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Garmin Forerunner 235

GPS running watch with built-in heart rate monitor (Frost Blue)

15 Reviews

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Item # 150FR235FB

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Our take on the Garmin Forerunner 235

I've run both for fitness and in age group competition. Either way, I've found that that training in the correct heart rate zone yields the best results, whether I'm trying to lose weight, build endurance, or tack on that extra bit of speed. But despite the benefits, the hassle of strapping a heart rate monitor onto my chest whenever I head out the door can be a drag.

Heart rate training gives you the edge

I've run both for fitness and in age group competition. Either way, I've found that that training in the correct heart rate zone yields the best results, whether I'm trying to lose weight, build endurance, or tack on that extra bit of speed. But despite the benefits, the hassle of strapping a heart rate monitor onto my chest whenever I head out the door can be a drag.

Garmin's Forerunner 235 GPS running watch makes it oh so much easier. First, there's no strap. Garmin utilizes Mio Heart Rate Technology that measures heart rate at the wrist. Second, the easy-to-read display lets you see where you're at with a glance — whether running on the pavement or negotiating a rocky back-country trail. And you can use Garmin Connect, Garmin's online training community, to adjust your zones as your fitness improves.

Garmin Forerunner 235

The Forerunner 235 captures all the important metrics from your run.

Smart. Very smart.

The FR 235 works hand in glove with your smartphone. Put the Garmin Connect Mobile App on your phone and your data will be automatically uploaded. You can even use Garmin's Face-it™ app to change the face's background to any picture on your smartphone. And the app's wireless connectivity lets you receive smart notifications (texts, email, and call alerts) and valuable info like weather updates while you're training. With Garmin's Live Track feature, friends and family can even track you while you're on the run — a great feature for races or long training runs. Use the Garmin Connect website to more thoroughly analyze your workout and track your training activity data, including map and elevation information — even share data and routes with your friends and training partners (or even your rivals).

Accuracy you can count on

Forerunner 235's advanced GPS receiver keeps close tabs on the distance you've traveled when you lace up your shoes and step out the door. You'll know at the end of your workout how far you've gone, how long it took, and what your average pace was. A built-in accelerometer records distance run on a treadmill or indoor track. The Auto Lap function records your lap times at whatever distance you choose — you don't even need to push a button.

Product Highlights:

  • frost blue GPS running watch
  • built-in heart rate monitor
  • 1.23" color display (215 x180 pixel) with customizable data screens and watch faces
  • water rated to 5 ATM
  • built-in battery allows up to 11 hours in GPS mode with heart rate monitor, 9 days with watch, activity tracker, notifications, and heart rate
  • built-in accelerometer for indoor track and treadmill use
  • compatible with Garmin Connect training plans through your computer or smartphone
  • automatic workout uploads to smartphones with Garmin Connect Mobile app
  • Garmin VIRB control
  • customizable workouts and interval training modes
  • Auto Lap, Auto Pause, Auto Scroll functions
  • charging/data cradle included
  • 1.77"W x 1.77"H x .46"D
  • weight 1.5 oz
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • GPS sports watch (frost blue)
  • 23" Data/charging cable (Type A USB)
  • Quick Start Manual (English)
  • Quick Start Manual (Spanish)
  • Quick Start Manual (French)
  • Important Safety and Product Information booklet

Very simple and just what i need .

Jose M Benitez, Guayama, PR


Garmin Forerunner 235 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(15 Reviews)

Nice watch, good value!

Colleen from Doylestown, PA on 1/11/2019

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Really happy with this watch. Not sure why there was complaints about the hard to see numbers on the face. You can customize the face and pick the size of the features most interested in. I did this and with the choice of colors it looks and works great to read. Not overly happy about the accuracy for indoor use, mostly for elliptical. I paid for the elliptical app to go with it and still trying to get that dialed in and accurate. I take it right in the shower and love that it is waterproof with good battery life. A big improvement to my garmin vivofit! Not sure the accuracy of the heart rate monitor but don't want to wear a chest strap so I'll deal with it. Really good value for a really nice watch. The initial sync to the app was tricky but the forums gave me the info needed to get it running. Now if sync's quickly. Gives me everything I need for my workout minus the elliptical readbacks.

Pros: Waterproof, watch face can be customized, looks great!

Cons: Indoor workouts not accurate, need app ($) for some activities

Garmin Forerunner 235

Crutchfield customer from Bayamon, PR on 12/10/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Just what I needed. Excelente battery life. It could have the yoga option though.



