BIG­GER FACE, BET­TER TRACK­ING

Garmin Fore­run­ner 235

HWM (Malaysia) - - TELEPORT - UNLOCKED - John Law

Back in Fe­bru­ary, we took a look at Garmin's vivos­mart HR fit­ness tracker, and even took it for a spin at our leisure. Com­pared to most fit­ness track­ers, the vivos­mart HR showed us just how ac­cu­rate a heart rate mon­i­tor could be (step counts not­with­stand­ing). This month, we'll be tak­ing a look at the Fore­run­ner 235, a de­vice that stands out more as a watch than a fit­ness tracker.

Is the Fore­run­ner 235 a smart­watch? Well, yes and no. The first thing that you will no­tice upon open­ing its pack­ag­ing is that the dis­play isn't touch-based. In­stead, the con­trols, nav­i­ga­tion, and func­tions of the Fore­run­ner 235 are con­trolled by the pre­set but­tons from the sides of the watch, just as you would a nor­mal watch.

While it may seem un­usual that Garmin would miss out on an op­por­tu­nity to give this de­vice a touch-sen­si­tive face (es­pe­cially when you con­sider the de­vice's ask­ing price), we ac­tu­ally see where the com­pany was go­ing with this when they de­signed it.

A touch­screen on the watch face would've sim­ply been treated more as a mere lux­ury than a ne­ces­sity, and con­sid­er­ing the amount of sweat that we man­aged churn out dur­ing our work­out ses­sions with this watch, we're kind of glad that Garmin didn't put in that lux­ury. De­spite that, the dis­play gen­uinely stands out with its vi­brant col­ors and an­i­mated sec­tions.

One of our judg­ing cri­te­ria for a fit­ness tracker is in how ac­cu­rately (or at least, as close as it pos­si­bly can be) it mea­sures the num­ber of steps a per­son takes, to which the Fore­run­ner 235 suf­fers from the same prob­lem as other fit­ness track­ers: phan­tom steps be­ing taken, even idle or not in mo­tion.

Steps count aside, the Fore­run­ner 235 does ac­tu­ally have a wide va­ri­ety of track­ing mea­sures in­stalled in it. If you con­nect it via the Con­nect app on your smart­phone, the Fore­run­ner 235's col­or­ful dis­play ac­tu­ally lets you see the dis­tance you've trav­eled, how fast you were run­ning, and even how well-rested you are through­out the week. It even gives you a col­or­ful rep­re­sen­ta­tion of your heart rate, along with your max­i­mum heart rate at the height of your phys­i­cal in­ten­sity.

Last but not least, the bat­tery life on the Fore­run­ner 235 can sum­mar­ily be de­scribed as ever ready and long-last­ing. On a full charge, this fit­ness tracker cum watch didn't even prompt to be charged un­til al­most a week and a half later, and this was with Blue­tooth en­abled along with an ac­tive con­nec­tion to our phone.

by

APRIL 2016

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HWM

95

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