Updated 12 Oct 2016


Forerunner 235

Snapshot: The Garmin Forerunner 235 fitness tracker comes with a heart rate monitor, you can take it swimming and has a webpage tracker.

Forerunner 235
Consumer score
Avg price



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Test results

Overall score
Ease of use
Pedometer accuracy
Distance accuracy
Resting heart rate accuracy

Good points

  • Easy to use.
  • Comfortable.
  • Excellent pedometer accuracy.
  • Excellent distance accuracy.
  • Excellent resting heart rate accuracy.
  • Excellent active heart rate accuracy.
  • Has Bluetooth.
  • Has calorie counter.
  • Has step counter.
  • Has distance measurement.
  • Has heart rate monitor.
  • Can take it swimming.
  • Is Android compatible.
  • Is iOS compatible.


No obvious bad points.


Looks like a real watch and has a round colour screen. In fact, it’s got a few “smart-watch-ish” features, like the ability to download watch faces and widgets. It can track GPS and allows for route tracking with the Connect IQ app. Setting up Connect IQ can be annoying as the default is imperial units.

How we test

Overall score includes:

Ease of use (30%): We test each fitness tracker on Android, iOS and Windows where available and score how easy it is to set up and wear, and to track on-the-go information via the band and its interfaces.

Comfort (35%): A panel of ten, split between five men and five women, try on each fitness tracker and assign them scores based on how easy they are to put on, adjust and wear. The trackers in the test are medium-sized, where applicable.

Pedometer accuracy (17.5%) and distance accuracy (17.5%): We measure paces and distance with a calibrated tracking tool, and then measure this against what the fitness tracker displays.

We also perform two tests on the heart monitors:

Resting heart rate: We measure the resting heart rate of five people using each of the fitness trackers and a medical grade heart monitor, the GE Healthcare Carescape V100. A score is then calculated based on the fitness tracker's accuracy.

Active heart rate: Athletes at the Sports Chamber at Sydney University exercise on a treadmill wearing one of the fitness trackers. A 12-lead ECG provides a real time reading of their heart rate, which is then compared to the readings of the fitness tracker. Readings of both are taken at 10 second intervals in the first minute, one minute intervals for five minutes, and then at 10 second intervals during the last minute of cooling down.

Key data


Avg price
Size tested
Not stated

More test results (/10)

Active heart rate accuracy


Weight (g)
Claimed battery life
9 days (11 hours)
Band size (min/max, mm)
127 / 227


Webpage tracker
Android app
iOS app
Heart-rate monitor
Sleep tracker
Food tracker
MyFitnessPal (third-party app)
Session tracker
Run, indoor run, bike, other
Social media share
Waterproof claims

Member reviews