focused unit.

The benefit though to Garmin’s consolidation on watch formats (i.e making it round) is that they’re also consolidating on code bases.  That has a very real-world impact to stability of the product.  The fact that this product will be available immediately, and likely with few visible bugs is a testament to the software being the Fenix 5 codebase that’s been used for many months by hundreds of testers.  It also means that going forward, it won’t end up an orphaned product since it’s tied like a conjoined twin to the hip of the juggernaut in Garmin that is the Fenix product lineup.  Sometimes there’s safety in numbers.

If you’re looking for a great little triathlon watch that has all the features of the Fenix 5 without the price tag of it – then the FR935 is a very solid option.  Especially since it ships starting…today. Just in time for the season.

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1,718 Comments

  1. Will Budge

    I’m getting this watch for triathlon training, but still plan to use my Edge 520 for on the bike training. Will the FR 935 be able to sync with my bike workouts (via my phone) so that data like workload and training effectiveness can be shown on the FR935 and include my bike workouts?
    Or, would the only way to do this be to record the bike workouts on the FR 935 as well?
    Thanks
    Will

  2. Nomnom

    Hi. I am new to this fitness gadgets stuff so I was hoping you could help me chose a fitness watch with chest strap. I am female ans disabled and have been bed ridden for quite a while but intend to try* to get fit. I need something which measures heart rate during my rehabilitation exercises. One day I hope to walk/run and cycle but for moment I hope to aim to do floor exercises and hopefully swimming (rehabilitation). I am interested in getting Garmin 935 (or Fenix 5s or 735?). I am not sure which chest strap to get. Triathlon one vs separate running and swimming ones? I physically can’t run or cycle or swim atm but may be in future (huge maybe, I may just end up in a wheelchair due to limited mobility). My cardiologist recommend I get fitness watch and chest strap but I don’t know which. I need a chest strap which will be able to tell me my heart rate while I exercise mostly pilates and floor exercises atm with possible swimming pool exercises too. If all goes well I may one day do more but I don’t know. That’s why I don’t know which chest straps to get: triathlon vs running and swimming.

    I am also confused with, if I get eg Garmin 935 with swimming or triathlon chest strap, will I be able to see what my heart rate is real time on my watch? In water and outside!? I have elevated heart rate so I’m basically interested in monitoring how high my heartrate goes during my rehab exercises. I’ve never owned a heart rate watch or strap so I don’t really know what to expect.

    Would be grateful for reply to tell me which chest straps would be good for a beginner who may one day do more than basic exercises. Thanks.

    • NordS

      Hello Friend.
      At first I thought that you do not really need a watch. Since you will not be seriously engaged and would like to recommend that you take Garmin Vivoactive HR. He will close all your needs if you add a breast strap to him, but … I see that you want to practice in the pool, then you will get any watch from 700 to Phoenix 5 with a belt of TRI. This strap can also be used on the pool and on land. Do not overpay.

      However … you can make it even easier and cheaper and for you it will be enough. Will buy a Polar A370 +H7. It will work in the water in real time and on land. This is a simple and cheap solution. You can analyze your data with the help of PolarFlow and connect the strap to your smartphone and work with it without a bracelet.
      Dear friend. I wish you to restore your health. Good luck to you.

      PS Sorry for my English. He is not native to me.

    • NordS

      Oh, I’m sorry. H7 does not work in the pool for the A370 …

    • Joop

      You won’t see realtime heartrates in the pool with the tri- or swimming HRM-bands. They just store the heartrate, so that it can be transferred after the swimming session.
      There are only hacks for realtime heartrate during swim-sessions, as far as I know (f.e. with the Scosche Rhythm plus)

    • NordS

      Yes, of course it is, but the question was in general about measuring the heart rate in water.
      If you put the question of heart rate rhythm online, then it’s like I think only Polar at a reasonable price. V800 or RCX5 (!) You can take a very cheap.
      You can try using the 430super laser sensor! Aha-ha-ha. 🙂
      And suddenly it will work as stated? Soon I will test this ….

    • Scott Griffith

      For swimming, I use one of my old Polar heart rate monitors that give accurate, real-time heart rate measurement. It’s funny how the advancement of newer monitors with newer technology have taken a step back in this regard!

    • NordS

      Therefore, I with great, great regret postponed the purchase of the top Garmin. I need to measure the pulse in real time in the water when diving, swimming in the pool and open water. I’m not young anymore and I need to watch my heart. I like the Garmin in terms of design and functions, but unfortunately they lose a lot by measuring the heart rhythm of Polar. So I’m waiting for the top Polar, and I was ready to change from Garmin, but …
      It seems that even the 430 with its 6th laser sensor will make Fenix.

  3. Chuck

    Hello,

    Is there any way to turn off the Wifi radio on the 935? I would rather disable Wifi and just use Bluetooth to sync with my phone.

    Thank you,

    Chuck

    • Markus G

      Well, just don’t configure any WiFi network and it won’t sync via WiFi.
      You need to add a WiFi in Garmin Express in order to be able to use WiFi. So if you never do that, you will always sync via Bluetooth.

    • Rich

      I tried to setup wifi network through garmin express. But it always failed everytime I tried to choose network name. Anyone has experienced the same?

    • Falk Lembke

      Is there a way to configure WiFi by Connect App?
      I don’t have Windows (Express) anymore but loved the way syncing my data per WiFi (FR 620, 630). It’s faster in the cloud than me in my room when finished.

  4. Grant

    WOW only 1149 comments on this thread!!!
    I hope you can give me some insight on this as i think i have found a FLAW in some of the Garmin watches. The issue is that at some point, the watches i have had change the temperature to remain at 298 degrees C, this also shorts out the VO2 predictor and also the training status functions, amongst other smaller issues (barometer, altimeter, some navigational functions).
    I previously had the Fenix 2 and this issue occurred 5 times. Garmin were great at replacing the unit within 5 days, but still, for this to happen 5 times Garmin didn’t offer any advice or seem to investigate. I now have the 935 which I love and yet again the exact same issue has occurred.
    The FLAW, I believe, is when I go in the sauna after swim sessions (3/5 times a week). So as a plea to other users, has this happened to anyone before? do you use the sauna regularly? if so, please try to avoid it.
    Im off on a training camp this week and so don’t want to send the watch back to Garmin just yet as i want to track my training. Thankfully, although training status is inoperable ( even on GC) using training peaks works a treat 🙂

    • Juro

      The manual says:

      Operating temperature range
      From -20º to 50ºC (from -4º to 122ºF)

      So I am not quite sure popping up after a session in sauna really count as FLAWs.

    • Grant Ormerod

      Hi Juro.
      I didn’t realise the manual said that.
      Nevertheless, why does the gauge say 289 degrees C. This may suggest it can read higher than 50. Seems like something may have been overlooked in the software or something. It’s a bit like designing a great car, putting an F1 engine in it so it can go 289 mph, but then stating in the manual that if you go over 50 mph it’s possible that the wheels will fall off.

      I will get garmin to replace and refrain from using it in the sauna. And I may start reading the manuals of things too. Thanks Juro

  5. JS

    i have been using the tomtom multisport cardio for quite a few years now (pretty much since it came out)

    I am thinking maybe its time to upgrade to a more sophisticated watch. I could see myself wearing the 935 as an every day watch. I only wear the tomtom for running.

    I have been very happy with the TomTom OHR performance for steady state running and even interval training when running

    Is there any reason why the OHR on the 935 will not perform as well as the Tomtom?

    This is my only concern really as I like to vary my running intensities (steady sped/intervals//hills etc.) and dont want to upgrade if its an inferior OHR on the Garmin

  6. You are the review king. I actually busted out and bought my 935 practically as it arrived in Miami. I was upgrading from a 910 so I’m super happy with a lot of the features. I find that if I skip a model I’m less unhappy with paying for the upgrade. I’m probably cheap. I do find the wrist-based heart rate to be very unreliable. I am thinking of it more like a suggestion… this might be my heart rate. In the middle of a threshold workout on the indoor bike trainer it told me my heart rate was 81. It was nowhere near 81. Lol.

    I learned many things today reading your review like the Health Stats on Garmin Connect. You are always a wealth of information.

    I wonder what percentage of the capabilities do you think most Garmin wearers actually use. I suspect I only use 10-20% of what it does and I’m not sure if I’m unusual or normal in that way.

  7. Guillermo Guerini

    Hello, I have been having issues syncing my 935 with the Garmin Connect Mobile App for a few weeks now. The sync process would simply fail halfway through 2 out of 3 times. After trying a few times, it would sync normally. I’m running the latest firmware (4.10) and also the latest version of the GCMA (3.20). I have an iPhone 6s (10.3.3).

    Before you suggest me to read the FAQ and other links about how to pair & sync your watch, I’ve read/done all of them. I’d say I’m a fairly advanced user and I’m pretty confident I know what I’m doing.

    This morning, after so many failed attempts to sync my watch, I decided to unpair the watch from the GCMA and to pair it again. It didn’t work. I tried various times. I also went to the iOS Bluetooth settings on my phone and “forgot this device”, relaunched the GCMA to initiate the pairing process.. my watch would give me the pairing code, I would enter the code on the GCMA but then it would failed. Every single time.

    I deleted the app from my phone, reinstalled it. Disable the Phone connection from the watch, tried again and again and again. It simply does not pair with my phone anymore. When I get the “Pairing Failed” screen, I can see my watch displaying “Updating” and that’s it.

    But I think I have an idea why I’m having problems pairing my watch again: it’s because last week I enabled the LiveTrack on the GCMA.

    Why do I think this is related to my issue? Because after failing to pair my watch with the GCMA, if I initiate the Sync from the watch (hold light button, choose Sync), I get this message: “This will end the current LiveTrack session. Down to Continue..” If tap the down button, after a few seconds (10 maybe?!) fails the end the LiveTrack… because I’m not currently in an activity, therefore, there’s no LiveTracking going on at the moment. Since this is probably a GCMA + watch dependent feature, and the watch is not “connected” to that specific app anymore (because I unpaired, uninstalled and reinstalled the app), it fails to create a new connection with the CGMA. I can’t think of anything else.

    I’m pretty sure that if I restore my watch to the factory setting I will probably be able to pair my watch again. The problem is: I would lose all my Training Status (since it doesn’t seem to sync it to the Garmin Connect’s website) and other information. This is kind of disappointing.

    Another weird thing: even though the paring failed, I’m getting all my phone notifications on my watch. I can also control my music using the watch. So I’m pretty sure this is not a bluetooth issue. But I can’t open the weather app on my watch for example.. it says I need to pair with the GCMA. It kind of makes sense, since notifications + musics, are only dependent on bluetooth connectivity, while the weather app, needs to communicate with the GCMA.. and this is not working.

    What should I do? This is probably a bug that affects 0.0001% of Garmin’s customer but if it’s a bug, it would be great to get fixed. I’m more than happy to talk to someone if necessary and provide more info.

    To add more context, I uplad screenshots of the pairing process between the watch and the app: link to imgur.com

    Is it just me?? 🙁

    • Juro

      In the Fenix 5 beta firmware notes, this has been recently fixed:

      “Fixed an issue where the device was unable to sync if a LiveTrack session was currently active.”

      Looks like your issue. Given 935XT and Fenix are largely the same watch, there is a likelihood this will be addressed.

      What helped me when I had similar GCMA sync issues was to reboot the phone and then also the watch. It did help even when all the steps you outline didn’t.

  8. Carl

    Does the 935 have an internal temperature sensor?
    Is the there a comparison which 920xt?

    • Pure ZOOG

      Yes, the 935 has an internal temp. sensor. Unfortunately, like other wrist based device temp. sensors, they’re influenced by body heat, so it’s best to use a Tempe sensor if you want accurate temp. stats. Swimming, though, negates the body heat issue and does give accurate water temp. results for what it’s worth.

    • Jonas S.

      Does the 935 include the temperature in a fit file for swimming? Haven’t seen swims on Strava including temperature (might be Strava not showing it).

  9. Matt

    Hello.

    Are there any Garmin watches that will pair with this power meter on a new Stages spin bike?

    I’d love to have the bike metrics save to my watch, and in-turn, the Garmin Connect app to help me keep track of my spin workouts

    I can’t find any answers anywhere, lol.

    Thanks in advance.

  10. John Svagzdys

    I’ve had the FR935 for a couple months now. I do a mixed bag of workouts from running and hiking to lots of crossfit wods and grunt garden work like shoveling, hoeing and mixing massive amounts of compost and soil for our ever expanding perennial gardens. I have found the wrist heart rate to be surprisingly accurate for basically anything where you are primarily using your legs (running, hiking, walking, etc). As soon as the workout entails using your arms, like lifting weights, shovelling dirt, etc, etc, the wrist based heart rate is useless. It WAY under reports my heartrate. It’ll appear that i’m doing basically nothing more than sitting in a chair when I’m completely drenched with sweat and exhausted. I’ve fiddled with the position and how tight the band is, but to no avail.

    I bought it hoping to be able to easily track just about anything without a chest strap, but it just doesn’t perform well enough to do that.

    • Matt

      Yea, all wrist heart monitors seem to be that way. They all suggest getting a heart rate cheat strap for those arm activities.

      Try wearing the watch on the underside of your wrist one time as a test.

  11. Sprat

    Need some product details relative to the Tri bundle.

    I got the 920xt Tri bundle which came with the HR Swim strap including one (1) extender. If you buy the Swim HR strap separately product details indicates 3 extenders, small, medium, large. So, I am assuming the Tri bundle comes with the medium extender; but, product details don’t mention the extender.

    My problem is that I am 5′ 8″, 160 lbs, perfectly average build; but, I can’t get the HR Swim strap from the Tri bundle to synch tight enough and with one too many turns and push offs in the pool, it drops to my lower ribs, becoming a belly monitor. I’ve stopped wearing it.

    Got the 935 w/o Tri bundle. Can you or anyone provide the inbox details for both Tri bundle and the stand alone Swim heartrate strap?

  12. Mathias Reding

    Hi,

    I am currently training triathlon for the full IM distance.
    I am using the FR735XT and the 820 Edge currently in connection with a 2 gen. stages dura ace power meter.

    Like a lot others, i have signal issues with this setup about my power.
    I got a new 820, that “only” looses the power signal 2-5 times pr. hour now when positioned optimally (on top of water bottle between aerobars).

    I have heard that the Bluetooth signal would be better for connecting this, is this true? If yes how do you connect the 935 via bluetotth and not ANT+ – as it only searches for sensors and not if it is ant+ or bluetooth?

    Hope that you can help me as i am trying to optimize before my IM the 20th og august. And i want to be sure i have a stable signal so that i can ride the bike properly.

    I hope it made sense :).

    Br, Mathias

  13. Muzaffar

    Somehow my FR935’s battery life does not look convincing. My battery life would only last for about 3-4 sessions of 2-3 hours workout before i need to recharge. Any idea why?

    • MARK M YOUNG

      Sounds like you are using about 10-12 hours on GPS which is 50% the rest of battery goes to daily use? How many da

  14. Twinaxx

    Hi Ray,

    Thank you for the datasets, it is really useful to be able to access FIT activity files from a device that I don’t actually own yet. Would you mind sharing some activity-tracking data files (monitor files) from the FR935 or Fenix 5 as well? It would be very helpful for this DIY programmer!

    • Twinaxx

      I took the gamble that the monitor file format would not be radically different. As expected the format still conforms to the FIT monitor file standard. There are now also not only ‘monitoring’ and ‘event’ messages of but also ‘unknown’ messages in the files. These ‘unknowns’ cannot be accessed with the FIT SDK. I can still work with the files, but it is a pity that some of the logged information is not accessible.

  15. Nathan Walker

    I have been using the 935 for 2 months and I really enjoy it. I use it mainly for running, I have put on about 500 miles in that time period mostly training runs but also 2 50km races and a 40 mile race. I have one question about the pace option, I was pacing a friend during a 100 mile race and I did the last 37.5 miles with him and he was struggling so we walked a lot..close to all 37.5 mile was walking.

    I notice that pace when walking jumping all over the place. 15:30 min mile to 16:20 to 18:20 with in seconds. I did a little research and I found out that walking pace will have issues due to GPS…is this true?

    I want to run a 100 mile race and there will be walking involved and was wondering what I could use to correct the jumpy pace. Would the Garmin Footpod help? Other options?

    thanks

    • Pure ZOOG

      I use a calibrated Garmin footpod with my 935 (FW4.10). Today I was tail-walking at a parkrun event, with walking being the operative word, and the pace reading (set for kms) was reasonably stable despite the slow speed.

