If you have been researching Garmin Forerunner models and you are looking to invest in the Garmin 935 you may be asking yourself the following questions.
- What is difference of the Forerunner 935xt compared to the Forerunner 920XT or 735XT?
- What is different between the Forerunner 935Xt and the Garmin Fenix 5
|Forerunner 935||Forerunner 920XT||Forerunner 735XT||Fenix 5S||Fenix 5||Fenix 5X|
|Dimensions:||47mm x 47 x 13||45 x 55 x 12.7||44.5 x 44.5 x 11.9||42 x 42 x 14.5||47 x 47 x 15.5||51 x 51 x 17.5|
|Display Size:||1.2″ diameter||1.1 “x .8”||1.23″ diameter||1.1″ diameter||1.2″ diameter||1.2″ diameter|
|Resolution:||240 x 240||205 X 148||215 x 180||218 x 218||240 x 240||240 x 240|
|Weight:||49 grams||61 grams||40 grams||67 grams||85 grams||98 grams|
|Water Rating:||5 ATM (50 Meters)||5 ATM||5 ATM||10 ATM (100 Meters)||10 ATM||10 ATM|
|Memory:||64 MB||32 MB||80 Hours||64 MB||64 MB||16 GB|
|GPS Battery:||24 hours||24 hours||14 hours||14 hours||24 hours||20 hours|
|UltraTrac:||75 hours||40 hours||24 hours||40 hours||75 hours||50 hours|
Let’s start with what has been added to the 935 compared to the 920XT
- ∼Looking at the metrics above, you can see that almost every aspect physically is better
- ∼Wrist based heart rate with Garmin Elevate 2.0
- ∼BLE HRM compatible
- ∼Training Status, Training Load, Training Effect 2.0, Group Live Track, Golf plus many more activity profiles and a gyroscope. All of which we will go into further detail below
- ∼Lactate Threshold
To compare the 735xt to the 935XT:
- ∼Looking at the metrics above you can see that the major benefit of the 735xt is that it is lighter, but not significantly
- ∼The 735xt does not have a barometric altimeter or Wi-Fi or BLE HRM compatibility whereas the 935 does
- ~The heart rate sensor does not protrude the watch like the 735Xt
So, what about the new Fenix 5? How does the 935 compare to those new 3 units (Fenix 5S, 5, 5X)? Well to make things simple, the Fenix 5 and 935 are essentially the same watch. They all have the same menus and the same features. The difference is in the battery life, size and makeup of the watch itself.
Forerunner 935xt compared to the Fenix 5S:
- ∼The Fenix 5S is smaller but it is heavier due to the metal casing
- ∼The only other benefit over 935 is 10ATM water resistant but I don’t know many people diving more than 100 meters deep
- ∼It also comes in a sapphire lens version which is on a scale of 1 to 10 about a 9 on a strength scale compared to about a 4 on the 935 lens
- ∼After using many different Garmin watches, or any watch for that matter, over the past decades of running, I have only cracked 1 so although the sapphire lens is nice, I wouldn’t overly worry about the non-sapphire lenses being too fragile
- ∼It is nice to know that you can have peace of mind with the sapphire lens but it comes with a higher cost
Forerunner 935xt compared to the Fenix 5:
- ∼The 935 and Fenix 5 are essentially the same watch physically with the Fenix being a bit thicker and much heavier
- ∼It also has a sapphire lens version
Forerunner 935xt compared to the Fenix 5X:
- ∼This is the mack daddy of watches! It is roughly the same size as the former Fenix 3 HR
- ∼The biggest difference is that this watch comes with preloaded OSM (Open Street Maps) for roads and trails and topo maps as well
- ∼You can get routing directions, Points of Interest nearby and Round Trip Routing for any given distance
- ∼It comes with a sapphire lens
- ∼It is twice the weight of the 935
All Fenix 5 versions also come with Garmin Quickfit bands so a band can be swapped in seconds. The 935 is compatible with the Quickfit bands (the Fenix 5 compatibility bands) but just doesn’t come with one.
