Long Term Review: Garmin Forerunner 935

The Forerunner 935 was not my preferred watch. The Fenix 5S was but its ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity was so bad that I had to replace it with the 935. I have used the 935 for over four months after purchasing it from World Coordinates at Sim Lim Square at S$575 (local warranty set). Here is how the device performs:

The Good

  • Great feature set and everything works. It does everything the 5S/5 was supposed to do. The feature set is the same and remains as one of the most fully featured sports watches available today. The 935’s advantage comes from its excellent ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity. The exact area that the 5S/5 fails miserably in. (And continues to do so.) I have zero issues connecting it to the various power meters, speed/cadence sensors, heart rate monitors, DI2, etc. Works as it supposed to. It is sad that the fact that it works is now the 935’s greatest selling point. Garmin has to rebuild its credibility and the 935 is the step in the right direction.
  • Great battery life. The 935 can easily sustain activities lasting more than 8 hours with ANT+ and Bluetooth connections left on.  This is in line with the usual Forerunner standards and exceeds the Fenix 5 series. Without activities the device can last 4-5 days while displaying notifications from the phone it is attached to and with all day heart rate monitoring and step tracking on.
  • Lightweight. The 935 weighs 48g which is significantly lighter than the Fenix 5 series. The difference may appear to be just a number of grams but it is definitely noticeable especially when running.  Lighter weight also enables the watch to stay on the wrist more easily which enhances heart rate monitoring.

The Bad

  • Lacks the premium feel. What I really miss about the 5S is its premium feel. The 935 is a plastic watch and there is no changing that. I attached a glass screen protector which serves to protect the screen and enhances the 935’s looks. I also added a metal wrist band to increase its viability in formal settings. But it still looks like sports watch. You won’t get the Fenix’s premium feel with the 935.
  • Default band is non-QuickFit. The wristband that the 935 ships with is not QuickFit ready. This is a misstep by Garmin. The 935 is compatible with the same quick fit bands used by the Fenix 5. It requires the user to manually remove the non-quick fit set of bands before clipping on the quick fit ones. It is a small hassle that Garmin should have avoided.

I would recommend this watch to anyone that plans to use it for multi-sport activities especially cycling since the 935 is one of the few watches from Garmin that is compatible with power meters. I use it regularly for running and cycling (and one or two swims) and it works great. On top of that, the price of S$575 is very reasonable. Garmin does make a number of poor products but there are also great ones and the 935 is one of them.

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