Garmin Forerunner 235

Jose M Benitez from Guayama, PR on 3/29/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very simple and just what i need .



Garmin Forerunner 235 Great for Runs

Crutchfield customer from Venice, FL on 7/15/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Bought the watch to use on runs because of the built-in heart-rate monitor. The monitor has functioned very well on all of my runs except one. The heart-rate readouts during runs appear to be fairly accurate, although with a slight delay at times, making it easy to see if you are at threshold rate. When not running the monitor readouts can be a bit quirky, sometimes showing a resting heart rate that would put one in a hospital, but it was purchased for use on runs where it generally performs well. With GPS and GLONASS turned on the watch nails distances. Would definitely recommend the watch for runners.

Pros: Easy to use. Good battery life. Pretty accurate on runs.

Cons: Hear-rate monitor less accurate during everyday activities.

Garmin Forerunner 235

Guest from Philadelphia, PA on 3/30/2017

Its a great watch I have to say however I am rating it a 1 because you can't see the screen. I have 20/20 vision and the Lack of Color & Brightness Is Horrible. There are other watches that have better visual color quality. The features are great but when you can utilize them because of the poor quality - the watch becomes Useless...Returning Asap. It is extremely disappointing that Garmin would visually advertise on their website and throughout the internet the brightness and color of this screen. It is Misleading!


Cons: The brightness and color quality on the screen is Horrible Horrible Horrible!!! Other watches have a better quality screen at a fraction of the they may not have all the bells and whistles but you can at least see the screen!

Garmin Forerunner 235

Jeremy from Sanford, NC on 3/13/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Love this watch. Great overall, works great, and looks amazing



Love It!

Jeremy from Greenville, TX on 1/9/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I love the watch. The Forerunner 235 has most of the features that I want at a mid-range price. The only feature that I wish it had was the ability to store music so that I could ditch my phone while running. However, this can be said for the majority of all other athletic watches.

Pros: Tons of features that you see in a more expensive watch. Very comfortable

Cons: Can't store music on board

Garmin Forerunner 235

Miguel from San Juan,PR on 12/20/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)




Garmin Forerunner 235

Crutchfield customer from St. Louis on 12/4/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Not bad , easy to use , not bright enough , but overall pretty good



Garmin Forerunner 235

Crutchfield customer from Scituate, MA on 10/25/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I love my Garmin. The display is always on and large so reading it is easy. The companion app is easy to use and brimming with information. Set up was a breeze. Love using this so much it is my everyday watch



Big Improvement Over Forerunner 405

Steve M from Hopewell Junction, NY on 7/8/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I had a Forerunner 405 previous to this 235. Big improvements. I like the buttons vs the bezel which was difficult at best to navigate at times. The screen is bigger and much easier to read with better contrast and bigger numbers. I also like the built in heart rate monitor vs wearing an annoying chest strap. Navigating is very different from the 405 and it's taken a while to get used to it but there are more functions with this watch, many of which I don't use or plan to. I would recommend this to a friend or any serious runner.

Pros: Bigger and easier to read display, built in heart rate monitor, ability to customize display, can switch easily to cycling from running,

Cons: I wish the display was a bit brighter, in shade with sunglasses, it can be difficult to read but still better than the 405. The heart rate measurement can be erratic and unreliable. Can't use the old Garmin Training Center computer app which I preferred to use to get a quick view of workout data.

Great overall watch

YoMike from temecula, CA on 3/10/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Let me start by saying if the hear rate monitor was accurate it would be a 5/5 star rated watch but that isn't that case so I give it a solid 4/5 rating. I did a ton of research before buying and after 45 days I'm very satisfied. I sync it to my phone to review my workouts, distance and heart rate and also heart rate while sleeping. I love the fact it's very lightweight (and looks good) I have no issues wearing it into a business meeting. If Garmin dialed in the heart rate monitor to be consistently accurate it would close to the perfect workout/exercise watch. Btw, this is also a watch I let my kids wear just to see how much exercise and if out riding with friends we look at the distance with the GPS (kids love that).

Pros: GPS is very accurate Good Looks Lightweight Good build quality Tons of other cool apps to personalize your workout programs and how the watch looks

Cons: Heart rate monitor not accurate all the time.


