Garmin 735 XT

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - TRANSITION -

$600 When it comes to GPS watches and com­put­ers, Garmin rules the roost these days. That’s all for good rea­son – the Garmin fam­ily of com­put­ers rou­tinely of­fers amongst the best fea­tures and func­tions. The 735 XT lives up to that claim, of­fer­ing an in­cred­i­ble amount of func­tion­al­ity in a small form fac­tor. It is in­cred­i­bly light and the round face with its colour touch screen pro­vides an in­cred­i­ble amount of in­for­ma­tion and data in a small space.

The 735 XT will es­pe­cially be a hit for those who don’t like to wear a ch­est strap be­cause it has an op­ti­cal HR mon­i­tor that is built into the back of the watch. As long as you keep the watch strap on quite tight it works very well. The op­ti­cal HR mon­i­tor al­lows you to mon­i­tor your HR at any time, mak­ing the watch much more than just a train­ing watch – it also serves as a full-fledged fit­ness mon­i­tor that that will gauge your daily ac­tiv­ity and stress lev­els. You can pair the watch with a HR mon­i­tor strap, which is worth do­ing as you can gather quite a bit more data in­clud­ing run­ning dy­nam­ics (ground con­tact time bal­ance, stride length, ver­ti­cal ra­tio, etc.) and un­der­wa­ter heart rate info for swim­ming. The watch will also pro­vide VO2 max es­ti­mates, lac­tate thresh­old, race pre­dic­tion and ad­vice on re­cov­ery.

The 735 XT comes with a 60-day free trial to Strava Pre­mium, which will give you live feed­back on Strava seg­ments while you’re cy­cling or run­ning. Through Live­track the watch can also let your fam­ily and friends track your lo­ca­tion in real time while you’re rid­ing or run­ning. In keep­ing with the “smart­watch” theme you can even down­load dif­fer­ent watch faces so you can cus­tom­ize the watch to fit your style.

Thanks to the Garmin Con­nect soft­ware, the 735 XT also serves as a smart­watch so you can get no­ti­fi­ca­tions from your phone on the watch while you’re run­ning or rid­ing and you can even con­trol your music from the watch, too.

It is a sign of just how far Garmin has brought this cat­e­gory that it’s not un­til this point that I am even men­tion­ing some of the ba­sic fea­tures you’ll find in the 735 XT that make it a great train­ing tool. What’s amaz­ing about the 735 XT is that it packs all the fea­tures from the much larger 920 XT into a much smaller pack­age. The GPS picks up its satel­lite con­nec­tion quickly (which is al­ways a wel­come fea­ture when you have a group of run­ners or cy­clists wait­ing to get started) and pro­vides ex­tremely ac­cu­rate speed and dis­tance data. You’re al­ways just a few clicks away from get­ting started on pretty much any work­out – of course you’ve got swim, bike and run work­outs cov­ered, along with mul­tisport races and work­outs. You’re not just lim­ited to those – XC ski­ing, car­dio, in­door cy­cling are just a few of the other work­outs that can be tracked quite eas­ily.

As men­tioned ear­lier you get added run­ning data by spring­ing for the HR strap and, as long as you have a com­pat­i­ble ANT+ power me­ter you can get all your power data, too. In terms of bat­tery life, the 735 XT is sup­posed to get 14 hours of use with GPS and the op­ti­cal HR and up to 11 days in watch mode. We found those num­bers to be fairly ac­cu­rate, mak­ing the 735 XT a near-per­fect wrist-based ad­di­tion to your train­ing arsenal. How could it be bet­ter? Well, you won’t quite get through a 17-hour fulld­is­tance race with GPS and HR en­abled. Other than that, we can’t think of much.

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