Garmin's Forerunner 935 smartwatch knows how hard you work out

The device is purpose-built for serious runners and triathletes.


Two months after updating its Fenix line of multisport fitness watches at CES, Garmin revealed its latest GPS-enabled timepiece, the Forerunner 935. However, unlike the Fenix family, which was designed more for general outdoor adventuring, this new tracker is built specifically for serious athletes looking to get the most out of their training.

The 935 ushers in a series of new training features. For example, the Training Status tool analyzes your previous workouts and general fitness level to illustrate whether you're training productively, peaking or overdoing things. Training Load, conversely, takes a longer-term view and analyzes a week's worth of workouts to determine if each individual session is too easy or too hard. Finally, Training Effect estimates the aerobic and anaerobic benefits of a single training session. Like the Fenix line, this watch can connect to Garmin's Connect IQ store so you can download apps like TrainingPeaks, which puts full workouts right there on your wrist.

Garmin is billing the 935 as top-of-the-line and, accordingly, this watch is packed with features. It incorporates GPS/GLONASS location tracking, an ABC (altimeter, barometer, compass) sensor, and the company's Elevate wrist-mounted heart rate monitor. This will allow users to see their BPM in real-time without wearing a separate chest strap. The 935 can also be paired with Garmin's Running Dynamics Pod (which clips to your waistband) to track and display metrics like cadence, ground contact time and stride length.

While the 935 does lean heavily towards runner training, it can be used to track your performance in a variety of other athletic pursuits. It will monitor power zones, time seated and standing, platform center offset and power phase while on a bike (it also works with the Varia cycling system). When you're in the water, the Forerunner will monitor your distance, stroke and swim pace.

With GPS on, the Forerunner boasts up to 24 hours of battery life, 50 hours in low-energy mode and two weeks if you turn the location tracking off altogether. It will sell for $500, but you can also spring for a $650 "tri-bundle option", which includes both yellow and black straps, HRM-Tri, HRM-Swim, and the quick release kit, which helps you swap out straps without tools.