- Stealthy and sleek design — perfect for triathlons
- Nearly all of the features of the fenix 5 with GPS & GLONASS and UltraTrac mode
- Built-in wrist heart rate monitor + activity & sleep tracking
- Smartwatch features such as phone notifications, calendar, weather, etc.
- Very good battery life (better than Garmin Forerunner 735XT)
- Plastic construction with large bezels
- HRM still not good for anything beyond running, walking, hiking, and light cycling
The Forerunner 935 is the best triathlon watch out there. Wish price point was lower, but it’s essentially like getting a lighter fenix 5.
The Forerunner 935 is Garmin’s best triathlon watch to date. Think of it as the fenix 5 Lite—internally it’s basically the same watch as the fenix 5. In terms of hardware there a few differences, although they do look similar. The FR935 is mostly plastic and thus, is more lightweight at 49g vs. 85g for the fenix 5. Additionally, the 935 is water resistant down to 50 meters while the fenix 5 can go down to 100 meters. Beyond that, it’s virtually the same, although (and here’s something odd) the 935 comes standard with Wi-Fi while the fenix 5 only has Wi-Fi on the sapphire versions. I should mention that the fenix 5 starts at $600 and the Forerunner 935 is $500—so the more expensive watch does not come with Wi-Fi out of the gate.
At any rate, the 935 is a mulitsport watch and supports running, cycling, swimming, triathlons, and every other sport that the fenix 5 does, including golf, paddle boarding, and skiing. You also get your advanced running dynamics when it’s paired with the HRM-Tri or HRM-Run heart rate monitor and also with the new $70 Garmin Running Dynamics Pod. Essentially with the 935 you get everything you’ve come to expect from Garmin watches in the past. All of the stats are the same (i.e. pace, distance, route, cadence, etc.). You will also get the training features you’ve seen in past watches and the new ones that showed up on the fenix 5—Training Effect, Training Status, etc.
The 935 also has the baseline activity and sleep tracking features as well as the smartwatch capabilities that are on all modern Garmin watches.
Bottom line with the 935 is that it exists because the Forerunner 735XT did not have good enough battery life. At very maximum the 735XT could attain 14 hours in GPS mode, while the 935 (according to Garmin) will get up to 24 hours. The wrinkle here is that a lot of triathletes use additional sensors and rely on their watches heavily. While 14 hours is technically enough for most triathletes, by the time you add in power meters, external HRMs, etc. the battery drains quickly. The 935 supposedly will not have this issue (and in my tests so far, it does have much better battery life than the 735XT).
So that’s it. The 935 is a tier down from the fenix 5 but with nearly all of its features. Garmin is targeting triathletes with this one and I’m expecting it will be very popular. Here’s a link so you can check it out at Clever Training. Shipping is free and they do not charge sales tax outside of Florida so hopefully that can save you some money.