    • Mr T

      I can’t say I’ve noticed the same, but if you’re worried then I’d reach for a tool I’d be using anyway in your shoes – lap pace. Over longer runs on varied gradients I find lap pace more useful than instant or average pace, and you can set autolap to shorter distances than the standard 1km if your pace is likely to vary frequently.

  16. Lee

    Does anyone know if the Fitness metric on the Training Status screen on a 935 only works with running or should it calculate from any heart rate activity?

    I had assumed the latter but haven’t run recently and it now says I have to “run outdoors with heart rate twice to see your status”

    I contacted Garmin and they suggested a complete reset of the watch without actually answering the question of how they calculate whether Fitness is increasing or not.

  17. Joan Bender

    Question: How does the Fr935 work for hiking ? How does the GPS and Barometer, altimeter work in hills or mountains?
    Also, how does the watch fit on a women’s fairly small wrist?

    Thank you

  18. Nate

    When is Garmin going to put music into a watch so I can stop lugging around my phone on runs?

    • Paul

      A 7th gen iPod nano is your friend here, pair it to some bluetooth headphones and you’re away.

    • gingerneil

      I’m in two minds about this. I use an ipod shuffle, mainly with podcasts and audio books. That works great, and the battery is awesome. Music on the wrist would be great, but not sure how much battery I’d get from Bluetooth headphones for long runs/ultras – and I’m sure I’d always forget to charge them!
      Devices like mighty look great, but I need it to support Google play music and to double its battery life! It supports 3.5mm jack, so no problem charging headphones!
      Integrate mighty functions into the fenix and is be tempted, but for just offline music, you can’t beat the iPod.

    • advaitasiva

      hijo somy Sony mp3 earpho e they are great you can even swim with them

  19. Gordon Goodtimes

    Hi Ray –
    Thanks so much for your review – so helpful as I just got the 935. I googled a few times but don’t see the 935 listed as a “TrueUp” compatible device. Your post on TrueUp also doesn’t mention it but I think it was published before the 935 came out. Does the 935 work with TrueUp if I have a vivomove?

  20. Adrian S

    Anyone reading this, don’t update your firmware to 5.30: it seems to be breaking heart rate functionality:

    link to forums.garmin.com

    Does Garmin even test this before sending them out? It’s not like this is an obscure niche feature.

    • Amil

      @adrina: thanks! very timely indeed, it is exactly my problem (see the post below i was drafting when you posted this..)

    • Yup, my unit is doing the same as well after the update (yesteray’s run looks horrible). I’ve just restarted it and will see if that resolves it.

    • Amil

      Thanks Ray, sorry to say but if it affected you, the almighty, I feel a bit relived ???

    • Amil

      PS, as restart you mentioned simply switching it off and then or a kind of reset? ThX!

    • Adrian S

      I restarted my watch after the update so I doubt that fill fix anything. I haven’t done a factory reset but I strongly suspect that won’t help either.

      Sigh. The 935’s firmware was so solid from the start that I grew overconfident and I thought Garmin had changed so I updated as soon as 5.30 was available. Well, lesson learned.

    • Amil

      to add “mystery” this morning had a structured training planned with 2 km WU and then few intervals. 
      I was wearing the HRM strap.
      After the 2 km w-up i realized i did not used the planned tanning so i ended the activity and started a new one with the planned training. 
      Now looking at the data with my surprise i note that the WU was recorded by the OHR tough I was wearing the strap! these is still clearly the mistake: the auxiliary heart rate that i installed and planned to use tomorrow for test picked up the strap heart rate and the mistake is clear!

      link to connect.garmin.com

      ​​​​​​​however, shouldn’t the HRM strap take always priority?

    • Josh

      Is there a way to:
      1) Turn off OHR completely so that it is never on?
      2) Prevent the device from upgrading to 5.30 when opening the unit out of the box and starting it up for the first time?

    • Ryan M.

      1. Yes. When on the HR menu page hold the up button. Turn off hr
      2. When you power it on you can turn off auto update in the system menu page.

    • Josh

      Excellent, thank you.

    • Fwiw – my restarting the unit didn’t do jack, still crap.

      I’ll roll back my firmware update tomorrow. This site here has them all listed: link to gawisp.com

      Simply drop the .GCD file into the Garmin folder on your device, do rename the file though to to gupdate.gcd and then unplug. It should install.

    • Amil

      thanks Ray! i’m not sure I’m able to do this (IT skills are not by best) but perhaps I will try!

    • Ryan M.

      I didn’t think this worked going down from Production Firmware to older Production. Thought it had to be beta to production.

    • Josh

      I’m on 3.40 and staying here until a fix is done on 5.30 unless there is a way to jump to 4.10 without going all the way to 5.30?

  21. Amil

    Hello Ray (thanks for splendid review as usual!) and All,

    I’ve been through all the pages of comments (it took few days… but very interesting, thank you all) and I’m also adding my very recent experience with the FR 935.

    I’m coming from the FR 630 and I’ve been using the FR 935 since 3 weeks: so far used the OHR just 3 times and all the other runs were done with the HRM-Tri.
    The first OHR runs was just testing the 935 the day I bought it and it seemed ok; than again I tried it last Saturday for a long run and today for a super recovery jog with some speed in the end (i.e. I did not “dare” testing it in intervals so far…)

    I did this last two runs also using the RD-Pod.

    Sincerely I’m a bit concerned that my device might be defective (hopefully not), in particular after today experience (see the link on GC below)

    link to connect.garmin.com

    Indeed basically today the OHR stayed flat at 138 bpm for long time, though I was actually accelerating the pace and, at any event, getting more tired. This in particular since I did some strides (with no OHR responses) when I realised it was somehow stuck. I tried even to stop and dry a bit the sweat on the sensor (see km 7.8) but nothing: I did the last 2 km flat out, it picked up a bit but still was basically keeping on being lock flat (like a “dead ECG).

    Saturday, instead, it was the opposite and it got locked at I higher rate

    link to connect.garmin.com

    in this case it might be that it picked up the cadence? Shouldn’t this being prevented by the fact I was using the RD–Pod?

    I’m above all concerned by today “flat ECG”: is there any possible reason of this kind of reading? I had secured the watch very tight to the wrist but I assume this should not be an the caouse.

    Looking forward for you views!

    Thanks

    Amilcare

  22. Lucilia

    Wow, thanks for this great review! Superb 😉

  23. Hi Ray, excellent review as usual. Before I bought the 935, I had the Fenix 3 HR. I never had any problems syncing the F3HR with the Garmin Connect App (iPhone 6s). Now that I’m using the 935, I have syncing issues ALL THE TIME. Actually, it’s really rare for it to sync with my phone after a workout without problems. 99% of the time the sync fails.. and after a few attempts it works. I already tried everything: unpaired, paired again, reinstalled the GCA, etc, etc, etc. No luck! This is supper annoying. Also, throughout the day I get many notifications on my watching saying it disconnected from my iPhone. This happens 4/5 times a day.. even if my phone is right next to my watch. I’m starting to wonder if my 935 has a bluetooth issue.

    I’m running the latest firmware (5.30) but this has been a problem with previous firmwares as well.

    Have you or anyone experienced this connectivity issues?

    • Brent Gustafson

      My 2nd of 3 935s had this exact BLE connection issue with my Android phone. Continually disconnecting and reconnecting even when only a couple of feet from my phone. Garmin support was great and ended up sending me a new 935. I’ve had no BLE connection issues since.

    • Guillermo Guerini

      Good to know. I’ll contact Garmin.Thanks .

  24. Tom

    I can’t get my data from my (1st and only) IronMan… I did IronMan Mont Tremblant and none of the data is transferring from my 935 to my Garmin connect on my phone.
    The day before I did a mini practice tri and that data transferred and all of my other data has transferred in the past except the last time I went to Mont Tremblant to train for 10 hours… maybe it has to do with the fact that these were very long days but I really need the information.
    FYI, my garmin 810 did transfer from the same day?…

    • ekutter

      Have you tried just connecting to a computer and seeing if the .fit file exists? Should be under \garmin\activities with a file date/time from your race. And if you run Garmin Express on your computer, it should upload more quickly that way. Might be running into issues with the size of the file.

    • Tom

      I gave it a try and at least I now how the files on my desktop but unfortunately I received the following…

      78K65457.FIT 1.6 MB One of your files was not accepted by the system. Please contact Support for assistance.
      77M85513.FIT 1.5 MB One of your files was not accepted by the system. Please contact Support for assistance.

    • Ryan M.

      Tom,

      Try using the FIT file repair tool that Ray has a link for link to garmin.kiesewetter.nl and upload it manually from there.

    • Tom

      Thanks Ryan,
      I just tried but still won’t work…

    • Tom

      Hi All

      I’m so disheartened about losing these files. They are my only data from Mont Tremblant and would be SO SO helpful to have … I downloaded them to my desktop and tried the fit File repair to no avail..
      I eventually got someone at Garmin support to try and they we’re unsuccessful. The advise they gave me was to try myself or try to find someone on a forum that might be willing to try… SO if anyone would be kind enough to try and fix the files please let me know and I will attach them again or email them to you…

    • Ryan M.

      Tom,

      I’m not too experienced with repairing files but am more than willing to try to help out. I know how annoyed I would be to not have a file from a big race.

      Can e-mail me at mullins r at gmail (No spaces, and missing the .com obviously)

    • ekutter

      I’m happy to try as well with my own fit parser. shop at mtyquinn dot com

    • Tom

      Thank you so much Ryan!

      If it’s not to much trouble can you let me know if the email and attachments reached you…

    • Tom

      Thank you!!

      If it’s not to much trouble can you let me know if the email and attachments reached you as well

    • ekutter

      I haven’t received it. You might need to put the .fit files in a .zip file (ie compressed folder). email is as shown above, no spaces, at=@, dot=. in case it wasn’t obvious.

    • ReHMn

      Hi Tom,
      It might be resolved since August, sorry for a late response…
      The symptoms you are describing happen when the memory is full and you get a warning message about deleting/overwriting old activities, but you ignore it. Or it might happen, when the battery runs out and the device shuts down. In that case the end part of the file is missing…
      The location of the fit file is under User\AppData\Roaming… see attached screen.
      However, it’s title is much longer then just 77M85513.FIT…

      So my question is, what happens, when you manually import the proper fit file?

  25. Gordon Goodtimes

    Thanks again, Ray, for an incredible review. I bought mine through the VIP Clever Training program so appreciate that too!
    In the GPS Accuracy section, you have a picture of the GPS+GLONASS setting but didn’t note in the text if that is the recommended setting? I assume so but wanted to make sure.

    Thanks!
    GG

  26. HFR

    Hi Ray,

    I decided to change my Ambit 3 for a FR935 mainly for comfort reasons.

    To try the advanced cardio features I unsuccessfully tried to connect the FR935 to the following HR belts I already own :
    – Suunto from the Ambit 3 (bluetooth smart, working perfectly with my Ambit and my Strave iPhone app)
    – a pretty old Garmin ANT+ (with a new battery !)

    The FR935 wasn’t able to detect any of them. Did I miss something ? Or is there a compatibility issue somewhere ?
    Hervé

  27. Adrian S

    Beta 5.33 is out to deal with the HR issue introduced in 5.30. Good luck everyone…

  28. Ski

    Except this watch GPS does not work in New York City since it can take 10 to 40 minutes to finally connect. The watch looks nice but does not get a gps signal. Very frustrating when you want to get out and run. Then when it does finally connect it show you have gone too far and too fast. Still have to use phone to track runs….

    • Adam

      GPS is notoriously poor in NYC because of urban canyoning issues…it’s not just this device. Many (if not all) GPS devices are affected to some extent because of the tall buildings.

    • If your watch is taking 10-40 minutes to connect, something is wrong with it.

      I ran in NYC just last week, and with the FR935 in fact. Walking outside in the center of Manhattan (1717 Broadway), I had satellite connectivity within 2 (short) blocks of walking. Obviously, it helps if you stand still.

      Certainly, NYC is tough for GPS devices, but not that tough.

  29. Adam

    Is there a way to turn wrist heart rate off by default for cycling, but on by default for running? Or do I need to manually turn it on and off? I keep forgetting to turn it off after runs and the OHR keeps picking up some ghost heart rate on my road bike mount that’s nowhere near my wrist.

  30. MoCo

    Hi Ray –

    Thanks for all of the excellent info. I’m hoping you (or your readers) can help me out with a swimming-related 935 issue, because garmin’s “support” is not very helpful.

    On the 920, swim distance stayed in yards (or meters) the whole time, whether you were in pool or OWS mode. Annoying on long OWS, but hey, I can do math. On the 935, the distance switches from yards to miles at *exactly* the 3 mile mark. (That was a very well timed watch glance, that’s all I can say.) That’s great! Super helpful! Thanks Garmin!

    Unfortunately, it does the exact same thing in the pool, which is complete and total crap. I use the total distance field to help my tired brain figure out where the hell I am in longer workouts (I actually moved it to the rest screen so I can see it between intervals). I am 100% sure I’m not going to be converting 4.3 miles back to yards fast enough to figure out how far through a complicated set I’ve gotten.

    Does anyone know a way to force pool swimming to stay in yards (or meters)? I looked around but can’t seem to find anything, even a ConnectIQ data field.

    Thanks!!

    • MoCo

      As a follow up, I finally managed to get a helpful person at Garmin support, who said they have opened a case and hopefully will have this fixed in the next update.

    • MoCo

      Just got this from Garmin “support”:

      I wanted to provide a update on Case # 1378335

      We have taken a look at this and determined that everything is working correctly.

      When this device was designed it was determined to switch the distance to Miles/Kilometers after x amount of yards/meters.

      If you want to see the distance in yards I would recommend using the interval data field to see the distance in yards for each interval (but then you would need to track the total intervals)

      Another lovely example of Garmin deciding to “improve” things that didn’t need improving. Anyone want to buy a slightly used 935?

    • Not sure how serious you are, but I might be interested. (Contact info at my URL.) You might have good success on ebay, though, too!

  31. david

    Hello which is best optical pulse sensor and GPS sensor between suunto spartan trainer and garmin 935?

  32. Amil

    FW 5.40 is out and rolled to 20% users for testing… not yet available for me and i’m not sure is bad considering how it went with 5.30 (though admittedly they solved it with 5.33 beta I’ve on..)

  33. Mariela Getar

    For stand-up paddling, which is more recommended, the Fenix 5x or the Forerunner 935?

  34. Andre

    Hi, do you need the run pod or run heart rate strap to get the stride length graphs in garmin connect. I really want to work on this, but not sure if I need to buy just the 935 or 935 with rpod or get the tri bundle. Don’t really need the mount as I use a garmin 810 on the bike. Been putting off buying the unit for a fee weeks now as I can’t make up my mind. Please help. Ta

  35. Frnkr

    Hi all, I just bought 935 and as a Garmin newbie must say it’s a pretty nice gadget. 🙂 Now I noticed that when I input my HR zones via watch I can input BPM’s but Garmin Connect does not give that option i.e. I can choose %HR max etc but not BPM. When I try to use exact BPM’s (via GC) they will be converted as percentages and after sync they actually differ a bit in the watch.

    Has someone an idea what’s the logic behind this?

  36. Edmund

    Am I right to say it is not possible to use the Garmin FR935 to broadcast HR onto Trainerroad installed on an iPad? Is this because the Garmin FR935 can only broadcast via ANT+?

    I used to have a Bluetooth HRM (which when connected via Bluetooth to my iPad) could broadcast or display my HR instantaneously on Trainerroad.

    Grateful if anyone can help shed some light on this!

    • Peter

      Yes, that seems to be the case. I think Ray answered this earlier in thread above. Only seems to broadcast via ANT+, but that seems odd since it does broadcast back to my iPhone (without an ANT+ dongle) to see “live” HR in “My Day” screen within GarminConnect App. So odd to me it can’t broadcast over bluetooth to the TrainerRoad app. And kind of annoying too.

  37. Amil

    Hello Everybody,

    after I’ve installed the 5.40 FW release since a while and I’ve noted that, now rather consistently, most of the runs uploaded on GC do not show anymore the average pace and actually the track of the gps speed is somehow smoothed (below a couple of examples).

    link to connect.garmin.com

    link to connect.garmin.com

    please consider that this does not happen for all the run but just for the majority of them. In addition, oddly enough, the GPS track on the app as well on strava it is displayed correctly (with the usual up and down) tough also on the app there is no indication of the average speed.

    this happen both in runs where i used the HRM-tri and the RD pod.