A few additional features that comes in the new Forerunner 935 that were not in the 920XT are:
- ∼Floors Climbed, Intensity Minutes, HRV Stress Test, Compass
- ∼Additional built in activity profiles (Apps) of Golf, Trail Run, Ski, XC Ski, Snowboard, Climb, Hike, SUP, Row, Jumpmaster, Tactical plus more
Let’s go a bit more into some of the other advanced features like Training Effect (TE). I have found this metric to be one of the best during my training to make sure I am not over doing it. The Training Effect score is between 1 and 5 with 5 being overreaching and 1 not doing much. You would expect to see a score above 4 for a workout, hard, long run or race but when you start seeing high numbers on recovery or easy days, you know you are doing too much. Either you are not recovered from your harder training or races or you are just running too hard on these days. Everyone is different but there are so many days above 4 you should have in a week.
For anyone that has used this metric in the past, you may have noticed that you don’t necessarily get as a high a number when doing an interval workout as maybe you would expect. That is mostly due to the recovery after each interval being easier and causing the TE to score lower than if you just ran hard the entire time. In the new 935, there is now Training Effect 2.0 which also shows an Anaerobic TE which gives you a similar score based on Anaerobic activity. So now you get a Training Effect and Anaerobic Training Effect after each run.
This new feature will analyze your training giving you additional insight as to how you are handling your training. There are 7 different stages including, Productive, Overreaching and Peaking and calculates this by tracking your Lactate Threshold and VO2 Max.
Training Load is a 7 days summary of your training to let you know if you are training in the right zone by comparing your HR and V02 Max data. You can also pull up a graph showing you your last 7 days score and where that falls in the graph.
Another advanced HR feature that was in the 735XT but not in the 920XT is Lactate Threshold. This value can be achieved by performing a test or a value will be given if you run hitting specific HR values throughout the run. The best thing about this is that most people do not know what their HR zones are and once the LT is calculated, you can have the watch use HR zones based off your LT. This makes the zones much more accurate.
One thing it is important to understand is that all the advanced HR metrics like TE, VO2 Max estimate and LT all use your maximum HR in the equation. That is the only number you have control over. The watch will default to 220 minus your age to calculate your Max HR. For many people, especially runners, this will be way off. All the advanced HR metrics will be off if your Max HR is incorrect BUT it will be consistently off. So, if your VO2 is going up or down, it is still going up or down. The Max HR will be adjusted up if you exceed what it thinks your max is but you will need to run hard enough to go above that number. It also cannot automatically adjust down if your max is lower than it thinks. Not everyone runs hard enough to achieve their max HR. If you know, or have a better idea, of what you max is, you can manually enter it on the watch.
Don’t forget about the Connect IQ store. With the thousands of free apps, widgets and data fields, if this watch doesn’t do something you would like it to do, there probably is something in the Connect IQ store that will do what you are looking for.
There is much more testing of this watch that needs to be done for me to give a more in depth write up, but if you want the best metrics for your training in a nice looking smart watch that is lightweight and has tons of battery life (over 70 hours in Ultratrac and 24 in GPS Mode), this may be the best GPS watch for you.
- Premium GPS Running/Triathlon Watch with Wrist-based Heart Rate
- Offers advanced running and multisport features in a comfortable watch you can wear all day, and it only weighs 49 grams
- Provides elevation changes with a built-in barometer; altimeter and electronic compass help you keep your bearings
- Evaluates your training status to indicate if you’re undertraining or overdoing it and offers additional performance monitoring features
- Provides advanced dynamics for running, cycling and swimming, including ground contact time balance, stride length and more
- Battery life: up to 2 weeks in watch mode, up to 24 hours in GPS mode or up to 50 hours in UltraTrac mode
- Use the metronome feature - plays tones at a steady rhythm to help you improve your performance by training at a faster, slower, or more consistent cadence.
Elevate wrist heart rate technology gives you your current heart rate — no additional strap required.
Lightweight for the true athlete (only 49 grams); comfortable to wear when training or all day.
In addition to real-time elevation and directional changes, you benefit from more signal options, wherever your training takes you.
Most complete data support available: running, cycling, swimming, multisport, cross-country skiing, hiking, trail running, paddle boarding, rowing, strength/cardio, golfing and others.
STRAVA LIVE SEGMENTS
You’ll receive alerts for segment start and finish and leaderboard rankings once you complete the segment.
Automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, LiveTrack, GroupTrack, audio prompts, music controls, smart notifications and social media sharing.
See components of your efficiency with ground contact time balance, stride length, vertical ratio and more.
Gauge the effectiveness of your training with daily training status updates.
ADVANCED PERFORMANCE MONITORING
Includes VO2 max, recovery time, Strava Live Segments, FTP, training effect and training status.
See and be seen by pairing your 935 with Varia bike lights or radar, which detect traffic approaching from behind.
Monitor watts/kg and cycling dynamics when used with Vector power meters.
Crank up your training in the pool, on the bike or out on a run with advanced workouts that go above and beyond the standard offering.
Allows you to keep tabs on your training buddies in real time.
Note - Yellow Standard Bundle is a custom product only available from HRM USA. In order to customize this bundle, we have to remove the Tri & Swim Transmitter from the Tri Bundle model. The function buttons on the watch face may not be as pictured due to customization.
|Forerunner 935 Standard Bundle||Forerunner 935 Tri-Bundle|
Garmin Forerunner 935
Garmin Forerunner 935
|Charging Cable||HRM-Tri Transmitter|
|Product Manual||HRM-Swim Transmitter|
|Quick Release Kit|
Black Replacement Wrist Band (Yellow Version Only)
|3-axis compass with HSI (horizontal situation indicator)||No|
|Touch and/or button lock||Yes|
|Sleep monitoring (monitors total sleep and periods of movement or restful sleep)||Yes|
|Heart rate-based calorie computation||No|
|Auto CourseView updates||No|
|Downloadable training plans||Yes|
|Measures shot distance (calculates exact yardage for shots from anywhere on course)||Yes|
|Compatible with Varia™ radar (rear-facing radar)||Yes|
|Task timers (2, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 minutes)||No|
|Garmin Connect™ compatible (online community where you analyze, categorize and share data)||No|
|Activity history on watch||Yes|
|Ground contact time and balance (shows how much time, in the running motion, your foot is on the ground rather than in flight and lets you check your running symmetry)||yes (with compatible accessory)|
|Auto max HR||Yes|
|Compatible with Varia Vision™ (head-mounted display)||Yes|
|Foot pod capable||Yes|
|Compatible with Vector™ (power meter)||Yes|
|Training Effect (anaerobic)||Yes|
|Course preview (see detailed, hole-by-hole preview)||No|
|Lactate threshold (through analysis of your pace and heart rate, estimates the point where your muscles start to rapidly fatigue)||yes (with compatible accessory)|
|Heart rate monitor||No|
|Customizable data pages||Yes|
|Race an activity||Yes|
|Automatic sync (automatically transfers data to Garmin Connect)||No|
|Configurable lap alerts||Yes|
|Custom maps compatible||No|
|Back to start||Yes|
|Vertical oscillation and ratio (the degree of 'bounce' in your running motion and the benefit ration to stride length)||yes (with compatible accessory)|
|Training Load (combines heart rate and VO2 max to score your intensity over 28 days’ time to help ensure you're in the optimal range to meet your goal)||Yes|
|Altimeter with adjustable baro setting||No|
47 x 47 x 13.9 mm
|Move bar (displays on device after a period of inactivity; walk for a couple of minutes to reset it)||Yes|
|Compatible with BaseCamp™||Yes|
|Face It™ watch face creator||Yes|
|Ambient light sensor||No|
|Touch-targeting (touch target on display to see the distance to any point)||No|
|Hazards and course targets||Yes|
|Yardage to F/M/B (distance to front, middle and back of green)||Yes|
|VMG (velocity made good) — the speed vector that is actually in the direction of the destination||No|
|% HR max||Yes|
|Case material||fiber-reinforced polymer|
|Pool lap recognition||Yes|
|Preloaded outdoor recreation profiles||
Hiking, Climbing, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Indoor Rowing, Jumpmaster, Tactical
|Water rating||5 ATM|
|Advanced Vector support||No|
|Autopilot remote control||No|