HT from wakefield, MA on 2/5/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

To set the proper context for this review, I'm not a marathon runner, nor do I care for super accuracy in a GPS watch like this. If you're looking a very in depth review or have high expectations/requirements then look elsewhere. In fact there are plenty of reviews on the internet that do a much better review than mine on more expensive watches to match. On the other hand, if you prefer convenience, well rounded package of tools and the 100+ feet of waterproofing built into this entry-to-mid-level Garmin sports watch then I can surely attest to this watch over all others. When I did my research I found almost all watches had only sweat proof or water resistant designs, which means no swimming or showering with the watch. This one is totally waterproof! It's got a good selection of monitoring capabilities, heart rate monitor without a chest band, an always-on screen, and a 5+ day battery life on a single charge (more or less depending on whether or not you use the GPS and other features). Some complain of the dark screen but while I do agree it's not as vivid as it's depicted on the Garmin site I do feel it's quite usable 95% of the time. And if it gets too dark, I just hit the back-light button and get a boost in lighting that shows the screen well. To get the always-on feature of the screen, I think it's well worth the slightly darker than average screen. Coming from a Fitbit Charge HR, this watch was a major upgrade for me and I've not been disappointed.

Pros: Waterproof Always-on screen Lots of stats monitored Good fitting band with lots of holes for proper fit

Cons: Plastic screen No swimming/lap counter

Garmin Forerunner 235

karl from buffalo, NY on 1/24/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

If you run outside, miles counted is correct because gps is on. But if you use it to run on treadmill, miles counted on the watch and miles counted on the treadmill are quite different, number on the watch is much bigger than that on the treadmill.

Pros: Heart Rate Monitor is pretty accurate, and you don't need to attach a monitor stripe, which is convenient.

Cons: not waterproof

Excellent Product

Ira from New Jersey on 1/11/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am a big fan of Garmin forerunners and Garmin in general. This is my 5th generation of owning Garmin running watches. Each time they release a new product its always something better and something missing earlier. The Gamin 235 is no exception. This watch picks up the satellite signal very fast and has a large display. You can scroll it slow, medium or fast and can see your pace, distance, heart rate etc. The biggest difference in this model is the heart monitor. No chest strap needed. It has a wrist sensor. It also has a much longer battery life than previous models. There is no manual except on line, only a quick start. I have experience with these types of watches. It could be challenging for someone who never used one of the watches to get through all the settings and features.

Pros: Long battery life, large display, smart feature notifications, syncs with Garmin connect, lots of information about your run,bike, slim or other activities including speed, pace, heart rate, steps per minute, stride length, altitude

Cons: None so far


Hands-on research

Product Research


Overview: The Garmin Forerunner 235 is a lightweight running watch with a high-sensitivity GPS receiver which accurately records the distance, time, speed, and location of your runs. It keeps track of your personal records, and lets you know when you have set new ones. The Forerunner 235 provides constant feedback, including the distance traveled, elapsed time, pace, lap time, and speed. With Garmin's Elevate heart rate technology, you can continuously monitor your heart rate. After your run, you can upload your results to the Garmin Connect online community.

Elevate: On the back of the Forerunner 235 is an optical sensor with Garmin's Elevate heart rate technology that shines light onto your skin and measures the amount of light returned. The sensor detects slight changes on your skin as your heart pumps blood and determines your heart rate using a sophisticated algorithm. The back of the watch has a light seal to block out ambient light for accurate results. You can broadcast your heart rate data to other Garmin devices, such as an Edge cycling computer or a VIRB action camera.

Note: The Forerunner 235 is compatible with ANT+ devices, so you could use an optional heart rate monitor strap, if desired.

Heart Rate Zones: Heart Rate Zones are used by many athletes to indicate the level of activity, and to measure their cardiovascular strength. You can let the Forerunner 235 set your heart rate zones based on your user profile, or manually enter heart rate values and ranges for each zone. The heart rate zones are expressed as a percentage of your maximum heart rate, and are expressed in color codes on the device's display: Poor 0-40% (Red), Fair 40% (Orange), Good 60% (Green), Excellent 80% (Blue), and Superior 95% (Purple).

Water Resistant: The Forerunner 235 has a 5 ATM water rating, which means it can withstand pressures equivalent to a depth of 50 meters (164 feet). Not only can you run in the rain and wet weather, you can even swim while wearing the device. The device also has a wide operating temperature range of -4° to 140°F.

Color LCD: The Forerunner 235 features a 1.23" diameter color LCD screen with a resolution of 215 x 180 pixels. The display has a backlight timer that can be set to 8, 15, 30, or 60 seconds, or Stays On. The backlight can be turned on manually, or with the touch of a key or when you receive an alert.