    Anybody else with the same issue or that can give me any advice? i’m reluctant to do a master reset considering that to me it looks more like a FW issue

  38. gigel bastan

    this is a tri-watch not yet another running watch. (yea, i know, most of garmin users use their watches to track their running session, tracking swimming is just out of the scope, or simply a feature most don’t use)
    if you want a watch to track your swimming (both open water or pool) simply don’t buy this unit. it fails for a couple of reasons
    1. the unit can’t record HR in water but garmin disabled it saying it’s inaccurate. it’s another way of forcing you to buy a chest strap which sucks for various reasons (see below)
    2. open water swimming? for this you need consistent GPS data which you get in about 5% of outdoor swims. most of the time you’ll get it wrong, and if your watch hand stays long enough in the water all the metrics go haywire. unless you have a HR chest strap you will not get a decent relevant metric with this watch.
    3. lap swimming. sure, if you don’t count the warm-up and cool down in your session you might get decent results. if you do, it will track an olympic 50m lap in less than 10 seconds (who the hell is m. phleps anyways, or cesar cielo for that matter) more often than not. if you do 25m intervals on a 50 m pool, it will miserably fail.
    only thing that works decent is swimming at a constant pace – which most of swimmers out there will find quite boring, while most coaches will find quite stupid, to say the least
    4.at least we get nice results as the device detects if you swim breastroke or front crawl. this is true if you don’t switch the stroke during a lap (why would someone do that anyway? well, me!), most of the time the 935 will get the style right, and it will show freestyle in 99% of the time (most of us swim only front crawl so that will do), but sometimes the watch get confused and it swaps front crawl with backstroke, and the breast strok with the fly. and vice versa. especially if you don’t swim at a constant speed. want to do a lap with a board, using alternating the fly and crawl kick? go ahead, and good luck with the tracking. but who cares anyway if the style is correct or not, it’s like moveIQ anyways, no one pays attention to it
    5. okay, the watch can’t provide a decent metric by itself, open water or not. can it actually track something? heart rate sounds nice. so let’s buy the hrm-swim and give it a chance.
    if you do this please, be aware that you can only swim front crawl or backstroke, as the strap will miserably slide down if you try the fly or breast. the wall push at the end of the first lap will get the strap at your feet (literally) if the stroke itself won’t do. and you don’t need to be phelps for that. sure, you can wear the S size if you have a 120 cm broad toso to be sure that the strap won’t fall, you won’t be able to breath anyways but who cares, you’ll get the HR data correctly
    so, with the breast and fly out of the question (99% of thetriathletes out there will spit at me, who the heck trains anything else execpt front crawl at a steady pace?), we can still get the HR during back and front crawl. NEAT! except that the strap will stay in its place roughly for 500m, than it will slowly start to slide down up to the belly button during a wall push. and then you have to stick out of the water and readjust it, and so on. so every training session will be an interval session. which is quite cool, actually
    but if you get the strap to stick to its place you’ll get the nice data, which is cool
    and you can go open water and you don’t need to worry about the wall push that will take the strap out of it’s place. and if you’re lucky you can track more that 500m of freestyle without the need to readjust the strap.
    and the cool thing about the HRM swim is that is is wider than the hrm-tri. which is cool, because you know that the friction forces that hold the strap attached to your skin do NOT depend on the surface, but only on the material from which the band is manufactured. but the guys at garmin have no respect for 1st grade physics and they’ve put more material into the strap just because they can. way to go garmin, well done!

    • Petros Sampatakos

      I would say that my 935 watch is serving me well during all my activities (including pool and open water swimming) for quite a few months now. I am not using HR as a swim metric anyway but other than that all my swimming activities (both in training sessions as well as in races, from sprint triathlons to IM) are getting registered without any issues. No issues on pool laps (except the rare cases where I do sudden moves during a lap) and no issues on open water swimming . Maybe for those that are interested in HR metrics during the swim the situation is not ideal,but 935 is for sure a great tri-watch and it tracks swimming (both open water and pool laps) without real issues.
      Just my 2 cents.

    • Chris Koboldt

      I’ve been fairly satisfied with the watch for lap and open water swimming, but it is definitely not perfect.
      1) HR: I do not track HR in the pool. Maybe one day if optical evolves (or another method comes along), but I’ve given up on chest straps altogether (for any activity). For now HR while swimming is just not worth the trouble. Also, I’d be surprised if any experienced swim coach out there was legitimately using HR as a metric for swim workouts.
      2) GPS and open water: when starting the swim with the watch above the water after getting a green GPS signal, I’ve been satisfied with the results, but you have to lower your expectations for GPS when the device is underwater half the time. If I start with the watch underwater, no bueno.
      3 & 4) The watch is counting strokes and turns, and the timing the intervals between them. I’ve found it reliable at those functions. I have gotten poor results when doing only single lap intervals (25y intervals in a 25y pool). I’ve also gotten poor results when switching strokes mid-lap, or even mid-interval. I have not had issues with warmups and cooldowns. I have not used the drill mode much, so I cannot comment on it.
      5) See #1.

      All that said, I’m a triathlete who swims front crawl almost exclusively, and no longer a competitive swimmer. I do however swim a wide variety speeds, not just long slow distance, and the watch handles that fine.

      My conclusion is that it’s a great swimming watch for the triathlete, but probably not for the competitive swimmer. I don’t think there is a watch out there well suited for competitive swimming.

    • gigel bastan

      without a strap the HR metric if way off when in water, moveIQ detects the swim session. suunto has optical hr for swimming but i’ve never test it. for me the hr metric is the only reliable metric that reflects the intensity of a swim session, becuse the watch is quite innacurate when it comes to the real pace (stroke count does not really help much)

      i always start the gps outside the water, and i don’t dive in until it is marked green. but even though the gps track is always zig-zag. sure, i don’t swim a straight line but the gps path seems more like a lack of data points rather than the actual route. i’m quite curious to see the map of an open water swimming activity for the sake of comparison (maybe it’s my unit that’s faulty)

      sure, the watch counts the strokes and turns, but it does that in an unconsistent manner, typically counting an extra turn when it’s not the case, or failing to see a turn when it is. i did a simple test – started a lap swimm, pressed the started just before pushing the wall and after i turned i checked the time reading displayed by the watch. it was showing 40 seconds. after the session i compared the lap entries reported by the watch. the first lap was timed at 45 seconds. another simple test – i always swim an even number of laps. roughly, 50% of swimming sessions record an odd number of laps. if i manually count the number of laps only 25% of the times i get the same number as the watch. if i disard the cooldown and warm up laps then the percentage is higher – close to 80% roughly.
      i’ve never used the drill mode. i typically record everything in the same session – warm up, the actual training and cooldown combined – yes, i’m lazy, and that’s the point of the watch, to count what i don’t want to 😀

  39. Bob

    Yikes. I just jumped on a deal for this watch and was excited based on reviews I read here. Came back to check on more recent reviews and read the issues with heart rate. I had been debating this or the new Suunto trainer.I jumped on the 935 for $350 figuring it would be worth the extra $100 over the trainer.But the most important things for me are the HR and GPS. Hope I didn’t outsmart myself.

    Have they completely resolved the HR issue with the latest firmware?

    • Scott Griffith

      Wow Bob! Where did you find it for so cheap?!

    • The HR bug that popped up mid-August was fixed about 10 days later. The firmware notes said it was something weird where if you had Connect IQ apps installed it broke it. Firmware here: link to www8.garmin.com

      It’s working fine for me again.

    • Nicko

      You are one of the lucky people Ray or perhaps I am just one of the unlucky people.
      I started a Walk Activity today and watched the OHR reading climb to 132 while I stopped to take a photo. It is so damn frustrating. Version 5.40.
      For other activities (excluding swimming) you wont really know how bad the OHR data is until you get a Tri strap.
      Using a strap allows you to compare the results before and after selecting the Download Heart Rate option.
      The readings during sleep seem credible.

    • That’s pretty different than the issue I and others saw, which was more of a ‘stuck’ HR issue (that’s since been fixed).

      Yours just sounds…well…broke. Typically you don’t get HR spikes while walking – so that’s odd. I assume the watch isn’t super or lose anything, right?

    • Nicko

      Hi Ray,
      I guess my post was a reaction to the implication that everything is ok with version 5.40.
      My watch is not loose, but I am left handed and wear the watch on my right hand.
      The settings have been updated to reflect this.
      I have had my watch since May 2017 and now use the Tri and Swim straps for running and Open Water swimming. However since getting the watch Walk Activities have been inaccurate; versions 4.10, 5.30, 5.33 and 5.40. These activities I expect to be easy for Garmin to get right but my watch records unrealistically high surges in HR (using optical sensor).
      See this link (similar experience):
      link to dr3do.wordpress.com
      One leisurely walk I undertook resulted in Aerobic and Anaerobic TE readings both 5.0.
      This wrecks my Training Intensity minutes reading for the week.
      I am not the only one out there that has experienced this type of irregularity.
      I have a case open with Garmin to hopefully rectify this.
      Nick

  40. Wouter

    Does anyone know where the data of the default weather widget is coming from (which service, site, etc.?).

    Is there a way to configure the location (fixing it for example on hometown), or is it always taken from the detected gps position (of watch and/or phone?) ?

    It is hard to trust weather data on the watch if you do not know which service is used or which location it is configured for (US-focused services usually do a bad job in Belgium apart from the big cities).

    Here in Belgium, buienradar.nl tends to have the most accurate data.

  41. Allan

    Any speculation on whether the 935 will get support for Strength Training workouts like the Vivoactive 3 will have? I see that I can now create these types of workouts on Garmin Connect, and it sure would be nice to send these to my 935 and follow them in the gym…

  42. Emmanouil

    Does anyone know how many laps I can take during activity?
    Thank you

  43. John V

    I am in the market for a new GPS watch mainly for running. I have used the 310xt for the last 6 years and have no real complaints except it lacks bluetooth and it could be lighter. That said, would you get the 935 or settle with a previous/cheaper Garmin like the 630, 235 or 920xt? I do like the square face of the 310xt but I am sure I could get used to a round face. I also play golf so the 935 would be helpful for that as well. Thanks

    • Paul

      Do you use anything to track golf now, or is that something new you want to do? The 935 as a running-only watch is overkill, I’d go for something simpler like the 235. Or if you want a cheaper watch that gives you a lot of metrics and includes Golf, then the Vivoactive (original, or the new 3). I’m a multi-sporter and used the 920xt for events, but used the Vivoactive for day-to-day usage, simple run training, and golfing, as the 920 was too bulky for my liking as a day-to-day watch. With the HR strap (or now, new run pod) you still get the Running Dynamics with the Vivoactive.

    • Ryan M.

      I don’t believe the RD pod or hrm run with running dynamics are compatible with the vivoactive series.

    • John V

      Thanks for the advice. I don’t use anything for golf now and I suspect I could find a phone app that would work just as well. It seems like the 235 would work for what I need. The Vivoactive HR looks interesting but I don’t think I would like the touchscreen. How have you liked it?

    • Paul V

      I had the original Vivoactive, not the HR, but I liked it. It was the best watch around at the time that did everything I wanted, and wasn’t too bulky. I like the new round v3 now over the original though, just looks much nicer.

  44. Hey Ray,

    After having bluetooth connectivity issues with my 935, Garmin will send me a new unit. Before I send my defective watch back to them, is it possible to backup my Records (PR’s) and Training Load (FirstBeat data) and move it to the new unit?? I don’t want to loose all that data. I don’t care about the activities because I already uploaded them to Garmin Connect.

    Thank you!
    G

    • In theory you can actually move those settings.fit files over, (I’d just copy the entire structure to your computer). But in practice things don’t always work.

      Still, I’d copy the whole substructure and give it a whirl. Report back if it works out!

    • Will

      FirstBeat analytics can’t be copied and neither can any activity tracking data (e.g. steps). Several settings can’t be preserved either. (There’s some data which is not even accessible via the file system exposed by USB.)

      Based on this Garmin support article and my own experience (reset to factory several times), this is what you can recover/copy, and how. You can back everything up by copying the whole folder structure, but you can’t just copy it back onto your new watch.

      Some things can be recovered by copying the files to the NEWFILES/ folder, others by copying the files to their original locations.
      link to support.garmin.com

      Copy to NEWFILES/
      – Locations: copy contents of LOCATIONS/ to NEWFILES
      – Despite what the page says, totals apparently can’t be restored
      – Custom activities/activity settings: copy contents of SPORTS/ to NEWFILES)
      (This can result in your activity list looking a little funny if you had any custom activities – might have to reorder activities until the list looks right again.)
      – Records: copy contents of RECORDS/ to NEWFILES)
      – Some settings: copy contents of SETTINGS/ to NEWFILES)
      (Most settings, like wifi networks, and bluetooth pairings, will not be preserved.)

      Copy to original location:
      – Activity history (copy ACTIVITY/)
      – Connect IQ Apps and app settings (copy APPS/)
      – Courses (copy COURSES/)
      – Segments (copy SEGMENTS and SEG_LIST)

    • Wow! This is amazing. Thank you so much. It’s kind of disappointing that in 2017 we can’t transfer our data to a new device or simply save the devices settings automatically. This is specially a problem for people like me that buy a new watch every other year. 🙁 Oh well, I will try to do that once I get my new 935. Thanks Will!!

    • Marios

      Agree with all the files you mentioned except for the records. Those can be sent to your device from Garmin Connect. Look under trophies.

  45. Paul Gladwell

    Wow – that is one mind-blowing, in-depth & comprehensive review. Fantastic!

  46. Richard

    I’ve had my 935 a while now and love it. I’ve started using it for rides outdoors instead of my edge, but the other day I was using the navigate course feature for the first time on the 935 but then didnt get any power data in GC after I uploaded my ride. Is this normal, or did I do something wrong. I know my power meter was working.

    Thanks

  47. Marios

    Ray, I just got a 935 and I find that although OHR in activity mode works great, OHR in 24/7 mode doesn’t work at all when I move around, let’s say just walking.

    Do you find the 24/7 OHR mode accurate for you when you walk around?

    I wrote a post about this on the Garmin Forums:
    link to forums.garmin.com

  48. kairm

    So I just got a 935 and really like it….my question or issue is related to pairing multiple devices to my P1 pedals. In addition to my 935 I have an edge 820 which has worked flawlessly with my P1 pedals. That said, when I try and pair both it is not working. When I pair the 820 first to the pedals the connection is solid but the watch kept dropping the connection to the pedals. When I connected the watch first the connection was stable but the 820 would not connect to the pedals–actually would not find the pedals at all. My understanding is that you can pair multiple devices to an ANT+ signal—my heart rate strap connects flawlessly to my head unit and my watch…go figure.

    the watch and the 820 have been updated and are running the most current firmware which i am diligent about updating. the batteries in the pedals have less than 500 miles on them —they are only a few months old…

    any insight or thoughts would be appreciated….

  49. David Oliver

    Hello Ray and all.

    I’ve been running with my new FR935 since May and really like it. Recently I purchased a HRM-Tri bundle with HRM-TRI and HRM-SWIM. When I use the HRM-TRI on runs, I only get Cadence and Stride length, which I don’t need a chest strap for. I am not seeing GCT, ground contact time balance, vertical oscillation and vertical ratio. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. I’ve made sure to run with it “right-side up.” It has firmware v4.3 on the sensor. Do I need to enable something on the watch? I think I’ve added the Data Field for the latter running dynamics to the Run settings but perhaps I’ve done that incorrectly. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks for the awesome information on the site!

  50. John V

    Hello, I just took the leap and got the 935. I have liked it so far but I am still getting accustomed to the functions and buttons as I have been using the 310xt for the last 6 years.

    A few things I can’t figure out,
    1. While running I occasionally get an alert indicating that Performance is Fair or Poor. Is this referring to the GPS connectivity and if so, how do I turn it off?
    2. The HR sensor appears to be working well except today while running a 5K my first mile showed up at 105 bpms then the last two looked more accurate at around 170. Is this just a random occurrence or have others experienced something similar while doing a workout?
    3. Lastly, the watch band is about 1 inch too long for me. Has anyone cut the band or do they make a shorter one?

    And just one true complaint. The thing I miss the most from the 310xt is the simple way to turn off, on and dim the backlight. It just took the touch of a button then the dim control would pop up whereas with the 935 you have to go through multiple buttons to change it.

    Nit picky questions I know 🙂 Overall it has been great.