|Multiple bike profiles||No|
|Stat tracking (strokes, putts per round, greens and fairways hit and average shot distance)||Yes|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth® Smart, ANT+™, Wi-Fi®|
|Personal records (running)||Yes|
|Find my Phone feature||Yes|
|Stride length (real time)||yes (with compatible accessory)|
|Downloadable cartography support||No|
|Stroke efficiency (SWOLF)||Yes|
|Preloaded run profiles||
Running, Indoor Running, Trail Running
|Bike lap and lap maximum power (with power sensor)||Yes|
|Open-water swim distance||Yes|
|Training Effect (aerobic)||Yes|
|Worldwide airport database(s)||No|
|GPS speed and distance||Yes|
|Round-trip course creator||No|
|Area calculation||yes (via Connect IQ™)|
|Find My Watch feature||Yes|
|Strava features (Group LiveTrack, live segments)||Yes|
|Smartphone compatibility||iPhone®, Android®, Windows®|
|Dual grid coordinates||Yes|
|Multiple time zones with Zulu/UTC||No|
|Swim alerts (time/distance)||No|
|Courses (compete against previous activities)||Yes|
|Compatible with Varia™ lights||Yes|
|Wirelessly receive flight plans from Garmin Pilot™||No|
|Time/distance alerts (triggers alarm when you reach goal)||Yes|
|Compatible with Garmin Connect™ Mobile||Yes|
|Virtual starting line||No|
|Preloaded topographical maps||No|
|Speed and cadence sensor support (with sensor)||
yes (ANT+™ and Bluetooth® Smart sensors)
|Sun and moon information||yes (via Connect IQ™)|
|Night vision mode||No|
|Preloaded swim profiles||
Pool Swimming, Open Water Swimming
|Records heart rate while swimming||yes (with HRM-Tri™ and HRM-Swim™)|
|Advanced swim (drill, rest timers)||Yes|
|Garmin Elevate™ wrist heart rate monitor||Yes|
|HRV stress test (measures your heart rate variability while standing still, for 3 minutes, to provide you with an estimated stress level; the scale of this is 1 to 100; low scores indicate lower stress levels)||yes (with compatible accessory)|
|Sight 'N Go||Yes|
|Automatic daylight saving time||Yes|
|Bread crumb trail in real time||Yes|
|Customizable activity profiles||Yes|
|Personal records (running, cycling, swimming)||Yes|
|Segments (Live, Garmin)||Yes|
|Connect IQ™ (downloadable watch faces, data fields, widgets and apps)||Yes|
|HR Broadcast (broadcasts HR data over ANT+™ to paired devices)||Yes|
|Virtual Pacer™ (compares current pace to target)||No|
|Custom POIs (ability to add additional points of interest)||No|
|HR strap compatible||yes (ANT+™ and Bluetooth® Smart sensors)|
|Cadence (provides real-time number of steps per minute)||Yes|
|Power meter compatible (displays power data from compatible third-party ANT+™-enabled power meters)||Yes|
|Auto multisport activities||Yes|
|SwingStrength™ (measures how hard you swing)||No|
|Garmin Cycle Map (routable cycling-specific street map)||No|
|60-minute play goal||No|
|Manual multisport activities||Yes|
|Trail run auto climb||Yes|
|Save locations (mark course points of interest for future reference)||Yes|
|Barometric trend indicator||Yes|
|Yardage to layups/doglegs||Yes|
|Full vector map||No|
|Tack assist mode||No|
|Preloaded cycling profiles||
Biking, Indoor Biking, Mountain Biking
|Future elevation plot||No|
|QuickFit™ watch bands||
yes (22 mm)
|Around Me mode||No|
|Automatic wireless MOB activation||No|
|Hunt/fish calendar||yes (via Connect IQ™)|
|GPS Time Sync||Yes|
|Green View with manual pin position||Yes|
|Performance condition (after running for 6–20 minutes, compares your real-time condition to your average fitness levels)||Yes|
|Distance to destination||Yes|
|Training Status (lets you see if you're training effectively by tracking training data, such as VO2 max and anaerobic threshold, and comparing it to recent data)||Yes|
|Pool swim metrics (lengths, distance, pace, stroke count/rate, calories)||Yes|
|GPS-based distance, time and pace||Yes|
|Auto goal (learns your activity level and assigns a daily step goal)||Yes|
|Unit-to-unit route/location sharing||No|
|FTP (Functional Threshold Power)||yes (with compatible accessory)|
|Built-in barometer and tide tables||No|