Garmin Forerunner 235 Q and A

Its been a good 2 months since I received the Garmin Forerunner 235 to test out by Garmin Singapore. And I have to say I am extremely pleased with this FR225 upgrade. I have been using this watch daily for my runs and in fact, I used the watch in my recent race the the Rock and Roll Phoenix, Arizona Half Marathon. Feel free to check out the data here: strava

Firstly, here are some of the features that struck me when I first got to handle this watch.

  • It has both GLONASS and GPS systems to track your waypoints during the run. GPS is the American system while GLONASS is the Russian system so you can imagine how much more accurate the details of you run will be in terms of the pace and distance covered.
  • I was hesitant when Garmin wanted to make their own optical HR sensor but I am glad it turned out well. Compared to the FR225 where the sensor is almost flushed to the watch, requiring rubber seals to ensure readibility, the FR235 sensor was protruded out of the base of the watch, such that it pushes into your skin. The advantage was that I did not have to wear the watch as tight as I did with the FR225, making it much more comfortable on runs.

  • This version also has smart watch features. Even though I do not use them, I find that with the widget platform, I was able to turn on bluetooth and press sync whenever I want to very easily. With the FR225, I had the bluetooth always on for convenience sake and basically just hope that sync will occus when my phone is in near proximity which sometimes does not occur and require some tinkering. With the widget system, I could turn on bluetooth, sync, turn off bluetooth with a few quick presses and I like it, making syncing time-efficient and battery saving.

  • It comes with a spare strap!!! Even though my strap did not break on the FR225, the way I tighten it to ensure a good reading made me wonder how long this will last. I guess that’s why FR235 came with another strap of a different colour! But I guess now with the improved sensor, I am less worried of the strap breaking. But still its cool to be able to change the colour once in a while!

Let’s jump straight into the Q and A:

  • The FR225 charging base was not very stable and had frequent poor connections. How does the FR235 fare in this area?

Well, im glad they have improved their charging system to a clip system. This ensures that the watch charging points are well aligned and when its in the clip, it is definitely charging.

  • Some people complain about the poor backlight. Does it affect you?

No, not at all. I think it has served its function well in the early sunsets in winter here in Boulder, Colorado! Besides you should be looking at the roads not your watch when running along dark alleys! šŸ˜›

  • Is the Heart rate optical sensor accurate compared to the FR225?

The FR225 was fantastic but required you to tighten your strap rather tightly. THe FR235 was much more comfortable but yielded about the same results. There are still moments that it may be off but I find this is mainly due to the cold here. I find that when I am wearing gloves, keeping my hands warm meant steady blood flow in my arms, gave me really good readings. On days when I find some inaccuracies, they mainly happen when the weather was not cold enough for me to wear gloves but my hand were definitely chilly and slightly numb. I think if you use it in SIngapore, you wont experience much problems.


The FR235 is a worthy update from the FR225 and showed that Garmin can make their own optical sensors well. I am excited for the optical sensor to be inbuilt to the rest of the line of Garmin watches as I won’t ever go back to wearing a chest strap anymore! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me on instagram @mokyingren or through this site šŸ™‚

Just for fun! Trying out the poll function here haha

18 thoughts on “Garmin Forerunner 235 Q and A

  1. Hi I would like to know is the pulse rate reading accurate ? Do I need to wear very tight in order to get a good pulse reading ? What’s the diff between 225 and 235?

    Mr mok

    1. Yes it’s accurate. I have compared it to heart rate strap. It’s a step up from225 with better GPS tech, smart watch function and also much slimmer. It’s more comfortable than 225 too. Better charger too

      1. thanks bro. I will be getting one soon as u clear my doubt.btw ,I hope I can achieve like you as per your relax 70min. I saw your heart rate is at average 121 @ 4.46min pace. its really amazing to me. if i would run a 4min plus pace,my heart rate will be around 150 already . lol. salute to you.

  2. How does it compare to the FR620 in terms of battery life? I am looking for an upgrade to the battery life of FR620 but like the idea of strapless HRM.

    1. My experience with the battery life of the 235 is good. I’m wearing it whole day (except during the night) and in the meantime I also do my runs. And to be honest I do not have to think of it on a daily basis as the battery is fine for 4 to 5 days. My IPhone 5 has a much worser battery life, one day maximum!

  3. i was running with a new Garmin 235 for the last couple of weeks and suddenly the heart monitor does not turn on ( no green light) this is the second 235 watch it happen to me after a couple of weeks, is there something wrong am i doing ? how can this be fixed ?


    1. Sorry Dr Mok, just noticed the misspelling in your surname in my post above. Bought the Forerunner 235 in late June, and have been wearing it everyday since! Interface is easy to use, while the stats on the Garmin app and website are great too. Certainly has added a new dimension to my running. Thanks for sharing your views on the watch.

  4. Just bought a 235: is there a vibration intensity adjustment? I can barely feel the vibration alert while doing interval runs.

  5. Hi doc, I bought the Garmin 235 and took it for two runs. Both were 5km runs at my usual 5.15per km avg pace and it turns out my time in heart rate zone is mostly spent in zone three, less than a minute in zone four and none in zone five. Does this imply that I should push more? Im comparing it with my friend who’s results are opposite of mine where most time is spent in zone 5 and none in zone 3. Just seeking guidance as to whether I’m training correctly. Thanks in advance for your advise!

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