    Thanks

    • Will

      1. No, this is your “performance condition”. It’s a measure of how good you’re feeling at the moment, performance-wise, relative to your own fitness — i.e. Should I try to crush that PB in this race or kill this workout, or should I hold back?

      link to www8.garmin.com

      You can turn off these alerts if they annoy you:
      Settings > Physiological Metrics > Performance Notifications > Perf. Condition

      Backlight:
      With the latest firmware, you can add the Backlight entry to the Controls menu (hold down Light), which lets you change the brightness fairly easily.
      Settings > System > Controls Menu

      You can also assign Backlight options to a “Hot Key”, such as Hold Back or Hold Start. This is a little different than the controls menu, as it gives you access to the full backlight settings, not just the brightness.

    • Will

      The hot key settings are at:
      Settings > System > Hot Keys

  51. Henrik M. Rønnow

    Thank you for another very informative review.
    One question: Can it record power-pedals (Powertap P1) mounted on an indoor spinning bike?
    In other words receive power readings, without any speed or GPS signal.
    Thanks
    Henrik

  52. Mani

    I would appreciate if you could retest the OHR accuracy.

    The thing is, that Garmin rolled out a firmware update that made OHR unusable.

    With the latest update (v 6.0) OHR works again but I have the impression that accuracy got really really really worse. That’s why I decided to go back and to use HR-breast-strap again.

  53. riyadhi

    hi.. how would you say about “training status” and “training load” features? are they representative/accurate enough? am not (yet) a tri-athlete.. yet interested in those features.. as sometimes i think i’ve been overeaching to the state of over fatigue.. and sometimes i went unproductive to justify my resting time ^^ and thinking that if this watch could really analyze the training load and status.. i could manage to being “productive” at most of the time.. ^^

    am currently using vivoactive HR for running and cycling and really happy with it.. just thinkin whether those features worth upgrade for (if they really works..) ^^

  54. Khoo

    On software side, should be pointed out that Garmin have a bad practice on their handling of localize firmware. It’s good for different localize language / map support, however the way Garmin handle this should be highlight for all consumer considering their product.

    There’s basically at least 2 set of software, Asia Pacific (APAC) and Rest Of the World (ROW) and the differences between the 2 listed below:

    1. There’s no indication when you purchase, what kind of software you be getting (Unless you a long time Garmin user that know their shit well). Take Forerunner 935 as example, both is label as “Forerunner 935” on any localize website. A Google search will only return the software version / update based on ROW software. However software for APAC is label differently as “Forerunner 935 APAC”
    2. There’s no official mean provided to change the software set (To get desire language support OR others benefit below)
    3. Different software release schedule. APAC software usually lag behind ROW for weeks, and may even skip update affecting available feature.
    4. Garmin official forum only list and discuss on ROW software. There’s no forum for APAC software.
    5. Connect IQ app is limited for APAC software

  55. Austin

    Is anyone else’s watch restarting after saving an activity? Ever since it updated to the 6.0 firmware, it seems to freeze for a little bit then restart after saving. Didn’t have this issue before the update. Didn’t see anything on the garmin forums.

  56. Jonas S.

    I have a weird problem: my 935 regularly changes the language from German to English… and I have no clue why. Additionally, the “move alert” gets switched on again and again as well… no matter how often I switch it off…

    Any clues as to why that happens and how I can stop it?

  57. Matthew

    Ray,

    I’m looking to get this as a holiday present for my wife, any idea if / when this will go on sale between now and the end of the year?

  58. Jan Aniolek

    Is this the new 645?
    link to jfsports.com.ve

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      I always thought that with the fr935 the fr6xx series would not die.
      The price jump from the fr235 to the fr935 is too high, and it’s obvious that Garmin wants something in the middle, even if the fr935 is a great watch for runners.
      Probably Garmin offers the new watch just to fill a price gap, and not to offer new funcionality (apart of music, maybe this will be the great novelty for Garmin?)
      By the way, I like the new look very much.
      Great post and ears up!!
      Thanks Jan Aniolek

  59. Justin

    I have a question reguarding the cell phone Bluetooth range… I previously had a 920xt and id get my phone notifications anywhere in the house. I hate having my phone on me at home and it allowed me to see if an incoming call or text was important enough to go get my phone. I just picked up a fenix 5 and I love the watch other than the fact that the Bluetooth range to my phone flat out sucks. I have to be in the same room as my phone otherwise it disconnects. It even disconnects 15 feet away if there is even one wall separating the watch and the phone. My question is… does the 935 have a better smart phone connection range than the fenix 5? Is the range anywhere as good as the 920xt? Thanks in advance for your input.

  60. Ben

    Ray,

    Great (And detailed) post as always. Quick question…when do you expect Garmin to release the successor to the 935. I am thinking of buying it, but dont want to if the market consensus is there’ll be a new one out for xmas 2017!

    I realise it might be an educated guess, but when do they typically release their tri watches?

    Many thanks

    Ben

  61. gingerneil

    Tweeted, but will ask here too in case anyone else know.
    Is the 935 hardware capable of NFC? I dont know what the internals are, and cant find a teardown. I’d love to see garmin release Garmin Pay support via a firmware update for those long runs that include a chocolate milk emergency.

  62. Alex

    Fantastic review as always DC. Thanks

  63. Matthew

    I’m having a really hard time removing the band per this link to www8.garmin.com

    I was able to remove the “small screw” side, but not the long pin. Any ideas?

    Thanks,

  64. Fred

    Hi all

    looking for some advice here. I own a Fenix 3 (no-HR) that these days i use mostly for running paired with a scosche rhythm+. This combination works for me.
    I am playing around with the idea of getting a 935, but i wonder if there is any tangible advantage over the combination that i currently use?
    Some of you might have gone through the same dilemma, and might have pulled the trigger, so any perspective is much appreciated!

    • gingerneil

      I’ve come to the 935 from the same combination, and have not regretted it for a second. The inbuilt hr is fine for steady runs, and even tempi runs, but I go back to the scosche for intervals. I find that just as good as the strap.
      The 935 is so much lighter than the fenix and as others have said, it works so much better as an everyday watch. The menus are so much snappier and you obviously have the benefits of the updated connect iq.
      I’m very very happy that I made the switch.

  65. Ron Gubitz

    My answer to your question is that the 935 seems designed to want to be your everyday all day watch. The 24×7 HR monitoring is a big advantage for that. I had a 910xt since 2011 and used it with a Scosche+ but with my new 935, I’m compelled to wear it all day/night.

    • fred

      Hey Ron,

      thanks a lot for your answer. So you say that the main advantage of the 935 over the 3+rhythm+ has mainly to do with the “fitness tracking” features.
      I use a normal wrist watch and the Fenix only when running (or skiing, swimming etc).
      So I could probably save a few hundred hard earned bucks!

    • Ron Gubitz

      Since I had a lowly 910, rather than a Fenix 3, I can’t really comment on that. For me the jump in all the features from GPS being found quickly, to 24×7 monitoring, to phone notifications, etc -all of that was new for me. The Fenix 3 is newer than the 910 for sure…so I guess just personal preference. My Board of Directors (my wife) made me wait until that 910 crapped out – and fiscally, it was a smart move.

    • ekutter

      For workouts, you are most likely going to get better HR results with the Scosche whether paired to the F3 or the 935. I’ve just disabled the HR on my 935 because it is so prone to error for me, and just use my scosche or chest strap. But it works great for many people. Moving to the 935 isn’t likely to make you a better runner. I do love having my 935 as my every day watch, though, so I never have to worry about not having it for my workouts. If a new gadget could help motivate you to get out the door, there’d be value right there.

  66. Rod Hamilton

    Ray, Run to Chipotle??!!! Come on you gotta be kidding! You live in the world’s centre of cafe culture…..nice review though.

    • Fun tidbit*: The vast majority of “cafe’s” in Paris these days serve re-heated foods. Most don’t have legit chefs in the kitchen, but rather people that can reheat items in a microwave. A recent article I saw was something like 80-90%, which I’d say is probably low. Given we go to restaurant supply stores, we’re super familiar with the products you can purchase there. For fun, take a stroll past the garbage bins of any cafe after 1AM, when they put the trash out. Almost everything is frozen food.

      Which, to be clear, is very different than the growing ‘trendy restaurant’ culture, as well as of course the higher end Starred restaurants. Fantastic meals there.

      Regrettably, you wouldn’t be caught dead in even a regular cafe in running clothes in Paris. Heck, you’re not even supposed to walk from the gym to home in that around here… Kidding, not kidding. 😉

      *We work in the food service biz here in Paris.

  67. Paul

    I recently completed a 50km trail ultra-marathon, but the 935 only measured 45km. I’ve been told that this is probably due to the course utilising a lot of mountain bike tracks which had a lot of switch backs, so the GPS may not have picked up the full distance, if it wasn’t set to ‘ping’ often enough.

    I had it set to “Trail run” mode rather than normal “Run” mode. The GPS mode is set to “Normal (GPS Only)”. Would it have been better to have it set to GPS + GLONASS, or UltraTrac mode? Do either of those ‘ping’ more often” How often does the “Normal” mode ‘ping’?

  68. Hi, I have he 935 for 3 month now and I like it. The only problem is the heartrate monitor when I’m on the bike.
    The back of my hand pushes slightly against the side of the watch resulting in false readings. It generalty stays the same at around 80 bpm. When i straighten my wrist it sometimes picks it back up but sometimes I have to swap wrists a few times.
    Is anyone else experiencing this problem and is there a way to fix it?

    • Mr T

      The fix? Get a chest strap.

      Sorry if that seems glib but wrist based optical HR and the bike are a notoriously bad combo. It’s not just the 935, I’ve had the same issue with other OHR watches too.

      If you’re really desperate to avoid a chest strap you could try moving the strap much further up your arm to somewhere fleshier, but I wouldn’t hold your breath on it working well.

  69. Nyochai

    Cadence
    In my last runs I stopped getting cadence info.
    Anyone with a similar problem? Would it be a hardware or software problem?

  70. Wilfred

    Thanks! I’ll return to the cheststrap for bikerides…

    • Wilfred

      I tried moving the watch up my wrist a bit during a bike ride. This helped a lot! The slightest bit of pressure of the back of your hand on the 935 results in faulty readings. I will connect the chest strap and compare readings on my next ride on Zwift to see how they compare since is was under the impression the wrist readings were a bit low.

  71. Alex

    I’ve never used an Optical HRM. Do they work if the watch is worn on the underside of the wrist? It seems to come up a little in regards to people who have issues with hair or tattoos, but for me it’s just a comfort thing. Is the watch equally reliable on the underside, or is there going to be a significant drop off in readings.

  72. Sebastien SPIESER

    Has anyone the same issue??

    I have my FR935 switching off from time to time, often at night, but also during the daytime, in fact any time… almost never during an activity, but still it’s quiet bad!!

    And when it switches off it the clock seems to stop has its not uptodate anymore (need to sync by phone)…

    I called Garmin Support this morning, just told me to do a hard reset…. but did not work!!!

    I’m a bit angry…

    • ekutter

      If the unit is turning off randomly, and you’ve tried a hard reset, you have a defective device. Contact Garmin again. At this point they should replace it, which at least here in the US, they are really good about. Alternatively, if you got it a shop with good customer service, they may swap it out for you. Many shops around here would happily do that if you’d gotten it fairly recently.

    • Agree with Ekutter. If the hard reset doesn’t work, then there’s something physically wrong with the unit. He nails all the options for replacement, all of them will likely be quick and painless.

  73. Strictly B Grade

    So; I purchased the Tomtom multisport cardio three years ago based on the review.

    The nav button is now not working (I was always a bit concerned that this button looked a bit flimsy); tomtom support have told me that I’d be better off buying a new watch rather than getting my existing on repaired. So I’m now back on the market for a new watch.

    I went for a run today with my edge 500 strapped to a quick release watch strap and it reminded me of how much I now HATE running with a HR strap. The 935 looks to be exactly what I’m after.

    One question though; I noted that wrist HR still gets disabled when swimming; if I set the watch to triathlon mode will it still disable the wrist HR?

  74. Joel

    I might need to get a replacement on my 935. The alt and temp sensors seems to be malfunctioning (they only work during a wo).
    I was told elsewhere to try a factory reset. I would do it, but i dont want to reset the current fitness stats. Do you know if the stats re-sync if i actually reset or if i get a new unit?

    Thanks!

  75. Terry

    Is there not a way to leave smart notifications on but have it neither vibrate or make a sound? Might seem strange but the vibration can get annoying it texting back and forth with someone, same goes for the tone.

    I tried turning all tones off and setting it to tone only, but that doesnt work. I don’t want to turn ALL vibrations off (such as auto lap, training, etc).

    • Michael Swann

      Yes, it’s called Do Not Disturb Mode. Notifications still go through to the watch, but the watch doesn’t beep or vibrate.

    • Michael Swann

      I should add that the notifications do flash up on the screen but the screen does not light up. You can also still see them on the watch. I have one of the data fields on my watch face set to show the number of notifications I have.

      Do Not Disturb should be easily accessible by holding the light button to access the Controls Menu. If it’s not, you can add it. You can also set it up as a shortcut to switch it on and off quickly.

    • Terry Dobbs

      Thanks. Seems a bit silly there is not an option to just select nothing where they make you choose vibrate, tone or vibrate + tone.

      Is there a way to have do not disturb on and not display the icon on the watch face? It seems I either have the do not disturb icon, battery indication, phone connection indicator, or none of them if I try to customize the watchface. I cant pick multiple things to display at the top of the watchface

    • Paul Voorend

      There is an app called Face-It.. that may help you in customising your watch face

    • Michael Swann

      I use the standard digital watch face and have it set up to show the day and date at the top, the number of notifications and battery percentage at the bottom. When I toggle Do Not Disturb on and off, it doesn’t show on the watch face.

      The customisations settings are under Watch Face>Customise>Data. There are numerous customisation options available. More than I had on my 230.

  76. Casey

    Great reviews, very in depth which is awesome!

  77. Brad

    Is the 935 likely to receive a hardware refresh early next year?

  78. Adam

    I have a question to any knowledgeable users (DCR?!) on display for kayaking/surfski: I want to use a watch that shows current speed and average speed clearly while I’m paddling (on top of other functions for run/bike etc), i normally attach a watch to the footstrap of a surfski. How does this compare in terms of display size and clarity with the 920xt? Thanks!

  79. Ross Hartney

    DC,

    I have the 935 and am looking for a bike computer that simply displays the data from the watch/sensors I have. I don’t really want to mess with the quick release kit and moving the watch. Is there a bike computer that does this? The watch and sensors already give me all the information I need, I just need the display permanently mounted to the bike. I can’t seem to find a bike computer that does this.

    Thanks!

  80. DAVID Hughes

    Hi Ray,

    Can you recommend a cycling speed / cadence sensor to pair with the 935?

    • I’d go with either the Wahoo Fitness ones, since they’re dual ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart. That gives you flexibility in whatever apps/devices you want down the road. link to amzn.to

    • Austin

      Personally I like how the garmin cadence mounts better than the wahoo, but if your looking for ant+/BT then the powertap speed/cadence mounts the same as the garmin but I have not used it.

  81. Andres

    Any update when the new version will available. Will Garmin try to take advantage of the Holidays or wait for next year? What are your prediction of the added functionality we can expect? Thanks

  82. Graeme Cooper

    I’ve noticed in the last 10 days (I think since I updated the firmware recently to v6 or 6.1) that my heart rate is being recorded when the watch isn’t being worn. While sitting in a jacket pocket, sensor facing out the way with the straps folded over the sensor I’ve recorded a heart rate as high as 140. While being at rest. And not wearing the jacket

    Anyone else noticed this extra functionality?

    • In theory it’s using the accelerometer to double-check against movement. Any chance that jacket is on a chair and your sitting on the chair? Or is it in a closet? Or that light is reflecting into it?

    • Graeme Cooper

      Usually on the back of a chair as I work in healthcare, however spend as much time at my desk now as out and about. For an experiment I tried it in my trouser pocket. Heart rate all over the place, as low as 40 (I wish) and as high as 150 in typical work conditions. Light def not getting through; maybe the accelerometer?

      Ive sent the data file on to Garmin, will feedback on their interpretation.

      Im never going to get 100% accuracy with the intermittent wear that I have to do, but would rather missing gaps as before than the alarming/ridiculous highs/lows that are being recorded.

      Other than this new development its performed admirably and (certainly cosmetically) a great upgrade from the 920 (and the 220 before it), all purchased from your excellent reviews

    • Yeah, the accelerometer would trigger it.

      Honestly, I’d just turn off the optical HR sensor if it’s not on your wrist.

    • Graeme Cooper

      An update: Garmin decided that it warranted a replacement so off it went. Got a complete boxed watch with all the gubbins which was unexpected but very welcome.

      Leave the watch off now when not wearing but today forgot and popped it in my pocket where Connect recorded its resting heart rate at 146bpm (although interestingly on the watch it records a gap where i havent been wearing it).