High-Sensitivity GPS Receiver: The Forerunner 235 features a high-sensitivity GPS receiver with GLONASS, which locates your position quickly and keeps it locked onto positioning satellites, even near tall buildings or under tree cover.

Accelerometer: The built-in accelerometer can accurately calculate your speed and distance when running indoors or on a treadmill, when the GPS can't be used. The accelerometer is self-calibrating, and the speed and distance accuracy improves after a few outdoors runs using GPS.

Rechargeable Battery: The Forerunner 235 has a built-in Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery, which will give you about 11 hours of battery life in activity mode with GPS and wrist heart rate. When not training, you can use the device as a digital watch for up to 9 weeks on a single charge, or 8 weeks in watch mode with activity tracking. A 23" data/charging cradle is provided for charging the battery and uploading your training data.

Bluetooth Connected Features: The Garmin Forerunner 235 features Bluetooth wireless technology that allows you to pair the device to your smartphone or mobile device through the Garmin Connect Mobile app. When connected via Bluetooth, you can do the following:

  • Live Track: Your friends and family can follow your races and training activities in real time on the Garmin Connect tracking page. You can also invite others to follow via email or social media. (You must have your phone paired to the device throughout your run for Live Tracking.)
  • Automatic Uploads: When your workout is completed, you can automatically upload the stored data from your activity to Garmin Connect.
  • Software Updates: While connected to your smartphone, the Forerunner 235 will download the latest software updates. On-screen instructions will guide you how to update the software the next time you turn the device on.
  • Workout/Course Downloads: You can configure workouts and courses using Garmin Connect's Training Center website and wirelessly download them to your device.
  • Social Media: You can share your results and post updates to your favorite social media site.
  • Notifications: When you receive an email, text, or other alert on your phone, a notification will be displayed on the Forerunner's display.

Locating A Lost Phone: The Forerunner 235 can help you locate your phone if it is still paired and currently within range. As you search, the Find My Phone widget will display the Bluetooth signal strength and sound an audible alert to help you find your phone.

Widgets: The device is preloaded with widgets that give you information at a glance. Some of the widgets require a Bluetooth connection with a smartphone. The widgets include: Notifications, Calendar, Weather, Activity Tracking, Heart Rate, Controls, and VIRB controls.

History: The Forerunner 235 can save approximately 200 hours of activity data. Your history displays the date, time of day, distance, run time, calories, average pace or speed, and heart rate zone data. When the memory is full, your oldest data is overwritten. History is not recorded while the timer is stopped or paused.

Watch Functions: When you're not working out, the Forerunner 235 can be used as a basic watch, displaying the time and date, along with an alarm. The time is automatically set by the GPS receiver (or manually, if desired), and can be displayed in 12-hour or 24-hour format.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Staff Reviews

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

A Crutchfield employee tries out the Garmin Forerunner 235 and loves it! Read her review to see how this wearable tech helps her track her performance and training.

What are the Labs?
Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

RUNNING TRACKER WOKS AMAZING [ Sergio Rivera  Dec 26, 2018 ]
I have had good experiences with Garmin products. The Forerunner 235 has all the features I need in a running watch. The display is easily readable in direct sunlight. The battery life is good enough to last a week under normal conditions/exercise. It works with a variety of accessories, and it looks good enough to use as a daily watch. [ Paul  May 07, 2018 ]
Great price and customer service. Good to see comments on the watch by one of their reps. [ Edwin  Nov 23, 2017 ]
good price and free shipping [ Benjamin  Mar 26, 2017 ]
my friend had this kind of watch and he luvs it. [ Eliezer Nomus  Nov 09, 2016 ]
like the color and the function of this watch [ Guanchen  Jan 09, 2016 ]
good reviews [ Nick  Jul 23, 2018 ]
recommended by a friend [ Thomas  Jul 12, 2018 ]
My wife really wanted one. [ Guest  Mar 10, 2018 ]
Was looking to upgrade my first model Garmin running Watch for quite some time and felt this had all of the functionality I wanted. [ Stephanie  Nov 27, 2017 ]
I was admiring a friend's Forerunner 735XT, but decided I didn't need all Stava feedback, so this model did the most for the price point. [ Kristin  Oct 12, 2016 ]
Garmin is the best for running [ Fernando P.  Feb 09, 2016 ]