CNET First Look
Garmin Forerunner 235 is amazing value for runners, serious or casualLooking for a new running watch? CNET's Dan Graziano gives you his thoughts on the latest from Garmin.
[MUSIC] This is Garmin Forerunner at 235, and it's my new favorite running watch for both casual and serious runners. And here's why. It's packed full of features, like an optical heart rate sensor to measure your heart rate during workouts and throughout the day. There's a recovery advisor to help determine when you're ready for that next hard workout and the watch can even estimate your VO2 Max. This is all the addition to all the basic running features like auto pause, auto lap and interval workout. The 235 supports both GPS and Glonass for tracking phasing distance. The signal is acquired fast and it's pretty accurate It's also an all day fitness tracker for things like steps, calories burned and sleep. And when your smart phone is connected, it can display notifications and control your music. As for battery life, you will see about 11 hours with an active GPS signal, or up to nine days when using it as a fitness tracker with heart rate. I tended to get about a week, depending on my running schedule. And like most Garmin products, the 235 can also be worn in the shower and swimming. But before you go out and buy one, there's a few things you need to know. The heart rate sensor isn't perfect. It performed reasonably well on easy and long runs but when it came time for assess speed workout, the data tended to fluctuate by around 20 beats per minute. This isn't the end of the world because you can still connect an ant plus chest strap. Garmin's mobile app also isn't my favorite. It's messy and can be confusing to navigate. And there are occasional hiccups with [UNKNOWN] and connectivity between the watch and the app. But the benefits of the watch outweigh the cons by a mile. If you're looking for a GPS [UNKNOWN] watch with heart rate, the 235 is worth the investment even at a current price of $330.