      I have referred same pocket to the GP. And ive switched off the sensor during the day

  83. Alex Egberts

    For anyone using the watch full time, how has it held up? I presume the band’s may be in need of replacement a few times throughout the watch’s life cycle, but is the plastic body holding together?

    • Paul Voorend

      It’s held up well for me, I’ve been using it full time since May. I got a screen protector for it, as well as a pair of quick release bands, so maybe they have helped, but I also haven’t lost any tactile feel from any of the buttons either. As a maintenance tip, I put it in a bowl of warm water once a fortnight to help wash out any residue sweat / salt build up from the internals.. so maybe that helps as well.

    • ekutter

      I pretty much always have the watch on except while sleeping and the occasional mountain bike ride when I attach it to the bike with the Quick Release kit. I have had no problems and it shows no sign of wear. I did get the QuickFit band to make it a snap to use with the bike mount part of the quick release kit when I don’t need the maps of the my Edge 810. Even with wearing it quite a bit on my wrist during mountain biking and brushing against bushes (and the occasional crash) it looks like new after 6 months.

  84. Austin

    Is there a way to have the backlight on during an activity after sunset? Or is the only option the gesture setting? While the gesture works most of the time, I find it slow when I just want a quick glance at my hr.

  85. Does the quick release raise the 935 up much higher than normal? Do folks feel a big difference when that’s on? It made the 910xt so much higher and so I’m not sure I’d be wanting to wear it everyday if the Quick Release is on it.
    Would love anyone’s perspective here.

    • Paul

      Yes it does raise it up, and you definitely wouldn’t want to wear it as a daily. If you want to transition quickly between daily wearing and quick release on the bike, then you need to use the quick fit bands, which snap on and off easily. Remove the bands and the watch then snaps into and out of the quick release kit. You would only use the QR on your wrist, in an actual tri/duathlon where you didn’t want to waste any time at all snapfitting the bands from the bike to the run.

    • ekutter

      The thing with the 910 was that you couldn’t easily add/remove the quick release harness so you pretty much leave it attached to the watch all the time. The 935 is awesome, when combined with the quickfit bands, because it literally takes 5 seconds to swap back to just a plain band with no part of the quick release attached to the watch. Other than during a race, you’d probably never attach the quick release harness to the watch. You’d just detach the straps (5 seconds) from the watch and slip it into the bike cradle. Even for a race (unless a few seconds make a difference with a podium spot for you), I’d probably opt to just swap in the straps rather than use the separate harness. You really need to see how the pieces fit together here in person as it’s quite different and ingenious compared to the old days with the 910.

  86. Simen Madsen

    The only bad thing i have figured out myself with this and the fenix 5x is the inaccurat tracking of daily indoor movement. I work as a waiter,so i walk constanly at work for more or less 8 hours a day. But when it comes to it the watch has tracked around 3hundreds kcals burned because of activity. Would you know why it seems to not be able to track the everyday movements inside ?

    • Alex

      Maybe because you do not move your arm while walking and serving tables. Steps are acounted based on the watch accelerometer tracking natural arm movement using patterns. Just a possiblity!

  87. Alex

    I find the auto-lap and auto-pause of Suunto while swimming at the pool very useful. Without any intervention, the watch displays the interval distance, time, pace and rest time.
    This should be possible with the Garmin 935 and Fenix series. Now, it is only possible if you press Pause at the beginning and end of the interval, which is a very challenging and annoying thing to do most of the times.

    Why does Garmin not implement this feature?
    Is the watch not accurate enough in differentiating swim patterns in front of random arm movements when stopped or going to the bathroom, per example?

    With Suunto, you can record free, breatstroke, backstroke and butterfly individual patterns, so the watch is more accurate for your personal use.

    To me this is a major fault from this watch unit.

    Any comments or information on this?

    Thanks

  88. Jim Sinton

    I local pool is in a hotel with a 50 foot pool. The 935 counts the lengths OK but I cant set the length to less that 17 m/18 yds. I could understand the restriction if it couldn’t detect the lengths but that doesn’t seem to be a problem. I could also live with it allowing the smaller pool and saying it might not always detect the laps correctly. I imagine this is also an issue for anyone that uses hotel pools a lot. Is there any non-tedious workaround.

  89. Braden

    does anyone know where I can get a good deal on the 935 with Black Friday/ Cyber Monday coming up?
    thanks!

  90. Strictly B Grade

    Back again. I went out and purchased the 935 and two weeks in I absolutely love it. This watch is basically everything I wanted to Tomtom multisport cardio to be but wasn’t. Battery life is pretty good and it’s pretty comfortable for all day wear. I didn’t care about activity or sleeping metrics (as in they weren’t a factor in me purchasing this) but now that I have them I’m quite enjoying using them.

    My one question; I have powertap pedals (also purchased based on this site’s reviews) that have paired with my watch but it’s not recording L/R balance. I’ve done a few rides where I’ve recorded things on my edge 500 and the 935 simultaneously and the edge 500 is showing a L/R scatter diagram in garmin connect but the 935 is not.

    Any tips on how to sort this out? Have I inadvertently connected the pedals to my 935 via bluetooth?

    • Michael Swann

      It sounds like you might have. Simple solution is to delete the pairing and do it again.

    • Strictly B Grade

      So how do I avoid it re-pairing via bluetooth?

    • Michael Swann

      What you need to do is make a note of the ANT+ ID of your PowerTap pedals. You can either go into the sensor details on your Edge 500 or get the ID off the pedals or packaging (if you have it). Then go into your 935 and check you have the same ID paired. If not, delete the pairing and start again.

      From memory the 935 will find both ANT+ and Bluetooth transmitters, but you only want to pair with the known ANT+ ID and not bother with anything else.

  91. Andres Duarte

    Can the Training Status in the 935 take into account data uploaded in Garmin Connect from training done using a Garmin Edge 520?
    Thank you!

  92. advaitasiva

    hi ray
    1 I don’t like black. will the 935 come in white?
    2in my country vivoactive 3 and this watch (935) have similar prices. is this the better choice?
    thanks ray for your hard work

    • No, just black. I don’t expect to see a white variant anytime soon (always could be wrong though).

      When comparing the Vivoactive 3 vs the FR935, they’re kinda two different markets. If you don’t do triathlons or lots of hiking with navigation, the Vivoactive 3 is probably the better bet. Whereas if you’re doing triathlons, then the FR935 is the better option.

    • Daniel V

      Hello Ray,

      would this recommendation be still valid today (and in my situation 🙂 ) ? I do a trail here and then (once per week or two), but am a rather “enthusiastic road-runner” 🙂 … I have a FR225 currently and am thinking of upgrading: the VA3 or FR935 (or even FR235, if it would suffice). I would like to keep the functionalities of FR225 & add better elevation (am dissapointed with the elevation figures of FR225 ), navigation would be nice (not must), do not really care for smart functionalities 🙂 …

      I chose the VA3 first, but am considering the FR935 – mainly due to the elevation. Do you think the price difference between 935 and VA3 is worth for the addition of navigation & compass ? Is there anything really crucial for runners, that the VA3 is missing and is present in FR935 ? Is the VA3 sufficient for a runner (that is – is it not just a fancy smart thing in first place, not exactly a runners watch) ?

      Thanks a lot…
      Daniel

      PS. Your page is my main first source on anything about running accessories … Keep up the good work 🙂 …

  93. advaitasiva

    hi
    ir tve Price os ver similar do yo u August this watch 935 ir vivoactive 3?
    thanls

  94. Andres Duarte

    Hi Ray,
    Thanks again for a great review!

    I am getting the 935 … so .. I need to eventually sell my 920 … any tip on when and where to sell it? I was thinking to do it in eBay during the second week of December… but other believe is better in January when many people start their training. Any ideas? tips?

    Thanks,

  95. Bill

    This has probably been asked, but why do you need a HR strap if it has a HR sensor built in on the wrist?

  96. gingerneil

    Yes, you can select by app on the Garmin connect settings

    • Steve

      Thanks. Looks like for iPhones you have to manage through your phones Notification Center (meaning I can’t customize to allow all notifications on my phone but only calls / texts on my watch).

      Ray do you know if this additional iPhone functionality is possible and/or on Garmins product roadmap? Thanks!

    • I don’t believe it’s on the roadmap. My rough understanding of the issue is that it’s very difficult to app developers to get granular on iOS with notifications without going down a really complex road that’s not super supported.

    • Steve

      Interesting. Thanks for the info!

  97. The new 935 beta software, version 6.38, is causing my pace and lap paces to show up between 5 and 6 minutes when I run 9-10 minute miles. Anyone else with this issue?

  98. Ven

    Do you know how can i change the setting of the LTHR pace?
    My 935 set up automatically a LTHR 178 at 5:30 kperminute.
    After that happened it started giving me very high HR data when i use the HRstrap. I am 100% sure the reading were too high eg. +200 at easy pace around 5:15 but i could easily talk and breath (note my max HR is 195).
    I have tried 2 options:
    – switching off the external HR I would get more reasonable HR ie. around 150ish
    – Changing the LTHR on the watch to 50: watch HR and HR would be pretty much aligned.
    It appears that the HR strap readings are somehow anchored to the LTHR setting, so when i get to a pace around the 5:30 kperminute would result in HR higher than 178.
    Is this possible and intended?
    I can see how i can change the LTHR pace anywhere.
    thanks

  99. Joey

    Random question: but can you get to music controls quickly or have them stay on your screen (maybe lock the screen with the music screen on?). Currently I use an Apple watch to easily control music or podcasts (pause/play or skip track) during my commute to and from work. I’m hoping to get the Garmin 935 to replace my Apple Watch to get better fitness metrics (obviously will lose some “smart watch” functionality), but hoping I will still be able to control music easily.

    Thanks!

    • gingerneil

      Yes, you can add music controls as a widget, data screen or access via the quick ‘controls’ menu. I’ve not worked out how to actually use music controls as a data screen – anyone?
      You can play, pause, skip and change volume. There’s no way to select music/play lists etc. So its quite basic, but works fine.

    • Joey

      Thanks gingerneil. The 935 really looks phenomenal as a running watch and even to wear every day. Was hoping for a Christmas sale, but it doesn’t look imminent. I may just bite the bullet and get one coming from Clever training.

    • Will

      “I’ve not worked out how to actually use music controls as a data screen – anyone?”

      Menu (Hold UP) > Select Music Controls (it’s already selected) > START

      So pretty much: Hold UP, START

      The Map page is like this too: in order to access the pan/zoom controls you have to hold UP.

      Unfortunately, all of the non-touchscreen watches are like this. Data pages which have any kind of interaction force you to hold UP to actually interact. (The problem is that there are no spare buttons which don’t already do something else in the context of an activity…)

  100. Kelly-Lynn

    Hi thanks for the great reviews Ray. I currently have the Forerunner 230 which I love. One of the great features is that you can charge it while in GPS mode and it still tracks your run. Can the 935 or Fenix 5 be charged while running and still track your run? I’m not sure whether to upgrade. All I’m after is longer battery life for ultra marathons. Thanks.

  101. David Chrisman

    So trying to get the best look possible at my overall health level. I know there’s nothing perfect but is FirstBeat best option out there right now (on Fenix 5 and 935) if you record all of your activities on one of these devices? Training Peaks has been really helpful understanding fitness level but it seems like with FirstBeat taking into account sleep, daily heart rate, daily activity and power when cycling you could get an even better picture. Was looking at Vivoactive 3 but don’t think it would take cycling power data into consideration in the 4 FirstBeat features it has. Cycling is really my only exercise (indoor/outdoor) and have power meter for outdoors and indoors.

    • David Chrisman

      Checked with FirstBeat and yeah would need the 935 for sure to get power in the equation. Found the VA3 on Amazon for $209 USD on Monday (Green Monday?) so think I’ll go with piecemeal solution for now (4 FirstBeat metrics on VA3 + Training Peaks) due to high cost of entry for 935/Fenix 5. Long term though Garmin having the First Beat metrics is really compelling to me. Hope Polar/Suunto can do something similar (as far as I can tell Suunto has a couple metrics on one of their Ambit watches).

    • Mark

      Whatever you do if you are in the UK I would strongly advise against buying a Garmin. Mine broke after two weeks – start button stuck which seems to be quite common having done some more research. I have chased and it took a week for a response only after 40mins on US helpline (looking forward to phone bill) and another 30 on UK line which is now out of service. Another four days to get a returns address and label. Then an email to say 14 days from when they receive the watch. I had it for two weeks and now it will be four weeks to get a replacement. No apology . No contact from Garmin. Worst service ever. Be warned.

  102. ceewhyaxe

    Hi DCR,

    Which would be better to track a ride?
    1) Just the Edge 520
    2) Just the Forerunner 935
    3) Use both

    Many thanks!

    • Paul V

      Definitely don’t need both. Either one would be fine, but the 520 would give you the ability to view more data at once. Plus you’d need extra mounting hardware for the 935, that you may not need for the 520. If you will use it primarily for cycling then get the 520. But if you need to track running, or any other types of sports, then get the 935.

    • Scott E. Griffith

      Definitely use both (if you are a data geek). I always use 2 devices because it is so common to have one give erroneous data, drop out, not pick up B/T or ANT accessories, or fail due to a dead battery. At the end of your ride, you can compare data. Connect to the same accessory, one using B/T and the other using ANT. (Consider how many devices Ray uses when he heads out for a ride 🙂 ).

    • ekutter

      If money is no issue, use both. If you want to use it off the bike as well, the 935 is great. I’ve gotten to the point where I generally just use my 935 on the bike and only bring my Edge 810 out when I need maps. If you want to use the 935 on the bike, it’s really handy to get the quick release kit and a quick fit band. Lets you snap the 935 on to the bike mount in about 5 seconds.

    • Personally if not testing something I’d just use an Edge unit instead of a Forerunner unit, merely because I think it’s easier to see.

    • ceewhyaxe

      I used the 520 to track the ride while my 935 was used to broadcast heartrate.

      Compare to my previous ride, I used both devices to track rides and ended up with 2 entries on my Garmin connect and strava.

      I like having the watch track my ride as it will do all the necessary calculation towards my overall fitness. Correct me if I’m wrong but that does not happen when I use the 520 to track my ride.

      Supposed I am right, should I find a way to delink the 520 from the strava?

    • Daniele

      I’m trying to use the Forerunner 935 in my indoor cycling activities. I’ve a smart trainer form Elite (Real Tour B+) equipped with Smart Bluetooth and ANT+ protocols. The trainer is viseable by the 935 like a sensor, but the speed data are not realistic ( like 1000 km/h when I’m cycling at 20km/h). I’ve tried both tha automatic wheel size and the manual wheel size like 2096mm. The only way to get the right data is to mount a garmin speed sensor in the rear wheel.
      My home trainer tell me also the Power (W), but I’m able to see the power in my 935 (I only get –). With my previuos bike computer, Garmin Edge 520, I was able to see and the record all these data.
      Why is not possible with the Forerunner 935, even if it has the Cycling indoor activity?

  103. Tom

    Hello
    As I start my IronMan training for next year I’m hoping/praying ? Garmin has fixed the issue that doesn’t allow the 935 to properly record a whole IronMan. As many of you may know when you get over a certain /distance the file can’t be downloaded. Unfortunately you loose all the data for you’re most important Race. Does anyone know if they’ve resolved this?
    BTW, otherwise I absolutely love the watch!!!
    Thanks everyone & Happy Training! (-:

  104. Tom

    Hello
    I know this is a second mention of this but
    As I start my IronMan training for next year I’m hoping/praying ? Garmin has fixed the issue that doesn’t allow the 935 to properly record a whole IronMan. As many of you may know when you get over a certain /distance the file can’t be downloaded. Unfortunately you loose all the data for you’re most important Race. Does anyone know if they’ve resolved this?
    BTW, otherwise I absolutely love the watch!!!
    Thanks everyone & Happy Training! (-:

  105. RJ Abella

    This may be a weird question, but does anyone know or can experiment to see if the 935 and Fenix 5 have the same Bluetooth range for phone connectivity? I wonder what’s the farthest I can be from my iPhone to control music. Wondering if the Watch bodies affect it

  106. Curt Bentley

    I have a Milestone Footpod that I’d like to use for distance and pace data on treadmill runs. I have the footpod connected, but the watch is still taking pace and distance data from the accelerometer. How do I set it so, for treadmill runs, it uses the footpod instead of the accelerometer?

    Thanks in advance!

  107. Sebastien

    Hi,

    Your detailed reviews have been my source of reference for purchasing new equipment, and I like their format.

