The Garmin Forerunner 735XT may be a fitness tracker. However, it is certainly not one for the casual gym-goer. You have to be an athlete to get the most value from this smartwatch. If you have done a Sparta Race, read on.
To optimize your experience (and your data), you could purchase the Tri-Bundle (£450). This watch comes with two heart-rate monitor chest straps, a Tri and a Swim. You could also get it on its own for £360.
The Tri-Bundle takes this mastermind of a device from intelligent to hardcore monitoring.
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The Garmin Forerunner is a series of smartwatches designed specifically for physical activity. Since most of them have GPS, triathletes and road runners form their core market. These watches are designed to monitor heart rate, pace, distance, speed and even altitude. You could plunge it 50m underwater and it would still keep going.
The Garmin Forerunner 735XT was not designed to be pretty, it was designed to be functional. It is thick (11.7mm) with a 1-inch color screen with chunky buttons and a strong rubber strap. It is available in two colors – Midnight Blue (Frost Blue) or a Black/Gray finish.
Garmin has not wasted space on this monster; they have stuffed it full of technology. Therefore, it is surprising that the screen isn’t touch responsive. However, users have to press the chunky buttons. However, this is often better for use during strenuous physical activity and makes the watch itself a little tougher.
The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is one of the most rugged fitness tracker smartwatches.
If there is a fault, it’s the proprietary charger – a standard feature of many devices. But Garmin has ensured that the Forerunner 735XT features a solid five to seven days of battery life, which is incredible as long as it monitors your body 24 hours a day.
The Garmin Forerunner 735XT’ features include a 5 to 7-day battery life, a heart rate monitor and GPS. It is also waterproof up to 50m and it has an iOS and Android compatible app.
The GPS relentlessly sticks with you on the move, even during long-distance running or cycling sessions. It produces accurate time, distance and pulse measurements.
The Garmin Forerunner 735XT has a stimulating multi-sport feature that triathletes will find hard to go without once they have tried it. You could run, cycle and swim and the watch will track it all individually with one click of a button, so all you have got to do is focus on your pace.
There is a bespoke Garmin app to enrich using the Forerunner 735XT; if you are a Tough Mudder, Wolf Run or Sparta Race type person, this is often a great app to look at your performance.
The Garmin Forerunner 735XT at its core is a smartwatch. So, like all other smart watches, it too delivers notifications for apps like Twitter, Facebook and Gmail. You could check the weather and any appointments in your diary (if you sync it to your phone).
This watch goes deeper than simply telling you your heart rate or distance. It produces real-time analytics post-exercise. This feature is often the justification for the price tag of the Forerunner 735XT. It offers in-exercise information like pulse, duration and lap time. What is unique is the training effect data, which tells you how much you are optimizing your workout. Again, this micro-information is practical for competing athletes, but not such a lot if you have just done a sporadic HIIT class. This is often also why they offer the Tri-Bundle for improved metrics.
The Forerunner 735XT will display post-workout information like recovery time and feedback on your most intense minutes and where you peaked. It gets clever with its ability to collate everything it collects about you and switch this into goals for improvement, with help from data from the planet Health Organization.
If you are encouraged by others, there’s a training element that motivates you not to do more of the same, but to undertake harder.
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The Garmin Forerunner 735XT offers accurate fitness and sleep monitoring data. It is the simplest version to date, not just within the Garmin family but of trackers as a whole.
Strava is the biggest competitor and has some loyal users. However, the Garmin Forerunner 735XT could easily tempt you away from them with a 60 day free trial of its premium membership. You would not even need to abandon Strava; you can link your Forerunner device with your Strava account and it will tell you your Live Suffer score. This score will rate how hard you pushed yourself during a workout, again, more important than simply telling you how far you went, and how fast. The data acquired by this smartwatch is extremely useful when it comes to analysis and goal setting,
The cheaper (£229) Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR Multisport GPS; is equally rugged but does not offer as many features. At the far more cost-effective end; The Polar M430 GPS Running Watch (£148) is lighter and easier with a more accessible USB charger. But then again, you would not see the extent of detail in the data as you will with the Garmin Forerunner 735XT.
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- Hardwearing design
- Multi-sport intelligence
- A high level of micro-data
- Tricky navigation around the app
- The design might not appeal to many
This watch is for a niche market. If you are a lover of obstacle races, triathlons or any endurance sport, this will certainly not fail you. The Garmin Forerunner 735XT features are unparalleled. It is rugged and user-friendly, if not aesthetically-pleasing.