    I recently purchased a Fenix 5 which I am currently testing. I like it even the few bugs and freezes I am getting after downloading watch faces and apps from Garmin website.
    But, it is very bulky on my wrist and difficult to wear when wearing dress shirts for work.

    Therefore, was considering to buy the Forunner 935 (the Fenix 5P Lol) instead in hoping it would fit better.

    When I checked the Forunner 935, I could not find any screw that would allow to open it and replace the battery.

    Question: Do you know if the battery can be replaced later on?

    Is there actually a Garmin Customer Service, because contact information on their website is almost implicitly saying “Please do not contact us!” ?

    Thank you,

    Sebastien

    • gingerneil

      Batteries in these devices are NOT designed to be replaced by the user. You may be able to pay garmin to change the battery in years to come, but this would likely cost as much as a new 935 (assuming price drops before then, or buying second hand).
      I managed to change the battery on a very old 205 years ago – but this meant pulling the casing apart and destroying any kind of water resistance.
      The 935 and F series are waterproofed to a fairly significant level. Opening the case to change the battery would void this. It would also be a considerable cost and challenge for garmin to design the devices to allow batteries to be swapped out by the user, and for fairly limited return for them.
      I wouldnt worry – you’ll get years out of it before the battery starts to under perform.

    • Gunnar

      I’ve swapped the “innards” out of a fenix 3. I purchased a lot of faulty fenix 3’s off Ebay for cheap. Was able to take the circuit board and battery from one and swap it out with another. Easy job. I was curious if the watertight seal would be a proble, but a few months later and many swims later all is good. I would imagine the battery would be easy replace as well.

      Moral of the story, if you want a user serviceable watch go for the fenix series.

  108. Randy

    I bought the tri bundle, but the start/stop button isn’t neon green like in the pictures. Not really important to me, just wondering!

    • Paul

      It should be. Are the yellow straps there? Also the ring around the side should also be neon yellow, not silver/grey. Sounds like it’s been swapped out at some point. If it bothers you, then I’d take it back to the retailer and get a replacement.

    • Randy

      Thanks! I think I’ll call them and ask about it. The watch came with the yellow bands and all that.

  109. Sarah

    In Multisport/triathlon mode can you set the run portion up with run/walk intervals? My FR310 (as far as I know) won’t allow me to set it up this way, and so I don’t use the Multisport feature in races.

  110. S. Savkar

    Help, anyone know how to get the downhill skiing feature to work properly?

    So while here in Switzerland was all excited by the functionality. I hit the start, then select ski by clicking down a few times. All seems good.

    But then as I start doing runs, I notice it no longer is in the ski mode and has gone back to the clock watchface. So when I go back to hit ‘start’ it is as if there is no indication the activity I chosen is active, and I have to select again.

    I tried changing settings to turn on auto run for ski mode, but that didn’t seem to make any difference.

    Anyone have the magic here to get this working properly? Bummed out. Using Slopes on my iphone, but would love to track better data through Garmin Connect.

    • S. Savkar

      I clearly need more sleep. I only just now realized after setting to ski mode, I never hit “start” to actually set the program in go mode. Good grief.

      Well, will see how things work tomorrow!!!

  111. STEVE

    So, after much research decided to get the 935 over the Fenix 5(too many sync and GPS issues). Very impressed right now. I’m coming from the Polar V800. The 935 is much more user friendly and loaded with performance data(especially after a few weeks of workouts are logged into the unit). Ordered mine through the Clever Training site link via DCR’s page. I did not notice a 10% discount on CT’s site but i could have glossed over it…..drag! Anyway, thanks to DCR for such detailed and timely reviews.

  112. Tom

    Found this post on the Garmin Forum. It summarizes my exact question.
    The Garmin Connect (Android) app keeps asking me to allow permission to allow my FR935 to access advanced music services.
    1. I don’t want/need to use my watch for playing music.
    2. I don’t want to grant the permissions required for this purpose.

    How can I stop GC from pestering me about this? Even when I deny, it keeps notifying me. The incessant requests only started about a month ago.

  113. Nick

    I have just sent my Fenix 5 Sapphire back to the retailer as during the 3rd week of owning it the barometer readings were ranging between 20000 above sea level all the way to -20000!!
    Is anyone else seeing crazy readings?
    I want to replace it for the 935 but am concerned that this model will have a poor barometer too, do you think I was just unlucky? As this is a newer model is the barometer better?

    • Daniele

      I’m trying to use the Forerunner 935 in my indoor cycling activities. I’ve a smart trainer form Elite (Real Tour B+) equipped with Smart Bluetooth and ANT+ protocols. The trainer is viseable by the 935 like a sensor, but the speed data are not realistic ( like 1000 km/h when I’m cycling at 20km/h). I’ve tried both tha automatic wheel size and the manual wheel size like 2096mm. The only way to get the right data is to mount a garmin speed sensor in the rear wheel.
      My home trainer tell me also the Power (W), but I’m able to see the power in my 935 (I only get –). With my previuos bike computer, Garmin Edge 520, I was able to see and the record all these data.
      Why is not possible with the Forerunner 935, even if it has the Cycling indoor activity?

  114. Gunnar

    One totally useless, but fun thing I like about the 935 is you can match your background accent colour to your watch band. (Ok, back to work)

  115. Mark

    I was supplied a 935 last October by Garmin for a replacement for my 920 following an out of warranty repair. I only used if up to the end of the year for some treadmill runs along with a stryd footpod. Having purchased a Tacx Neo at beginning of december I started using the 935 in January whilst doing zwift workouts. I noticed that during an hours workout the 935 was losing the tacx neo’s power, cadence and speed signals around 20 times per workout. This continued with every workout. As a result I also recorded the workouts with the Garmin 510, so with 3 recording devices,(pc ant+ dongle, 510 & 935 all ant+) the first 2 were recording the workouts fully with no dropouts the 935 with multi drop outs. Contacted Garmin through chat (some one in Kansas city) who told me to either do an outside ride or turn wifi off, if this still happened there was a problem with 935. But i needed to contact Garmin UK as in UK. I completed a inside ride and outside ride again with drop outs on 935 and none on 510. Tried multi position with 935 (wrist stem and out front mount) all the same.
    Contacted Garmin Uk who told me to do a factory reset as there were probably too many sensors !!! (same thats on the 510 !!!) done that and still the same (only tacx neo power paired). I have now looked at all my running records from october and see that the data from both the stryd pod and the garmin run chest transmitter had large pieces missing (non missing on the stryd app). Which to me indicates an issue with the 935, However Garmin Uk tell me they don’t support 3rd party apps and can’t help. So despite connecting and working for most of the time the drop outs are due to 3rd party apps even when they don’t occur on another garmin device and a cheap ant+ dongle, oh and from a garmin run transmitter. Anyone have similar issues ???

    • Mark

      I should also add the devices I have paired to the 935 and have had drop outs are Tacx Neo, Stryd footpod, Powertap GS Hub, Garmin run Chest transmitter, All pretty much major players, so if Garmin think it is acceptable that their £500 sports watch can’t pair with these devices properly it may be time to change from a Garmin.

    • Mark

      For an update, used the chat last monday to speak with garmin uk again, providing further workouts with drop outs completed after the factory reset. They then raised a ticket and asked me to send the garmin folder off the watch (despite having reset the watch and deleting all the previous files). On completion of the online chat i sent the file straight to them. Having heard nothing, not even acknowlegment of the file I contacted them today and was basically told the technically dept havent even looked at the file yet and couldn’t give me any idea of the time scale. It might be a software issue or hardware, which then i will need to return it. Not impressed by this service and has now got me looking at alternatives other than garmin for a new cycle computer. I am getting to agree with Mark (wasnt me) earlier who advised staying clear of garminin UK.

  116. Kunal Parekh

    I have a Garmin 910 XT, which is now done with its shelf life. I had bought that watch too with reading your in-depth review. Your in-depth reviews are exceptionally detailed, probably because you use them as well even long after the reviews and keep adding notes back to the articles.

    I however have the bike Garmin ANT sensors that were compatible with the 910 XT. Would that continue to work with the 935?

    Another question, if you had to select a tri-watch and its tri-accessories, what would be your ideal combination to go with?

    • Kunal Parekh

      Also, should we wait a little as a newer model may be on its way (since this watch was announced almost a year back)?

  117. Linus Persson

    Dear Ray!
    I recently purchased the Forerunner 935 to replace my 920XT and I absolutely love it but there’s one thing that I’m concerned about: I didn’t trust the optical HR sensor and as it turns out with good reason. I did a run today with the 935 and the optical HRM and the 920XT wit my HRM Run chest strap and i got quite different numbers. I’m caucasian, I had the watch snug on my arm and and I’ve shaved the hair where my watch is located and here’s my results link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com
    I’d say that they differ quite a lot from your results, and I find that quite bit bit od wouldn’t you say.
    Kind regards,
    Linus Persson

    • Wilfred

      I have the same problems with the 935 when I use it while doing a bike ride. Also shaved mu wrist, snugging the watch very tight and moving it up my wrist.
      I Actually went to this in depth review to see what mr. Rainmaker had to say about the quality of the HR sensor. Sad to see that the quality I.R.L.is not as good as tested BY DC.

    • Optical HR sensor results will always vary by person. Things like skin tone and hair play a part, as does your body fat level (slimmer is actually tougher), and most importantly position. My body isn’t your body, and your body isn’t my body. Ironically, this is all somewhat similar to chest straps, it’s just that I think in general we’ve kinda forgotten it. Straps tended to (and still do) vary not just on body type, but also weather.

      As for using the FR935 during cycling Wilfred, my post above specifically notes that it wasn’t that good.

    • Nathan B

      Body fat level mkes a big difference with optical wrist sensors.

      I’ve got a Schosche Rhythm+, a Vivoactive 3 and a Wahoo Tickr. The Tickr and Schosche read fairly closely together, and the VA3 used to.

      I have lost 7kg in the last few months through diet and exercise, and the VA3’s readings have gotten progressively worse.

      I’m caucasian with next to no hair on my arms, and have tried it in a number of positions (inner arm, up from the wrist bone, forearm etc, and none are great).

      I’ve gone back to wearing the Tickr now, as it works best for me.

      Side note, I have to connect the Tickr via Bluetooth, as the ANT+ on the VA3 drops connection a lot! It’s on the Garmin Forums, and apparently they’re issuing a fix.

    • Weaver

      Thanks for your post. After 1 week of FR935 I have seen the same problem on run usually when I get into high zone 3 or close to threshold. I am also at low body fat (at 68 am 4lb lighter than age 16 weight) I used to have Sosche but switched to HRM-Run chest belt when I got my 920XT as it was accurate and provided run metrics. Particurlarly, the HRM-Run soft strap belt is the only Garmin HRM that doesn’t have a problem with sweat for me. With other belts, once the shirt is wet, I have to take it off to get accurate readings (errors with wet shirt were on order of 50% to 100% high). The errors with the 935 optical are less than the wet shirt errors on older Garmin belts and are less obvious but on careful observation you see step changes maybe slightly hidden by ramping due to MA filter. So in summary, I will have to continue using HRM-Run or HRM-Tri for workouts, but I will still value the 24*7 optical for rest HR and other HR metrics. The other thing I value on the 935 is the temperature record which is important to guage the significance of HR versus pace on workouts.

  118. Bob

    I have the Garmin 935 and find the optical hr sensor to be good at times and then erratic at other times. I’m wondering if it would be possible to use a Garmin heart rate strap along with the optical sensor on the 935 in order to get two readings. The idea would be that I could also take advantage of the advanced metrics I could get when using the Garmin strap at times in conjunction with the 935. Is that possible?

  119. Bob

    This is HUGE for me. Going to order one of the Garmin HR straps to use with my 935 .
    Curious to know if you have used this yourself. If so , how is it working for you?
    I would think it would help with all of the devices you wear.

    • Karri

      Hi Bob, Mark, & Linus.

      I just returned my fenix 5 back to the store 2 days ago. I’ve had the same issues that Linus Persson (Jan 26th) and Mark (Jan 25th) described.

      First with the optical wrist sensor. Sometimes it worked like a dream (compared to Polar rc3gps with polar chest trap), but sometimes heart rates were totally messed up. Like I really was near the maximum heart rate (about 170-180 bpm) in cross-country skiing for 30 minutes, but the heart rate I got from fenix 5 was somewhere around 100 bpm or below. Then suddenly, maybe after an hour of training, fenix 5 got it and nailed it just perfectly. Quite strange, and sooo frustrating!

      I was just wondering, if there is some learning algorithm with the machine. My previous cross-country skiing had been really easy go with the chlidren, lasting about three hours. Like it would have learned those low heart beats, and kept them even though i was going much more intense afterwards. It took about an hour of more intense training, like it would have figured out that now it should be on a totally different scale. Well I figured out, that I’ll need a strap.

      First I tried Polar H7 bluetooth smart strap. I could get it connected. However, it dropped out constantly. I could get about two heart reate figures out from it in 5 minutes. Then I bought Garmin Hrm-tri strap, just to figure out that even that Garmin strap constantly drops out. It works better than Polar, but it still is totally unacceptable performance from the top of the line heart rate monitor. It behaves quite much like Mark (Jan 25th) described with his external sensors.

      Now I have really mixed feelings. I thought that maybe Forerunner 935 would solve the problems. I keep on reading reviews with top grades and praises for Forerunner 935 and Fenix 5. However, i keep constantly reading similar kind of issues described in the comments sections that i did have with my fenix. With that specific watch i would have only given it 2,5 stars out of 5, and a value for money 1/5. It just could not measure heart rate . Quite an expensive activity monitor.

      I would really like the watch, if it would work like it should. I think that at the moment I would bet my money on 935. I just hope that somebody would say, that if I will buy a new 935, I would not have those issues. I have asked about it from Garmin. However, I’m quite afraid that they can not promise me that a new one will work flawlessly.

    • Paul S.

      My guess is that your watch was locking to your cadence rather than your heart rate. Remember how it works; the sensor is looking for periodicities in light reflected from your skin. From what I understand locking to cadence happens to runners, and I’d guess it’s even more likely for a skier since we actually use our arms for propulsion. The signal of your pushing on the poles (and the watch being moved by being under clothing) is larger than the signal coming from the pulsing of your capillaries. When you’re skiing with your kids, you’re probably not pressing nearly as hard. If your watch counts xc skiing cadence from the accelerometer (my Epix does) you should look and compare with your “heart rate”.

  120. john

    The FR935 would be the perfect companion after a 2y injury break.

  121. Michael Coyne

    Anybody else having an issue since the last update (7.60 I believe) where Garmin’s weather widget doesn’t work? It hasn’t changed in days even though the weather has been changing, and when I press the start button for the more detailed weather look, it says “Waiting for data” no matter how many times I sync, whether I turn off phone/watch, etc.

    • Michael Coyne

      Actually, it seem restarting both at once does solve it. Not sure if I just haven’t done that yet or what. Still, annoying to have to restart devices all the time, and that wasn’t the case before.

  122. Wilfred

    I started using a Stryd foot pod to show me the power during my run.
    When I use the data field on my FR935 my power data is presented aprox. 30% lower then what is recorded on the foot pod data.

    When I use the Stryd app the power is presented correctly.

    The watch sometimes presents the correct data after a short pause of my run, sometimes the power goes up after some interval training but sometimes stays to low for the entire run.

    The solution is using Stryd’s power app instead of the Power field but then you don’t have control over what fields you want to see. Also Strava Live Segments dous not work whilst in the power app.

  123. Nathan B

    I’m just about to sell my Edge 520 and Vivoactive 3, and buy a 935.

    I just wanted to check first… my Edge 520 can controll my Smart Trainer, so that I can complete structured workouts. Is it possible to do this with the 935?

    • S. Savkar

      I would NOT sell my Edge 520 and just rely on the 935. But that is just me. I think the Edge is far easier to use for control and other functions while i bike.

      Bare minimum I would first get the 935 and try it out, and only if you think it does everything you need would I then sell the Edge.

    • Nathan B

      I was “just” a cyclist, but since the litlle one came along, I’m a bit shorter on time. So I’m gradually becoming more of a runner.

      I am looking at competing in Duathlons and perhaps Triathlons further down the line.

      I’ve already got a Vivoactive 3 (which I’m also selling) and I’ve used this on one or two rides, and not found that I’ve missed the 520.

      I’ve got an S8 with a Quadlock mount, so if the worst comes to worst, I can use that out front for mapping, or get the QR kit for the 935.

    • Mark

      I don’t think the 935 can control your trainer, its just the garmin edge devices from 520. At the moment my 935 cant keep connected with my Tacx neo, powertap gs hub stryd footpod and garmin hr run for the running dynamics with numerous drop outs during workouts, let alone control the trainer.

      Taken garmin 2 weeks (4 emails, 1 telephone call, 2 online chats) and numerous workout links to actually look at the issue for me.

  124. Gerrard Smith

    I would like to see my last lap intensity factor in the lap alert screen but can’t see a field for this. And I can’t find a Connect IQ field for it either. Do you know of a way to achieve this? Thanks very much

  125. Mike Jones

    Are we ever going to see a sale on the 935? It is close to a year since its release.
    Thanks

    • It’s on sale in Europe for the next 24 hours or so…

      As for the US, I wouldn’t expect it anytime soon. Historically Garmin has done multisport watch sales around late April and May, so perhaps we’ll see something there. But ya never really know.

      With Polar now unlikely to release a V800 successor this spring, that makes of a reason for Garmin to put anything on sale.

  126. Nick

    Just got the F935 and super satisfied with it.

    Some remarks – if useful to others:

    1. Using it dominantly for pool swimming – must say strange decision not to enable HR during it.
    Coming from Vivosmart HR+ – which did not have swimming mode – I would just leave MoveIQ to detect activity and would have it as such recorded in training calendar altogether wth my HR history (which btw worked just great in pool!). If this is push to buy full bundle with straps or just something else…. Would be great if HRM during swimming would be added as an option (enable yes/no) to future sw updates

    2. WiFi sync works a breeze! I removed Garmin connect app from the phone (beast grew to 80mbs on android), and am excited to see sync happening directly with 3-4 seconds.
    It would be great to enable ConnectIQ apps sync/install the same way without the need for phone or Garmin Express app, eg. log into account on pc – choose apps from the ConnectIQ store and then just click sync on watch to pull them..

    3. One note on the design – F935 is great looking watch and I wear it during working/business hours. if you opt for full bundle (with yellow strap as default) start button ring and small line on screen next to it will also be yellow- and obviosly will stay as such despite changing for black band. If you opt for bare model (with black band) – it has silver (as opposed to yellow) and (to me) looks more neutral for daily use.

    Cheers….

    and thanks Ray for flagging sales in EU. Was able to pick mine on Clever Training

  127. nicole

    My Start/ Stop button all of the sudden stopped working. It would double click every so often, and then it wont start at all. its less than 2 months old so i will exchange it. Anyone else have problems with buttons?

    • Paul

      Something I do every couple of weeks is pop it into a small dish of warm water. This will help dissolve any built up salt from sweat or ocean water, inside any little nooks and crannies. This might help your buttons too.

    • James

      1. Is this watch an ideal one for doing P90X3 or other cardio stuff? Which Sport mode should I select for these kind of activities? I’m seeing VA3 has Cardio and Strength Training profiles. Do we have a similar one on the 935?

      2. If creating a custom profile is it going to be different in the sense that the Garmin created default profiles are optimized for that specific activity?

      Please advise.

    • James

      Hi Ray,

      Can you please add your comment on this?

      James.

  128. Latimer Labrat

    Hello! Thanks for these great product reviews and super helpful website and community!

    I was wondering if Ray or any other FR935 users have any insights to the longevity of this device, now that it has been released for close to a year. Has the battery life remained good over time? Have there been any hardware/software glitches that cropped up over time?

    I have a 920XT, purchased new in 2014, but have had to send it back to Garmin twice in the time that I’ve had it, first because the battery life started to drop drastically (I know, I should just get faster and then I won’t need so much battery life, right? ;)), and then because the hardware just started completely malfunctioning. Both times, this occurred juuuuuuust out of warranty, and I had to pay for a factory overhaul after calling customer service and finding that no field fixes (hard resets, etc) would fix my issues. Although I really like my watch while it was functioning, I’m dissatisfied with the need to spend ca. $200 on repairs over less than 3 years of owning a $500 watch.

    The watch is now malfunctioning yet again, and I’m considering what to do. One option would be to shell out again for factory rehaul of my 920XT, but this does not seem to have worked in the past. Another option would be to upgrade to the FR935, but I’m unwilling to buy another $500 watch only to have it fritz out on me and require multiple not-cheap repairs over not very much time. Does anyone have any insights into this?

    Also, I’m wondering if there is a regular release pattern that Garmin tends to follow– like how iPhones tend to be upgraded in the fall every year, and that big upgrades come every other year with smaller upgrades in between. Another thing I would like to avoid is deciding to shell out for an FR935 only to discover that the newer model comes out just after I’ve bought it. I would guess that I could look for sales on the FR935 has a harbinger of impending upgrade, but I’m wondering if anyone has anyone has any more direct insights. Thanks!

    • Latimer Labrat

      Erm…I can do arithmetic…it’s been just under 4 years that I’ve had the watch, not 3. Nonetheless, not great that I’ve had to send it back to Garmin twice!

    • okrunner

      I have a magic 8 ball and slept in an Holiday Inn last night but still can’t give you a good answer other than to say at least you didn’t buy a first gen Fenix or an Epic. Sell the 920 on ebay and get the 935.

    • Scott

      My recommendation would be to not pay for repairs but find another 920 on ebay for less money. Personally, I opted not to go with the 935 based on all of the problems I have heard of here in this forum.

    • Markus G

      I bought my 935 when it was released. The body of the watch still looks like new (no visible scratches). I don’t wear it while sleeping but otherwise everytime. It survived my 5yr old son as well as my trail-runs (4x/week). I own several of those cheap china-bands. So I can’t say how long the original one lasts.

      Battery-life: I have a “charging Friday”. This means I charge several equipment on Friday by default although several of them would last longer than a week. The 935 is usually at about 40% (incl. 6-7h GPS enabled running). So I can’t say anything against battery life. Even below 0C I have not yet encountered problems with the battery (just remember the resets of the 630 in it’s early days).

      Regarding the issues: please remember that people raise their hands when they have a problem. They usually don’t come to a forum and say “everything works”.

      Together with my Stryd I consider the 935 to fulfill everything that I currently need. Even the infamous optical HR just works for me. When it’s cold I use a Polar OH1 but that’s just because of the fact that I want to wear the watch over my clothes then. And the OH1 is using a BlueTooth connection: no drops as well as no drops to the Stryd (using ANT+).

  129. Travis Maulden

    Ray, In the “Sport Usage” section you said the 935 can broadcast your heartrate data to apps like Trainerroad or Zwift. Is this only true if you are using TR/Zwift on an Ant+ device?

    I’m hoping to find a way to use Trainerroad on my iPhone with the Wrist HRM from the 935.

    • Peter Hirsh

      Sadly, yes the HR only broadcasts over ANT+ (at least as best as I can tell) which is really odd since it broadcasts to my phone in the Connect App via Bluetooth. Maybe I’m missing something?

  130. Kevin

    Hey Ray, is there a new version of 935 on the near horizon or is this still a solid buy for the foreseeable future?

  131. Yanick

    Hi Ray,

    I am having trouble with the Fenix 5 ( on run I get him hr reading of 0 … but I am feeling a heart rate way over 0 and on the bike with the kickr and wahoo bluesc, I loose power and speed or the cadence. ) Do you know if the 935 also have these problèmes reported? Thinking on exchanging the Fenix 5 for the 935.

  132. David

    Ray

    Quick question (at least I hope it’s quick). Is there any way to get the “real” HRV number shown on the watch or is the only thing you can get the Garminified version when you do the 3 minute stress test? The stress test version doesn’t seem to actually come back with a HRV number as I understand HRV (i.e. based on rMSSD) and I can’t figure out how to get it to actually display that “number” although it does seem that the watch actually records it!

    Thanks

    David

  133. Sam B

    Hi. I appreciate the wealth of info available here. I have a question about the MOB feature of the 935/Fenix 5. I would like to use this feature for finding my car everytime I park it [as I don’t have a driveway] The usefulness of the MOB for this, is that each time I park my car and hold the MOB hot key, it will automatically overwrite the last MOB location. I don’t need it to automatically navigate me to my car immediately as I won’t need the navigation until the next time I use the car. My question is; does it automatically navigate you back immediately and I would have to cancel out of the navigation every time or is there a way to use it where I won’t have to cancel out of navigation each time? Thanks!

  134. Whats the deal with the Weather App waiting for Data? Has anyone solved this issue?

    • It typically means it can’t access the Garmin Connect app on your phone. The weather app requires a connect to the Garmin Connect Mobile app, so that has to be running somewhere in the background, and your phone has to be within Bluetooth range of your watch (so within a room or two).

  135. Tony West

    Two fields showing on one screen in the run and I can’t see the hours number once it crosses 1 hour? What am I doing wrong – is there a font size I’m missing?

  136. Courtney

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for all this info; I decided on this 935 (for light activity, but medium nerdiness) vs 645 or Fenix models. we’ll see how it goes! I’d like to add notes/comments to my day for all the non-activity metrics that have been measured. I haven’t been able to figure out how to add anything unless it’s a note for a recorded “activity”. do you know of a way to do this at all without adding an activity?

    thanks for any help! =]
    Courtney

  137. Erik Driessen

    Hi Ray,
    thanks for the in-depth review! I’ve read that VO2max estimations are only produced for cycling when you ride with power meter? So the watch will not give a number if I don’t have a power meter?

    I’m looking for a solid solution to track my training load and recovery status; currently my Suunto Ambit gives some indication which I don’t find very accurate.
    I assume the 24×7 HR measurement including tracking RHR will improve the training load and recovery status a lot, yet will I need the VO2max number as well?

    Another thought; just use a simple 24×7 HR device such as a vivosmart for tracking RHR and track workouts with my Ambit.

    Any thought son how to get better recovery and training load numbers are welcome, thank you!

  138. Bob

    Hi,
    Can a Garmin 935 stream live cycling data to an iPhone via bluetooth?
    Instead of trying to read data on the watch face during a ride, it would be great if that same info was mirrored on an iPhone, which I could mount on my handlebars. It’d just be easier to read.
    Cheers
    Bob

    • Anthony Robinson

      Unfortunately, no. But Garmin does make a nice bike mount. Other than that, you’re looking at having to purchase a separate Garmin bike computer in order to see real time metrics (speed, FTP, rpm, etc.).

  139. The Yoga activity profile is interesting to me. I tried to turn off the audible beep for start/stopping the timer but can’t find an activity or profile-specific setting to do that. Definitely not cool to be in yoga with a watch beeping or vibrating on start/stop. Anyone have a workaround (other than just disabling all noises/vibrations for the entire watch) for the Yoga profile?

    • Robin

      I had the opposite problem. I wanted it to beep when cycling only (when on my handlebars) and vibrate for everything else when on my wrist. Unfortunately while you can determine the type of in activity notifications, they are global settings and don’t appear to be configurable by sport. I did reach out to Garmin on this and they didn’t correct me.

    • Thanks for letting me know you experienced a similar challenge.

  140. Tom07

    Hi Ray, question regarding swimming structured workout/Intervalls: you mentioned that this is possible but I can’t find that feature in the watch. It’s only available for running, bike etc but not for swiming. Is that right or am I’m doing something wrong?

  141. P Beijer

    Tidal info via connect IQ:
    link to apps.garmin.com

    So it kind of does support tidal information?

  142. On the Bike activity, I’ve been getting a consistent message about my wheel size being calibrated. Happened twice over an hour ride this morning. Anyone else getting that?

  143. Brent Gustafson

    My 935 started giving elevation gains on runs that were 10x to high so I checked the Altimeter/Barometer and the Barometer doesn’t show a number and calibration fails. I restarted the 935 in test mode and it reports the Barometer is invalid. See attached pic. I’m assuming I’ll need to contact Garmin – anyone else encountered this?

  144. Ted

    My Garmin Fenix 3 altimeter and temperature sensors no longer work. is the barometric altimeter worth it any way? how is it better/more accurate than the GPS altimeter?

  145. Coronado

    In my control menu, where you long press the like button, there is a bar in the lower left of the control menu that doesn’t move as you cycle through. What is this? I can’t seem to find an answer anywhere on Garmin site.

  146. Michelle Armistead

    Hi there
    I absolutely love your in depth honest reviews. I am looking to buy myself a multi sport watch. I would like to treat myself to something really nice. I am 38 year old female. The two watches I am looking at are the Garmin 935 or the Fenix 5s Sapphire. I am really confused which to buy and I really don’t want to spend a whole lot of hard earned cash just to be disappointed. I am training for a half marathon, I regularly do weights and I am looking at doing a few Tris but I also enjoy hiking. Could you help me please?

    Kind regards
    Michelle

    • Paul Voorend

      Functionality-wise, they are identical. So you’ll be best to try them both on and see what one you like the look of the best. My bet would be on the 5S Sapphire though, being a female. I have a few female friends who have got one the same and they love it. Smaller profile and the look is more female-friendly. They are both a premium watch so a price difference would be negligible.

  147. Michelle Armistead

    Hi Paul
    Thank you so much. There isn’t anywhere around here that stock either of these, because I would love to try them on. I have seen the 935 tri bundle in the UK for sale for £471. I thought that was a good deal?
    Kind regards
    Michelle

  148. Nathan

    I have had issues twice in the last month during races where data stops recording or it shows me way off track. I think it might be during steep climbs. I’ve looked at many other runners on Strava and they seem to have no issues.

    Is there any wait to fix this or does anyone know why this would be occurring? I have my watch set to record every second, could that be it?

  149. Ted

    Is the barometric altimeter worth it? it failed in my Fenix 3, causing the elevation readings to be all over the place. is the 735 the same as the 935, only with GPS altimeter instead of barometric?

  150. Paul Tomblin

    Does the training load and stress stuff work for “Other” sport profiles or only for running and cycling?

  151. Darren

    Please could you tell me if it’s possible to customise the swim rest screen on the FR 935? I can on my 920XT but cannot find the option to on the 935. I have cusomtised all the other data screens no problem. Many thanks.

  152. Chuck

    Hello. Does anyone know if Garmin plans to add Firstbeat’s Body Resource (link to firstbeat.com) feature for the 935?

  153. Sam B

    Hi. Can you set a Lap Pace Alert range on the Garmin 935? When I add a Pace Alert on my 935 it alerts me as Instant Pace which isn’t stable enough. Is there any way to change that to Lap Pace? Thank you!

  154. any regular 935 wearing swimmers seeing issues with barometer and altitude? I swim 2-4 times a week. I returned my first device due to the altimeter going wrong after 6 months. Replacement device now not reading altitude at all (stays fixed at the calibrated height) and barometer currently reading 7954 millibars!

    Garmin happy to replace a third time, but worried there might be an overall issue with the barometer and regular pool swimming?

  155. Joel G Rivera

    @greg hilton. My 935 died about 6 months ago. Similar issues. Although was all wrong. Tempting was not working unless works out. They replaced it. I swim 2 to 3 times a week for about 1 hr. After I got the new unit I stop showering with it. I assumed it was soap that damage the unit. Will see if it last longer than last time.

  156. Scott Griffith

    If anyone is interested, Heart Rate Monitors USA is offering refurbished models for $100 off MSRP.

  157. Scott

    Hi Ray-
    I have a question regarding using multiple head units on the bike. I want to use my Suunto Ambit3 and a Garmin 935 at the same time. The Stages power meter user manual says that their power meter can only pair with one Bluetooth device at a time. Is there a way to specify that the 935 only pair with my Stages using ANT+ and not Bluetooth? Thanks!

  158. Richard McCulloch

    I’ve had my 935 from as soon as the came out and never had any problems with it. Now it doesn’t send a GPS track to the app or strava. It’s getting a GPS lock at the start of runs, but after it just appears as running in the app with no location as it did before.

    Has anyone else had this problem or know what the cause is?

  159. Tim Nelson

    I was wonder which watch I would go with next. I have a 920xt and am finding that the battery life is decreasing, as is GPS accuracy for some odd reason.
    But with a long (500km) race coming up I wanted one that I could charge while using and am hoping that the 935 will do that.

    Could the “use while charging” be a comparison criteria in the future? I know I wouldn’t have bought the 920 if I had realized this

  160. David Hughes

    Hi,
    I am taking part in an adventure race in a couple of weeks time which has 7 stages. I am trying to set up a multisport activity on the 935 but it only seems to allow 5 activities. Is there anyway I can increase the number of activities to 7 or is there a workaround I can use?

    David

    • gingerneil

      I would either create 7 separate activities, or use the manual lap to split activities, or have 2 multi-sport activities – one being 5 stages and the other being 2.
      Are they all running, or some biking/swimming that would result in you wanting different screens to show on the watch ?

    • David Hughes

      The 7 stages are:
      1 – Trail Run
      2 – Kayak
      3 – Trail Run
      4 – Cycle
      5 – Mountain Climb
      6 – Cycle
      7 – Run

      I would have preferred to have them all on one multisport activity so I get a complete overview of the event with total distance and time including transitions.

    • Michael Sinton

      Hi David,

      Did you get this working? Im in the same boat. I have an adventure race with 8 activities.

      Thanks
      Michael

  161. Thelina

    I was wondering if my old HRM-Run delivered with the Garmin 620 and the Forerunner 920XT works with the watch. The sensor I own needs to be replaced and I don’t want to buy the newer HRM-Run strap because it is fixed to the strap and therefore cannot be clipped onto my bra. Since I might upgrade my watch to a Garmin 935 in the near future I an not sure if it is worth the hassle and money to get an old HRM-Run.

    • This is a really late reply, but the HRM-Run (older model) and the newer HRM4-Run (single piece) work in exactly the same way and have the same features. My HRM4-Run died recently when upgrading the firmware, and I kicked myself repeatedly for not buying the HRM-Run. Fortunately, I was able to revive my unit after a lot of tries.

  162. Brandan K.

    Hey Ray, any chance you see pricing on these units dropping due to the new Fenix 5+ release?

  163. Geo

    Hi Ray, readers,
    The 935 is the successor to the 920XT and 910XT… It has a barometric altimeter. How can we know that this altimeter is not going to be affected by the issues seen in the previous models, namely the elevation going to 20 km and then registering a more-or-less flat activity? I had several 910XT units, both warranty and purchased from Garmin with this problem. Now my friend’s and my wife’s 920XTs have packed up… and I am counting down the days until mine dies!
    These Garmin units seems to have an in-built obsolescence (~3 yr for 920XT) which is no good for a device of this price. Have Garmin said anything about how they’ve addressed this reliability?
    Many thanks for the brill reviews.

    • I’d start with the casing being considerably different as a good starting point. The case design generally influences altimeter problems. With the exception of some Fenix 3HR altimeter issues for certain batches, which were actually more related to static offloading on some batches that zapped the altimeter.

      The thing is – these devices have the crap banged out of them, but most (albeit not all) altimeter problems can actually be solved by just dunking your unit in a bowl of warm soapy water for 10-15 minutes and then giving it a good shake.

    • ekutter

      Speaking of altimeter issues, have you noticed the problems many of us have had with the 935/Fenix 5 series where the altimeter started having serious problems with fw 9.1 (on the 935). Some pretty serious smoothing going on if you look at the altimeter graph in many cases, for me mostly with longer mountain bike rides. Out and back sections where 100′ dips just disappear on the return. This causes ascent to be significantly low – showing 2500′ on a 3500′ ride. There are several threads in both the 935 and Fenix 5x forums about this. Using two 935’s, they both had the problem but during different sections of the ride.

    • Steve Clements

      Same issue here, Garmin sent a new replacement but still under reading climbing. I ride with FR935 and Edge 820 side by side, and FR935 consistently under reading climbing. Looking at Fit elevation graphs the FR935 is smoothed and drifts. If you correct elevations on the FR935 upload it brings it back in line with the Edge 820.

    • Geo

      In the interest of balance I should report that Garmin just agreed to replace the faulty 920XT with a refurb unit (we’re in UK). Think original purchase was September ’15. So they have done a pretty good job with customer service and we appreciate that.
      Ray we tried cleaning the barometer ports with no luck – with this unit she will be sure to vigorously shake out the moisture after each swim. Happy training all.

  164. Bart

    As the forrunner 935 does not support the hartrate measurement on the wrist in swim mod. And I do not like swimming with a wrestband, I wonder if it is possible to track hartrate during swim sessions with a simpele fitbit kind of hf measuring tool. One that would communicate via ant or Bluetooth the hf signalen to the 935. If so please (advise) mention the brand or type that would do the job? Thanx very much !!! Best regards, Bart

  165. Galileo has just been added to the FR935 through software update.

    Living in Australia, I am wondering if there will be any advantage in using GPS + Galileo. I’ve been using GPS + GLONASS for years (probably without even noticing advantages/disadvantages vs. GPS only). I’ve looked it up online but I can’t honestly understand whether this affects only users who are living in the northern hemisphere or both north/south.

    • Scott

      I live in the U.S. and I was wondering the same thing. Will we see any benefit? My 935 seems to do pretty well as it is. It’s my Suunto that struggles.

    • Paul S

      It’s not like they can put the satellites in orbits that hover over Europe. (24 hour orbits are too valuable for communications, and except for the equator the satellites will bob north and south as seen by the target area anyway.) GPS is in 12 hour high inclination orbits, and I’ll bet GLONASS and Galileo are similar. They give global coverage, not just regional. So, yes, they can be used in the US and Australia and they will help (unless one of the governments involved starts messing around with the signals).

    • I’ve done a run with GPS+Galileo in Melbourne. I have the feeling that the combination GPS+GLONASS is slightly more precise. Will have to test more, of course.

  166. hotrats

    Hello all,

    Considering how many options and menu layers there are when it comes to configuring custom data pages on the 935 (among many others) I am surprised there is no way to build them via GUI on Garmin Connect or other desktop/smartphone app. Its very cumbersome to do this all on the watch.

    Thoughts? Any speculation that Garmin has something in development?

    Thanks!

  167. Nathan

    Anyone have any experience using the optical HR with an edge gear shift band? link to getedgegear.com

    It would locate the sensor on top of your hand. After switching to these watch bands I’ve not been able to use a traditional watch band sense.

  168. I absolutely love the weight, size and functionality of the 935, but having had two replaced due to the barometer and altimeter go wrong, my third has just developed cracks in the HRM.

    I wear it 24×7, it’s never been dropped and is in pristine condition.

    I train 8-12 hours a week, swim 2-4 times a week and then shower with it on to rinse the chlorine off.

    I can’t see anything else from Suunto that has the same size/weight and multi sport capabilities and whilst the 5Plus looks a decent alternative it’s a lot more money.

    I’ve sent images back to Wiggle for their returns team to take a look at.

    Thoughts on what to do? Have I just been unlucky?

  169. Bob

    I’m frustrated with the Heart rate readings on the 935. I think it’s on at times and then off. I’m wondering if it would make sense to buy another heart rate monitor to record heart rate at the same time the 935 is recording it. This would allow me to compare the two. I don’t want to run with a phone so it would need storage.

    WHat would be my best option? Also, would it make sense to buy a Garmin HR strap so that I could occasionally use the advanced metrics offered with it? Can you have two HR readings from two Garmin products without problems? I link to Strava as well.

    • Paul Voorend

      There is a ConnectIQ field you can get called Auxilliary Heart rate for this purpose. The watch HR readings are the normal activity ones, and then there are the readings from the auxilliary HR.. a chest strap for example.

  170. Kyle

    I updated my watch and tried Galilleo GPS but got the worst open water swim data I’ve ever seen for a Garmin. I switched it to Glosnass + GPS for my next open water swim but that looked pretty awful also. I follow the DC tips for open water swim accuracy. Anyone else notice open water issues with Galileo? I’m starting to wonder if regular GPS isn’t the best for open water swims and maybe it has something to do with how quickly the signal is found when your hand is above water? Perhaps it was just random so hearing anyone else’s experience would be helpful.

    • Chris Shaw

      Kyle

      I have the same as do many others on the Garmin support site. The BETA software version 9.73 was supposed to fix it, but others have reported that it does not yet work. I have not tried, but would love DCR to let us know that he has back channeled this frustrating issue to Garmin !

      Thanks

  171. Tristan Vandevelde

    Can the first beat training load metrics take into account other workouts in for example trainingspeaks done with say a smart trainer?

  172. Fritz

    Hello, my altimeter on the 935 must not be very accurate because the elevation is consistently ~100 ft lower per 1,000 ft of climbing. E.g. for a 1,100 ft climb the watch only shows approximately 1,000 ft. I know the elevation is low because it is lower than other watches, lower than stated elevation change on maps and website guides and when I enable “elevation corrections” it seems to get the more accurate number. Does anyone know what I can do to make the baorometric altimeter more accurate? Thanks

    • Paul Voorend

      When you sync the activity to Garmin Connect, does it show more accurately?

    • ekutter

      Garmin has an elevation bug introduced in fw version 9.1 that can greatly effect ascent/descent. They just released beta fw 9.73 yesterday that they think fixes it. This bug affects the Fenix 5 / 5plus line as well.

    • Fritz

      No it doesn’t unless but when I enable Elev Corrections it does correct it. @ekutter, thanks for the heads up. Hopefully that fixes it!

  173. Chuck

    Does anyone know if disconnecting the watch from the phone will also disable WiFi?

  174. Bob

    My 935 has developed cracks over the heart rate monitor. It seems to be the epoxy covering. After speaking to the Grmin rep it seemed that they would be replacing the watch with a new one. After getting the instructions it now appears this will be a refurbished unit. I’m not sure how I feel about that now. If I returned a device like this to a store where I purchased it I would get a replacement or my money back. How will I know the device was cared for as well as my own? The warranty will be 90 days. What can I do to make sure the watch doesn’t suffer from the same problems it was sent back. And of course, if this cracking happened already, what makes it likely it won’t happen again. It’s a known problem the appears on the forums for both the 935 and the Fenix5.

    • ekutter

      They generally do send out refurbished ones, but it’ll be better than your cracked one. That said, I just had them replace mine a couple weeks ago (turned out to be a software issue with elevation, not a hardware issue like they thought) and they sent me a brand new one because they had no refurbished 935’s. Having the HR sensor crack seems like a fluke. I wore my 935 for everything except sleep for over a year and no durability issues. Looked brand new when I sent it back. The other option would be to take it back where you got it and see if they’ll exchange it.

    • Bob

      I thought of returning it to LL Bean where I purchased it but they don’t seem to sell it any longer. I purchased on their website during one of their sales.

      The HR cracks on the sensor is a known issue for the 935 and the Fenix5. They say it’s going t be a refurbished and it says to only send the watch and not the rest of the stuff it came with. Also, with only a 90-day warranty I have a feeling things will start to fail once the 90 days is up. Not happy with this on a $500 watch that has production issues.

    • gingerneil

      You will get a 90 day warranty or whatever warranty was left on your old watch – so you are not losing out here, only gaining up to an extra 90 days. If it develops another fault outside of this that is a known issue, Garmin are generally very good at replacing devices that are formally out of warranty. This is quite a rare issue, and I would be surprised if you were unlucky enough to experience it again.

    • Bob

      Well, I got lucky. I returned to the seller and they refunded my purchase price to a gift card. I had the option to do it to my credit card as well. Then I was allowed to purchase the watch at the same price I had originally paid. They didn’t have one at the store so it is being shipped from another store which had it in stock. So I get a brand new watch.

      The price for the Garmin 935 was $350. I just couldn’t pass that up despite some of the issues with that watch.

  175. Sam

    What does Garmin use the Move IQ data for? If I turn it off will it hurt any other metrics? I did turn it off because it was terribly inaccurate with the exception of walking and was syncing strange activities to services which are syncing Garmin Wellness data. I guess you could look at your timeline and try to figure out what you were doing but it’s so inaccurate I don’t see the point.

  176. Johnso

    The Forerunner 935 has just had a price reduction. Track record would say the 945 or 935 Plus is on its way in the next month or so. Any word on this?

    • There’s no price reduction I’m aware of with the FR935. The map price of $499 remains the same.

      However, what you’re seeing on Amazon is an unauthorized retailer with a super clever name that’s gone lower for some reason. Look closely, it’s ‘Amazing Deals’ – not ‘Amazon Deals’. The way Amazon works is that when 3rd party sellers go under pricing, Amazon will offer via that seller. Had Amazon themselves offered at that price, Garmin would have slapped them with a 6-month ban on the product (meaning, they can’t place orders for 6 months for that specific SKU).

      Sometimes Amazon (and other retailers) will actually take the ban, but they’ll first buy enough inventory to get them through the ban. This usually happens with they know that the product is close to going off MAP (Minimum advertised price, in the US).

      But it’s part of the challenge of using Amazon to track pricing changes, because it doesn’t reflect a ‘real’ price change. In the US, pricing is controlled by Garmin. While bad for consumers (the rest of the world, that practice is generally highly illegal), it does give us clear insights when prices change, since you’ll see all prices change across all retailers.

  177. Andrew

    Is anyone else having issues with really slow GPS acquisition times since the last update? My 935 used to lock in ten seconds or less but now it’s trading up to five minutes.

    • Paul W Pearson

      Yes, mine is taking forever to lock into gps.

    • ekutter

      Nope, no issue for me. I’ve been running the 9.73 beta now for over a week with no issues even when I traveled a couple hundred miles. But I also wasn’t having that problem on 9.7 before. (9.73 has been working flawless for the things I do (fixed the elevation bug and obscure BT bug in CIQ apps, but no swimming).

    • Gordon Goodtimes

      same

    • Gordon Goodtimes

      same as in my gps now takes 5 minutes to lock in.

    • Andrew

      It appears that if you only update the 935 firmware and not the GPS firmware as well, it reduces GPS performance.
      I upgraded the GPS firmware using Garmin Express the computer and it seems to have fixed the issue!

  178. Pablo

    Hi Ray,
    I’m travelling to Amsterdam next week. I want to get the 935 and ship it to my hotel. What is the best (fast-cheapest) option? Does Clever Training or your Mazon link works over there?
    Thanks 😉

    • The Clever Training UK/Europe link works (and can even save 10% too). With default/free shipping it takes just a few days. I ordered something last Thursday evening, and it arrived this morning (Tues). I think it’s only a couple Euros to expedite shipping a bit more.

      Appreciate the support!

  179. Fritz

    Hi, I just used the open water swim function for the first time. I’ve had the watch for about eight months and I haven’t had any problems with the run function. When I use the open water function I swim for 21 minutes but it stopped tracking the distance at 13 yards. I tried again the next day and swam for five minutes and it stopped again after 13 yards. Any ideas how to fix it? Thanks

    • Tomas

      The latest “stable” release has known OWS issues. You have three options:
      1: Revert to earlier firmware (It will solve the OWS issue byt is somewhat tricky, and looses settings)
      2: Install the latest beta firmware (It is not perfect but will at least make OWS usable)
      3: Wait until Garmin publish a stable firmware that fix the OWS issue

  180. Joel

    Slightly disappointed with the 935. Watch is great. But I’m on the process of getting it replace for a second time with the same issue, the temperature and altimeter sensors are busted. I can’t find a way to turn them off , so now my watch is reading 500 degrees and 23 feet of elevation. Not sure of the watch use elevation changes when calculating the metrics after a workout. If they do, it’s a problem. I know I’m not the only one with the issue. It seems that affect people who swims often (I swim 3x a week for 1hr+ In addition to running and cycling ). Hopefully next version tri watch will have a better sensors that can resist the pool water better.

  181. Paul Voorend

    Software version 10.10 is available now. They do acknowledge they are still looking into the OWS issues

    link to forums.garmin.com

    link to www8.garmin.com

    • Kyle

      Thanks for the update. I’m running 10.10 but still got horrible open water data at a triathlon this weekend. Hoping they get this fixed. Interestingly, many others at the tri don’t seem to be having problems so it must be a newer GPS chip that is causing the issue.

  182. Jared Havican

    Hi Ray, Sorry if this has already been asked/answered. Do you have any insight to if the FR935 will get gesture-triggered notification privacy which was added on the F5 Plus? (ie. turn your wrist to see the notification)

  183. Beverly M Attinson

    HI –
    Love your reviews. I am basically “just a runner” and my 620 is beginning to become problematic. Love my Garmin devices. Where do I head from the 620? Thanks!

    • Paul Voorend

      I’d suggest that if you don’t require multi-sport functionality, then I’d look at the 645. Others may advise differently though?

  184. Sarah

    Hello,

    I have a 920xt that I have been happy with for the most part. The only thing I am unhappy with is that I cannot download and view swimming workout plans on the phone while I am working out. Does the 935 allow for that?Do any of the tri watches allow for that?

    Thank you for your reviews. I have found them very helpful. I spent months looking into the 920xt before I got it and now that I am doing triathlons it has been really helpful with training.

    • Sarah

      By phone I mean watch. I would like to have the workout plan visible on the watch while I swim so I do not need to keep bringing either paper copies or my phone near the pool.

  185. Bob

    Would the Polar H-10 give me the ability to do the guided test for heart rate and VO2 max estimates or does only a Garmin HR strap work?

  186. Coty

    This was very useful. Thank you for such a detailed review and for taking the time to write this rich content!